I would love to spend one day homeless

  • Amira

    Posts: 327

    Dec 28, 2012 11:18 PM GMT
    So today after I was driving home from work I gave a guy who was homeless and disabled (in his legs and hands) the only two dollars I had in my car ( I don't carry cash) and it just reminded me of how much I loved volunteering. And there was something so sincere about this man that I could not shake off my mind.. When you are able to see just how much two dollars could mean to a person blows my mind each and every time. It's not something that can be imitated or faked.

    I used to volunteer over a year ago when I was unemployed to kill time on Fridays. I volunteered for a LGBT organization that offers free HIV testing, has group discussions, and offers free resources such as computers for use with internet and counseling. But when I volunteered I was just a receptionist. But I would have to log in the people who would come in to use the computers through their ID and most of them were homeless and yes some would be drug addicts. I always felt comfortable working with there because I've always been the type of person who loves to help others. So when I was volunteering there my goal was to become certified in HIV testing to further myself in helping those who would come to the center but that didn't happen since I had got a job not long after and the dates for testing were too conflicting with both my work and school schedule.

    So for a while I said that I would love to write a book by interviewing a hand full of people who are homeless and I would not even mind spending a whole day with them to catch a small glimpse of what their world is like. I feel like a lot of people see someone that's homeless and they look down on them as if they chose for it to happen. Writing this book would be more so for me though, for me to say that I personally experienced a little of what they go through. I know it sounds crazy but I am seriously going to go for it. I'm going to talk to my store manager and see if they would be interested in helping me in anyway with possible donations since my company is one that supports many charities and they believe in giving back.

    And I really do have a lot of respect for people who work with those less fortunate. If anyone here currently volunteers or works with an organization please do feel free to share. I don't think I'll be able to start my own organization anytime soon but I can definitely see it in the future if I work hard enough.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Dec 28, 2012 11:26 PM GMT
    Go Tyra!
  • Amira

    Posts: 327

    Dec 28, 2012 11:27 PM GMT
    HottJoe saidGo Tyra!


    Lmao.. icon_lol.gif

    That brings back memories of Tyra's show actually..
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Dec 28, 2012 11:28 PM GMT
    Amira said
    HottJoe saidGo Tyra!


    Lmao.. icon_lol.gif

    That brings back memories of Tyra's show actually..


    I know! Your post made me think of it. I miss her show. I didn't get to see it very often, but it's better than the crap on TV now, imo.
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    Dec 29, 2012 12:32 AM GMT
    Very good post! I'm with the honor society at the local university and one of the activities we do is work with those who are less fortunate. For Thanksgiving, we did a canned food drive which to me was awesome! Once I finish school in the next summer, I'll have more time to volunteer with the LGBT community and since I have years of experience in healthcare, I'll be glad to lend a hand to those who are in need of health services.
  • widestance

    Posts: 40

    Dec 29, 2012 12:47 AM GMT
    Spending one day homeless is in no way experiencing what it's like. You know the next day you'll sleep in your bed and know where your meals are going to come from.

    It is nice that you want to help.
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    Dec 29, 2012 12:50 AM GMT
    Its not going to be the same as being homeless as widestance said. I spent some time homeless and it was horrible. Starving was not the hard part for me but the humiliation and constant need to hide and cover up the homelessness...
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    Dec 29, 2012 12:56 AM GMT
    Give up home, food, security, health, and struggle to keep your dignity; cause being homeless will not be like a walk in a museum or zoo. I know, I was homeless. You will learn the hard way to appreciate what matters to you most in life... but be careful coming back more normal living. You can forget what you learn, with all the cares in live provided to you.
    Best advice to you is learn to appreciate what you got in the life you're living now. However that will work out for you.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Dec 29, 2012 12:56 AM GMT
    no offense, but that sounds incredibly patronizing and degrading. let's replace homeless with other words...

    i really want to spend a day being black... black people suffer so much in society so i want to interview them and spend a day with them and maybe dress as up as one so i know what it really is like. then, i'm going to write a book about it.

    the fact that you would even turn this into some sort of a challenge speaks to how off in conception you are. i understand your heart is in the right place, but this idea is horrible.
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    Dec 29, 2012 1:16 AM GMT
    calibro saidno offense, but that sounds incredibly patronizing and degrading. let's replace homeless with other words...

    i really want to spend a day being black... black people suffer so much in society so i want to interview them and spend a day with them and maybe dress as up as one so i know what it really is like. then, i'm going to write a book about it.

    the fact that you would even turn this into some sort of a challenge speaks to how off in conception you are. i understand your heart is in the right place, but this idea is horrible.


    How do you dress up like a black person??
  • C_Dezi

    Posts: 134

    Dec 29, 2012 1:18 AM GMT
    the last time i gave homeless person a whole loaf of freshly baked break from my favorite bakery he threw it in the river and flipped me off as i rode away
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Dec 29, 2012 1:22 AM GMT
    I used to volunteer a lot with the Mustard Seed in Calgary. They're both a drop in centre and a short term rehab facility. It was a grey experience, actually. Met a lot of cool people.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Dec 29, 2012 1:23 AM GMT
    Erik101 said
    calibro saidno offense, but that sounds incredibly patronizing and degrading. let's replace homeless with other words...

    i really want to spend a day being black... black people suffer so much in society so i want to interview them and spend a day with them and maybe dress as up as one so i know what it really is like. then, i'm going to write a book about it.

    the fact that you would even turn this into some sort of a challenge speaks to how off in conception you are. i understand your heart is in the right place, but this idea is horrible.


    How do you dress up like a black person??


    how does one be homeless unless one is actually homeless? having of window of when you go home to your home and possessions means you're not homeless. you're just pretending. the point is you're either black or you're not. any attempt to "dress" like a black person and be one would be insulting just as "living" homeless is when you're not homeless.
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    Dec 29, 2012 1:27 AM GMT
    C_Dezi saidthe last time i gave homeless person a whole loaf of freshly baked break from my favorite bakery he threw it in the river and flipped me off as i rode away


    Once I gave one a third of a roasted chicken that I couldn't finish (ate lunch at a grilled chicken place). Soon after I left the place I saw the guy and politely asked him if he would do me a favor and help me finish my lunch (it was wrapped up). He threw a tantrum, tossed it a distance on the side walk and went into some verbal rage. I walked away from him.
    Lesson learned: It takes more than giving some people food or money to help them. It's preferable to help people from becoming psycho and homeless. Giving them food and money is particularly important if they're sane and not alcoholics or drug users.

    P.S.- This was the only extreme case I encountered out of many, and mention it only after having read C-Dezi's similar post.
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    Dec 29, 2012 1:31 AM GMT
    As much as I feel bad and wish there were no homeless people. There are many reasons why people are homeless, but at the same time I believe that a homeless person who still can be rational can work hard and get out of that situation. If a homeless person is not in the third world country, he or she can work hard and be consistent to get out of that situation. If the cause was mental problem then it is hard to help them. On the other hand if the problem is addiction then that person has to challenge themselves to overcome their addiction.
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    Dec 29, 2012 3:40 AM GMT
    http://homeless.samhsa.gov/Resource/The-State-of-Homelessness-in-America-2012-53447.aspx

    Following copy/pasted from Report dated January 17, 2012. See above link for full report.

    The most recently available national data are from the January 2011 point-in-time count. The 2011 count data show that an estimated 636,017 people experienced homelessness in the United States on a given night. This translates to an incidence, or rate, of 21 homeless people per 10,000 people in the general population.

    Figure%201.1%20SOH%202012.png

    A majority of homeless people lives in shelters or transitional housing units (392,316 people), but 38 percent of the population lives on the streets or in other places not meant for human habitation. Veterans comprise 11 percent of the homeless population (67,495 people). Data on unaccompanied homeless youth are not included in the main text of this report, as a reliable national youth population count has not yet been completed.

    figure%201.2%20SOH2012.png

    the root cause of homelessness can largely be explained by economics: people who become homeless have insufficient financial resources to obtain or maintain housing. This is especially the case for 83 percent of the homeless population who experience episodic, transitional, or temporary periods of homelessness.

    Housing is considered affordable when it accounts for 30 percent or less of monthly household income. There are nearly 40 million U.S. renter households and nearly 1 in 4 are severely housing cost burdened, meaning they spend 50 percent or more of their monthly income for housing.

    Figure%202.1%20SOH2012.png

    75 percent of households at or below the poverty line are severely housing cost burdened. When housing accounts for 50 percent or more of a household’s resources, any unexpected financial crisis could jeopardize housing stability and lead to an increased risk of homelessness....even in the state with the lowest level of housing cost burden, Maine, nearly 60 percent of households below the poverty line are paying 50 percent or more of their incomes for housing.

    Over the course of a year, the estimated odds of experiencing homelessness are approximately 1 in 194 for the general population, though the odds vary by circumstance. The odds for people with incomes at or below the federal poverty line increase to an estimated 1 in 29. According to The 2009 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress (2009 AHAR), the group at greatest risk is poor veterans, who have 1 in 10 risk of experiencing homelessness over the course of a year.

    People who live with friends or family due to economic need are considered “doubled-up.” Doubled-up people have an elevated risk of experiencing homelessness. In fact, prior to their entrance into the homeless shelter system, the most common living situation for adults in families is living with friends or family

    map31%20doubled%20up.png

    Over 5 percent of the individuals who use the homeless shelter system identified prison, jail, or juvenile detention as their living situation prior to entering the shelter system.

    A third group at elevated risk is youth who age out of foster care. Combining data on previous living situations with emancipations from foster care data from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), risk of homelessness was calculated for youth who age out of foster care. Over the course of a year, the odds of experiencing homelessness for a youth emancipated from foster care are estimated to be 1 in 11.

    The final demographic factor described in this report is health insurance. Medical facilities (i.e. hospitals, psychiatric facilities, or substance abuse treatment centers) are the most common institutional living situation for people prior to their entrance into the homeless shelter system. This fact, paired with the fact that approximately 40 percent of adults in the homeless population are estimated to have a disability, relate to the importance of having health insurance to protect against increased risk of homelessness.3 The number of people who lack health insurance increased from approximately 47 million in 2009 to nearly 49 million people in 2010, a 4 percent increase. The 2010 data show the uninsured rate is 16 percent.

    ooops. sorry about graphics sizing. click properties to get url to open in separate window or just view them in full report on above link.
  • mybud

    Posts: 11819

    Dec 29, 2012 4:20 AM GMT
    C_Dezi saidthe last time i gave homeless person a whole loaf of freshly baked break from my favorite bakery he threw it in the river and flipped me off as i rode away
    Ya it kills thoughts of humanity...Sorry it happened to ya man....
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    Dec 29, 2012 7:18 AM GMT
    I was once approached by a homeless man in SF begging for money for food. I offered him my lunch and he cussed at me. Just showed me the money was not to alleviate hunger.

    Met a woman in Sacramento who said she needed help to feed her children. I told her I was broke (it was true) but had extra food and if she would wait I would get her some groceries. I went home and bagged some food up. When I got back she was there with her children, tears in her eyes and a sincere thank you awaited me.

    Don't let a bad example stop you from helping people. You can make a difference. Just watch how you give.

    I've been homeless too, even while employed, sleeping under the desk or in the car. But you get back on your feet and keep going.

    But one day as a homeless person will teach you very little, if anything.
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    Dec 29, 2012 7:23 AM GMT
    I was approached by a woman a couple weeks ago and she offered me a smiley face sticker. I was like OK...and took the damn thing. Then she asked if I had any money. I looked her up and down and the bitch had blonde hair, was tanned, had a nice full length jacket on, and I could even sense a little botox on her face lmao. I asked what she needed the money for and she said food for her kids. She kept complimenting me on how handsome I was too the whole time. Although I didn't buy her little compliments, I whipped out a whole two dollars and gave it to her and said "I'm only doing this cause it's the holiday season"...she said her thanks and I walked away. I don't know what her deal was, but I felt somewhat jipped but positive that good things will come my way for what I did for the hoe.
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    Dec 29, 2012 7:28 AM GMT
    Stand at a freeway offramp with a sign that says "Homeless, need help". Every few cars that pass by will give you spare change and dollar bills. At the end of the day, you should end up with at least $400. Probably more, since it's the holidays. Next, take that money and donate it to your local homeless shelter.
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    Dec 29, 2012 7:35 AM GMT
    Erik101 saidHow do you dress up like a black person??
    tumblr_lta9ye53T11qdmqoyo1_500.gif
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    Dec 29, 2012 7:37 AM GMT
    Perserverance saidAs much as I feel bad and wish there were no homeless people. There are many reasons why people are homeless, but at the same time I believe that a homeless person who still can be rational can work hard and get out of that situation. If a homeless person is not in the third world country, he or she can work hard and be consistent to get out of that situation. If the cause was mental problem then it is hard to help them. On the other hand if the problem is addiction then that person has to challenge themselves to overcome their addiction.
    You're part of the reason that this ad exists:
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    Dec 29, 2012 7:40 AM GMT
    McQueen said
    Perserverance saidAs much as I feel bad and wish there were no homeless people. There are many reasons why people are homeless, but at the same time I believe that a homeless person who still can be rational can work hard and get out of that situation. If a homeless person is not in the third world country, he or she can work hard and be consistent to get out of that situation. If the cause was mental problem then it is hard to help them. On the other hand if the problem is addiction then that person has to challenge themselves to overcome their addiction.
    You're part of the reason that this ad exists:
    cov_house.JPG


    Anything that dumbass says should be laughed at due to his stupidity.
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    Dec 29, 2012 7:41 AM GMT
    dan_x saidAnything that dumbass says should be laughed at due to his stupidity.
    #truth
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    Dec 29, 2012 8:07 AM GMT
    There seem to be a lot of people down on you for the idea- I think it is not bad at all. Many of these people are marginalized, overlooked and lumped into one massive group as though you can blame mental illness, drug addiction or an aversion to work for all cases of homelessness. Yes, each of these (and a whole host of other reasons) can and do contribute to the problem. Yet for each person on the street there is an individual and an individual story of how they got there- and in some cases what keeps them there.

    I think so long as you keep it in perspective there really is no harm. It is no more insulting to (most) homeless people if you show an genuine interest in them and their story than it is to any other individual. The example given above about this being a degrading idea should be kept in mind but should not dissuade you. (the comment about dressing up like a black person for a day.) While somebody pretending to be homeless and lining up at the shelter and then saying they know what it is like could be insulting talking with, and trying to understand somebody is not. If I dress in blackface for a day and claim to know what it is like to face the challenges and discrimination that some people do face on a regular basis would be disingenuous. However, my asking others about their experiences and listening to their stories and trying to understand is not.

    Keep your own words (that it is only a glimpse of what they live with) in mind during this project and present the stories that you hear through an unbiased and non judgmental point of view and I wish you all the luck.
    Amira said
    ...to catch a small glimpse of what their world is like.