Homeless

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    Nov 26, 2008 5:17 AM GMT
    Lets skip the story. By Jan, I'll be out of home.

    Anyone here ever been homeless? How did you conduct money, traveling, food, health, fitness, etc?

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    Nov 26, 2008 5:19 AM GMT
    OMFG! ... icon_eek.gif
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    Nov 26, 2008 5:23 AM GMT
    Caslon8000 saidOMFG! ... icon_eek.gif


    ...that was helpful.
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    Nov 26, 2008 5:39 AM GMT
    CitizenSol saidLets skip the story. Soon I'll be out of home.

    Anyone here ever been homeless? How did you conduct money, traveling, food, health, fitness, etc?


    citizen...I want to hear the story...
  • GoodPup

    Posts: 752

    Nov 26, 2008 5:40 AM GMT
    Are you out of work as well? Is there not even a room to rent anywhere?
    That's a huge bummer... but, I guess I don't have any kind of actual answer as I have never beenin that situation. But I have always worked even with horrible, minimum wage paying jobs and able to afford even rooms in places that may not be the most desirable.... but at least a roof over my head. ya know?
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    Nov 26, 2008 5:42 AM GMT
    CitizenSol said
    Caslon8000 saidOMFG! ... icon_eek.gif


    ...that was helpful.

    Sorry....I have never been homeless so there isnt much I can say....but the very thought scares the living daylights out of me........and it just isnt something that I ever think of happening to someone on RJ ...and esp. to someone who is so obviously not of a homeless background
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    Nov 26, 2008 6:19 AM GMT
    Hey guys. Don't make such a big deal out of this.

    I've been walking the line between having shelter and being $400 away from hitting the streets for sometime now. I've known for sometime it'd be a possibility. I've been out of work since the end of August living on savings and my parent's scraps. The only places hiring in my area are only hiring for pizza delivery. (No car) In fact, I've been hearing more about layoffs than hiring. But don't get bent out of shape. I lived in Austin. I've had homeless friends. I just wish I kept those friends instead of looking for help on this site with mostly middleclass guys. lol.
  • cityguy39

    Posts: 967

    Nov 26, 2008 6:34 AM GMT
    Wow Citizen, I'm sorry to hear about your plight. I work with homless individuals and I have to say right now, the safety net for them is very thin. We have one major shelter here in Chicago that has the capacity to service a huge mass of people. It has a clinic, internet, serves meals, offers haircuts and clothing if needed. The best part is that you don't need to leave during the day. The major down side is that you will be sharing a space with people who are in various stages of distress, mentally, physically and emotionally. There has to be someone you could crash with until you get back on your feet. I'm very curious, what about you personal belongings? Furniture etc? Is there anyway your could move back in with your parents?
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    Nov 26, 2008 6:42 AM GMT
    I have been homeless for several years now. Currently I have been sleeping on my business partner's converted garage floor for the last two years. Prior to that I was living in a camper on the streets nearby, which was awful because the camper was unreliable and I kept getting hassled by the cops when I'd park it somewhere to sleep for the night. Even the cheapest of the motor home parks was over $400 a month, and I wasn't earning anything regularly. Plus the fact that I have a couple of evictions on my record when I lost jobs and couldn't pay the rent, as well as a bankruptcy, and landlords are simply not willing to rent to me.

    Two years ago, the camper caught fire and was gone in under two minutes, taking many of my dearest posessions and killing my dog and two cats who had been with me for many years, and burning me badly as well. That's when my business partner took me in, but it's difficult, as I have no bathroom of my own, and am dependent on his schedule as to when I can enter the house to use the facilities. However, I get the use of his home-office, and total use of the phone and internet, and that way I can keep trying to build my business.

    I am a client of APLA and AIDS Healthcare Foundation, so there's a little help there but not a lot. Today I was at a local charity to pick up a bag of groceries to feed myself, and to make some food for my long-time girlfriend and current boyfriend, or actually life-partner I should say. My long-time girlfriend is about two hours from where I am, and she's not living in the best of situations either. Subsidised housing.

    If it wasn't for my boyfriend buying he and I a small home (we hope to close in a few weeks) I would be on the streets again before Christmas, and without a car or driver's license (it was supended a year ago due to an old ticket) I would not survive the winter. I met my boyfriend right here on RJ, and I was at that time resigned to the fact that I might not ever find a life-mate. I do own a small patch of land not far away, but I don't have the means to develop it yet. But I've scraped and saved to hang onto it against the possibility that things might go really bad. I could always squat up there in a small trailer, and since it's MY land, nobody could really do anything as long as I kept a low profile. But, again, my BF is buying us a house and we're hoping to start a small business together. I may be down, but I'm not out, and as long as I can keep coming up with ideas and have a bit of breathing room as to a place to sleep, I think I can turn my life around, especially with him in my corner. I love him dearly, and would give my life for him.

    I have a LOT to give thanks for this year.
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    Nov 26, 2008 6:43 AM GMT
    cityguy39 saidWow Citizen, I'm sorry to hear about your plight. I work with homless individuals and I have to say right now, the safety net for them is very thin. We have one major shelter here in Chicago that has the capacity to service a huge mass of people. It has a clinic, internet, serves meals, offers haircuts and clothing if needed. The best part is that you don't need to leave during the day. The major down side is that you will be sharing a space with people who are in various stages of distress, mentally, physically and emotionally. There has to be someone you could crash with until you get back on your feet. I'm very curious, what about you personal belongings? Furniture etc? Is there anyway your could move back in with your parents?


    I've been thinking about Chicago. I've already sold my entire collection of comics. (weeps) I have very little furniture. I have a small library. Phone. A television with rabbit ears. A dresser. DVDs. Covers/sheets. A lamp. Miscellaneous crap. I'll probably sell some of these things too.

    The parents are a no no. I was given advice to turn to friends and family. You can only get so much help from your friends before you wear out the welcome and as for my parents...they'd offer help...but they'd go about destroying my mental health during my stay. And please don't second guess that, I'm happy not attempting suicide and gulping down pills and I'd rather die before I get that way again. Literally.
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    Nov 26, 2008 12:19 PM GMT
    Photobucket


    there are so many people in this type of situation....no work, home what do people do? It makes me mad because we have hungry, homeless people in the world and we spend so much money as a govt on stupid things that aren't important right now...

    we need to take care of one another as humans...not gay, straight, black, white, rich or poor....its really becoming a horrible nightmare for so many people.

    My heart goes out to you man and I gota say you have so much courage. I would be freaking out right now.

    Stay strong and I understand about the thing with your parents but do you have any shelters or anywhere you cango? there has to be someone that could help atleast for a little while.

    I will be thinking of you...
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    Nov 26, 2008 1:30 PM GMT
    What work have you done, or think you can do?
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    Nov 26, 2008 1:39 PM GMT
    Though I can't remember the name, there is an agency here that allows day use for the homeless. So that you have a mailing address and phone #, they provide a voice mailbox and suite # for US mail.

    If this, or something like it is available the local Salvation Army would probably know about it. Do try other agencies or churches. The local Health Department may be able to provide some info.

    Sorry I don't have any solid leads for you.
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    Nov 26, 2008 5:35 PM GMT
    Citizen - I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. There are resources out there for you, unfortunately sometimes it takes a lot of work to find them. The best resources are community based - so I would recommend staying where you are and using the local networks. Also don't be afraid to ask if they know of other resources/people who can help. People are always willing to help if you are trying to help yourself.

    Katy Chamber of Commerce
    281-391-5289 (391-KATY)
    23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd B206

    Katy Social Services
    281-391-4837
    905 Avenue C

    Houston Gay and Lesbian Community Center

    The Chambers of Commerce are great resources for employment and assistance - and most people forget about them. Also you should check with several temporary employment agencies - they can usually find something for you to do to tide you over.

    Good luck - keep us posted.
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    Nov 26, 2008 10:21 PM GMT
    I think ou need to use your frineds as much as possible--take from them whatever they are willing to give, emotionally and material stuff. You nee to get on ur feet and you need to get a job--any job. Can the state of local agencies help you out? Welfare? Homeless shelters with councilers willing to help you get your life on track? Do you have a degree? First... starting as soon as possible:

    1. Find a place to live--even if it is only for a week
    2. Find a way to support your physical needs (food, water)
    3. Find a job. Even if it is only temporary (lots of stores hire extra work this time of the year)
    4. Work hard, work hard, work hard--you'll get good recommendations for future jobs.

    I have never lived in a big city before-- just ones under 20,000 pop. In those settings people look out for each other. homeless shelters may be able to offer you more help or guidance. In Chicago you will be a "number" I suspect.

    And get used to saying, "Would you like fries with that?" Those types of workplaces will hire you. From there you can build.

    Remember, it is better to build your life up yourself rather than get hand-me-downs from family. My college costs $42,000 a year--if it weren't for my parents I would be in debt big time. But I won't have the gradification of surviving on my own and being sucessful like you.

    Also, there may come a time when you can thank your loved ones for what they have done for you--when you are on your feet.

    Best of luck and take care.icon_cry.gif
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    Nov 26, 2008 10:48 PM GMT
    There are folks in the world with lots of money, and if you go to the right agency, you will get some of it. You'll have to turn over a few leaves, and you need to do it TODAY.

    One option you have, believe it or not, is a FEMA grant. FEMA will pay your deposit, pay your rent for a month or even three, and help you get back up on your feet. After all, it is an emergency in your life.

    If you haven't already you need to get plugged into the system. In Texas, sutff is "faith-based", so you'll likely have to deal with organizations like Christian Community Action. (Here in Denton County, TX, CCA handles most of the intake for a whole variety of programs). In you're in a regular state, you need to be headed off to an economic security office, TODAY.

    If you're without an education, you need to get one. I have a degree in computer science and I can command 80k from home. Logan (19 years old,and a type 1 diabetic), who lives with me, is an expert web developer and makes 30/hour working from home. Logan is brilliant, and very good, and I expect he'll be making close to 100K before he's 25. You can't expect to get ahead working retail, in a hotel, or food service. The money just isn't there.

    My first bodybuilding sponsor was a 34 year old man of deep wealth and one of 7 heirs to the 22nd largest energy company in the country. He made 11,000.00 a night in interest alone (they had over 300 million on interest). You may be able to get plugged into your local gay association who knows someone who likes "paying it forward."

    I've been the benefactor of folks who pay forward, and that's what I did with Logan. There may be someone who will help you in the same way, if they feel you are worthy.
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    Nov 26, 2008 11:22 PM GMT
    Hi Citizen, my thoughts are with you and I hope that your situation changes for the positive soon!

    I spent some time after uni at a few farms - you work about 4 hours a day and get room and board for free and some places even give a small stipend.

    Check out http://www.wwoof.org/northamerica.asp for more information and a directory of participating farms and centers.

    This is not a way to make a lot of money obviously, but I was happy, well fed and sheltered, and made a lot of great and varied contacts the six months I was involved - oh and I didnt spend any money the whole time icon_smile.gif

    I hope you keep us all up to date with how you're doing and whats going on.

    Best regards, Michael
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    Nov 26, 2008 11:27 PM GMT
    Check out http://www.wwoof.org/northamerica.asp for more information and a directory of participating farms and centers.

    Sorry mate, I just checked the site and they've changed it to member's only search! If you're really interested, email me.
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    Nov 26, 2008 11:53 PM GMT
    Three years ago, second week of January, I was.

    Consider the advantage you have that I didn't. You know when it's happening. Focus all your efforts on savings/finances, preparation and settlement. I don't know your employment status (in the sense of what you can do now), but address that first.
    Contact all business contacts that you have that require a home address and get a P.O. Box set up ASAP.
    Contact your bank and ask them how best to deal with your account in a transient state.
    Put anything that requires a stable home and is credit based (phone, electric, water, cable etc.) on hold. This will require contacting the services. If you simply let things 'run out' then you may have to pay extra to have them restarted.
    Separate your personal business papers into 'critical need' and 'storable'. The 'critical need' papers are those that you would require to do any personal business. These would be things such as bank statements, last service bills, payoff statements, medical records, tax records, Social Security card, birth certificate, etc.
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    Nov 27, 2008 12:21 AM GMT
    Citizen--
    Don't worry about making "80K a year or 30/hour" yet. Thinking like that will get you depressed. Think one day at a time: "What do I need to do today to survive tomorrow." Having future goals are good yes, but people often make unatainable goals or goald which may take YEARS to achieve. One small goal at a time will get you farther. Our friend who makes 80K probably didn't make that when he was 22 and probably didn't have the same issues as you either. Keep your head up high, play it smart, work hard and you'll make it--that's what this country is based on.icon_biggrin.gif
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    Nov 27, 2008 1:01 AM GMT
    Winter 1997 - brief, scary, and cold. Thank G-d for leather dykes who took me in at that hour of need.

    bgcat57 is proffering really sound advice, take it.

    At 22 - and with a name like Citizen Sol, I might contemplate military service. If you can do it this would solve your problems and get you independent of your family - which sounds important to you. Also, it might give you a chance to further your education.


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    Nov 27, 2008 1:11 AM GMT
    Cjscuba,

    You're young yet, so I suppose you're to be excused for your somewhat overly optimistic view of how this country works.

    Telling him to just get any menial job, to get used to saying "Would you like fries with that," may seem to you like good advice (hey, any job is better than no job), but with his educational background (I am assuming he has a college education, or at least some professional training based on his images in his profle, as well as his level of articulation), such a backward step could actually jeopardize his career chances in the more professional fields that someone with an education or a strong professional background is expected to attain and maintain. Now if you had said he should consider a management position at a fast-food establishment, that might actually be more appropriate to his age and hirability.

    In the professional world, once you slip backward into a more menial position, you are rarely if ever considered a likely candidate for serious positioning in the professions again.

    I am, due to many factors, basically unhirable in the professions anymore. I can still get work as a freelancer in certain journalistic or artistic fields, but those have very stiff competition. Luckily, I have kept my computer skills current, otherwise I'd be in real deep trouble. I am also an award-winning journalist and a somewhat-respected visual effects artist and small-time film maker and editor. So, all that together leads me in the direction of being a private entreprenuer, which at this stage of my life is my best chance at success.
    Owning my own business, being my own boss.

    Actually, Ursa Major's advice has merit: the military may be a very good idea, especially if Citizen Sol can qualify for OCS or any of the possible officer training programs, rather than entering at the basic recruit or enlisted level. If you pass muster, you can be groomed for many different professional or technical careers, as well as having the help of the V.A. and the G.I. loans that come with it.

    The only current problem is that you're Gay, but with Obama making inroads, that may not be a problem much longer.
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    Nov 27, 2008 1:22 AM GMT
    zeebyaboi saidCjscuba,

    You're young yet, so I suppose you're to be excused for your somewhat overly optimistic view of how this country works.


    Well if he does have an educational background... that opens more doors. I am not trying to appear as having all the "right answers." The only right answers are citizen's answers whch make him happy. What I hoped to do what sort of "brainstorm online" different avenues he might be able to follow. And also that money isn't everything, but happiness is--unless you feel you need only money to be happy.

    Either way i have no idea what you or citizen are going through. I fell apart several years ago but my parents were theri to "pick up my pieces." I have had an easy life when is comes to living and financial sitituations.
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    Nov 27, 2008 1:28 AM GMT
    Hey CitizenSol,

    I id some chasing around the 'net for you today as this topic made my hair stand on end - as you can imagine, with no hair on top and lots on the sides this looks pretty funny. heheh

    Here:
    http://www.houston-txjobs.com/
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    Nov 27, 2008 1:52 AM GMT
    Cjscuba, I wasn't trying to flame you, and I hope it didn't seem that way. If it did, I apologize. I too have fallen apart, and over many years my mom was there to pick me back up, even while I was caregiving to her with her drug problems. Then she died, and life really went into the dumper for me. I'm still trying to recover. If it wasn't for my BF stepping up to the plate, I'd be on the streets in two weeks.

    I am very hopeful of Obama's "new" New Deal. It will give us 2.5 million new jobs, and as a result, there will be other opportunities in associated fields as well. If he pulls it off, it'll be the biggest boost to our economy and national pride since the Space Race or the original New Deal under Roosevelt.