Homeless People,living on the Streets in our Towns .

Diary of a Homeless Man

Hello, my name is Brian. I am homeless and have been since I broke up with my girlfriend two years ago. At the moment I am living in the streets of Sacramento. Every morning I procure a newspaper and, if I have money, I buy a six pack of beer, I stop off at a bathroom in a fast food restaurant and wash and shave. I like to be clean,

My favorite hang out during the day is in the local park. There are sheltered picnic tables where I can set out my newspaper. I like to keep up to date with the news. Breakfast is a can of beer, strong high alcohol brew. I check out the job section. Sometimes I get handyman jobs which enable me to buy my necessary beer supply. I am an alcoholic, my parents have sent me to rehab four times. I like beer, I need beer, they don't understand. I only see family members at Thanksgiving. Some of them do not know about my life style. This is about the only time I see my son who is disgusted with my beer habit, no I'll rephrase that, that I am an alcoholic. I cannot function without it.

If it is a nice day I will go and join other homeless people under the trees with their dogs. Dogs have nice warm body and keep you cosy at night. They also help with panhandling, which can be very lucrative as people seem to be more concerned about the dogs than the people. I receive a small pension as I am a Vietnam Vet. Doesn't seem to count for much these days but I still get the nightmares.

At weekends I travel the whole park and check out the garbage bins for cans. It is very competitive these days as two black rubbish sacks full can bring $30. It is best after parties in the summer. Some of my old friends remember me and know where to find me. I sometimes get work from them and a hot meal.

During the day I play my radio, battery operated. I usually listen to religious channels as it confirms my faith. I know God is looking after me and I think I have a good life with the ultimate freedom.

I have many places to hide at night which are relatively comfortable and sheltered. If the cops find me they usually just caution me and leave me alone. As long as I have my beer I am happy. Sometimes people talk to me and try to make me change my ways. They don't know that I can't function without Beer. It is my lifeblood I need my Beer.

Thank you for stopping to talk to me, but please realise I can't give up my beer, besides I need the cans.

Footnote Today, a year later I bumped into "Brian" again. We were walking our dogs. He remembered me and shook my hand. "So nice to see you" he said. He was looking good and had grown a small, neat beard. I asked him how things were going. "I have a job and I'm doing well" Not a trace of alcohol on his breath. Things can get better!

Another positive outlook, http://www.salon.com/2012/11/12/major_hurdles_remain_to_end_veteran_homelessness_2/?source=newsletter


Let's hope it works!


Helping the homeless

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Comments 161 comments

billyaustindillon profile image

billyaustindillon 6 years ago

Some of those pictures are priceless and tell the story magnificently. A picture tells a thousand words


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks for being my first visitor and the kind comment. This is based on a conversation I had with a homeless guy the other day. He was quite content with his lot and blamed no one but himself for the situation.


Maggie-May profile image

Maggie-May 6 years ago from the Island of Cape Breton to the Eastern Shores near Halifax, NS

It's so good to hear that some people stop and talk to the homeless. Most people try to ignore it, and, I think from their own fears, people tend to turn up their noses -- too proud, and also, grimace in disgust without knowing the story behind them being out there. No-one decides one day to wake up and set out to become homeless. Thanks Gypsy Willow. Great Hub Topic!


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thank Maggie-May. There are some petty interesting characters in our local park, a great number are Vietnam Vets. A sad way to end up after surviving that horror. Wish we could do more to help.


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 6 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

I met one homeless guy who asked me to remember his name. I guess it was his Vietnam war nickname. He was a vet and his name was "Johnny Be Good". Him I felt sorry for.

Years back I worked at a shelter for people who were participating in a program to get back on their feet and knew a man there who told me he did not want to live in a house or apartment, but actually wanted to be homeless. He wanted the freedom from paying taxes and being told what to do.

I moved to Santa Cruz and met him there later, he was smoking pot. Then I understood what kind of freedom he really wanted. Freedom from responsibility so he could smoke.

Some people bring it on themselves, but I feel that many more have no desire to live on the streets and they need our compassion. Thanks for your touching interview Gypsy.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

It is so sad on the homeless side, for whatever reason, and the family side. I know that some alcoholics just can't help it. For some unknown reason they just have to have it. Maybe there is something in their body. Also soldiers who have seen the worst of it bound to be so messed up that they just can't fit back into normal life. If you think the man has been trained (brainwashed) into a soldier's life, done his duty, seen the worst and then gets thrown back into a normal life. I think they should be retrained, so to speak, to fit back into a normal life. Especially the Vietnam Vets. Surely they deserve that. Thank you highlighting the problem of homelessness. It can happened to anyone.


FGual profile image

FGual 6 years ago from USA

This is a great story. There are many homeless in Tampa Bay. I am always torn by mixed feelings of feeling sorry for them or blaming them for being where they are. But as your story says, having a beer is more important to some. If they don't want to change, what can society do? Be well.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Alexander, thanks for such an insightful comment. I think your conclusions are correct.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Hello hello, what a sound idea to help the vets fit back into society. Sadly there is probably no money for such a program theses days. Thanks for the kind comment.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks for coming by FGual. Some of the homeless are there by choice but it still seems sad that not enough is done to help them.


maven101 profile image

maven101 6 years ago from Northern Arizona

Your written words and the accompanying pictures provide impact to this often ignored segment of society...Yes, it is worldwide, and generally they are men with low esteem, low intelligence, and low motivation to change...Many should be in a caring mental hospital as some simply cannot cope with the complexity of modern life...

Drugs and alcoholism are a common thread, and many are PTSD afflicted veterans...How do you help those that do not want to be helped..? We can only offer our compassion and try to understand their aberrant behaviour...Larry


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

That is a good summing up of the sad situation. I visited the USA in 1980 just after Reagan had closed down the mental hospitals. I was horrified to see these helpless, hopeless people sitting around in Banks and public places just completely lost. It threw a completely different perspective on America as I had envisioned it from a European point of view. Thanks for your comment.


Enlydia Listener profile image

Enlydia Listener 6 years ago from trailer in the country

good story...and well written


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

How can one respond? So much pain out there, so much weakness and so much suffering.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks for reading the story Enlydia, I appreciate it.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

You are correct Dimitiris, we are so lucky. It's a cold, tough world out there. Thanks for the comment.


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas

Excellent hub and sad as well. I wish I could help everyone out there that are homeless especially the ones that have children. But I can only do it a little at a time. A dollar here a dollar there. I try. Thanks for this hub.


nomoretrucks profile image

nomoretrucks 6 years ago from scotland

Nos waith da Gypsy Willow. I was on the streets for a month after i hit a bad patch in my life a few years ago. I previously took the money i earned for granted, along with a bath, clean clothes, fresh food, shelter and most other things. I formed a sort of camaraderie with other homeless who had little but gave me what they had when i was in need. I eventually got back on my feet and now value the things we all take for granted, like health,sight, touch, taste-all standard equipment at birth. If i come across a homeless person now i cannot pass them by without having a chat, finding out their name and telling them mine. Some are so spaced out through the hell of addiction they dont remember next time i have talked to them, but it wont stop me doing the same thing again After all, who are we to judge them. We just dont know what demons they may have faced in their lives. Its great to see a hubber take the time to to tackle this situation many will never(hopefully)find themselves in. Its not the best place to be.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hey nomoretrucks, glad you got back on your feet. Your life is probably more precious now. It could happen to anyone. Thanks for the disclosure and interesting comment


American Romance profile image

American Romance 6 years ago from America

I have a gambling problem that ruined my life, I could just have easily ended up homeless. but somehow a person has to have the desire to change their lives, I did thanks to God and the gamblers anonamous I started here in my town and my life is getting back on track. we cannot feel as sorry for these folks as most think we should.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks for the candid comment AR. Glad you are getting back on track. I'm not sorry for Brian. He was quite content with his lot when I met him. Glad you had the desire.


jim10 profile image

jim10 6 years ago from ma

Great Hub Gypsy. It truly is sad knowing there are so many people without a place to call home. I travel into Boston all of the time and see so many people struggling to get by. Yet on the same street is some of the most well off people around. It is nice when I see them talking to each other. But, that isn't often.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Jim, they are humans struggling with life in a dimension greater than ours. Our local park has many people trying to get by and the problem is in your face. Thanks for the comment, Here we have the same contrast, truly sad.


reddog1027 profile image

reddog1027 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

But for the grace of God go I. On cold Michigan nights, I often pray for those who have to sleep outside. I can't imagine having to collect cans just to survive. A great hub, its throws light on a topic that isn't talked about much but which hasn't gone away.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi reddog, it is certainly ever present here. Some one once told me that not many people sleep on park benches in Michigan because of the cold. Seems there are desperate people every where. Thanks for your kind comment.


Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 6 years ago

For 19 years my wife and I have befriended and advocated for the homeless. We hang out in the camps and on the streets daily loving them, being with them when they go to the hospital and much more. We have a million stories to tell of our homeless friends. Thanks for the hub and for keeping the struggles of the homeless in public view.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

That is just wonderful, you guys are the best! The problem is so big and growing. Thank you for your comment.


Jamiehousehusband profile image

Jamiehousehusband 6 years ago from Derbyshire, UK

I can identify with this right now, a close friend of mine has a teenage son, only 18 who has fallen along the way into drugs. After a long 2 yr battle my very good friend has put him out of the home - not a light decision, after much heartache. This happened last week and the son is now (he says) on a park bench. Texts flying furiously now between family and friends (including me, as his 'uncle/friend') ...so upsetting but we all feel so helpless now- the kid has had a great, anchored up-bringing with parents who have managed to maintain what they thought (and us all) the right balance between freedom and discipline but hey...this is real now and he's only texting me now for money to get drugs - money that if I give now, could end his life. His parents, his sister and all close friends, such as myself are now facing this, with no experience before...social services won't help as they say "he's not causing any legal (police) problems to society..so we can't intervene"..what do YOU DO? Almost deleted that but thought no, people should know. Feel free to deny, I'll understand totally.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Well I wouldn't give him money as it will end up as you thought. He needs to go to rehab but he has to hit rock bottom before he will realise it is an option. The danger is he will steal to support his habit and end up in serious trouble. If he were mine I would tip off the cops to arrest him for possesion and he would be forced to face the situation. Terribly sad as it is so common these days. These are just my thoughts


Jamiehousehusband profile image

Jamiehousehusband 6 years ago from Derbyshire, UK

Thanks for that Gypsy - we discussed that and now one of us will do that.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hope it all works out. So worrying as the son is no longer in the driving seat, the drug is. Good luck.


Granny's House profile image

Granny's House 6 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

Thank you Gypsy and everyone that commented. This is a real issue. Every where you go now a days you see the homeless. You know what sucks is that we can not help them all. I was telling my daughter last night, if I were rich,like many stars, sports players etc. I would open a place for the people to go and get help with training for a job and do what ever else I could to help. The ones that want to be helped. I feel for the children. So sad.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Granny, the situation is beyond sad as I don't think all of them want to enter society like the young man I met. It is a huge problem and I always think "there but for the grace of god...... Thanks for the comment.


Juliette Morgan profile image

Juliette Morgan 6 years ago

I used to have a lock up restaurant business with an alleyway and lockable gate down the side - the homeless used to climb over when the unit was closed, take cardboard out of the bin for their shelter and sleep there until opening time - they did no harm and moved politely every morning - we used to leave them food rather than bin it. So upsetting.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Juliette, that was such a positive way to help and so much restaurant food is simply thrown away. Thank you for coming by.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

Quite a compelling story, my dear. I enjoyed learning the inside scoop. Thanks for the good read.


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

Don't walk by, dig deep into your pocket or purse and extend a helping hand, I give what I can, we have homeless people all over the world and it's sad to see. I have spoken with a few and they tell me their reasons, all we can do is listen and extend a hand and a prayer. Thank goodness for all the organizations who help and show their loving kindness to the homeless. For every reason under the sun a person can be homeless, I know of one man who was a top executive and rich, he got into drugs, lost everything and lives in the streets. I pray that God will help every homeless person find love in their God. thank you for sharing this post, my tears are flowing.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks for stopping by James


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi saddlerider, too easy to just walk by. They all need whatever help we can give them. Thanks for your touching comment.


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 6 years ago from West Virginia

Take them to get food or sit with them awhile in a restaurant for a meal. Don't just give them money. They would appreciate it more if they were given a real meal and not something from the trash.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Good idea Lady Guinevere. That would be a kind thing to do. Thanks for dropping by.


Shealy Healy profile image

Shealy Healy 6 years ago from USA

Homelessness is so often a problem of mental illness as well as poverty. What a shame. It is good for us to know that it exists.

Shealy


gypsy willpw  6 years ago

Thank you for the comment, your observation is correct.


dealrocker profile image

dealrocker 6 years ago from California

Hi Gypsy Willow! The pictures you have mentioned here say the story themselves. A well written hub with great efforts.Liked your other hubs too. Joining your fanclub and would like to invite you to join mine. :)


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks dealrocker. Thanks for the kind comment. Looking at your hubs now.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

Homelessness is such a sad situation. I hear people say that they often bring it on themselves, but I can't help wondering about that. I wrote a little piece the other day which was inspired by the sight of a person lying under a bright red blanket on the sidewalk, obviously having slept there all night. And our nights are cold this time of year.

Part of me wanted to go and talk to the person, find out if I could help. Another part of me said the person most likely would not like to be woken and might not like his/her privacy invaded either. I sometimes just don't know how to respond in such situations.

Thanks for sharing the interview and the pix.

Love and peace

Tony


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks Tony, it is difficult to know what to do. My heart goes out to them. Our area is very warm and they are everywhere. Thanks for the comment


Loveslove profile image

Loveslove 6 years ago from England

This reminds me that we are indeed blest to have a warm comfortable home with enough food on the table and loved ones around us....


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

We are indeed Loveslove, we should never forget that. Thanks for stopping by.


Daniel Carter profile image

Daniel Carter 6 years ago from Western US

I have a couple of friends who are not stable emotionally, but are not addicted to anything. They are gypsies, nomads, and always on the move, often on the street. For them, it's affording the meds to keep them stable. However, they don't like the meds either, and so they justify not taking them, and then blame society for not providing better for them. It's a very difficult thing, always complicated.

Thanks for a very insightful hub. I look forward to reading more!


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks for pointing out a new angle Daniel. The weather is scorchingly hot here and the homeless are visibly suffering every where. Just being glad we are not in that situation isn't enough. The problem is so enormous that one feels overwhelmed and the little I can do to help is like a raindrop that evaporates before it reaches the parched ground.


gypsywoman01 profile image

gypsywoman01 6 years ago from Hutchinson, Minnesota

I have been homeless in the past with little ones in tow, it was never an easy life. I have never had a lot of money and even now I live with my sister. It is hard for me to work for I have many back problems which are very painful.

But, i am a Gypsy and adapt quickly to what ever comes my way in life. I try not to dwell on where I will be tomorrow or next month (unless winter is coming).

I used to live in Arizona and go frequently to Sierra Vista, where there are a lot of homeless men. Instead of giving out money, my sister and I would help these gentlemen by bringing them healthy sandwiches, snacks and gallons of water. we had given them jackets and blankets closer toward the winter months and information on shelters they may try to use.

I felt bad for them, but I felt good that I was at least doing something to help.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

That is the best way to help. It is heart breaking to see them and I was amazed by the reaction of the guy I talked to. It was summer though. Well done Gypsy. I hope things work out for you. Thanks for stopping by,


Bob 6 years ago

So sad


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Quite!


Elizabeth_villa profile image

Elizabeth_villa 6 years ago

I think its sad how he uses the money to buy beer and there is no such thing as can't maybe something happened in his life that changed him dramatically like maybe the war has him traumatized he needs to help himself and talk to someone people that know him like family need to talk to him and let him talk about what he feels but he can make it and change his life around.


Elizabeth_villa profile image

Elizabeth_villa 6 years ago

I think its sad how he uses the money to buy beer and there is no such thing as can't maybe something happened in his life that changed him dramatically like maybe the war has him traumatized he needs to help himself and talk to someone people that know him like family need to talk to him and let him talk about what he feels but he can make it and change his life around.


julietmorgan07 profile image

julietmorgan07 6 years ago from Germany

Great Hub,well trust me I've seen a lot of homeless people when I visited Philippines children checking out garbage for leftover foods, elderly holding a can or cups begging for coins, It breaks my heart seeing people o such condition


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

So sad! I haven't visited the Philippines but I don't have to travel that far to see human misery. How can such inequality exist in a civilised society? Thanks for the visit.


justom profile image

justom 6 years ago from 41042

Good hub, a lot of homeless folks are fine with where they're at. There are a lot of reasons they choose the streets and while I don't know if I could do it I'm amazed at their attitudes. I've gotten along fine with them through the years, I used to work in a downtown area and got to know some real characters. Peace!! Tom


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

That's a true comment Tom. I don't think I could do it either. Sad though. Some are obviously ill and no one seems to help. Thanks for dropping by.


LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

I have been homeless. Sleeping outside is very cold. Alcohol is a cheap way to get calories. When people curse the homeless and poor, they are stomping on their neck. It is usually Rejection from the family that makes homeless remain in an empathetic community of the streets


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Lilly Well you really know it first hand. I hope life is peaceful for you now. It is difficult not to encounter them in Sacramento as there are too many to miss, up here in the mountains it is too cold. I wish you and them well. Thanks for dropping by.


Joanie 6 years ago

I am homeless in a womens home for Dv left abuse its hard to get back on your feet i am embassassed to pan handle but i mite have to


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Joanie, so sorry to hear of your plight. I wish you the best of luck getting back on your feet. Thank you for dropping by.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

God bless you Gypsy Willow.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thank you Micky. May you be blessed too.


World-Traveler profile image

World-Traveler 5 years ago from USA

I know of that which you write.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Well you can apprecte my concern World Traveller. Thanks for the comment.


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 5 years ago from Canada

Gypsy Woman, Great hub! I like how you told the story from the real person, and used real people in your photos. Very authentic. Great job, and take care!


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks for the visit prairieprincess and your kind comments on this sad situation.


k@ri profile image

k@ri 5 years ago from Sunny Southern California

This is a great hub and the pictures tell a great story. It strikes me that Brian told you he has the "ultimate freedom". I found this hub very thought provoking. :D


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks for your visit k@ri. It is thought provoking as Brian was quite happy with his lot. Maybe if we had talked in mid winter it would be a different story.


trimar7 profile image

trimar7 5 years ago from New York

Thank you for being a voice for many homeless. We need to be helping one another. One never knows if they could be next.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

In these sad uncertain times there is no security for any one. Thank you for visiting and pointing out the need to help one another


Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 5 years ago from South East Asia

There but for the grace of God go I is what I think...and I don't believe in God. I am homeless too, by choice, but not in any dire straits, right now I have a cheap room and it is 'home' and I love it. Been close a time or two to having nothing. This gives me I think, I hope, a bigger heart. I help others where I can. Thank you for your hub.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

I only wish more people would do more to help the homeless. The unfiar stigma of "lazy bum" is so upsetting, and I am so heartened to hubs such as this. Kudos.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Peter Glad you have your room especially as it's winter Good luck and keep your positive attitude


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

HI Genna, it is a very sad situation which I find very upsetting. They are everywhere in our warmer cities. Most seem to be Vietnam vets. so unfair they should end up like this. Thanks for your kind comment.


ChristineVianello profile image

ChristineVianello 5 years ago from Philadelphia

There is this woman I drive past everyday after work. I try to give her food and clothing as much as possible.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

So much better than money. Good for you. There are so many in Sacramento.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

This is really touching - the pictures and the story. We have a huge problem with homeless people here. I found a place called Camp Hopeville by the riverfront in St. Louis. I took a turn down the wrong street - it was freezing cold. The camp was a collection of blue tents. So sad.


Hummingbird5356 profile image

Hummingbird5356 5 years ago

It is when I see things like this that I know how lucky I am. A very good hub which brings a desperate situation to people's notice.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi RH, It is sad and seems to be everywhere. There is even an old man who stands outside our local supermarket at Lake Tahoe with a sign saying he is homeless. The temperatures day and night here are very very cold. So sad. Thanks for the comment


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

We are so lucky Hummingbird. Thanks for dropping by.


daffodil2010 profile image

daffodil2010 5 years ago

thoughtful hub. thanks for sharing


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Daffodil, thanks for reading


ginjill ashberry profile image

ginjill ashberry 5 years ago

I like what i read of your hubs, Gypsy Willow. You are a sensitive soul and you take it to create beauty and awareness.

Pleased.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thank you for your kind observation ginjill. I am pleased that you enjoy my hubs.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 5 years ago from East Coast, United States

How sad is this. I remember a young friend of mine lecturing me on giving money to a homeless guy - skinny, pathetic kid who was polite and kept his distance. "He'll only use it to buy drugs. You should give your money to an established charity," she said. The young man took the money and jogged over to the nearby McDonald's.

"Drug addicts need to eat, " I said. "He's hungry now."


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

It is a problem to know what is best. There is an old man who sits outside the supermarket I use. Now instead of money I give him something from my basket as I leave. He is always grateful and I know he has something to eat. Difficult situation isn't it. I don't trust charities any more and only give money to the local animal sanctuary. We are truly blessed when we have a cosy home and adequate food. Thanks for your comment Dolores.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

A great blog. Thank you for posting this. Indeed people can change (if they want to). It is all in our minds. We have the power to do almost anything. I believe in that - my wishes come true (and I wish some ... out of the ordinary things sometimes).

All the very best to you!


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Mr Happy thank you for reading my blog. People are capable of extraordinary things when they set their minds to it. I wish you all the very best too.


RunAbstract profile image

RunAbstract 5 years ago from USA

Very eye opening. I encourage you to keep up the good work of informing!


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thank you for the comment. Perhaps I should write again!


GNelson profile image

GNelson 5 years ago from Florida

I walk my dog in the park every morning. Sometimes there are homeless people like Brian. Sometimes there are homeless families with kids.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

So sad, America is loosing its grip on reality. The situation is not OK Billions spent on foreign wars few people care about or even know anything about the countries involved. It is a homegrown shame.


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 5 years ago from Great Britain

Beautifully written. May God bless you for caring.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thank you Dim.


platinumOwl4 profile image

platinumOwl4 5 years ago

For every one person who would like to assist a homeless person, there are thousands of bureaucrats ensuring they remain homeless. If those bureaucrats would use the resources available to them for assisting the homeless you would not see this. President Obama sign a 1.5 billion dollar bill to ensure that people would not loose their apartment or could be placed in another apartment quickly. However, the bureaucracy being what it is cleverly skimmed the money into salaries at the non-profit administers of these program. Go to any HUD site and you will see it.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Such a sad state. Some people should be very ashamed.


A Little TRUTH profile image

A Little TRUTH 5 years ago

Great Hub – touches the heart, and lots of wonderful comments!

Yes, the homeless situation is sad indeed - especially since it doesn't have to be that way. We've all heard the statistics: Take an insignificant fraction of government spending in any major category, and you can feed and house all the homeless and poor. But that never works due to the reasons platinumOwl4 sites above.

But it goes deeper than that. Most of the homeless and poor are just victims of our negative-sum-gain system. A system designed to create a certain percentage of failures, foreclosures, and insolvency. We are increasingly conditioned to accept this type of system by the education system, the workplace SOP, and especially the mainstream media.

For example, many companies today use an appraisal system that requires 10% to be rated “needs improvement” (improve or you’re out) - no matter how good they all are. Also, eg, TV shows like Celebrity Apprentice, and other reality shows where failure of a certain percentage is guaranteed. So for those of us who are not currently in the bottom x percent, it’s our fault for letting, and even encouraging, this type of system to perpetuate.

You have a kind heart in helping to soften people up to this worldwide atrocity.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thank you for your insightful comment. I hadn't even considered the point you make. I just feel so sad when I see so many "broken" people, many of them Vietnam vets. So bad.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

Your firsthand story about Brian is very heartwarming. Most of us are being judgmental when we see people frolicking on the streets. Little did we know that like us, they have their own dispositions in life.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks for the comment travel_man. I have since met Brian again. He now has a job and a home which is wonderful news.


SusieQ42 5 years ago

I worked at a homeless shelter once so I know the predicament they are in. A warm bed and meal is possible at the shelter but they can only stay a few nights of the month. Great story. I hope Brian stays sober. Is he???


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

I haven't seen Brian in 4 months but at that time he was holding down a job. Things can turn round for some but sadly I don't think for many. Thanks for your comment.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, this was really interesting to see their point of view, and I hope he did get himself together and get a job, its just not fair how Vietnam vets get treated, its the same over here, straight out of the army and knowhere to go only the streets, very well done, rated up! cheers nell


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks Nell. It is so sad and really puts a blight on life. How can you walk past them without feeling their pain?


JT Walters profile image

JT Walters 5 years ago from Florida

Hi Gypsy Willow,

I think you have cptured the broken spirit of so many disenfranchised people living on the streets of America. It is a national crisis for which I see no immediate end.

JT


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Sadly I think you are correct. It is a very sad reflection on America that so many homeless people are Vietnam Vets. "Brian" in my hub actually has a job now so it is possible to lift ones self out of this dire straight. Thanks for the comment


psychicdog.net profile image

psychicdog.net 5 years ago

Where I live we have a sleepout fundraiser one night a year to give locals a feeling of what it's like to be homeless - homelessness can be caused by things outside someone's control like mental illness so thanks to local organizations for raising funds to help people out.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi psychodog.net! What a brilliant idea. I think mental illness has a lot to do with the problem. A great majority in our area are Vietnam vets. So sad. Thanks for the comment.


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 5 years ago from US

The sad thing is that most people think all are like Brian the alcoholic and have no pity for the homeless when now it is very much families and quite a bit children under ten and there is no excuse for that in the US where we run and throw millions at anyone's cause and feed children who have cows who are their aunts, so they can't eat them!


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

I quite agree Polly. There is enough money to throw at foreign aid for people who hate us but none to help the people thrown out of their homes by greedy bankers. Sad state of affairs. No one seems willing to address the problem. Shameful. Thanks for commenting.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

What a clever format to convey a compelling story-- yeah up and awesome...


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks again Frank!


sunkentreasure profile image

sunkentreasure 5 years ago

AWESOME LOVE By BERNARD LEVINE

To go to the ends of the world

to help a stranger

To give someone incredible kindness

they will never forget

To treat animals and all of nature

with respect and compassion

These are the things that give life true purpose.

To value your special uniqueness

as a beautiful child of God

To elevate your mind

with the higher value of integrity

To upgrade your living environment

planting seeds to enrich the soul

To give a child caring devotion

so they feel they are loved

To rise above your circumstances

with faith in the power of God

And with the purity of healing love

in your heart

your life will know no boundaries.

© Bernard Levine


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thank you Bernard for this wonderful addition to my hub.


jesusmyjoy profile image

jesusmyjoy 5 years ago from Bucyrus Ohio

I think people shouldn't be homeless..being in the usa i don't understand..we have homeless living under vi docks and in abandoned houses..


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

They shouldn't but they are. A sad reflection on our modern society. Thanks for visiting my hub and commenting.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Hello, Gypsy! on 12/7, voted up and all but funny on this touching hub. I really appreciate you bringing this situation to light. I am in awe of your talent. And I ask that you forgive me for not coming around often to check out your great stories. I am truly sorry. I am not in good health and I was finishing some projects that I needed to do in case my health should worsen. Thanks. And you might check my hub, " . . .someone please help me" about this same topic, but YOURS is far-better. Have a Merry Christmas, my friend. I DO Value you as a follower and friend. KENNETH


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thank you for your kind comments Kenneth. I will check out your kindred hub. It is a very sad situation. Hope your health gets better soon. Happy holidays to you and yours.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Hi, Gypsy, my talented friend. YOU are much-welcome. And thanks for checking out my homeless hub. Yes, it is sad. And our Fed. Government needs to address this problem....ASAP instead of sending billions to war countries that we started the wars!!!!!


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

this is an awesome HUB.. My heart goes out to people in this situation. we do not know their stories.. You are very talented to put all of this together. thank you

I voted up and awesome

Happy New Year.

debbie


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Dear Gypsy,

Thanks again for being such a warm and sensitive soul. I wish for YOU and YOURS the Best New Year--EVER!!! Peace!


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Debbie Happy New Year to you and yours too.? We are very lucky that we have a warm bed and shelter each night. Thanks for visiting.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Kenneth! Happy New Year to you and yours too.


KDee411 profile image

KDee411 4 years ago from Bay Area, California

Hello Gypsy, what a nice hub, it brings back bad and good memory, misty good of some nice homeless people I've had the pleasure to meet.

The bad first because it's long gone. My Exafool use to tell me I would be a bag lady without him. HaHa I'm not.

The good: My granddaughter left an old matress in my garage, my son put it in his truck and I drove to the dumps with him. The dumps wanted $120 to dump both pieces, so we were going to another dump. When we were about to drive onto the freeway there was a lady and man with a sign "NEED FOOD" my son called out how about a mattress? The lady way so happy, she was crying. Yes,yes, under the overpass. My son helped her carry the old mattress and springs to their makeshift tent. I was crying too because she was so happy. I felt so grateful, this pretty young woman, so happy to have so little. I handed her the $50 that I would have paid the other dump. I still think about her and hope she's ok. You sure got my vote up.


Kristine Manley profile image

Kristine Manley 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Hi Gypsy, I'm glad I ran across this Hub. I had a family member who was homeless for a while, and I could not understand why. Things are much better for him now and I am grateful. He's working and has an apartment (he does like beer). Thank you for writing this wonderful story. I look forward to reading more of your Hubs.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks for reading Kristine. A friend from the UK visited recently and his main impression was the number of homeless. If America can fund a war in Afghanistan it can surely find the money to get the homeless back on their feet.


Laurinzo Scott profile image

Laurinzo Scott 4 years ago from Phoenix, Az.

Very heartfelt hub... I can see the seriousness of this isssue for you, and yes there are many people with mental health issues on the street. That is an aspect to further explore in my research next time... I am very greatfull for a hub like this that sheds some light, and let's us see the "human" not the homeless person. Love this one.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thank you for the kind comment about a very serious matter. The whole situation makes me feel hopeless.


Laurinzo Scott profile image

Laurinzo Scott 4 years ago from Phoenix, Az.

You are very welcome... and thank God for your caring heart.


wilderness profile image

wilderness 4 years ago from Boise, Idaho

The homeless in America aren't all the bums and mentally ill that some seem to think. There are others, just as you found, that can and will get themselves out of the situation. Hard, yes, and they may not be successful the first time, but they can get out.

A helping hand can go a long, long way to providing a step up for those that really want out, and is something that society usually fails to grasp.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

So true wilderness, the ones I talk to are generally well educated and mostly vets. It is heartbreaking that a country like America can't find a solution to help these deserving characters. On my first visit in the eighties. Regan had just shut down the mental institutions and San Diego was full of lost souls sheltering in banks and other public places. For me it was unbelievable and ruined my stay.

Thanks for the kind comment


NateB11 profile image

NateB11 4 years ago from California, United States of America

I really like your empathetic approach here, so that we can through the perspective of the person who is homeless and alcoholic: Which is what is needed; compassion, empathy, care, attention. It is appalling that dire poverty and homelessness is acceptable anywhere. Great piece, thanks for sharing!


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks for your kind comment NateB11. I remember first coming to the USA in 1980 and seeing homeless sad people everywhere as Reagan had just closed the psychiatric hospitals. The sight was chilling.


NateB11 profile image

NateB11 4 years ago from California, United States of America

Yes, I remember that too; it is what contributed to homelessness in America, Reagan closing the hospitals; 8 years of Reagan, 4 years of G H W Bush, and 8 years of GW Bush did a number on this country. Probably at this point many people are de-sensitized to homelessness, and a callous attitude is common in all areas of life; plus there is always an element of fear in which people don't want to become homeless, so people both detest the homeless and also use them as a measure or reason for struggling and staying in line. I think most people are unaware that we've been acclimated to these kinds of conditions.


gerald 3 years ago

yea am finding out alot when i took 5 years of my life to solve and help the homeless in a positive way but nobody wants to listen .what's in place bits it don't work my plan does I made sure.apartments with a job that pays good with benefits plus the jobs and training are in the same building so they don't have to worry about anything but working and getting back up the right way not hand out but hand up .just wish people would be interested in saving lives .


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 3 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

NateB11 sorry I missed your excellent comment while I was traveling. You make a very good point about the fear factor. It has been bitterly cold lately and it is upsetting to think of people sleeping rough. It certainly makes people think! Sadly I don't see any easy solution. We can only hope for a solution in the near future.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 3 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Gerald I appreciate your well thought out comment. Hand up not hand out. I love that. What a pity more people don't think that way.so many must think that the world has given up on them. Sad sad sad!


mizjo profile image

mizjo 3 years ago from New York City, NY

Gypsy, your story just breaks my heart. I'm so glad he's on the way back and hopefully his son will reconcile with him at some point.

There are many charities in New York who try to help with food and shelter, but they need funding and volunteers. The young homeless can find their way to Covenant House for food, shelter, love and help with education. I'm going to link your hub to mine on the painful homeless issue.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 3 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thank you so much for commenting and the link. The problem is nation wide and it is heartbreaking. Brian made it and is still ok. There are so many more! Sad.


andromida profile image

andromida 3 years ago

Brain has made it this far and he should be considered as a source of inspiration to the law makers and the billionaires who can easily come up with a permanent solution for shelter for the homeless people.Thank ou for writing this great hub.I've tweeted it to my friends.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 3 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks andromida. It is sad that there are so many homeless people. During the cold winter the problem is so much worse. Thank you for reading and commenting.


freak_2013 3 years ago

MY STORY:

I am a 49 y/o woman formerly from Atlanta, GA.

I found myself in a homeless situation in Atlanta, GA due to a job loss, loss of my unemployment benefits, and also from some bad choices that I made.

Let me start out by saying that I used to be a homeowner in an affluent section of Atlanta with a good job, cars, $$$$ but lost everything I had due to a drug addiction.

Okay, so I did it to myself, one might say. Read on, please.....

I lost my house in September of 2010 and went to New England briefly to stay with family. At that time, I had no job and no car but was receiving unemployment benefits. I looked around half heartedly for awhile but couldn't find employment. Also, I had to return to Atlanta to face a DUI that I was accused of and had a court date in April of 2011. Prior to this, I have never been in any legal trouble in my life and have always worked, paid taxes, etc.

I returned to Atlanta, went to court and lost my driver's license for a year, got 2 years probation (in which I had to report once a month and pay $60 every visit with a mandatory drug screen), $1500 fine, Drug and alcohol "assessment" ($50 and UP just for an ASSESSMENT!!), 80 hours of community service, AND mandatory minimum of 10 DAYS IN COUNTY JAIL. For 1 DUI. 1. Oh, and did I mention that prior to this I DID NOT have a criminal record?

OK. Do the crime, do the time right? OK, I messed up. I cop to it.....

After my release from county I had no place to live and no one to help. Was actively looking for legitimate employment. I found a "halfway house" to stay at in Griffin, GA. Was told I had to pay $240 up front prior to moving in, and the rent was somewhere around $130 a week.

OK, so I paid the money and moved in. This sh*thole was run by a racist, nasty, self righteous, money grubbing b*tch who claimed to want to help people stay sober and get back on track but that could not be further from the truth. I was there not even 2 weeks, had paid 2 weeks

worth of rent, in addition to the $240 that I paid as "security deposit" (which I was told was "non refundable"). To make a long story well, not as long, I decided that this is not the place for me and decided to leave and go to another "halfway house". Well, this woman had the absolute gall to call my dad and tell him that I owed HER money because I had made a commitment to stay there for 6 months!! Guess that was just her way of helping me get "back on track". Well, not under those conditions. Sorry.

I was there not even 2 weeks and had paid over $500!!!

I refuse to stay somewhere where I am being treated as LESS THAN, and like I am yesterdays garbage. And let me also mention that I had been 100% abstinant from drugs and alcohol ever since I had been released from county.

The place I ended up going was probably as bad or worse than the first one. They outright lie to you just to get you in, tell you that they will help you stay sober and get on your feet, then once you get there you realize what a blatant lie this is and ITS ALL ABOUT THE $$$$$$$!!!!!!!

You wanna help me?? Help me to help myself by getting a job. Help me fix my credit, help me get a car. THATS the kind of help that I need. Not looking for a handout. Just a hand UP.

Find or give me the OPPORTUNITY. I can do the rest......

Basically, I left there, bounced around a little, these type places are all the same....

I ended up going to a "Christian" ministry which was a house which was run by a former prostitute and drug addict and her "husband". I don't even think they were legally married. And this is a "Christian" ministry. Go figure....

There were about 4 people staying there including myself. I was told the rent there was $120 a week. I stayed there a month and paid my rent every week, on time. I found out later that I was the only "guest" there that was paying rent. In June of 2011 my unemployment benefits had exhausted and that was when she conveniently decided to "close the ministry" and kick everyone out. She agreed that I could stay there until I could find a suitable place to go. I had no vehicle and one day her niece had shown up with a car. I asked her (the niece) could she take me to the store so I could get some cigarettes. She agreed to and when I told the "director" that I was going out for cigarettes and I would be back shortly, she flipped out on me. I'm not kidding. Screaming at the top of her voice, "GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!!!!!! PACK YOUR SH*T AND GO"!!!!!!!! I swear I did nothing to deserve this treatment. Nothing. I was a quiet tenant that paid my rent every week, stayed clean and sober and minded my business. Oh, and I drank coffee. That I bought and PAID FOR. That seemed to bug her. I dont know why.....

Let me mention that after my unemployment had gotten cut off, I had been approved for food stamps and had given them to her. This happened about 3 days before she flipped out on me. I felt bad about my unemployment being cut off and wanted to contribute SOMETHING. So I gave her my food stamp card ($200) in which she promptly went out and bought shrimp, steak and other expensive food. Now prior to my giving her the food stamp card, there was hardly ANY food at all in the house. I never got to enjoy the food she got, and when she gave me back my card it had about $40 left on it and 3 weeks to go before any more $$ would be put on it.

Well, after her tirade and her deciding to kick me out she took me to the worst motel in town and paid for me to stay there for 1 night. I packed up what little clothes I could carry and I had about $30 on me at that point and after the motel checkout time the next morning I would have absolutely no place to go. And there was no public transportation in that part of town either.

The next morning she showed up at the motel feeling bad about the way she treated me (I guess) and decided to take me to the "Gateway Center" in Atlanta. They accept women and chldren there but the women and children have to sleep on a mat ON THE FLOOR. And, they make us leave at 5:00 am EVERY MORNING 7 days a week. In ANY kind of weather. EVERYBODY. Kids too. They just don't care......

The men at Gateway get their own little suite, can watch TV and can leave WHEN and IF they want.

I also want to mention that United Way contributes a lot of $$$ towards the Gateway center. And when I was working I contributed A LOT of $$$$ to United Way, to the tune of THOUSANDS. I'm not kidding. Now when I need help the best thing they could do for me is give me a mat and tell me to sleep on the FLOOR? This is unacceptable and an OUTRAGE!!!!!!!

After I left Gateway I went to City of refuse oh, I mean "refuge".

Horrible, nasty, ghetto cesspool with women seriously mentally ill and fighting non stop; I was threatened numerous times when I was there. I also want to mention too that I am caucasian and carry myself with a little dignity.......

The whole time I was online EVERY DAY looking for a job. Went to various fast food places, restaurants and the like IN PERSON and was told I needed to "visit their website" and apply online. Okay. I am a lab technician, and have worked in my field for 20 years. Nobody is going to hire me for a job like that with my background, regardless of how badly I need one. I'm just saying.....

My field is very specialized and the only jobs that were available were highly professional jobs where one needs, at the minimum, a master's degree. Which I do not possess. Also, let me mention that I am not a job hopper; I worked at my last job for 7 years; prior to that, I worked at my previous job for 5. And the reason I left there is because my position was eliminated.

At that point, I would have done just about ANYTHING to get out of the situation I was in. Flipping burgers, shoveling sh*t, I didn't care.

With no job prospects to speak of, I went to a church (shelter) in town that was a little better than city of refuge, but they still put you out every morning before daylight and make you stay out until 6:00 pm. So here I am, in recovery, trying to stay clean, and on the streets of Atlanta all day long. Can you say "relapse"?

I ended up getting picked up for loitering somewhere (minding my own business) and


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 3 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Oh my god! What a sad and terrible tale. I can't imagine what this must be like. I hope you get help soon from somewhere or someone. Do your parents know what is happening? America is wonderful while you are living the dream but I know the opposite is true . Our local park is peppered with homeless people which is fine in summer but when the frosts come, not so much. The little thicket they used to hang out in has been cleared so I don't know where they go at night.

I can only offer you sympathy and will send good thoughts your way if that is any comfort.

I am truly sorry you are suffering like this. You can obviously write so why don't you write a memoir?


stars439 profile image

stars439 3 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Really enjoyed you're hub. Wishing you, and you're friend God's Blessings always.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 3 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thank you so much stars439. I appreciate your kind comment.


loveofnight profile image

loveofnight 3 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

a good read indeed, it is true that there are homeless who caused there own situation; i was once told by someone that america is a great place to be homeless.......


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 3 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

I wrote this 3yrs ago. The situation has only got worse. The local park has cleared the little area of trees and brush that used to be their shelter. There doesn't seem to be a solution. Thanks for your comment.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Wow! It took forever to get to the bottom of the comments. Obviously this hub struck a chord with many people and why not? A very positive message to a very sad state of affairs. Well done!


Careermommy profile image

Careermommy 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Wow, I've always wanted to get the perspective from a homeless person. This was one positive homeless man. Even though he struggled with alcoholism, he still found the positive in the world. It was nice to read such a heartfelt post.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 3 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thank you for your kind comment. It is good to know that some break through the addiction and rejoin the ranks of the people privileged to enjoy home comforts.


cygnetbrown profile image

cygnetbrown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri

When I was a kid (back in the light ages), we didn't have homeless people in small town America. That has all changed now. We have to understand that not every homeless person is there because of drugs and alcohol either. What we need to do isn't place blame. We should ask, rather, how can I help?


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 3 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi cygnetbrown

Thanks for your comment. I totally agree with your thoughts. How can we help is a big question. Du you have any ideas about this? I think the numbers are going to swell as more and more people fall into poverty and the food stamps are cut back. Locally alcohol seems to play a large role if only to alleviate the misery.


cygnetbrown profile image

cygnetbrown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri

We need to go beyond the symptoms of homelessness and look at what the real problems are. What caused these individuals to become homeless? What are the societal ills that cause some people to give up?


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 3 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Good answer. Who is going to fund this research though? USA is not in a good way financially and the government shutdown isn't helping. I first came to the USA in 1980 and Reagan had just shut down the mental hospitals. The banks and other places offering shelter (not willingly) were full of elderly people muttering to themselves, so sad! I have no answers but look on in dismay.


cygnetbrown profile image

cygnetbrown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri

It is not up to the government to do the research, it is our jobs as fellow human beings to discover what needs to be done and then do it. As you have shown in your story, each homeless person is an individual with his or her own story.


realtalk247 profile image

realtalk247 24 months ago

Omg. I am so heartbroken by your situation. People make mistakes but your life turned upside down is pretty bad. I think on unemployment they will pay for you to earn a trade of your choice and this might be a good opportunity for you.

If I were you I would try to find a legitimate church for help. Faith will help you to recover from your situation and help others while keeping your sanity. Write to these people on television and locally stating you need help or a place to stay-church venues for addiction recovery. Try to go back home to your family, pride aside, you need love and unconditional support.

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