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Abandoned House Living
This house in in the Cross Anchor, SC area off of I-85. I've never gotten up the courage to take a peek inside. There is usually too much traffic being so close to the interstate. You can access my blog at http://haunted505.blogspot.com where there are many pictures of abandoned houses.
You may be wondering why I would write an article having to do with such a topic. Other than the fact that I'm interested in and always photographing abandoned properties I have a friend who lives in an abandoned house.
You might be wondering how someone could get to this point or why they would allow things to get that bad. You might be thinking that it would be easy to recognize such a person who is essentially living homeless and how they deal with all the problems that come with such a situation.
First off, people don't allow themselves to deliberately get to this point. No one wants to live in an abandoned house always worrying the homeowner might show up. If they're lucky the owner will just call the cops and let them handle it but if the owner is a nutcase he could shoot them.
With today's market recession it wasn't hard for Ann and her husband to get to this point nor is it very difficult for other people.
People living homeless in a house look just like everyone else in society. They aren't dirty and filthy looking and smell like crap although they could depending on how bad their situation is.
Let me give just a bit of information regarding their living situation. All information comes from Ann(I've changed her name to protect her privacy). The house they live in was abandoned and empty when they moved into it and belonged to Ann's father. The old man bought the house, blamed Ann's Mother(who's now deceased for several years) and never did any work to it not because he's poor, he was simply too greedy to hire someone to do the work required. He made a bad decision when buying the property and didn't get an inspection and got suckered.
After trying to rent it for awhile he left it to sit and rot all the while paying a mortgage on it.
When Ann and her husband moved in they were in dire straits. They came from another place(an abandoned garage and before that living in a car).
Luckily for these two Ann's father didn't care if they lived there and wasn't going to try to put them out.
But there were plenty of other problems. The house is in very bad shape. Parts of the ceiling are caving in, asbestos exposure, cats live in the attic and the biggest problem is the house having no plumbing. Let me be more specific. It had plumbing at one time but someone removed some of the water piping making it very difficult if not impossible due to cost to get it replaced/repaired.
When they moved in they got the power turned on but found out there would be no water due to the plumbing problem and Ann confided that the septic tank was probably full.
They have been living this way for two years. And you're probably wondering what kind of people they are. Lazy people who don't work you're probably thinking. If that's what you're thinking you're wrong. They both work but what little they get doesn't cover rent and everything else they have to pay for. By this I mean food, utilities, gas and a few other basics that can't be done without in this society. Those things that in some states the law will not allow you to do without.
Just the other day Ann complained that she didn't know how they were going to pay for the car insurance the law says they must maintain. They both work too far away to walk.
Like many Americans they have no health insurance and can't go to the doctor. Ann prays that neither of them get sick.
The governments plan of trying to get everyone insured is great but what about right now?
What about the many hundreds of other people that have been put out of their homes by greedy banks? People that have been forced to live just like Ann and her husband and maybe worse, on the street? What about these people?
Has our society forgotten about these people? Would the average person even recognize someone in need? Would the average person even have compassion?
I can't answer all these questions but I do know there are probably many more people out there living just like Ann and her husband but confide in no one. The only people that know about their situation is her father and myself.
She confided at how difficult it was when meeting new people. She said her husband doesn't like to lie but she just isn't comfortable in letting anyone know and knows the majority of people are going to show any sympathy and would think they were essentially begging for help. No one wants to be bombarded with something like that. It isn't their problem and why should they care. They probably have too many problems of their own to care.
I'm not sure if this is other peoples attitude but I do know that most people do not want to told about problems like this.
In short Ann lies about where they live. It's easier than trying to explain the situation.
I only know because she did confide in me and I've gotten the pieces of the story over the past three years or so. I wasn't bombarded with the whole thing at once. If I had been I would have probably been like everyone else I wouldn't have wanted to hear it.
In fact a few years ago I would have scoffed. Wondered why they were too lazy to get jobs/get better jobs. I would have assumed there had to be a better way. They just weren't looking for it. I would have assumed they were terrible people that must have done something awful to end up in a situation like this and this was karma's way of punishing them.
I would have been wrong.
Let me point out that no one should be judged without first knowing the whole story. You can't assume someone is homeless because they are drunks or don't want to work or just want to live off society. In fact you would be wrong in most of the cases.
Certainly, there are people that are lazy and don't want to work and who are drunks but this doesn't describe everyone. Not by a long shot.
So, the next time you see a homeless person don't judge. And know that homelessness is not always what you think it is.