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What I Learned While Being Homeless

Updated on November 03, 2016
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Kylyssa Shay was homeless for over a year in her youth; it lead to her activism involving homelessness. She thinks, feels, and has opinions.

A tilted view of a person walking down a poorly-lit street at night.
A tilted view of a person walking down a poorly-lit street at night. | Source

Don't try homelessness yourself if you can avoid it!

Over twenty-five years ago, I experienced just over a year of homelessness. During that period of time I was badly injured, both physically and emotionally. I have Asperger's Syndrome, a type of high-functioning autism, a likely contributing factor to my homelessness in my youth, and a barrier to escaping it.

I'd like to share a little look into what it was like to live un-homed and unwanted. My point in this is to spread awareness and to perhaps wake up a little empathy in people. My hope is that people will do something to prevent homelessness in their country, their community, and their family. I also want to show that people with nowhere to live are not all addicts nor are they people too lazy to work.

Due to unemployment and record foreclosures, more Americans are losing their homes. These people need our help and understanding.

photo taken by Yousuf Karsh and uploaded by Skeezix1000
photo taken by Yousuf Karsh and uploaded by Skeezix1000

Advice for the From an Old Pro: How to Get Money

Sarcasm and Survival on the Streets

The article linked below contains some actual advice on how to earn a bare survival income as a person without a home along with some biting sarcasm and a hint of barely suppressed anger.

Perhaps the traditional approaches have failed you but you still need income to survive. The article linked below gives some suggestions that actually worked for me, with varying degrees of success, until I was able to get a regular job in a retail establishment.

I'll warn you, I wrote it when I was very angry and upset after one of my partner's friends referred to homeless people as "the walking dead" and also said they aren't "real" people. This was after he brought over some videos to play that he said were the best ever and they turned out to be "Bum Hunter" videos in which a guy pays seriously mentally ill street people to beat each other up.

So in a fit of pique, I wrote an article chock full of sarcasm and snark. Strangely enough, the website bought my weird, how-to rant and published it. Sometimes I feel embarrassed by the "real people" bit because some people have taken it to mean I'm really saying homeless people aren't real people. Keep in mind, the nastiness and sarcasm is directed at the guy who had the really crummy attitude about destitute people and appeared to take pleasure in watching them be abused. However, it does explain some of the ways I earned enough to get by and quite a few people have found it helpful.

It's very hard for me to talk about these experiences despite the many years that have gone by but I feel it is necessary. I find it much easier and less stressful to write about being without a place to live than to talk about it. This may in part be due to having PTSD but it is also an effect of Asperger's Syndrome. Writing also provides emotional distance and keeps me from getting too overwhelmed by the feelings associated with those times in my life.

In the blocks below you will find several how-to articles and an editorial I wrote about "The Homeless" from my own perspective. Understand that some of these articles were written from a place of pain and anger so they and their content are not pretty. Homelessness is not pretty, either but it has a face, and the faces of people without a place to live are just like yours and mine.

A Powerful Book on the Issue

Lives Turned Upside Down: Homeless Children in Their Own Words and Photographs
Lives Turned Upside Down: Homeless Children in Their Own Words and Photographs

Children speak without filters and this book is a good example of the insight that comes from blunt honesty. If you want to feel what homelessness is like I recommend you read what children who have experienced it have to say about it.

 

Do You Know Anyone Who Is or Has Been Without a Home?

Chances are that you know someone who has been homeless unless you travel strictly in the wealthiest of circles. However, chances also are they've never mentioned it due to the stigma deep poverty has in our society. Prejudice continues long after the actual living conditions are long gone.

Do you personally know anyone who is or has been homeless?

See results

I'm Sick of Hearing about "The New Face of Homelessness"

It doesn't have a new face, it just has a lot more faces

Homelessness does not have a new face. A lot more people are on the street but they are not "a better class of people." People who were living without homes before have similar stories, the economy has just made those stories a lot more common.

In America, health related issues and medical bankruptcy have been major causes of homelessness for decades. Any human being can become sick or get injured and if he loses his insurance he has a pretty high chance of losing stable housing, too.

The lack of affordable housing and lack of a living wage have also created such issues for a long, long time. Job loss is another long-time culprit.

Decent, hard working people have never been immune to losing their homes. Yet every other article out there on homelessness stresses this concept of "the new homeless" or "the new face of the homeless" - as if something has changed about the people rather than the economy.

People have this very limited idea of working poor citizens. They think of the bums and panhandlers who can be found in any given American city as the "old face of homelessness" when, in fact, those people have never been representative of the majority of people living on the street. You could see about 15-30 panhandlers or obviously homeless people in the streets of Chicago, even ten years ago. It sounds like a lot but if you consider that, at the time, there were about 6,000 living without housing in Chicago it wasn't even one percent of them who were behaving like the stereotypes people associated with them. Less than one percent of a population is not its face. The real face of homelessness has not changed. No one ever noticed the majority of homeless people because they looked just like anyone else.

What people are labeling as "the new face of homelessness" and "the new homeless" are really just the real face of the situation and the reality of folks with nowhere to live. People living without housing are just what they describe, people who are down on their luck, people just like you and me in lousy circumstances- and that is how it has been for a long time now.

photo by H Dominique Abed, SXC
photo by H Dominique Abed, SXC

Advice from an Old Pro: Where to Sleep

I Guess We Could Call It Urban Camping for the Disadvantaged

When I had no home I was constantly tired. My thoughts were consumed by a burning need to sleep somewhere safe. I usually couldn't find any such a place.

Eventually, I learned how to avoid most dangerous and uncomfortable street-sleeping situations. I wrote this article both to share that information with others who might need it and to enlighten homed people as to the conditions people without suffer.

Maybe the shelters are turning people away, you got assaulted in or near the shelter too many times, or you just don't like getting scabies with your night's lodging. Whatever the reason, you may need to find somewhere else to sleep. I am in no way representing these suggestions as either legal or even necessarily all that safe. I'd like to share some ways I learned to cope with the inconveniences and terrors of sleeping in the rough while living on the street.

Read The Article

Keep in mind that these were actions of desperation. I take no responsibility if you choose to use any of the ideas in the post.

The Vast Majority Don't Panhandle or Beg - ...and Some Panhandlers Have Homes

Unfortunately, the most visible homeless people are the small percentage who do beg and thus most Americans associate all of them with pushy, dirty, and/or mentally ill beggars. Most who live on the street do everything they can to blend in for safety's sake and that means avoiding shelters and soup kitchens and begging of any kind.

photo by Piotr Ciuchta, SXC
photo by Piotr Ciuchta, SXC

Why I Hate The Words "The Homeless"

Words Are Used To Dehumanize

The following editorial is dedicated to Justus, a lovely man who saved my life - after society had discarded him and given up on him, too.

For years, America has been working to further dehumanize people who for one reason or another have found themselves living on the street. The recently favored descriptive phrase chills me to the bone. "The Homeless" - they are no longer hobos, transients, children of the street, vagrants, bums, or street people - they have become "The Homeless." You may say it's only words but words speak of deeper feelings. That is what words are, feelings and concepts given life as sound.

Let's look at that phrase a moment. When we use words to name other types of people - daughter, hooker, dentist, criminal, lawyer - do we use "the" in front when we refer to them as a group? Homeless is a state of not having somewhere to live, not something that a person is like a profession. People speak of "The Homeless" situation or "The Homeless" problem. At the holidays, people sometimes think of donating to "The Homeless."

They are PEOPLE. They are PEOPLE who have no place to sleep at night that is safe. They are PEOPLE who have fallen on hard luck. They are HUMAN BEINGS dying in your world. They are HUMAN BEINGS getting beaten by your policemen, your bored teenagers, and your reality show producers.

During my time as a PERSON without a place to live I learned that many MEN end up on the street because of illness, loss of a job, or as with many WOMEN, they have run from horrifying abuses while still teens. During my time as a PERSON without a home I found that most homeless WOMEN become that way from abuse, sexual or otherwise. They run from situations that their families, their law enforcement agencies, their charities do or can do nothing about. They walk the razor edge between flight and suicide and for some reason, they choose to run rather than face another rape by their stepfather or another bone-breaking beating from their spouse. Once they run away, they discover that they've merely jumped into a more slowly burning fire rather than to true safety. By that point they are stuck. There's no hand up, there's no government assistance to save them, there's really nothing to save them but themselves and sometimes each other. While the rest of the country is shedding tears over the little girl molested by her Uncle on the Lifetime movie the real little girls and boys are sleeping in dumpster surrounds, too broken to understand what to do or how to function.

After my first rape, it was a homeless man who saved me. I was tucked into a bloodied ball behind a dumpster, deep in shock. Without his intervention, I would have died. He covered me and sang mumbled songs. He bathed me like a child in someone's motel room where he'd carried me. Fittingly, his name was Justus. My angel had Parkinson's and had suffered several strokes. His bladder control wasn't perfect so he smelled pretty bad, too. He talked to me of soldiers he'd seen shell-shocked in Vietnam. He prayed and sang "Amazing Grace" as I stared into space, trembling and waiting, hoping to die while he carefully dabbed my face with a washcloth. He showed me a very old picture of his daughter, a cute toddler in corn rows. He spoke of her with such love. It was then I unfroze and began to cry. If this gentle, lovely man could be discarded and dying out where no one cared what hope was there for anyone?

I regret that I was too deeply wounded, too deep in shock at the time he finally urged and convinced me to let him take me to the hospital - I regret I was too damaged at the time to think of how I'd find him again. I was hospitalized for several days while they pumped me full of antibiotics and wrestled to get my fever under control. I never found Justus again.

Of all the people I've ever met, Justus was perhaps the most humane person of them all. Justus was not "The Homeless," he was a man of substance and humanity.

For the sake of Justus, don't use that phrase, "The Homeless."

US Department of Treasury Seal from $1 bill
US Department of Treasury Seal from $1 bill

What Turned It All Around For Me

I'll Give You A Clue - It Was Money

My prospects were pretty dim; I had little work experience and nowhere to shower regularly. I walked funny and talked with a slurred voice after the brutal beating that had hospitalized me.

I couldn't get a regular job so I walked from door to door in suburban neighborhoods, scouting out homes where older folks lived. I knocked on doors asking to mow and rake lawns, scrub toilets, clean out homes and garages, and clean up dog poop. I also picked up bottles and cans for their deposit. I managed not to starve to death. Just barely.

One day I had a particularly bad day after almost a week of bad days. I'd been beaten up the night before and I hadn't convinced anyone to hire me to do any odd jobs in almost a week. No one seemed to appreciate the bargain at which my services could be had - not even poop scooping a really nasty yard for $2. I hadn't eaten in several days and was feeling pretty down. I thought about suicide.

As I walked along the freeway picking up trash and cans I found a number of cigarette boxes that day. When I picked the last one up I saw the edge of a paper bill sticking from the package. This was pretty common; often people would put a few dollars in their cigarette pack and forget about it. My hands were shaking and I was tearing up. I was going to get something to eat! As I pulled the bill out I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It was a folded hundred dollar bill! I looked at it in disbelief, thinking that somehow it must be a fake.

This was a turning point for me. I was able to rent a Post Office Box, buy a tarp to sleep on, buy showers at the truck stop, and clothes from a thrift store. I had an address to put on job applications and I could stay clean and well-dressed. I was then able to get a regular job, ten days after finding the money.

It wasn't really that simple but the money got the ball rolling.

Do You Think People Can Return to Society After Living on the Street?

Do you think homeless people can be re-integrated into society?

See results

You Can't Really Count On The People You Think You Can

One of the saddest things I learned about losing my home is that that you can't count on anyone. If things go wrong for you, chances are, there's no one you know who will help you enough for it to matter.

This sounds really bitter but I've heard the same story over and over and over. I've seen elderly parents who put their kids through college fall to the streets when they became too old and sick to work too early to collect Social Security retirement. I've seen them disowned for being ragged and poor.

When you stop earning a good wage or your parents kick you out or if your parents abandon you, your friends will soon follow. Once you can't go out to the movies or out to eat, your friendships are done. Once your family becomes ashamed of you for not earning what they feel you should or because your clothes are worn and old it's likely your family will turn on you, too.

Fortunately, sometimes some people you never suspected will step to help. But don't count on it. It's survival of the fittest out there. If you fall, there's no one to catch you. So you'd better not fall.

Don't think that your parents or spouse or close friend will give you a couch or porch to sleep on, the welcome ends far faster than you'd ever believe in most cases.

Source

Why Street People are Often Afraid of Police

...and being without a place to live is sometimes considered a crime in and of itself

Many living on the streets are terrified of police and there's a good reason for this. It is because some policemen use their position of power to harass or even harm them. Now that many citizens have video recording equipment on them in the form of cell phones and digital cameras, more of this behavior is being exposed. If you just search for "police beating homeless" on any search engine you will find many shocking results.

Being homeless is considered a crime in some cities, adding to the fears of those with nowhere else to go. In cities where it is a crime in and of itself there is an increased likelihood of arrest. Increased exposure to police increases the likelihood of encountering a dangerous police officer.

When I had nowhere else to sleep, I was wakened many times by non-too-gentle kicks by police "checking on my welfare" when I fell asleep in public places. I was also treated dismissively when I tried to report crimes. I was once even accused of prostitution and threatened with arrest.

I know most police do not behave this way but there are enough around that if a person stays on the street long enough, he or she is pretty likely to encounter a policemen of this type. Many people see homeless people as worthless, lazy criminals and it becomes dangerous when those individuals are law enforcement officers.

It sucks to have nowhere to sleep at night. It isn't some carefree, free-wheeling existence as many people have been led to believe. Homelessness is living constantly one step away from degradation and violence while standing exposed outside the boundaries of society's protection.

People need to know that the majority of people living on the streets don't get government checks or real health care. They need to know that a diagnosis of a serious illness or chronic disease usually means death for those in deep poverty. Folks need to know that women without homes often get raped again and again, mostly by people with homes. They need to know that homelessness could actually happen to them.

The safety net is badly broken in many places. The job market is slipping toward a third-world economy with businesses finding ways to hire workers at less than minimum wage while fighting the wage laws in place to try to get rid of minimum wage.

However, I feel that there is hope. I know that there are more good people than bad. I have learned that most individuals, when confronted with the realities of homelessness, open their minds and recognize that what they were taught about poverty was wrong. I have seen the some of the most rabid of homeless haters turned into caring shelter volunteers.

© 2008 Kylyssa Shay

What Has Your Experience Been Like? - Have you ever lived without housing or known someone who has? How do you feel about homelessness?

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    • ThompsonD profile image

      Deirdre Adele Thompson 2 years ago from Danville, IL

      You make some really great points and give some fantastic information in this article. Although I don't agree with you on everything you said, just because it doesn't match my homeless experience, doesn't mean you aren't right. It sounds like you had a tougher time of it than I anyway. I wish you the best.

    • Mariana Fuzaro profile image

      Mariana Fuzaro 2 years ago from São Paulo, Brazil

      It sucks that society simply lets people fall without help, then criminalizes them, despises them, blame their condition on them when they have no control over it.

    • Kylyssa profile image
      Author

      Kylyssa Shay 2 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @TMICONDEV: I think it is society that leaves homeless people, not the other way around. You get shoved out and have to fight your way back in with nothing but a fake happy face for armor.

    • TMICONDEV profile image

      TM 2 years ago

      For5 the question do I think homeless people cna be re-integrated into society I said yes if for no other reason than the fact that they have not generally LEFT society..if for no other reason than the unfortunate truth that homelessness is a part of society and one of its shortcomings.

    • Kylyssa profile image
      Author

      Kylyssa Shay 2 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @conanoscit: Without knowing anything about their situation or yours, it is impossible to know. I took in mostly teens and young adults discarded by their parents for being LGBT and women fleeing abusive homes. People homeless for straightforward reasons like that generally don't need any sort of "transitioning"; they just need straightforward help. Mental health care is a great idea in any case. I have no idea how long the people you are thinking of helping out have been homeless but chances are that they've experienced some things that would hurt anyone emotionally if it's been longer than a few weeks. You can pm me by clicking my photo icon by this post or the one in the upper right corner of this page and then clicking the "contact" button under my face on the profile page that comes up.

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      conanoscit 2 years ago

      hi, i'm just wondering if I could pm you somehow? I am about to take on a couple of homeless kids (employment & accommodation) and everyone is warning me against it as they need to be 'transitioned' but I'd like to get them off the streets asap & not wait for 'the system' to process them. I'm just wondering if I should in fact consider counseling for them & if I'm just setting us all up for failure trying to take them on myself? thanks very much for your article :)

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      bugscuttle 2 years ago

      I just want to say thank you. You speak so much truth, and I can see your knowledge was hard won. I worked in a soup kitchen in high school after a very cool teacher taught some of us suburban kids what it was REALLY like to be poor in Uptown Chicago. Who knew I'd be homeless years later, thanks in part to addictions. Luckily it wasn't for very long. Anyway, may the Lord & Lady bless you richly for what you have done here.

    • kittyhappykitty profile image

      kittyhappykitty 2 years ago

      I had the opportunity to look into some of the homeless shelter situations, and the most surprising thing to me is that the shelters can be worse for dehumanizing than being out on the streets. The workers can become jaded, and they are also restricted by grants and bureaucratic rules. Thank you for this terrific lens! You make me happy!

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      GEMNITYA5 2 years ago

      Breathtaking, your lens made me emotional, really heart melting.I have also seen same kind of situation years back, but God forbidden I had my family to support me.Really You're Special work may bring some light in people's life.BlessingsGEM

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      David Edward Lynch 2 years ago from Port Elizabeth, South Africa

      I met somebody once who had been homeless; he said he used to eat food from garbage dumps but I think it affected his health.It seems like it's a cruel world out there, one's self-confidence must take a terrible knock, I can't imagine what it must be like to be homeless.

    • Kylyssa profile image
      Author

      Kylyssa Shay 2 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @WikiDZ: I'm sorry you went through that. It took me years to stop feeling "less than" after my experiences and I was a young adult, not a child. People use words in devastating ways to people who simply do not deserve such treatment. One of the young people I took into my home years back had aged out of foster care and described his experience inside it as being homeless with a roof over his head.

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      TheHarlequin246 2 years ago

      I was homeless for many, many years. I have PTSD from physical and sexual abuse I suffered while on the streets, and I disagree with some of your comments, such as that those who panhandle have homes- not ONCE in 13 years did I meet one panhandler who had a home. I "flew signs" to get money to live on, and for food to get through the day. I met some amazingly beautiful souls along the way, and all of the donations given were much appreciated. I also have a horrible time adjusting to being off of the streets. I sleep horribly, have nightmares (despite trying therapy and every psych drug imaginable, and multiple hospitalizations) and can't seem to sleep unless outside. I am also miserable living in a house, though in the beginning I thought I had been very blessed to have a roof over my head. I do agree with everything you said about shelters, as I chose to sleep outside rather than be put through religious persecution and disrespected (most of the workers at shelters are horrific). Ive had a gun put to my head while I was sleeping by a cop, been beaten by a baseball bat by a man, had my head shoved in the dirt and even witnessed murders. I can no longer adjust in every day society, and this has made me confused on how to go on living in society. I think there should be help for people transitioning out of homelessness, especially long-term homelessness. I have been homeless for more than half of my life. I would like to feel happy about my situation, but I feel i can't identify with anyone but other homeless people...

    • WikiDZ profile image

      WikiDZ 2 years ago

      I agree with the idea of dehumanizing people through words. I was in care for 16 years, and as I progressed through the system I became more and more aware of the term "Foster Child". I hated that name as it made me sound like something unnatural, something that didn't "fit" into the natural world, and honestly, it hurt like hell. Now I see stories on the TV and as much as the word "Homeless" is a horrible one, I think it is only so horrible because of the media-hyped stigma that is now attached to it.

    • alienbritt profile image

      alienbritt 3 years ago

      Amazing article

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 3 years ago

      I think you are such an inspiration, as well as a real authority on the true statistics of homelessness and of some of the solutions. I am so glad you made it out and I know you will use your logical mind to continue to create success for yourselves. Maybe that is a bit of the gift of your Aspbergers, which you have written so eloquently about. Keep up the good work!

    • Kylyssa profile image
      Author

      Kylyssa Shay 3 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @TheSkyStealer: You can do it. You can show rather than tell what your character is going through and when people put themselves in the character's place they will fill in what they think they would feel. You've seen enough pain to know what it "looks" like and to know what details have made you hurt for someone else. Thank you for trying to feel and understand what it is like before creating a character which could come to represent what other people think of homeless people. As to meaning and purpose, I make my own up as I go along. I'm at peace with my own experiences most of the time but I'm not at peace with others still having similar or worse experiences. Anything anyone does to understand or to help others feel that pain and lack of peace through empathy is a blessing. Your comment has inspired me to write about the feelings of homelessness from my experience and from what other homeless people have told me to serve as insight for writers and other people interested in how it feels.

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      TheSkyStealer 3 years ago

      First of all, I would like to simply say "thank you". I am writing a book in which one of the characters is a homeless boy and some of the things and links you have directed me to have dramatically shaped my view on how I am going to reveal my character. I was worried before that he was not "real" enough and that survival on the streets must've been harder on his psyche than what I already had I'd thought I was being very realistic but really, now I think I'm more in the category of the "romanticized" homeless people. Your article has given me a fresh, raw, horribly wonderful new insight on the topic of homelessness and what it's like, and so I would just like to thank you. What you've gone through is not an easy thing to apply into a fictional character especially if the author here has never had to go to go to bed hungry. (It's a recurring dilemma for me and I don't know how I can do it writing, I mean. Especially about emotions. How can I write about emotions how can I describe pain if I've never felt it myself?)Well, there I go again, the inner philosopher. Before I get too carried away with my strange depressed poetry, I will just finish up this review with another Thank You, and some food for thought: there's a reason for everything. If our universe had no purpose, we would have never thought it had no purpose in the same way that a blind rat has no idea it is blind and therefore seeks no proof of its blindness. So, by this logic, everything has a purpose and everything that happens has meaning. Maybe your experiences are like that too. Maybe the way in which you've pushed back the curtains of stereotyping from my poor young eyes will have a rippling effect touching my thoughts, my words, my story, my readers, their thoughts and eventually their own words and stories. And hopefully, we'll be able to open their eyes too. Thank you, and God bless. Sky

    • photographershu profile image

      photographershu 3 years ago

      I seriously cannot imagine what it is like to be homeless and I hope that I never experience this. I am glad you have managed to come through this, so many don't.Take care.

    • JPRocks profile image

      JPRocks 3 years ago

      In answer to the question "Do you think homeless people can be re-integrated into society?" I put other. My explanation is this. I do believe that if you find yourself back into the society that let you slip you can re-integrate yet I do believe that you will never fully become a fully paid up member of said society. You will never forget the experience of homelessness. You will always strive to help people worse off than yourself for you have been there and would not wish the experience onto another human being. No in all honesty I believe it makes one a better person as you know the true pains of life. It could just be me with this view yet i know it is how I feel as I have been there myself and it is just but a very short stop away from me now this very day...

    • Sam Montana profile image

      Sam Montana 3 years ago

      Having a car is a must if you think you are about to become homeless. The car is your shelter and home. Talk to local churches, you will be amazed how much they care and can help. Possibly offer you a place to park at night and maybe money for a motel until you get going again.

    • sierradawn lm profile image

      sierradawn lm 3 years ago

      I have been homeless before and I applaud you on this powerhouse lens! Public sleeping is against the law everywhere, I think. You can never find anywhere safe to sleep, so sleep is rare. Obtaining a home and means of support when you are homeless is such a catch 22 proposal that it is nearly impossible. I collected and recycled cans and bottles. I am disabled and on Social Security. If it were not for my daughter, whom I live with now, I might be homeless again.

    • Zeross4 profile image

      Renee Dixon 3 years ago from Kentucky

      This was very moving, I sometimes wonder what I would do if it weren't for my fiancé and his family. I have very little family left and I always have a fear that if something were to happen I could end up homeless one day. I am definitely the girl that is always stopping to help, even when others tell me I shouldn't. So many times I've went to help someone I seen that was homeless, and others around me have said things like, "Well how do you know they aren't faking it, or what if they are just gonna go buy alcohol??" well to me that doesn't matter. I look at the fact that there is a chance that the person genuinely needs help, I pray for them, I hope that they can find there way back to happiness they once known. My own brother was homeless for a while, and didn't tell anyone. I took him in an helped him get back on his feet, he is now married and has a daughter and is very happy. Thanks for sharing your very touching story with us. Blessings

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      Peter Messerschmidt 3 years ago from Port Townsend, WA, USA

      Excellent article, once again!Can homeless people be "re-integrated?" Well, sure... but we need to look at the fact that many "homeless" (at least speaking for my former self and friends I know who have been in that predicament) START as "non-standard" people, so we must focus on creating more opportunities for people who walk to the beat of a different drummer to BEGIN with. The thin line between me and destitution that temporarily "broke" was so "visible" BECAUSE I was never a candidate to be "a nurse" or "an accountant" or "a store manager" in the FIRST place, see what I'm saying? "Integration," as it may be, is often what FAILED and led to homelessness. Society is "broken," and homelessness and the lack of a safety net is just one of many symptoms... most of them relating to our obsession with/addiction to "more" and "resource (money) hoarding" on all levels. But that's another story, for another time!

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      my-home-corner 3 years ago

      This is what people need to be doing, spreading and creating awareness of such issues as homelessness and poverty. Bless you.

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      Linda Hahn 3 years ago from California

      Homelessness scares the hell out of me. I have been right on the edge a few times and it was horrible just thinking about it.

    • fibrogirl profile image

      Dawn Lasmanis 3 years ago from Ocala, Florida

      Wow. What a powerfully moving article. Admittedly, I have never been homeless and have only ever read about it from authors who haven't either. Thank you for sharing your point of view on the subject. I hope you are now happy and healthy with a wonderful home. :-)

    • pjsart profile image

      pjsart 3 years ago

      I am so glad to see a lens like this as I have been homeless too. I wrote a little about that time in my lens published-at-last about finally getting my little children's book published. I cringe when I hear people look at someone and say "Why don't they go get a job?" grrrrr

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      kepezzo 3 years ago

      I believe such an experience gives you much more than life we have at the moment. I bow to you all that are and were homeless.THis is all I can say about it. Great lens.

    • DawnRae64 profile image

      Dawn 3 years ago from Maryland, USA

      Thank you for being brave enough to share a very important story and information.

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      fedupinusa 3 years ago

      @anonymous: I am so sorry to read your opinion of homeless people. I have no mental disorders, I became homeless due to being separated from a narcissistic husband, correction, ex-husband. I am still homeless but trying to desperately get back on my feet with very little luck. As the saying goes, don't judge a book by its cover, you may be surprised by the story inside.

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      fedupinusa 3 years ago

      @surfer1969 lm: Hello surfer1969, I, too, have been homeless since 2009, a while longer than you and your dad. I was curious, after reading your story, where do you put your blogs that you write? I have a livejournal blog, but seems to be going nowhere fast. I would love to write about what happens daily in my homelessness situation but would love to have it actually read. If it passes well with readers, I would love to find out how to get paid for writing, I need the income and after having put in 584 applications since mid July, I need income to sustain. You can contact me via here or at momofarmysoldier2004@yahoo.com, reminds me I will have to find a way to change my email address on here to one that will be active by the weekend. I hope you guys find a way to get on your feet and stay there. Stay safe out there and utilize large box (Walmart, KMart, Target, etc.) parking lots. I rotate mine every night so I am never in the same place twice in a week. Stay positive and keep grounded.

    • Kylyssa profile image
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      Kylyssa Shay 3 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @surfer1969 lm: I'm sorry to hear you are experiencing homelessness right now. I hope you are able to stay safe and I'm glad you have someone to watch your back. Feel free to link to any of my pages as long as you aren't linking from Bubblews as Squidoo has blacklisted them and it can cause my lenses to get locked. Please drop me a line through my contact button on my Squidoo profile with a link to your blog and point me at any of your other writing online so I can check it out. I wish you the best of luck.

    • surfer1969 lm profile image

      surfer1969 lm 3 years ago

      Me and my dad are homeless going on two years now and you are dead on this stuff too. The police will often accuse you of crimes and they will jump to the conclusion that you are committing a crime too. Me and my dad have a van that we sleep In although so that makes It's even harder sometimes to find a good sleeping place for the night. Right now I am making money with my writing and I am doing a blog on how society can help the homeless or displace being a nicer word to describe It. And I was wondering If I might be able to post your link on my blog as a helpful way of helping others like me that needs the help. Well get back to me on here or email me cwt1969@gmail.com. My next section talks about income on the blogs and ways of using the web to make an income too. In It I will be talking about websites like this and other sites.

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      mel-kav 3 years ago

      What a great lens! I commend you for being so open about sharing your story. I know it must have been difficult. Hopefully, you have helped others understand that people that have nowhere to live are living, feeling human beings that are down in their luck. It could happen to anyone. In my line of work, I have seen good, decent people become homeless - along with their children. It is so very sad.

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      fedupinusa 3 years ago

      I was homeless for 3 years in Florida and its no picnic. There was nothing to do about my situation. I was separated, had to sell off everything I had and then couldn't find work thanks to the economic depression for the people our government put us in in 2008. I stayed clean, I looked for work, eventually got grants to go to college but never got to finish once I decided to file for divorce. Its still hard to function without work. I have a motorhome, bought and paid for, but still no work. I can do just about anything, but really just want a job. Since this country has now gone to only hiring part time workers, I need to find 2 daytime jobs and 2 midnight jobs in order to get back on my feet. I just wish I could find work. I put in 10 applications a day online and have only had 4 interviews. No luck yet though on the outcome of them. I just wish someone would understand I want to stand on my own 2 feet again and be me. I do not and have never panhandled, that is not who I am. I keep to myself and like my solitude. If you know of someone who has a job opening for a cashier with lots of experience, someone who is got with computers, inventory, warehouse, office work, stocking, please send them to this email address: m o m o f a r m y s o l d I e r 2 0 0 4 (at) y a h o o (dot) c o m please. In the subject line please put, have job opening, apply now and I will know you read this blog. I am in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area at this time and just want to work. Thanks Homelessness is never what someone wants to be or who they are, it's a situation that has happened to them and they look for a way out of it all the time. Homeless people are not like what you see on tv, they have real faces, real situations and real lives, they just need help in certain areas to regain their lives back. Don't be scared of us, we don't bite and we don't want what you have, we want our own life back. Just talk to us, we can tell you and we don't beg for your hard earned money, we know how hard it is to come by. Thanks

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      @VspaBotanicals: I'm not homeless, but prefer to live life with only basic necessities and often sleep in forests/parks/squats. I learned that the people who give the most, have the least. I assume you are one of those great people :)

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      kurtkenobi 3 years ago

      I spent almost 2 years drifting in central and southern Arizona and am writing about it. I came by to get some ideas and I appreciate the information you have provided. Thank you

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      I impress lot specially you polling question and also your lens is very nice.

    • Kylyssa profile image
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      Kylyssa Shay 3 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @anonymous: If you avoid people who are begging, you should be good to go. If a person is panhandling, it's a fairly good sign of either irresponsibility, addiction, or severe mental illness. Most of those publicity stunts wherein they give a homeless man a large sum of money to try to prove homeless people are worthless choose addicted beggars rather than average homeless people.Most homeless people are just down on their luck. But most of them conceal the fact that they don't have homes to avoid violence so you'll seldom see them.I "sorted" who I'd help mainly by taking in mostly gay teens thrown out of their homes for being gay. I had a 100% success rate of getting such kids on their feet because they were perfectly nice young men and women who just happened to have terrible religious fanatic parents. Somewhere around 100,000 to 400,000 American lgbtq teens and young adults get kicked out for being gay every year so there are plenty of them.$100 probably wouldn't have the same impact today as over two decades ago.As to how you can find a homeless man, woman, or family to help out, check with local charities. Otherwise you won't even be able to find anyone but panhandlers, a population that makes up less than 1% of homeless people in most areas. While panhandlers and public drunks are the most visible portion of homeless people, they are also the very most dysfunctional. Hiding your lack of a home while living on the street is a safety issue (homed people will hurt you or at the least try to humiliate you) and people too far gone to try to blend in or hide are probably beyond your ability to help.

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      I just read about 4 of your articles, very enlightening, I have a new perspective on things.Something I would be curious about is how do you differentiate those people who are just down on their luck, and those which are completely irresponsible? If I knew that I could help a good person back on their feet, for example, giving them $100 like you needed to get that PO box/clothes/etc, or spend a little time helping/mentoring, I would do it. However I worry that my limited money/time would just be wasted on someone who is simply irresponsible or incapable of getting their act together. I'd imagine a lot of people feel this way. I've seen documentaries for example where a homeless person was given $100K and blew it all. So I think a lot of people assume any help they try to give is like going into a black hole.

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      Kylyssa Shay 3 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @autofanatic: Of hundreds of homeless people I've met, only a few claimed to have chosen it and they seemed severely mentally ill. I think that certain propaganda pushes the idea that people choose to lose their jobs or homes so no one will be interested in helping them. I also think some people claim they've chosen to live outside because they are sick of people asking them about it. I wish you all the best. Having a vehicle to sleep in makes a huge difference in how much violence you're likely to experience.

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      autofanatic 3 years ago

      A year ago I met Greg, a homeless man in San Diego. When I inquired he explained to me that most people have an incorrect view on what society calls "homeless". Greg said, "I'm not homeless, I live outside and you live inside." He further explained that most of the homeless, at least in the San Diego area, are those who choose to be. I don't know if that is true, but it opened my eyes to the way some people on the street think.Now, a year after meeting Greg, I find myself on the edge. I lost my home (after owning it for 9 years), my business and my savings all within a few months. With a handful of my remaining resources, I purchased an old travel trailer and moved out to the vast wilderness of the Mohave dessert to live off-grid. It's a story I hope to tell here on Squidoo through a series of how-to lenses, like, how I made my own wind power generator. Thanks for telling your moving story. You've motivated me to get going.

    • amosvee profile image

      amosvee 3 years ago

      I am so moved by your honest and vivid story. I am grateful that you managed to find your way out, and wish that our society had a compassionate solution for this problem.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image

      Rhonda Lytle 3 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      I truly believe homelessness is an issue that will be faced by more and more families in America. The majority of homeless are children. That number is skyrocketing daily. Statistics agree most Americans are two paychecks away from being homeless most of the time. As for getting out of homelessness, yes and no. It's like the military, prison, or any other institution. Some people, for whatever reason, become "institutionalized" meaning they can no longer function outside the specific norms and expectations of the said institution, in this case it being the condition of being homeless which comes complete with its own culture, if one is immersed in it to any degree. My chief concern in relation to this, among many, is that for children said institutionalization is almost guaranteed because it is the culture they are primarily socialized into if they are homeless. God help America for our ignoring this situation can do nothing but bite us big time and we all know where.

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      clevergirlname 3 years ago

      I think some can be reintegrated into society and some cannot. Just as I believe some soldiers can and some cannot. I also believe everyone should be given a chance where available and that it isn't fair to judge anyone you don't know. There's a group "Take Back Santa Cruz" that I mostly see bash but I recently saw someone post something about how her homeless friend was that way because he couldn't pay his medical bills.It's so sad. Your stories brought some serious emotion and I am so happy you decided to write about it. Obviously this was very difficult - you have much respect for sharing. If you impact one persons opinion that's enough.

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      MaiAki 3 years ago

      Wow I couldn't imagine being homeless and not even having the bare essentials..you really changed a few opinions I had about the homeless. You're $100 bill story was truly inspiring, I hope you achieve many great things in your lifetime..If you haven't already ;)

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      I have often thought that homeless people have serious mental disorders and refuse to take their medication therefore cannot function normally to keep job and in turn lose their jobs then their homes and their familys....just my opinion

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      CalobrenaOmai 3 years ago

      Personally have experienced being without a home at least twice in my life with my family. Everyone was working but there were things that kept popping up out the blue that forced us to forego paying for some things. Things are fairing better but still expenses are popping up. Love the lens; its filled with lots of information. Thanks for sharing.

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      JoleneBelmain 3 years ago

      I would offer the homeless or panhandler food, and if they refused then obviously they do not need the handouts near as much as they appear to. We live in a small town so don't have the problem near as much as the bigger cities do, but we do get asked for change every now and then.

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      Kylyssa Shay 3 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @erbeaz: While I agree about panhandlers often having homes I disagree about people using shelters that don't need to. That's just too dangerous a game for way too little reward. I can see how they might be motivated to panhandle because of a monetary motivation. But a so-so meal and a bed that stands a fair chance of being infested with something unpleasant in a room full of coughing people isn't much when considered against the fact that they're also setting themselves up for humiliation and possibly even violence. I don't think I ever encountered anyone with other options that they were aware of (severely mentally ill people sometimes don't understand that they have any if they do) while volunteering. Well, unless the option to go back to a violent and dangerous living situation counts as an option. I count domestic violence as the person not having a home if they don't have one that is safe no matter how nice the their clothes are.

    • erbeaz profile image

      erbeaz 3 years ago

      I appreciated your insight into the fact that I've suspected that many of the panhandlers really do have homes. Once my husband and I watched a panhandler put away his sign, walk through the parking lot and get in a nice car - nicer than ours. We've assisted in providing meals at shelters, but also I think that many who came there were not necessarily homeless.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      A clear insight into this insecure way of existing. So sorry you had to go through this. I know someone right now who is homeless, and yes, money can sometimes be the saving grace, and that's why, as a group, we have been helping this lensmaster who is having a rough time. Thanks for your story, I learned a lot from it.

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      Rose Jones 3 years ago

      I have visited this wonderful lens many times. Reading your story is always so inspiring to me. Bookmarked to digg, stumbleupon and g+ - as always I wish you the best. If you are ever in the SF Bay area, stop by we will have a cup of tea. :)

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      geosum 3 years ago

      Yes there is hope. Many people are just one paycheck away from being destitute. I'm fortunate to have many Christian friends who care...

    • Kylyssa profile image
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      Kylyssa Shay 3 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @waynekat: That's a great idea. If you don't feel comfortable having people you don't know in your home, even the use of your address would be a huge help.

    • waynekat profile image

      waynekat 3 years ago

      You have me wondering... Would offering my home address to a homeless person and maybe a shower for job interviews help? Great lense! Thanks so much...

    • opatoday profile image

      opatoday 3 years ago

      If you ever have a project I would be glad to help, this lens is AMAZING

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      theleader300c 3 years ago

      Only ready today that a young documentary maker in Newcastle Australia died of hypothermia whilst making a story about how the homeless live.

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      My name is Larry, and i feel that anyone can become homeless and that anyone who is homeless can become a home owner. I went homless in Phx, Az in 1994 after I started using alcohol and other drugs. It didn't take long for me to loos everything that I worked so hard to get. I was 5 1/2 yrs without anything and then one day I picked up again,within 2 days I stopped going to work and within 2 months I went homless and at this time I had spent every penny that I had. I survived by going dumpster diving for treasures and food. I did this for 10 months. The sad thing is I use to feed the homless when I got off work from Good Sams Hospital as well as the Heart Institute. I finally called my parents and told them what happened. My parents sent me a bus ticket to go back to chicago. Once back I still was doing the same old thing so I moved to wisconsin where I have been without any alcohol or other drugs for over 17 yrs. During this time I got maried,self employed for the past 9 yrs and am a home owner, so if I can do it so can anyone. If anyone would like to hear more about my journey you can email me at larue7yrs@hotmail.com

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      Auriel 3 years ago

      inspiring story..

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      insuranceguy 4 years ago

      Fascinating article Kylyssa. It sure adds some major perspective understanding what it was like in your shoes. Thanks for sharing.

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      RetroMom 4 years ago

      powerful story.

    • nick-white-kcmo profile image

      nick-white-kcmo 4 years ago

      Wow great story and lens. God Bless and I hope you are able to positively affect and influence many people with your story of coming out of homelessness.

    • Pat Goltz profile image

      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      I knew a man who was homeless; he used to come pick up the Coke cans out of the trash behind the library. I went there to get discarded law books. He said he chose to remain homeless because he wanted to reach other homeless people with the love of Christ. I met another man who was homeless, and trying to sell a painting he had done. I "bought" the painting and let him keep it. I know a man now who is homeless. The government was taking all his money for child support, although they are by law only permitted to take half. He finally gave up, and has no money for rent. He is staying with a man presently, in exchange for handyman work around the house. I met another homeless person who said he preferred to live on the streets. One day, one homeless person was being beaten by another. I stopped and told the beater to get lost, which he did, but he took the other man's backpack. Afterward, the victim showed no gratitude, and asked me for money (which I don't have to spare.) I told the police about the theft. Property tax often leaves elderly people homeless. The government takes their homes without compensation, if they can't pay. This is far more common than you might think. We could become homeless for that reason; we have already had to sell all the assets we had to keep it from happening once. Our society needs to rethink a lot of its policies.

    • Kylyssa profile image
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      Kylyssa Shay 4 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @chickie99: Homelessness doesn't equal freedom so I suppose I'd prefer death to either at this point in my life. I couldn't emotionally or physically survive the repeated rapes and beatings anymore and I think prison would probably have those same hazards.

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      chickie99 4 years ago

      sad but personal and to the point. would you rather be in prison and restricted or homeless but free?

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 4 years ago

      My husband and I have taken in several homeless people. As a matter of fact, right now, we have someone new staying with us (a family member), who is homeless. We try to do as much as we can to help others. We are not rich...far, far from being that. But when we help other people, we feel that we are. That's what we were all put on this earth for...to help one another. Your story is so very touching, and may the Angels continue to smile down on you. :)

    • graphite75 profile image

      Tom 4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your story. That has to be an extremely tough situation to go through.

    • CornellMarCom LM profile image

      CornellMarCom LM 4 years ago

      As a fellow homeless person..for a very short time...I understand what people think and say and do.... Congratulations on winning. In my eyes you are a winner ...Oh by the way...I am a freelance writer also,,,God is so cool - he leads us.

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      nicey 4 years ago

      I thank GOD for your life and you came out stronger.I need prosperity so that I can solve people's problems.I pray that all the homeless will have shelter starting from today.Amen

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      What an amazing and authentic lens and so brave of you to write it! I agree with you about hating the term "the new face of homelessness." It sounds more like a marketing campaign doesn't it? Clearly created by someone out of touch with the homeless.

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      CraftyandClever 4 years ago from everywhere but mostly Cali

      I know what it feels like to be homeless as I spent the first 18 years of my life homeless but I was lucky enough to have family with me mom, dad and siblings. It is hard but really I have struggled my whole life, but through it all positivity is the most important thing. Never give up and never surrender. People need to know that the homeless population want to change their situation and are some of the sweetest people you will meet. Take the time to get to know people you will understand the world better.

    • JoshuaJDavid profile image

      JoshuaJDavid 4 years ago

      This is incredible. If I had the power to bless your lens and your life I would. Thank you for reading my poetry but nothing I write could ever be as interesting as this lens.Continued success to you.

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      whats4dinner 4 years ago

      Amazing story here, this is such a great lens. Thank you.

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      wordpress-guru 4 years ago

      @Loretta L: actually that's a problem ... good intentions with bad results .. sure, everybody with no money needs money/food/medicine etc, but if you care you should write about it to your local council / city hall because they SHOULD take care of them ... it's just my opinion anyway

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      wordpress-guru 4 years ago

      @anonymous: damn that's sad ... i visited several poor countries and I can tell you this, when you don't have a place to stay : ask a friend for a garage or attic, even a basement ... is better then nothing..Ask your ex.. it's hard, but it's better then the street .Ask the Mayor directly for help .Look for couch-surfers willing to take you in for a couple of weeks .If you have the courage, look for an abandoned house (i don't know if that is legal or illegal were you are)

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Maybe someone out there could give me some sort of advice. I recently became homeless like yesterday. I guess I am a little naïve, cuz I just thought you could go to a shelter and they would actually help you. The worker doing intake asked if I took any meds which yes I am supposed to but I haven't since thanksgiving when I lost my job and insurance. Probably been better to just keep my mouth shut. She said I could go to the er and get 2 days worth of medications to last until they have their clinic there. After hours of waiting and then being treated like a pill seeker not 1 of my medications is a narc, all I got was a rx which does me no good I can't afford them. It is not policy of my local hospital to administer meds to anyone but an inpatient. Still the mission said I could not stay unless I had my meds. Dr had even written me a note saying I would be just fine without my meds for A few more days. All I have to say is thank god I have a car and my kids could stay with their dad.

    • Loretta L profile image

      Loretta Livingstone 4 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      I have heard that it means a lot for homeless people just to be talked to. I usually do try to give them a little money, and spend a few minutes praying with them. I know this could happen to anyone, and I feel that people shouldn't judge the homeless, or just walk on by.

    • Paul Ward profile image

      Paul 4 years ago from Liverpool, England

      Revisiting to refresh the Blessing - first lens I remembered for the latest quest

    • Titia profile image

      Titia Geertman 4 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      Hi Kylyssa, I know I've been here before to read this beautuful lens (despite the fact that the subject is something we all don't want to experience), but what I can't understand is that I apparently forgot to like it. Well now I do and since I've gotten my wings the other day, I'll bless it too. It's well deserved.

    • illustr8 profile image

      illustr8 4 years ago

      An inspirational story to start my 2013 new year with renewed hope! Life's wonderful

    • Ladymoss111 profile image

      Ladymoss111 4 years ago

      I was once homeless so I know the feeling. Some people when passing they look at you at you are a thing, not a person.

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      Donnette Davis 4 years ago from South Africa

      Your description of Justus portrays a beautiful and caring soul. Your writing is wonderful, expressive, and yes I feel the anger in your words. Beautifully written.In South Africa we have a serious problem with lack of housing and services, unemployment at an all time high, and of course our crime rate which is the 2nd highest in the world. My older sister and her 14 YO daughter are homeless, they live from shelter to shelter, and on leaving the last shelter, having nowhere to go we brought them to our home for the Christmas holidays. We had not heard from her for over 4 years, and previous to that had no idea where she was for 6 years, despite advertising in magazines and periodicals and newspapers. They were to leave yesterday, anxious to find yet another shelter, but I have convinced them to stay a little longer to give us time to try to stabilize their situation. She had been treated like a queen by her late husband, but on his untimely death (which she witnessed) was not equipped with the necessary social or employment skills to become independent, and in her devastation did not even bother to try. We hope to provide support and gentle encouragement, get the child into school and let them start living with dignity again.I loved your lens, I did not - and i could not - appreciate the experiences or feelings experienced by homeless people, I have not walked a mile in my sister's shoes. I have a better understanding now, and am so grateful that we are, for now, in a position to try and lend a helping hand.Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 4 years ago

      Back for a visit...angel blessing and congrats for being one of Squidoo's favorite lenses of 2012! (http://hq.squidoo.com/lensmaster-spotlight/more-of...

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      AlyxAndreaDesign 4 years ago

      You are an amazing writer and have provided spectacular insight into various issues surrounding homelessness. I work in a shelter and if I was a better writer I could have written the exact same thing. You are absolutely spot on. I have heard hundreds of stories from people I work with and you touched on just about everything. I think the matter of fact style of writing does a magnificent job of painting a picture for those who do not have any experience with being unable to relax, recover and know safety in their own private space.

    • priscillab profile image

      priscillab 4 years ago

      I've been homeless and what gets me is how most people think it could never happen to them. With so many of us living from paycheck to paycheck it is too real of a possibility. My dream is to really be able to make a difference by helping those who find themselves homeless- give them real help to get back on their feet. Unfortunately our system doesn't make it easy.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Such a sad thing to happen.

    • makorip lm profile image

      makorip lm 4 years ago

      Amazing grace! I would like to hear your story from your return to Squidoo. Best Lens!

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      Barbara Walton 4 years ago from France

      I've always worried about being homeless and think that this is such an important article. I'm nominating it for my best lens of 2012

    • KandH profile image

      KandH 4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this story. I don't believe in luck and I am really glad you were able to find your way and that you are making such wonderful contributions, not least of all with your inspiring words - may you continue to be blessed and be a blessing!

    • Donallphin profile image

      Donallphin 4 years ago

      I too am impressed with your story. In my life, I've found it much better not to judge those who are homeless. I always think to myself with a few bad breaks this could be me. Thanks for a very good lens.

    • pinkrenegade lm profile image

      pinkrenegade lm 4 years ago

      I love reading this inspiring story of yours. Thanks for sharing this delightful lens!

    • stormlyt lm profile image

      stormlyt lm 4 years ago

      Inspiring story. Great lens

    • nationalbusines profile image

      nationalbusines 4 years ago

      Wow you are an amazing person to have motivated yourself to move up and out of this situation

    • daniela12 profile image

      daniela12 4 years ago

      I live in LA. I hate passing through the skidrow at night, it's very sad... The streets are very dirty and prostitution are in every corner. Every time I pass through there I keep thinking about it for days.

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      papacarpenter 4 years ago

      I run an all girls children's home that helps young ladies ages 18-24 that are homeless, have aged out of foster care or who have other family issues and are struggling on their own. Tonight we are celebrating one young lady passing her GED, and she is the fourth grad we have had this year. We love helping these young ladies find freedom from their past and hope for their future. Thanks for being a voice for those who so many times have no voice.

    • Kylyssa profile image
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      Kylyssa Shay 4 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @anonymous: Some homeless shelters, some day centers, most job banks, and almost all public libraries have Internet access. Many homeless people are smart enough to keep their laptop, tablet PC, or phone when they become homeless (so they can get jobs, earn money on the Internet, and find resources, etc.) or they may have been given a device with Internet access by some kind person or charity. Free wireless access is just about everywhere in major cities. Most coffee shops seem to have a WiFi hotspot. Some fast food restaurants have a computer customers can access in addition to wireless Internet.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I do not see how people say they are homeless RIGHT NOW. Did shelters improve by getting internet access. They probably are in poverty not HOMELESS. Totally complement subjects. Internet cafes could work but, they need a device. Internet labs work but some neglect from appearance. I HONESTLY DO NOT KNOW. To the author of the article, thank you for sharing. Much respect.

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      Soldiersister8184 4 years ago

      I've had friends in this situation before. As a single mom of two in a two bed house, there is a very strict limit on what I have been able to do. However, a shower and a ride to get applications, an offer of a lift to work when they find a job, and a place (several, because of my family) to sleep have thankfully managed to help get them on their feet. I want to thank you for emphasizing that not all police are like the bad ones. While I know that some are, there are many others who go out of their way to help anywhere they can. Sadly, they get jaded like the rest of us. But you are right - there is no excuse for abusing someone.I believe it is an honor to have met you. Thank you for having the courage to have a voice on this subject. You have my deep respect for pushing past the fear of disclosure and the discomfort that such a topic can cause.

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      IanWilcox 4 years ago

      thank you for sharing your story, a lot of guts to speak out about a subject people usually ignore!You get a squid like from me!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      a dear friend of mine is currently homeless and it makes me feel so sad and helpless because i'm not in any position to do anything except occasionally provide a place to sleep.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      A parent was looking for someone to take in her 22 yr old developmentally disabled son, she exploited him in the past for his money. He was either in shelter or on the streets of Tucson for a year. I had 2 empty bedrooms and took him in back in March 2012. I have found him to be very smart in some areas but needs help with reading and math. I have learned a lot from him and other way around. I have no regrets on my decision to take him in. And would do it again.

    • Jeri Baker profile image

      Jeri Baker 4 years ago

      Thank you for having the courage to share your story. I'm still crying. Bless you. I know many people are homeless right now who never thought it would ever happen to them.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I can't reply to comments so @cleverowlsoftware didn't you notice the person who wrote parts of this was raped a bunch of times and beat up so bad they were put in a hospital? You don't get why that would make anyone emotional and touchy? It makes me emotional and touchy just reading it!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Have you seen the people who call a homeless man/lady a homeless? Like they'll say I saw a homeless sleeping under the bridge on the way to work or here's a pic of a homeless in my neighborhood. I think the guy has a point but the isn't as bad as a. Homeless people or homeless guy is the same number of words as the homeless or a homeless so it's not like it makes anything shorter. A homeless sounds like a thing not a person. You probably need to see or listen to people having using it in a conversation to understand what the blogger means. Its not nice. The homeless gets used a lot by conservative folks comparing homeless folks to animals.

    • stylishimo1 profile image

      stylishimo1 4 years ago

      Just popping back so that my partner can read your lens, he was homeless for a few years but luckily he had a guitar and could busk for money.

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      getmoreinfo 4 years ago

      I wanted to come back and bless this lens because it has touched my heart and I am glad you have shared this experience, it is something that is really getting worst in major metropolitan cities and towns.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      good lens, but I don't think the phrase "the homeless" dehumanizes anybody. It's a shorter version of saying "The people that currently do not have homes". Why take offense when none was intended?

    • Ian Hutson profile image

      Ian Hutson 4 years ago

      Great article, thank you. There's a similar misconception in England - everyone thinks that homeless folk all "live" in shop doorways or in the open somehow. Most homeless people are on friend's settees or floors (or, in my case, in a borrowed caravan). There's without shelter (which I am not) and there's without a conventional home (which I am). I'm very, very, very lucky indeed. Sadly those in government with the purse strings equate being homeless with being shelterless, understand neither, and they don't have the will or motivation to help either group out of the trap (a trap that they helped set too!). In England the stiff upper lip still rules - even close relatives and friends don't/won't discuss it or see it or ackowledge the trap. It's human nature; the world's fine so long as we only look at the fine bits! I didn't understand it myself until it happened to me.

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      cleverowlsoftware 4 years ago

      Though your lens is a bit emotional and touchy...but anyway was is a nice read for me!...up

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Somber but true lens. Thanks for sharing.

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      Dianeyp LM 4 years ago

      Very inspiring lens, and am so glad you shared it.

    • HomeDecorKnight profile image

      HomeDecorKnight 4 years ago

      Homeless is a sad experience. Very helpful article to help homeless people. great lens.

    • TwistedWiseman profile image

      TwistedWiseman 4 years ago

      I once spent a couple of days on the street, short but unpleasant.

    • DesireeRichardson profile image

      DesireeRichardson 4 years ago

      Thank you for this lens. I think everyone can be one step from homelessness.

    • theXodus profile image

      theXodus 4 years ago

      Inspiring life of a HUMAN being!

    • BillyPilgrim LM profile image

      BillyPilgrim LM 4 years ago

      Great lens - heartbreaking read x

    • ermiarch profile image

      ermiarch 4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing...Great lens..!

    • Onlinemum3 profile image

      Onlinemum3 4 years ago

      What an amazing lens. Thank you so much for sharing some of your story. I wish you the very best of luck for the future.

    • TriciaLymeMom profile image

      TriciaLymeMom 4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this. I'm sure it's a great reminder to many that whether you have a roof over your head or not, you're still a person who deserves the same respect as anyone else, and maybe even a little more. Be well.

    • bushaex profile image

      Stephen Bush 4 years ago from Ohio

      SquidAngel blessings.

    • maryLuu profile image

      maryLuu 4 years ago

      It is an amazing lense. Thanks!

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      Noellel 4 years ago

      Thank you for the insight... All the best...

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      mattyrobinson 4 years ago

      A truly inspirational lens. Great work spreading the word about homelessness.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      You are such an inspiration. Blessed!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      My partner was on the streets for 17 long years.5 years off the streets and he still finds everyday life and our relationship a challenge. i knew nothing about homeless ppl til i met him n many others who live at the homeless community. all just human beings like us with a past n a story to tell.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 4 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Blessings to you for sharing your story and for trusting a homeless man to help you. :)

    • zachary0611 lm profile image

      zachary0611 lm 4 years ago

      This is best Squid I have ever read.

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      huvalbd 4 years ago

      From time to time I return to your lenses to see what you have added. Your lenses about homelessness are the most highly concentrated, potent material I've seen anywhere to give pragmatic advice to homeless people--and advocate for them. I tip my hat to you, again and always.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 4 years ago from GRENADA

      You are very strong Kylyssa to move beyond your personal pain and share your experience with others. I think that your personal experience makes you a very strong advocate for homeless persons.

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      jgrish72 4 years ago

      I created a website for a donation basis for someone who has been homeless and has found only a temporary place to stay and is facing that again . She was able to get a change of clothes- still in need of underclothing and shoes. She's pregnant and waiting on assistance. She's read your articles and they've brought her to tears she couldn't believe someone actually understood and has wrote about it. If you could send the donation page out via email or any other place where anyone could donate at least a dollar ...then maybe she will have the opportunity to granted I'm asking for your assistance and help...Thank you.http://www.indiegogo.com/p/195114?a=974193

    • PhotographicStu profile image

      PhotographicStu 4 years ago

      Wow I don't know what to say! God bless you!

    • BestMusicGear profile image

      BestMusicGear 4 years ago

      This is a beautiful, touching, and heroic lens for you to write -- and I am touched by the honesty it took to write it! God bless you and Justus! Very powerful stuff and I wish you the best! You are a real inspiration, hang in there!

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      ParagonHRSolutions 4 years ago

      This is possibly the best lens I have seen, full of facts and engrossing information. Having not experienced being homeless it really gave me more of an appreciation of what people go through

    • IncorrectlyWired profile image

      IncorrectlyWired 4 years ago

      I have been right on the cusp of homelessness before. I had many friends who were homeless, and had started mentally preparing for what to do if it actually happened. Much of this hits close to home. Thank you for sharing.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Every word very true. I'm homeless right now myself and live in the back of my car at night.

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      MissMaysMomma 4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your story. You're a brave and wonderful individual. You have a beautiful writing style.

    • oooMARSooo LM profile image

      oooMARSooo LM 4 years ago

      Such beautiful writing. I liked that you have a section on books about homeless people (in fact, I will click-through shortly to go buy the items I was planning on buying tonight anyway: a passive donation I suppose), but I am wondering where is your own book. You need to write one! Even simply a collection of your Squidoo Lenses... Perhaps Squidoo itself should publish it. (ahem!)

    • chas65 profile image

      chas65 4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing some very personal experiences with the hope of helping others. It can be very tough when you are at the bottom looking up.

    • jaredsgirl profile image

      jaredsgirl 4 years ago

      What a beautifully sad lens. Thank you for sharing your story and spreading awareness on homelessness. You are an incredibly strong woman! God bless you.

    • adragast24 profile image

      adragast24 4 years ago

      Very touching lens. Yes, I think they can return to society, but no, I don't think it is easy. It must be very hard.

    • Onemargaret LM profile image

      Onemargaret LM 4 years ago

      God bless you and yours! You are a very strong person and God has looked out for you! You are so lucky and blessed! I have been through some trials and tribulations as well. I do understand! Wonderful lens!

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 4 years ago from Arizona

      This is by far the most touching and best written lens Ive every read. I hope it provides you with great proceeds; you shouldn't even have to explain why you're not donating them. Plenty of us are on here because we need money. You've done so much for homelessness just by writing this lens. I think a decent portion of America is much closer to homelessness than they would ever imagine. One illness could completely wipe them out and still so many are against providing affordable healthcare to all. I wish you to best health wise, financially and in every other regard!

    • Mamabyrd profile image

      Mamabyrd 4 years ago

      Amazing story! Thank you for writing and sharing!

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      Angel_Lou 4 years ago

      This was worth reading! Great lens!

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 4 years ago

      What a stunning personal account. You've managed to move me beyond my normal "they could work at McDonalds" perspective. I will donate to a homeless cause today because of you. Blessed.

    • betsy-wooters profile image

      betsy-wooters 4 years ago

      Thank You for sharing your experience with us. Our family struggles a lot financially and without the help of extended family we would probably be in a situation like this but I still do what iI can to help others whenever possible.

    • betsy-wooters profile image

      betsy-wooters 4 years ago

      Thank You for sharing your experience with us. Our family struggles a lot financially and without the help of extended family we would probably be in a situation like this but I still do what iI can to help others whenever possible.

    • MizzMary profile image

      MizzMary 4 years ago

      Nobody asks or deserves to be homeless. It is simply a reality of life. I am ever so grateful for the roof over my head and I pray for all the folks out there who are not so blessed. I'm happy to hear that you overcame your horrible situation. Fantastic job on this lens, very down to earth and it pulled on my heartstrings.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I like your lens! I am still working on my lens pertaining to homelessness. I have been homeless off and on for the past 10 years, despite being employed during most of it.My goal is to help those who are facing the loss of their home (to foreclosure) those who already are homeless, and cannot find employment. And to open the eyes of the people involved in the homeless services where I have spent much time, that instead of giving the young lazy one's unconditional freebies, give them ultimatums, push them even just a little bit. There are many, too many young men and women that have no ambition, no goals. I am also working on a report to download when I am finished, called something like Tips to Survive and how To make Money with your computerI intend to read more of your lenses.Thank You!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Here in NYC, thousands of families are again experiencing homelessness because the city cut a program that helped these working families paid their rents. I read stories about these homeless families and the comments section is very discouraging. I truly believe that although homelessness is a complex issue, much of what drives it is the lack of understanding and/or empathy with those who are homeless. For too many, the attitude is: "As long as I got mine, tough cookies if you don't have yours." What kind of country are we turning into? The middle is disappearing and those who are barely hanging on are frightened by those who divided Americans along the lines of race, religion and class. Why do some make a big deal about abortion when there are millions of American children who are homeless and hungry? We are only as strong as our weakest link. Kylssa, I can't believe those in power think that homeless people will just disappear if they cut vital services to these struggling families. Like the health care issue, it makes more economic sense to help people before they crash and burn. When will we as a nation realize we are all on the Titanic? Those on the bottom are drowning, those in the middle are sliding down the desk, and the fools on top think they won't go down with the ship. Wake up, America!

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      Jan_62 4 years ago

      fantastic lens! Some of my work is with homeless youth and it's very satisfying to have some small part in helping them reach their educational goals and get their lives back on track.

    • EcoLogik profile image

      EcoLogik 4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your experience, and for the valuable information that you published. Great!

    • playercoach profile image

      playercoach 4 years ago

      Your lens here really touched my heart. Thanks for sharing. I wish you all the best.

    • rawwwwwws lm profile image

      rawwwwwws lm 4 years ago

      Thank you for this lens, I really try and help the poor as much as I can, thank you for this lens and sharing it!

    • athomemomblog profile image

      Genesis Davies 4 years ago from Guatemala

      In Victoria, BC, many years ago, there was a protest. Homeless teens had rented a building that was condemned and were rebuilding it to pay for the rent. They had space for teens who were sober and drug-free to sleep and a shop where they sold crafts, jewelry and art done by the teens staying there. It was a wonderful effort to get many kids off the streets and to gradually improve their lives. But the city stepped in and evicted them because the building was condemned, even though they were fixing it to code. The kids camped out in front of government buildings and I spent a lot of time (though not homeless myself) with the teens there. While nothing good came of the situation, I did learn a lot about homeless people. I heard story after story of abuse that forced kids to run away, of the difficulty of getting off the streets once you were there. My roommate and I ended up with a stream of homeless kids coming in and out of our house and they were always courteous and friendly and very grateful for any help in getting a job.

    • lynnasafriend profile image

      lynnasafriend 4 years ago

      I really appreciate you sharing this with us all. Thank you very much!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I recently had a debate with several people online about homeless people. They all wrote the "lazy" homeless person needed a "job." Sheesh! But many homeless people are employed! How easy it is to condemn someone without knowing the complex social and economic reasons many individuals (and increasingly families) experience before becoming homeless. I hope more people will write about their experience to dispel the myth that homeless people make out like bandits pan-handling or living off the government. Cheers.

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      dellgirl 4 years ago

      I really learned a lot here, I never knew a lot of this before. This will educate a lot of other people about homelessness. Thank you for sharing this. **Blessed by a SquidAngel**

    • LovelyMom77 profile image

      LovelyMom77 4 years ago

      My husband, three children and I have been homeless twice due to the hatered directed at us from both sides of our family. First time we were living with his mother and stepfather in one bedroom of a 5 bedroom apartment and they decided it was too much for them so we were forced to leave that very day and stayed in a motel for one month before we seekd the help of social services and found a nice 2 bedroom apartment. I am not ashamed of my story, it has made me stronger. The second time we moved down here to Gerogia fromour nice two bedroom apartment to help my parents and they decided we could not stay so we were again forced out and lived in a motel for 2 months until we got enough money to get the house we are currently in. It has not been easy but you know what, it was the fight that kept my husband and I alive. We endured.

    • markadamdouglass profile image

      markadamdouglass 4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your personal journey and learnings with us all

    • estellaeffects lm profile image

      estellaeffects lm 4 years ago

      I love you. Thanks for telling your story. I am deeply moved. Hope you are better now.

    • Sara Krentz profile image

      Sara Krentz 4 years ago from USA

      Great lens, thank you for sharing your story.

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      sydnystone 4 years ago

      This is perhaps one finest Lens I have Ever Read

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      Somehow I hadn't blessed this lens - which I consider one of the best I have read on Squidoo. Well, Angel Dusted now and social bookmarked so that more people can read it.

    • OliviaDaughter LM profile image

      OliviaDaughter LM 4 years ago

      Your lense touched me in a special way. You did an excellent job educating us. Keep bringing good quality lenses. Thanks

    • profile image

      Hanziejane 4 years ago

      Also if there is anything I can do please contact me x

    • profile image

      Hanziejane 4 years ago

      Thank-you so much for posting this article

    • surfer1969 lm profile image

      surfer1969 lm 4 years ago

      Being homeless takes a lot out of you as you always have to worried about life.Me and my dad are living In a hotel for now,but our money Is fast running out and no luck finding a place too.A nice lens.

    • Rankography profile image

      Rankography 4 years ago

      I just got my wings and wanted to stop back by your lens to bless it. It was courageous of you to write it and open everyone's eyes to the reality of the homeless.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      Squidoo gave us an impossible task: find the very best Squidoo lens ever. Well, of course there are so many high quality lenses, how can you chose? However, when I think of one lens that has stayed with me for years - touching my heart- I have to think of this one. You did a superb job on the lens, and your story is amazing. I will nominate this lens for the quest - also passed on by digg and tweeted, hope others help this amazing woman get her message out by also doing social bookmarking.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Sobering.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      @MyKitchen: Wow, that is intense. I hope that the US does not allow the bottom to fall out of its social net. I believe countries owe their citizenry more than this.

    • robertzimmerman2 profile image

      Robert Zimmerman 4 years ago from SE Florida, USA

      I work at a public library with many homeless patrons. We treat like anyone else. Some want a questioned answered, some help on the computer, some just want the restroom and A/C. Makes me thankful I have never been with out a home and hopeful I can help them better their situation.

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      MyKitchen 4 years ago

      The issue of homelessness is very bad in South Africa and many of us live on the verge of homelessness as pensions are just not keeping up. Fortunately we have areas that are called "informal settlements" where people put up shacks and at least have a roof over their head at night. Of course you are still without water, sanitation and power.

    • Spiderlily321 profile image

      Spiderlily321 4 years ago

      This is another great lens that you have written. More people need to read lenses like this. So many people have the wrong impression on what many people who have become homeless are really like. Many people harass and judge them. I have had friends who were homeless and tried to help in whatever way that I could. Thank you for writing this and I hope that you are doing okay.

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 4 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi wishing you all the best, be safe. Thanks for sharing this info and tips, God bless.

    • sunny saib profile image

      sunny saib 4 years ago

      @anonymous: :)

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      When I had just got my first apartment (at the age of 17), my then boyfriend had a friend named "Duck" who was homeless. Duck also had a homeless girlfriend named Valerie, who was a junkie. They both lived under the bridge, and for about a month, they lived with me. It was quite an experience. Duck was very charismatic and I remember eating very good one night: Whataburger was throwing out some hamburgers (or so the story was told to me that way) ... deluxe hamburgers ... the works ... and they were free. One day, Duck tried to commit suicide by hanging himself from my shower rod with his belt. Shortly thereafter, he was admitted somewhere -- I don't know if it was a mental facility or what, even though I did visit him a few times. I don't know what ever happened to Duck and Val, but I still have a picture that I am very fond of; I took it of Duck when he was waking up, after sleeping on the couch -- I always kept it because he looked like Jesus! Best of luck to you! You are an incredibly strong woman and your Squidoo article will touch more lives than you'll ever know. God bless!

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 4 years ago from Australia

      Blessings to you. I hope you are all right.

    • PamelaU profile image

      PamelaU 4 years ago

      Thank you so much for sharing. All of us are just a few strokes of bad luck away from ending up without a home, and we all need to start caring more.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Yes, I know how, I was home less for 2 Days I had no food no money. Oh ! Still I don't forgot those 2 days.

    • Millionairemomma profile image

      Millionairemomma 4 years ago

      Very moving.

    • ResearchAddict profile image

      ResearchAddict 4 years ago

      This is a really interesting lens. It's easy to judge people who are homeless but everyone of us have the potential of becoming homeless, especially in today's economy.

    • LornsA178 profile image

      LornsA178 4 years ago

      Makes me understand people in this situation. Very moving topic. Thanks!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      yeah that helped for my speech

    • Hypersapien2 profile image

      Hypersapien2 4 years ago from U.S.

      This is very powerful and moving. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hi.I enjoyed reading your lenses and gave a Squid Like. Thanks for sharing such interesting content. I invite you to visit my lenses.

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      oakstreet 4 years ago

      Thank you for open our eyes to see another side of the city and we need to be more compassion to others in this world. god bless you.A 'LIKE' from me.

    • CreativeXpressi profile image

      CreativeXpressi 4 years ago

      I enjoyed reading your lens. It was very interesting to me and also gave me new insight into homelessness.

    • MarcNorris LM profile image

      MarcNorris LM 4 years ago

      When it comes to homelessness and reading your lens, I realize that I really have no idea what it means. I have had a roof over my head for my entire life and I have really taken it for granted - I guess I won't ever do that again.

    • elibenporat profile image

      elibenporat 4 years ago

      Wow, this lens is a real eye-opener. All the visual references we have to homelessness are the panhandlers. Nice to hear about the other side of the story.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I am the Faces of Homelessness Speakers' Bureau Coordinator for Charlotte County, Florida. I love your blog and everything that you have to say. I would like an opportunity to talk with you further about your experiences...you can email me if you would like at kelly.hunter@cchomelesscoalition.org Thank you for all that you are doing to help raise awareness. One love

    • PoeticChristian profile image

      PoeticChristian 4 years ago

      I was a homeless veteran and I really wasn't ready to be on the streets but I was made to be over 10 years ago. Eventually someone gave me a second chance and not only am I not homeless anymore but I run my own Ministry and 20% of the net profits goes back to the local community business that helped me. It is possible but having a great support system makes a difference. Keep Faith.

    • IMKZRNU2 profile image

      IMKZRNU2 4 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      A BIG HUG TO YOU KYLYSSA! Your lens brought tears to my eyes because I worry all the time about becoming homeless. I know that all it would take is a lost job or major medical problem and it would happen to me and my kids. You will be blessed for speaking out for the people that are homeless.

    • CarreiraS profile image

      CarreiraS 4 years ago

      I wish you the best. Its great to see on the poll that most of the readers don't even know anyone homeless. Its a great sign.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I am sorry that I have only half read your lens. My heart can't stand so much pain. I see your beautiful face and can't believe what you've gone through. I wholeheartedly wish that you feel well and strong now.I could not understand how people can be homeless in the U.S. I am starting to understand it now that it happens in Greece. I hope it will not be that bad because Greece is a smaller country and people are more hospitable, in general. I hope that we will manage to help each other to a certain extent.From your lens I want to keep all your advice and, above all, the redemptive scene of angel Justus conforting you.

    • ismeedee profile image

      ismeedee 4 years ago

      A whole year of being homeless? It must have felt like eternity? I wasn't exactly homeless though I didn't have a home or an address for a few months, but lived out of my then-boyfriend's van, worked for tips at a pub for each day's meals and washed in a service station, cold dirty toilet! And I consider that not half as bad as actually living on the street with NO income at all. So, well done to you a million times over for surviving and getting your message out!

    • profile image

      nurhayati-munaf 4 years ago

      this is a nice lens. I'm glad reading it. very useful. Thank you so much.http://belajarbahasainggrisonlinegratis.blogspot.c...

    • profile image

      nurhayati-munaf 4 years ago

      this is a nice lens. I'm glad reading it. very useful. Thank you so much.http://belajarbahasainggrisonlinegratis.blogspot.c...

    • neuromancer lm profile image

      neuromancer lm 4 years ago

      Wow, nice reading. One of the most interesting lens I've read here. I think everyone is closer to this situation than might thing. Few times you have bad luck and you are on the street.

    • gamecheathub profile image

      gamecheathub 4 years ago

      YOU NEED TO WRITE A BOOK!!!!!!!!!!

    • Lenskeeper profile image

      Lenskeeper 4 years ago

      Thank you for the insights. Nice lens.

    • Gardenerman profile image

      Gardenerman 4 years ago

      This is great information. I live in a city that is actively doing something to overcome street homelessness by 2015. We have many good shelters and organization that are active in helping alleviate this problem but we still have a long way to go. Thanks for sharing your experience and I wish you will in all your endeavors.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      You have made me look at homeless people in a whole new way, this is a very very good lens. Thank you for sharing your expirence

    • Wealth-seekers LM profile image

      Wealth-seekers LM 4 years ago

      Homeless Crisis...Thank you for writing this lens and sharing your personal experience.There is much to learn about the homeless crisis. The very best to you and yours.

    • Hippopotamis profile image

      Hippopotamis 4 years ago

      What a great post Kylyssa! A good friend of mine was homeless on the streets of Baltimore throughout much of his teen years and early 20's. I am glad that you were able to improve upon your situation! I wish you much peace and health in your future.

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 4 years ago from Jersey Shore

      What eye opening information-important and heartbreaking

    • RuthMadison profile image

      RuthMadison 4 years ago

      Such an important subject and I'm impressed that you've delved into your difficult personal experience to bring us this information!

    • profile image

      attract99women 4 years ago

      Wow I am speechless! This is an exceptional lens

    • writerkath profile image

      writerkath 4 years ago

      It takes a lot of heart to bare your soul and experiences in your outstanding series of lenses. Thank you. I believe you are helping a LOT of people... *Blessed*

    • melissiaoliver profile image

      melissiaoliver 4 years ago

      Thank you for posting this lens about your experiences with homelessness - it was a real eye-opener and I admire your courage and bravery for writing all of this down for us. I wish you luck with all of your future endeavours and I hope that inspires other people to do more to help homeless people in any way that they can.

    • wheresthekarma profile image

      wheresthekarma 4 years ago

      This is a great eye opening lens. THank you for sharing your story and God bless you and Justus and anyone out there without a safe "home." xoxo Going to pin this on my causes board. I hope a lot of people read your story.

    • siobhanryan profile image

      siobhanryan 4 years ago

      At least a hundered times i skipped this lens as I was afraid to hear your story as I knew it wold be sad-I am so happy you overcame it and lived not only to tell the tale but help others

    • heehaw lm profile image

      heehaw lm 4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing such experiencing with us all, great info for all of us.

    • Kylyssa profile image
      Author

      Kylyssa Shay 4 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @zabereu: This article on homelessness took me months to write. However, it only took so long because it was extremely emotionally draining and painful to delve into. I wrote it in tiny bits and pieces. However, I can write a few thousand words a day on less triggering topics. I have other articles I've written in less than an hour.

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      April Wier 4 years ago

      This has given me much to think about. Thank You.

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      craigmitchell 4 years ago

      The mechanisms of society are so convoluted and open to abuse that I not only feel it is difficult for people who have been forced to operate outside of the confines but also difficult even for those who are still ploughing away within it. I do, however, believe that true happiness can only be experienced when a person is able to step fully outside of the pile of crap they call 'society' and feel free - the only pressure is when that person then has to explain their alternative perspective to a drone who is so far wedged into the mechanics that they cannot possibly comprehend anything other than what they have been fed from the system.

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      linkreggie 4 years ago

      this lens is really great in the since that it discuss about the reality.. thanks for sharing valuable and informative post!.

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      zabereu 4 years ago

      Wow!!!! a really informative article on being homeless & i read about your health condition & i admire the fact that you have not backed up& fighting for your life hats off to that. Can i know how much time did it take you to write this article

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      June Campbell 4 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      I have been very close to being homeless at one point. i will never forget the fear I had just thinking of the possibility. Bless you for this informative lens.

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      Xena Rana 4 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Thanks for sharing & concerning about homeless people

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      Barbara Walton 4 years ago from France

      I've always been terrified of being homeless and, unlike many, I don't think it can't happen to me. Many thanks for making this public.

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      srsddn lm 4 years ago

      Kylyssa, your lens is quite thought provoking. I have seen some persons who are homeless and I agree with you that all of them are not beggars. This subject seems to be have been covered by you in your other lenses as well. I would now be interested to go through those lenses and learn more.

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      jcrandall100 lm 4 years ago

      this is an amazing article. Good luck and keep on writing

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      Stephanie Tietjen 4 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      Once after dining at a Greek restaurant with family and friends, I offered my bag of leftovers to a hungry-looking homeless man--the look on his face was a gift. My friend, with her full belly, said to me "Why did you do that?, I could have eaten that." Lots of people need to read this. I admire your courage to put this out there.

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      jordanmilesbask 4 years ago

      I seen a lot of homeless people when I used to go to uni and I always thought there's a reason why they are in that situation. I always give them my spare change, its not much but at least I can help.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      What an incredible and somewhat disturbing lens. That must have taken great courage to write. Anyone reading this feeling smug that is wont happen to them think again you are closer than you think - two words -Your're fired. In the UK at the moment it has been the middle classes who are losing their homes and skimming the dark world of homelessnes.

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      Lindrus 4 years ago

      You did an incredible job on this lens! Thanks so much for sharing your personal experience and for helping us all better understand the situation of homeless people. Well done!

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      Harriet 4 years ago from Indiana

      I am truly speechless. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and putting a perspective on homeless people that many do not have.

    • MelonyVaughan profile image

      MelonyVaughan 4 years ago

      Thank you for your bravery and honesty in sharing a truly heartbreaking story. It is so easy for individuals to give evil looks to homeless people or even make rude comments about them, but the truth of the matter is that no one is safe. In today's world, anyone could lose their home. A little while ago, I saw 2 young ladies worry about a young homeless man's kitty as it was very cold outside, but neither one of them worried about the human being standing right in front of them! The young man had no shoes and was wearing very thin clothing. I was able to get a friend of mine from Salvation Army to look after him and get him shoes and proper clothing. I am glad to say that the young man has received much needed help and is currently working for Salvation Army.

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      jmatts1 4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your experience, very eye-opening.

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      R Toney 4 years ago

      congratulations on the front page... and for addressing a very serious issue

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Returning to congratulate you on front page honors for this important article, wish I could bless again...

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      queenofduvetcover 4 years ago

      Wow, this was a really moving and inspirational lens. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I'm sure this will open up many eyes and hearts. I wish u all the best. I will continue to read more of your lens. =)

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      Katie Harp 4 years ago

      blessed by a squid angel :) <3

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      MarcellaCarlton 4 years ago

      I'm so sorry that you have aspergers syndrome, PTSD, and were without a home.This article was so great and brought a lot of attention to a really bad situation. We have had a lot of people come through our church with the same problems.

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      tyrosine 4 years ago

      Informative. Learnt a lot from your lense really. Now I really treasure my place that I am living in.

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      velmayilraja 4 years ago

      First time in net reading a story about homelessness, a real issue.Every human in this world deserve to have a better life.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      A thought-provoking lens. Thanks!

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      Clairissa 4 years ago from OREFIELD, PA

      What a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing. Blessed!

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      Julia Morais 4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your story. I've never read or heard anything from the side of a homeless person before, and this has been an eye-opener. You're stronger than you think you are, you know. God bless!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have been homeless off and on for over 10 years now, despite being employed. On Febbruary 28, 2008, I was in a car accident, as a passenger, the side that was hit. I was left disabled. I ended up fighting for my disability for nearly 3 years to the day! I have been in the process of writing about my experiences...to make people aware of the homeless problem, and how to survive. I have also brought up the issue of too many of the homeless taking advantage of the all the FREE help available to them, and the misuse of disability benefits. I need to read more of your lenses, and I hope you will read mine when I am done. Your lenses are definitely very informative, and I hope to add your link to mine when I am done.Well done! And Thank You!

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      Tangled07 4 years ago

      This is just....I have no words. All I can say is I wish you the best of luck in everything may God bless you. Thank you for sharing your story I am sure that many people who are currently in a bad position will take hope from reading this.

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      Matt Warren 4 years ago from Cheshire, UK

      Thank you for this lens x

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      miaponzo 4 years ago

      Back for a blessing.

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      VarietyWriter2 4 years ago

      Blessed :)

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      KReneeC 4 years ago

      This lens brought tears........ Thank you so much for sharing. I feel I need to do more to help my community.

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      Rankography 4 years ago

      Amazing story. Thanks for sharing and educating us all!!

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      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      It is a shame that anyone is homeless in the US.

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      missesq10 4 years ago

      Kylyssa thank you so much for sharing your story, it was very touching and personal. Many people don't have the courage to share themselves in the way you did in this lens.

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      suzy-t 4 years ago

      Very moving story. Thank you for sharing it. I wish you the best.

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      jaymill 4 years ago

      Touching, very touching.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Much needed information .... Well done!! Kudos ....

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I was homeless in the late 80s. I slept in ERs or on the cement floor of a park bathroom. I have opened my house to several homeless people since then, giving them time to shower, clean their clothes, spend a few days on the couch. When I was homeless, several people helped me out in small ways, including a pair of police officers.

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      DahliaValentine 5 years ago

      I've been reading your homeless articles. They're extremely poignant and thought provoking. I've been making sandwiches at home and passing them out to homeless men and women since I was a teenager. The stories you hear on the road are really, really deep. It always puts my life in such a different perspective. I admire you for bringing this issue to light here.

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      streets2success 5 years ago

      I was homeless as a child of 13 I went to Social Security for assistance. They would not offer assistance as I had no fixed address. I could not get a fixed address without assistance. https://hubpages.com/health/how-to-write-your-futu...

    • streets2success profile image

      streets2success 5 years ago

      I was homeless as a child of 13 I went to Social Security for assistance. They would not offer assistance as I had no fixed address. I could not get a fixed address without assistance. https://hubpages.com/health/how-to-write-your-futu...

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      gurucfc 5 years ago

      gr8 inspirable

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      Dywaz 5 years ago

      I have few friends which is homeless. They are homeless, because they are drinking a lot of alcohol. It is big problem.

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      lamontcranston 5 years ago

      Your lens is very beautiful. I think what you did is admirable!

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      TTMall 5 years ago

      Terrific lens. Nicely done!

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      AndieDee 5 years ago

      Great lens, let's help the homeless people in together.

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      bebegray lm 5 years ago

      I love you for sharing, I love you for surviving, I love me for being able to cry at this and not look away, buckets of love to you sister. Maintain a soft rage...

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      intermarks 5 years ago

      It is hard to imagine the life to be homeless. And thanks God that you have overcome it. Great lens!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      A moving Lens. I also have Aspergers and was not on the streets homeless but very nearly with my daughter who was at the time only a young child she would have been about 2. The council (English) would not even put me in a hostel (they had non) nice knowing that my baby would have been on the streets with me that night! luckily I has two great friends whom asked me for nothing. If only I had something to give them! to thank them.

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      TimotheusQ 5 years ago

      Very informative, sometimes I forget how blessed I've been just to have a house, and electricity and food anytime I want it. Thanks for sharing, this is eye opening in a lot of ways.

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      Sam 5 years ago from Australia

      A very interesting read, thankyou for sharing your story.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I haven't experienced you're going through. It must be very, very tough. We lost our house to the bank due to unpaid loans. It was my only memory of the house that we had. I know my experience is completely different from yours but in a way, I think that we both lost our homes and have to make difficult choices day by day. Praying for you and all the homeless people. re

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      kevingomes13 lm 5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your story.

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      chrisssy 5 years ago

      Around here nobody helps anybody. First thing that comes to their minds is "F@#!$% CRACKHEAD!" even if you're not. I was homeless for 6 years, nobody to turn to, sleeping in snowbanks, getting sick, going through garbage for food if I ever got a chance, not being able to shower for months on end (no drop in centers). I was disgusting. And it was sad but nobody understood. I wrote one of my stories but it wasn't the half of my hell. You can take a peek if you like if you click on my name it's called "My Fairy Tale". But great lens...glad you had the courage to share it with us

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      brando87 5 years ago

      I've not had any experience personally with homelessness, but this lens and the resources are certainly an eye opener.

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      Ladyeaglefeather 5 years ago

      This a sad but, wonderful page. Everything does happen for a reason. Look at the good you are doing for the homeless now. God bless.

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      goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

      i wouldn't want to be in your shoes. so many americans are homeless right now and who helps them? thank goodness you got out of the mess. blessings for this compassionate lens.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I was feeling awful tonight because I met a homeless man with a service dog in a large gathering today. He had shared a meal with our group and later asked for a blanket. I searched around in my car, but didn't have anything, then later thought of the mylar blanket in my emergency kit. By the time I discovered it and went to look for him, he was gone. I felt awful so I drove around looking for him, but couldn't find him. I will use your advice and hope to be able to help others in the future by packing mylar blankets w/ small flashlights in a ziploc bag. Thank you for your ideas, honesty and sharing! Best of luck to you.

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      davenjilli lm 5 years ago

      My brother in law is homeless most of the time. He rather prefers it that way. Not all homeless people don't want to be homeless. I gave lodging to a woman who was homeless who turned out to be really crazy. The moral being, offer help if you can, but not necessarily bringing the homeless into your home. This is a wonderful lens and helpful to those who might find themselves without anything.

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      mommafox 5 years ago

      My biggest fear is being homeless. I hope it never happens, but it's an unfortunate reality these days. Especially when you're living penny to penny.

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      francois123 5 years ago

      Good to share this with others. Go on.

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      DollarTycoon 5 years ago

      An eye-opening lens... Thank You.

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      Nirmal Shah 5 years ago from India

      Great lens but I'm glad this culture is not prevalent in India.

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      CharlieHawks 5 years ago

      Thank you for this deeply moving lens."Homelessness is about more than rooflessness. A home is not just a physical space, it also has a legal and social dimension. A home provides roots, identity, a sense of belonging and a place of emotional wellbeing. Homelessness is about the loss of all of these. It is an isolating and destructive experience and homeless people are some of the most vulnerable and socially excluded in our society". - Crisis Charlie Fly Fishing Hawks

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      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Back to give an angel blessing, this my very first day with my wings. This lens made that much of an impression on me - wanted to make sure I blessed it right away!

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Back to give an angel blessing, this my very first day with my wings. This lens made that much of an impression on me - wanted to make sure I blessed it right away!

    • Kylyssa profile image
      Author

      Kylyssa Shay 5 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @bullyingstatistics: Beside there being far too few homeless shelters to sleep all homeless people the dangers and downsides to homeless shelters can sometimes outweigh the advantages to using them.

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      bullyingstatistics 5 years ago

      Thank you for this, very eye opening! I especially liked the bit about how homeless people don't even use homeless shelters themselves..it is rather ironic.

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      scrunto 5 years ago

      I found this very useful. I was homeless, but for a shorter period than you. I also have a personality disorder, but what i learned mostly from being homeless is how much of what people consider necessary that I really need.

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      chromegrrrl 5 years ago

      I'm astounded whenever I meet people that are hostile to homeless people, thanks again for bringing up the difficulties people face on the street.

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      chromegrrrl 5 years ago

      I'm astounded whenever I meet people that are hostile to homeless people, thanks again for bringing up the difficulties people face on the street.

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      dwnovacek 5 years ago

      Thank you for your incredible willingness to share such a difficult part of your life with us. Three years ago I was afraid that I might end up homeless myself. I had lost my job in the mortgage industry, lost my home to foreclosure and was totally bankrupt. Fortunately my husband was still employed which allowed us to eke by with the help of the Food Bank and other agencies. We were always just about a month away from losing our home. And I feel lucky as compared to some of the people you talk about here. Angel Blessings to you!

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      juniperberry lm 5 years ago

      This is great - good to see the complexity of homelessness being explored!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I can relate to your story and I'm grateful you have shared it. I used to work with homeless families and can tell you that is it a complex problem. It bothered me when people would blame the homeless for their situation when every situation was unique in its set of problems. Congratulations on your success and I wish you all the best.

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      amanitele 5 years ago

      this lens is very insightful and you hit on a lot of things that many people never even think about. It is encouraging to see people who are working hard to educate on others about such pressing and ignored causes. thank you for sharing and I do believe there is ope and humanity out there, people just need to learn about it. thank you again for sharing.

    • Kylyssa profile image
      Author

      Kylyssa Shay 5 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @CharlieHash: Your honesty is refreshing. There were many times that I felt so incredibly hopeless when I was homeless and it's an honest human reaction to something so awful and frightening.I think there is hope for the future and that we weak, confused human beings are that hope. Don't give up hope, CharlieHash, over 80% of homeless people in America survive and escape homelessness.

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      CharlieHash 5 years ago

      My experience is ...... I don't have a words to define. I think that there is no god in this planet. We are wasting our time to search a god and humanity, this planet is totally ............ I hate to be a human. (No offense please, this is my personal thought, because I think someone has wrote this lens from my present situation).

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      ptnjust007 5 years ago

      Thank you for your post!It's really good!

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      gods_grace_notes 5 years ago

      Yes, I have been homeless. Visit my lens to learn more about my experience, and my dreams for helping those who help those who are homeless. Why Should We Help The Homeless?You've been Pinned by a Giant Squid... Thank-you for this wonderful lens, and for your passion to help the homeless! ConnieSquidoo Lensmasters Who Care About Helping The Homeless In America

    • Rebeljohn profile image

      Rebeljohn 5 years ago

      Thank you for your post . It really makes you sit back and think about other people and what they are going through in life very nice lens

    • relish interiors profile image

      relish interiors 5 years ago

      Wow, what a moving lens. Thank you for sharing this with the world.

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      macsquared 5 years ago

      I have been homeless before, and I worry about becoming homeless again. I am disabled, too, and do not have ANY money for rent this month.

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      viscri8 5 years ago

      I wish you to succeed to make a change in this painful matter of homelessness.Blessed by an angel.

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      MagicBeanDip 5 years ago

      I had a college classmate who ended up being homeless, he didn't appear to lament being homeless at all. He was an aggressive person to begin with, and he embraced that aspect of himself when I knew him as a homeless person.What you've written here seems clear-headed and given plenty of thought. I really appreciate that because I've found that perspective hard to find on the experience of homelessness.

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      Africanos 5 years ago

      you are and always will be a person with a very strong character that understands that most times its what you make of everything not sitting and crying about it well done and all the best to you in your life.

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      Afteretc 5 years ago

      Kudos to you for sharing your experience.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Returning and blessing....

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      Liz Mackay 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Good to come back and read your excellent lens again. Blessed.

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      sguerrero2006 5 years ago

      Beautiful lens. Thanks for sharing your storing

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      SquidooPower 5 years ago

      This is an amazing lens and I thank you for writing it. When I was about 16 I was homeless but better off than most because I had both a car and a job. It was frustrating to be a responsible member of society but, due to age, I couldn't get a place to stay! Living in my car was bad enough, I would never want to go through what you did. My hat is off to you.

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      sheezie77 5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing that kind of lens...

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      Jeimuzu-san 5 years ago

      I recently saw a video depicting two teenagers beating up a homeless person who had done nothing at all to them. They simply found it funny to pick on someone less fortunate than themselves who was too gentle to try and defend himself. It's sickening.

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      sherridan 5 years ago

      Shocking! I'll never say 'The Homeless' again! You have my admiration.

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      iWriteaLot 5 years ago

      I'm speechless. Blessed this lens. But that's not even enough.

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      hlkljgk 5 years ago from Western Mass

      thanks for sharing your personal story and the references to help.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have a friend who has had absolutley a hard time in the Uk, he is Australian however he went there for work and his whole life has grumbled in front of him. His company took a long time paying him when he finished his job. After a few weeks he was evicted and ended up on the streets. It took him a while to find a place and when he did he got injured in the Uk Riots needed an operation. Once discharged the Landlord evicted him took his documents which he needs to leave the country. He is on the streets the 2nd time around. He is Australian and so wants to go back to Australia. It is sad one has tried to help. He has no family in Australia and in the Uk and friends they probably went away after a while. How does one help to improve his situation? Give a homeless person a go they need love, support and to know there are people out there who care for them.

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      GGGMarketing 5 years ago

      Its truly sad what some people have to go through. I was sad reading this.

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      fugeecat lm 5 years ago

      Your story is moving and informative. I think when we see someone we think may be homeless it is often hard to see that we all could be in that position in some point in our lives.

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      desa999 lm 5 years ago

      We really feel for the homeless. thank you for alerting to the many different aspects of this problem.

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      TheBaseballCoach 5 years ago

      You sometimes learn life's most important lessons when times couldn't be worse.

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      headforthehills 5 years ago

      wow powerful topic

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      EmmaLouiseB 5 years ago

      A Lens close to my heart, for me and my dad. I found this not only an interesting read, but inspirational at the same time as a reality check. Blessings to you

    • Kylyssa profile image
      Author

      Kylyssa Shay 5 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @cjhealth1: I took in 17 teens and young adults over the years. It's highly individualized. Some were in their own place in under a month while others took several months. The longest anyone stayed with me was for about two years. The shortest (of anyone who went directly from my place to permanent housing) was just under two weeks. Typically, people stayed with me no longer than six months. It truly depends on the person, the rental possibilities, and the job market in your area.

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      krakensquid 5 years ago

      Fantastic lens and a very interesting read!

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      cjhealth1 5 years ago

      If someone were to allow a homeless person to stay in a spare guest room, how long do you think it would take for them to get on their feet?

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      clifRad 5 years ago

      I just started a lens on the homeless. We, me and my friends, bring them into our homes. We are building a bunk house to house more. Over the last 5 years we have brought in men, women and families...well over 200. We live in the Puget Sound region in Washington State.Read my lens, I think you'll be encouraged.

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      Nicole Pellegrini 5 years ago from New Jersey

      Honest and eye-opening. Thank you for sharing your experiences with such candid detail - hopefully it will make more people think twice about how they view those dealing with homelessness.

    • SiochainGraSonas profile image

      SiochainGraSonas 5 years ago

      I appreciate your sharing your experiences with us.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      enjoyed reading your lens tonight, well done indeed, wish you strength to carry on with what you're doing.

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      seo_optimisation 5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your experiences. Homelessness is a serious issue that is often overlooked. To anyone that has the opportunity to help someone that is homeless, please see what you can do - it's amazing how such a small amount of your time and money can turn someone's life around.

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      Odille Rault 5 years ago from Gloucester

      What a remarkable lens! Blessed. :)

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      bhavesh lm 5 years ago

      I have never been homeless nor have I personally known anyone who is. But I have tremendous respect for those who have lost their livelihood and do what they do, including finding their way back into "the society." I think being homeless and continuing to keep moving forward is one of the most courageous things a person can do. Great lens! The only one where I actually read so many sections in-depth.

    • Kylyssa profile image
      Author

      Kylyssa Shay 5 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @NicoleLynn711: Thank you. It was also about twenty years ago so that $100 went way further than it would today. The job situation was also way different. Things were not good back then but they are far worse for people facing homelessness today.

    • NicoleLynn711 profile image

      Nicole 5 years ago from Bethel, CT

      wow!! Amazing, and very wll written!!! As a case manager/counselor, several of my clients were homeless for many different reasons. I think it is great that you are now able to speak for others that are still on the streets and unable to! Its a vicous cycle...no address, no p.o. box, no car, no bike, no money for public transportation, no daily shower, no clean clothes, or no interview apropriate clothes....all holding you back from getting a job!! What an amazing story finding that $100 bill and spending it wisely...that must have been difficult!! $100 doesn't usually get you far, but it sure did for you!!!!

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      niceman91 lm 5 years ago

      you just open my eyes.thank you so much!

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      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      So proud of you - for sharing this and being able to get out of homelessness.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Klyssa, I want to thank you for opening my eyes to this issue. I come from a city in australia where there is very little homelessness. It seems very unfair but there is a very good welfare system in place there. Yesterday I came to Chicago for the first time and saw that there are many people begging on the streets.. I walked past one man and my heart almost broke. He was maybe 60 or so, and he was not just shivering but actually shaking with cold. It had snowed that day and the wind was just freezing. I went to the nearest shop and bought a warm hat, some thick, windproof gloves and several pairs of socks and gave them to him. I didn't stay and talk, as I didn't want him to feel like he should be all thankful and have to be nice to me. I'm ashamed to admit I was actually a bit embarrassed for him. When I got home I started a google search and came across your lenses. After reading everything you have to say I feel so much more educated and able to help. Before, I would just walk past people with begging cups, wishing that there was something I could do to help that was better than a few coins. Now I know what I can do! Thank you for sharing your stories and advice. I couldn't imagine living through some of the things you have experienced. you are amazing.

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      miaponzo 5 years ago

      Oh my God! I can't cry any more! I have never been homeless.. but I have been very very close.. where but for the grace of God go I!!! Blessed!!!!

    • DuaneJ profile image

      DuaneJ 5 years ago

      Klyssa, countless people will be blessed by this.

    • markettrol profile image

      markettrol 5 years ago

      What a story of survial......Wow!!! I hope you all the BEST in the future!!!!!

    • ictguyblog profile image

      ictguyblog 5 years ago

      Amazing lens! I find myself also in a very bad position so I have decided to do my best and earn on the internet writing lenses, blog posts and stuff. I do believe that I will find here just enough people that will help me earn :) Thank you so much for this lens, it will keep me going on and endure in this difficult times... Actually, my security word for posting comment is "squidlaugh" :D Smile is one curved line that makes world much better place :-)

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      prhammock 5 years ago

      Thank you for your lens and your bravery. There are a lot of feelings that surface when reading here, and I wont go into them, but I do want to also say thanks to the Justusof the world - there are more than we think. We simply don't recognize them.

    • KingLobster LM profile image

      KingLobster LM 5 years ago

      I am so glad that you survived to tell this tale. It is a very emotional story. I found the party about trying to just do odd jobs like cleaning a messy yard for a simple $2 painful to think about. It is sad that these people could not even spare $2 for a job that would take them a long time to do. The fact that you survived it and are now where you are posting lens is a testament to the human spirit. Excellent work.

    • kjbranch77 profile image

      kjbranch77 5 years ago

      Great lens!

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      SIALicenceUK 5 years ago

      Very good lens, has got me thinking about how lucky i really am.

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      nestorvabujavic 5 years ago

      hi

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      NaturalVamp 5 years ago

      Beautiful dahling. I am moved by your honesty under Why This Lens Does Not Donate to Homelessness Causes. You are on well on your way to a wonderful future. I am not just saying this. This I know and I know you feel it too. All of the positive thoughts and well-wishes from people who are reading your lens cannot help but be positively affected by your words. I'm sure you are on that journey gathering more and more support as each day progresses.

    • cocomoonbeams profile image

      cocomoonbeams 5 years ago

      very touching. your story about Justus made me shed a few tears, especially the part of him carrying around an old picture of his daughter.

    • samsaradakini profile image

      samsaradakini 5 years ago

      Such powerful and insightful information on homelessness in our country. I see this dispelling the great divide that non-homeless seem to think exists. But I understand it... It keeps them sleeping soundly in bed thinking there's a 'them' who is not 'me.' There's a man who walks with a buggy full of stuff around town and his little dog is right beside him the entire time. Something about that man touches me.... The fact his dog loves him, the fact his dog is so loved by him, the fact he looks so humble, all of the above? He never asks for money but goes on about his business. Once I had plans for a $10 but couldn't help it. I went back into the convenience store, walked up to him as if to just shake his hand, and he extended his as I approached with a smile and "I just wanted to say Hello"... When I was finished saying hello, I smiled at him some more, walked away, and he had a $10.I saw him again a few years later and he was doing just fine it seemed. Still had his dog and his buggy. I see him being the equivalent of your "Justus" from your story. :)

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      There is a couple at my church who took in a homeless couple, and are housing them with a trailer on their property, as well as providing food for them. Our church has a soup kitchen/food pantry/clothes pantry in which the church couple and I are both a part of. They have used that resource and have incorporated this homeless (or perhaps not so homeless anymore) couple into the church in the past week. I was floored to learn they were wandering streets just days before meeting them. I didn't want to lump them into a category, so I decided to do some research. This article (as well as many others on this site) has been so helpful in understanding homelessness. I feel so embarrassed to have been ignorant this whole time, and I'm glad I didn't know they were homeless when I first met them. I treated them like any other couple, delighted in seeing new faces at the church, and willing to introduce myself to them and carry conversations. If I'd known they were homeless at that time, I wonder if I would've treated them differently...? I'm ashamed, I'd like to think I wouldn't have. But, I'm a shy kid barely into her twenties. I know I wouldn't have been myself-- I would've been a lot more quiet and unsure of what to say. I'm glad to have more insight on this topic. The woman and the man, ironically, wear the same size clothes as my husband and I. And now I'm running around the house and looking for clothes/jackets/pants/scarves/hats that I think she'd like. I've only seen her in one outfit, and I've seen her on at least 4 different occasions. Her boyfriend was wearing a different shirt this evening-- it was one I remember seeing while working the clothes pantry. My husband is looking for clothes and winter wear for the man as well. I've seen that the woman really likes to draw-- she doodles on her pant's leg or on pieces of scrap paper in church. So I'm going out to buy a sketch book tomorrow and give her some of my art pens. I enjoy art too! Maybe that's something we can talk about... Either way, I'm glad to have read these articles on this site. I don't know the woman and man's life story, but I know that somewhere along the way they must've fallen on hard times and they just need to be shown some compassion and understanding. It seems so simple of an idea! I'm already putting it into action. =)

    • cheech1981 profile image

      cheech1981 5 years ago

      i used to work in new brunswick doing street outreach to the homeless and it was then that i realized how many barriers society has to them...so many places you can't go or "loiter" if you don't have a home. definitely a lot of challenges for these individuals and families and my heart goes out to all

    • ananimoss2 profile image

      ananimoss2 5 years ago

      I don't know what to say. It was very touching. My brother did a 'candid camera' interview with a homesless person for some festival, and most people were pretty bored and indifferent about the whole thing, I remember. Most homeless people I have met were scared of us and wanted to be left alone. I understand why now. Thank you for sharing this. Truly.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

      i see a lot of bag ladies around. i pity them but there a lots of places provided by the government in austria. they just don't want to stay there. there are also lots of bag ladies tourists who come from neighboring countries and beg for money

    • yayas profile image

      yayas 5 years ago

      I'm so sorry for all you have had to face that was evil an' negative. At the same time, I am very grateful to you for helping to spread the word 'bout the difficulties an' challenges those without homes are forced to encountered. I know that much good will come from your efforts. I also want you to know that your writing style is such that your topic cannot be ignored. Thank you, again, for surviving an' thriving an' helping others to do the same.

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      efrancois 5 years ago

      A great reason for being Atheist!

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      writer_villa 5 years ago

      Moving Lens!

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I've known more than one person that was homeless, and left home when I was 16, spending a week or so without a home. Kudos on your lens, blessings for your bravery to share your own story.

    • verkeerd profile image

      verkeerd 5 years ago

      I have been shocked to hear about awful things happening to homeless people, like vandals killing them to experience the act of killing with fewer risks. I think the homeless appreciate life in a very different way than people having a lot more "security" and comfort. Happiness and joy are much intenser, as are sorrow and fear.I help them as often as I can, as well as I can and now after discovering your lenses, I can do that better.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      My father was a good example to follow. When living he always helped people in need of help who came to our home. Since we didn't have an abundance of money, he offered food and shelter. When asked if they could work off what they owed him, dad told them that if they ever were in a position to give to someone else, do it. That is all he asked of them. A wise and loving dad.I wish you well!

    • DreamingBoomer profile image

      Karen Kay 5 years ago from Jackson, MS

      Thanks so much for stopping by my tent cities in America lens - your story is so humbling... Blessed by a Squid Angel, and bless you, my dear!

    • fiftysquid profile image

      fiftysquid 5 years ago

      Very touching story, you are an inspiring person, very well done. And great lens!

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 5 years ago from California

      I knew a family that had been homeless. They were not when I met them. It was a real eyeopener as was your lens. Thank you for opening up yourself to us. Blessings and bear hugs, Frankie

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      Echo Phoenix 5 years ago

      I cried... am still crying, your beautiful lens touched me deeply. SquiDastic lens and a very worthy cause, thanx;)

    • Lenskeeper profile image

      Lenskeeper 5 years ago

      I have never been homeless, but I appreciate your insight into what it is like. We need to view each other as people, as you say.

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 5 years ago

      Great lens, I was homeless for 2 nights only (over twenty years ago) until I found a shelter - long, long story. But I'll never forget how it felt. Nowadays, even more caring, honest, hardworking people are only 'a paycheque or two away' from being in this situation (as I have heard it said). I live in Canada, however, I know the housing crisis in the US will cause even more homelessness. Hope we can all heal this situation and stop the abusive commentary by ignorant people. By the recommendation of Pheonix76, I am featuring this on my 'Living Articles on Squidoo' (you are the first authentic feature by the panel). Take good care, Rose

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 5 years ago

      Great lens, I was homeless for 2 nights only (over twenty years ago) until I found a shelter - long, long story. But I'll never forget how it felt. Nowadays, even more caring, honest, hardworking people are only 'a paycheque or two away' from being in this situation (as I have heard it said). I live in Canada, however, I know the housing crisis in the US will cause even more homelessness. Hope we can all heal this situation and stop the abusive commentary by ignorant people. By the recommendation of Pheonix76, I am featuring this on my 'Living Articles on Squidoo' (you are the first authentic feature by the panel). Take good care, Rose

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      Attie 5 years ago

      Yes - he got off the streets and into sheltered housing by selling the Big Issue. This lens has really touched me. Thanks.

    • Close2Art LM profile image

      Close2Art LM 5 years ago

      great article about a very sad issue, i try to help out as much as possible by giving to the foodbank and donating money, items...if everyone helped out, it would help out everyone...RWJR

    • BrandonSharp profile image

      BrandonSharp 5 years ago

      Thank you for your honesty and frankness. You've put a "voice" to a lot of things that needed to be said.

    • LauraHofman profile image

      Laura Hofman 5 years ago from Naperville, IL

      Very moving and well written lens. I hope things are going better for you now. You are talented and have a gift for words. Thanks for telling your story and opening peoples' eyes.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      thank you very much for sharing your experience with us.

    • anaamhussain profile image

      anaamhussain 5 years ago

      You lens gave me a lot to think about. Thanks for sharing your story. There are a lot of stereotypes the society has created which cause a lot of people sufferings. We should all think about how our action effect others.

    • InquisitiveOne LM profile image

      InquisitiveOne LM 5 years ago

      What an enlightening, compassionate, interesting, and profound series of lenses. You have so much to be proud of and thank you for educating with caring and without sarcasm and anger that could have so easily overtaken your post. You have my admiration and respect.

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      blanckj 5 years ago

      I've always seen homeless people in the area where I lived and wanted to help but my mother always discouraged me that they were drunks or drug addicts that didn't want help, just money to buy more alcohol or drugs. I disagreed with her and asked if maybe they lost their job or there was a fire that took everything from them because they didn't have homeowners insurance or something traumatic like that. I would tell her that she didn't know their situation and that she shouldn't make assumptions. I was 8. Now, I am grateful that I didn't grow up with the same views as she has. She's an amazing, don't get me wrong, but has a difficulty with making assumptions about people all too quickly and sticking with them. Thanks for a beautiful lens and good for you for making a difference in your own life so you could help others. I have been inspired. Blessed!

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      ajsanders100 5 years ago

      I really enjoyed reading your story about you've been homeless and its a honor to have a person like you to be able too write a good article on your website and you have a lots of good information about being homelessness.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have been homeless before. It was only for a brief moment in time, but none the less I was homeless. I came to realize that not every homeless person has an addiction. I believe that a lot of homeless people are homeless due to mental illnesses. During this time, I felt sad and depressed about these people. It felt like there was no hope for these people. It felt like society has cast these people to the wayside. I know that there are places that help people dealing with being homeless, but feel like it's not enough.

    • tiffanywillis1 profile image

      tiffanywillis1 5 years ago

      Why, why would anyone criticize her for not donating to homeless causes? She's trying to make an honest living. Keep up the good work!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      You helped me feel empathy. thank you so much!

    • PatriciaLi profile image

      PatriciaLi 5 years ago

      I am very much moved by your lens, thank you for sharing with us, and I wish you good health and happiness.

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      JoshSteinRealtor 5 years ago

      I have a friend who is currently living in a shelter with her daughter because she does not have enough money to pay for child care to work...she is not a bum, she is in school but circumstances have left her homeless. Thank you for sharing your story.

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      Karafine 5 years ago

      I wanted to clarify my vote. Whether a homeless person can 'go back' to society depends on WHY they are homeless to begin with. If they are homeless because of financial circumstances, then probably yes. But mental illness or health issues are a bigger obstacle.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      In short: thanks for sharing your experiences and knowledge about homelessness (via the many lenses you've written); I am pained by the pain you've sustained; I just don't know how you were able to persist through such painful experiences. I have never been homeless and so I can't speak to what I would really feel.For all interested parties: How many more assaults against homeless people, such as those sustained by Kylyssa, must we endure before we say enough is enough? 10 more? 100 more? 10,000 more? 10 million more?I remember stopping one day and handing a 'brother' some money (I don't remember if he was homeless, but he seemed to be sincerely in need); I was just trying to sincerely lift his spirits. I think I caught him off-guard b/c he was immediately shocked when I reached out of the car window with some money; to me, it seemed as if he had already concluded that I, this white person (me), 'ain't gonna give a rat's (behind)' about him; so sad.I've just begun trying to understand the condition of homelessness. Thus far, I believe it is a complex problem requiring a complex (or, rather, a holistic) solution. That is, society as a whole is going to have to work/come together to find a solution. Just a psychologist, or just a politician, or just a sociologist, or some limited combination thereof, is just not going to cut it. I've seen many charities staffed with several kinds of professionals but still the condition of homelessness continues relentlessly. Of course, I commend all those entities (charities, companies, you, me, etc) lending a helping hand, but I believe it's not enough. Maybe we should start by re-educating the average person and help him/her understand that homelessness is an assault against humanity and it could happen to any one of us. Well, is it really an assault or is just my feeble belief?I don't want to go to far off on a tangent but I believe that the condition of homelessness, from a philosophical perspective, isn't much different than, for example, modern-day racism, slavery, segregation, or discrimination against the LGBT community for me, they are all assaults against humanity. But I have some really nagging questions in the back of mind: Why should I have to force some entity to help me to help us to eradicate homelessness (or some other similarly assaulting condition)?!? Who the @$ am I to force anyone to do anything that I believe in?!? Is enacting a man-made law to eradicate homelessness the answer?!? Do we also enact a law to stop bullying?!? How about assaults against short people?!? Assaults against people with naturally green hair (b/c maybe one day there might exist a medical condition that causes someone to have green hair)?!? How many laws must we enact?!? Is enacting a law the only way to get people to behave?!?Nonetheless, I am on a mission to better understand assaults against humanity/this Universe. I am glad to see many of you are already aware of this assault against humanity, known as the condition of homelessness. But, are you aware of any others? Which ones? Do you think you engage in any passive or silent assaults against humanity (eg: walking by a person lieing on the sidewalk, motionless) or do you think you're assault-free? That's for you to think about and yes, of course, I would be delighted to listen to your perspective.Djupiter2011 at gmail dot com

    • Sana139 profile image

      Sana139 5 years ago

      I know someone who is homeless now.Good lens.

    • Chaddicus profile image

      Chaddicus 5 years ago

      This is really incredible. I wish you all the best in your life.

    • beckyf profile image

      beckyf 5 years ago

      This is an excellent and eye-opening lens. Thank you for sharing.

    • manchester lm profile image

      manchester lm 5 years ago

      I've never been homeless myself or even close to it.But your story is a profound one and very moving indeed. Thank you for your generous honesty.

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      CalamariFritti 5 years ago

      This is such a great series of lenses! Fantastic job dispelling a lot of common misconceptions about homelessness and homeless people. I put in a nomination for lens of the day. Best of luck to you!

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      VoodooRULEs 5 years ago

      On the question above about reintegration into society... I understand why most of society must think this is the ultimate goal, but as hard as it is being homeless. I don't think society is the one who should be making decisions about the homeless person. If we take that last personal decision away from them...

    • deanna6812 profile image

      deanna6812 5 years ago

      I work in a homeless shelter here in Canada, and have for the past four years. It's an issue I'm passionate about, and I commend you for sharing your own personal story. Thank you for being so open and honest. I have to say, I have heard some horrifying stories, especially since I work with women. Again, thank you for sharing.

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      love4rocks 5 years ago

      What a great lens. Good bless you. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kylyssa profile image
      Author

      Kylyssa Shay 5 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @ZachMedaris: Thank you for your comment. It has inspired me to go ahead with several things I've been meaning to write about the after-effects of homelessness both from my personal experience and from the stories of other homeless or formerly homeless people. It's going to be difficult to write because, you are absolutely correct, there are life-long aftereffects. Some of those effects of homelessness didn't even hit me until years later.

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      ZachMedaris 5 years ago

      I'm commenting on account of the poll "do you think homeless people can come back to society?", and also to give you my thoughts on this lens and yourself.I believe a homeless person may always come back to society with the right stuff (power of will, strength in the mind and / or body, and sometimes a little luck), but I also believe that not every homeless person will. As you described your personal thoughts in this mini-me of your full story, it's not hard to imagine how many others feel, or what their position in all of this is.Those of a weaker will. Those of a weaker mind or body. Those who are older than the "peak age", or those that are younger. Those that have deficiencies that are no fault of their own, such as your aspergers or PTSD, because let's face it, yours wasn't the worse situation a homeless person can be in... even as horrible as it was. And many more. These people have even less of a chance of surviving, a less chance of coming back to "civilized society", as some might call it. By the way, I call bullsh*t on that "claim" for society.One other thing that isn't mentioned on your magnificent lens: the long-term damage that can be influenced by being homeless for any period of time. All of the days, weeks, months, or years lost... this time that, for many others, is usually spent advancing their already greatly started lives in some way, shape or form. While a homeless person struggles to just get back on the level everyone says they should be, they could have just as easily been furthering their own careers, educations, families, or other ambitions. This is another invisible fact of homelessness.I believe any person can come from being homeless to being "just like everybody else". Sadly, I can not say all of them, or even a majority of them, will be able to.I commend you for your undaunted strength and fortitude in this time of harsh and unforgivable situations. You truly are one in a million. I have only read this lens so far, but I will read every other one you linked to from here. You deserve an award, a nomination on some kind of famous level, something.Good luck to you, and godspeed to your future.

    • QuinnWolf LM profile image

      QuinnWolf LM 5 years ago

      Great lens. It's a crying same humanity doesn't take care of their own. In a country like the US, there is absolutely no reason why anybody should be living on the streets. I hate to sound socalist but if people like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg distributed 1/100th of their wealth this problem would not exist.

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      savekris 5 years ago

      Wow! Thank you for sharing your personal experiences. This is a humbling lens to say the least.

    • mgs249 profile image

      mgs249 5 years ago

      No, I've never been homeless, but make a small income so sympathize with the homeless.

    • brendayoungerman profile image

      brendayoungerman 5 years ago

      this is a great lens...and you are quite a brave woman. I work with a great organization and help the homeless. I am featuring your lens on mine!

    • AFernandez1 profile image

      AFernandez1 5 years ago

      I have known people who were homeless and I know how the domino effect of bad luck can kick your legs out from underneath you. Good luck to you. This is a great article.

    • profilesincolor profile image

      profilesincolor 5 years ago

      Excellent Lens! Heartfelt, Informed, Gutsy, and Cool! :-)

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      JCEverett 5 years ago

      I knew some of the reasons why people become homeless. It's nice to look at it from a insider point of view. You show alot of resilience despite the harships you face. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • EcoGecko LM profile image

      EcoGecko LM 5 years ago

      Wow I'm so glad that you were lucky enough to find that $100's. It's really sad to see homeless on the street and as a student I know that I relay on my parents and family to help me and that without them I would find it very difficult to continue studying. It's great to hear of someone who can get out of homelessness and I think by just making people aware of what homelessness is like you are helping people who are still homeless.

    • Chris-H LM profile image

      Chris-H LM 5 years ago

      You know Kylyssa, you can use Paypal to solicit small donations and they can provide you with a debit card that you can use. Just a thought...

    • Chris-H LM profile image

      Chris-H LM 5 years ago

      There's nothing really to say. Words just aren't enough.I'd prefer to give you a hug.I found your story about Justus to be particularly moving. It brought tears to my eyes.

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      MojoTheAwesome 5 years ago

      Wow, excellent lens. Very inspirational. Good luck to you all

    • BSieracki profile image

      Bernie 5 years ago from Corbin, KY

      if you would work where i work and live where i live you would almost wish for homelessness

    • KellyMartinSpeaks profile image

      Kelly Martin 5 years ago from GLOUCESTER

      Thankyou. Your lens is truly inspirational, informative and supportive. It has opened my heart and my mind even more and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your experience. xx

    • BlackHeart1 profile image

      BlackHeart1 5 years ago

      Great lens.. I would like to feature it in my Top 5 Squidoo Community Lens..if you agree just reply here http://www.squidoo.com/top-5-directory

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      NYThroughTheLens 5 years ago

      This was such a powerful lens to read through. I find that homelessness, especially here in New York City, is something that many people pretend does not exist. The homeless are treated as invisible entities because they remind people that anyone can end up without a home and many people don't like to face that reality. This was such an emotionally wrenching topic to not only cover but share since you experienced homelessness. Thank you.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is a very good lens. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    • Michelle1959 profile image

      Michelle1959 5 years ago

      I think it's taken incredible guts to write what you have! The explanation of my vote: sometimes victims are too psychologically traumatised to ever return to a normal type of home life again and they unfortunately yearn for the only place they came to know as a type of freedom with all it's dangers, starvation et al. It ironically becomes 'home' for them too because the only people who can befriend and truly understand are those in the same situation. I've re-read or studied your story and wonder if dear Justus didn't perhaps touch your own heart and psyche in a profound way with perhaps contributed to when you found the money. With a very captivating writing style you've certainly touched me very deeply and I can only hope and pray that you experience comfort, relief and are able to do a lot more writing. By my vote you'll know I've been there too albeit the circumstances have been vastly different, it's a bitter fight just to be a human again by the external standards a cold world sets.

    • pheonix76 profile image

      pheonix76 5 years ago from WNY

      Thank you for sharing your story with us. It is shocking to think of so many people in America without homes and food to eat. This is a lens everyone should read and a topic we all need to know about.

    • TeamDealStartsH profile image

      TeamDealStartsH 5 years ago

      Thanks for the touching post, I never knew how much homeless people struggled and why they'd become homeless. Thanks for the informative Lens.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have known many homeless people. I have served at the soup kitchens. I pray you dreams come true and god blesses you with his abundance.

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      LegoLegoLego 5 years ago

      I knew someone who was it`s a terrible circumstance to be in it`s very degrading to some folk but he`s now off the streets and living a good life :) this is a great lens i love what your doing here well done :)

    • dafreesan lm profile image

      dafreesan lm 5 years ago

      great article, i'm reading all lenses by u regarding this topic, yes i've been homeless in past for few months, and i know some people who r homeless. it takes lots of courage and mental toughness to come out of this kind of situations. your speaking skills can help u many times.

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      sluggasteve 5 years ago

      I voted "other". I was homeless for a small period of time and lived in a window-less garage for 2 years as well. Things get tough. But one thing I noticed is you never come out completely the same. Whether feeling overwhelmed being around crowds, or even just around a few people. Every person is unique. That is why I do not believe every single homeless person will be able to integrate back into society. Some yes. Some no.

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      Jack-in-the-Box 5 years ago

      I see them everyday. I live in the inner city. I want to help, but I am afraid. Too many times we hear of people being attacked on the street. Your information helped me and I will try to help the ones I see, but in a safe way. Thank you for bringing this subject to our attention.

    • Charmgal profile image

      Charmgal 5 years ago

      Thank You for sharing. I know it was very difficult for you.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 5 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for letting us read your very moving lens. Yes I feel for you. When I was 18 I had a experience that I do not talk about, I tried to kill myself, but survived, it made a better person of me. Now I have a very loving caring family, I am here to support them, that's what families should be. All the best for your future..

    • Jessica-Burde profile image

      Jessica Burde 5 years ago from Lehighton, PA

      Expanding on "other" response to poll: I would expect that an extended time being homeless would have a mental/emotional effect much like surviving a war or massive abuse, which would make it difficult to reintegrate into society. Factor in that many people became homeless after massive trauma, and may already be suffering from PTSD when they end up without a place to live, and I would expect that reintegrating would be at least as difficult as it is for a vet. Which doesn't mean it isn't possible, but how possible will depend on the individual, the resources available to them and the people they are dealing with at the time.

    • OrganicMom247 profile image

      OrganicMom247 5 years ago

      wow, that was truly inspiring. I am happy with what you are right now.

    • Kylyssa profile image
      Author

      Kylyssa Shay 5 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @Ayers4christ: A lot of homeless people don't need rehabilitation, they just need help getting a job and a home. 100% of the teens and young adults I took into my home over the years went on to homes of their own. Only one young man had what I call a "wobble" (through no fault of his own) and moved back in with me for a few months several years after he first lived with me. I did zero "rehabilitation" because there was nothing to rehabilitate, just people without homes and without families who cared for them.

    • moskit profile image

      moskit 5 years ago

      Sometimes it only takes one thing to change our lives for the better or worse.Blessing well deserved!

    • Ayers4christ profile image

      Ayers4christ 5 years ago

      @Cluense LM: Thank God for people like you, Cluense!

    • Ayers4christ profile image

      Ayers4christ 5 years ago

      What an eye-opening lens. My husband and I started a ministry at our church a few months ago that we call "Second Mile Ministry". We are building friendships at a local park with people who happen to be homeless. We hope to be in a position to help rehabilitate them someday. For now, we are showing them love and acceptance simply for being who they are. My good friend and ministry partner wrote this lens about it: http://www.squidoo.com/second-mile-ministry

    • Rockett LM profile image

      Rockett LM 5 years ago

      God bless Justus. I am very touched by your series of lenses on homlessness. Thank you for sharing and for your insights.

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      valsquidoo 5 years ago

      I balled my eyes out over your story of Justin :(

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @Cluense LM: I don't know why exactly... But I just got teary-eyed when reading this. It is so nice to know that there are people like that in this world.

    • Cluense LM profile image

      Cluense LM 5 years ago

      In Sept of 2010 a guy that my husband worked with got layed off from work. He became homeless. A few weeks later, my husband found out he was living under a bridge. My husband went and brought him home. He has lived in our ($1,400) shed since Oct 2010. We got him on his feet, gave him an address, straightened out his taxes (even got him a refund!), got him a voter registration card, birth certificate, State ID so he could look for work, and allow him access to the house when ever he wants to. (He has his own key). He can now look for work and when we know he is stable we will help him find his own place to live. I know most people would not do this. However, My husband and two daughters are not "most people" We walk the walk not talk the talk! It is an honor to help out someone who needs it and I thank God for you and this lens! Thank you for sharing!

    • Cluense LM profile image

      Cluense LM 5 years ago

      In Sept of 2010 a guy that my husband worked with got layed off from work. He became homeless. A few weeks later, my husband found out he was living under a bridge. My husband went and brought him home. He has lived in our ($1,400) shed since Oct 2010. We got him on his feet, gave him an address, straightened out his taxes (even got him a refund!), got him a voter registration card, birth certificate, State ID so he could look for work, and allow him access to the house when ever he wants to. (He has his own key). He can now look for work and when we know he is stable we will help him find his own place to live. I know most people would not do this. However, My husband and two daughters are not "most people" We walk the walk not talk the talk! It is an honor to help out someone who needs it and I thank God for you and this lens! Thank you for sharing!

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      kingtekrin 5 years ago

      Plenty of friends have been homeless, and ive come within centimeters of it...Thankfully I had a wonderful father who helped me out when I needed it most...which is what made his suicide harder to deal with than if I had never known him.

    • Calliope LM profile image

      Calliope LM 5 years ago

      This was so moving to me. Thank you so much

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 5 years ago

      Very touching, I am so happy you found that money! And I will never again refer to the homeless, but to people. I wish you could have found Justus.

    • lbos114 profile image

      lbos114 5 years ago

      Great lens! I have served at a local homeless shelter since the 8th grade faithfully on Friday's. The fall after graduating high school I found myself living in that very shelter... Still serving there today! And still dealing with financial difficulties also, very inspiring lens!

    • KristyMoon profile image

      KristyMoon 6 years ago

      A touching story and I will always believe that there is hope- hope in humanity.

    • DTalksAll LM profile image

      DTalksAll LM 6 years ago

      Your story touched my heart. I wish you all the best!

    • grandma deal profile image

      grandma deal 6 years ago

      I was so touched to see you listed my Hats For Homeless lens as a way to help. My friend, Debbie, was homeless for a while. She was the one who actually got me started on my project. I had a bunch of hats made and wanted to give them to people. She took me to the Day Center in Tulsa where she had spent some time. I've been going back with more hats ever since. Also, good people from all across the U.S.A. have been sending yarn, hats, scarves, gloves and mittens to donate. Some have sent several boxes. There are still a lot of good folks around. Thank you for sharing. You're doing an awesome job.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I can emphasise with you a lot as i was homeless for nearly a year and i suffered terribly...i am ex army wich helped i think but i would go many days without eating and when winter his the life was slowly ebbing from me i also learned that most of humanity are cruel nasty and couldnt care less although i do recognise that there are some good souls but few and far between...i still think of my experience now..i thought special forces was hard but living homeless hits you on so many levels and certainly leaves you soul scarred....anyway i had to swallow my ego pride and did some dramatic things to get my self out of it and am now comfortable and well....i akways think of the suffering in this world and the realisation when i see people in the streets or towns that they dont have a clue wrapped in there bubbles

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      JoshK47 6 years ago

      Thank you very much for sharing this lens. It's content like this that keeps me coming back to Squidoo to gain insight in the lives of others.

    • SylviaRolfe profile image

      SylviaRolfe 6 years ago

      Thank you for the touching lens. I wish you all the best in your struggles with your mental issues. Being bipolar myself, I know how difficult daily life can be. Best wishes.

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      huvalbd 6 years ago

      I've mentioned before that you have some great lenses. This is the one that first brought you to my attention. It still bowls me over. I love your lens.

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 6 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this story. My dad went homeless for almost a year in the last few years of his life. To this day I don't know why. In his case he chose to walk away from his job and be homeless. I wrote about it on a lens dedicated to him called the Story of a Vietnam Veteran.

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 6 years ago from So Cal

      We have quite a bit of experience with people who are homeless which is one reason we adopted our grandson. I do believe that for those who want to, can and do rejoin society. There are those who choose not to and they must be respected as well. Angel blessed because this topic is not so pleasant and many people would not be exposed to it if you hadn't shared it with us.

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 6 years ago

      My Angel Blessing today is SWAH :)

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      GreenScreen 6 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your story and letting us see a little bit of how one would live the life of a homeless person with your tips on surviving.

    • marketmasterpro profile image

      marketmasterpro 6 years ago

      I love people who share their heart! Thank you!

    • Krafick profile image

      Krafick 6 years ago

      Good job.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thank you so much for such a wonderful lens

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 6 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Came back to bless this important beautifully written and very personal lens.

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      jordanbowman 6 years ago

      Great lens, an eye-opener.

    • greenkat lm profile image

      greenkat lm 6 years ago

      Your "turning point" story gave me goose bumps - what a difference a 100 bucks can make for someone striving to better themselves! FANTASTIC lens. Thank-You so much for giving us some prospective from a homeless person

    • hayleylou lm profile image

      hayleylou lm 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your story. **Blessed** and featured on My Time as a Squid Angel :)

    • RuthieDenise profile image

      RuthieDenise 6 years ago

      A very good lens. Keep it up. It was an eye opener.

    • KeenanSteel profile image

      KeenanSteel 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your experiences. It makes me want to hit the streets for a few nights just to get a better insight into what goes on.

    • jnstewart profile image

      John Norman Stewart 6 years ago from Cottonwood, CA

      This is an amazing first hand experience. I always try to have eye contact with street people and smile. So many people turn away.....

    • jeremecausing profile image

      Jereme Causing 6 years ago from Philippines

      You lens is good... so it really happened to you

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      sugunalinus 6 years ago

      Really a nice and touching lens.

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      Craftybegonia 6 years ago

      You made me cry! My mom and I do charity work for women in homelss shelters who are there because of abuse. I try to make for them the most lovly winter things I can. I had a friend who was raped and I was the only one who would listen to her over and over talk about her pain. I salute you! I wish you the best. I voted up your lens as well, it is a worthwhile read.

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      vickeylynn 6 years ago

      Its so sad in this country of so much that people have to live this way... There is no such thing as emergency housing even with hud.. In this town, there isnt to much lodging for the woman that dont have any childrent o go to... If you have kids there is a place, if you are a man, there is a shelter, if you are a battered woman there is a shelter but nothing for the woman without children.. and even then there isnt to many places to go...My heart goes out to these people and in todays economy, unless you are making a great income, you cant afford the rent. How do single people or one income surviving? Just barely, if at all... No wonder this society is so full of people with substance abuse problems, I think some of them have just given up.... and it shouldnt be this way at all... We should help those in need , no matter how they got to this point... With all the vacant buildings in this town, I wish someone who had some clout would wake up and make more places available for these people. It could put them back into society again and help them to become productive and probably save their lives....

    • juliannegentile profile image

      Julianne Gentile 6 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio, US

      I wish you all the best. Your story is incredibly moving. Blessings to you as well.

    • Harshitha LM profile image

      Harshitha LM 6 years ago

      Very touching... God bless people like Justus....

    • stuhaynes lm profile image

      stuhaynes lm 6 years ago

      Of all the lenses that have arrived at #1 (that I've read) this one truly deserves it.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      Thank you for speaking out. I aspire to be a Justus in the lives of those who need a guardian angel. Compassion makes all the difference. Many blessings to you.

    • EuroSquid LM profile image

      EuroSquid LM 6 years ago

      Kylyssa: This is an amazing lens. I read it the first time quite a while ago. But since this is my first day as a Squid Angel, I wanted to drop by a give it a blessing.

    • Philippians468 profile image

      Philippians468 6 years ago

      your story has touched me deeply..thank you so much for this honest perspective of your life..

    • profile image

      sustainableartist 6 years ago

      Your story about your trauma and meeting Justus brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing your experiences, they are a big eye-opener. Favorited, and will pass it along.

    • Blonde Blythe profile image

      Blonde Blythe 6 years ago

      Awesome lens! You educated the rest of us about what it's like to be homeless, and you made us feel as if were experiencing it right along with you. Great job!

    • JeremiahStanghini profile image

      JeremiahStanghini 6 years ago

      I've never been homeless myself, but I have a great deal of compassion for those who have been. When I followed my feelings and moved to New Zealand, there was a time where finding a place to sleep for the night took up the better part of my day. I never had to sleep on the street, but it was an experience that taught me a great deal of life lessons. Thank you so much for writing this lens and illuminating the 'world' that doesn't have to worry about any of the things that homeless people do.With Love and Gratitude,Jeremiah

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      MrUriah 6 years ago

      I see some of the stigma homeless people get. I manage 24 hour convenience stores and it's our policy to have the police "remove vagrants from the property. They make us look bad and make our property less safe."I say, what's it matter is someone takes a nap or sleeps all night in a safe, well lit environment? I certainly wish I had something like that when I was homeless. The closest I was able to come was Denny's (many people are unaware, but so long as you are a paying customer, ie, you could purchase a cup of coffee, and nothing more, they are not allowed to kick you out unless you cause a problem).I also learned much from that experience: The redcross gives vouchers to stay in hotel rooms. That sometimes people don't know what they're talking about, ie, homeless people "don't want to work" (I had two jobs, I just couldn't afford a home), they syphon off the government for a living (I didn't even know how to apply for welfare), they're dirty (I bathed in a sink at least twice a day), and they're uneducated (I tutored college students at the Denny's I worked at for extra cash so I could eat).Sometimes life just hands you a bad ticket and you have to run with it. Thank you for putting this out here so people like myself can point ignorant people here and show them what it can really be like to be homeless.

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      glenanail 6 years ago

      I was very touched by your story. Kudos to you for beating homelessness and doing it with very little family or friend support. I am seriously hoping life will be brighter from now on. I know that it's difficult as it is to live with a disabillity. I have added you on lensroll for over 20 of my lenses, I hope that people will be encouraged to drop by your lens and help you in some way or another. All my best wishes for 2011.

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      ratetea 6 years ago

      I find this really powerful too. I became aware of homelessness when I lived in Cleveland and talked with a few homeless people briefly, but I didn't begin to really understand it until I began talking to the homeless people of New Haven, CT, where the cost of living is much higher. It was then I realized how and why people get homeless and how genuinely difficult it is for them. I also realized how similar I was to homeless people...they aren't any less intelligent or dedicated than me, the main difference in most cases is that they have little or no family or friend support structure, usually by tragedies totally beyond their control. I hope this story of yours can motivate people to take action, and also can make them more sensitive to the issues facing homeless people.

    • Oracle Post profile image

      Oracle Post 6 years ago

      a moving, inspirational story. i think your lens can inspire a lot of people out there, and I hope people will help the less fortunate more in this new year!

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      ideadesigns 6 years ago

      This hit me too. Especially the man (angel) who wiped your face. So sorry you had to go through it and yes they are PEOPLE. I can't help but say God blessed you in your storm. You are making people much more aware of hurting people. Love and blessings and love your heartfelt story.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I have read hundreds of lenses but none have ever hit me in the chest quite like this. A very inspirational story, I hope that it makes people pause for a second to think of others. Amazing what a hundred dollar bill can do.

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      Steve-SEO-UK 6 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your story and I do hope a lot of people read this lens to gain insight and hopefully help rather than persecute the homeless.

    • stefanruse profile image

      stefanruse 6 years ago

      I wish to have more money to help all the homeless and poor people around the World.

    • JaredB profile image

      JaredB 6 years ago

      Touching story. I am glad you made it out! It is important to do some volunteer work for the homeless, because, like you say, they are people who deserve it.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I am a teacher and deal with children every day that are homeless, it is a much bigger problem than most people know. Thank you for your bravery in sharing your story so that others might learn of the issues that homeless people have to deal with. God bless.

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      glowchick 6 years ago

      I know that it awas dificult to share, but thank you for your courage and giving all of us an eye opening lens.

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      GrowWear 6 years ago

      Stopping by this wonderful Purple Star lens to wish you happy holidays and a wonderful new year.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I deliberately return to your brutally honest lenses time and time again to remind myself of the fine line we all walk every single day of our lives. One step this way and all is well, one step the other way and bad stuff can happen. Kylyssa, I sincerely hope the new year brings peace to you,

    • dismantlerepair profile image

      dismantlerepair 6 years ago

      A massively eyeopening lens on the lives of the homeless. God Bless Justus

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Wow... i learned a lot.. I can see your experience through this lens.... Really worth for reading.... liked it.. thanks for sharing this great lens with us.....:)

    • JVandewalker LM profile image

      JVandewalker LM 6 years ago

      This lens made me stop and think about how every homeless person has a story. Thank you for sharing your story and helping people who may one day be forced out of their home.

    • jackieb99 profile image

      jackieb99 6 years ago

      I learned a lot. Thank you for opening my eyes.

    • Kylyssa profile image
      Author

      Kylyssa Shay 6 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @fbaum818: "There are a lot of people who are homeless or close, who don't deserve to be." - Yes, and that's all of them!

    • BeaGabrielle1 profile image

      BeaGabrielle1 6 years ago

      Such an inspiring story. thank you for sharing.

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      SquidooEconomy 6 years ago

      THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR FINDING THE STRENGTH TO SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES WITH US..........A FEW YEARS AGO I WAS THIS CLOSE OF BEING HOMELESS

    • fbaum818 profile image

      fbaum818 6 years ago

      Thank you. I know that this is a big concern, with the recent economic downturn. There are a lot of people who are homeless or close, who don't deserve to be. Thank you for this lens.

    • Cashflowmaker LM profile image

      Cashflowmaker LM 6 years ago

      Wow, I had no idea how bad it was with life on the streets. My wife and I always try to help out those less fortunate when we see them on the streets. Where I worked as a security guard many years ago it was a hangout spot for them. One of them had a dog, we bought him all kinds of toys and dog treats, gave out sleeping bags. One night I even purchased 3 large pizzas and a 2 liter of soda for all of us to eat dinner. They were very grateful. Thanks for the real perspective of life on the streets.

    • antoivo lm profile image

      antoivo lm 6 years ago

      I WAS IN THIS POSITION MYSELF ONCE AND ITS NOT A NICE FEELING So many people turn their noses up at people that are homeless which is not a nice thing. There are so many reasons why a person becomes homeless and its unfair to pass judgement on people who are down on their look (IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU) One thing i learned when i was homeless is never to take life for granted!

    • Geekgurl profile image

      Kimberly Hiller 6 years ago from Chicago

      This article makes me think of people less fortunate than I. It gives you a real understanding of how lucky some of us our, and how some people suffer everyday. You are truly an inspiration!

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      skatemadness 6 years ago

      I think this is a great topic. My family and I have been at the way bottom before. I remember digging in the Mcdonalds trash at 2am ever morning. That was about 15 years ago now and things are better now for me and my family. I would like to say to anyone that is homeless. You can't wait for someone to make a change in your life for you. You have to want to do better for yourself. And be stubborn every day. These days my wife and I own a small discount store to help people that don't have much money. And we always take food to the homeless shelters about once every two weeks or so. God blessed me with a wonderful family who pulled together through those bad times and now we work together as family in our store to help people through these tough times. God bless all of you. And thank you Kylyssa for bringing this up it doesn't come up very much any more.

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      arditjandra 6 years ago

      This is a true eye-opener. A truly personal and evocative piece of writing. Thank you for sharing this.

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      RuthCoffee 6 years ago

      Started reading this lens and got side tracked on some of your related ones...anyway, excellent. I'm glad you've had the opportunity and the bravery to write these.

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      TWOnline2 6 years ago

      u r in the position to help many others.

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      You're a real champion for homeless people. Great job. Blessed by an angel.

    • profile image

      Countchocula342 6 years ago

      Hello, I am new to squidoo and am trying to get exposure to my lenses. I would like to know if anyone would be interested in listing my lenses in thier links in return i will list thier lenses in my links ( no matter how many). Just contact me at countchocula342@yahoo.com Thanks for your time :) P.S. I love your lense, I cant immagine what it must have been like to be homeless.

    • Dawoud-Williams profile image

      D Williams 6 years ago

      Very important words which should serve as a reminder to all of us. Thank You!!

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      ZazzleEnchante 6 years ago

      A must-read for everyone in these hard times. Blessed by a SquidAngel.

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      enabdesigns 6 years ago

      This lens was unbelievably moving and helped me to put into perspective what I might consider a really bad day. Thank you for sharing your story and that of many others.

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      asianxkutiee 6 years ago

      I am so sorry. It's hard to understand what you have been through. But, I wish you the best of luck.

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      scar4 6 years ago

      The idea of homeless bothers me for a long time since my dad passed away. I'm still in college and unable to earn a penny to pay the tuition loan and other debts. I thought I may become a homeless beggar or something like that in order to survive. Then, an angel came to help me and changed my life totally.

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