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Homeless but not Phoneless
Recently, I had begun to find it more and more difficult to find continuity of work in my trade (building).
In the last year I have been staying away from home anyway going where I could find work and I've always managed to find someone with a building project for me to jump on but this year for the first time ever there was a period when there was NOTHING, ZILCH, NADA!
Not only that - for the first time I have found people I've done work for unable to pay me outright or unable to pay the full amount.
It is frustrating to say the least.
The economic situation at present leaves a lot to be desired but it's kind of getting to be a bit of a tired story so I wont go on about it.
So there I was with no where to go, no money and only the petrol in my utility.
I spent one or two nights with friends (also finding it tough), a few nights on a mattress in a factory but not wanting to outstay any welcome anywhere one morning I found myself driving around aimlessly, parking here or there trying to work out what I would do.
I had kind of got to a point of resignation - not exactly quitting but being in a real pickle about how I was going to get out of my situation and get things back on track..and I was hungry on top of it all.
Hard to believe, I know for someone who the bank saw fit to give a house loan to a few years back.
This particularly fine morning I came across a gathering in a local park and found the Our Lady of the Rosary Charity handing out food to other homeless people.
Coming across this gathering lifted my spirits as it is so wonderful knowing that there is always someone or some organization prepared to help when you are in strife or down on your luck.
We got a great meal of sausages, gravy mashed potatoes and vegetables dished out by happy volunteers who kept everything really upbeat!
I met a couple of other homeless blocks who, like me, had really smart phones and the park shelter had a power outlet which some people were using to charge their devices.
That little detail was amusing.
One of the guys I met - a really nice self-confessed alcoholic - used to be a TV technician. Wow, I thought - that used to be a very sought after skill.
Alas, not now. No-one fixes TVs anymore so he was out of work but probably not only for that reason.
He had an impressive knowledge of smart phones. He could tell you which ones had good battery life among some other really useful info. He recommended an app that cut back on the amount of juice your phone battery uses. It is called Juice Defender. Another app he mentioned uses the movement in your phone to charge it's battery! Pretty cool I thought.
His friend had two smartphones and when I asked why he explained he owned one outright while his latest acquisition was a Samsung.
I thought - it is amazing - people who've lost so much or can give up so much but not their internet, phones and tech apps - we really love these things even if we are homeless.
I suppose paying for access to our social networks - phone and internet - will always survive an economic downturn.
It used to be said food. clothing and shelter are our basic needs but perhaps we need to add our PHONES to the equation!
It really says a lot about what people feel they cannot do with out! Friends, family and a device that connects us all - phones!
UPDATE (17/11/2012) - Homelss man jailed for charging cell phone in park!