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Homeless People,living on the Streets in our Towns .

Updated on November 12, 2012

Diary of a Homeless Man

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Let's hope it works!


Helping the homeless

Being Homeless

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    • realtalk247 profile image

      realtalk247 2 years ago

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

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

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri

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

    • Gypsy Willow profile image
      Author

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

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

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri

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

    • Gypsy Willow profile image
      Author

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

      Hi cygnetbrown

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

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri

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

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

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

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

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

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • Gypsy Willow profile image
      Author

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

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

    • loveofnight profile image

      loveofnight 4 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

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

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

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

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 4 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

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

    • Gypsy Willow profile image
      Author

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

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

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

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

    • profile image

      freak_2013 4 years ago

      MY STORY:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Gypsy Willow profile image
      Author

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

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

    • andromida profile image

      syras mamun 4 years ago

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

    • Gypsy Willow profile image
      Author

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

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

    • mizjo profile image

      mizjo 4 years ago from New York City, NY

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

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

    • Gypsy Willow profile image
      Author

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

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

    • Gypsy Willow profile image
      Author

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

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

    • profile image

      gerald 4 years ago

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

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 4 years ago from California, United States of America

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

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

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

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 4 years ago from California, United States of America

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

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

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

      Thanks for the kind comment

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 4 years ago from Boise, Idaho

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

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

    • Laurinzo Scott profile image

      Live To Write 5 years ago from Phoenix, Az.

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

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

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

    • Laurinzo Scott profile image

      Live To Write 5 years ago from Phoenix, Az.

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

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

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

    • Kristine Manley profile image

      Donna Kristine 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

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

    • KDee411 profile image

      KDee411 5 years ago from Bay Area, California

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

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

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

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

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

    • Gypsy Willow profile image
      Author

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

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

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear Gypsy,

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

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

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

      I voted up and awesome

      Happy New Year.

      debbie

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

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

    • Gypsy Willow profile image
      Author

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

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

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

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

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

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

    • jesusmyjoy profile image

      Betty Bolden 5 years ago from Bucyrus Ohio

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

    • Gypsy Willow profile image
      Author

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

      Thank you Bernard for this wonderful addition to my hub.

    • sunkentreasure profile image

      BERNARD LEVINE 5 years ago from RUIMSIG, SOUTH AFRICA

      AWESOME LOVE By BERNARD LEVINE

      To go to the ends of the world

      to help a stranger

      To give someone incredible kindness

      they will never forget

      To treat animals and all of nature

      with respect and compassion

      These are the things that give life true purpose.

      To value your special uniqueness

      as a beautiful child of God

      To elevate your mind

      with the higher value of integrity

      To upgrade your living environment

      planting seeds to enrich the soul

      To give a child caring devotion

      so they feel they are loved

      To rise above your circumstances

      with faith in the power of God

      And with the purity of healing love

      in your heart

      your life will know no boundaries.

      © Bernard Levine

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

      Thanks again Frank!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

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

    • Gypsy Willow profile image
      Author

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

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

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 5 years ago from US

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

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

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

    • psychicdog.net profile image

      psychicdog.net 5 years ago

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

    • Gypsy Willow profile image
      Author

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

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

    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 5 years ago from Florida

      Hi Gypsy Willow,

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

      JT

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

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

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

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

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

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

    • profile image

      SusieQ42 5 years ago

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

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

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

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      Ireno Alcala 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

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

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

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

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      A Little TRUTH 6 years ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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      platinumOwl4 6 years ago

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

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

      Thank you Dim.

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      Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain

      Beautifully written. May God bless you for caring.

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

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

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      GNelson 6 years ago from Florida

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

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

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

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      RunAbstract 6 years ago from USA

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

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

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

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      Mr. Happy 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

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

      All the very best to you!

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

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

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      Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

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

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

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

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

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      Ashley TKL 6 years ago

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

      Pleased.

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

      Daffodil, thanks for reading

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      daffodil2010 6 years ago

      thoughtful hub. thanks for sharing

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

      We are so lucky Hummingbird. Thanks for dropping by.

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

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

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      Hummingbird5356 6 years ago

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

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      Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

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

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

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

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      ChristineVianello 6 years ago from Philadelphia

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

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

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

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

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

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      Genna East 6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

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

    • Peter Dickinson profile image

      Peter Dickinson 6 years ago from South East Asia

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

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

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

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      trimar7 6 years ago from New York

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

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

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

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 6 years ago from Ohio

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

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

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

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      Sharilee Swaity 6 years ago from Canada

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

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

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

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      World-Traveler 6 years ago from USA

      I know of that which you write.

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

      Thank you Micky. May you be blessed too.

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      Micky Dee 6 years ago

      God bless you Gypsy Willow.

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

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

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      Joanie 6 years ago

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

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

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

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      Lori J Latimer 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

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