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Surviving Homelessness In Savannah GA Part Three: How to Find Your Way Home
Remembering Those Who Have Passed.
If you ask some homeless people if they are homeless, they will say things like, "no I live in a tent under a twenty million dollar bridge, how can I be homeless?" Some will even say that they chose to live life outdoors, that they like it! They may say things like this, and yet they are the first ones you hear gripping about their living situations and all the inconveniences that come with this life style.
Another point I would like to make, is that for a long time in the history of this earth, people lived in tents or caves, even during the time when people also lived in houses. I wonder if these people would be considered homeless?
Then there was the nation of Israel that traveled for forty years though the wilderness just trying to make it back "home" to the "Promise Land". Even David, the second king of Israel, was homeless for a time, when he fled to a cave to try and escape King Saul and other enemies. Then there was John The Baptist (who also lived in a cave). Even Jesus, could also be considered homeless for a good part of His ministry.
I myself am in an unusual situation for I live in a tent while I work in a office with three computers for my use. I also consider myself one who has adapted quickly to life outdoors and yet, I am working hard on finding my way out of the woods and back into "mainstream" society. I have one foot in the technical world and one in the woods!
One is also considered to be homeless (by some anyway) if you live in a motel. So does this mean that all the rock stars, construction workers and business men are homeless because they live most of the time in a motel? One upon a time, one was considered lazy, mentally ill, alcoholic or drug addicted if one was homeless, Then "The Great Rescission" happened and that changed everything. I am constantly hearing stories about those who never dreamed they would be in the ranks of the homeless. There are many more that are right on the edge of becoming homeless for they are living paycheck to paycheck.
So that is why my battle cry is...."Be prepared, for it can happen to you!"
The Freedom Song which is connected to Heads Up Guidance Service.
How To Walk In Darkness Without Falling Down.
When one becomes part of the Homeless community it is easy to fall into spiritual and emotional darkness. Dangerous and unpleasant situations are everywhere. It is easy to succumb to depression and thoughts of suicide. It is easy to give up hope and surrender to Alcohol and drug dependency. And yet there is hope, there are ways out of these pitfalls that I have mentioned. Thank God that there are those that make it their life's work to try and help those who are in need. With out their passion to help others, the homeless situation in this world would be much worst.
I have told many people that becoming homeless has been one of the best things that happened to me! The reason why I say this, is because it has brought me closer to God. It has also allowed me to meet some extraordinary people and opened some doors for me that probably never would have been open if I did not go though this situation. Even so, I had to do something that was most difficult and went against my very nature. I had to surrender to God.I had to allow myself to go through changes in my attitude about life.
By surrendering to God's will for me, it was like I was given a new set of eyes, eyes that could see through the spiritual darkness and chaos that surrounded me. With these new set of eyes, I could see God's "greater picture" for me. I found the inner strength and peace I was missing before. The Psalms have been a great inspiration for me and I like to share some of these Psalms and other Bible Verses here, for they seem to directly apply to this situation.
The first Psalm I would like to share is, Psalms 27: 1-2 which states:"The Lord is my light and salvation, who shell I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom should I be afraid?" Then there is Psalm 91 that goes into great detail about how God protects us no matter what might befall us. Last but not least, is Psalms 23 which tells us that even if we walk though "the valley of the Shadow of Death" we have nothing to fear.
The last verse I want to end this section with is in James 1:2 that challenges us to "count it all joy" when we go though trials. The more I look for things to be joyful and positive about the more I found them. At first it was a real challenge for me to train my mind to look for the positive aspects of a trying situation, and yet I found that the more I did this, the more joy and positive things I would find. Practice may not lead to perfection all the time but it defiantly helped in my situation!
Taking Steps Away From Homelessness
When I first became Homeless I started praying to God that he would turn my situation around, and help me "get out of the woods". Then, it seem that the Holy Spirit told me, "if you want to get out of the woods start taking steps!" So I began to find different activities that would be productive and maybe lead me into a situation in which I could find a place to live. I started finding as many opportunities as possible to volunteer so I would be productive. Not only did this give me something meaningful to do, an opportunity to give back, volunteering can also look good on Resume'. It has opened up many other opportunities as well. For now it is in the works for me to have a space to live and also start a business.
This is why I encourage others that are unemployed or, "under employed" to do volunteer work. Especially if it is a line of work that one wants to get payed for. For example, I write articles, adds, write/produce PSA's (Public Service Announcements) and I am helping to build two websites for two separate organizations that I believe in!
It is also important to be around positive people, people that want to see you succeed. People that got your interest at heart. Seek out those agencies that can help you in what ever your need may be, wither it be counseling mental issues or drug dependency. Do not go though this alone, seek help.
What a lot of people may not realize is that "living out doors" can actually help you develop skills that may be transferred into the "work world". It has helped me to be more observant of my surroundings. It also gave me a greater patience and perseverance. It has taught me how to be less judgmental of the people that I come in contact with. It has humbled me.
And I did not learn these skills on my own, these skill were honed in me by those professionals and other Christians that reached out to help me. I now have deep appreciation of two organisations that gave me guidance a sympathetic ear. I have written some about these organizations in my article "Hope For The Homeless In Savannah GA." One is the Savannah Baptist Center and the other is Heads Up Guidance Services. Both of these organizations has enriched my life greatly. In fact, both the "Freedom Song" video and the PSA I have downloaded on this post are from Heads up Guidance Services, and the CD for the "Freedom Song" is on can be purchased form the Heads Up Guidance Services website.
These three articles that I have written in this series is just the beginning, for I am now working on a guidebook that will go into much more detail on the subjects that I outlined in these articles. It is also planed to create a DVD especially created for churches and other Christian organizations. In this DVD I will try to cover every aspect of building a relationship with the homeless.
I also would like to add that if one wants to purchase a cd of "The Freedom Song" it can be bought though the website for Heads Up guidance Services.
Thank you for reading and may God Bless you all!
This is a PSA from Heads Up Guidance Service that I currently work for.
Where to get help in Savannah GA.
Shelters and other resources
The Salvation Army
31000 Montgomery Street at victory Drive (912) 651-7420. Shelter for men, women and families.
Inner City Night Shelter For Men, And Sojourners For Women
124 Arnold Street (912) 232-4673
Old Savannah City Mission
2414 Bull Street (912) 232-1979 or 4590
120 Fahm Street (912) 236-7423
Other Homeless Survival Guides
- How to Survive Being Homeless | Mental Floss
I live in Los Angeles, confronted by homelessness daily. I'm lucky to never have experienced it myself, but I don't know anyone in this city who's never looked at a homeless person and thought to themselves, if just fleetingly, what would my life be
- Homeless survival: Practical tips and advice derived from personal experience
This is a guest post and entry in our non-fiction writing contest by Urban Nomad These days, “survivalism” has come to mean preparing for great events like nuclear holocaust or total government collapse. But disaster may come on a much more […]
- Survival Guide to Homelessness
survival guide to homelessness. A guide not only to surviving, but to living and thriving as a homeless person. Work, hygiene, shelter, human rights, food, stigma, and social life are all discussed.