I never said to myself, “Gee, I’d like to be a poster child for homelessness.” Who would say that? Then again, sometimes life has a way of taking you on a journey to places you’ve never been or thought you’d go. Maybe I was meant to take this path, the one that slapped me right out of the “entitlement attitude” so many have in this country. There was a time I thought I’d never be homeless but here I am. Come visit me at We Are Visible on Facebook.
See, I do scan over some comments made about me, I expect that everyone has a different perspective than mine, otherwise, how boring would that be? I find it very difficult to actually believe that I should have a lifestyle handed to me, not when I’ve had two jobs since I was twelve. I believe part of being a responsible human being is doing everything you can not to be a burden on the rest of society by making too many bad decisions that lead to chronic problems. That’s not the same as losing both jobs and your health.
Oh and just going to a shelter here in Washington State is not an option. They have to turn people away because they can’t handle the numbers coming to them. Also, many shelters are not safe to be in. Not every state bothered to create enough shelters to handle the numbers of homelessness we are seeing now. If you read “What it’s like to be a homeless mother” through Change.org, you’d see why there are so many homeless and how I responded to questions asked. Section 8 has been closed to application for years now, so you can stop throwing that out there as though it’s another option. If and when my state opens the application process, it is first come, first serve to a limited number of applications before being closed. Then it’s awarded on a lottery basis after being on the waiting list for years. If you’re here in Washington, I invite you to call around the shelters and see if you can get in. Good luck!
Here’s something else that I find interesting. People assuming that it is in the best interest of their kids to give them up when they know they’re going to be homeless. Sorry, but unless those kids absolutely must be removed to save their lives, that’s a cop out in my opinion and you are feeding into a system that would rather pay strangers to do the job of raising your kids instead of guaranteeing all its citizens basic human necessities, like an affordable place to live. Ask your kids if being shipped off to Foster care makes them feel like they haven’t been abandoned. Do some research on Foster care from a child’s perspective and you will see that there are good stories and a lot of bad ones. What guarantee is there that a Foster parent isn’t a pedophile that hasn’t been caught yet?
Oh here’s another idea! How about actually talking to all the homeless families that stuck through homelessness and came out stronger than ever? People can talk all they want to but their actions or failures to act, make blaring statements….
If there’s one thing I’ve noticed about kids with a sheltered life and kids living through homelessness, it’s the fact that homeless kids don’t take too much for granted. They have seen the reality of how the world treats the less fortunate and as long as they have supportive parents, friends, relatives and mentors, they come away from their experience stronger than ever.
This business of homelessness being a dirty secret that must be shoved into the closets of our society has got to stop. Just because someone is homeless doesn’t mean they stopped being a human. And what is with these self-righteous people who think that just because they never experienced homelessness, then it’s ok to look down their noses at other people. I got news for you. I used to be one of those people. Watch out for Karma, it has a way of paying back with interest.
My teen once asked me why I didn’t give them up when finances went bad. Wouldn’t my life be easier without her or her sister dragging me down? My answer to her was that without them, my life would be worse. If I am stuck attaching all my self-worth to a job or how much money I have, then I am already dead. It’s not about “me” feeling dragged down by the responsibilities of parenthood while being homeless. Look at how many unhappy wealthy people there are. Materialism does not define who you are as a person and what a sad thing it is to see others who believe it does. Yes, it sucks to have no place to call your own but this is only a temporary situation. As long as we stick together, no matter what happens, everything will be alright. Only now has she begun to understand that.
I refuse to pretend that my experiences were any less than they have been. Yes, I lived out of a car. Yes, I lived out of a 1981 Minnie Winnebago. Yes, after working two jobs and discovering it wasn’t enough to get by, I sold my blood for twenty bucks to a plasma center. Yes, I collected aluminum cans for gas money. So what? If being a poster child means the start of a better life for the less fortunate, so be it. It’s a lot better than being a puppet to greed!
Life everyday is another page I write in the book of me, and it’s still a work in progress. Everything else is a story happening by the minute so if you’re watching me, grab some popcorn and candy. I’ll be in the next seat eating my milk duds and enjoying the show. Can’t wait to see how the plot turns out!