If you were homeless, how would you spend your time?

@GardenGerty (104242)
United States
August 8, 2008 9:16am CST
We have at least one obviously homeless person in our community, probably more. This woman is actually estranged from her family, or she would have a home. It is a choice, or the situation is unbearable for her at home. She is quiet, not disruptive, and has several "spots" in town. Carries everything she owns in a back pack, on her back. She washes in the bathrooms in the park in the summer and is very clean. She spends her time at the library, and in the parks, and outside the YMCA, under a shade tree. She watches people who practice various things in the park and shows up on a regular basis. If you were homeless, how would you spend your time? Assuming that you chose to be that way.
31 people like this
72 responses
• India
8 Aug 08
if i am homeless then i would spend most of my time in the temple and preaching the god and asking him too forgive all my sins so that when i die, my soul should be clean..........wow this topic made me spiritual....anyway if u like my response please give me a hit points.
6 people like this
@GardenGerty (104242)
• United States
8 Aug 08
This site is not about asking for points. It will not increase your earnings. You had a good response, and I would have given you a + anyway, because of your thought and effort.
3 people like this
@riyasam (16578)
• India
8 Aug 08
actually,she has taken a very bold step . i do admire her for her courage.if only other women would follow her footsteps instead of being taken advantage of.if i were homeless ,i would do some work which will make to earn so that i could rent a place to put my head.have a good day.
6 people like this
@GardenGerty (104242)
• United States
8 Aug 08
I hear it was her mother that she did not get along with.
4 people like this
@Ithink (10495)
• United States
8 Aug 08
I would probably do as she is, that is if I liked lifestyle. There is programs out there to help but never having been homeless Im not sure what they are like. I have heard good things and not so good. I read further down where you said that your town is small enough that people know her and help out and allow her to go to the library and such. Im glad as when we were down in Pittsburgh I was horified when I went to go the bathroom at McDonalds and you couldnt get in. You had to buy something and then ask for a token. I asked why? They said because of the homeless going in and washing in there. I thought it was awful and I just looked at them in shock and picked up my money and walked out. They are still human beings that deserve to be treated as such. Yes Im one of those if I see a homeless person I will go get them something to eat if I have any extra money on me and give it to them. I dont believe anyone starts out homeless wanting to be so. Anyways as for the question how would I spend my time I would probably spend alot of time in the library as she does. Breaks my heart thou knowing that people have to live like this.
• United States
8 Aug 08
Thanks for having a heart for the homeless, Ithink. Since I had a brother who was homeless, that means a bunch to me. There are some towns where the "known" homeless are chased out of the mall, even though being inside in the warm (or cool in summer) for a short time could keep them alive. And in some places, they are not allowed into the library either, if they are part of the "known" homeless community. While I understand people being afraid of dirty people if they are rowdy. But when the do everything they can to keep clean...denying them some dignity is wrong.
4 people like this
@Ithink (10495)
• United States
8 Aug 08
Im not so sure I even understand people that are afraid of dirty homeless people. I think that if they had a choice they would rather be clean but with some cities I guess would be impossible at least with the places you talked about. I would soon be fired from a job in those places as Im a firm believer they are human beings too and deserve respect just as others that live in fancy places. Honestly just makes me mad thinking of these poor people treated so badly!
5 people like this
@GardenGerty (104242)
• United States
30 Sep 08
One thing I have learned in this discussion is that many people in MyLot have a heart of compassion. You are a good person. Ithink.
1 person likes this
@mr_mlk (364)
8 Aug 08
I've been homeless for a while in youth and it is not a experence I would choose to repeat. If the worse would happen again I would work to get myself to a better place.
5 people like this
@GardenGerty (104242)
• United States
8 Aug 08
My hubby says he lived in his truck, with a friend, by choice. The friend was trying to save up some money. Hubby had an employer who let them park in the parking lot, and there was a shower in the business.
5 people like this
@cher913 (25890)
• Canada
8 Aug 08
there are a number of drop in centres here in the city where i live, so i guess i would frequent them; also perhaps the library. perhaps being homeless would be a more simple life but here in canada, it sure gets cold in the winter!
5 people like this
@GardenGerty (104242)
• United States
8 Aug 08
Some winters are cold in Kansas, as well.
3 people like this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
8 Aug 08
I think, GG, that I would spend much of my time in just the same way that the woman you speak of does. Believe me, I can think of many family members I would not want to voluntarily live with. There could also be some type of mental illness involved regarding this woman. Many mentally ill people are still quite capable of functioning on a day-to-day basis, and are pretty self-reliant and independent.
5 people like this
@bamakelly (5194)
• United States
8 Aug 08
I feel sorry for this woman that you are speaking of. I wouldn't want that life for myself. I would try me best to find the help I need. I know there are places that can help the homeless. I would probably make the best use of my time.
@GardenGerty (104242)
• United States
8 Aug 08
She has been around for years, and I think various people and agencies have offered her help. I have often wondered where she goes when the weather is getting severe. I know lots of people who give her bottled water, hamburgers, etc, and she will accept that, but nothing like a permanent commitment. When she has cash she buys hot food at the grocery deli, but goes to one of her "spots" to eat it. I am glad that we are a small enough town that she is welcome in the library, as some other travelers I have seen, carrying their life on their backs.
3 people like this
@GardenGerty (104242)
• United States
30 Sep 08
You are right, he is in just the same boat as many homeless. He is sociable, though and that is why the college students visit with him. I worry about this lady as she does not seem to have friends. I have a friend who is blind, who spends a lot of time at a local college. They buy him ice cream, etc. He owns his own home, and will from time to time offer to take someone to eat, if they will drive. He is a town icon, but has and uses many skills. I wonder what happened to your friend, the town drunk, that made him want to give up on working.
• United States
8 Aug 08
That's too bad, who knows why she choose this or if it was a choice... I personally would spend my time doing up my resume and job hunting so that I could get a good job and eventually get out the situation I was in.
4 people like this
@jdyrj777 (6556)
• United States
13 Aug 08
i was homeless for 3 1/2 yrs. was always empolyed sometimes 2 jobs. If it wasnt for mi son's friend owning a house i would probably still be in mi camper. read response above you friend.
• United States
14 Aug 08
I was homeless for a month so I know what it is to be homeless. I let my lease go thinking I would relocate to my home town and at the last minute changed my mind and by then it was too late to turn back and I found myself homeless with my family. It was getting evening and I was real close to spending the night in my car on that cold fall day. I was lucky enough there was one room available at a transitional house/shelter and I got picked that day. It was an ugly feeling knowing I had no where to go and noone to turn to with a car load of belongings I didn't know what to do with. I was able to save my money for that month because the place I was in provided meals and a laundry facility so I was able to work and save to get a new place. There were alot of other women there with kids who were hard to place in housing for various reasons and some had been in this shelter for years. I can't imagine that either, I guess I was lucky that day to have someone/something looking out for me and my family.
@insulin (2483)
• Philippines
8 Aug 08
oh that is really really difficult situation..I mean i don't know if I can handle to be homeless because we already know that it's really a bad thing to be homeless..I guess if that will happen to me,I will find a abandon area and stay there for awhile but i guess i will be confuse and scared..I can't imagine that..it's sad...:-( Well good luck to her I hope I can help...:-(
4 people like this
@Bluepatch (2480)
• Trinidad And Tobago
8 Aug 08
The park, I guess, or find a place in a forest and set up camp next to a river and learn how to fish. To be honest, I have been employed without interruption for about 25 to thirty years and I have often thought of going to live in a forest or on a beach. The kind of society we live in is not an easy thing and there are too many people who do nothing but take advantage of you. In many ways this woman is blessed.
• United States
10 Aug 08
I have never been homeless before but I did sleep on a friend's floor for a couple of months. I don't know what I'd do if I were ever homeless. But I'm sure it would involve finding a new home. I live in the Sun belt so we have LoTs of homeless around here. I think we even have some homeless "snowbirds". I hate to sound heartless but they are a real nuisance. They have to lock the first floor bathrooms at the library to keep them from trashing it when they "bathe". I often still walk in on half naked homeless guys throwing water all over the place on the upper floors. They congregate in front of the library and hangout all day. They throw trash everywhere and urinate and defecate all over the place. They lay out in parks in the daytime and sleep in doorways the rest of the time. I walk alot downtown and you never know when you are going to turn a corner aget hit in the face with the choking stench of urine. I used to talk to a guy named Leon years ago. (he hung out at the laundromat I went to.) He was Homeless by choice. He didn't want to have to work or deal with a landlord. He got a check from "We the people" every month and swam in the canals. He didn't want any (other) help. He was happy. I guess the Constitution allows that. I have a new friend who just moved here from Alabama. He wants to be a consevative but he just keeps thinking like a liberal. He said (as I'm sure some of you are thinking) "Well it sounds like they should have somewhere for them to live." Well we tried that. First, it attracted homeless people from miles around. Then the crime started. Constant fighting and stealing and before you know it the homeless didn't even want to stay there. They went back to the streets and those that came from miles around STAYED. So now things are even worse. Kinda like the Mexican border sitch. If someone Wants help, and they are willing to contribute to the solution, I am all for helping them. But for people who don't want help and just create a nuisance for the rest of us that ARE in the "Pursuit of Life Liberty and Happiness". I see harassment as the only option. Joking!!!!!! (a little)
3 people like this
• United States
12 Aug 08
It's usually hard for the homeless to get government assistance, at least in the states where I've lived. Anyone getting assistance has to have a permanent address where they can send checks, or a bank account for automatic deposit.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Aug 08
Yeah, I lost my wallet once and all of my ID and SS card. It was tough getting ID without having ID. Now everything, Including pictures are kept on computer files so that isn't such a problem.
1 person likes this
@jdyrj777 (6556)
• United States
13 Aug 08
So ya lost your ID? i dont think you are hearing kenzie ..... you have to have an ADDRESS to get assistance. You have to have address and phone to get a job. Its not easy and its not a choice. I hope for your sake morethanamolehill it never happens to you. cause you havent a clue.. My comment is #14. read details please.
1 person likes this
@Rozie37 (15499)
• Turkmenistan
9 Aug 08
On the first day of my Psychology class my teacher asked us if we had ever saw a person with Schizophrenia before. Of course, most of us answered no. He said, yes you have and I am sure that most of you see them every day. He said that the majority of the people living on the street have Schizophrenia. Now I am not saying that I agree with this. But I will say that in the average city, you do have a choice of whether or not you live on the street. I believe that anyone who chooses to live on the street hast to have some sort of mental disturbance. I could not imagine living on the streets. This is something that I would never want to experience or even attempt to imagine. There are those who have lots of money and corporate jobs who simply could not deal with their lives any more. I knew a guy once who had been an engineer. One day he had just snapped, when he came to, it had been two years later and he could not remember where his home was or even where he hd worked. By the time I met him, some things had come back to him, but he still could not remember where he had lived. He was not married and had never had any children and there was no one who could rememer these things. To me, that is very frightening. Imagine existing for two years and not remembering who you really are. Thar is really something.
3 people like this
@calcynic (433)
• United States
9 Aug 08
I always thought that the nicknames that a lot of the street people have were names of their own choosing. I was saddened to find that many know themselves only by their street handle because they no longer know their own names. Schizophrenia, manic depression, alzheimers, dementia....how much worse could it get?
2 people like this
@GardenGerty (104242)
• United States
9 Aug 08
Rozie, your teacher was correct. A big part of this issue stems from the late 60's and early 70's when many of the mental health facilities were closed down, as being too dehumanizing, but nothing was put in to fill that gap. Add to that fact that we all became conscious of the fact that everyone, seniors, mentally ill, mentally handicapped, etc. have the right to make decisions for themselves, unless they have an appointed guardian, and that decision is often "I feel good now, I do not need my meds." and you can see where we ended up with so many homeless.
2 people like this
@Rozie37 (15499)
• Turkmenistan
9 Aug 08
There are places, at least in California that house the mentally ill. The are called Board and cares(halfway houses) or whatever. They are pretty decent if the people running them are truly caring. i happen to live in one myself. It is government funded and they are throughout the state of California and I am sure they are in other states also. now the guy that I was telling you about was around 83 at the time that I knew him. So he was around in the sixties and seventies when these things took place. He told me about places back then that they referred to as poor houses. I thank God for what he has provided for me now.
2 people like this
9 Aug 08
The woman you describe is obviously very confident about who she is and what she wants out of life. While it's hard for most to believe, some actually choose this way of life because of it's simplicity. She has no responsibilities other than her own personal hygeine. She spends her days people watching or reading at the public library, something she obviously enjoys. I can't imagine ever being out on the streets but if I chose such a life, I would head down to some place like Key West.
3 people like this
@GardenGerty (104242)
• United States
9 Aug 08
The weather is not so cold down there.
2 people like this
9 Aug 08
It would be just a great aid back place and awesome people watching.
2 people like this
@calcynic (433)
• United States
9 Aug 08
Mystina, I disagree. I think she is seeking public places with public access to feel connected to the life she had before fate kicked her in the gonads. She is simply trying to maintain. Aint we all? This aint attractive for its simplicity rather for its survivability. We gotta survive physically, and for the misguided idiots that figure any motives other than eating, sleeping and living are carnal and basic; f*ck you. In a nice way I mean.
1 person likes this
@fury2525 (139)
• United States
9 Aug 08
Not everyone CHOOSES to be homeless.... how cruel to think that? Obviously you have never been in that situation and it is just easy for you to judge someone you have seen. Did you ever approach that person, or offer to help? Maybe you were being tested did you ever think of that? Like that country song says, maybe Im an angel testing you? hmmm Becareful how you judge, lest you be Judged by God. Lish
@GardenGerty (104242)
• United States
25 Aug 08
I am not judging her. She has lived here all of her life. I actually think she is doing a marvelous job and I do not know her whole family history, just that at some point she became unable to tolerate living with her family.She does not cause trouble, she enjoys life in our town, and I think, because this is a small town we are more tolerant and helpful. As some have suggested, I understand there are some mental health issues. I do not shun her, and should opportunity present itself, I would help her. If she wanted off the streets, I think she would be able to get off the streets. I carry extra fruit and water in my car and I know others who will give her food. She does not want social contact, is very shy,she is often in the library. She watches people who practice performances in the park. She belongs, just as we all do.
@fury2525 (139)
• United States
25 Aug 08
so you actually think living on the streets is ok, and thats shes doing a marvelous job because shes been doing it so long. And yes you don't know anything about her ONLY WHAT YOU HAVE HEARD. You are going by gossip only and only one side until you actually get the nerve to talk to her yourself. and not everyone wants table scraps which you are so eagerally to give her. She's a person, and the reason shes probably shy of people is probably because shes been abused did you ever think of that? And how on earth do you know there are mental issues? Are you a psychologist? Have you personally examined her? I doubt it. Why wait for an opportunity you are quick enough to play judge, jury and even God. Talk to her, or ask yourself what would you do if your family had prejudged you, or a family member had abused you or a husband. who would you trust? and why would she trust you? I wouldnt . Tonight i didnt have enough money for some food at a grocery, a stranger behind me offered to help. I said nicely no thank you, its ok. Most of us don't like hand outs, or like to be or feel poor. I know first hand what its like to go without food so your baby will have food. Do you? have you pawned or sold things to get clothes for a child, and yes i had a 5-8 good paying job then, but due to my divorce i was left to pay the debts my ex made. So everything is not just black and white. Due to my health being what it is now, i cannot work at a stand up job, I have 96 college hours, I am a Artist/poet, I worked 17 yrs at one place. I cannot find work. Anyone of us could become homeless, I think your question is very stupid and you obviously have too much time on your hands to come up with such an question as that. Walk in our shoes lady, before you judge us, and yes you can twist your pretty words any way you like but you are still judging. I feel sorry for you.
• United States
9 Aug 08
I always feel bad when I see a homeless person. I know that some like it that way. But I think how in the world do they stay warm in the winter... I guess if I were homeless. I would do what she is doing. Hanging out in the Library, I would be able to read all day, or get online ( if I had a card ), be able to use the restroom, stay warm for several hours ( in the Winter) cool ( in the Summer ) and get a drink of water. Find a area where I can get cleaned up, and wash out some clothes. I imagine that I would be doing some dumpster diving for things like clothing and food. I would probly have to do some begging. I would have to find a spot that I felt safe, so that I would be able to sleep. I think that my biggest thing would be how do I get myself out of this situation and get a place to call home!
@GardenGerty (104242)
• United States
25 Aug 08
There are elderly couples who spend a large portion of each day in the Library and Senior Center. That way they spend less on utilities.
@calcynic (433)
• United States
8 Aug 08
Between marriages, as a much younger man, I was homeless by choice. I rode the rails and lived in hobo camps, forests, sheds, lean-tos. It was a little dangerous, but unbelievably educational, exciting, boring, spiritual, godless...great and horrible. I wouldn't trade a second of it. On the other hand, due to a quick sale of our rented house of 10 years, my family was rendered homeless. This was a demeaning, gut-wrenching, awful time. We spent the whole time getting our kids to school...finding beds for the night, and saving enough cash to get restarted somewhere else. It's soul-crushing...looking the kids in the face and trying to convince them it'll be OK and they will soon have that safe and content feeling back again. We're back on our feet and I wish it all never happened. Screw any silver lining that could be found in the latter situation. I sucked!
3 people like this
@calcynic (433)
• United States
8 Aug 08
Didn't mean "I sucked" rather "it sucked".
3 people like this
• Singapore
8 Aug 08
If I were homeless, I'd probably park myself at the beach. I know there are people who do that in my country. Sometimes they were picked up by the welfare community. I presume they will be given some counselling and encouraged to find a job and put a roof over their head. I'd probably seek help from the government to see what they can offer me. A job or something...
@1grnthmb (2063)
• United States
8 Aug 08
The library would be my main hang out. I would get a lot of reading in and maybe even use their computers. Our city is very strict against homeless people so you see very few of them and when you see them they are usually being scolded by the police. Now if you go about twenty miles south they have a lot of homeless people and have a large shelter for them
3 people like this
@JoyfulOne (6242)
• United States
8 Aug 08
I don't usually admit to this, but I was actually homeless for 3 months after my divorce years ago. I suppose I could have went back to my family home, but they were having such problems, and I was the one who was always there for them. In my mind it would be cruel to have them worry so much about me when they were so ill themselves. So, I still took care of them, but didn't have the heart to worry them so much more. I had a nursing license, but since I wasn't working at it (I was taking care of my Dad & doing his farming for him) I couldn't get hired. The courts said that since I had the license, I should be able to get a job...and the places I applied to said I hadn't worked currently enough for them to hire me, and I would need to go back to school for my pharmacology (which I couldn't afford either.) I couldn't even get foodstamps because of the license that did me no good lol...so I got really ill! If I actually chose to be homeless, I'd probably live in the woods by a stream. There's plenty of food that God provides us in nature (and I'm thankful that I know how to survive that way lol :-) I would probably enjoy being more away from people, where I would feel more safe while I slept. I was lucky that I had my own car, although if you have to sleep in it routinely you get stiff muscles and all...but you feel safe locked in! During waking hours I'd probably hike and people watch. I'd also pick up cans and stuff that I could get extra money for at the recycler.
3 people like this
@jalucia (1435)
• United States
9 Aug 08
If I were homeless, I would spend my time trying to not be homeless. I can't imagine why, in this world, anyone would want to be homeless. Your lucky if you only notice one homeless person in your community. I do believe that a person who "chooses" to live this lifestyle could very well be mentally ill, as are many homeless people.
2 people like this
@calcynic (433)
• United States
9 Aug 08
You are 1000% correct, and obviously you have the advantage of being completely sane.
1 person likes this
@jalucia (1435)
• United States
10 Aug 08
Well, I wouldn't say completely .. but, sane enough to know that I would prefer to have a roof over my head :)