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My experience: The charity of the downtrodden and homeless

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posted on Mar, 20 2016 @ 04:48 PM
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If I have learned anything throughout my time, homelessness can be just as much a state of mind as it is a descriptor of life circumstances .

I put this in the general because its an anecdotal experience and by no means speaks to all situations or experiences, but this is mine; and with that opened my eyes to a certain reality previously I condemned and even looked down upon.

A year and a half ago I found myself separated from my wife, her with another man and me working on the road (across country, I came home every couple months for a weekend I can conclude - distance does things to people & relationships) I was installing integrated network systems - fire alarm, access control, security,and voice/data. When the news came my cell phone had died so I pulled over and began the saddest and longest call of my life, one that im sure ill never forget. I begged her back in the middle of nowhere Kansas, cold and crying below a street light, knowing there was someone else,me being the kind of man who stands on his own feet and does not beg I was acting completely out of character, I was in pain, her consolation her parting gift was a short and to the point sentence, " I don't like it when you beg" and that was it.

I found myself coming home to nothing, and I lost that Job, i took a much lower paying job to stay in the metro area closer to home, I was still paying for my wife's car, and house, hoping and praying she would change her mind, i missed my kids i missed my family and i was content to support them and live any kind of way in the hopes that I could salvage a doomed marriage, boy was I in for a rude awakening.

I stayed in a homeless shelter for a while the whole time working, it was very cold and i walked a lot, but the rules were intense, they also preached at me and told me how wrong I am, i was too ashamed to tell my mother and father how bad it really was, I ended up leaving the shelter to be closer to work, so at that point i was living in hotels but mostly on the streets. The thing is, hotel life isn't cheap and when you are a fool like me still supporting a woman who has in all ways disowned you,money is scarce. The cheapest hotel i could find was 40 dollars a night so many days I would go without eating and stay in a hotel to maintain a professional appearance, then I would break down and finally have to eat and I would stay outside and drink as a means to cope with my situation.

It came to pass that I was ready to kill myself, I was broke, unhappy, lonely, and living on the dream that things could go back to the way they were. After work one day I was wondering around town I had bought a bottle a vodka i was intent to complete the deed, right then! first, I thought I would jump out in front of a vehicle but I quickly chose against this as I didn't wish to harm anyone else.Then, I thought about jumping from a tall height and this too disturbed me because the clean up and traumatizing mess that would be left, so I settled that I would find a wooded area and I would hang myself.

I was stumbling around town on my way to the train station and all of a sudden a black man who is homeless calls me over, he asked me about my woes and he said i looked pale, I told him I didn't have any story worthwhile that I was about to end my own, he laughed, and said he had time, I passed him my vodka flask and we both drank and I broke down and I told him the whole story.There I was crying to a man I had just met, He said to me," you're gonna kill yourself over a woman?" and he laugh (not meanly) and said," I am not gay, but I am going to tell you that you could have any woman you want, you are smart,good looking, kind , and you have a JOB!!" he asked me if i was hungry,( he didn't know I had just enough money to eat or buy a hotel that night), and with his last five dollars he bought me dinner and I bought us a hotel; and so began a friendship that i have to this day.

There is no doubt that a homeless man named Garvin saved my life that day, and also gave me hope at a time that I had none. It makes me tear up a little to think about it considering how very little he had, but he didn't see his life as not worth living,and this man was charitable in the face of insurmountable struggle. Garvin and I became best friends and many nights after work,we spent together laughing and cutting it up, both him and I have a huge sense of humor and I still see him to this day. Later my mother found out how hard my life had become and I told her and my family helped me and I turned it around, I just wanted to tell this story that means a lot to me to show that these homeless people in experience have been some of the most altruistic, and that while others treat them as ghosts or pests, they are human just like you and me and I will never see them as less than again. That's my story and while there is more that is the point I wanted to bring home.

Thanks for reading, and I hope the best for you all my ATS family




posted on Mar, 20 2016 @ 04:59 PM
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a reply to: TechniXcality

You should be proud of yourself and the struggles you have overcome. I know that its not always easy but if you take it day by day things will keep moving forward and get easier.
The fact that you want to use your experience to help and bring awareness to the homeless community and the veterans shows you are a kind soul through and through.

Most of us will never know what its like to be on the street. Your friend Garvin is a hero.

Keep your head up sir.



posted on Mar, 20 2016 @ 05:03 PM
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a reply to: TechniXcality

Thank you so much for sharing this. I am also grateful to Garvin as I have enjoyed your input and knowing you in the weird way that ATS makes possible. Being close to ending it a couple of times myself, I fully understand the connections a person makes with the element that prevented them from doing it (a person, a letter, a synchronicity, etc).

And he is right, you seem to have a lot to offer a person in a relationship. I am glad to hear of your experiences having a happy ending and of your improved perspective on a segment of society who is often misunderstood.



posted on Mar, 20 2016 @ 05:03 PM
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a reply to: IvyNeptune

Honestly it's friends like you and Garvin, that have kept my head up, I am glad to be here and thank you for sticking around, ivy
you are a good person



posted on Mar, 20 2016 @ 05:14 PM
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a reply to: Abysha

Absolutely and thank you, I just think that there is a misconception when it comes to the homeless a stigma that I know personally not to be true, once again thank you for your kind words.



posted on Mar, 20 2016 @ 05:20 PM
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a reply to: TechniXcality

That was very moving. Thank you for sharing it.




posted on Mar, 20 2016 @ 05:22 PM
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These depths of life that you've experienced gave you the insight of a new reality, the true value of life. That is something a lot of people will never experience. They have formed you, just like Garvins' experiences formed him. Although depressing, those experiences were the seeds of it all.

Respect.



posted on Mar, 20 2016 @ 05:23 PM
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I honestly think you are fortunate to have seen both sides of the equation, sir. For someone that can go through that tunnel and come out into the light, a better person overall is a treasure to us all. I may sound contrite and a bit corny, but it is a true statement, from the heart.

Thank you for sharing. If this helps one person not take that last step, then you should take that as a personal triumph. That is orders of magnitude more than most people can ever dream to experience in a lifetime.



posted on Mar, 20 2016 @ 05:24 PM
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What a heart wrenching yet inspiring story! I am so happy that Garvin found you and showed you the light in your darkest hours. What a wonderful man you have as a friend! What your wife did to you was so horrible! Big hug! I am very glad that you are with us today and a part of our wonderful ATS family!
edit on 20-3-2016 by Night Star because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 20 2016 @ 05:24 PM
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Now that you have turned yourself around you can repay the kindness of Garvin by helping someone else in need, much the way you were.



posted on Mar, 20 2016 @ 05:58 PM
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a reply to: TechniXcality
Thank you for sharing.

People put down the homeless all the time, little knowing how easy it is to get in that situation and how hard it is to get out of it. Or maybe they do know and it's fear that fuels their contempt and it's like whistling past the grave yard.



posted on Mar, 20 2016 @ 05:58 PM
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a reply to: TechniXcality

Now as much I disagree with you on some things, your story reminds of me of what my Tai Chi professor taught us: What comes up has to come down. What goes down has to come up.

Your story is example of this.

edit on 3/20/2016 by starwarsisreal because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 20 2016 @ 06:06 PM
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a reply to: reldra

Well thank you sometimes many of us may not relate on a political level but on a human level we all can understand, and so these concepts I am better at giving experience than an across the board one size fits all, but I will say I will never see the homeless the same way as I did before. Like Augustus says it's time to "pay it forward" and that's the best we can do in this world we call earth. Thanks everyone



posted on Mar, 20 2016 @ 06:56 PM
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a reply to: TechniXcality

Damn. Thank you for that story.




posted on Mar, 20 2016 @ 07:59 PM
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a reply to: TechniXcality


…I just wanted to tell this story that means a lot to me to show that these homeless people in experience have been some of the most altruistic, and that while others treat them as ghosts or pests, they are human just like you and me and I will never see them as less than again.

Your welcome… most 'outdoors' people laugh at the workaday, pay it all forward, staying in a box with light switches, hot water, refrigerator and TV, world.

They are happy because they got nothing and nothing to lose, so why worry.

That dudes attitude, giving all he had to buy you a meal is what I used to encounter all the time up under bridges and along the tracks. Some of the best souls are there, saving others from their selves.

Me included.



posted on Mar, 20 2016 @ 08:39 PM
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a reply to: TechniXcality

Thank you for sharing your story. I'm so glad you met Garvin and although you didn't say...I really hope you get to have time with your children. Glad things have turned around for you and that you are here with us!



posted on Mar, 20 2016 @ 09:00 PM
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a reply to: TechniXcality

Probably some of the first stars and flag I've given you in awhile, and how I wish I could give you a hundred. - sometimes I get wrapped up so much in politics and opinion that I forget I'm talking to another person with a life just as deep and profound, or even more so than my own. It's put me in awe to see you in such a different light - thank you for sharing, really.



posted on Mar, 20 2016 @ 10:38 PM
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a reply to: deadlyhope

Well thank you sir, the political tension is running high so I hoped to share my story to relate on human levels to each other and offer hope to anyone who may be struggling because it does get better.



posted on Mar, 21 2016 @ 04:49 AM
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There was this guy who lived about a mile from me, a hopeless drunk, but not really homeless, yet he basically lived that lifestyle. He was an unwashed skinny little dude that would do just about anything for his next drink. For the most part he was accepted as the "town drunk" who would scrounge deposit bottles from the streets and local dumpsters to buy beer. However, he was severely looked down upon and mistreated.

While I was working security at a local campground, he came into the park to use the bathroom and look around for deposit bottles. The manager, who didn't know him or that he was completely harmless, got worried about him being there and asked me to get him out of the park. Knowing who he was I just smiled and said I take care of it.

Well, by this point he was leaving out the front gate just past the dumpsters. So I stopped him and basically explained there was some complaints, but instead of being a butt head about it, I did a dumpster dive and retrieved some empties for him and gave him a hand full of cigarettes. Other than a religious friend of mine, he was the only one around here that ever said "God bless you" to me. He never came back to the park after that, at least not when anyone was around.

Eventually he was hit by a car when he was walking the street and got killed. There were actually a lot of people who mourned his loss. I think his blessing had some real weight behind it since I had gotten hit by a car on the same road while riding a bicycle and lived without disabling injuries. It was a hit and run for me and a couple of boys with a reputation who live around here got me help before another car took me out completely. The cops wouldn't even take their statements about what had happened before I got hit because of their bad boy reputations.

Even though I've tried to be fair with everyone before, I don't look down on those homeless drunks or guys with a bad rep anymore. Most of the homeless drunk types I've met at the local parks have been generally good people who would share their last pennies and advice about life. Your story is a great one and gives some hope to the apparently hopeless. Compassion had never failed me over indifference and hasn't caused me any trouble or real cost either, probably just the opposite.
edit on 21-3-2016 by MichiganSwampBuck because: typo



posted on Mar, 21 2016 @ 01:37 PM
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a reply to: MichiganSwampBuck

Thank you for your story and I am sorry to hear about the accident, I'm glad you are ok. I agree with the conclusions you came to cheers brother.



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