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[WTB] Homeless or Human?

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posted on Dec, 6 2011 @ 09:56 PM
Almost any person who have lived in or visited an urbanized society has come across the homeless. Usually clothed in out dated fashion, often stained or torn, and just as often mismatched and ramshackle, we have all seen them moving about and doing whatever it is homeless people do. I have actually worked a few homeless shelters in my youth, and have been very “broke” (I don’t call it poor, because I am always rich so long as my mind is my own and my efforts are mine to keep). So when I say “whatever it is homeless people do”, it isn’t that I don’t know, but rather that most don’t know.

Growing up I had the benefit of the exposure to a man named Ray Bell. He was the pastor of the local Presbyterian church, and the father of my best friend. He worked tirelessly for the church, and especially the youth group. We would have huge sales, and do all manner of work to save up for annual trips. Often 2-3 weeks long, we lived Spartan lives, camping out in churches and sleeping on gravelly campgrounds. Half of each trip was missionary work, and we had the benefits of seeing large cities like Dallas, Houstin, San Diego, Phoenix, etc, and had plenty of exposure to homeless As well, one summer we worked a week in a homeless shelter in Ft. Worth, living with the homeless in our “off hours” (sleeping in the same general place, with the same cots, eating their food, etc).

So I have a very strong idea as to what homeless are. However….

….I also worked 5 years in an admissions unit of a mental hospital that was state run. If a cop picks up someone for a petty crime and finds that they are acting crazy, they brought them to us. Of course, this meant we got plenty of “homeless”. Except, this isn’t an urban area. This is very rural, for hundreds of miles. There are a few urban areas such as Lubbock and San Angelo in the catchment area of the hospital, but nothing like a metro. So what I had was homeless that were very little like the homeless I had dealt with earlier in life. Many of these “homeless” were the way they were by choice. Often, once a cop harassed them for vagrant laws they would just play crazy to get an easier time (hospitals are far easier than jails, for sure). They were just people that moved about, annually and seasonally, to stay ahead of the weather and above the opportunities.

Sometimes you may see them working a carnival or fair. Sometimes walking through town with a backpack and a dog. Truly, they are not like you and I (or, what I presume you to be like, anyway, since you have a computer and internet connection available to you). I don’t mean this in any negative sort of way. What I mean is, the life they have either has made them approach things differently, or the way they approach things has led them to lead that particular life. Sometimes there is a manipulative/exploitative tendency in such folks, but often you find them fairly honorable, at least in their own ways. My general observation has been that they live such a life to avoid pressure by the legal authorities of our nation, or to not have to answer to a boss or a wife, or the demands of a child. Of course, my experience, broad as it is, is still very myopic when trying to analyze such things.

My point here is, is such a person truly “homeless”? I am not talking the completely insane person who is in such a condition due to not knowing any better or an inability to care for oneself. I am talking about the folks who just live meager lives, move about from place to place, and generally are only seen as they walk up the highway with a bag on their back.

And it is as I pondered this that it occured to me: such people are not homeless. They are just human.

We like to classify things in relation to other things, and it is no different with people. “Normal” society is that you grow up, get a job, get a house, get a family, and acquire things while taking trips. Anything that doesn’t adhere to this basic model is abnormal, and therefore shunned. But is that actually the “normal” for a human? Until a few thousand years ago, not really. As a matter of fact, in some places on Earth, to live a somewhat solitary and nomadic existence is still seen as wholly normal. And, quite often is an act of spirituality.

Regardless, sometimes when I see that person walking up the road, in the middle of nowhere, I feel a tinge of jealousy. To be free….free from responsibility, free from the grind of the daily job, free from the burning desire to make things (food, art, useful items, etc), free from the love of other people. I know it sounds lonely, and I don’t intend to sound as if I don’t like the life I have. But there is this little Walter Mitty inside of me that lives vicariously through others.

However, and back on point, the classification of “homeless” has begun to puzzle me. I have started to wonder, is being homeless so bad? How many homeless actually choose their life? How many “homeless” actually find their home to just be in a different spot every day? While I would assume that those locked into urban homelessness are living more of a curse, I would also assume that they are just people with viewpoints adapted more towards that lifestyle.
edit on 7/12/11 by masqua because: Title edit by request

posted on Dec, 6 2011 @ 10:02 PM
to answer your question in a short context

Yes, being homeless is pretty bad
edit on 6-12-2011 by THEDUDE86 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 6 2011 @ 10:11 PM
reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan

Sounds to me that these people are free; free from debt, free from the daily grind, free to go where they want, when they want.

They listened to the Janis Joplin song and were wise enough to live out the message they heard.

"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"

All the rest of us are tied down somehow; by our debt, our families, even by our homes and our possessions. Maybe we are the crazy ones because we allowed ourselves to be enslaved by the system.

posted on Dec, 6 2011 @ 10:11 PM
What we consider homeless these days was a normal during the great depression. People would travel from town to town looking for small jobs to get them to the next place.

No debt!

No responsibility!

Complete freedom!

I agree with your premise and I am sure that we will see such lifestyles increasing very soon. I would miss the "family" life though. The wife and kids bring a whole new dimension to what it means to "be".

S and F

posted on Dec, 6 2011 @ 10:40 PM
SnF, BFFT, but TITLE? Huh? Ask masqua for some edit time, but really, no title? Is your title without a home, it's absent? What gives?

Other than that, you have addressed an aspect of society that most people avoid. I know I do. You can spot a homeless a mile away, simply by the shopping cart they are pushing. It's not that I don't care, but I refuse to support someone who's free.

Yes, if they ask, I do give them a buck. If they don't beg, I keep my money in my pocket. Such a perverse way to drag injustice into view. Good entry.

posted on Dec, 6 2011 @ 10:46 PM
Homeless? No one is homeless! Unless of course they are! Wink wink say no more say no more.
The end is near my friend, you must prepare. I hope you have.

posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 12:28 AM
There are two sides to this coin:

Some people would rather deal with the being on the road and "homeless" than deal with the pressure of modern society. This is a stance I have a lot of sympathy with, and I would be right there with them. Sadly, I'm female, and the risks for me are exponentially greater than by staying in society.

On the other hand, there are those who are cast out against their will and are desperate for a way back in. Those are the true homeless. These are people who lack the skills, the mindset, and the general ability to survive.

Different people have different ways. Some people are made for society, and others are not. So, yes, homelessness does actually exist. Humans are, by nature, social creatures that need to belong to some group. It's rare that you find one individualistic enough to truly exist outside society.

posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 04:44 AM
reply to post by Druid42

I just U2U's Masqua for help.

Life has been busy, yesterday being particularly busy. With all the excitement of my sisters first child being born, I didn't add a title before hitting "Reply".

posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 07:10 AM
reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan

You're forgiven, lol, and congrats on the newest addition to your immediate family.....

(And you have a title!)

edit on 12/7/11 by Druid42 because: added parenthesis.

posted on Dec, 12 2011 @ 10:36 AM
I really do not know what to write about this. I've been thinking about this topic a lot lately.
I am still trying to wrap my head around my own experience. My mother recently told me that this time I thought we were camping when I was a kid that we were really homeless.

Someone shared this with me, so I will pass it on to you: invisible people

posted on Dec, 18 2011 @ 09:07 AM
reply to post by BlueBanshee

i really appreciate you sharing this with me.

I have worked with homeless off and on my whole life. I have seen all sides of it, from the mentally ill, to the ones who just simply choose it, to those like Robert on the YouTube profile you linked me to that, like many of us, lived only 1 or 2 paychecks away from being destitute and got caught.

It is a video that, if you have a heart, will bring tears to your eyes:

posted on Dec, 18 2011 @ 04:32 PM
reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan

Guh, those videos are really sad. Some of them really make me cry.
I've been watching as many as I can. It is a huge wake up call.
I myself am out of work and the small business by boyfriend works for may go belly up. And I know many people in this position, one bad thing to happen and that is all it will take.
The homeless issue is such a multidimensional issue that encompasses so many problems we have in our society. I think if we could even begin to start solving this problem, a lot of other problems may just solve themselves, or be easier to solve.
But it is getting harder to solve as time goes on, and even those helping the homeless -like shelters and such- are closing or cutting back.
I think we all have a vested interest in this issue. It can happen to anyone and there are even people who were once rich with money living on the street, in tents, cars, and shady cheap motels.

What really grinds my gears is that I can not recall any politician addressing this issue... maybe I missed it.

One of those videos I watched from the invisible people channel, I believe it was in Arizona, the city kept moving the tent city and confining the area to smaller and smaller space until they said that the people had to go somewhere else.... Basically, we dont care where you go, but you cant stay here type of an attitude. The guy in the video was kind of like Robert in that they just did not know where they would go. They didn't know when the police would come and tell them to get outta there. To make matters worse, the shelter had closed down.

One thing I really like about those videos is that even though these people are homeless many of them have such a great attitude when asked what their 3 wishes are..... many wish for not just themselves, but everyone.
And the videos with children really tug at my heart... sigh.

Oh, but hey even though the competition has ended this is my favorite thread.
I just wish more people had a first hand understanding of this issue like you do and like what invisible people tv is doing.
edit on 18-12-2011 by BlueBanshee because: grammer

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