posted on Jun, 21 2012 @ 01:08 AM
When I was a kid (age 11) things became really hard for my family, no work, dad sick, we eventually were homeless for quite a while. My mother, sister
and I would sleep in the car, trying to get help where we could. My mother and sister would work when they could but when you don't have an address
or a place to clean up, good clothes to wear, it is hard to get work. Thankfully there were people that were kind and would help. But there were the
others who wanted to taunt and torment us - one night while sleeping in the car a group of jerks on motorcycles kept circling our car banging on it
trying to scare us - as if we weren't already scared before they arrived - nights were hard and many people who haven't seen hardship can be jerks.
It is easy to say "get a job" or "take a shower" when the person doing the yelling gets to go home to 4 walls and a bathroom, hot dinner and the
escape of the television.
That time of my life shaped my way of thinking and I will never forget being so hungry that I thought I would die, so scared all the time, and so
thristy that even now I feel panic when I don't have water handy. And the worse part was the humiliation. We lived in a shelter for a while, slightly
better choice than being on the streets - shelters are just a different kind of frightening and nasty (at least from what I remember).
There was this family, and not sure how we ended up in their home, but they took us in for an evening and made us breakfast for dinner. There was so
much food and I couldn't believe that people could have so much or be so kind. I will never forget that. There were many people who came along to
asist us. A group of young people helped us and would bring us things in the shelter and they kept some of our stuff that we couldn't take in (we
didn't have much but didn't want to lose what we had). They never bothered our things and were very kind. Unfortunately the kind people were fewer
than the mean ones.
There were so many people living on the streets and some were mentally ill, a few were really scary, some drug addicts, and some were really fine but
just didn't know they had a choice. Not knowing a choice is available is probably the saddest of all. But even the "crooks" on the street were
doing what they felt they had to do so they could survive - can't imagine things are much different now. The rules are very different when you are in
that position. There were a few who were just lazy but in reality most just wanted to eat, some wanted to self-medicate (can't say that I blamed
them) and others just wanted to be left alone. There are so many reasons people end up homeless and in many ways it is a trap that is hard to get out
of. Even when the body is taken out of the situation, the mind is still there for a long time and that is why so many keep falling back into that same
When things changed for us and we were back in our hometown and I went back to school I just couldn't shake that part of me who had lived on the
streets and had to beg. It took a long time to crawl out of that place. Long after I had my own home and a great job making good money (I am one of
the lucky ones) I still felt like that kid who didn't have a place to live, who most thought of as trash to toss aside or make fun of. I can still
feel panic inside and have that fear of being homeless (not even close to a reality but the fear still hangs in the back of my mind).
I work in the real estate industry and now with all the foreclosures and going into homes where people have been evicted, seeing kids toys and special
things that had to be left behind, sometimes even pets (so sad), it takes me back. Makes me feel sick to think another family may be going through the
very thing I did and knowing they will never be the same again.
So, to answer the question, When I see a homeless person, I give what I can and treat everyone with respect. Sometimes the respect means more than the
dollar I can toss in their cup. I don't choose what to give them, I give them what they ask for if I have it. They make the choice with what they do
with the money. So if my dollar goes for a bottle of cheap wine, then wine it is.
This was posted to me back a few years ago and i kept it to remind me what its like to be without..peace,sugarcookie1