Originally Posted by quiettiger
Living on the streets is brutal. There are several things this article does not cover that people end up experiencing.
1. Detachment: People are driven to be social so when you are in this situation you ultimately create a different social pattern which if you are not careful can lead to some pretty dark places. We are not all wired that tight. This is a kind of experience that many people are not equipped to deal with.
2. Knowing your rights cannot stop you from getting the crap kicked out of you. There are very few Bruce Lee types wandering the streets. You body tends to lose muscle integrity and unless you carrying around canisters of protein you tend to get soft quickly. How do you work on your cardio if you are homeless?
3. Health is a constant issues. A cold when you are homeless can kill you. A small cut can get infected and you will find yourself with "toughing it out" when a the simplest of care could have saved you.
4.Maintenance issues are b****. Where do you do laundry? Who is going to sew that tear in your shirt? How do you get out of that situation when everyday plays against you? You end up creating infrastucture from nothing but in the end you have to be ready to leave everything.
5. There are not many homeless people that I would immediate trust with my stuff. They did not all get homeless from no fault of their own. It is hard to build integrity into a person who has personal problems. Overall it is hard to figure out who you can trust in that situation until you've been down that road for awhile but the first time you get burned it's a brutal lesson and one that is often repeated.
I am not an expert on homelessness. I have never really HAD to live off the street but as this increasingly becomes something that people are discovering it is something that more and more people...whether they think it will happen to them or not...will have to try and understand.
Regarding the health issue...Its important to make use of Free Clinics...to know their hours and policies. And to treat the Clinic like you would a valued friend...do what the doctors ask, be on time, and go out of your way to get any paperwork or anything else they ask of you done.
Know the use and limitations of local charities, and do whatever you can to stay on the right foot with them. Be honest, be sincere. The wrong attitude and being caught in lies can change the way your case is handled. The right attitude may just open a door up for you down the line, and you need as many doors opened as possible.
Avoid traveling with others you do not have extensive repoire with. Your life can be sold for very little. I have seen horrible things. Horrible. Acquaintances can and will leave you to die if it behooves them.
Understand that common Joe Society generally wants to help, but it may not be by giving money. NEVER turn down food or any alternative that someone gives you. You do
have a reputation out there. The people that see you everyday formulate opinions about your character and it can effect the way that they treat you.
Get in the habit of doing odd jobs for people, and do not expect to be paid an exorbitant amount. You want someone to pay you extra out of their charitable spirit, not because you are demanding. The one spirit will continue to give to you, and the demanding spirit will continue to create bad relationships.