Category Archives: Homelessness

“How municipalities in St. Louis County, Mo., profit from poverty”

“[T]he uprising in Ferguson was an inevitable reaction to the institutional racism coursing through the area for decades.” — Jack Kirkland

I’m homeless.  At this writing, I’ve been homeless for exactly 3½ years.

When you meet a homeless man for the first time, you won’t notice his skin color.  Not first.  You’ll notice the condition he’s in.  You’ll notice his clothes, his grooming, his conduct.  Skin color is so far down the list, it might as well be left off completely.

Some disagree. They seem to think race is the only factor in poverty.

Continue reading “How municipalities in St. Louis County, Mo., profit from poverty”

What great thing can I do?

Sometimes I wish I could be proud of something.

I have seen pictures and videos of places where parakeets run wild; there are flocks of hundreds and thousands of them. I would love to live in such a place. It lifts my spirits every time I see their brilliant colors.
Continue reading What great thing can I do?

Podcast – I don’t want to live among these people.

That may motivate me to seek my own place.

I don’t want to live among these people.

Related blog post: “Out of reach

Related blog post: “Housing the homeless ain’t that easy

Related blog post: “Chaos overwhelms the poor

Related blog post: “What we need

Music: The Beatles, “All You Need is Love”

Karma basics

We begin with Galaxian’s comment on “Jeanette:”

Schizophrenia is not a karmic matter.  It is an organic disease just as much as cancer is.  I don’t see how anything someone did in a previous life, or early in their current life, would bring this horrible thing on them.  Anybody can develop this condition at any time, although it usually starts in young adulthood.

I gather we are both familiar with this disease.

It’s a mistake to condemn a person on the basis of his or her lot, and also can be highly misleading to say she or he “deserves” it.

Continue reading Karma basics

Podcast – The quest for certainty

“I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
                                   — Psalm 34:1

The quest for certainty

Related blog post: “The wrongest verse” revisited

Related blog post: Forgiving the cosmos

Toto, “99”

Jeanette

Jeanette is a pleasant, demented homeless woman who frequents St. Paul Plaza and the library.

She’s always immaculately dressed. I don’t know how she manages that.

One day, I think in May, walking through St. Paul Plaza, on impulse I approached her and asked if she’d sell me a cigarette. (At that time, I was buying “loose ones.”) Instead, she gave me three Newports.

Related:  Practical advantages of being a nice guy

And she’s done the same thing again almost every day since.

She’ll cross the street in the rain to bring me three Newports.

On the one hand, I’ve pondered whether I’m taking advantage of her.  It seems instead that it’s a blessing to her to be able to do this for me.

On the other hand, you don’t want to have a conversation with her.  She has a long, long list of public figures whose scandals and deaths she says have been blamed on her.

I am tempted to wish I knew the karmic basis of schizophrenia, that I might pray for her more effectively.  But I need to use the tools I have.

God bless Jeanette, and heal her; in this life, or the next.

(Originally posted 2014-11-08.)

Injustice at the shelter

Saturday 2014-11-01

I was very nearly turned away tonight.

I arrived at 15:45, and the gate was closed. I’ll explain why that did not disturb me. As I’m a “regular,” they’re supposed to hold my bunk for me until 16:00. Leo, another “regular,” arrived minutes later.

A closed gate at this hour as often as not means they’re doing a “count,” a comparison of the checkin logs (plural) to pin down exactly how many beds are left. Depending on who’s at the desk, this can take ten minutes — or 45.
Continue reading Injustice at the shelter