Category Archives: Homelessness

“Oh Girl”

I included this song in the William Tell Show playlist because it never fails to move me.  I think it may be one of the saddest songs ever written.

These days, it has me conflicted.

ADVISORY: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE.

Continue reading “Oh Girl”

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Agenda

This guy’s been here for about three months, seems very well-ordered, diligent Bible student — turns out he’s a black supremacist.  Thinks the nation of Sudan is the tribe of Dan.  Was asking this guy last night, “Who built this country?”  Black folk never ask that question in the presence of white people. Continue reading Agenda

Anacostia High valedictorian going from a homeless shelter to Georgetown

Here’s a success story.

Just Asking: Anacostia High valedictorian on going from a homeless shelter to Georgetown

Rashema Melson, 18, will graduate on June 11. She lives with her mother and two brothers in one room at the D.C. General homeless shelter.   [William Tell’s note: This is the same facility that housed Relisha Rudd.]  Her father was killed when she was 7 months old.

What will you talk about at graduation?

I’m going to talk about how Anacostia pushed me. People feel like Anacostia is this place where all the ghetto kids go and that Anacostia is really easy, and I’m like, “No.” My speech is going to be dedicated to all the teachers who pushed me and who I could talk to in a time of need and who helped me when I didn’t have anything like food or clothing.

Your mom must be excited about your being valedictorian.

My mom knows how happy I am to be valedictorian, but sometimes she tells me to stop stressing and to relax and just live life. I’ve been stressing for years about grades. It has to be A, A, A, A, A. I can’t accept a B. I’m going to be the first one to graduate and get out of college and get a real job, something that can really help us.

Dawn Loggins presents a similar success story:
Harvard-bound homeless grad ‘overwhelmed’ by ovation
Dawn Loggins, Student, Heading To Harvard After Being Homeless, Abandoned By Parents
Girl, 18, who grew up homeless is accepted into Harvard

(Originally posted 06/28/14.)

Keep the focus on you

(Originally published 09/15/12 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Reblogged 06/25/14.)

Teddy is an old man. He wears a rosary around his neck, and never fails to “testify” in chapel. “I talk to the Father, Son and Holy Ghost every day,” he says. Every time there’s an altar call, he runs right up there to get born-again — again. Five times a week, he’ll do that.

He got barred out a year ago for selling someone oxycontin.

Friday night 09/07/12, he came back. He insists to everyone that he’s never been here before, and said he wants to get into the program.

Aside from those things, he hasn’t changed at all. Still all the same empty religious talk.

Sunday night he said he changed his mind about the program. They require you to sign over all your benefits, and he’s not willing to do that. That tells me you don’t want to get well.

I get bad feelings every time I see him.

———— ♦ ————

Sitting outside waiting to be let in, Wednesday 08/29/12 Fallon and a couple other guys I don’t like too much got into reminiscing about how this shelter used to be, years ago, before the renovation. This upset me.

Continue reading Keep the focus on you

Practical advantages of being a nice guy

(Originally posted 07/28/12 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Reblogged  05/14/14.) 

It’s been a long time since I last considered this; maybe because, for some months, there haven’t been that many jerks among us at the shelter. Whether the “spirit” I breathe out has anything to do with that, I don’t know.[1] But I was in the shower 07/01/12 and overheard that they’d run out of wash cloths, and that brought this to mind.

Just being a nice guy earns me concrete, practical rewards.

A number of mainstream people help me financially who definitely would not help a jerk.

If we’re in the smoke pit and I need to bum one, I’m far more likely to get one than would a jerk.

Last summer, there was a shortage of wash cloths, for reason that people were stealing them. At first, if you weren’t one of the first 40 to shower, you wouldn’t get one. Then it became 30. Then 20. Several guys, it turns out, actually donated wash cloths. I donated 15. They all disappeared.[2]

Some guys come to the clothes window and every day, it’s:
Continue reading Practical advantages of being a nice guy