Homeless in the Storm

Daily PromptPick a random word and do Google image search on it. Check out the eleventh picture it brings up. Write about whatever that image brings to mind.

Image from Stephen DesRoches

The random word that came to mind was homeless.  Above is the 11th image.  Perhaps the word wasn’t all that random as I’ve been thinking about, worrying about the homeless people who found themselves hiding in a doorway or under a bridge, in a cardboard box in the path of hurricane Sandy.   Obama, mayors, governors, emergency personnel are all telling everyone stay indoors!  Go to higher ground!  Do not take this storm lightly and so on.

But the homeless…what about them?  They have nowhere to go hence the title homeless.  They have no warm home to hide out in, no higher ground to get to even if they had money to do so.

I read a variety of posts on the internet the last few days;  one post on Twitter stated they had seen a homeless man huddled in a doorway in Manhattan.  They contacted 911 with the thought that emergency personnel would come and collect the man and bring him to a safe shelter.  Two hours later however the man remained in the doorway.

Granted, some homeless wouldn’t want to leave what they consider to be a safe harbor from the storm.  But some would.  Certainly all should.

I worry about the homeless in weather like this.  Then I am conscious of the homeless during the holidays.  They are cold and hungry for certain. But isn’t it true these poor souls are hungry all the time?  Not just on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day.

It bothers me that we see so many people (thinking celebrities) helping homeless people when its “fashionable” but what about the rest of the 363 days (exclude Thanksgiving and Christmas) for these homeless people?

Homeless people are homeless for a variety of reasons.  I know some people believe it’s a choice to be homeless or not.  But fact is in this economy it isn’t a choice one makes.  It’s a choice handed them by the loss of a job, no money, no family or friends to help, etc.  Yes, maybe a handful of homeless prefer that life but I do not believe it’s the majority.

Because these poor souls don’t have an address assigned to their name does not mean its ok to pretend they don’t exist–to not see them—to not afford them the same protection from the storm as taxpayers seem to expect.

Do you have any homeless people in your neighborhood?  If you don’t think so, are you sure?  Have you LOOKED at the people on the street, in the park, on the bus stop?  Maybe they are homeless and you haven’t noticed.

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4 thoughts on “Homeless in the Storm

  1. This is a copy paste from my own blog where I answered this question; but it would be wrong to answer it on my blog without answering it here where I first saw it …

    *Note* Even the post on my own blog was a copy-paste from a journal that I’m keeping for a course in Emotional Therapy. so this feedback is actually a modified version of a journal entry.

    So, one of my blogging friends has posed a question on her blog (not one of mine, of course) which is to think of a random word, then Google it, then choose the 11th image, then stick that image in your blog and write about it. So I left some feedback about her choice which was “homelessness”. A great topic. Her name is Rose Chimera.

    I couldn’t answer her question at the time because it was really late and I wanted to go to bed, but I was mid-way through a discussion about dreams with another blogging friend which kept me up pretty late. Interesting discussion. Anyway, back to Rose’s question … so I was thinking about what word to choose and I thought I should choose an emotion since I’m doing this journal and it might give me something to contemplate and write about.

    And that got me thinking about everything that’s been going on this last week or so with various people, and why they can’t just get over their jealousy/pride (masks for terrible insecurity). Does it constitute corporal punishment if a woman doesn’t smack her kid but she keeps them on such a tight leash that they have to live squashed under her thumb? I think it does. Poor kid. A teenager with a control-freak mother like that.

    At least my mother gave me plenty of freedom to grow into the person I wanted to become.True, she expected me to turn out differently, but at least I was free. And yes, she may not like me (she’s made that apparent plenty of times, main reason I don’t care what other people think about me – whatever you throw at me can’t be worse than what my own mother did! LOL.) but at least she didn’t try to create a mini-clone of herself. Anyway, I’m straying off topic. So right, Rose Chimera’s question. I decided to choose the emotion which has been flying at me from every direction this last week –

    Jealousy.

    So I followed her instructions and it turns out the 11th picture for “Jealous” was pretty cool! I wasn’t sure what to expect, I mean, it could be something really lame. But I liked it. I’ll put it in my blog when I answer her question.

    *Edit* for ET Journal 3 http://tfaswift.wordpress.com/2012/10/31/et-journal-3/ – Here’s the picture I found online, so I’ll be using this in my post when I write about it. And of course, I will include my answer on Rose’s blog and then give her due credit on my blog for her inspiration. Thank you Rose Chimera! “Thank you” is a nice word, isn’t it?

    [This is where I have the required image on my post, according to Rose Chimera’s rules.]

    It’s funny how I seem to have been born without that gene or something. The jealousy-gene. I only felt jealous once in my life when I was 14 and there was this girl in my class who had the most gorgeous hair I’ve ever seen, even to this day. She had golden ringlets down to her waist. No frizz. Just silky golden ringlets. Everyone always made such a huge fuss over her hair and I was jealous. Yes, I don’t deny it for a second. *Edit* must have been born with jealousy gene because I felt jealous when I was 14. But I suppose we can genetically alter ourselves, or overwrite certain genetically encoded information. It happens.

    I also had long hair back then, but it didn’t look like that!! LOL. It looked more like Carrrie’s hair from Sex & the City. But this girl had perfect fairy tale princess hair. Anyway, two days before I left that school for good because we were moving to another country, I walked into class and there she was with very VERY short hair. It was all gone. I actually dropped my schoolbag and I think I may have been gaping while I stared at her. I wasn’t the only one. Others were also staring and asking a million questions.

    I admit, I felt happy. And I admit I actually had this evil thought: “Why couldn’t you have done it before? Why did you wait until two days before I’m due to leave?”

    Isn’t that awful?? Yes, I know, it was awful. Because I knew it would take a couple of years to grow back, you see.

    Anyway, guess why she cut it off? She had spent the night at her best “friend’s” house. And her best friend had persuaded her that she would suit short hair. So she believed her friend, and her friend actually got the sheers and chopped off all those golden ringlets, practically down to the scalp. I mean, as nasty as my evil thoughts had been at that time – feeling glad that her hair was gone – I still don’t think I could have taken the scissors to it myself. I mean, WOW.

    So yes, jealousy. I do know how it feels. It’s AWFUL. And it makes you think awful things, and maybe even take a pair of scissors to your best friend’s hair and chop it all off while trying not to grin wickedly the whole time. But at least I didn’t do that.

    And you know what, this is weird, because since then, I’ve never felt jealous again. I think I knew even back then at the age of 14 that how I felt was so awful, and maybe even evil, (and I don’t care if people call it “normal” because a lot of “normal” stuff is crap), I think I recognised something in myself then that I didn’t like.

    And I just crushed it. Like you’d crush a bug. Except that I don’t crush bugs unless they’re already suffering and dying and then I’ll stomp on them and grind them into pieces with my heel just to make sure they’re really dead, poor things. To put them out of their misery.

    Sometimes you have to kill something to end its suffering. I once found a dog in Spain that had been run over and it only had 2 1/2 legs left. Yes, one whole leg was gone and the bottom half of one leg had been ripped off. I picked her up, crying pathetically (me, the dog was in shock), she was jut a little thing, white and fluffy, and put her into my car. I always had some old blankets in my car because of the run-over-dog situation in that area (to soak up the blood).

    And now I’m crying again as I remember it … Poor baby. Anyway, she didn’t suffer too long. Thank God for that wonderful vet. He’s a saint.

    Wait, what I was I talking about … oh right. Since then I have never felt jealous of anyone. Even beautiful young girls, half my age. Or people more talented than me. Or more knowledgeable. Or more educated. Or more rich. Or just more anything. I don’t care. I’ll even sing their praises. They were either born lucky or they worked for it. Why should anyone be jealous of that?

    I’m not sure what happened. Maybe I just grew up and grew secure in myself. I’ve had people jealous of me for the most stupid things, and it’s like, “What am I supposed to do? Apologise because I’m taller than you? Or because I have an expensive coat?” Why do you hate someone for that kind of thing? Whatever. Like I said, don’t care anymore. I don’t feel jealous – you should have seen the knock-out housekeeper that we had back in Spain! WOW. She’d come over twice a week for an hour and it was like there was this gorgeous sunflower bobbing around the flat. Seriously, like 5’10″ tall, huge boobs, blonde hair down to her waist, big blue eyes, and 21 years old.

    I sometimes used to wonder who else she worked for because most women are so damn jealous all the time, they’d never allow a woman like that into their home around their boyfriend/husband/partner. But I didn’t mind. I say to my hubby, “Darling, I don’t mind if you’re surrounded by a meadow of beautiful flowers. Just don’t pick any.”

    Anyway, so those are my reflections for today. And I suppose in a way I feel sorry for the jealous people because I felt it once and it burned like the fires of hell. So I’m glad I haven’t felt it since. They say it’s a form of flattery when someone is jealous of you. I suppose it is, I mean the way they try to imitate and copy you and so on. But I know the poor things are secretly living in hell. It’s a painful place to be.

    So all those jealous people have my sympathy, for whatever reason you’re feeling jealous, and whoever you feel jealous of. Try to get over it and stop obsessing over others. You probably imagine that they spend all their time dwelling on how amazing they are, and that they’re better than everyone else, but they’re probably just busy being normal and living their life. I’m sure they’re not really gloating or feeling superior to you at all; in fact, they probably don’t even know you’re alive. So try to find some solace in that.

    And that’s my word – Jealous.

    Thank you to Rose Chimera for the inspiration! Very interesting and thought provoking post. I hope you get loads of feedback! 🙂

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  2. I will do this challenge, Rose Chimera, but it’s almost 1.30 am here now, so next time. I can’t put my photo on your blog, but I’ll write about it. As for the homeless people, I agree with you. We have a lot of homeless here. We live just outside the city, but whenever I go into the city, I see them. I *always* give them something, usually food because I worry if I give them money they will buy alcohol or drugs. I don’t even judge them for that; who knows how they got addicted? I especially offer them a hot drink as well in the winter months.
    They are so grateful for a coffee. Honestly I feel so bad for them all winter (not just at Christmas) but from now through to April because English is COLD. And many of the homeless people in our town have dogs. Some have 2 or 3 dogs. They try to keep their dogs warm with old raggedy dog jumpers, or blankets if they don’t have dog jumpers. If I see a dog without a jumper, I will go and buy one for it. I know it’s quite expensive, but I consider it a good deed and my conscience wouldn’t let me sleep thinking about that poor dog shivering out there in the ice cold temperatures when I can afford to buy it a coat.
    I have talked about homeless people sometimes and some people seem kind of angry. They say things like they’re addicts so they almost deserve it. Anyone who isn’t an addict is lucky. How do we know how it feels? Science is proving it’s genetic, and how do we know why they got hooked on drugs in the first place if it’s drugs instead of alcohol. Some kids try stupid things, and maybe they didn’t come from a good home. There are endless possibilities. All I care about is that it’s a cold, hungry person (maybe with a cold hungry dog) and I can do something to alleviate that, if only for a while.
    Great choice of subject. I shall have to think about which word I will enter into Google.

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    • I think its a cop-out for people to merely assume that the homeless are addicts. That addiction brought them to where they are. Granted some are addicts but most certainly not all!

      I have seen people criticize homeless for having a dog. But vets and shelters across the nation are all of the same mind…those animals are actually in very good health. Better than some animals they treat in their clinics that are owned by people with homes. Why is that? Because the homeless person understands the value of companionship. This dog is his/her companion. Someone to cuddle with when its cold, someone to talk to on long summer days, someone for company. The dog as we all know will respond with utter loyalty and protection. Its the nature of the beast.

      Also, have we ever ever heard of a homeless person turning in their pet to a shelter? Because they couldn’t feed it, shelter it, keep it? The dog doesn’t go with the furniture?! I think the answer is no. A homeless person keeps their pet. Fact is these pets are homeless too. I believe they pick their owners…they decide this homeless person needs and the dog rises to the occasion. Humans don’t understand that quite so well. Its basic really. A dog needs a human. The human who happens to be homeless needs company–maybe even a reason to wake up the next day. The two find each other. Its poetry in motion of life.

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