What do you think of homeless people? If you’ve never actually talked to one, how can you possibly know what you should think?
For all of her life, she had been unintentionally discriminating against the homeless population. She had assumed homeless people must all be crazy or doing drugs, she said.
But when her daughter took a field trip to San Francisco to work with the homeless population, Mayer learned differently.
Because she didn’t feel comfortable allowing her daughter to go on the mission trip alone, Mayer attended as well.
There, she met with a young homeless woman who changed her views on homeless people.
“I had thought they were crazy, addicts or filthy,” Mayer said. “My whole outlook toward homeless people completely changed.”
She returned home and after about three years of working with the local homeless population through her church’s youth group, she started the nonprofit YouthHope Foundation.
via REDLANDS: ‘Overprotective parent’ becomes homeless advocate | Local News | PE.com – Press-Enterprise.
What do people on the streets want? It’s often as simple as “a bottle of water, a hug, and some eye contact.”
Listen to Waterman Dave talk about how he learned this basic truth.
Anyone and everyone connected to homelessness in San Diego knows “Waterman Dave”. Dave Ross, who most people call Waterman Dave, spends his days handing out bottles of water to people experiencing homelessness. Dave also advocates for our homeless friends in big ways. A few years past he successfully sued the city over people’s belonging. That lawsuit created temporary storage facility. Dave was also instrumental in getting the seasonal emergency shelter extended, and he is currently battling to keep a few portable bathrooms open.
Dave is almost larger-than-life. As he walks and drives though San Diego’s worst neighborhoods, Dave almost has a draft effect of smiles. People who are down on their luck, living in small tent communities all over downtown, see Dave and know that for at least a moment they’ll get a bottle of water and friendly conversation.
via Mark Horvath at Invisible People TV
A cousin pointed out this article to me on Facebook, which makes some good points about what some might see as a controversial subject: homeless people using their slim resources to pay for cell phones.
As Kat Ascharya points out, people are often inclined to judge a homeless person talking on a cell phone as being wasteful with their limited financial resources. The truth is that a homeless person who understands and makes use of the advantages offered by today’s cell phones should be applauded for making smart financial choices. If you read the article, you will see what I mean. I’ve posted just a small tidbit below but encourage you to click through and read the whole thing.
I also want to point out, however, something that is less subtle about the article. Street Stories can be found anywhere if you just take the time to stop and listen. The article author not only bothered to smile and say hello to someone she knew was homeless, but she engaged him in conversation. Only by asking and listening can we see past the “homeless” label to the humanity of the person inside.
His phone, then, functions as an important conduit. On the surface, it’s his most important, practical tool. He can call places for work with it. He can call up shelters and other social services to see what’s available. He calls public transportation to find out which bus lines are running and check out schedules.
E-mail and text is especially important. He can reach out to friends to see if he can crash with them for a night or two, especially if the weather is rough. But he has to be careful. “You don’t want to impose,” he said. “You can’t exhaust your friends. Otherwise they’ll get tired of helping you, thinking, ‘Why are you still struggling?’” The hidden worry is that you’ll never leave.
via A Homeless Man and His BlackBerry | TIME.com.
I like the message this sends to Abercrombie and Fitch about the way they label “skinny” and “cool” people, but I have some concerns about using homeless people to make the point. On the one hand, it could be seen as a helpful image saying street people can be just as cool as the richer jet set A&F caters to, but on the other, this feels like using them as “objects” to make a point.
What do you think?
In response to Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries not wanting “not so cool” kids or women who wear size large to wear his company’s clothes, Greg Karber has come up with a funny and creative way to readjust the Abercrombie & Fitch brand.
He’s giving their clothes to the homeless.
via Guy Gives Abercrombie & Fitch A Brand Readjustment By Giving Their Clothes To The Homeless (VIDEO).
Voice of San Diego has been sharing emails from a newly homeless woman named Liz. Homelessness affects all ages, not just the youth I write about in my Street Stories suspense novels. When I see the picture above and read her emails, it brings home the fact that I could be this woman. She is no different from me except that I have family who can take me in if worse comes to worse.
I have to remember I am not 25 any more. But, I made it. At about 4 am I went to the back of Lestat’s where there are some stairs, right behind the fire station and I tried to snooze, but I just rested and closed my eyes.
I was trying so hard to stay away that I don’t think it was profitable to stay up all night and now I am trying, still to stay awake. I have to work this out. Sleeping at the shelter would be the best idea.
via – Voice of San Diego: San Diego’s Communities.
Some might think it just a publicity stunt, or a celebrity pretending to be something he really isn’t in real life, but there are several sources that claim comedian Russel Brand is genuine in his accessibility. If that is true, he gets what most people don’t. The important thing about homeless people is the “people” part, not the word homeless put in front of it. Don’t judge the homeless if you’ve never taken the time to talk to them and hear their story
Russell, 37, could be seen laughing as he chatted to a group at one point appearing to help a person rummage through the rubbish in a trash can in hope of pulling out some useful waste.
via Russell Brand rummages around in a rubbish bin with a homeless man… and walks away with a free find | Mail Online.