David worked as a chimney sweep for 23 years in Minneapolis, but when the economy crashed, work slowed and he lost his job. Both David and his wife ended up homeless going from shelter to shelter. Right now they are couch surfing, staying in a over-crowded apartment with friends.
I cannot imagine living homeless in Minnesota. David tells the story of how they lived under a freeway bridge for a time, and were lucky to not be hurt when the bridge collapsed.
Mike told me the shelter makes people blow into a breathalyzer to get in at night. I understand and actually support abstinence based models as long as there are other ‘low barrier’ options in the community available. Alcohol and drugs eventually take over a person’s life and they cannot simply quit. By only allowing sober people into the homeless shelter in severe weather states like Minnesota, chronic alcoholics are then refused services when they need them the most.
It is completely unacceptable that people like Catherine, and there are many, go through the homeless services system over and over and over just to return to the streets! It is completely unacceptable that Catherine’s only hope now is to have a major surgery so she can be placed in a nursing home! It is completely unacceptable that several homeless service agencies have given up on Catherine!
Please share Catherine’s powerful story with everyone you know. My hope is that somehow this video will get seen by the right people who will take action to help fix the broken homeless services system. While we say “whatever it takes”, the real truth is people just like Catherine die on the streets everyday! With the boomer generation reaching the senior years we are going to see a lot more people like Catherine living without adequate housing and support. If we cannot take care of one senior woman in fifteen years time we’re in a whole lot of trouble next few years.Distributed by OneLoad.com
Somehow in the flurry of moving, I missed the fact that Judith Kirscht posted my guest post over at her blog about some of the real life street stories I experienced which inspired my suspense series.
Words paint pictures, evoke memories and move hearts.
It was late at night and summer when I used to walk the streets of Chicago near LaSalle and Hubbard. I was volunteering once a week with Emmaus Ministries then and accompanied by a staff person. Armed with business cards, we would make sure people without homes knew where they could go for a home cooked meal, clean clothes and conversation.
These are examples of the many reasons I chose to write about street people in my STREET STORIES suspense novels. Not to exploit them, or sensationalize homelessness, or advocate social change, but just to engender awareness. If we open our eyes and our ears, what will we see? If we open our hearts, what can’t we accomplish?
Al chose to move to Seattle because of its appreciation for the arts, says though that he’s finding it harder to become a human here than it is an artist.
His art and life mix together, he plays guitar beautifully, makes jewelry, carves wood, is a photographer, used to love working in the darkroom, likes to draw and paint too.
via Homeless in Seattle.
As a society, we must stop this rotation from jail to homelessness and then back to jail. Right after this video Austin Police stopped in front of us. For a second, I thought they were after me for some reason, but then I remembered Soda Pop was behind me, and quickly the police officers placed their attention on my new homeless friend. The criminalization of homelessness does not solve homelessness, it just increases taxpayer costs!