Outside

So I have spent a couple nights outside this last week. Its scary and chilly. I was lucky to be advised to go to Cambridge, in Harvard Square If I don’t get a bed or if I want to enjoy more freedom in my day. People who “live” here keep an eye on each other, the people who work in the Square seem nice as well, students care too. I see a lot of the things Mark Horvath (Twitter @hardlynormal) has said that can be negative, the feedings and such.

The first night I wasn’t as prepared for the cold as I had thought, so this night I brought my sleeping bag, next time I will nix the hard case carry-on for something soft.

Its 515am and in about an hour or so I will head back to South Boston, maybe eat breakfast at Women’s Lunch Place . Or wait longer, doze off in the T station where its warm and then head to Rosie’s Place to get a shower in at 8am… maybe doze off in my storage unit for an hour….

 

So on the housing front, I was put back on the priority waiting list and told it could be 2 or so months to get housing…. Yay me!

Life Expectency of the Homeless

… in America is between 42 and 52 years.

The first full week I was in the shelter a young woman committed suicide. She was just 19 years old, married, but had just recently miscarried twins in the 5th month. She was set up for early death. Her husband was in jail down the street, so she was alone, she had a history of stillbirth, and was homeless.

when I asked what had happened, the accounts from the ladies vary to gruesome. This is what happened, she went to her bed shortly after being assigned one, no one recalls if she ate dinner, she covered herself with her sheet and swallowed a whole bottle of pills, klonopin called Pins on the street. Sometime after mid-night a fire alarm went off (something that was frequent but seems less so now), as the staff was doing a bed check they discovered her, in full rigor. When there was an all clear and people could return ti the building, the women were held back for as long as 230am to investigate and remove the body. The shelter considered letting the women sleep in intake and by the time the women got to bed it was 3am, 2.5 hours from wake up.¬† It also appears that this young woman’s husband was told of her death in the daytime via phone.One woman said that the young woman was clutching a photo of her holding he dead twins.

There were red flags that even a layman would understand that she was a suicide risk, but BMC still released her. I hope to hell someone is being sued.

Just about two weeks ago another woman from the shelter was found to be dead while visiting a friend, she was 46 and had fell asleep after ODing, She was in Rehab. One of her friends found out late and had a complete breakdown, either she was arrested or taken to a mental health facility.

These stories are just the tip of the iceberg of a horrible system of homelessness and how people become homeless. Many of the people I meet are sick with diabetes, heart disease, back injuries, etc. The food is keeping people from a healthy life… Pushing pre-diabetics into the disease with the high sodium and complex carbohydrate food they serve. Either you have chicken in a over salted sauce or mystery meat (pieces of beef or just flavor) with pasta or mushy undercooked rice. No salad greens or brown rice options for those needing it whether for health, religion, or vegetarian lifestyles. You are not allowed to bring in fresh fruit as you may have laced it with alcohol or drugs. Nothing bigger that snack sized that is sealed, no cans or glass (totally understand that). Junk food oh hey no problem there. Vending machines carry mostly diet sodas, which isn’t all that healthy either, and low calorie snacks. Therefor people will go without eating and one reason behind obese homeless people.

Mayor Menino touts the healthy options people have if on food stamps with the farmers market, but what good is it for the homeless? If you live in shelters you get half as much time in your day to get stuff done if you are lucky enough to have a bus pass you can go to day shelters for breakfast and lunch where there are healthier food choices. There are literally no places to cook or prep fresh veggies and fruits if you are homeless anywhere that I know of.

Taxpayers should know what they pay for and I aim to show them.

 

not housed

As of June 24, 2012 I am homeless again. Wore out my welcome. Had anxiety attack yesterday, being broke limits mobility a ton. Some man at Long Island Shelter gave me a bunch of $2 passes as Tpass rates go up today and my monthly pass expired last night.
I get money on the 4th and 19th of every month. The between times suck ass hardcore.

My Brother

I don’t know really where to start…

He took care of me when we were real young after our parents divorced. We didn’t have an ideal childhood, but who has. We are really what our parents make of us, if they screwed up than we might just be screwed too. That’s where mentors and friends come in. If they also screwed up, well fuck….

Mike didn’t have to do much of anything to get in trouble, he was boy and sometimes at the wrong place at the wrong time, or doing the crime. It got worse as he grew older, if he was with a certain crowd the police didn’t like they trailed them, until they could do something legally to get them. So yeah he had minor run ins with the law that is typical of small town foolery. As a legal adult it got more serious, drugs and alcohol. He got busted along with a long list of friends and acquaintances for possession with intent to sell marijuana. He spent 90 days in jail. He played it careful after that for some time. In fact the police fucked up in more cases than my brother or his friends did.

My brother did well for himself up until after 2002 when much of what he had saved was lost after 9/11, his 401k. He’d never really had many if any corporate jobs, always on his own or working through friends in construction. I knew he did drugs, pot, maybe some other stuff, steroids, bleh. He had his share of girlfriends, most I feel were too manipulative or immature. So was Mike in many ways, wasn’t always faithful and was shallow. Party, party, party, was his life. He organised some underground parties with well known DJ’s from all over the East Coast. Made some money on that, lost a lot. It was 2003-2005 that things changed in his life is crazy fast bad and good ways. He got shot being in the wrong town at night. His best friend died from no known cause. He started dating a girl he put off. He became addicted to Oxycodone and was fooling with heroin. He became a dad in 2005. He sought treatment for his addiction so he could be a better dad.

I don’t know everything he has don’t but he hasn’t given up on being a dad.

He was there when mom got her double lung transplant in 2008 and some time after, before going back east to find work…. Be a dad… Mend thing with on again off again mother of his daughter. They came to Arizona September 2009 as a family for a visit. I hadn’t seen my niece in 3 years… It was a good visit for mom….

Mike still sought treatment, he was in and out of homelessness. He was busy dealing with that when things took a turn with mom. I begged him to come out as a family to see mom, to help me. He came alone since he was out of work again as of April 2011. When mom passed away on June 26, 2011 he changed, he was more angry, at mom’s side of the family for their ignorance and hate, the lies mom lived off of through that family just made him so mad. How the family seemed to be so put out with mom dying and having a service for her, and their callousness in how they treated us. No money for us to strike it out on our own after much sacrifice.

He did what he could, I made many attempts to get him to come down to Boston for drug treatments and work. He fought it like always, assuming he knew best…

Now he is behind bars for drugs and criminal threatening… I am trying to go visit him in jail, need some money for a Commuter rail pass and timing for my uncle to be on the visitor list and releasing Mike Debit Card so I can get him set up with phone privileges and with the commissary. sigh…. Bail is something like $5k…He is better staying in jail and getting time served….. anyways… That just the tip of what is my brother…

I have to talk about it…

My own belief that I didn’t belong in a shelter put me in danger one night. I posted on craigslist looking for a place to stay. I trusted a stranger, bad move. For one he lived far away in Burlington and I wanted to stay in Boston so I can get on the bus or walk a mile to the T. He treated me like I was someone who could be dangerous. When we got to his place he insisted on making me a tea and tried to get me to sleep in his bed. I stood my ground and said no there is a free couch available. Good thing I did that. It seems he may have drugged me and I could have been raped. I mean the tea tasted gross and I barely could drink it, he kept pushing it on me. I woke in the middle of the night feeling like lead. I had a job interview to go to in the morning and instead of going right to the hospital even though I was still feeling funky I waited. I did go to the ER, nothing came up, they said it could be I waited to long or I was given something they can’t test since he was from Uganda.Or it could have been a bad reaction. it tasted soooo bitter, not like lemon tea.

It was a week before I told anyone else what had happened. I went back to the shelter. Now you know.

Self Discovery

I have spent a lot of precious time in the therapist chair hashing up old memories and old hurts that still burn today. Because my life was and still is full of instability and turmoil, I skipped stages of growth essential to maturity. I so busy being scared of being discovered as an incest survivor and being reviled and rejected even more than I already was.I never had enough trust to have close friends.

I think what sucks about being a kid is that adults make decisions for you and about you with the best intentions, but fuck you up majorly. I don’t even need to give examples, we’ve all experienced it. We can relate and can write our own lists of how our parents or teachers fucked us over. I remember trying so many different things as a kid (ballet, gymnastics, the clarinet), and I remember it was the adults who let me down. They didn’t see someone with potential, they just saw a scrawny little kid that need a little more attention than they were willing to give. I was a Junior before anyone saw that artistic side of me and fostered it. Mr Strom saw my skill in photography when people still used 35mm cameras, and another teacher for a creative writing class saw my strengths in my writings.

My mom was my greatest fan, and was always telling me I should pursue a career in photo-journalism or the such. I had to be practical and work to pay the bills and get what I needed and wanted in life. But being practical has brought me where I am now, 36 years old with no job and technically homeless.

I mean I’ve made attempts at making hemp jewellery and that has gone ok. I’m still working on it. So the other day when I was in Downtown Boston I stopped in Windmill Fabrics, I was pondering whether sewing could be a skill I could master. I went in and was leafing through a pattern book and patterns on hand, when an euphoria came over me. I knew then that it was something I could do. It’s more of a matter of access to supplies and discipline.

So I guess what I am saying is, is that so many things can distract us and have us spinning in circles before we find out who we are and what purpose we serve when we are at our worst. My mom is gone. My family practically non-existent, I’ve been homeless and still scared to death to look for work. But I have a support system, a new family though not blood related, and I am grateful for them being in my life everyday. My new family have helped me to discover myself, and give me so much room to be a better person not just to others but to myself as well.

Who Am I?

The Leo in me is always right ;)

my transformation out of invisible to an individual  I want these.

What does my future hold for me when I am down and out feeling lost and alone I seek a place within for peace or a place with a quiet serenity.

I am literally scared to death trying to look for work, anything really. I am afraid of screwing up and failing everyone. I took work in the past that was a band-aid, a just for now job, those never lasted long.

I want to explore my artistic side, always have wanted to work with clay and make Goddess figurines like these….¬† I want this necklace for sure, .

I want to see if I can sew and make dresses like these…

I hope my dreads will look like this or this