Stereotype + Mythology
If poverty is a tight-rope walk, homelessness is a tight-rope walk in a hurricane while juggling chainsaws, blindfolded.
Frugality, poverty, struggle, these are circumstances a lot of successful people are conversant with. The immigrant story. The refugee story. The single mother story. These are well understood, worthy contests of will and resolve. All too often, they are experiences equated with homelessness. The differences are stark.
Poverty is a grind. It’s a fight to create a way forward, outward, and into something better. Poverty can drive both ambition and hope, strengthening those forces and shaping a person’s struggle into something heroic. Crucially, poverty involves a certain amount of control over life circumstances. This is not the case with homelessness. Homelessness is a world unto itself; bleak, and a welcome milieu for despair.
My life in homelessness has been a constant fight. It’s a fight not for warmth or against hunger, but for identity, agency, and survival of self. After fifteen years, it’s also a blandly familiar struggle. My life is a running battle to marshal hope, keep faith, and to endure. Where strangers often see only the inertia of the homeless, in truth, we live in a sort of constant turmoil — an inhuman, gruesome, never-ending state of restive disquiet.
Where in that set of conditions is there space for everything that makes a life? I sleep on the street and have done for almost a decade now. I’m not lazy, unmotivated, sick, or a masochist. I need your help. It’s simple.
While writing this, I’ve attempted to come up with something funny to say, a bit of dry humour, perhaps, to make this post memorable. The best I came up with was some terrible play on a concept spun off the Twin Peaks Soundtrack. Half-meme and half-Abrahamic, it was something about goats, falling, mountains and thwarted potential.
How you can help:
Please donate. Even if you can’t donate, you can share my fundraiser.
Deliver something from the Wish List. A range of items are listed, but I really do need a more up-to-date phone.
Do you have a volunteer opportunity? An internship? Odd jobs? Room for rent above your garage? Contact me.
If you think you have some way to help, or if your are only curious, email me. You will get a reply.
Thanks for your time.