Posted: June 5, 2007 in Bureauacracy, Homelessness, Misconceptions, Money

I find that I’m getting mixed reactions about this blog from people who personally know me. I get everything from scowls to the non-committal "that’s nice" to "hey, that’s great!" It certainly has some people thinking.

One of the things that has been happening is that some of the other homeless people are coming up to me and saying: "I have an idea for your blog," then they go on to tell me their idea.  

I listen as politely as possible, but when they’re done I tell them that although the idea is okay I can’t really use it. When they ask why I say because it’s their idea and whatever I do end up writing has to come from within me. Then I tell them that perhaps they should start a blog of their own and that would get their ideas out there in public.

There are a couple of the homeless who are a bit upset with me because I am blogging. Not only do they think that I’m capitalizing on and exploiting homelessness, but that it’s all a waste of time anyway, because – as one of them told me – "…it won’t make a damn difference. We’re still going to be treated like scum!"

There have been a few of them who are upset that in the time I’ve been writing this blog that things haven’t changed. For some reason I guess they expected that the world was going to change overnight and that everything was going to be "hunky-dory" for the homeless as a result of one persons’ blog.

I’d like for the system to turn out better when it comes to the way homeless people are treated in general, but I don’t see that happening anytime in the near future. I’d certainly like to see less homeless children and veterans but I know that it all comes down to the bottom line: money – or rather the lack of it.

Every group and organization wants their funding to be increased. Everyone thinks that their cause is the one that absolutely every last person should support. And, everyone thinks that the work they’re doing trumps every other cause.

It comes down to what side of the window you’re looking through that will ultimately dictate your perceptions. And, those perceptions can vary greatly – even from people looking at things from the same side.

It would be nice if there were some magic formula that would allow every organization with every cause to be able to be victorious over whatever it is they’re fighting for, but life just doesn’t work that way. It would be nice if there were enough money to go around, but there isn’t – or at least that’s what the rich folk say.

There are so many causes that I believe in, so many things that I would like to see mankind triumph over.

Prior to becoming homeless I used to support organizations like The Children’s Miracle Network, The Make A Wish Foundation, Toys For Tots and other groups whose cause was helping children. I still believe in the work they’re doing – and one day I’d like to once again be able to help support their work.

Right now, however, I’m focused on the struggles of the homeless – partly because I’m one of the homeless and partly because I don’t like the idea that people have to live in conditions that are below poverty level – especially in our own nation.

That there are people all over the world living in 3rd world conditions is something I’ve always known, but that there are people living in 3rd world conditions within the borders of our own country leaves me with a sick feeling in my stomach. And now – having to experience it personally – it just "brings it home" that much more realistically.

So many people are addicted to "reality" TV from the comfort of their own living rooms but they never seem to notice the reality of what is happening on the streets of our own communities. And that’s too bad.

Unfortunately, real life doesn’t have commercials.


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