Frame of Mind

Posted: July 16, 2007 in Discrimination, Employment, Homelessness, Hopes

There are times when no matter what you do, nothing seems to go the way you had hoped it would. For many of San Luis Obispo’s homeless that plays itself out most of the time.

In the past couple of weeks some of the homeless I know have become all excited about a possible job that they thought they had a good chance at getting. They start talking about how nice it will be to have a chance at making some money, how they’re going to work on saving enough for a car or deposit on an place to live then – just like that – the bottom drops out of the dream.  

Some of them have actually been called in for interviews and have been led into thinking that they have a very good chance at the job, but somehow the job doesn’t materialize.

One of the homeless women I know had gone in for an interview at one place, was re-interviewed a few days later, then was told by the store manager that she would be on the next weeks’ work schedule and that she should check back in a day or two to find out what days she would be working.

This young woman was so excited about "getting" the job that she called her family and told them that she had been hired and would be starting work within the next week. But, when she checked back with the store manager a few days later, she was informed that the manager had "forgotten" to schedule her for work that week, but that she would most certainly be scheduled the following week.

The following week, the manager had once again somehow "forgotten" to add this woman’s name to the work schedule. All the while the "Now Hiring" sign continued to hang in the front door window.

What is so sad about this situation is that it plays itself out over and over again in the lives of so many of this community’s homeless. They get themselves all geared up to begin a new job. They begin making plans for their future – a future where they don’t have to rely on homeless support services for their daily bread – but in the end all their future provides them with is more disappointment.

Yet, they still move on. They continue to struggle at trying to find employment. They continue to hope that someone will eventually give them a chance at making their lives better. And, despite the bitter disappointments, they manage to somehow maintain an optimistic attitude.

With the many times that they’ve been let down by the system, it’s a wonder that more of them don’t simply give up and surrender to homelessness altogether.

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