The Will To Survive

Posted: September 14, 2007 in Employment, Homelessness, Money

One of the things that amazes me about people is the overall tenacity to survive. It doesn’t matter what their background, the religious beliefs, social or economic standing, everyone is just trying to get by the best way they can.

Persons who are homeless are the same. Many of the homeless people I know are trying desperately to find a way out of the morass they currently find themselves.  

There is one homeless gentleman I know who has had difficulties finding permanent employment. So, he finds himself bouncing from one temporary job to another. Most of the time he doesn’t earn more than minimum wage.

Yesterday afternoon he and I were talking and he’s worried because the job he’s on right now will be ending in a few days and he hasn’t been able to find another job when this one is done.

And, although he would like to find a way out of living life on the streets, he told me that he doesn’t think that it’s going to be happening in the near future because of his inability to find a job that will pay enough for him to be able to afford renting an apartment.

One homeless woman I know, who has been homeless for about a year and half, hasn’t been able to find any work at all. Because of some ongoing medical issues she’s a bit limited in what she can do. However, the medical problems she has aren’t "serious" enough for her to qualify for disability.

She tried panhandling for a while, but each time she did, "fine upstanding" male members of the community would make snide remarks about how she could make some "real" money if she were interested.

She finally started making small necklaces and bracelets out of beads and began selling them near the swap meet on Sundays. And, although she doesn’t make enough to really move ahead in life, the fact that she is "earning" some income – however small – makes her feel better about herself.

Another homeless gentleman I know uses his vehicle to recycle aluminum cans and plastic bottles.

He admits that he’s not getting rich and will probably not be able to get off of the streets. And although he intensely dislikes having to dig through trash cans and dumpsters, he finds that that is the only way he can put a few dollars into his pocket.

And, the list of homeless people who are trying to move ahead in life goes on.

For those who have a place to live, who take for granted the little things that many homeless people would give their eye teeth for: the next time you see a homeless person just remember that homelessness can afflict absolutely anyone one – including you.

  1. Jose says:

    “homelessness can afflict absolutely anyone one – including you”.

    WOW this is where it all started….

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