I am spending the night sleeping on Skid Row. I don’t want to insult anyone by pretending to be homeless and then going home to my soft bed and exploiting the experience for attention. That’s too rude even for me. I want to show you somethings and get you to help me answer this question:
What would it take for someone to be able to walk away from homelessness?
My friend Juan has me thinking about this.
Particularly, I want to know:
- What does a woman need to leave the streets
- What is it like to be a woman on skid row
- How do pregnant Women get health care
- Where is the safest place to sleep
- Are there services just for women and how do you find them
- Where do you pee?
- What do you do with your stuff when you go look for a restroom
- where can you shower
- where do you do laundry
- where can you get food
- Pregnant women need vitamins – how do you get them and store them
- where do you get something to drink
- what are the dangers of “sleeping rough”?
So Mark (@HardlyNormal of @InvisiblePeople and @WeareVisable) interviews citizens who are homeless and let’s them tell their stories. That’s not my thing.
I am a spoiled brat with a diva complex and what my daughter calls “Princess and the Pea Syndrome”. If anyone can relate first hand and compare and contrast (remember THAT from High School English?) the differences – it should be me.
I also happen to be 5 months pregnant and I work with homeless mothers and pregnant women in my day job, where I often feel like I am just giving lip-service to the matter and not digging in as much as I should – so when I go to my nice Medical center for Check ups, or passd out on my soft mattress, I have a sence of duty to do more. This is me, Sonya, trying to do more.
For most women, Homelessness isn’t a choice – it is the result of a bad relationship and domestic violence – but there are not enough services available to mothers and DV shelters were drastically hurt in the budget last year – and private charities and churches and individuals have not been able (or willing) to make up the difference in the funding.— I think it is because we – with our armchairs and televisions- can’t begin to know what the reality is like.
We also don’t know what to do to be effective.
That is what I want to show you – because YOU are the people who can make a difference. I have Monday off to sleep and recover and plot what to do with what I learn.
I will be available on twitter @sonyakeith and posting here and on FaceBook through the night for your comments and questions.
Rev. Andy Bales of the URM and Dan Portnoy will be sleeping out on Skid Row as well. I kinda invited myself to join them.