FAILURE . . .

Hey guys,

So we’ve been hanging out here for over a decade (if you have been here since the beginning).

When I started this in an Excalibur hotel room in Las Vegas, I was a little buzzed and talking to my friends Bonnie and Isabel. They did not understand why I spend my days on skid row when I could choose to stay in cushy Arcadia, away from poverty, bugs and drugs.

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“Billy Blade” from my Skid Row days

The answer to that is “Poverty, drugs and disease are everywhere, even hidden in plain sight in ‘nice’ neighborhoods”. There is a stigma on poverty and people don’t ask for help because asking involves revealing that status.

My goal was to tell the story of my experiences – to let my friends see the world with me as their lens.

One example is: This is “Billy”. On the surface he is smelly, scary and unpleasant. He is a “stereotypical homeless guy” with visible symptoms of mental illness and completely off-putting. The reality of Billy is that he would bake me chocolate chip cookies on his cook stove and give me audio tapes of the radio show he always wished he could host. Billy was a teen foster kid who never bonded with his parents. As an adult he was desperate for love and acceptance but could not recognize it or trust it when it was offered to him. USC has taught me that this is related to Erickson’s stages of development and attachment. Fancy theories aside, what I want this blog to do is let you know that there is more to Billy than his smell and gruff manner and the surprising number of knives he has secreted on his person are more about him feeling safe and less about your chances of being stabbed by him.

In the big picture, I worry that I have failed. Homelessness sucks and I really wanted to slide in on the ground floor of the ending of homelessness. I had dreams that the problem would be defined and solution refined and I would be an active agent of change. The reality is that homelessness keeps increasing at 12% jumps. I suck. I have not ended anything.

But I also rock. Individuals have come to my desk homeless and the last time they left my office they had homes.

A bigger scale of success is “What have you learned from Homelessinla.com?”

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3 thoughts on “FAILURE . . .

  1. Yea, being homeless really sucks especially when you did not bring it upon yourself. I became homeless in Jan. 9, 2017 having Section8 because the “slumlord” did not want to renew the lease unless Section8 paid him more money for that rat hole of an apartment . Since then, I’ve been staying in shelters throughout LA and OC counties trying to find another apartment with my Section8 voucher that expired June 2017 but I can’t seem to find a prospective owner willing to accept Section8. I understand that maybe owners have had some unpleasant experiences with Section8 tenants however, it isn’t fair to hold the Section8 program responsible for what the client does. Meaning, owners should keep an open mind when it comes to Section8 and just maybe perform thorough screening of applicants . In reality, if Section8 were to be stopped altogether, many people will suffer extreme hardship not just Section8 recipients, but owners as well. Section8 is garuntee rent on time every month . I don’t understand why some owners would walk away from that. But nonetheless, here I am sitting in a Starbucks writting this with nowhere to go untill7 pm when they let us back in the shelter.

    1. Omg. That is aweful. And aweful lyrics familiar. Section 8 gives you a limited amount of time to find a place but doesn’t offer you any help trying to secure a match. I am so sorry to hear that you are going through this. What neighborhood are you looking for

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