By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter/Facebook.com/grannygee
Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
This is no way right … no matter which way you turn it around in your mind to look at it. Punish someone because they have no where to go … and dare be in your sight? Wouldn’t you be ashamed to think like that? Would you want to go to your church … say that publicly?
I keep reading about police harassing the homeless … cities wanting to fine homeless people for daring to be seen sleeping (they call it rough sleeping) out in the open. If they had money … you know they’d be inside somewhere where there are more comforts.
I think about Vern, the homeless guy we met … he said some homeless slept on the sidewalks because they felt safer … he and his buddies sleep in the woods because … they think it safer. He told us about one of his homeless friends being murdered on the sidewalk … his face was beaten until no longer recognizable … he was murdered.
Give the homeless people an area, a safe space … give them tents or a smaller than … portable tiny house on wheels/wagon, blankets, barrels and wood for warmth … water … portable toilets. How much does that cost? You know how wagon trains did in the old days … only in this instance … tiny houses on little wagons to pull around in a circle at night for security, safety … portable toilets for men, women in the middle.
Less than the money it takes to pay wages to policemen to take all that time to harass some helpless person … all that time they could be protecting someone in danger. I won’t argue this with anyone … we all know I’m right.
Homeless people aren’t going away … each day more and more people become homeless because when they ask for help … while they ‘look presentable’ … everyone they meet says ‘no’ … finally they are forced to live in the open. They become … look what they are … homeless.
Make tiny houses on wheels … no bigger than a shopping cart,lightweight … let them live in them … stop adding to the problem. Make something … at least something to help the problem … not aggravate it.
I am only a door in my home to walk to open … to be homeless. Sometimes now … I turn my desk chair around … I look at that door … and think about that. I become afraid … would you?
I know how it feels to have everything … and now … nothing. I didn’t need anything then … never wanted to take if I had what I needed … I always gave to all the fund-raising events for cancer, for people to have heat … people who stand with their signs … especially to the Salvation Army, Red Cross.
I gave to people my Heart led me to give to … people who never were aware of me until the moment I did … when I gave, I smiled … walked away … no strings attached. Those were some of the greatest moments in my life … my reward … was a warm Heart for what I did. Happiness knowing I made a difference.
My husband just had a stroke, and a pacemaker and can’t work … There are many people like us .. already homeless … we may have to find their paths, follow. We are told there isn’t any money, no resources to help senior citizens, disabled senior citizens.
We were told to go to a shelter … split up … let go of our 2 dogs whom are children to us. Get rid of our belongings … go away from ‘home’, each other. We were told … at this moment I don’t know where any shelters are. Oh … I don’t know what to tell you. A Spanish woman told us this on an evening of a big ice storm coming that night. She didn’t ask us if we had a warm place to go to … all she wanted to do was get in her car, leave for her home. She beat us to her car … just as we were opening the door on ours. No compassion … a blank wall … dead end.
What happened to all the others who were older, disabled before us? Sleeping in the woods … benches … out where they are harassed, beaten … murdered, robbed for what tiny little things they have on their bodies.
My husband and I used to team drive out west on a big truck … we gave to the homeless we saw … sometimes, putting them up in a motel for several nights … always stopping to give money.
We had money to give then … now … when we never have more than a few dollars in our pockets … we still stop, give a dollar or two. That’s how passionate we are about people who have nobody … nowhere to go … and are at the mercy of the world.
I personally think videos, tv shows have numbed our compassion for people. It’s too easy to read the book without opening it … too much trouble to open the book … we just look at the cover, see what we want to see. So when one looks at … homeless people … they only see a drug addict, or a drunk … nothing more. They never see … the ‘diamonds in the rough’.
Even in politics … no respect for the others running for office. Everyone is rude … everyone being people who are our role models … why they are public figures! If they can do this … say that … we can do the same thing, it’s alright because … they did it! This is strictly my Gloria Opinion … I will not argue it with any one. You have an opinion … I respect that … the End.
There are all kinds of reasons unknown to the naked eye … that put each homeless person there. It isn’t always substance abuse … it isn’t always someone looking for a handout, out to get something free. Instead of thinking your reasons ‘why?’ they are there … do what we are supposed to do when we can … give with a free heart … you know your intentions when you give … that’s all that matters … it’s how you give it, what’s in your mind.
Just know … those people don’t choose to be there … they ran out of choices … it takes family support, money in this world … to be able to make choices to have a home, car … all you are left with is your pride when homeless … even that slips away after having to become what your surroundings/environment demands in order for you to survive. Not everyone has family …
You have to … become something you no longer recognize. Just imagine this to give you an idea … you see trash all over the ground … you see a sparkle … are you drawn to it?
Now … if that sparkle was covered in dirt … could you see it, be drawn to it? The dirt protects the diamond … keeping attention away. The diamond becomes … part of its surroundings in order to survive … people … become … what they have to … in order to survive.
There are many, many … diamonds … in the homeless world … no one sees them. That’s why sometimes … someone will see a sparkle … in the homeless world … try to pull the ‘diamond’ out for others to see … why this is a human being … look at how he can sing, speak … oh my! what is he doing in the homeless world?
Do you see what I am saying. We all act like it’s such a surprise to see a homeless person … ‘be like us’! Have a beautiful voice … to speak, sing. Or be able to draw like nobody’s business. Oh my God … this ‘animal’ is … like us! They can do so much, I wonder why? they are homeless if they can do so much?
You’ve heard it just like I have … you see the awe, surprise when a homeless person/diamond is discovered. Everyone’s amazed. All because … someone saw the diamond/person …. sparkle/come alive … for a moment. Everyone comes running to see … ready to make money for … their discovery. The whole world is … about money.
You can argue all day long that money can’t buy this, buy that. I’m not going to argue with you. I’ve been on both sides. No matter what … money does make all the difference in one’s life. Without money … you can’t pay for your basic comforts such as electric, water, tv, insurance, car payments … everything you ‘need’ to live comfortably in this world.
Money is only made ‘evil’ … by people who misuse it … rob, kill for it. One can make the choice to use it for good … or for … bad. It’s all up to the one … who is control of it.
Sometimes … we see people use it to raise their families, college for their children to succeed in life … money meant to help the people of the community, projects, etc. They forgot what it was intended for … they began to think it is … theirs. Think about the people you know … who have done this in the past. Every town has people who have embezzled … they took care of their own.
What’s sad … is when people in desperation … who never ask for help … come to a time in their life they need help … are told there aren’t any resources to help them … there’s no money. Why do those people have a job if there’s nothing to work with?
Why do these people sit at a desk to say … there aren’t any resources to help senior citizens, disabled … anyone … and there hasn’t been any money since 2008. Do they get a salary to sit there … just to tell people that? To tell people there isn’t a list of resources to check out … to tell people … “I don’t know what to tell you”.
I don’t mind telling you … I stopped by a HUD office … someone told me ‘they could help, tell me which direction to go in’. I found out they haven’t had money since 2008 … there’s no way they could help at all in our situation. Well, I understood that … I didn’t understand why … I couldn’t get a direction to go in … from there. I know it can’t be a … dead end.
I watched the woman carefully as I explained in a quiet voice what has happened to my husband and I. I never saw a glimmer of compassion in her eyes … she was so used to her job and the people who come there to ask for a direction to go in, ask what to do … ask for help they are led to believe is there.
She was cold … and business-like, older black lady. I understand that … maybe it was the way she felt she has to be in her job when everyone is ‘needing’ today.
She reminded me of my own mother … but, lacked the compassion, caring, love I always saw in my mother’s eyes. I was distracted by something in her face … eyes that reminded me of my mother. I didn’t feel any kindness … she stayed like a wall … blank. I couldn’t make the wall smile.
I was a nuisance who dared come into her office … she had her gospel music playing … here I come into her heaven to bother her. She didn’t want to hear me … but, she sat there … she sat there. She sat there … with no advice, no suggestions … she sat there. When I left … I left with the memory of gospel music thumping away … the older, black lady sitting there at her desk … glad I was leaving.
Listening to the music in her office … I understood why? at the front of the building there was a big sign saying, KNOCK ON DOOR … KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK!
I asked her if she had any advice … another direction for me to go in … a stepping stone … to go to the ‘next step/place’. Sadly … she was a … dead end. I left wondering … why is she working if there isn’t anything to work with?
Before I left … I looked that lady in the eye, told her that if I did have to go homeless … I would do it in a public way. Everywhere I go, ask what to do next to prevent it from happening … I can’t seem to find any answers.
Maybe it’s meant for people like myself … not to find answers … and I’m making an ass out of myself looking for them. Maybe I’m supposed to shut up, go into a corner … die. What have the others done … before me?
I know there are thousands of people in my situation … before and after … I know you are … there. What did you do? Why won’t you share your advice, suggestions that really worked? Everything is kept secret. Maybe it has to be kept secret. I will know yet. I don’t see anything written from anyone who is, has gone through such.
Why aren’t there any answers? Does everyone who gets ‘older’ get pushed under the rug … out of sight so no one has to deal with them? Better yet … the old bags need to die? Well … I’m not going to die until I have to … and whether anyone likes it or not … if my ship sinks any farther into the cold depths of the ocean … I am not going without letting others know what they have to look forward to when growing … older, broken … having no family support in their lives. I’m the ‘just before homeless’ … this is how it begins.
I came out feeling worse than I felt going in. I had a breakdown later that evening. I went to pieces … I had to go to the bedroom to get away from everything … I slept for hours. That’s not ‘me’. I knew I was in a serious way … I felt I couldn’t take anymore.
You know … normally when someone needs guidance, advice … so many people are ready to offer solid leads, resources to get this done, that done. This is the first time in my life … I keep coming to doors that won’t open for me. I go down halls that are dead end. I meet people … who don’t want to waste time talking to … me.
When I worked with the public … no matter I wanted to talk or not … I smiled, I talked … and I showed compassion. Not only that … I thought of things someone ‘might need to know’ … guess what I did? I had in my mind ‘the answers that might help’ … to give to them. I sought out the answers to questions before … they were asked. It made me feel good to know I ‘could help in any way’.
I’ve voiced my feelings … now, I’m emptied of words at the moment. The bag is empty … no water left in the glass … the well is dry. Don’t worry … it’ll all be replenished in no time!
I’ve always been aware of the homeless people … through many years. I have a love for people who don’t have a voice, can’t help themselves … Who is going to pick up trash from the ground to see if … it’s worth anything? How many people are going to see a diamond in the rough? Who is going to take time? Is it worth it … can one make any money?
Oh … I brushed my pants off when I woke up … just after I got up from my bed … I’m still holding my ground. I still have things to do … I’m not giving up. I had a breakdown because I had nowhere I could go. Now, I’m okay.
I’ve watched people abusing the system all my life … when they already had money, nice things. I’ve never abused it … I never take for the sake of taking to get something free … I only take when I need. I only ask … when I need.
This is one heck of a journey I’m on again … in my life. You’ve followed me on the journey of being a grieving mother … now, I’m a grieving mother who needs an even keel in life … I wish for a portable home on wheels. A permanent roof I can call my own. One that can be moved if has to be.
I have in mind if I ever see the way possible in the future … to have a travel trailer. I would take my world … move into it … and know that where I had to go … I would have a roof over my head … my world’s head.
I wish that for every homeless family, person. I don’t think anyone should punish the homeless, throw them away because someone thinks they are trash. They are broken people who have run out of options … sure some have their substance abuse problems … they are people like you, me … they feel pain.
They cry if they are hurt, laugh if something is funny … sometimes, they help you when they are the ones who need help. Vern, the homeless man we met … gave me comforting words when he knew I was going to the doctor. He was the one sitting there, dying from emphysema.
They are diamonds in the rough … disguised so no one can see them in the environment they have to live in by no choice of their own … in order to survive an awful life no one would choose … to have.
They are camoflaged just as people do to themselves when going into the woods to blend in.
My glass is full … the pond is refilled … my well is running over with water once again … I’m not at a loss for words now. I told you I would … replenish! I’m like a river … words constantly flowing from my fingertips.
I write what I think … I think what I write … regardless if anyone likes it … hates it. I don’t try to push what I think on anyone … don’t let anyone push their opinions on me. If you come here to read … you chose to come in, sit on my couch to see what I have to say, think. I’m honored when you do … you never have to say a word … leave quietly, go back to your world.
When you read what a writer writes … you get lost in another person’s world for a while … when it gets too uncomfortable … doesn’t it feel good to know all you have to do is to blink your eyes … and you are sitting back on your own couch, in your own living room and … all is good. Thank God! that’s not my life! 🙂 Sort of like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz! Isn’t life wonderful?
I’m very aware of people whom I personally know … friends … reading my words. You know me … you know that I speak frankly … I’m up-front … you know where I stand. You also, know I never ask anyone for anything … I have too much pride.
When you come here to read me like people who don’t know me … know that I know you are here, too. I never forget you … I know you know what’s on my mind … I know you by name just as you know me.
I would welcome any suggestions … from my friends … also. I’m always hoping a friend will offer some advice. You all are from this area … you all have had your parents, grandparents go through this … what did they do, how did you help them? I don’t have a son to help me get on the right path, anymore.
I have to ask … friends, strangers in … public. I have no one else. I may have a lot of pride … it won’t stop me from asking … and I won’t be shamed because I did.
I’ve hoped some friends whom I know have experience with such things … would reach out to just tell me what paths to take. I would do that.
If any of you … my friends … can offer advice … I don’t want anything but, words … my personal email is: email@example.com … this way … you have a way of reaching me at any time. I would be this kind of friend to you if I had information that could lead you in the right direction toward what you needed to do in your life.
I think about the homeless … I always have for many years. This is the first time … in my life I could be … just before. I’m at a point in life where I can ‘see’ how it could happen … I don’t think I’ll be … but, I really ‘see’ how it realistically can happen.
I let myself feel the panic … pain … helplessness to understand. Yesterday evening … I broke down … went to pieces. Suppose it were the real thing at this very moment? Suppose I took ‘no’ for an answer … never venturing any farther to seek answers, aid for my situation before … slipping into oblivion?
If we don’t try to help ourselves … plug the holes in our boats … how can we help but, to sink … drown? I’m trying to plug the holes before they sink me … to drown in an ocean bigger than I am. What would you do? Where would you go?
Would you protest before going down … or go down quietly? Or do you take for granted you’ll never be in such a situation? I used to think I’d never be in a situation like this, also. I also, used to think I’d have my son forever … he’d be here for me always, just as I was for him.
I don’t need to remind anyone in today’s time … that you can also, lose all … including your child. It really is hard to believe until it happens … we sit back talking about so and so just lost their child and what a poor thing she is … we sit back, judge … forgetting ‘we’ are just like them … ‘we’ are also, going to lose children … other things in life … it’s just a matter of time.
You are going to pray someone is there to catch you when you fall. Thank your God when you have real family support when ‘bad’ things happen. Think how it would be if you’ve never had such … have no one to care. Think how it would feel to know the distant ‘family’ members you have … take pleasure when you fall. Laugh when you hurt … hope you die.
Think how it feels … when you have to ask strangers for answers, guidance to help you when you are unsure what to do. Think how it feels to be alone in the world … having many friends … but, not the kind who gather around you blanketing you with love, comfort … keeping you from suffering by yourself.
Real friends don’t ask you if you need help … they just do. Somehow they know. I have been a real friend … and I didn’t have to ask … I just did, went my way. You’ve heard the old saying … you know who your real friends are when you are down … out.
These are thoughts of a person who sits, thinks a lot, takes life seriously … writes a lot. I have no one to share what I think with … excepting you … the people who come to read me, interested in what I write. I’m honored.
I also, know the ones by names … when they visit my blogs to read … who want to judge … hope I fail, fall in life … want to look down on me because ‘now, I don’t have anything’. I tell these people … it doesn’t bother me … I’m going to be here until the day I die … and guess what?
I’ll still be here because … my words will live on. I have 3 books with my words that will live on … whether they are read or not. My son will be remembered, also … I made that possible … one of my books holds all my words of pure grief … from a grieving mother. So … my haters … you can’t take that away from me … it’s all out in the universe now. I will die with a smile on my face when it’s time. I’m thankful to have that when I have … nothing.
Instead of one day dying with all these thoughts in my mind … I write them to give someone something to think about. I know there are many people who think the same things … like me when I read things … it validates what I’m going through … letting me know there are others who have experienced what I have.
For now … being ‘just before’ … and homeless people are the biggest thoughts in my mind. I think to myself … if I had the power to help the homeless … I would begin small.
To begin with … I would find safe areas/land … for them to come to … knowing it’s okay for them to be there. Then … without anyone knowing … I would find more land … hire someone to build tiny houses like I see online.
I would take one family at a time to live there. I would have mini-tiny houses for individuals to live. I would gradually fill them with the homeless that I could take care of … if I were rich.
I’m old enough to know I can’t save the world … but, if each of us who had the means … could save ‘one by one’ … we could make a difference … a real difference. A meaningful difference to people who have no one … nothing in life … at least give them a tiny something to hold onto in life … a life-preserver if you will … while they have to live their life until they die. Just a … little something … to hold onto.
Anyone who punishes the homeless because they are there … because they look like trash … ugly to your sight … I ask you not to hurt them … you never know if they aren’t angels sent to see what your reactions to them are. Don’t kick an angel when they are down. It will come back to bite you in the ass … it really will.
Do what you’d want done for, to you … if it were you. Rather than to hurt, fine someone for having nothing … for offending your sight … do nothing. Doing nothing is better than hurting.
Walk away … go to your nice home … sit in your comfortable leather chair, smoke your cigar while your fat belly is sticking out … your feet up on an ottoman … watch your big-ass tv to your heart’s content.
Forget there are ugly things in your world … focus only on your comfort. Put all that good food in your ever-growing belly … drink all that good liquor, sleep on your silk sheets … pamper that ass in your hot tub … because in your world … you are all … it’s about.
Hell … you have enough to go buy all the blinders, sunglasses in this world to keep from seeing the homeless … trash laying on the ground sleeping where they are only trying to find a safe place to be.
Don’t do anything but … take care of you. Rather than hurt the helpless people on your streets … blind yourself … you can afford to build the fences around you to keep them out … keep you from having to see them.
There are people who care … they don’t need you in their way. You don’t need to do anything but, make sure you don’t go hungry … feel the heat, cold … walk around in your comfortable clothes … sleep in your cozy bed, drive your luxury car … talk on your cellphone … impress everyone with what you own.
Do you believe the homeless people should be fined … punished for trying to find a place they hope others will just watch over them while they are at their weakest … asleep?
You say, ‘but, they’re nasty!’ Make a little area where they can file through in a line … have running water ( I see water wasted all the time from fire hydrants) … as they file through … they can bathe off at least a little … have portable toilets for them. Do a ‘little something’ … even if it’s not a lot … it’s better than nothing.
Don’t punish the homeless … throw them away … like trash on the ground.
Homeless people aren’t going away … each more people are becoming homeless … I’m just before. Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
Note by this Author:
This is what’s on my mind today …. maybe moreso, because of the circumstances in my life. Doesn’t matter. I know there are people who think like me … are in similar situations … who have no one to tell them.
I know there are people who know the answers to everything. Maybe I’ll hear from them … maybe someone will show me the path of stepping stones I need to find … leading to the answers I’m seeking. One never knows until they ask … I’m asking. I won’t stop asking ….
My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo/story owned, written by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/Granny Gee.