When growing up, I used to hear my parents refer to those who were either incapable or too lazy to work as “bums” or”tramps”. Those terms have been replaced now with a more fitting term “homeless”. In my 3 years of research, I have come across at least a thousand pictures of what the media considers as “homeless persons”.
These pictures are usually some drunk who is so wasted he can not stand up, so he is sitting on the sidewalk or against a building, dressed in old clothes with a hooded sweatshirt on and maybe a grocery cart beside him with his belongings in it. You have seen this kind of picture also. This is the image the media wants you to remember because its their definition of “homeless”.
The non-profit service providers have bought into this media definition, as well as our society at large. This definition is a lie, conjured up to keep the homeless oppressed and hopeless. I was homeless for 3 years, and I associated with other homeless people, and yes, I know some that resemble that media definition but they are about 2% of the total homeless population. Let me try to describe the other 98% of homeless people, who are nothing like the media concept.
There is a former software engineer with a university degree, a former bridge builder who is a avid reader and wears nice vests, keep his beard trimmed like an English duke and like to play chess. There is a woman that lives in her almost new van who keeps her clothes clean and sorted, if you saw her walking downtown you would never guess she is homeless. I know an alcoholic that showers each morning, has a locker full of nice clothes, he never begged with a cardboard sign, instead, he takes odd jobs for cash and has worked everyday for the last ten years.
I know another homeless man who drives a limo and never drinks, he works 6 days a week and sleeps in his old Volvo. You would NEVER guess he is homeless if you are his client! I can go on and on describing the homeless people I lived around, none of whom resemble that image the news media wants you to remember.
Something that all of these homeless people had in common is that they were ashamed to call themselves “homeless” because they also had bought into the concept that the media portrays. It was just impossible to bet these people to ban together to form any political human rights group, because the media had already done its severe damage, meaning they are a “controlled group”.
The Homeless have few, if any Rights
Now that the media has controlled the homeless, they want to make sure that homeless people will never get any type of political standing, so their human rights are void. You can not even register to vote if you do not give an address ( a residence). When I tried to get some help from a non-profit service provider, they asked my residence, I told them I live at the Cal Train station, then the interviewer stared at me and told me “we can’t help you”. What part of “homeless” do they not understand?
If you try to get medical care, they want your residence, so the homeless people have to either lie and give some bogus address, or use a postal box rental service to get some actual address.
While hundreds of cities are making the homeless criminals, more are joining this group, as our economy does not recover.
There are families with children living in vans or old station wagons. There are couples living in small Toyotas or Hondas. Some older retired people live in Motor homes, not by choice but necessity . The homeless community is not one education level, not one racial type, not one political type, and not any particular age group. If you think those street beggars on street corners are all homeless, think again, some of them have a nice apartment, but make more money begging than working for $10.00 an hour.
If you think that all the homeless are mentally ill, or drug users, wrong again. If you assume we all got some kind of problem, or can not fit into society, wrong again. You can not classify the homeless into some particular group because we will not fit into your wrong concept. Perhaps you need to be re-educated to understand the term “homeless” ? Please stop buying into the media concept.