By Brady Lowery for Prevail News
Being homeless….without a home, is something that most people don’t–or don’t want to–understand. And I understand this.
The stigma is: a homeless person is a person who has given up trying. Given up on Life. This is actually true for some of us, but just some. Some of us said “screw it, I’m not going to work again. I’m not going to keep paying bills and having the stress of being on time for anything.”
But there are some of us…a great deal of us, who are homeless because we stopped ‘paying attention’ to Life. It’s not because we wanted to.. we just didn’t know the consequences of what we do would end us up in such a dire straits situation.
I owned my apartment through a program called People Incorporated. I lived there for four years, doing what I may. One of the stipulations of the program was to talk and communicate to an assigned caseworker every other week or so. The said caseworker would assign me certain goals, such as seeing a therapist and whatnot.
A depression fell over me…I really can’t explain why or what came over me. But, anyway, I stopped communication with my caseworker, and everybody I knew and loved for that matter. After a month, or maybe two, I received an email from my caseworker saying I was discharged from the program. I squatted in my apartment for almost half of a month after I was kicked out.
Without the program, my rent was not paid. I tried the entire ‘acquire a job thing,’ but nothing came through. Every employer gave me a ‘maybe,’ and maybe I just wasn’t qualified….
So I have been homeless (again) for about three months. What it involves is waking incredibly early, and wandering around the city of Saint Paul. Then, it’s breakfast at the Salvation Army, and another wandering session. Followed by lunch at the Dorothy Day, and another wandering session. Then dinner, wandering, then sleep. Only to repeat the process the next day.
Yes, I could spend every day looking for work, etc, but with the running around and waking up without much rest there isn’t much “drive” left in my body. I… no, we, need guidance. We need help. We are people too. Many of us have incredible talents…
Just don’t forget about us.