I set thinking that this may very well be a waste of time as i ride to my latest Voc Rehab meeting today at 1:00. job searching has become a four letter word in my mind as it has been nothing but a reaffirmation of negativity in my mind for the last several years. It ranks up there with the list of four letter words really, shit, fuck, work, it all sounds the same to me after years of trying to get on my feet and failing to do so.  the very thought of getting back int the job search routine now that the red tape of voc Rehab is complete instills a feeling of depression and anxiety in me, but it is as i am thinking of this another thought dawns on me.  A thought that drags me screaming into a long painful path of pensive thought and dark reminiscing.

On February 5th i will be living through my 27th year anniversary of being in the judicial system. This brought to thee forefront of my thinking memories of many many bad times in my life and of even more bad things committed in the name of hate, anger and bitterness. A quagmire of negativity that brought about a lot of pain, suffering and hurt to myself and more importantly people who were innocent of everything other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Of these 27 years i have spent 21 of them incarcerated, starting when i was 13 years old.  I think back on the person i was then and the things i have done and i feel nothing but regret, sorrow, guilt over thing acts i have committed and the people i have hurt in my life. I look back on the swirl of anger,hatred and bitterness that even at a young age i had allowed to turn me into what can only be defined as a monster. I think back on how i could have done better at managing my own hurt and feelings of helplessness, how i could have redirected that mess into more productive uses, but when your 13 years old what do you know? As these thoughts linger in my head i find myself adrift in a sea of darkness and chaos that was my past, a storm of rage that hurt everything in its way and ripped itself to pieces in the process. I relive what it felt like to be a young kid who was lost in a life he did not choose, that felt helpless, hopeless. The small kid who turned to rage and violence to cope in a life he felt he was always at war with. I remember how out of control i was and how lost to the world i was for most of my younger life.

However, this is not all i think of, for i also have the last 10 years to think about. The struggle, pain and remorse that comes from honest change, from realizing that you are screwed up and you do not like it.  Change is the most terrifying thing in the world and i fought every step of the way. I delve into the memories of how hard i have fought, how i have faced fears, pain and frustration in my quest to become something better, to evolve into a decent human being.  for many years now i have put a huge part of my energy into being the type of person i want to be and not the person I allowed life to make me. I have over 15 years of counseling, both group and individual, that i have applied to begin me, and not the little beast i was at one time. I have worked to banish thee old angry me to the depths of history and to unlock a better, much improved me.  I realize that i have come form being an incorrigible youth that many including myself at one time considered beyond redeem ability to become a responsible, worthwhile adult who has done a lot to be a good person. I see that i have evolved into something decent.

After thinking about all of this i finally come to the conclusion that the 5th of February should not be a day to regret and despair over who i was, but instead, it is a day i should celebrate for all of my growth and self empowerment, for my evolution. I should celebrate who i am now, not who i was so long ago.

Change is a journey that requires much devotion to self, pain, frustration and hurt, but when it is all said and done, the end result is something beautiful.  Something that can not have a price placed apron it. Most of all, it is an admirable feat that will show the true person behind the mask.

It begins as a small itch in the back of your head. Just a tiny little thing actually. A slight afterthought in the back of your mind. A sense that something is not right, not well, but it is only small so you ignore it, you chalk it up to personal depression or any of the multitudes of other things it could be. However, as time goes on you tend to occasionally scratch this itch, and like all itches, the more you scratch the worse it actually becomes afterwards. The contact of the scratching spreads it, for it is very contagious. As time goes on it gets worse, now it is no longer an “itch” it had grown into a full fledged ailment. It begins to get in and to eat at our heart and psyche.digging deeper and deeper, tearing at thee very stuff your made of. Like any illness it begins to wear you down and to weaken your resolve. You feel it coming on but know nothing that will help it, nothing that will help the avalanche of depression, hopelessness and seemingly inevitable loss of self that is bearing down on you. As it rolls towards you it grows to immense size, it becomes something unable to be dealt with and when it finally crashes down on you your are at a loss for how to survive in the aftermath, so you simply give in and quite fighting. You condemn yourself to a life in a very cold, very isolated manner.

This “itch” typically begins around the fourth week an individual has been homeless. This is known as the “4 Week Rule”. This is “The Crisis Center cites the four-week rule, which states that a person becomes accustomed to the homeless lifestyle and acclimated to the culture after spending four weeks on the streets.”  (                                     http://www.ehow.com/about_4618530_primary-causes-homelessness.html ). This is thee point when an individual begins to give up hope of ever getting into a better place, the time in which it begins to become exponentially more difficult to assist someone who is on the streets in getting off of them.  At this point the individual begins to become adapted to his or her environment and getting in a better place seems to lose some of its importance. They become comfortable about their situation and, well, change is hard, even when it is from a bad situation to a better one. Just ask any woman who has been in an abusive relationship and could not leave.

as a nation 1% of our population is homeless according to the statistics. Now for the bad part, these stats are highly underestimated.  The statistics do not take into consideration those ho are homeless but are “couch surfing” at friends and families places, or those who do not use the services available to them. Nor does it count those in temp housing situations. This number could easily be about 1.2-1.3% of our population. Add to this the trend of no jobs and low wages in our country and this adds to those numbers. Of these many want off of the streets and into better situations, but there are a lot who have fallen into the indifferent mindset brought on by just the thing i was describing above. They have been in this situation long enough that they have lost the ability to hope for better, to strive for better, to act in a manner that pushes towards a better situation. They have come to the realization that this is all there is and they need to get used to it, regardless how irrational that line of belief is. They have been shown no different and thus have this conditioned belief system that does not allow them to think any different.

These are the ones who we most need to take action towards helping. those who have been brainwashed by society and their own experience in to believing there is nothing better. Those who have fallen into the chronic depression, despair and inevitable sense of hopelessness. These are who we need to show there is a better way too live, a better life, one that they can achieve if they keep fighting. We need to instill hope in them, a sense that they can achieve if they work at it and with a little help

Homelessness has a way to eat at your mind, heart and very soul. The humiliation of living on the streets, being at the mercy of the charity of others, not knowing where you will sleep or eat the next day. It all works to undermine your very self. It weakens you, it tears you down and eventually breaks you. those who say it doesn’t? Well, look at their life if they are on the streets, look at what if any effort they put into getting out of thee situation in a responsible manner. Look to see if they are one of the many who lives ff the system without giving or trying t give in return. For those who have never been homeless who claim this, here is my challenge to you. Come spend two weeks out here with me. You get only what i say you can have and you do the homeless routine for two weeks. This is not enough to break you, but come see what we go through on a daily basis, come live our lives for two weeks and see if it does not open your eyes a bit.

I have been homeless off and on for 7 years. i get myself off the streets only to lose it a few months later. As stated in earlier posts i suffer form several disabilities, one of which is sever PTSD. I have always fought hard not to fall into this category, not to give up hope of making it off the streets and of making something of myself. I have never been good at giving up and i have tried to apply this mentality to everything i do as a homeless person, but if i am totally honest with myself i can not deny that there have been moments lately where i have begun to doubt myself.  I have been feeling the weight of it all a lot lately and questioning my ability to get into the place i know i am capable if being. I find myself thinking a lot about what i will do in the years t come as a homeless person, not what i will be doing when i find work and get an apartment. I find myself falling into the mindset of “meh, doesn’t really matter”. I feel my motivation to drive myself and to make an effort slowlty slipping away and this bothers me to no end. I understand what is happening and i fight against it with all i have, but i also and honest enough to know i am losing the battle and may have lost completely by this time next year. this scares me, it makes me sad and it depresses me. This is what i have fought against for so long now, and i feel it slipping away from me. This makes the fight seem hopeless really, but i still fight it. Who knows, perhaps i will get something going before ii completely give in, but it gets harder to believe each and every day that goes on.

Homelessness sucks folks, those who say they like it out on the streets are as mentally ill as anyone, they have no sense of reality and need counseling as badly as i do.  This is not a dream life by any standards. I wrote this post just to open some eyes about how it is out here for many. I hope thiis did the trick.

Respect,

EW

I constantly get asked if the dog i use for my profile is mine. The answer is no.  Cupid was the dog of one of my best friends neighbors a few years back.  He was a very lovable and highly affectionate animal who loved everyone he came into contact with and whom was loved by those same people in return. A Blue Healer, Cupid had a wonderful level of energy for everything from getting cuddled to playing his favorite game of “Hike” with his old blanket. Cupid was one of the lucky ones.

According to eHow contributor Morgan Crouch ” Around the country, over 15 million pets are delivered into the hands of animal shelters each year. Of these 15 million, roughly 25 to 30 percent are adopted or reclaimed by owners or put into new homes. The remainder of these pets, some 11 million, must be put to death because no one can find them a home. An unknown number of animals are lost or abandoned and never return to their home”

15 million sent to shelters and 11 of those killed for lack of homes. What more can be said about this? Please folks, spay and neuter your pets. the issue of homeless animals is one that deserves the attention we give to our homeless humans, perhaps better attention seeing as how poorly our own are treated. The unfairness of bringing kittens or puppies into an existence we can not deal with, we can not handle is heart breaking, as are these numbers. So, just a short one this time, but an important one .
Respect, EW

 

At last nights City Council meeting the Occupy group won a major battle when they won the waiving of the camping ordinances in the city and were given the go ahead to occupy Alton Baker park until the 15th of December. This is a lift on the camping ordinance for this location and only until the given date. However, should the city manager see a threat to safety or health he may, at any time, revoke this special situation. No other rules or laws have been waived for this “event”. Which means that the public use of drugs, the threatening of passers by or general disrespect of them can still bring consequences. Our behavior, our actions will decide a lot for the movement and cooperation we get from the city of Eugene.Weather or not we get to keep the waiver in place, whether or not we get an extension if one is needed and how the world looks at us will all be based on the message we send to them. Our behavior, our attitudes, our level of accountability all play into how far we will be able to take this. we can either come together as a single effort or we can continue to bicker ans fight among ourselves and show the city manager, police chief and the world at large how truly uninterested we are in affecting change. the current situation is an unsustainable chaotic mess and needs to be rectified. Think people, we have the opportunity to become a significant part of history, part of a new epoch. we have the chance to write history into something to be proud of here. We, We, We ,WE!!! Not I, or you or this group or that group or whatever other isolationist label you wish to apply. WE!! but I am sad, why, because i see this chance slipping through our fingers into a quagmire of chaos and anarchy. this breaks my heart people. something so significant and we let it go by the wayside in preference of petty arguments, our addiction, and our ego’s. we sacrifice history for minor disagreements and trivial conflicts, we sacrifice our futures and that of our children and their children and theirs after them for many generations to come over things that mean nothing in the greater scheme of things. we are human, we all have our problems and our issues, trust me, i know this better than many, but it is time to set aside all of the insignificant drivel for what actually matters, and that is Occupy! That is freedom from corporate slavery and corruption, freedom from politicians who are bought and paid for before they ever see the oval office, freedom from injustice at the hands of our politicians and their corporate controllers. freedom to live our lives and build something in them that is worth having and knowing we will be secure in our futures and our personal existence. your personal ego and dislikes and biases simply do not measure up to this. Man people, for all of those who are with us and sincere about their efforts, i love and respect every one of you, even those i have yet to meet. Foe those who are not interested in participating or in building a cooperative community here, please, have the respect to step out, to show respect for your fellow man by either getting on board or leaving. we would love you to be here in unity with us, but we prefer not to be splintered by the behaviors of a small fraction of those here. lets take a page from the chorus of Eminems (like him or not) “not Afraid”

 

I’m not afraid (I’m not afraid)
To take a stand (to take a stand)
Everybody (everybody)
Come take my hand (come take my hand)
We’ll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just lettin you know that, you’re not alone
 Holla if you feel like you’ve been down the same road (same road) 

 

this is the only way this is going to work folks. we must stand together, or we will fade from memory and fall into obsolescence. none of us want that. Think about it please and do what is needed to make this work.

 

 

Respectfully,

 

EW 

 

 

 

Hello folks and once again  i feel the need to post a word to the homeless. This time however my words will be as they relate to the Occupy camp and movement. After my first night int he camp i noticed a few things that we, the homeless, could work on to make things better and to show a better side of ourselves. Here are a couple of those.

1.Drugs and Alcohol: Please guys, if your going to use do it elsewhere. Here is the problem,  you leave your beer bottles laying around for one, all over the place. i woke up with three of them  the area i slept in. The more this happens, the more there are signs of public intoxication, the better out chances of having he police at the park and ticketing people. It will draw heat down on those who are trying to push this movement forward. The pot is the same, please, elsewhere. all it takes is for one cop to smell it and then he has reasons to disrupt the protest. The more this type of behavior goes on the more we risk getting those who are for the moment leaving us alone to start the typical EPD treatment of the homeless and those they are involved with. We do not need this. The movement has enough nay sayers as it is. lets not add to the negativity please.

2. Loud/Rowdy Behavior: The non event yelling, cursing and whatnot is uncalled for and yet one more way the police can justify coming into our camp and harassing people who are involved in the protest. Another way to “blow up” the spot. we need to use our heads here and we need to try our best to remain respectful of those around us and those who may be spectators to the event. The movement will be defined by the actions of those involved. If you act in a obnoxious way this is how we will all be remembered. If we conduct ourselves in a respectful and intelligent manner that is how this will all be remembered. So lets keep that in mind and try to act accordingly.

3.Bullying and Violent Behavior: Ok, there will always be bad seeds in these types of groups. Nothing is perfect including events like the one we are partaking in here. There has been at least one situation of bullying i personally know of, considering i was the target of it, but from the sounds of it there has been others by the same individuals. This needs to stop and it needs to stop now! Pull your heads out and think about it, This is not about YOU, his is not about ME, this is not about any single person in this group.  This protest is not about who you like or dislike, it is not a place for personal vendetta, it is not supposed to be about the negative and/or divisiveness. we are here to try to change a system that victimizes you as well as every other person making less than $60,000 a year. we are here to make a statement against the very corruption that keeps each and every one of us down, keeps us in this constant state of disadvantage. we are here to matter!! So drop the insignificant bullshit, stop the petty school yard crap and act as if you give a damn about yourself and your future, because if you don’t your in the wrong place. To the point and put simply, we would love to have you here to support what we are doing here, but if you can not let the stupid shit go get out. we do not need it. we are under a microscope here. every little thing we do is under scrutiny, we screw up, or if even one or two do, we could lose everything here and have the cops down on us. If the media sees the crap they could do a very good job of discrediting the entire movement and everything it stands for. So please, respect those around you, even if you do not get along with them or like them, but most of all, respect yourself. show dignity in how you behave.

I have no idea how many times i have to repeat this, but as homeless, if we want society to see us as equals, to treat us with dignity and respect, then we must behave in a manner that leaves them no choice but to do so.  Hold your damn heads up, act with pride in yourself regardless your situation, and show society that your lack of a home means nothing in the scheme of things. until we learn to do his we will never be anything but “lazy bums” and “dirty scumbags” to a portion of society. We control how others see us, we dictate how we are treated, and we do this by acting accordingly. we are homeless not animals, not trash to be taken out, we are human beings with value. that is what this is all about. Human beings finally being treated as though they have value by he big guys and corrupt politicians this country breeds like cockroaches. We can make this happen, we can find our value in a society that allows us none, but hey, if you can not believe it in yourself how will you ever make society believe it. The ball is in your court and only you have the power to do something with it.

Find your pride, find your self respect and please, act with respect while your at thee protesters camp. Show them you have value, as several of us are beginning to do.

as always, with respect,

EW

PS. I am writing this from the camp and the mood here is good tonight. no drama and plenty of decent people working together to initiate change. respect to all of you.

So, those of you who read this thing on a regular basis know of my situation with the library here in town (A word to the Hatemongers…….). For those of you who do not, quick run down. I am a heavy user of the library. It is one of thee only places that are typically ok with the homeless using their services and i get both electricity without the threat of jail and i get a fairly reliable internet connection. I am a supporter of our library. However, about 6 weeks ago i obtained my two kittens and at that point i was no longer welcomed in the public library so long as my kids were with me. Ok, fine, nothing new really, many places have prohibitions against non service animals being in the. so, as a result i began to set outside of the library and plug in just inside the door. this way the kids are free to come out and stretch and i get my power/net. Keep in mind, security from the library was perfectly fine with this as they know me well and know i am no problem, and in fact i help them out when ever i can in looking for people and keeping the place clean and whatnot. I am a respectful person and i act accordingly.Well, a week or two later the situation i talked about in the post titled “A Word to The Hate-mongers and Bigots we Call Republicans” occurred.

After i posted that topic i received some replies through my email and facebook pages that were not happy with the situation, those folks should be interested in this also.

I sometimes go to the LTD station ans set at th planter at the north/west corner of the place. Directly across from the Library. I go there to let the kittens out to play a bit, eat something, meet new people (which the kittens are wonderful at facilitating) and to simply relax a bit. I keep my things orderly and out of the way as well as remain respectful to those walking by and who work at LTD. I am completely away from all doors and otther areas in which business takes place. There is no hindrance to their operations in my location. However, this morning, while awaiting for me to return from a short task, my friend and camping buddy was asked if he was awaiting a bus. When my friend told the wackenhut/G4S security guard he was waiting for me to return he was told that  we could not set there unless we were waiting for a bus. Now, please any of you who know me personally vouch for this if you would, but i am homeless yes, however, I am clean, educated, respectful and i do my best to get others to behave in the same manner i do as far as this goes.  The people I meet never assume i am homeless as i do not project as such and work hard to assure this. The only telling sign of this is the large pack i carry with me at times, other than that i pass for one of the housed masses. On top of his, every month i buy a monthly pass for the bus, i am a long standing customer of this company.  Have been for a long time. I use LTD for all of my transportation needs and have paid a lot of money into this company now. Take a walk at some point to the LTD station and watch who iyt is who are bothered by Wackenhut about loitering on the property. notice how those who are told they can not set there unless in line for a bus are all under 18’s and those of us with backpacks and gear.  The young and the homeless are the people who are told they are loitering and can not do so.

as someone who has spent as much money with this company as i have i think if i want to set at their planter that should be my right. Of course, perhaps there are those who disagree. Obviously there are.   It is sad to think that LTD will harass their own loyal customers if they do not fit the mold of who is socially acceptable. there is also the fact that they have a monopoly on the mass transit industry here in Eugene so you play by their rules or you can walk.

Another new occurrence i have noticed is this. The number 41 and 43 lines are two of the busiest on LTD’s roster of routes. they are the ones who cater to several schools and a couple of shopping centers   These routes are often packed with commuters and their carry on’s. One other particular thing about these routes is this, they serve the Eugene Service station. This is one of the main place for services aimed at the homeles. They are a great place that not only allows their clients the showers and hygiene they require, but they feed them lunch and breakfast, issue vouchers for cloths and sleeping bags. In other words this is a huge route for those of us who are homeless. recently i have noticed an odd development for such a busy line however. One, the use of more and more of the shorter buses on this route, or so it seems, and the use of buses without luggage racks in the front. The very racks thee homeless often use to keep their packs out of everyones way. The other day i was on my way to the service station but had to get off the bus early, kitten needed to use the bathroom of all things. I attempted several times to catch a later bus but was unable to do so for lack of space and rack. I will not get on the bus if my gear will be a hassle for other riders. I will wait for the next bus. It is a matte of principle for me really. A show of the kind of respect i want as a fellow human being, though not necessarily on this issue. After several attempts i gave up ands went over to set for awhile. After a couple of hours i again attempted the ride and found the same results, older buses with mo rack and what appears to be smaller capacity. In frustration i gave up and walked.

Ok, bus routes get busy, there is no stopping that, and the choice to not board was mine and mine alone, but i do have one thing that is bothering me on this issue. As stated above, i purchase a bus pass every month and use it a lot. I am a long time paying customer of LTD, for them to tell me their property is iff limits for anything not illegal is wrong. Seriously folks, if one of their paying customers who is clean and non disruptive can not use their facilities unless directly involved in waiting for a bus then what is the point. I am sure there wwill be those who disagree with me over this, but…………..

I am not saying LTD older non rack buses out of any intentional need to hinder out travel, not at all. they are a busy company and perhaps does not even realize they have scheduled the wrong type of buses for he route really. I am just saying, if your paying customers are not creating issues then leave them be. Meh, who knows. Just a point of view really.

Before I begin this post i want to say thank you to all of those involved in the Occupy movement. The issues raised by this movement are directly related to the issues this blog are set to confront. Each and everyone of you are to be commended for your courage, heart and willingness to try to effect change in our stuck in its ways world. I do hope that as you read this you will understand i in no way accuse or blame thee people involved in the movement for the things I am discussing here. These are the acts of those who simply do not care for the issue at hand and they most definitely do not care what harm they may do the efforts put forth here in both the local and the national spotlight.  So, that being said…….

So, I went to the Occupy rally on Saturday and it was interesting. It was actually fun to see the fire spinners and the unity among the participants. I did  not see a lot of trouble or issues at the Saturday night event and actually enjoyed being there to support the movement.  Saturday was a success i would say. All in all a nice, festive event.

Now, lets talk about Sunday.

As i approached the rally spot on Sunday morning a friend of mine who knows i do not do drugs mets me and warns me not to drink or eat anything as someone has been randomly dosing the food and drink at the rally. Being a non drug user myself i was appreciative for this warning from my friend. I avoid the food and beverages at the rally. No problem there. No harm no foul. Well, i leave to go to a friends house for the day and at around 7:30 pm return to the rally hoping to meet some of my friends and enjoy th company of others and to meet new people involved in the rally. However, no sooner do i get to the rally than i am accosted by an individual who is friends with a person who has been harassing me on a regular basis and who has sworn to chase me out of the downtown area. Long story as to why he has decided this, but it is over nothing that concerns him and therefore nothing he should be involved in really. Now, I do not typically condone violence as i truly feel as though it very rarely resolves anything and more often than not aggravates the situation it was introduced into. So, when this person tells me i need to leave the rally and he better not ever see me down there again i have no choice but to leave. It is that or i end up on the wrong side of a situation where it is me against four or five of them. I am a 40 year old male who tries to be non violent, these are 20 somethings who are violent and live in a violent world and existence. Standing up for yourself has to give way to common sense at times.  A lesson learned far to late in my life if i do say so myself.  So, as of now i am assuming I am out of the chance to take part in this movement and will not be showing back up to the park to show my support fort he effort.  This is sad due to thee fact i think what is going on here is worthy and wanted to be involved in it. but my safety comes first.

Now for the sad part of it all, those involved in the bullying and hostility are my own people. They are the homeless. The very people i spend my time trying to advocate for, trying to stand up for and trying to assure our rights for. They are the people I started this blog as a means to watchdog for and to bring to light the issue they deal with on a day to day basis politically, legally and from a human point of view. These are the people i have tried to change societies perceptions of now for how many months? That is the truly sad part of it all.  I have often wondered whether or not it was worth the effort to even run the blog and try to help the homeless, of which i am one of, and it is always times like this that push those thoughts.  However, for every one of those who behave in this manner there are two or three who appreciate the effort and who act accordingly. Those who truly want to be treated as equals to the rest of society and are glad i am here doing this. Those are the ones I am doing this for. Am i making a difference? Who knows. lol, but i am going to continue to try and continue to put forth the effort. Regardless of how disillusioned i become over behavior like that described above i am going t continue trying to make a difference and to get through to my fellow homeless.

remember, i do not blame the protesters and the organizers for this behavior at all, they have done a great job of trying to control the general chaos of an event of this nature. Much respect to all of you who are involved in the planning and organizing for this event.