But am I?
Father David Holdcroft, refuge organizer, describes the common elements connecting the homeless, as he sees them:
Few had married. Mothers, in the case of the men, sometimes figured strongly in their lives, but fathers were almost universally absent, emotionally distant or violent. Always there were deep feelings of rejection associated with family.
Along with rejection there was always a sense of displacement, a sense that life was not where it should have been, that the normal growth and development of life had been radically interrupted by something or someone. Such interruptions are surely relatively common but, in the case of the homeless, there had been no recovery, no resumption of a "normal" life.
"Normal growth and development of life had been radically interrupted." "A sense of displacement." I've read the stats on mental illness, cost of housing, governmental displacement of populations such as the one coming up in the next five years and so on.
Seems to me that intellect plays a huge part - reasoning power. For example, here in the fSU, everyday can be your last and that's them telling me that. Me - I still have vestiges of that implicit western faith that things can never go suddenly awry in one's station.
It's not so. I can be on the street within a month but, I say to my friend: "We're in demand, you and I; we'd always find a place."
He looks quizzically and murmurs: "Pok'a," meaning "for now".
And he's right. Gradual loss of memory, slight eccentricities starting to appear, a few wrong moves, angry reactions and our word-of-mouth clientele melts away with our reputation. Reputation is everything in this country, my friend says.
If you don't have the extended family, then you need a network of well-placed connections. Not necessarily highly placed but well-placed, according to needs. Every single person here survives only on those connections. Family is dependent. It doesn't save the man and this is still a patriarchal society.
Truth is, I'm dislocated. There are no roots here and my roots in
That's the end of food on the table and no family to throw you any crumbs. Suddenly, regulations which once passed you by now crowd in on you and life doesn't bear thinking about. You can't survive on the street here without both intellect and language, the latter equally important .
The beggars you see at the crossroads are mafia run - the cash goes to the man in black and the beggar gets some soup to drink. You do not want to be in that situation, any more than in a
The only solution is to trust the promise of the Lord that you'll be looked after but it also helps to think laterally. Instead of descending to the street - fly to
As long as you have that ability of course. Age first kills the resolve, then the health and finally the reasoning power. Then you're gone. Interesting article I read, which challenges:
Define Homeless: 'An inadequate experience of connectedness with family and or community.' This fact is now recognized by Habitat, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme.
When I see the poor unfortunates on the street denied even basic hygiene, Father Holdcroft's view comes home that there can be intellect there, a sort of self-worth, even past achievements but that there is always some sort of dislocation, a missing link.
There, but for the Grace of G-d, go I.
Of course I have another cunning plan ...
[Crossposted at Nourishing Obscurity]