Homelessness – the hidden crisis

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The other day I was talking with a friend I know and talking about various topics but mostly about trying to make a steady life. Most people nowadays consider cohabitation and trying to make it through the adult part of their life. We’re all inundated by bills, jobs, and trying to put food on the table. Some of us are lucky enough to get to a point where we get to share with someone else in our lives. And then the topic of boundaries, possibly moving in with a significant other comes up and you nitpick, haggle, and determine where you can give and get in a relationship to show caring and compromise but still maintaining your personal independence from your significant other. And while trying to settle on details on who could have what where, who and how the shared living space would be cleaned, I found that often we have very fundamental differences on how we dealt with our spaces, our personal values, but also that there is a silent past that most of us never know about.

The fact is when talking to and reflecting on a lot of previous date prospects I often found good people that had minimal past burdens, but I also found some had bad pasts that still affected them to this day and also that some had not had the best life growing up. Many had abusive upbringings, bad partners, lack of good educational opportunities and job prospects, and well as financial turmoil. One common theme also we’ve seen was some had fallen into homelessness.

Growing up you see sometimes school tries to teach things with rose colored glasses: that everyone is equal and we champion equality and justice and liberty and other ideals. But if you’ve paid attention to 2020 you can see that there isn’t quite as much equality and justice as we’ve been taught to believe. With the protests, and blatant inequities being brought to light daily by the news and social media and cameras, the uncomfortable truths that history tries to paint over is steadily coming to light and many are waking up and feeling uncomfortable about it more than ever.

The funny thing is social injustice has existed for centuries but as I heard the radio news broadcast from an NPR news morning broadcast talking about maple syrup and rice branding icons finally changing their branding imagery to be more politically correct because they were finally “hearing voices that had never been heard before” it made me silently shake my head ludicrously. The minority voices, the hungry, tired and poor that had been downtrodden and neglected for ages and had been rebelling and protesting all through history but now that everyone is being economically hit in 2020 and rebelling against the entire system, and you finally decide to listen to those “voices” in your head? As Howard Beale from the 1976 movie “Network” has famously said, people are “mad as hell and not going to take it any more”.

The fact is 2020 has accelerated the income and financial disparity of society. You have people in the upper echelon sitting there eating their cinnamon French toast bread while others are struggling to get by with multiple jobs and trying to feed their loved ones and just put food on the table without themselves going mad. Sometimes they’re working so hard to make money they don’t even have time for sleep and to check in on themselves and take care of their own personal care and health and well being. And it affects people disproportionately and also takes a toll on one’s mental health.

The thing is I’ve discovered a lot of women are also affected in large numbers by a pay disparity and societal constraints. Sometimes with men being bread winners and taught to be providers, the women go into a relationship having the man take care of finances. Western society in conservative families often overemphasizes the male patriarchy and their need to exercise command of financial knowledge and control much to the chagrin of the younger equality oriented generation. The younger generation who are awakened from previous centuries of patriachy dominated teachings are more likely to rebel from the Matrix of undesired one sided relationships and opt for equity based relationships. The females nowadays work for their money too. Thanks to feminist movements, suffrage and other empowerment movements over the years we have come a long ways to change the glass ceiling and have equal pay. Although sometimes when I am out assisting clients who come in for financial assistance at my day job I still see the guy try to dominate the discussion or take over. In marriages some say there is no “I” but that’s not entirely true. There’s individuality and independence still otherwise the persons would fade into the other and lose their own personal identity. But there needs to be a sense of a higher encompassing mission to work as a cohesive team and partnership. As they teach in the Navy Seals, that there must be a sense of humbleness, ability to do things even in difficult times, and strong sense of teamwork and importantly lack of selfishness. Yes, we each have our own competing desires, but we have to work for the betterment of the other individual otherwise the whole partnership suffers if one person wins while one person loses. A lot of times I see the woman is kept in the dark about finance. This is a new millenium and we have come to expect that our better halves are capable mothers, spouses, friends, and also coworkers, scientists, soldiers, police and law enforcement and fire fighters.

There are those that continue to espouse ancient doctrine that a group is inferior not just to control gender norms, but also to stay at an advantage. You see this in elite societies, you have been seeing that with groups controlling power, and most certainly have come to an awareness that in 2020 a group of people will “Pull the string” as Bella Legosi quipped from the movie Ed Wood.

So what is it like to be without a home? I checked to get some info across the net about people’s various experiences. Here’s some soundbites to get you an idea:

  • “The biggest thing I worry about is sleep”. Sometimes you might have a lot of noise from people. They worry about sanitation, pets, bugs, smells.
  • hard to get in a shelter. There are too many people that need a shelter.
  • worry about other men in the shelter.
  • People don’t know how to handle the topic or avoid the topic of homelessness or pretend you don’t exist or are less than human.
  • just like everyone else during the day.
  • can be bleak and hopeless, doing what you can just to survive.
  • can zap your dignity
  • you have to go minimalistic sometimes and really carry what you need

The main thing to come away with this is that people like you and me that are smart and intelligent can even fall into circumstances that they lose control or become beyond their control through no real fault of their own. Sometimes job loss and bad timing or coming up in a bad home and no one to fall back for support or having a good network of people can cause the problems. Please look after your fellow man, woman or child and be sympathetic to the plight. Right now with Covid and the economy the way it is a lot of people may not realize that they are often just a paycheck, medical bill, rent payment, or argument with a parent, spouse or partner and they teeter on the edge of being without a roof over their heads.
Thankfully there are help groups and support groups out there that can help people minimize the pain and get back to a good quality of life.

Author: workingstiff

I'm just your average working employee working 8 to 5 making my daily wages. I commute to work, I run the rat race and I live for my days for my next pay check. I have goals. I have dreams. And I have things I wanna do. And sometimes just can't seem to get ahead no matter how many hours I work. Sometimes I just keep my head low and do what the boss says and other times I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Comments always welcome.

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