Wednesday, October 03, 2007

On Being Homeless in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.

The question has been asked of me: What was it like to be homeless?

I senced that this question was asked with great awe and a tone of excitment and joy at the "romance of being homeless"



Last year, as many of you may remember, halfway through NaNo06 I disapeared off the contest and forums and was not heard of again for nearly 6 months later. Here's why:

We suffered a flood/fire that destroied everything and left us homeless. It also left my dad in a coma, leaving our family of 7 without an income. We lost our house, our cloths, everything. All we had left was what we were wearing when it happened.

We turned to family who due to regilgious convictions said that "god was punishing us" and they than refused to help us because they "would not get in the way of god's plan"; they continued by saying that "god intended man to be self-sufficiant", meaning that we had to help ourselves. sheesh. our friends (of the same religon) said the same. We went to the bishop for help, and was given this same answer yet again.

In the end, we stuck out Maine's 2006 record breaking sub-zero winter, by living for 8 months in a "tent" we built out of a tarp and some cinderblocks. We kept warm during the day by staying in the Main Mall from 9 AM to 10PM. We ate about 4 meals per week at the Salvation Army (they don't serve food every day). The rest of the days were spent in search of wood, leaves, and paper that we could burn at night to keep warm.

Thankfully, 2 months in, I was able to get a job at the Mall, and was able to afford to buy enough food so we could eat every day again.

Our time was spent mostly trying to find scraps of food to eat and anything we could burn to keep warm. Never once did we "panhandle" or "beg for money". Belive me, when you are starving and cold, money is the farthest thing from your mind. I know. All of your time is spent worrying how many days (not hours, but days) it'll be before your next meal, or worrying that the snow will collapse your tent while you are asleep.

Being homeless is very, very scary, you worry about not living to see tommorow more than anything else.

You learn to pick trash for food, and to pick up bottles and cans to turn in for money to buy food.

Also, you have to deal with a lot of stuck up snobby people throwing things at you (rocks and tin cans mostly), tearing your tent apart while you are away so that you have to keep rebuilding it, and wild animals attacking you at night. (fishers, martans, bobcat, and bear, in our case)

Also, you lose lots of weight (I lost 30 lbs) and you get used to walking miles and miles a day.
You learn that asking to take a shower at a friends house is taboo, and so must go month after month without washing... best you can do is to wash your face in the restroom of a store, but don't keep going to the same store or they'll call the police on you.

You also learn that not taking a shower well cause people to tease you, throw things at you, and go around saying bad things about you to every one.


You well feel unloved, unwanted, hated, and become deeply depressed. There well be nights when you lay awake staring at the blackness of the tarp above you and wishing tonights snowstorm will collapse it on you and smother you in your sleep so that you won't have to wake up and suffer another day in this world where humans you once called family and friend are now your worst enimeies and hate you, simplyy because you no longer have a house to live in.



An interesting thing is that during this time, my NaNo entry became my closet and dearest friend, with me spending every spare moment writing an averane of 3,000 - 7,000 words a day on scraps of paper, which carried with me in a totebag and later bound together in a notebook. Writing my NaNo book was my only happy moments during this time.


Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

All donations to Star Log go either to The Rabbit Hole Fund and/or The Pidgie Fund. The Rabbit Hole Fund is raising money to start a small retail clothen shop, while The Pidgie Fund buys food for pets in Southern Maine.




























TAGS:
Communist blacklist, Communism in America, the communist town of Old Orchard Beach, Jim Thomas the Communist, Will Watson the Communist, down with Communism, fight for your rights, make America the land of the free again, 1964 Dodge 330, angry, animal rights, animal welfare, animals, anti-elder abuse, antiquies, author's rights, authors, bantams, belief, beliefs, Biddeford, birds, cats, chickens, Christ, Christianity, church corruption, conspiracy, corrupt leaders, corruption, crime, criminal, criminals, cruel, cruelty, danger, disabled, discrimination, dogs, evil, evil men, faith, Family, farm animals, farm life, fear, Garden by the Sea, geography, God, government, government crime, harasment, harassment, hell, help wanted, Holiness, Holy Spirit, humans, in need of help, Jesus, LDS, lies, Life, life blogging, local government, Maineland, Mormons, my thoughts on..., news, ocean, ocean life, Old Orchard, police, police corruption, police threats, politics, Relationships, religon, seniors, sin, sinner, sinners, social change, stamp collecting, stamps, stealing, Stolen House, stolen items, strange but true, strangers, tent, terror, terrorism, terrorists, Theology, theology beliefs, thief, thieves, thoughts, threats, town hall, Town of Old Orchard, vandelism, vandels, villain, war, weather, Winter, World, writer, writer's rights, writers, York county

animal rights, bad habits, conspiracy, corrupt leaders, corruption, disabled, Discernment, discrimination, EelKat, EK, Family, fear, Future, geography, government, harassment, help wanted, humans, in need of help, Jesus, lies, Life, local government, my thoughts on..., Old Orchard, Personal, politics, Power, stealing, tent, thieves, Town of Old Orchard, unprotected, unsafe, vegetarian, war, wisdom, World, York county, Communist blacklist, Communism in America, the communist town of Old Orchard Beach, Jim Thomas the Communist, Will Watson the Communist, down with Communism, fight for your rights, make America the land of the free again, 1964 Dodge 330, angry, animal rights, animal welfare, animals, anti-elder abuse, antiquies, author's rights, authors, bantams, belief, beliefs, Biddeford, birds, cats, chickens, Christ, Christianity, church corruption, conspiracy, corrupt leaders, corruption, crime, criminal, criminals, cruel, cruelty, danger, disabled, discrimination, dogs, evil, evil men, faith, Family, farm animals, farm life, fear, Garden by the Sea, geography, God, government, government crime, harasment, harassment, hell, help wanted, Holiness, Holy Spirit, humans, in need of help, Jesus, LDS, lies, Life, life blogging, local government, Maineland, Mormons, my thoughts on..., news, ocean, ocean life, Old Orchard, police, police corruption, police threats, politics, Relationships, religon, seniors, sin, sinner, sinners, social change, stamp collecting, stamps, stealing, Stolen House, stolen items, strange but true, strangers, tent, terror, terrorism, terrorists, Theology, theology beliefs, thief, thieves, thoughts, threats, town hall, Town of Old Orchard, vandelism, vandels, villain, war, weather, Winter, World, writer, writer's rights, writers, York county

No comments:

Top 30 Authors Found in My Private Book Collection:

Authors whose books I own the most copies of.

Random Books From My Private Book Collection:

Top 100 Tags Found in My Private Library:

Space Dock 13 Recommends: