Numbers in Time and Money


When I think of numbers as a person who is without home the only thing that comes to mind is time and money.  Time constitutes the amount of time it takes for a person to do something and how much time that person will have to wait for a response for whatever it is that they did.  Money is obvious, you make it you spend it and you try to save as much of it as you can.  Let’s talk about this time thing first.

Time to a homeless person has two speeds slow and Indy 500, there is no in-between.  When you have to wait it’s the worst, I recently had to wait 7 months to get into a homeless shelter.  The wait for something that will change your life seems never ending and because it will change your life, the wait seems that much longer.  When you wait on a list for a place there is no telling how fast that place is going to move, so you have to contact them in 1 to 3 month increments to find where you are on the waiting list.  When I first contacted the place and was told I was number 35, it was the middle of winter and I was thinking “how am I going to survive this?” I was riding buses to stay warm and sleeping in overnight shelters. I had to learn to focus my attention on anything other than what I was waiting for because I would go crazy if I thought about what may be waiting for me after my struggle. Just when I was about to give up on the place, I was told that I was number 1 on the list and they had a bed for me.  I suppose I learned patience as well with the lesson of time.  I’ve learned that anything that is worth anything to me takes time and patience and I just have to let my mind do what it will do till the day that I get/don’t get what I want.

Money is another thing that makes me think of numbers.  When you’re homeless it seems that you can never have enough.  Because I have no lockers in the place that I live, it means that I have to shop much more often for the things that I need.  There is value in having a place  to store your things, since I don’t have that simple things like tampons and toothpaste need to be purchased on a regular basis, the trick to this is not to impulse shop, get what you need and get out.  This is easier said than done, when you live in a shelter there are always things that you need so you end up second guessing everything you do and ultimately you end up doing a lot of impulse shopping.  I meant to get a toothpaste travel kit but decided that I needed the hairspray and brush.  The other problem is where do you put all of the stuff that you just bought.  That takes another purchase, can you see how never-ending this is?

Numbers of days, numbers in money, numbers of stuff that has to be bought, numbers are everywhere but I only think of it when it comes to time and money.

6 Replies to “Numbers in Time and Money”

  1. You have a wonderful, truly wonderful (read Alice and looking glasses and Narnia and Middle Earth and that thing people call heaven that I don’t quite believe in) montage of pictures here. And your words strike a chord deeply resonating in the true breast of me. I thank you and I wish you joy. And I wish you stability. Most of all (as a person who wavered on the precipice of homelessness with four babies) I wish you still.

  2. Because of what you have learned, you can now teach. Both time and money are commodities, and come at a premium. Some people equate time and money in the same vein. Gosh! I’ve never been even close to homeless, but as I mentioned earlier have worked with the homeless a good many years. I know struggle exists, but what about bravery? You have that in spades. You also pay a lot more attention to things, well; observe. I’ve often told my friends that if the world appeared to be coming to an end, I would find a homeless person(s) and follow him/her/them to safety. You know a lot more about “living” life than you realize. You may have thoughts and concerns that I don’t have, but you don’t take a lot for granted either. Again, I must applaud you because I believe you have been through hell, and lived to tell about it. Survival is a skill that many people have no idea about. They couldn’t do it. And you can!!!

    1. Thank you for all your words of kindness and encouragement. I think that being homeless should not be something that a person is embarrassed by because it does take some strength to be homeless. I thank you for the work that you did in working with the homeless that was so kind of you.


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