What Does Sanctuary Mean to a Homeless Person

Sanctuary What does sanctuary mean to a homeless person?  I ask myself this question all the time, because technically I do have sanctuary from the storm.  I live in a shelter and I have walls around me that keep out the cold, wind, rain and snow.  But does that mean that I have a sanctuary or does that mean that I have a roof over my head?  Don’t get me wrong, anything beats the streets, I just yearn for something more at this time.  It’s like they always say, you always wish for what you don’t have?  In working my now full-time job I am thinking of what my permanent home will look like and how I will make it my own.  I think of the things that I will put up on the walls, the meals that I will cook and the people that I will invite over to Read More …

Youth and homelessness

Youth Youth and homelessness go together like cereal and milk.  When you’re young, you don’t mind sleeping on a mat, you’ll do it just to prove how bad-ass you are.  If you are homeless, it means that you are trying to make a point.  I know when I was young that’s how it was for me.  I would leave a shelter because I didn’t agree with the ethics of the place.  It didn’t matter to me that I had nowhere to go to, making a point was more important than my safety.  Now that I am older it seems that making a point is nowhere near as important as having a warm place to rest my head, I call it getting older. I see young people out on the streets, literally sleeping in doorways and out in the open and I think to myself, “You can do that know, but Read More …

Finding a Connection in Others

Connection So many times I am interested in somebody or something but am afraid to ask because I might be told to mind my own business.  When you are homeless the lives of others are fascinating.  I don’t want to pry into the lives of those around me and I’m not trying to be voyeuristic in any way shape or form.  People fascinate me because I wonder what they are doing wrong/right in this world that we live in that is allowing them to either succeed and/or fail at life.  I look at them and compare my own circumstances and choices that I have made to what they are currently doing.  Mind you, I am not judging, I am simply seeing whether or not what they do would work for me.  I approach relationships with this type of curiosity as well.  I know that a lot of homeless people do Read More …

On the edge of stability/instability

On the Edge It’s interesting when you’re on the edge of anything, but it’s especially interesting when you are on the edge of homelessness.  There are things that I feel that I can’t explain about my life right now, but I know that I have to try.  Everyday I wake up and ask myself, “is this the day that I’m going to lose my job?”  “Is this the day someone’s going to figure out who I really am?”  This is the thing that I struggle with.  I am always in the moment when I am working, but every once in a while, that nagging sense of reality kicks in.  I want to be stable in the worst way, but when it comes to stability, all I’ve ever had is failure.  I act what I think successful people act like, but I know in my heart that I really feel like Read More …

Just another day in a strange situation

Just Another Day This life is normal to me, I know what I have to do to survive, but that doesn’t mean that I like it.  In starting a new job you have to think about not about your situation but also about the feelings and ideas of others.  I have debated telling my employer that I am homeless but I don’t know how it will be taken and I also have to think about my reputation as a new employee.  If you start out by showing your problems, people are not going to want to deal with you after a while because they think that you come with too much baggage, I say this from experience.  It does not mean that I will never tell my employers about my situation, I just have to get to know them a little better. What I have learned from the past is Read More …

Numbers in Time and Money

Numbers 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 Read More …

Learning to Take Things With a Grain of Salt

Grain As a homeless person I have had to learn not to take things so seriously.  If you are going to succeed at being homeless, it means that you are going to have to take things with a grain of salt.  I’ve always been one to take myself and my situations with the attitude that the world is going to end if I don’t get help, lately I’ve been forced to adjust my attitudes. For example, to get into my current shelter took seven months, in the past I would have just said forget it and walked off, but now I have a little more patience and nowhere to go or no prospects, so I waited.  What I have learned from this is that you have to wait for everything, it’s like Ringo Starr says in “It Don’t Come Easy”, “Got to pay dues if you want to sing the Read More …

Phases

Phases Just as with everyone else there have been many phases in my life.  I have had phases where there was quiet and solitude and I was not homeless and I enjoyed myself.  I am lucky that I have had a reprieve in-between the madness and chaos that is homelessness.  I think of those times and how to get back to them now that I am homeless again. I consider the state that I am in only a phase.  I consider the phases in a person’s life to  be moments of a certain experience, whether it was that 20 year hitch that you had with your last job or the car accident that took all of 1 minute to wreck your life.  These are just moments in time that are either good, bad or indifferent.  The difference between the phase that I am going through and the phase of most other Read More …

Who Am I Talking To?

As a homeless person, I feel that I want to reach out to other homeless people and those that would like to understand more about the homeless, but are/were afraid to ask. The homeless have many resources, they often just don’t know that those resources exist.  I don’t know if it’s done intentionally or there are so many people competing for the same resources that sometimes it seems that people are lost through the shuffle.  Here is a list of basic resources that exist in Denver.  The list exists on the Denver’s Road Home website. http://denversroadhome.org/homeless.php There you can find everything from hot meal to a hot shower.  For those that already have a place to stay but are in jeopardy of losing it due to eviction there are a couple of resources for eviction assistance as well. Sometimes help is all around us but we are too afraid to Read More …

Who I am and Why I’m Here

Who I am is  a 42 year old homeless person who lives (if you can call it that), in Denver, CO. Over the years, I have been homeless due to various reasons, the same reasons that all of us homeless people find ourselves; lack of money, lack of resources, family issues, job issues – the list goes on and on.  I am grateful that I am not addicted, (food does not count)!  I’ve also been told that I’m relatively sane, so that’s nice.  In my journey as a homeless minority woman, I have learned many things and I have decided that all of the things that I have seen and heard would make a great blog.  There are many issues facing the homeless community that seem to be in the homeless community and nowhere else.  This is one of the reasons why I am here. The other reason of why Read More …