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Have you experienced homelessness?

 
 
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2015 03:56 pm
Hi,

I'm a grad student doing research in the areas of homelessness and libraries. If you've experienced homelessness and, during that time, used a library, I'd be interested in talking to you.

I'd like to know how/when you used the library, and I'd like to hear about your experiences.

If you'd be interested in talking to me, I would be grateful!

Thanks!
 
Stachybotrys
 
  2  
Reply Wed 25 Nov, 2015 03:41 pm
@creampuff,
I am homeless, as I type this from a library computer. What would you like to know?
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Nov, 2015 04:51 pm
@Stachybotrys,
I'm one of probably millions who thought they were doing ok and then weren't.
I'm interested in what Stachybotrys and others may have to say.
0 Replies
 
Glennn
 
  3  
Reply Wed 25 Nov, 2015 06:07 pm
I was homeless when I was much younger. I hitchhiked from one place to another, and then back again, and I would do that as a way to stay warm. Cars are like little houses; they're warm, and if you're tired enough, you can get some sleep. At the time, I was too involved in the moment to see it for what it was. But now I look back and see a lonely man.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Nov, 2015 06:23 pm
@Glennn,
It is still possible that I'll go there, probably not re my age but also maybe.
A lot of us in the US ride some rails, monthly, dealing with money scary ****.
Kolyo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2015 09:28 pm
@ossobuco,
ossobuco wrote:

It is still possible that I'll go there, probably not re my age but also maybe.


Probably not. When I was on the streets for 4 months, I stayed at a shelter with over 100 other people, but not one of them was over 65. This is America. It isn't Europe, but it isn't India either.
Kolyo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2015 09:45 pm
@creampuff,
The homeless take advantage of libraries for many reasons:

(1) Sometimes they use them as places to sleep. In my town this wasn't the case. For one thing, the library fought their efforts when they tried to do so. For another thing, there was an actual night shelter they could count on.

(2) In my town, many of us used them as a place to go to get out of the cold. There was a day shelter in addition to the one we went to at night, but its patrons were a rough crowd, so the more mild-mannered among us preferred the library.

(3) Obviously, the free computers help a lot.

---

I should add:

Some libraries took measures to keep the homeless out, for fear that we would drive away the other patrons. To that end they made rules barring people with noticeably poor hygiene from hanging out there.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2015 09:50 pm
@Kolyo,
I hope what you say is true.

In my feistier days I worked with an architect and his referenced associate re the homeless. I designed a landscape for a very early or the first place in LA for people with HIV back then, early.

I somewhat get LA, but Albuquerque is a concrete block to me, but I am less able now to just engage, less mobile.

0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2015 10:04 pm
@Kolyo,
There is a reason actually a few reasons we moved. This wasn't a reason but was a negative to where we lived...there was a big homeless shelter in our city. It was walking distance to the main library and the Y where the kids at ended a summer camp.

I loved the library there. It had an older section where the architecture was beautiful and a newer section where it housed a nice choldre's section and some function rooms and an open srea.

The people many of the homeless would hang out in the grounds and in the interior of of the open area. You had to escort your children there ... they could never go alone. It was sad as obviously there were homeless making good use whereas there were others you would be fearful of your children being stound.

One time on entering ...you had to enter in the open area where the homeless tended to hang out....and one man while sitting at a table just turned his head and began vomiting on the floor next to him...while the poor janitor just dragged over a trash bin to put next to him.

Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2015 10:04 pm
@creampuff,
I was homeless as a teenager in the 90s and nearly lived in a library. Not much to tell, it was next to a basketball court and a baseball field (and school) and I slept in the dugout at night and hung out in the library or on the basketball courts during the day when I wasn't working.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2015 10:10 pm
@Linkat,
You poor thing.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2015 10:17 pm
@ossobuco,
Not me..the janitor I was thinking about him having to deal with this probably making minimum wage. You could tell by the janitor's demeanor he dealt with this day in and out. He just gave me a shake of his head.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2015 10:56 pm
@Linkat,
Some of my friends were the janitors or lab drivers. Lot of soul sung by Nat and Sharon. I miss them both. I think his name was Nat Mayweather: he was the driver. Sharon was the lab tech from Buffalo with a voice. So good. She had a last name too, maybe I'll remember. Wonderful person.from my side. That lab could twang.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2015 11:11 pm
Anyway, back to people who have lived it..
0 Replies
 
FBM
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2015 12:36 am
@creampuff,
creampuff wrote:

Hi,

I'm a grad student doing research in the areas of homelessness and libraries. If you've experienced homelessness and, during that time, used a library, I'd be interested in talking to you.

I'd like to know how/when you used the library, and I'd like to hear about your experiences.

If you'd be interested in talking to me, I would be grateful!

Thanks!


I used the library as a place to get warm, get cheap coffee (back when it was still cheap there), to clean up discreetly (in the toilet when it wasn't occupied) and to use the internet to get a job. As for the latter, it would have been much, much more difficult and maybe even impossible for me to get my feet back under me without it. I never relied on public or private handouts when I was homeless, though I don't blame those who do/have to.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2015 12:51 am
****, the Seattle library is over run with homeless people. They actually designed the place to be a daytime wearhouse. ******* government, wearhouse them some place out of my way.
0 Replies
 
VanMan
 
  2  
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2015 11:28 am
@creampuff,
Technically I am homeless, but it's by choice. Why spend $400+ for a room when for less, I can have a van? June marked 3 YEARS I have been doing it.

I have a job, I shower daily and free wifi at the place I go to. Too many just sit there waiting for someone else to "Help" them not expending THEIR energy tpo get out of the hole they dug.

I don;t make $15 an hour, but I do work, save money have access to the library and generally am enjoying myself.
0 Replies
 
username222
 
  3  
Reply Sat 22 Jul, 2017 03:16 pm
@creampuff,
Becoming homeless happens for many reasons, but being homeless literally feels like one has been dropped off the face of the planet. One is no longer part of the collective cultural or societal imagination, few want to know about you, and it's a matter far more complex than not having a roof over one's head. Homelessness extends beyond the average psyche's ability to cope with daily events and is thus a threat to collective mental stability and health - not least of which because shelter is something humans need not only physically but mentally as well. Homelessness reaches into the depths of where to go and what to do on a moment to moment basis, binding one to the present moment without relief or . Homelessness thus increases one's mental The homeless are not worse people than non homeless people - they may, however, due to a loss of hope involving their circumstances and the inability to process or deal with daily/psychic events due to having no place of their own to effectively deal with them, (through tasks such as cleaning, sorting items or furniture, or taking care of oneself the way people do when they have a home) may act differently or less virtuously than they would had they a home, which does not help their circumstances of getting a home, their mental health, 0r place within the collective imagination if they hold one other than as a nonexistent no-one. By the educated class, homelessness is not shunned - it's disregarded completely. A homeless person is not looked upon poorly within the scope of life - they're dismissed altogether.

Shelter is as much mental as it is physical - it provides us with the opportunity to live out our lives into and within a space, compose our life within its parameters and arrange it to our liking. Within this space we are free to be true to ourselves in a way that might not be possible in the presence of other people. Spiritually, we are apt to expand our consciousness safely and without injury to our health (without risk of going too far or mental decomposition) in order to further our growth as human beings. Only with boundaries are we able to expand our reach. This provides not only essential privacy - vital for maintaining one's health and wellbeing through reflection and peace of mind - but also safety from outside intrusion.

Further disabling to the homeless population is the lack of employment opportunities and organization of opportunities within one's life and the community within which one can serve and better be seen as a vital part of the local integral community. Without an opportunity to better oneself, human beings are dislocated from their life force and further disabled from helping the community, which a valuable life is made of - with stagnation comes death and further disrepair.

This can only be remedied with better preventative measures and the ability to empathize with people who are homeless, rather than disregard them completely.

It is of considerable interest that libraries are the focal point of many homeless people - not only because they are free access and a place of refuge, but because those who have been dropped from cultural and collective consciousness can find their bearings and refine their output in the world of books, current events and cultural and political discourse. Libraries offer not only a sanctuary for the mind and body, but a home in one's mind and a place to call one's own.
0 Replies
 
Patricia McGurk
 
  0  
Reply Tue 15 Aug, 2017 02:44 pm
@creampuff,
Homeless Sparrow by Patricia L. McGurk (Copyright July 30, 2017)

Eventually, the small new bird desperately following the also small flock of larger older birds - the young baby bird approaching with fastly fluttering wings like a hummingbird and hopping on thin bird's feet achieves some flight and learns to fly, to painfully sustain flight in short bursts and obtains its own food to alleviate the starvation of Living.

(© 2017 Homeless Sparrow
by Patricia L. McGurk )
email: [email protected]
0 Replies
 
JessieSweetz
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Feb, 2018 03:05 pm
@creampuff,
Are you still looking for people to talk to?
0 Replies
 
 

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