Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Another dollar, another day

You know it might help if I made a few notes and had some kind of plan for what I was going to write before I begin. This is all strictly stream of consciousness. I have to be writing before I can think of what I want to write about. I would say there is definitely room for improvement. Like this morning I would like to write about what I've been thinking about what I could do to help the homeless. What do the homeless need? What can I do that helps them? I take the 7:54 bus in in the morning. It gets me to Eureka about 8:45. I walk down to the showers and hang out. Then I walk over to the three sided shelter beside the mission and check that out. I still have to apply at the St. Vincent de Paul lunch room, but I've applied at the store and at the showers. The mission just uses people who stay there. In other words I need to find something to do on my own. There will be ups and downs I'm sure, but I'm just taking it one day at a time. It too is a stream of consciousness kind of thing. Yesterday I went out to the shore by the mall. I found a torn tent and a somewhat clean piece of styrofoam the thickness of a blanket. I rolled the two up with a clean trash bag I had been sitting on and picked a place to stash them to see if anyone would disturb them. I also picked up the litter around the area. I put it in the plastic bags, the urban tumbleweeds, that are usually part of the litter. I wrap one bag inside another somethimes wrapping three or more bags around each other. The idea is to keep the litter from scattering again. Also if the homeless find it it will give them something to do if they think there is something valuable inside. Maybe I can get some of the yellow bags they put trash in that they pick up beside the road. It would probably be a bureaucratic nightmare doomed to failure. I might uncover some interesting information in the process, however.

The obvious thing that the homeless need is a home. To do that, however, they need to cooperate with the system so they can be reintegrated into it. By doing nice things that they would appreciate it might be possible to get them to look positively at the system again. That's the theory at least. I not only want to help the homeless I want to help the rest of society also. Martin Luther King jr. didn't only want to help black people he wanted to help white people too. I think society in general wants to be free of the shame that the homeless bring upon them. They have just given up trying to figure out how to do it. I think it could be called compassion fatigue.

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