The real plight of the homeless told by homeless

Mike Zint of ‘First They Came for the Homeless’ talks to some Berkeley, CA street kids after their chalking action defending their right to sleep.
PHOTO/SARAH MENEFEE

 

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA — Housing is not a reality. How many years do you have to wait? So, until then, you are a target. No stability at all. Keep your gear close. They are coming for you. No place to hide, no place to go, no choices left. Except drugs or insanity.

The real plight of the homeless!

During police sweeps you have a few minutes to save your belongings if you are lucky. Cities have no intention of preserving or keeping it for you. The intention is to purposely steal it as punishment for being homeless in public. To fight back is impossible. You need money to do that. Or lawyers. And good luck getting a lawyer. They want big bucks.

Things I used to own: baby pictures, multiple warm sleeping bags, cell phones, computer, extra clothing, backpacks, inhalers, and a jewelry making set up that took years to develop. This has happened multiple times.

Why do they do it? Because there is no room for poor people anywhere. Harass them, steal from them, abuse them, torture them, and maybe they will move along.

Mental disabilities and drug use are often the end result.

Class warfare waged by the Chambers of Commerce, commercial districts, business associations are the reality. And it won’t stop until enough people get screwed by the corrupt, greedy system!

Homeless people get almost no choice. Shelter system, sleep on the sidewalk, hide a tent.

Shelters are one step above jail. Abuse by staff, violence, lice, bed bugs, exposure to illness, these exist in shelters. So, is it really a choice?

Sleeping on the sidewalk (exposed) is horrible too. Cardboard for meager insulation, no padding except for a sleeping bag, no privacy except what exists between your nose and the blanket you are hiding under. Yes, hiding is accurate. For mental stability, privacy and security are needed. When a blanket was what l had, that little space had to do. Fear never leaves either. Will I get rousted by cops? Robbed? Beaten? So, the longer you live this way, the worse your mental state becomes.

So, hide a tent is left. This works until you are found. When found, your gear is usually confiscated. You are ticketed. And you spend the next few nights in a shelter, or on a sidewalk exposed.

Think about that. Understand why a tent city is so important. And ask yourselves why we aren’t allowed to take care of ourselves? Changing that could end homelessness.

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One thought on “The real plight of the homeless told by homeless

  1. The closest I’ve found to my own experience homeless, and what I’ve written. Who cares what happens here and why we ended up here? Forgotten or abandoned. ..it’s all the same. ..devastating to the mind, body, and the spirit. -db

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