Saturday, September 30

On my mind

For the last 16 months, since the death of my mother, I have been struggling to touch the ground. I haven't once felt at "home" since then. I understand the term "feet haven't touched the ground" is used to represent good things, but in this usage it represents a very bad thing. I get motion sickness very badly and the sense of not touching the ground causes nothing but sickness and discomfort for me.

After a failed attempt to get grounded in Fayetteville NC, I moved back to Lexington Ky Wednesday before last, 10 days ago. I came to Lexington with no place to stay and no job and just hoped and wished that I could remedy those two nightmares quickly. I found a safe place to stay and I'm welcome there untill I can get work and save to move out on my own. Well this past week I was offered a job, and hired and I begin that job on Monday.

The point in divulging all of this personal info is this, I have been spending time here at the library, scanning online job ads, staying in touch with my three or four dearest online friends. As a result of spending time here I have spent a lot of time talking with and observing the homeless men who gather in the park out front and also in the library. By the skin of my teeth I did not, or have not yet, become one of those men. The mental emotional distance between myself, "the homed" and "them", the homeless, nearly completely evaporated. They became not just fellow Americans whom like others I shared little in common, they became to a huge extent my brothers. They aren't just on the periphery of my world now, they are very much inside my world, inside my space, on my radar.

So this morning I'm at the library and Im thinking about the reality of these men, my brothers who were alomst and may one day be my room mates. So I found these stats on the web, are they accurate, maybe not completely, buty I dont doubt them. And people, we need to do something. What? I don't know but it must be done whatever it is. These men are our fellow citizens and we can't allow the continued failed attempts to do something to numb us to the reality that we as a society are failing them, and by doing so we are failing ourselves.

From The National Coalition for the Homeless,

Homeless Statistics

The first thing to note about homeless statistics is that there are more homeless people today than at any previous time in U.S. history. In the past, "Skid-row bums" were the only homeless people in America on the street. However, nowadays those bums are not the only homeless people in America on the street. Ordinarily people fallen under hard times are now homeless people and some are with homeless children. This new wave of homeless people and homeless children in America now has them competing with the 'old fashioned bums' for space on bridges, benches, and parks to sleep.

Homeless Statistics - the number of homeless people in America

Although it is impossible to count the number of homeless people in America accurately, experts on homeless people estimate that there are more than three million homeless people in America at this time. Also, the number of homeless people increases every year.
The National Coalition for the Homeless estimates that there are more than:

70,000 homeless people in New York;
50,000 homeless people in Los Angeles;
25,000 homeless people in Chicago;
4,000-14,000 homeless people in Dallas;
10,000-15,000 homeless people in Washington, D.c.;
10,000 homeless people in Miami; and
6,500 homeless people in Phoenix.

I know this is an issue that has been talked to death over the last so many years. I know it is a common republican response to simply state, "They need to pull theirself up by their boot straps". The issue of homelessness is so often a liberal talking point that I have rarely heard the word spoken by any of my fellow Republicans.

Thats what is on my mind. Peace and love to all good lizards, past and present.

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