Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Homeless Experiment and other information on the homeless

I hadn't really intended to read this entire journal but once I started I didn't want to stop.  The author of NevBlog decided to do an experiment and left his home with not much else but the clothes on his back to live as and among the homeless for five days.

Before sharing the story I want to stipulate that Nev defines his experience  as one among the CHRONIC homeless we see on the streets regularly and not those who have found themselves temporarily homeless due to a loss of job, medical problems, or other circumstance that in reality could be a risk for us all.  The story caught my interest because of the people I see everyday while waiting for the bus.  He called his efforts the Homeless Experiment .

From the authors profile:

Name: Neville Medhora
Age: 27
Location: Austin, TX.

As I browsed through Neville's Financial Blog it became apparent that he had some interesting things to say.

Many In The Trenches readers are going through difficult times and we are aware that without diligent effort our own circumstances could get worse instead of better. It is that very reason we work all the harder, plan all the better, and make the temporary changes that are needed to get through and point us in the direction of recovery.

The current national economic situation has also made us more aware of the financial perils others go through.  In raising our awareness it has also raised the compassion of many to want to help in some way.  A friend of mine, Toni Nelson, authored the book A Begger's Purse which I featured on a previous blog post.

Some of the members of our church have started a homeless outreach and these are the items they suggest for donations:

Top Donation Needs:
All types of gently used clothing (especially men’s)
Plastic Grocery Bags
Hand Sanitizer
Chap stick / Vaseline
Combs / Brushes
Baby Wipes
Feminine Sanitary items
Gloves, Hats, Scarves, Socks
Jackets, Sweatshirts
Sleeping Bags

Casa Del Luz is an organization I became aware of that helps the needy.  This video shares the story of their generous and help to the needy is both practical and eye opening.  Laundry day sounds like quite an event. Note: after preparing the post I was advised that the Casa Del Luz site is undergoing remodeling - please check back later.

By now you have probably asked yourself why I keep posting things about the homeless.  I have asked myself that also and know that it is for a number of reasons:

  • I see them every Monday - Friday.
  • I am aware that some are in that condition because of their own bad life choices.  Personally I have had friends and family members who have succumbed to drugs and alcohol to the level that this became their life so I watch with sadness combined with shaking my head at the waste of what was once good in their lives.  Fortunately some have even turned the other direction and made a new start.
  • I had a friend who became homeless because of the violence of another.

Years ago I had a friend who was in a relationship in which she was regularly beaten.  Although we were not in communication at the time I later found out that she had fled the situation for her life with her three small children with only the clothes on her back and gas in her car.  She and her children lived in their car for three weeks before they were able to find the help they needed.  I have often wished I could have helped and I wish her and her family the best.  Years have passed and I think of her and wonder.

Life on the streets...one of the things we don't like to think about.


Practical Parsimony said...

Casa del Luz does not work.

Carol Schultz said...

You are right! It looks like they are right in the middle of redoing their website. I'll check back with them later and see if the video and story I wanted to share is still available.