Tag Archives: homelessness

It’s the little things that get me…

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It’s the little things that get me…

*if you are a mamby pamby that gets grossed out, don’t read this*

 

I went to Fred Meyers to get some stuff in preparation for the return of the girlchild. As I was going in there was a girl who had a sign that said “Homeless, just need a hotel for a couple days.”

Now normally, as I am pretty freaking poor, I can’t give them money or anything more than a kind word or a smile. But something about the shame on this girl made me look twice. She couldn’t have been more than 19, 20; but her eyes looked so rueful, it reminded me of my own broken childmother. The girl had blood on her pants but being a woman, I knew she hadn’t murdered anyone and she wasn’t hurt (if you catch my drift.) Now, it was at that point that I realized I had never even thought about that aspect of homelessness. I immediately thought, I wonder if homeless girls ever get pregnant to avoid this? I realize this is a ludicrous thought to you now, but the one time that I was truly homeless, I was pregnant and did not have to worry about such things. Now before you get all “Awww that’s awful!” It was the perfect time to be homeless really, given what this girl was dealing with. Any other time that I was “homeless” it was more of a youthful choice, a rebellion and I knew plenty of places I could go for a week or shower or clean clothes or freaking tampons. It broke my heart. I didn’t have the money for a hotel room, but I did get the girl a pair of clearance pants and a big box of the tampons she wanted. A temporary comfort. It’s the little things we in our first world problem world of cable bills and cell phone overages that we don’t think about often enough. Things like tampons. Clean clothes. A place to wash.

And next month, hopefully she will either have somewhere to be, money to buy tampons or be able to steal some before she is too embarrassed to go in the store.

 

Poverty, Homelessness and privilege:

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Poverty, Homelessness and privilege:

Have been the topics du jour in my classes this week. My poverty class is putting together a small Peoples Movement Assembly on poverty next month at Portland State, so I have been thinking a lot about poverty.

Homelessness is one of the many frustrating facets of it which are immediately apparent, particularly for me here in Portland. They make fun of the “gutterpunks” and the  panhandlers on “Portlandia,” but rarely do you see the REAL inequities and injustices without being here. I watch people a lot on the trains and at the stops and just downtown in general; most people avert their eyes as if not looking at the homeless will make them go away. Shameful.

I read a pretty resonant blog today that I would like to share with you:

http://adventuresofcassandra.tumblr.com/post/21338683124/homeless-happy

I encourage you all to remember that poverty is a human issue, not a poor issue. It is systemic. It is RAMPANT in the United States, despite what we may want the world to believe.

Don’t turn away. If you have nothing to give, you are dead. Sometimes just a smile can change someone’s world. Energy is cyclic.

Thanks, Cassie.

xoxo

Jani