Things That Knock Us Down and Kill Us Slowly


This sort of story is so common that many of us homeless folks barely mention it anymore. If you’d like to meet the worst sort of people, try getting housing with a very little money or while homeless. It’s almost guaranteed that you’ll get ripped off or worse.

Besides low paid jobs, housing costs and deposits are our biggest obstacles. The fastest way that i know of to become homeless is to get in the wrong area, by trusting some property owner. Sure, they have it rough, the probably get a lot of low-life’s that tear up their property. But does that justify them overcharging and gaming the system to cheat everyone else?

And while i’m on this topic, maybe now would be a good time to mention the mental and emotional toll all of this has on person. As you may see, J and i are not weak-hearted and i think we’re both rather intelligent. What may not come through in words is, we’re also rather brave and will address problems head on. We’re both more stubborn than an old mule and don’t get pushed so easily.. lol, this makes it tough between us at times, 😉 but it’s given us both a resolve to make it through the tough things in life. The things that generally stop other folks. We just don’t quit and never give up. Sadly, that’s not so for most folks.

Humans can only take so much rejection and/or abuse. We give up. We get crushed under the hopelessness of it all. Many will have some sort of breakdown. Others, turn to drugs or alcohol for relief. Others find themselves selling themselves for a meal and/or a warm bed… even if that bed is a high-priced back ally motel.. these things eat your heart, mind and spirit… we despair and die a little at a time until there is nothing left of us… those are the ones that most people see, our broken ones.

None of our words on this page/s are meant to shame you or us… we’re really hoping to gain some understanding, a little peace with all of this mess. We hope that your understanding will help us to bring about the needed social changes to prevent this from getting worse… and maybe even to turn it all around and end homelessness, once and for all.

Now, this post started because i’d read an article By Terrence McCoy, at the Washington Post called: ‘The confounding story of the disabled veterans who went weeks in winter without heat — and then were evicted ‘ and it can be found at this link:

As always, thanks for reading and such… ~ gnat

visit our facebook page -> Thanks


Author: AtomGnat Twitter @Occupy_Homeless

5 thoughts on “Things That Knock Us Down and Kill Us Slowly”

    1. No, ‘we’ don’t seem to be searching for a ‘cure’ for homelessness. And yes, we are dying. Lots of us. Every day. And yes, it seems like the easy solution to provide housing, would be obvious enough, but that seems to baffle those left with the task/s of making that come about.

      Instead, ‘we’ seem to make it harder and harder upon those with the least resources, to get by. “Tent/Camp ‘Sweeps'”? And arrests? How is that helping anyone but city planners and by adding funds to municipal accounts? Of course that’s offset by taxes, so those that ‘work on solutions’ have no motivation to resolve the problem, their job and focus is on monies spent, saved, collected. Resolve the problems, they’d have no job…?

      Having stayed at many ‘shelters and missions’, i can easily see this same thinking there too. The well dressed Shelter/Mission Leader, drags a few “now sober” homeless guys up on the stage, “See, this is why we’re here!”, followed by a round of applause and a collection plate or something similar. Meanwhile, not a thing is mentioned about the free/cheap labor that those same people have available to exploit. — sort clothes and discarded property for a dollar a day? – that’s mandatory, “unless you have a current letter by a doctor.”

      — a contractor showed up every day for a couple of weeks, and some of the men would pile into the truck to work. They’d come in worn out and tired. A few dollars for the day’s work, a sack lunch taken from the mission, their only food that day. Out of need, i asked for work also. But i also knew the ropes of the construction trade and i had questions i wanted to find the answers to.

      Long story short, we were paid $5 per hour (“IF YOU Can Manage To Work HARD and I MEAN HARD!”) And it was very hard and the ‘boss’s’ screaming never stopped. Not a worker that i asked, was ever given his total pay for hours work. Not one. That includes me. Digging into this story i found out that the ‘contractor’ and the ‘mission pastor’ were doing ‘subcontract labor’ for another company. Those folks that owned that company had another connection – the mission’s founding church.

      As long as we allow some to profit from the desperation and real needs of our poorest, this ‘problem’ will not be resolved. Until we fully understand that the cliches we call people like me and mine, are obviously false, there’s little chance that things will change.

      ~ gnat

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I am delighted to see these posts, *******. This is my only problem with them. When I was homeless, it was during the time before personal computers. But if they HAD existed back then, I would NOT have had the resources to procure a computer or to pay the exorbitant fees for a service provider. Nor did I have the time or leisure to either read or comment on posts like this….or ANY posts. I was too busy trying to find a safe place to sleep for the night. None of the other homeless I “knew” in Boston or Cambridge would have been able to “compute” either. We would get kicked out of the Library, if we tried to get in to use the bathroom, to wash our face…or God forbid….use the toilet. And many would not have been able to “get on” a computer and know how to use it. The homeless need food, clothing and shelter, before they need computer lessons. Just sayin’….


  2. A few things. 45% of online activity is done by cell phone these days and that figure is just for users, it wasn’t broken down by class or wealth. Earlier today, we spoke with one of our sign holding ‘neighbors’ and he referred to his phone as an “Obama Phone”, and although that should be rightly called a George Bush Phone, because he’s the one that started the program, we all know what he meant. So some of us get phones that way. Personally, we have a LOT of contacts and many of them refuse to allow us to go offline and this phone that i use, is the first one that i personally paid for in several years. It was 1/2 price with a small PRE-Paid contract. Many service providers offer free phones every two years. To repeat, our friends often buy our phones or we get one through Social Services.

    Why would social services give us phones? Because there are no pay phones. We have to have a way to contact jobs, job interviews, healthcare providers, even our social services providers. And maybe the most important, almost all job applications are done online these days. Asking for a job and then asking to use the prospective boss to use her/his phone to fill out that application, is probably frowned upon. And Everyone has a phone these days and if you try just a little, you can get used ones free or cheap easily.

    As for libraries. It turns out that the homeless aren’t a bunch of bums so they found it difficult identifying who was homeless and who was not, and they got tired of turning away people that weren’t homeless… then there’s the whole, It’s a PUBLIC Library and to turn away some of the public because of wealth or lack of homes, is against the law.

    If this laptop or cell phone were to die or need repair, i’ve been instructed to contact a few people about that specific need. Those people contact us regularly asking about general needs and wants. They believe that the work that we’re doing is important and want to see us continue and they want to be able to call up or send a message, just to say hello… i can’t imagine why they would do any of these things, but i will be forever grateful that they do.

    ~ gnat


  3. Things have changed a lot since I was homeless in the 70’s. The PUBLIC libraries DID kick the homeless out. Or people that they assumed were homeless. And it wasn’t just libraries. Virtually everywhere I went, I was either asked to leave….or told to remove myself from the premises, with threats of calling the police. There were no cell phones. And no social services. You couldn’t even get on welfare, unless you had an address. And you couldn’t get “an address” without getting on welfare. No one would have hired me, because I DID look like a “bum”. You are lucky to have such good friends. I did not have a single one. My family and friends all “disowned” me, not wanting to be associated with a homeless person. Others, such as myself, had serious mental issues…and we were treated as if we were “infectious”. To be a young woman on the streets was very different than being a young man on the streets, I cannot even count the number of times I was beaten and/or raped. When I ended up in the hospital, I would always end up on a stretcher in the hallway. “Jane Doe” on my hospital bracelet, until I could remember my name.

    I’m sorry to put you on the defensive….I was just stating my thoughts and feelings. But I guess this is just a forum for you. Not bums like me.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s