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December 28, 2019

Homelessness and being forced to look in the mirror.

Homelessness.. and being forced to look in the mirror!

I was sick the other night, fever, vomiting, freezing. I donned my Mom’s housecoat over fleece pajamas with 2 huge blankets. My son covering me with a third. I am blessed. Blessed far more than I often give credit for. Blessed that I have access to medication and health care and resources. Blessed that I have family and a place to live, even a bed to sleep in.

I have PTSD with dissociation.

My brain compartmentalized my trauma, allowing me to live and function in the world. Others with trauma, live with those vivid images in their minds, on repeat, every hour, every day of their lives.  What’s the difference between them and I?  My brain’s coping mechanism.

Why does it matter?

Because if I didn’t dissociate, I most certainly would be addicted to something so I COULD separate my body from it’s emotions….Addiction leads to loss, and often homelessness, thereby, I would have been homeless too!

There seems to be some disparity between the sexes as it pertains to homelessness.

I suspect it’s because women get on their knees or their backs for a warm place to sleep even though many have been sexually abused in their past  and know they may be assaulted again.

I used to say, I would rather freeze to death but I digress.

Who the hell am I to say what I would of wouldn’t do in that situation. It’s insensitive,  that I dare to even speculate!

I hear alot of BULLSH*T notions about the poor, here are a few:

1) ” God helps those who help themselves.”

The homeless often suffer with untreated mental illness and people condemn them and question why they don’t get help! I challenge you to try and convince someone who doesn’t even know they are sick to go to the doctor and take medications every day, and how would you like them to pay for it, when they don’t even have money for lunch?

2)” They need to get a job.”

I’m sorry how would you like them to work, when they don’t have clean clothes or a place to shower?

3) ” They chose to use drugs and don’t want to get clean.”

Aside from how hard it is for middle class folks to give up their wine, beer, edibles, vape, video games or porn AND that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones –  Why would anyone living like that WANT to get sober ? Would you if you lived on the streets? What motive is there?  Hope for a brighter future? Where? Under a bridge? A tent in an alley way when it’s – 30 degrees, because there is zero affordable housing.  Stop numbing your own life before judging someone else’s.

4) ” It’s not my problem.”

My dear friend,  I hope and pray you never know hardship, but it’s often those playing in traffic that get hit by a bus!  And if you think because you have an education or a good job, a 2 person household income and a solid financial plan, you are immune…. Let me remind you that, businesses go bankrupt, disease doesn’t discriminate, divorces happen, people leave us, stock markets crash.

We are ALL one situation away from a completely different life!

The next time you see someone who’s homeless, look closely – They are a MIRROR of ALL our of potential futures. Everyone who says it would “never be me” is WRONG.

Then ask yourself how badly you you really need that Starbucks, or how badly your kids need the latest IPhone or how much money you give to your church on Sunday – Churches, who’s recreation halls, and gyms and meeting rooms sit heated, dark and vacant at night, while your brothers and sisters try to get warm with a heroine needle or a break and enter – because jail is at least a bed, food and heat!

If you bitch about panhandlers and won’t help them and you a so-called Christian reading this – Please remove your WWJD ( What would Jesus do?) Bumper sticker, if you are NOT willing to answer the question of how you can help.

They will know we are Christians by what? Ya that’s right .. LOVE!

The time for blaming and justifying is over.

We need action from our cities, our nation, our politicians – but truthfully it ALL starts with US.

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Christina Lepore  |  Contribution: 20,055