Thread: Old, Female and Homeless
#1 Old, Female and Homeless01-31-2013, 10:11 AM
Thu Jan 31, 2013, 07:55 AM
Old, Female and Homeless
The doors of the Mission Neighborhood Health Center in San Francisco don’t open until 7 am, but on the Saturday morning I was there, a dozen or so people were already lined up by 5:30. The group included a middle-aged white man who had lost his job managing a high-end restaurant and a black man wearing a crisp security guard blazer because he had to be at work by noon. Each was there hoping for a bed for the night. The city assigns most slots in its homeless shelters on a first-come, first-served basis by computer. The people had shown up here so early because they know through experience that every last bed will be claimed by 7:10 am.
A 56-year-old woman named Marcia, who has been homeless for six years, was one of the unlucky ones. She arrived while it was still dark, but not early enough to secure a bed. Because it was the weekend, her bad luck also meant two days of killing time. “Saturdays and Sundays are hell for those of us who are homeless, because most walk-in centers are closed,” she told me. “I especially hate Sundays. That’s when I ride BART.” For Marcia, riding the Bay Area’s commuter rail system is a relatively cheap way to get some rest during the day. She often falls asleep on the train, and it’s not uncommon for her to wake up and find herself an hour or more outside San Francisco.
When Marcia has no bed, she is left with precious few options, none of them good. She can ride the city bus, hoping for a kind driver who won’t boot her into the street. That’s what a 55-year-old woman I met named Dorothy used to do until she deemed that strategy too risky. “If you don’t get a nice driver, you have to get off every hour or so and wait for another one,” Dorothy said. “If you have to wait for a bus at three in the morning, you’ll be waiting a long time. Anything can happen.”
And then there were the plastic chairs at the Oshun Drop-In Center, a public facility run by the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Marcia usually chose the plastic chairs at Oshun. It was hardly ideal, but at least she felt safe there and could try to get some sleep. “You can’t lie down on the floor,” she said. “You try, but you’re not allowed.” After a night spent contorting herself into an uncomfortable chair, her back would be killing her. “But I try not to think about it,” she said. “After a while, you get used to it.”
How?? How can this be with Lord Obama in charge??? Obviously Bu$h's fault!!!!May the FORCE be with you!
01-31-2013, 10:50 AM
I'll bet Marcia is homeless for multiple reasons, one of which undoubtedly is either substance abuse or mental health, or both.
It's sad, but a lot of times people in those situations are choosing to be homeless because they mistrust the programs that actually can help them. Or the relatives who could help them. I've worked with some homeless people over the years-there is always some underlying factor beyond simple poverty or unemployment.
01-31-2013, 12:29 PM
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
In the last 20 years I can't say that I have noticed a difference in the homeless population regardless of who has been President. It's always upsetting to see homeless old women. Perhaps that is paternalistic of me, but I feel like men are better able to cope in the rough. Whatever is wrong with these people, whether it's their past or present choices, their circumstances are what they are.
A few years ago, Haley Barbour said of charity something like, "You give because it is the right thing to do, if someone abuses your charity then it's his sin not your foolishness." Truly charitable people have never expected to control the outcome, they do what they are called to do and the outcome is what it is.
San Francisco is a homeless magnet... a lot like some places in Florida and for pretty much the same reason. If you are homeless, it's best to be where it doesn't snow or ice.
01-31-2013, 01:23 PM
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
I read the whole article. I'm always interested in such things, but have no idea who to assign blame to, or even if the figures quoted by the advocates for the homeless are remotely accurate.
People over the age of about 55 never were very employable, and now it's worse than ever.
And years ago divorce was not as common as it is today. Being suddenly single causes some homelessness. Add loss of job to suddenly single, and you have the mixture for disaster.
But I know of some homeless people who do very well in terms of providing for their own safety and comfort. Here's a blog I have followed from a man who calls himself a "Survivalist Truck Dweller. But he's a man, and well equipped mentally to play the hand he has been dealt:
01-31-2013, 02:46 PM
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
We have a lot of open space in the middle of this country. Could we not build a destination for the homeless where their needs are met in a manner more cost effective than what we do now? Let's see someone add up the true cost of homelessness: the emergency room visits, the police time, the cost of cleaning up where they have relieved themselves because no one would let them use a bathroom, the crimes they commit in the name of survival, the space they take up and the neighborhoods they blight.
01-31-2013, 02:52 PM
You'd think that without a frickin' thing else in the entire world to do, she could have gotten there a little earlier, wouldn't you?
01-31-2013, 04:56 PMOld, Female and HomelessIn Memory Of My Friend 1st Sgt. Tim Millsap A Co, 70th Eng. Bn. 3rd Bde 1st AD...K.I.A. 25 April 2005
Liberalism Is The Philosophy Of The Stupid
To Achieve Ordered Liberty You Must Have Moral Order As Well
The libs/dems of today are the Quislings of former years. The cowards who would vote a fraud into office in exchange for handouts from the devil.
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