In the parking lot working with the homeless, everyday is an adventure! I purchased a lot of writing journals and have given them away each week, in hopes of encouraging my street writers to find their voice. Lowell and Nathanial and Shadrack and Aaron and a lot of my friends are brilliant writers, and each has a different genre. Lowell’s writings are cosmic, brief, and screaming with pain. ‘Oh God, do you hear me? I’m just a little homeless man.” Some are quite funny such as his entry about selling his “property” on Hedgerow – a literal hedge in downtown Dallas. Lowell is a humor writer. Aaron on the other hand is a novelist. Nathan writes about addiction and is crafting a self help book better than any I’ve seen this year from the writers who have houses. We’ll see if the year brings enough discipline, to get him to finish it. On Thursday, I’ll be sitting with nathan at the library (the homeless hangout) and being an advocate for him with the library manager – to see if they can give my homeless friends a break. Maybe the library will allow me to conduct a writers workshop for the homeless on site? Wouldn’t that help their image and funding! Some of the writers hope that Obama has a plan to help the homeless and the housing situation in America and I too hope we see some real change. I don’t like politics. In the literal or metaphorical sense.
I’m always astounded at how regular folks look at the homeless as this drain on society and an affront to their lives. Spend time with them and you’ll see that they are just like you and me, if you were to have a tragedy that altered your mind forever. Being homeless is never about money. I’ve discovered that it usually stems from one major life event that has taken away their soul. Some have lost a child, and never bounced back. It led to a divorce, led to drinking, led to the unraveling of a life. Could you bounce back, emotionally, from that?