Friday, March 30, 2012

Not Looking Homeless

When I first arrived at the shelter I was very observant on the clothing of the men here. Some really looked homeless, literally wearing clothes and shoes with holes in them. On the other hand there were men that looked as if they had a pocket full of money. They have on Jordan shoes; shoes that cost anywhere from $100-$175. Two men even had on suits, one was a three piece, very sharp. I quickly assumed that they were taking advantage of the system; just coming to the shelter for the free meals. Although these men are homeless as well.

I over heard one man say, just because I am homeless does not mean I have to look homeless. From there I began to understand that if they go out looking for jobs or whatever it is they do throughout the day with worn and torn clothes they would be prejudged and not taken seriously. These men have pride in them self and understand their position but refuse to allow others outside of the shelter know their predicament.

Also there are those that find temp jobs and get paid anywhere from $30-$50 a day. Once they get their money they spend it on the wrong thing, they do not prioritize their earnings and use it properly. They will blow the money away literally. That is why I feel there needs to be workshops provided to them on how to manage their money. These men are willing to learn they just need to be taught and without anyone to teach them they are stuck in the ways, committing the same wrong doings over and over.

Without the proper guidance how do we expect them to stay on the right track...


  1. I admire those individuals with enough pride to maintain their outter appearance, even through their hard circumstances!! Smart thinking in my opinion!

  2. I attended a conference on poverty recently and a signficant discussion focused on helping move people from poverty to middle class. A striking conversation occured that just because one aspect of your life becomes middle class (get a car, house or job) doesn't mean that the rest of you (mind, spirit) knows how to transition. Better preparing individuals and helping them understand "hidden rules" of a class becomes crucial. In some ways just giving money, clothes or food is like giving a car without having someone attend driver's education classes (a bit of a far stretch metaphor, I know.) How do we better prepare individuals to feel comfortable moving to a new experience? How do we offer support and dignity?