Homeless and Jobless / Is that Hopeless or Fearless?

Found this blog here: Gotta Find a Home | The plight of the homeless

The guy who writes it is doing something important, though there is no way to tell how much effect he will have, or how beneficial it will be if he does.

One thing that is obvious from his blog is that he, himself, has never been homeless either by accident or design.

Unlike so many people in his position he has either lost his fear of homeless people or never had any. Very commendable. He is now presenting a blog presenting his understanding of homeless people, and their plight as he sees and understands it. He gets this view largely from those homeless people he has befriended and spoken with.

This is good. And his view is correct — For the people he is talking too.

There is one VERY important distinction to make when discussing “Homeless” and / or “Jobless” people.

There are many types of homeless.

Here I am going to first divide them into two broad types.

Those who have fallen on hard times, been dropped unwilling into an alien world — Usually with no one around to help them find their way. They are alone, afraid, without the skills or knowledge needed to get them by, and without friends to rely on. To make their situation worse they face open hostility from people who see their situation as a possibility that they hate and they fear — Who do they take that hate and fear out on? The poor homeless person who represents it. This is the type dcardiff has had most of his dealings with.

I sincerely hope he can find ways to help them without doing injury to the second type.

l have been homeless. Like many others I chose that life and exhilarated in it. I’ve known a few who fell into the life by accident, found people who mentored them, and they grew to love the life as well. I was 12 when I decided I was not interested in the standard American lifestyle or a standard education. I was almost 30 before I stayed in one place and worked the same jobs year after year.

People try to tell me there are more homeless people today than there were in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s.

They are wrong.

What is different is that homeless people had more options.

Riding the rails was dangerous, and one of the biggest dangers was the bulls who would happily beat you to a pulp and throw you off as far from civilization as you could get. I am told the movie, “Emperor of the North” was pure fiction and it never happened like that — But if you want to know what it felt like to be riding the rails and have a bull after you — Watch the movie.

But now — For your own safety of course — Riding the rails is a felony.

You might as well make being a Hobo itself a crime. Even after I had a home, a steady job, and a family, I would get off work on Friday, hop the train and visit friends and relatives for a weekend. Then ride the train back in time to get to work on time. There are still Bo’s out there and they want no other life. Check this link to Britt, Iowa.

Another option for an honest Homeless person, taught to me by a Hobo for Life, is the art of bartering work for whatever I needed from store, boutique, restaurant, and any other privately owned place that had what I needed for sale.

BUT there are very few privately owned stores and restaurants any more.

You can’t barter with a fast food chain. But then it gets worse. Depending on the state they are not only legally forbidden to give a homeless person food — they can’t even leave it in an open garbage container — Because the homeless person might get sick from eating stale food.

Circuses and carnivals used to be places to gather quick coin and travel without having to marry the job. You could join up and drop out as you wanted to. But there don’t seem to be as many carnivals as there once was. Laws seriously impacted them. The Fat Lady isn’t allowed to be there any more, even though she made more money and lived a better life than the people who outlawed here. I’ve been told a circus isn’t a circus without an elephant — And I’m not sure if people want circuses without the “feeling of danger” they get from seeing big cats do tricks.

Fruit tramp was always a good option. Working piece work you had the option of working your butt off to get a few dollars more, or doing like I did: Earn what you needed, then take a nap. If you are homeless, and have a good sleeping bag, your expenses are low. A couple of days work a week is all you need.


Laws are changing farm labor.

These laws are being made by people who judge piecework by their own standard. Most of them can’t conceive of people who will earn just what they need for the next day or two and then lay down under a tree and take a nap. They think all farm workers will forego rest breaks in order to earn a few cents more. And there are some who do. They are trying to turn farm work into 9 – 5  office work.

What are my points here, if any?

Homeless people need options. Not restrictions.

Those who want a homebound life full of obligations and restrictions need options that will fulfill their desire.

Those who, like my Bo friend whose only desire in life was a bridge to sleep under, a bite to eat, and a cup of coffee to get the day started right, should have the options to live that way.

Right now I have a wife, a home, and a family. But that might not always be true. The prospect of being homeless doesn’t bother me. What worries me is the social attitude, that I see as near pathological, that makes people want to make laws that prevents homeless people from joining society on the one hand while making it almost impossible to survive, let alone enjoy, the freedom from shackles the homeless lifestyle provides you on the other hand.

Well, dcardiff keep up the good work.

And always encourage those people who want to help the homeless to be sure they are doing things FOR them and not TO them.

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