[in my best Infomercial Guy voice]
Are you tired of being asked to leave public facilities when you’re just getting into the REM cycle of your nap?  Tired of being stopped and told you can’t come into a place with the rest of “normal” society?  Fed up with all the stares and strange looks you get from that same, “normal” society?  Tired of getting the run around by agencies that are supposedly there to help you?

Well, I can help you.  All you have to do is follow three easy steps.

  • Step One
    Realize that there’s a possibility that the reason these agencies give you the run around is because they want you to prove to them exactly how badly you want to be off the streets.  They want you to get up every single day and check everywhere for housing assistance.  They want you filling out job applications every single day.  They want you saying things like, “Hey, I need to find an outfit for a job interview.”  They want to hear that you’ve made progress in the steps you need to take in order to improve and change your situation.  They want to hear you asking questions as to where you can find the tools you need in order to help yourself (for example: you could be asking where you can get a referral from in order to go to Dress for Success to get the outfit you need for that interview.  Or where you can get the help collecting the needed documents in order to obtain a new photo ID).
    When it comes to most public places, the staff is quite understanding when it comes to the basic human need to get out of the elements for a little while.  But if you are obviously taking advantage of their kindness, they’re going to look at you like the ratchet ass bama you’re acting like.  An example would be the old “trick” of asking for a water cup and then getting soda.  Or not even doing that and just filling your empty water bottle with soda.  They can see you!  Seriously, just because they turned the other cheek a couple times doesn’t mean you can keep on taking advantage of them.  And no one likes being taken advantage of.
  • Step Two
    Stop whining all the time.  Nobody wants to hear excuses as to why you couldn’t accomplish a simple task on your part.  They don’t want to hear complaints about how uncomfortable you are in the shelter with all those other people.  They know it’s uncomfortable.  It’s going to be.  Being homeless is NOT supposed to be comfortable.  You aren’t supposed to feel “at home” in a homeless shelter.  If you were as comfortable there as you would be at home, what reason would you have to put forth any of the work necessary to get your own home?  If you’re complaining, that makes people question the strength of your desire to get your own home.  That doesn’t apply to legitimate concerns for your safety and human dignity of course.
    But when you run a business, you want your business to maintain an atmosphere that is welcoming and pleasant for your customers/clients.  When you have some grumbling, cursing, whining asshole in the corner filling the place up with their negativity, it runs customers off, thus killing their business.  And that just isn’t fair to the business owners or the staff.
  • Step Three
    Wash your ass and your clothes.  A person can care about you as a human being but there’s only so much eye watering stench a person can take.  No one in their right mind is going to refer you to a job program, a school or anything of the sort of you stink to high heaven.  But they legally cannot tell you to wash your stank butt before coming into their office because of the disabilities act or whatever it’s called.  In other words, you could just claim that you stink because you’re depressed and then BAM! lawsuit.  But guess what, you can’t sue me for telling the truth and I’m going to tell you that if you stink, you won’t get a job.  And if you get a job by some miracle, you won’t keep it long.
    And don’t get me started on how trifling it is to expect other people to enjoy their meal with the smell of ten pounds of bounce that ass wafting up their noses.  So, why not just go for disability, get section 8 or something and keep your stank ass in the house all the time?
    There are no excuses whatsoever.
    Yes, I know.  Mean.  But I’ve found that people who aren’t aware (or just don’t care) of their body odor, don’t generally do anything about it until their feelings have been hurt about it.  So, deal.

You can do these steps in any order you choose but you must do all of them in order to stop getting the kind of reactions you’ve been getting from agencies and the general public.

[Warning: condescending tone approaching. Sorry.]
Now, these steps require a certain level of empathy in order to successfully carry out.  People have varying degrees of empathy so, for those with lower or nonexistent levels of empathy, these steps might prove to be difficult to carry out.  To those people, I have some advice.
Simply imagine that someone is doing what you’re doing to you.  And if you have trouble picturing that, then ask a friend to reenact it for you.  Or to do their best impression of you with all honesty and no holding back.  And don’t get mad at them.  Just think about how what you’re seeing is making you feel and know that that feeling is exactly the feeling you’re inspiring in others when you do whatever it is you’re being shown.

I hope you’re able to utilize these tips in your everyday life to make your journey out of homelessness a lot easier.  You’re not alone.  Be the change you want to see around you.

I love you. ❤