Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Where is Tony? and other conundrums of homeless bloggers

Maintaining a blog when you're homeless is not easy. You might not be welcome at the internet cafe, or have the money to buy time somewhere else, and if you have a little notebook, you have to guard it with your life. (The blogger at 21st Century Homeless just prevented the theft of his laptop at McDonald's with his multi-purpose pocket tool!) Still, feeling that sense of connection with mostly unknown readers keeps many homeless bloggers online. But sometimes bloggers just disappear, and you don't know if it's because their life got better, or worse, or even if they're still alive at all.

Tony has been a frequent, wry voice at Homeless Man Speaks, but for a couple of weeks, no one could find him. "Where is Tony?" the unknown author of the blog kept writing. Well, Tony turned up at a local hospital and the news is not good-- the Big C, as the author says, on top of all his other health problems. Tony is out of the hospital now, back on the street, and thanking God for socialized medicine (he's in Canada), so he can get some of what he needs to stay alive a little longer.

The woman who writes Adventures of Homeless Girl recently had the sad experience of seeing the house that used to be her home being renovated by a new owner. She's closing in on three years of homelessness.

Things are still looking up for Brianna Karp at  Girl's Guide to Homelessness.  Thanks to public pressure created through her blog, Walmart returned her impounded trailer (quite a story, read about it) and she got a job. But she's feeling like a lot of her good fortune is sheer, dumb luck-- and how much luck is there to go around for homeless people?

Tom Armstrong at Homeless Tom is grateful that his blog, which is mostly about Buddhism and the search for enlightenment, has been acknowledged and honored by the Buddhist community. He's survived a recent stint in jail and is still writing. But over on his other blog, Sacramento Homeless, he's writing about how now, no one is allowed to camp in the city at the same site for more than 24 hours. The director of a local social service agency is putting out the call for anyone in the community who has property they'd be willing to let homeless people stay on for that 24 hour period. There aren't enough shelter beds in the city and Tom himself spent two nights completely "out on the streets" and remarks that he probably was breaking the law.

The Welcome to Nickelsville Seattle blog hasn't had an entry since the day after their tent city was closed down by the city on October 4. The tent city is up again, 90 residents allowed to stay for three weeks at University Christian Church's parking lot, but no one knows what the future holds, and winter is coming.

On the advocacy side of the homeless conundrum, Diane Nilan at Invisible Homeless Kids is appalled by the living conditions of homeless families and children. She says thatin one of the most affluent counties in the country, homeless families and adults are given less attention than homeless pets.

Mark Horvath of Invisible People TV is back from a weeks-long road trip documenting the lives and the options of our nation's homeless. He has a fascinating and poignant slide show of some of the people he met at his Flickr site. You owe it to yourself to take a look.


~B~ said...
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James S. Huggins said...
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Homeless Girl said...

woah bri, really? wow. well I can understand what being desperate can do to you.

And hey michaelann I'm okay now i'm renting a little room for now. but those last months were horrible.