Thursday, November 08, 2018

What it is like to be homeless

Ian Williams, Formerly homeless in the UK
Answered Oct 30, 2018

It’s considerably worse.

When people think of homelessness, they think of someone sleeping rough, maybe in a cardboard box. They think it’s cold. They think they’ll be hungry.

My god, you have no idea what those things really are.

I do not doubt that you have been cold at many points in your life. You may have been very cold. But homeless cold is different. You’re not just a bit chilly, you’re not a bit shiverry, your entire soul is frozen. Your bones feel like they’ve been kept in a freezer for a week and implanted in your flesh.

I have no doubt you’ve felt hungry. But trust me, you have never felt real hunger. Hungry for you is that feeling you get at lunch after skipping breakfast. Real hunger is different. Real hunger hurts - a lot. You can hallucinate. I’ve gone nearly two weeks without food, I’ve been hungry. You were mildly peckish at best.

When was the last time you were awoken in bed by a group of thugs p*ssing all over you? It’s happened to me, and almost every other homeless person I know.

When was the last time you ate disgusting leftovers out of a bin so you didn’t starve to death? Mine was about two weeks before I managed to get myself off the streets.

When was the last time you received a severe beating because someone didn’t like you asking for a bit of small change?

How many times in your life have you gone to sleep, knowing you might not wake up in the morning? Homeless people are at extreme risk of violence when they least expect it. They have been stabbed, had petrol thrown over them and set alight, and much, much worse. The reason? Because why not…

I’ve heard people describe it as camping. You and I have vastly different ideas of what camping is.

Answered Nov. 5, 2018

If you've never been homeless you have no idea and can't even imagine what it's like. March 2016 I was sublet from a friend. I was paying him $1,800 per month. One day I got home from work and there was a big lock on the door and a notice from the sheriff's department stating that an eviction process is final. DO NOT ENTER. WTF I called my friend who did not answer... I called the landlord and he said that this has been going on for the past year and I had no idea. I told him that I have been paying the rent to my now ex friend for the past two years and he said he has no received any money for the last year. He said he was sorry but my name was not on the lease so I can not enter the apartment. But everything I own is in there. I went to see the judge and he told me my name is not on the lease and the order is final if you enter the apartment you will be arrested. Now I'm out over $20,000 and everything I own except the clothes on my back. I'm a plumber and 90% of my tools where in the storage area. I called some friends and asked if I could stay with them for a few days maybe week's. I got so many stories about why they can't help me but when they had no Heat in the middle of the winter no hot water guess who they called and stupid me dropped everything to help out friends. Without my tools I couldn't work and I've been living under a bridge since March 2016. It is so unbelievably hard to get back on my feet because I spend most of my time trying to find food clothes and just surviving on a day to day basis. I always thought homeless people were bum's drunks and drug addicts. Boy was I so wrong. This will be my third winter here. I'm in New Jersey and I've almost given up.

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