Saturday, September 17, 2011
Thank you to everyone who's helped make this site a fun, yet powerful tool and therapeutic outlet for me!!!
I look forward to you all following along with me as I continue my journey out of homelessness, and into a career helping others obtain the tools to move on with their lives.
See you over at the new spot!
Friday, September 16, 2011
Setting personal standards for yourself can be very tricky. Now factor in that I'm still in a process in my life where I'm still, for lack of better term, getting to know my new self
By this I mean that decisions I've made up to this point have led me down a path towards a future in human services. There's still several different angles I could see my carreer in HS going, but the one common factor is that I want to help people better themselves. By this there means a commitment to helping someone grow internally as well as socially, financially and so on.
My one rule is that I want to help people do this the right way, and legit. I want to help the system and the people, so I have to walk a moral high ground here.
Now this is where I'm still adjusting. Not that I was a bad guy, but as I've stated in the past I certainly was no angle, and growing up alone on the streets of Brooklyn, I hustled So fact is, I could play this system effortlessly, if it was not for the new ethic code that I find myself adhering to.
I did something drastic today. It was not a hasty decision, it's something I've been leading up to for a couple of weeks now, but I've officially denounced all things disability based I've pulled my claim for SSI.
This means now that I'm now no longer entitled to welfare either, so now my income stands at $0, while still actually dealing with my TEMPORARY disabilities
Fact is there is no assistance for someone who needs a bit of time to get themselves back in working order. I'm encouraged to sit back, not work, and wait for the big retro active check, and a lifetime of payments. payments Same with housing. I've just pulled myself off the lists for disabled housing. This is a biggie.
I've essentially just sentenced myself to a longer wait on housing, and lesser quality housing. The fact is at this point, on a personal level I refuse to be attached to papers stating that I'm disabled. I'm more "able" then I've ever been in my life.
I will use this empowerment to do this on my own before I will spend ANY more time and effort even just discussing these issues with my team of doctors and case managers. Some of my team is applauding this decision, and others not so pleased, but regardless, this is MY life, not theirs, and not the systems. I will not let ANYONE look at me as disabled.
Now the impact here, is where the frustration comes in. I'm fucking penniless, and any little bit of cash that I come across goes to bare basics, as well as helping others who need little things here and there.
This is not the problem, I choose to help, this is the path I've found myself on, but once in a while I need little things too, that seem to take on a higher sense of importance.
Since moving into this new shelter I haven't been able to receive mail. Just about everything I own comes from MitzvahCircle.org Fran's had a brand new pair of white leather sneakers waiting weeks for me to be ready to receive them. Apparently the UPS guy addressed to "Greg" instead of Gary, and the shelter refused the package. Now I understand them refusing it, they simply can't accept a package for someone not here, and Greg doesn't live here :)
The stupid fact is... and yes it's petty, but next week I'm attending the Social Media Summit in Boston, as well as throwing a public event for homeless people, human service workers, and social media experts. I had been given some really nice shirts, and I was excited that I was going to have fresh, clean, white leather, sneakers to round out the outfits. I know right now my ex is laughing about that part, simply because she knows it's purely a Brooklyn thing!
When you see me in a new pair of white leather sneakers, you know I'm in my zone and feeling good..... what can I say, everyone has their thing, and sneakers are mine.
Going back to my point... if I didn't have to stick to this new ethic code, I'd have a few bucks to get shit like sneakers without having to wait on help of others.
Many of the people I'm helping are walking around with nice shit because they get big fat checks, and their doctors write them endless prescriptions that they immediately turn around and sell on the street.
However good ol' new morally just Gary is making it through on next to nothing, giving away the little I have, and hosting a public event somehow with $150 and every penny of my food stamps for the month
Sad part is, the majority of people that I'm going to help in my future career, as well as now, would look at me as a fool for doing things this way, just so I can feel appropriate in the foundation of my guidance
Ehh..... I'm not changing my mind, and saying I regret any of this, guess I just needed to vent! LOL Still getting use to being this new pierson
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
The Invisible Picnic
Saturday Sept 24th 1pm
MIT Park, corner of Mass Ave and Sydney St, Cambridge MA
by HomelessLife.com & InvisiblePeople.tv
################################################Please come down and share a day with friends enjoying some food, a few laughs, and networking to help strengthen the community. Everyone is welcome!! We will be feeding homeless, human service reps, and social media experts alike as we come together for a common cause. Please feel free to bring something to contribute if you can, or just come and grab something to eat and have some fun!!
Founder of InvisiblePeople.tv, on US and Canada tour of speaking engagements and homeless outreach
Gary aka John Doe
Homeless, writer for Spare Change News & HomelessLife.com (Blog: Homeless in Boston), Homeless Advocate, and Community Outreach.
Nationwide Outreach. Helping the homeless, and others in need everyday, while living among them.
##################################################We will accept all food donations, clothing, toiletries, anything you can give to help those in need. We also need cash donations to get the event underway. Please feel free to donate via the link below. For any info regarding event, donations, or resources; please email BostonHomeless@gmail.com Thank You, Gary aka John Doe
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Ok this is for everyone to read, but I'll be speaking directly to one person
An alternate take on the conversation we had the night I left. However instead of all the bad that I allowed, I now see all the good you did for me more crystal clear than ever. All of the encouraging words that frustrated me, and accusing you of not understanding. I see that it was me who understood nothing.
When you share them now, I want you to know I hang on every word, because I now see the sense in them, and I benefit from your advice and perspective. You're still the only one who gives it 100% straight, and able to see from my perspective.
Even your theories on luck, and how I made my own bad luck by letting the negativity take over. That one most of all really pissed me off! ;)
Yet here I am now preaching it to others as I benefit from this mindset, and from the good luck and fortune I now have by making that change within myself.
Even when things don't go just right, it don't distract anymore.
Like yesterday, even though I had set backs, I never let it take hold, and my day turned out perfect... morning bird shit and all ;)
Fact is you've probably saved my life. You got me ready for this even when I didn't see it.
I watch what you've accomplished, and how you carry yourself, and besides being beautiful, and my closest friend, you truly are inspirational, and I simply couldn't be prouder of you!!
A while back you asked me if I ever figured out what I thought "the dream" meant, and why.
The answer is simple..... everything that I am now, and all the accomplishments ahead of me for myself and others.
I will always love you and treasure the incredibly important role you play in my life!!
Have a great week Boo, and enjoy the lunches!! ;)
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Today I attended a lecture led by an amazing woman, discussing the use of art to deal with trauma.
The presentation was set up with the womens day drop in shelter, which is what my shelter doubles as during the day when we are not here. Today the men were invited to attend, yet sadly I was the only male in attendance. Although that was fine by be, I've been surrounded by way too many men for way too long, so a room full of women is a very comforting and refreshing change of pace.
Anyway, back to this incredible woman leading the event. This woman have managed to take such pain and suffering, and reach within herself to find positive way to transform her pain. While also extending herself to help others find ways to express and deal. I believe they half expected me to be there for the free coffee and snacks, but as I not only opened the womans eyes to different artistic messages being portrayed through her students work, that even she did not see; I made a very personal observation of behavioral patterns that were apparent in her own work, that as she realized I knew what she was doing emotionally, she actually looked as if to tear up for a moment. With almost a sense of relief, that someone else had figured out her secret and seen the truth.
Needless to say I enjoyed the event, and I can't wait to meet this woman again and pick her brain some more. This woman is an amazing source of pure inspiration and human spirit.
After ward, something else, that I thought was kind of cool, was I got to be the first male to ever be invited into the womens shelter afterward to join them for lunch. And what homeless guy will pass up free lunch at the womens shelter? LOL
So I was quite honored by this, and had a lovely lunch with the gals, and they've invited me along for a field trip later in the month to her gallery
Since moving to Cambridge, I've been much more embedded into the street community here, and getting to know everyone quickly. Because of this my advocating and outreach is becoming more abundant, and more effective! More differences are being made, and that’s a great thing on any day!!
I've made great new friends, and I'm glad some of them are women, because when only surrounded by the same sex you start to loose perspective. So here's to you, ladies. Thanks for being there and putting a little softer touch back into my enviroment :)
Thursday, September 1, 2011
This BS has got to stop. You're taking time and effort, and frankly positivity, that is needed for others who need it.
Can't we come together as ADULTS to the understanding that the same thing doesn't work for everyone, so we can't all be held to one set of standards.
People claiming exploitation, of other people they don't know. I'm sorry, but if you're in front of camera telling your story, you are exactly where you want to be, and to pretend anything less is rediculous. If it don't give you the results that you wanted, oh well, suck it up. That doesn't mean others haven't benefitted.
An oportunity is what YOU make of it, not what someone else makes of it for you. What works for others, certainly won't work for me, and visa versa, but to think it's my point of view or nothing, is F'n stupidity.
I've been told that I have blood of those on the streets, on my hands, from supporting the shelter system. Now some of these people have roofs over their heads and moved on to a new time consuming form of airing their grievances. Is this the type of help people need? Does this now mean blood is on your hands by no longer sleeping under the stars in a misdirected sense of solidarity?
I've been accused of not being homeless enough to understand or help. Actually there has been a lot of time put into making this point. Yet while today is an average day I've personally fed 3 people, helped one get into a shelter and off the street, helped a friend deal with some very emotional issues related to this date, and scouted a location to hold an event to feed as many homeless as I can in a fun setting a few weeks from now. And the day is young ;)
So what did YOU do today??
And do I expect everyone to do all this all the time? Of course not, just simply never loose site that when trying to help people, MANY of which don't want it, or incapable of accepting it... just stay doing something positive, however big or small, and in the end the people, at least SOME, win
Basically what I'm saying is cut the crap! LOL There's bigger problems out there