Sunday, April 24, 2011

Into the system I go

I guess like most gripping stories these days, I'll start at the end, flashback briefly to the past, and then from there we'll go forward.
This story begins right here, right now. As I sit at a friends house, taking advantage of internet availability(something I always took for granted), my head is spinning. Partially from stress, partially from information overload, but mostly from that unmistakable sense of "How the F*** did it come to this".

I want to start by saying, I'm not an addict, I'm educated, and there was a time I was great at what I do.
Depression and stress has eaten me alive without my ever really being able to see it, and now I feel as if I've woken from a ten year long dream, and have no understanding of my reality.
Ten years... seems like a long time, but I swear it was yesterday.

As time goes on I'll dive more into the events that led me here, but for right now, and for the sake of this blog, I'm going to explane a little of what this blog is.
My goal here is to share the day to day experience as I go through the system. Hopefully this will provide a non filtered look for people who wonder what really happens to people in my situation, as well as provide a tool for people facing similar situations.
I know nothing about how this will work, and while I am getting a lot of info online, none of it gives me real answers.
Obviously results and opportunities will vary for every person depending on thier situation, but I will give you a full report of every step I will take, and I will share any acomplishments and failures, so hopefully it may help someone down the road make the right calls or desisions, sooner than later.
I will share what works and what don't work towards getting proper rehabilitation and transitioning back to a productive self sufficient life.

I'll also share as much insight from others as I can. There's a lot of different stories out there that lead people to this situation, and there are also a ton of misconceptions. I'm simply going to give you an uncensored look into the system as I move through it, and hopefully sooner or later this story will have a happy ending.

Now, onto the donations link.... you didnt think there was going to be a look into being homeless without a donation link for me, did you?
However let me at least explain, how that will work. First and foremost the first thing I need to obtain is a web enabled phone, so I can not only share my words, but I can also my experiences, as well as the experiences of others, via photos and video.
Also the importance of this is just the staggering amount of calls I need to place over the near future, and different agencies that I need to visit, research, and corespond with.
Lets face it, we're in the information age, and already I'm learning quickly that there is a lot of help out there, but most simply dont know about it, or have the means to find out.
So to best help me keep you and others informed, I need to stay informed and keep my corresponding quick. Many opportunities are first come first serve, so I need a fast line of communication.
So if you're interested in helping me keep this blog as useful as it needs to be, you can start by clicking the donation link at the top of the page on the right hand column.

So where do we start? We start tomorrow by trying to find a shelter that will take me as well as asign me a case worker who can help me understand exactly what kind of help I need, and how to go about it.
I'm thinking first thing I need is a roof and a doctor to help me make sense of how I got here.

So hopefully I can share my first day experiences fast as possible. Till I get a phone and can share info as it happens, I'll have to get to libraries to get use of internet.

Hopefully I can recap right away, so stay tuned. Good or bad, I'm going to give it to you straight.


  1. A brave undertaking John. I wish you well and will read your journey as you share it. Thank you.

  2. God bless you and be with you. So many people out there are not in your situation and therefore don't believe it can happen to them....what a misconception. I don't wish homeless on anybody but the truth is no one is exempt! My best friend of 35 years has been homeless now for a couple of weeks. She was born and always lived in Marietta, GA. She has family that doesn't even call to see if she's ok. Her family is better off than most, her mom & dad own a nice home with inground pool, bed and bath downstairs, 3 beds and 2 baths upstairs, all nicely furnished. Oh yeah, and 2 mercedes in the garage. Only the two of them live in the house. Seems that "something" must have happened at some point to be capable of turning their daughter and their 17 yr old grandson away? But, no, nothing out of the ordinary. Her parents do go to church and participate with their Sunday School class in donating and providing Christmas to families that are in need. Can you believe that?? Her two brothers and their families both have beautiful homes in the same area as their parents. Not a word from them! Nothing! My friend has 3 grown children, one daughter, 19, just recently moved to Connecticut
    with her husband. The other daughter, 27, engaged, actively looking for their first home, are living with her father, my girlfriends ex-husband and his wife. My friends ex even let them stay there for a couple of days!! Her son, 24, lives with his girlfriend and her mother. They did get to stay there for a couple of nights also. Now my friend and her son have moved further north to stay with her boyfriend, which lives with a guy and her boyfriend pays no rent. In between the stays here and there, she has stayed in Walmart parking lots with 97 degrees in her car, moved to a shady dirt road, got sick from heat and to go sit inside Walmart for hours to recover. She did come to South Carolina and live with me and my husband for 6 months during Christmas and left to go back to Georgia because she missed her kids terribly. Since being back in Georgia her unemployment benefits have expired just two days ago. She does get food stamps, I think $179/month. She is very thankful for that!

    Yesterday, God stepped in! While at her boyfriends house in northern mountains of Georgia, her boyfriend had a friend come by to pick some beans from the garden. This man lost his wife a year ago and just this week had to put his mother in a nursing home. Upon learning of my friend being homeless, this stranger, whom she has never met, gave her the key to his mothers house!! He is letting her and her son "LIVE" in this house, rent free! All he asks is "take care of the place." This man is obviously an angel.

    Let me be friend has spent hours in the library on internet trying to find help. She has called churches, Salvation Army, safe homes, all kinds of shelters and they are ALL full! She has spent days upon days applying for jobs, sending resumes via internet, etc. You name it, she's tried it! I thank God for what he has given her for now.

    Being homeless, by itself, is scary. Not to mention the emotional toll endured. I have cried with my friend and done everything I could think of to try and help.

    What you are doing is wonderful!! Most homeless people don't know what to do, where to go, how to do what needs to be done. Hopefully, they will have transportation to be able to go here and there to try and find shelter, but unfortunately that's not the case, most of the time.

    I will be be reading daily and contributing what I can to help you on your amazing mission for others. God Bless you and keep you. You will be in my prayers and I will tell my friends to keep you in their prayers too. Good luck!