Sunday, July 31, 2011

Humble Pie

Just want to first of thank everyone for their support on everything. Thanks to a couple of very kind people I have a used laptop coming so I can when I need to, as well as someone sending me a Flip HD cam, so I can take my blogging, helping, and reporting, to a new media ;)

Now what I truly need your help with still is a few bucks to get my transit disability pass refilled for the month, and keep my phone turned on.
There are also 2 other people at the shelter that need some transit passes even if just for the day, to get to appointments. And Brotha BlueStocking himself just got a disability pass approval, but can't get to Back Bay station to get the photo taken and card issued, let alone money to put on the card.
We're in need of some assistance :)
I never ask big things for myself, and most of what I get is used on helping others as well, right now we are bone dry, and there's not even food donations to shelter coming in.

Thank you in advance,
Gary aka John Doe, Brotha BlueStockings, Columbia, The RedbNeck Twins, and others :)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Stay in the Sho Nuff

This week moves were being made, hands being played, and deals were being made.
They tried to make a move on my partner in crime, Brotha BlueStocking.  Trying to pull out on a deal, but we tripped them up with a paper trail.

It's time they realise who they're dealing with, and we can't be played ;)
Brotha BlueStocking will join in on the writing around here starting very soon, to break it down for us.
Get ready, cause this Brotha is HEAVY


Thursday, July 28, 2011

One Step Ahead of the Hustlers and Thieves

There's been a lot of change over the past few weeks, as you've been able to tell from my mood swings ;)
I've been finding myself both feeling more "homeless", and yet feeling more empowered.
After spending some time with a friend last weekend I was reminded that as great as my "team" of psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, housing advocates, and case managers are, they work for ME, not the other way around.
So I've taken a more aggressive approach on delegating their duties. I'm shopping for new psychiatrists, so when I've given a number to call, I have my psychologist do the calls and set the appointments.
I've been notified for my first screening for housing in three particular buildings, so instead of calling to make an appointment, I jumped on the train, walked in Home Start without an appointment, and demanded I be advised on how to proceed. At that point my advocate smiled, took the paper, and HE made the call for my appointment, and HE will be escorting me to the screening.
I got aproved for a one month extension yesterday at my current shelter because I got in my my social workers face and made him call my shelter now while we were still two weeks out., so I'm secured till at least Spet 11th -- Yeah that's a whole other story itself, but I can probably use to my advantage if need be, seeing as putting me out on the streets when my PTSD stems from loss from Sept 11th, it would be clinically negligent on their parts.
Point is, the more aggressive I'm getting, the harder they are working, and the faster I'm seeing results, or even a lack of results... but far less WAITING to find out either way, and that is what makes me crazy.
There's a guy that whoever you speak to in this town, sooner or later his name comes up, so I decided it was time he met ME. So I went to the multi center and asked to see him, was told the hours of walk in, and imediately did a little name dropping. Talking to him for the first minute is like a comedian finishing and waiting to see if Johny Carson was going to invite them to the desk or not. Soon the door was closed, we were both sitting and laughing, and this man confirmed to me that I'm doing everything right, and have all the right people

At least I have this, because it's getting harder financially, psychically, and more and more time involved in difficult scheduling. Trying to keep up, while knowing that when I make an appointment and cant make the soup kitchen, I most likely won't eat because the food donations to shelter are getting few and far between. Come the first of the month I won't be able to get into Boston from Waltham because my transit pass expires on the 31st. Or that my communication is off on the 2nd when I can't pay the phone bill.
I need that security that if I'm out of commission a few days or a week, my people are at least mostly on the case.
Make no mistake there is also a greater sinse of freedom the more I slip into the homeless role. I laid on a bench today, just because it was comfortable :)
No more worrying about what anyone thinks, I'm much more aware, and interactive with the environment around me!

Down and out, but looking up ;)
Gary aka John Doe

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Supporting the arts

Ok here's the thing. My writing is my best therapeutic outlet right now. Things are changing daily regarding plans, and I need to tell it.
The editor of Spare Change News is asking me for new articles. I'm trying to put together a book, of which is 25 essay topics scratched out in pen, recorded interviews, and so on.
I seriously cannot rely on hour long stretches of computer use at whatever library i'm closest to when I have a free hour between appointments, or when the library is even open for that matter.
I desperately need to get myself a netbook. Something that is small and light because it's one more thing into my backpack that is carried all day, everyday.
I can't keep writing on my outdated droid.
I can only tell so much of the story, and can't write when the inspiration hits me.
Surely you artistic types understand what i'm saying.

Plus at this point my transit pass is only good for a few more days then i'm stranded from making appointments. That don't help me, and that don't help any of the people i'm trying to help.
I need to be mobile and writing.
So what I really need is some financial assistance. I'm not able/allowed to work yet, disability hasn't paid yet, and i'm about to start college and various volunteer programs.
Can you help a starving artist? LoL

Can paypal direct to or use the donate link on this site.

Thank you for all your past and future help in all my projects.

Paying forward for life,

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Well ain't this a bitch

Granted there's several angles being played at once, but there stands a good chance that i'll be out of my shelter, with noplace to go for 30 days, on....... Ready for this...............

...... Wait fot it........

On September 11th

Ahhhhh you can't write this kind of shit

Still John Doe

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ode to Lil' Johnny Dough

When I first met Johnny he was the soup kitchen.
Down on his luck, and almost certain to be devoured by the circumstances, I tried to reach out to help Johnny

At first Johnny was hesitant, feeling that it was too late for him, but after a bit of convincing I got him to come with me.
He met some of the guys, and we got to know each other a bit hanging out at the park.

Finally it was time for Johnny to come back to the shelter, where he could have a safe bed at night, clean shower, laundry, and all the bologna sandwiches he could eat (providing they're not molded).
Johnny had to do his intake, and had just taken a urine test. They ask him to wait and watch a little TV

Fortunately Johnny passes his urine test, and he is allowed into the shelter!! You see, Johnny didn't have a drinking problem, or a drug problem. Johnny was a clean, friendly, artistic type, who unfortunately experienced things that make his life difficult to manage.
So Johnny is shown his bed, and allowed to finally rest his weary body. It's the first time Johnny's slept indoors in 10 days. He relects on life as he quietly looks at the street below him

Johnny seemed comfortable enough. He was showered, had a load of laundry in the dryer almost ready to go. He made small talk with people around him, who seemed like descent enough people just going through a bad time in their lives.
He stepped outside with everyone else for the official hourly smoke break, and attempted to find it within himself to adapt to the new environment.

Everything seemed great as I checked on Johnny throughout the night. He seemed relaxed and grateful for helping him get into the shelter and settled in.

.......... But something happened.
I don't know why, but it was all too much for Johnny. Despite seemingly happy and comfortable, the shelter environment proved too much. Apparently Johnny was broken beyond repair that he could receive here.
Johnny didn't make it back again, Johnny was last seen living on the streets, wherever he could be far away from people as possible.
It's been some time now since anyone's seen Johnny

****** This story is nonfictional Any resemblance to actual people is fully intended ********

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Today I was homeless

More than usual it sank in today. Sundays are always the worst because the library doesn't open till 1pm, and none of the day/drop in shelters are open.
If you have a few bucks you can always make due, simply refer to my article "Boston on $3 a Day". However I didn't have the 3 dollars today.
So I started at the park. It started ok, was raining but it we started dry and a bunch of us just hung out discussing a wide variety of topics.
At one point I got very inspired to write, but I had to wait another 5 hours for the library to open to use a pc. So the morning just dragged and dragged, and the heat finally caught up to me. Before I knew I was lite headed and sick to my stomach, to where I had to lay down.
I laid out in a shaded spot and fell asleep. Soon I woke to find that it was raining again, but I was too weak to get up, so I laid in the rain, on the grass, and slept more.
Soon it was 3pm and I woke in a puddle of cold sweat, in the blaring sun, all shade was gone.
Any hope of writing was gone, and it was then late enough for me to get to a local soup kitchen to get some food in me and something to drink.

Rest of the day turned out ok, and i'm just resting at the shelter, and posting from my phone.
Not the positive tale I wanted to write today, but hey, that's just where today went.

Gary aka John Doe

Your Zen Moment of the Day


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Just when you loose faith

Well if you've read my last post, you know I've been having a rough time recently.
As you've probably learned by now as well, is that I can have some serious mood swings. Never when I start building up the tension, something wil trigger and i'll just come unglued.
Well last night my trigger was the issue of being able to stay out late on my birthday tomorrow.
The thing I asked one of the guys on staff last night, and he said him and this woman were working tomorrow night, and it wouldn't be a problem. However when she heard she shut the idea down.
Having been told no right away it probably wouldn't have stung so much, but with one saying lets let him go relax, the other shutting it down just triggered a meltdown.

However something happened today.
I left the shelter around 6:30 this morning because I just had to get out of there and sit quietly, and alone, in the park. Seeing as I was very angry and hostile last night.
So about 8am I see someone from the house and they tell me the director of the shelter is looking for me.
Now he's only there in the day when we're out, and we've never said more than good morning to each other.
So now I'm thinking on top of everything else, now I got some other bullshit about to jump off, so I call the shelter.
It turns out when he came in this morning he had a bunch of guys waiting for him.
They proceeded to tell him that for everything I do for them and the shelter, that I need a break, and that he needs to let me stay out tomorrow evening!

You have to understand, these are not the kind of guys who this kind of thing, and would much rather not speak to the director at all.
These idiots almost had me in tears when the director told me this.

Just when you least expect it, you get a lesson in humanity.
What a great bunch of guys, and a great gesture from the big boss!
Thank you!


Monday, July 18, 2011

Screw this!

I'm at the breaking point. It seems no matter what I do for others, for this stupid fucking shelter, nothing matters.
When I need even the slightest thing, I'm treated like a piece of shit. The fact that I follow every rule to the letter counts for nothing. The fact that I'm right there in the middle of just about every altercation to defuse the issue, counts for nothing. I go out of my to try and make people see a more positive aproach to being here. I act as fucking camp councelor for everyone on a broad range of topics I treat every staff member in here with nothing but respect, and when I simply ask to stay out a little late on my birthday so a friend can take me to dinner, the answer is NO.
Now mind you, while I'm in here, there will be NO LESS than 10 people signed out for AA or NA meeting, or even fucking bible study, and of those 10 MAYBE 2 of them will actually go to the meetings The rest will do whatever the fuck they feel like, just because they can.
I'm fucking punished for not having a substance abuse problem, or wanting to "study" 2000 year old fairy tales!!!

I just need a fucking break!! I'm being pulled in 18 god damn directions at once trying to follow a path to helping others on a grand scale, but when I need a little something, like a little time, to HELP ME, I get nothing!
This morning I was barely holding it together, but I had an apointment with my psycho therapist, so I figured that'll be good and help calm me...... MY PSYCHO THERAPIST STOOD ME UP!!! What the fuck!!

Really, I've had it, I could give a shit any more about anyone's rules, I could give a shit about helping anyone........ that's another thing, everyone always with the "Oh thank God there's good people like you to help"..... you people don't know a god damn thing about me! Trust me, I'm not that good! I've done a lot of vile shit in my day. This whole do gooder thing is brand new to me, and for all I know will pass. So please don't expect too much from me, I'm just another asshole from the streets of Brooklyn who did whatever the fuck I had to do to survive.

Fuck this place..... fuck my team and their "big plans" for MY future.... I'm tired, I'm broke, and I'm done giving a shit. I'd rather just go hit the streets, and hustle my way back up the financial ladder and house myself. I'm smarter than most of the people telling me how to live right now, and frankly can't figure out why I'm listening.
Wed is my birthday, and Wed night I will be out doing whatever the fuck I want to do. If I loose my bed, I loose my bed. I've certainly been thrown out of better places than this.

Hey staff, if you read this..... FUCK YOU

Bed #10

Sick and tired

Well I just wrote a long post on this topic, pouring my heart out on many issues. An exhausting process when using the phone. I saved as a draft, because I post via email when writing on phone, and now it's gone!

So there ya go, one more poetic moment that further makes me fucking "sick and tired".
Somethings gotta give

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Air Is Thin Up Here

This new heightened sense of self is making it hard to breathe.
Meaning with all these new challenges being thrown at me, and all these new directions my life is taking for the better, I feel a sense of rebirth. Not religiously, I mean it in the literal sense.
It's like coming out of a ten year coma, and i'm relearning life.
However for someone still wobbling on their new legs, i'm taking very big steps, and trying to make some very big decisions. Sometimes seemingly too big.

Then you look at the obstacles surrounding it... How the hell am I in a position to make major life choices, when i'm constantly tired.
I can't prioritize right now, i'm distracted by billboards with hamburgers because I eat bologna 6 days a week.
I need to sit on a cushion for longer than it takes for the doctor to come get me.
Pardon my bluntness, but I need the touch of a woman...... Good god I need the touch of a woman!
My brain is a scrambled mess, and it seems every decision I have to make is over the top important... and I just want a moment to breathe, catch up, and look at all this with a clear head.
Yet I know this won't happen. Shelter living is not designed to meld with multiple positive aspects of life. It just don't balance.

A very tired,
Gary aka John Doe

Monday, July 11, 2011

A birthday nap

Here's the deal, my birthday is on the 20th, and i seriously need one night in a real bed, with ac, & tv.
I'm begging.... I'm tired and it don't go away! Lol
Read my blog and look at everything done in under 9 weeks. Trust me on this, it's exhausting.
I simply need one night in a cheap hotel. I believe motel six in Braintree is like $80.
I'm desperate for one real nights sleep to recharge.

Anything you can afford towards this goal is appreciated. Big things coming up and I need a 12hr nap and mindless tv. Lol

Also if anyone would like to donate an old laptop or digital camera, i'm desperate for something for writing and photography.
Someone offered me an old camera, but it takes batteries and I can't afford to keep replacing. So ANYTHING digital with a usb connect.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Foot in the door

Today was a very interesting morning. I met with, as I like to refer to him, "My Guru" to do our weekly sit down and figure out just what I am doing with my life. However today he had a surprise for me! He had apparently had a long discussion with his supervisor regarding my case, and they came up with an opportunity for me!
Seeing as for the most part I can't do too much in human services right now due to the fact that I'm not trained, and I'm still active in the system, there hasn't been much I could do. However they offered me the "position"(unpaid) to be a "Peer Supervisor"! Still even a little unclear on just what the topics will be, but I'm going to basically be holding group meetings/workshops for fellow homeless, to inspire, motivate, talk, educate, whatever.
They will provide me a place to hold them, they will advertise it, and all that, and I'll do.... well.... whatever that is! LOL
For something I'm still unclear about, I'm very excited! :) It means I got a foot in the door for human services, it means I get to help people on a pseudo professional level, it means I get experience in human services, and it never hurts or looks bad to organizations that I'm looking for assistance from regarding housing and furthering my education!

I'm quite damn excited!!
Not bad for 2 months homeless ;)

Gary aka John Doe

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Getting our own "house" in order

This may be an unpopular post, but it really needs to be said.
More and more there are those of us who are homeless and speaking out for others, trying to sway public opinion, but we really need to do some "in house" work to make ourselves presentable to be taken serious.
There is a picture floating around twitter tonight from a Mcdonalds stating along the lines that "This is not a hang out, or a shelter"
Granted they could, and should, have used more tact, but lets be honest with ourselves. We, meaning the homeless, abuse the shit out of Mcdonalds across the country on a daily basis.
How about "we" learn to flush a god damn toilet once in a while. Maybe they won't dislike us as much if they're not spending the day cleaning up your piss and shit.
Maybe "we" can learn not to curse, abnormally loud no less, in front of every woman and child. Maybe 5 of us, don't need 4 tables!
We have to start being responsible for ourselves, and teaching others to do the same.

When you're getting a free meal somewhere, how about we just stick to "thank you", and not bitch about the selection, or even in cases I've witnessed, even complain about the presentation! The fucking presentation!!! Seriously? Shut your ungrateful mouth and be thankful someone is willing to look past that and feed your stupid ass.

I know it's a sickness, but maybe even cut back on excessive alcohol and drug use before noon! Especially when you are holding a sign about how you're sober and just going through a tough time, while hunched over nodding.

Jesus even projects like home first.. Yes, the numbers make sense to house someone rather than keep in shelter, but how about we also acknowledge the cost of the damage "we" do to some of these apartments, or the fact that the furniture from a voucher is turned around and sold right away for drugs or booze. The numbers start to change!

I don't know the answer, or how to "police our own" so to speak, but we're speaking for a group, and alot of us are fucked up, so we better have some good stuff to say, because we have alot of slack to pick up.

Just sayin'

Gary aka John Doe

Added a photos page

Nothing fancy, just wanted to get some photos onto the site in one spot.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Documents to go

Ok I need something for myself this time, so I'm asking.
I need to purchase an app called Documents to Go, so I can edit and save actuall word documents on the phone after they've been typed on a pc.
The app is $15, but thats 14 more than I have.
If anyone could help I'd be eternally grateful. I HATE having to wait to upload some of my bigger articles. I was just also get my recap of the 4th up this morning, but had it ready last night.

Please donate if you can, thanks. I'll keep writing and entertaining :)


Good Morning America, how are you?

10pm July 4th, 2011: The grass underneath me is unlike anything I've ever experienced. Growing up I was never into sports, so I never found myself on a professionally manicured lawn until this moment, and quite frankly it was worth the wait. Maybe due to my recent willingness to connect with the ground? It is after all a natural progression in homelessness. Sooner or later, no matter how hard you fight the urge, you are going to lay down on some grass somewhere and fall asleep.
However this isn't about the grass. It's partially about America. This night I experienced something completely new to me.... a big ol' slice of American Pie.
There's still smoke in the air from the fireworks show that just took place above me as I lay in this carpet like plant life. The thing with this fireworks show was that for me it was my first small town 4th of July! Growing up it was always the big show from the East River in NYC, and last few years it's been the big show at the Esplanade along the Charles River here in Boston. This year however, I found myself in Waltham, MA, gathered in a high school football field, along with most of the town, and sharing the experience of bad live 70's music, cotton candy, and an overall "cuteness" that until tonight only existed in movies as far as I was concerned.
There was a point I felt like I was in the cast of Grease, the entire scene was absolutely ADORABLE!
However this isn't really about the fireworks. I think more than anything, what was really bringing me overwhelming joy, was the fact that it was 10pm, and I was walking about freely in the night air! Sounds simple enough, but the fact is until that sun set completely at 9;21, it was the first time in 2 months that I have been able to be outside of the designated smoking area of the shelter at night!! The joy that this gave me was beyond words.
However this isn't really about moving free in the night air. The joy I'm feeling on this night came a feeling of success. You see, earlier this day was my "Boston Harbor Island 4th of July Homeless BBQ Bash", and somehow, I actually managed to pull this thing off!!
Just when I thought this had no hope of happening properly, I was once again amazed by the kindness of others. People who donated to help me get this going, people at the Island Alliance that took a chance on a group of homeless people on their busiest family day of the year. Fellow homeless friends that pitched in anything they could via food stamps, and took the initiative when we got there to assemble the new grill, and position tables in what was nothing less than a perfect spot for the day, and then spent hours taking turns doing the cooking so I didn't have to!! A week before I had an anxiety attack because I was taking on too much, and my doctors, while supporting the idea, weren't crazy about me taking on the pressure. Yet here I am, that part of the day over, and now laying in this grass basking in the glow of a day executed perfectly!!

However this isn't really about success, this is about HUMANITY. Everything about this day was about taking these guys out of the day to day environment that we endure. Endless hours at the library killing time. Endless Dr appointments. Endless AA or NA Meetings. Endless nights of staring at the same four hot sweaty walls, looking at dozens of lost faces every night.
This was the day where we got to remind ourselves that just like everyone else, we are entitled to simply go out and have fun like everyone else, and by stimulating this mindset one achieves a greater sense of self empowerment, a greater self of independence, along with a greater feeling of comradery among the group. And my friends, these are the tools that lead to change, not only in one persons life, but the kind of change that can't help but spread itself to others.

Today however I also was reminded of this, and not just the one trying to pass the message. Today we were also joined by my ex!
Now first let me say, you've heard me use the term "my ex" before, yet I'm not a fan of it. I use it because it's easier to get my point across in a story where the focus lies somewhere else, but today I do in fact want to take a moment and let you all know, that the term "my ex", doesn't do her justice. She is the one person in my life who has stood by me, and still continues to do so through all of this. She is still my closest and dearest friend, and the one person that I couldn't ever picture not having in my life at all.
And she's pretty god damn sexy too! ;)
The point is, whether she realizes it or not, her willingness to come join us, without batting an eye about it, says a lot about her character, and whether she realizes it or not, that made me feel fantastic and gave me the little push I needed to remind MYSELF of some of the same things that I'm trying to make others feel.
And it wasn't just me, everyone that came yesterday pointed out that at no time did she ever make anyone feel at all "lower on the social ladder". Also keep in mind that some of these guys are a little bitter and generally think that everyone is looking down on them even when they're not, but she made them all feel just like any other group, and knowing her she does this without thinking about it. It's one the things that made me fall in love with her in the first place, she NEVER judged me for anything from my past, and there is plenty that she could, and it's the reason that in one way or another I will always love her! THANK YOU for coming, meant a lot to the guys, and it meant even more to me.
We also got a kick out the fact that we were feeding some people that were close to our area. So in a sense the "homeless" were feeding the community, and no one ever would've known ;)

However this isn't really about humanity, or freedom, or any of the other things discussed, when you break through everything it came down to one simple formula.... FUN!
We had fun right from the get go! Watching Pops at 6:30am meeting us in the park, and maneuvering his way through a complex maze of sprinklers across a field. Almost ninja like, in a slow shuffle, without ever feeling a drop, or dropping the ash from his cigarette.
It was moments of pure fun and laughter that made this 4th of July a success from the moment we got up, to the moment we went to sleep.
I thank you all for making it happen, but even more I thank ourselves for still having the laughter in us through all that we are going through. Spirits like this, you'll never keep us down long!
Happy Summer everyone!
Gary aka John Doe