Saturday, September 17, 2011

New site is live! Change bookmarks to

The new site is up and running. I'll be tinkering over the next few days, but for the most part it's ready, and all new posts will be found at

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!

Humbly Yours,

Friday, September 16, 2011

Higher Ground

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 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

Gary J

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Invisible Picnic! Sat 9/24 1pm University Park, Central Sq

The Invisible Picnic

Saturday Sept 24th 1pm

MIT Park, corner of Mass Ave and Sydney St, Cambridge MA

by &


  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!!  

Featured Guests

Mark Horvath

Founder of, on US and Canada tour of speaking engagements and homeless outreach

Gary aka John Doe

Homeless, writer for Spare Change News & (Blog: Homeless in Boston), Homeless Advocate, and Community Outreach.

Project 50/50

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   Thank You, Gary aka John Doe  

Sunday, September 11, 2011

This Ones For You, B

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!! ;)


The Monster at the End of This Book

Over the last decade I found myself slipping further away with each passing day, feeling helpless as each day was seeming moving towards an inevitable disastrous ending. Growing further from my former self, feeling more empty inside every day.
While everyday went by like this, I also had to deal with the yearly pain of acknowledging a particular day, September 11th. A day that I would have liked to see simply removed from the calendar and never spoken of again. Now this in itself was an important statement, because it's that wall you build around yourself when trying to avoid the realities around you, that finally closes up around you till you are left in a cold dark place all alone in your mind.
Life moved on around me, and I was left in a state where I not only didn't want to join in, but I couldn't even understand how everyone else managed to move on with their day to day life. How was it that they seemed almost immune to life's problems? How were they able to simply get out of bed and proceed with a normal day? More importantly why couldn't I do that anymore?
Whatever small or big task ahead of became an overwhelming force in my life. The idea of a day that didn't involve tears, or crippling waves of anxiety became an idealistic notion, that I was no longer able to achieve.

Needless to say September 11th, the date itself, became a day that wasn't just a normal emotional struggle, but a reminder of  the "monster" that had been able to effortlessly take my life away from me as if I had no right to any longer. Worst part is..... I let it go without a fight.

So here we are, 10 years later. I can't say this day feels good, because I'm filled with sadness for the loss of of many people close to me, as well as all the others I didn't know, but cried for on a daily basis as the event replays in my head.
However this year something has changed. I'm no longer afraid of the day; and by this I mean everyday. Somehow in the midst of what was , in my mind, to be the final chapter of my life, something happened that I no longer thought possible. I've taken my life back. Small tasks are nothing to me, and big tasks, and obstacles, have become the fuel that drives me. My fear has become wide eyed curiosity, my anxiety turned to ambition, and I no longer fear for how I'll continue living another year. I now think about my future and become filled with excitement knowing that my life can be anything that I make of it, and my helplessness has become power. Not just power to help myself, but the power, and determination to help others.

It's certainly not a day to celebrate, but somehow 9/11 became a day that started me on a journey. A very slow starting journey, but now ten years later, I've become almost unstoppable, and stronger than ever.
For the first time in ten years, I can honestly say that I no longer feel I died that day as well, for I am now freshly back to life, stronger than ever.

Turns out there was no monster at the end of the book....... it was just ME ;-)

Thank you to all who have helped me see this, helped me turn things around, and stuck by me. I have love for you all that most could never ever understand.

Gary J.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Ladies Night

Sometimes I still find myself absolutely amazed at how many things can be new, and fresh to me during each passing week. You have to understand, I've pretty much done and seen it all, but yet somehow, at the age of 44 I find myself almost with a youthful feeling of self discovery with each passing day. Going wide eyed into new experiences and connecting on such deeper levels than I ever would have in the past.

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 :)

Gary J.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Listen Up Children

Lately there's been some issues, aka drama, within our social networking community, and I simply have to chime in; being the long winded loudmouth that I am. People who help those in need bickering among each other regarding tactics, or scale of help. People in need of help being critical of forms of help that others receive, because it's not what they would want.
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