Thursday, August 19, 2010
My Homelessness Immersion Project
Introducing My Homelessness Immersion Project
Sometime next week I will begin to blog again on a regular basis. For a long time now my thoughts have been with the homeless in America. On any given night anywhere from 700,000 to 2 million Americans are homeless. The lucky ones find a shelter to stay at. Others sleep in cars, gangways, under bridges. They are a diverse bunch, just like the rest of America. They are young and old, individuals and entire families. Some are vets, some had careers, some are experiencing the symptoms of serious mental illness. Some are addicted to drugs and some have long criminal histories.
During the last two years the Great Recession has increased the number of hungry in America and the number of homeless. This comes at a time then there are less monies for social services and fewer Americans have money to give.
For the past week I have been on a Homeless Immersion Project. That required me to eat at shelters, go to drop-in centers, socialize at sites frequented by the homeless. I had an intake at a shelter, I passed a brethalizer test. I was followed by a police car for three blocks while walking downtown. I had a minimum of clothes and money with me. I had no photo identification and that did have implications. I worshiped at a shelter chapel and I walked the streets and trails with the homeless.
My initial re-entry into blogging next week will be a processing and reflection of that experience.
The Face of Stress
At this point I still have a fairly clean shirt on. My appearance proved to be unsettling to some.