Archive for the ‘Homeless’ Category

Stop that Guy!

December 7, 2016

Stop that Guy!

It is about 7 in the evening. A homeless man and his companion are out on the sidewalk. The man is on the makeshift bed with his head on a pillow. The woman is near him, glancing at him from time to time. There is a large coffee cup by the woman’s left leg. Some coins and about $35 dollars are in the cup. A young guy comes over to where the man and woman are. In his hand there are several coins. He pretends to put the coins in the cup. Quickly he grabs the cup and runs away. The woman gets up from her milk crate seat. No! No! she shouts as the young thief rushes down the subway stairs. He stole her money, somebody says, rushing after him. The woman stands by the subway stairs. Her leg is in pain. I can’t go after the thief too. I might fall down because of the stress. She goes back to her milk crate and dials the operator. Call the police, the operator tells her. The woman knows where the nearest police station is. Only 3 blocks, corner of Lexington. The young officer behind the information desk has a plate of food before him. Yes, can I help you? The woman tells her story as the officer gives her an up and down look. Where do you live? He asks her. She answers nothing. What does this have to do with being robbed she asks herself. The officer repeats the question. The Bronx, she says. I live in the Bronx. And you were asking people for money. She smiles faintly. The Bronx is not exactly Palm Springs, CA, she wants to say but doesn’t quite dare.  I am about to be homeless and I was with my friend. Is it your money, the near $40 or his? It’s his money, she says. Then tell your friend to come here tomorrow morning to file a police report.  Tomorrow morning? He was robbed tonight. Yes, tomorrow morning. The woman sighs. I must have disturbed his dinnertime, she thinks. Thank you, she says and walks away. What happened tonight with the guy stealing the money was the lowest of the low. I didn’t even get help from the police.

The Signs

June 7, 2016

The Signs

Down the street they went. They were quick. A man pushed a woman in her wheelchair. Something made of cardboard hang from her neck. The passerby looked discreetly. I am homeless. Help. Give food. The passerby shook her head. Another person in dire need, she thought. Once in the subway, a young man began to talk. His voice was loud. I am sorry for the interruption, ladies and gentleman. I am homeless. Anything you give me, food, coins, clothing will be greatly appreciated. His sign was similar to one belonging to the woman in the wheelchair. The young man stood in front of the seated passengers until they were able to read the words on the cardboard.

20 Years

December 14, 2015

20 Years

The man’s voice was loud. He wore a shabby dark coat, dark pants and a light T shirt.
“20 years! I’ve been homeless 20 years! I could get in places where they wouldn’t let Obama in. I could go anywhere if I wanted to. I’m homeless. The cops should know me but they don’t. They see me but to them I’m not there. You know what it is? They just don’t want to see me.

The passengers waiting at the dirty J train stop looked at him, turned the other way. Some turned their backs. One or 2 gave a sigh of relief when the train finally arrived.

White Collar Crimes

November 21, 2015

White Collar Crimes

I have heard that white collar crimes could be harder to prosecute from now on. My question to whoever it is in government responsible for this possible law is: What are you thinking? Why do alleged white collar criminals matter more to you than the American people, the American borrower? Why is an executive so out of reach from the arm of the law? I lost my home, my beautiful condo in Atlanta, Ga. to foreclosure on November 1st. 2005, because of white collar crime. I was a victim of predatory lending and mortgage fraud. I will never forget how I felt while trying to save my home and myself from such a horrible fate. I tried everything, including refinancing and a letter to the then governor of GA. to no avail. The governor never responded to my letter. My credit score was 754, a very good credit score. One time, when the CBS show 60 Minutes had a story on foreclosures in the state of Ohio (I think it was Ohio) I cried for at least an hour and a half. My tears wouldn’t stop. The persons on the 60 Minutes segment who had lost their homes were me. We had gone through the same horrible experience. Since my foreclosure, I have been and I have felt totally homeless. I believe that my physical housing insecurity stems from my GA experience. Being evicted twice after this has not helped at all. Being secure and safe someplace, having a roof over my head to shower; sleep in a warm bed, make myself a cup of tea and take care of my cat—that is what I have wanted. Our representatives in Congress and the Senate have to stop being so nice to their friends in Wall Street. I have nothing against being rich. I think being rich and having money is great. But without us, the consumers, Wall Street and the banks would not exist. No customers, no business—it’s as simple as that. I yearn to have my condo back. I want to have my condo in Atlanta, GA. back. As far as I am concerned, it was taken from me unfairly. It’s the same as if somebody had stolen it from me.





















If You

October 21, 2015

If You

If you heard and listened to the individual stories of those left homeless. If you knew about the pain of being evicted, of not being able to pay the rent, of having nowhere to go with your kids and beloved animals, you’d understand that eviction and homelessness is not just about dollars and cents. For the tenant it can be—it is—a very emotional ordeal, with sleepless days and nights full of stress. It is Hell on Earth. Not having a lawyer to defend your rights in Housing Court is scary, even humiliating. The other person, the landlord, has someone, usually a shark-like attorney. A lawyer has to be there to fight for your interests because if the landlord has a lawyer, the tenant has to have one as well. It is only fair. Only by being in an evicted person’s shoes will someone understand what it feels like on a day to day basis. Only by living the agony will someone get to have some measure of compassion for the person who soon will have no home.

Steps of a Church

September 24, 2015

Steps of a Church

1:30 A.M. Someone with a flashlight stood over her. She opened her eyes. An unsmiling person in a blue uniform looked at her. “You can’t stay here. These are the steps of a church,” he said. She said nothing and got up slowly. “If you need shelter, I can direct you to one.” “No, thank you.” The cop waited for her to get her suitcases ready to move on. The steps of a church, she thought. Is this because of the Pope’s visit to NYC? Isn’t the Church about love and mercy and letting people who are minding their own business sleep at night?”








Not wanted Here

September 5, 2015

Bags–there were bags all around him. He was resting. His bed was 3 dark green park chairs, with blankets on top of his body. A cop and another man walked by the chairs.”Excuse me,” the cop said, tapping him on the shoulder. “If you want to lay down, you can go to the space with the grass.” He sat up and nodded. As the cop and the other man walked on, he put his head on the small dark green table in front of him. He covered his head with a large red hat.

Second Time Around

August 18, 2015

The Second Time Around

The first time out was short—6 weeks. They seemed longer. What I remember about them was the wetness. It rained frequently and my little one and I got unwanted showers. This time it is 10 weeks and counting. I am noticing things that were not visible the first time. I see more women out. The women are carrying large bags, plastic and not plastic. The women have large suitcases and they drag the suitcases across the floor, across the sidewalk. These women mostly dress in black—black skirts, sweaters, black scarves and coats and sunglasses. They are in mourning. They probably miss what they don’t have any more: a place that is their own, somewhere with a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom and a plant or two.

The Bag

June 27, 2015

The Bag

It is made of plastic; it is a white. First, the important stuff—petroleum jelly, soap, toothpaste, a tooth brush and face cream. The skin on the face has aged considerably in the last few days. As long as everything fits in the bag, it doesn’t matter if she has to fish for something or not. The stress would ne bad, but at least she’d find whatever it is she needs.

Right now stress is an important part of her story. She pushes the stress out of sight for as long as possible, but it keeps on coming back.

The Bugs

June 17, 2015


B-U-G-S. It is bugs. I am living with bugs. They are on the bed, on the sheets and they attack my arm, my leg, even my hair. She spelled out the word. The woman at the other end could not understand her at first. Take your time, she told her.  This is stressful. It is very stressful. She had been stressed many times in the last few years. Her mind and soul told her that she had had enough. She had enough of being impoverished, enough of putting up with this and that and the other thing and the next other thing. She did not know until when this would last. What was it? What was wrong that she had tried so hard and nothing had worked? Nothing had worked to improve her life. Now the bugs were in the way. They were another obstacle.