Archive for the ‘Homeless’ Category

The Emergency

August 5, 2017

The Emergency

The siren made a loud noise through the city streets. The siren yelled hard; it was almost midnight and somebody inside the ambulance was very sick. A paramedic with a computer on his lap took down all of the man’s information. He asked questions; the woman holding on to the patient’s stretcher helped with the answers. He cannot wait any longer, she told the paramedic. Just look at the way his face is. I had to call 911 and ask help for him. I had to. It was a short trip to the hospital. The ambulance stopped by the emergency dept. After the patient was wheeled in, there were more questions. When these were answered, the woman stayed with her head resting by her friend’s feet all night. In the morning, the man is discharged. She goes with him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Death Watch

June 6, 2017

Death Watch

Dying. That’s the word. The dreaded word I don’t want to think about. It’s you. You are dying. Your head. You keep your head down all the time now. You don’t want to look up. It’s not necessary anymore. Nothing interests you, not even the two items you used to live for. You are like a light that will no longer function. I watch you go and I want to stop you. I can’t. I know it’s useless. The pain inside you is too great. It’s taking over your being.

 

 

Revisited

May 11, 2017

She stared at him. People were watching from the still open doors of the shuttle train. They were looking at him. He always commanded center stage. A sidebar, that’s what I am, she thought, just a simple ordinary sidebar, a cipher.. She swallowed hard before she spoke: What are you saying? What am I supposed to have done, according to you. He looked at her. You manipulated everything. You did it on purpose. You say you did it selflessly, but it is not true. It is not true at all. All you women are alike. You are greedy. She could not believe it. Was this the person she had risked so much to shelter? What had happened to change him? Something must have happened, but there was no way of finding out. In the meantime, she was the one who needed to take action, to do something positive for herself. Otherwise, after he left her life, there’d be another and another and another man to treat her like garbage. She was nowhere near garbage. He knew it. She had proved that over and over again. The undocumented immigrant from Hell had treated her in a bad way. The last thing she wanted was a repeat performance of that nightmare.

 

 

 

Down Spread

May 4, 2017

Down Spread

All spread out—someone was by the curb. He lay with his head on a black bag.  There were no shoes on his feet, though sneakers and a grey jacket were nearby. People walked by him; some looked and shook their hands while others didn’t see him. Someone stopped by the Starbucks cup in front of the person and put a dollar bill. Another person covered her face with the hoodie. She stood against the restaurant wall by the man and cried. It shouldn’t happen. These things shouldn’t be happening, she said in a low voice.

 

 

Corpse

April 3, 2017

Corpse

It was a corpse. The cat was dead. Through the wire fence she saw the corpse of an animal. The two sisters used to sleep together under the trailer in the lumberyard. The blizzard had killed one of them. They were all they had. Now the remaining cat had to fend for herself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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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.