By The People

There are fundamental flaws in how American government operates today,
contrary to the Constitution and the vision of a representative republican form of governance.
I intend doing something about it: by educating and informing others who
are not even aware of the dangers.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Homelessness in America

About 11 years ago, I became homeless when my wife had medical issues that were not being properly treated by her doctors. Bipolar disorder forced me to seek temporary shelter until such a time as my wife emotional state was stabilized. That took over one year of medications and therapy.

I am now homeless again, due to my inability to perform the work required by the employers I have contacted and interviewed with. I am still seeking work but have not had any success at all. Shall I blame the economy or the government? No, the fault lies with all Americans.

The problems of homelessness are issues that affect many both directly and indirectly. Your tax dollars that are used to house criminals are now being used to release prisoners onto the streets or into homeless shelters. This puts additional strain on  the resources that these shelters provide.

I am awaiting a disability hearing next month, and will gladly find a small place when I start receiving benefits. My physical and mental health have been in decline since I have arrived here. Conditions here will never improve to the point that I will feel comfortable in this environment. Now with the announcement that 35 additional inmates will be released into the general population, beds here at the shelter will become scarce.

Fortunately, I do have a bed on a first floor because my condition and surgeon's orders keep me from climbing stairs. I also take the ramps and elevators in public buildings because of the pain associated with lifting my legs and placing bearing weight on them.

For a man that has been so physically active most of my life, this is really a strong blow to me emotionally.  I fight depression on a daily basis, and force myself to do some exercise of my arms and upper body to compensate somewhat for my lack of leg mobility. I have not taken any pain medications yet, but lately it has occurred to me to do so, because it is becoming stressful and keeping me from getting a good night's rest.

I do notice that there is a difference in being homeless now than there was over a decade ago. Perhaps it is due to the depressed economy, but donations are down and hence less is available to those in need. Of course there is some federal government services available, but they are restricted to women with children and families. Here in Oregon, basic medical services are being rationed by lottery. If you are a single male, getting dental and/or vision care is not likely.

I have not had my vision checked in over 15 years and I am also in need of dental work. Unless I get approved for Social Security Disability, I will be stuck in the same place for quite some time.

But I am not sulking and feeling sorry for myself. While there are a number of men here who are quite content on being homeless, many others like myself are looking to better their positions in life and only need a bit of support to get them n their way.

Since being widowed back in 2010, my physical health has deteriorated along with my emotional well being. That has not stopped me from being positive and looking for a few hours work when it is available.  It is my physical condition that prevents me from doing much of the work that I am most qualified to perform.

With all of the promises made by Congress and the President regarding the Affordable Patient Protection Act, none of those promises have had any positive impact in the health care of anyone that I have met and spoken to. I do encourage others to speak out as I do and not let the majority of the public think that everything is okay. It's not!

Perhaps a change in administration will have a positive affect. But so long as the government keeps spending more and more in being the world's police force and offering aid to nations who don't even like us, we will remain in dire straits.

Blessings and thanks to those who read my blog and have made some small donations to support me in what I am doing. I trust that when I do get my benefits, I will be able to do the same for others. There are always those worse off than I am so I will always be charitable, even while I am in need myself. It just seems like the right thing to do.

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