Saturday, September 24, 2011

Endurance: Homeless Edition

Lessons I have learned enduring the streets of Cincy.

Downtown Cincinnati is your typical city. The 'bad area' has the "Drop". It is where newly homeless people are told to go for temporary shelter.

1. Single Cigarettes are sold for a quarter each.
2. If you do not 'show up' or check into the 'Drop' for 3 days your a kicked out.
3. If you get into a fight at the drop you are kicked out.
4. Earthquakes and Loco's are 12% alcohol. If you drink 4 of those and one fifth of whiskey each day... that makes 49 drinks in one week.
5. Heroin makes peoples pupils small.
6. Bicycles can sell for 15 bucks.
7. Homeless have access to laundry and food and shelter.
8. There is drug building directly across from the 'drop'.
9. Homeless are a tight knit group that look out for each other. I can understand why it is so hard for them to 'clean up' sometimes.
10. Some of the 'homeless' have been to college, had 4 bedroom homes and kids with custody!
11. Cheesy snacks are popular among the crowd.
12. Food stamps are sold. Lots.
13. Only 'disabled' homeless get insurance. (in OH)
14. If you have been kicked out of the drop, left AMA (against medical advice) twice from detox and have NO insurance, that REALLY limits the ways to recovery... kinda like... 'Sorry bud, Your a loser and gonna stay that way" Nice way to treat another human.
15. Some of the 'homeless' look the part. But some dress up for it (meaning they are drug dealers).
16. Many still have cell phones.
17. Some were 'honorably discharged' from the military for PTSD (post tramatic stress disorder). Nice way to honor our vets.

Yes, some of them are out to take advantage of you. But some really DON'T want to be there. Those are the ones we are looking to help when we go down there. It has been an amazing experience. We have been getting to know them. Some of them meet to play basketball, both homeless and non-homeless, and next week we are going to a movie with a group of us.

It is an amazing way to change they way you see people. WE should not label people 'losers' or 'hopeless'. They have feelings and want to be heard, just like all of us.

Just sayin'.

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