[Hpn] Homelessness is having no place to hang ones hat
Sun, 14 Jul 2002 06:31:36 -0400
Burlington Free Press - Editorial
By Morgan W. Brown
If "home is where one hangs one's hat," where does a person who is living
homeless hang their hat?
When a person hangs their hat someplace temporarily, are they no longer
considered truly homeless even if, in fact, it is not really their home?
Being homeless myself, I know well how the smallest items of hope are
held onto very tightly.
Just like one's own sense of dignity, self-respect, pride -- which are
equally cherished and held close, such hope can often prove extremely useful
and even vital in the long journey being undertaken just in managing to
survive as well as living independently.
These core parts of one's self can also be key to what is needed to help
find, obtain and then move into some form of safe, decent and affordable
housing of one's own; which is an essential part of what is needed to end
As near as it may be to my becoming housed once again, after being homeless
in its various forms for nearly five years this time around, one would think
nothing could easily stand in my way.
Yet, there are many moments when it seems too daunting and so very far away
to ever be accomplished on one's own.
There are those days, and even weeks, which do not seem to pass by without
severe and persistent need to find and renew hope, inner strength as well as
faith in everything.
Almost constantly, in many different ways, I remind myself that whatever
circumstances or, how they are experienced and felt, there are always other
ways of thinking about them and other methods of accomplishing something
when it is waited for a little while longer and, what is sought is looked
for even deeper than we may believe is possible and, the support needed to
do so is received.
Just as crucial though, the value of the smallest or seemingly least
important thing to provide inspiration should never be underestimated; often
found in what we may perceive to be the most unlikely of places or persons,
especially when it is needed the most.
These are among the things which often help me to never, ever, give up on
anything or anybody -- and, most importantly, never on myself.
When I do find and move into a place of my own, my hat will be hung where
can be grabbed at ease when needed. Then whenever it is off of my head and
in its usual resting place, I will know I am home.
Morgan W. Brown is living homeless in Montpelier,Vermont.