[Hpn] An Eye Opening 24-Hour Homeless Experience in Montpelier, Vermont; by Dana Szegedy; Featured on the Vermont Homeless Journal Essays Blog

Harmony Kieding worldhome@thesociety.net
Mon, 29 Sep 2003 02:59:30 -0700


I read this essay and started to cry; I couldn't help it. The scars of having
been homeless twice are THIS CLOSE. Every time I take a shower or use the toilet
these days, I go immediately back in my mind to a meadow in San Luis Obispo
or to furtive sponge baths taken wherever they could be grabbed. I go back to
the feeling of being hunted, of wanting to become invisible.

quoting from Dana's essay:

"In the state I was in, there was no way I could have thought about school work
or being productive, I was trapped in my body, while everyone else seemed to
be living a joyful and meaningful life. 
How could people be so happy and lively while I lay ragged and week? It made
me feel angry and hurt. I had spent plenty of nights sleeping in the woods,
in snow shelters, at high altitude. None of which made me feel like trash, or
something to sweep under the rug, like the city had. 
"Disgusting"
It was obvious to me that I needed help and support, yet people just did not
appear to understand, nor care. Their perceptions and opinions put a divider
between us. 
So this is what it feels like for someone in need when they are ignored and
their attempts in seeking assistance and support go unheeded and unmet. Disgusting."


Yes, it's disgusting! And even I, who have managed to get a roof over my head
by some sheer miracle, do NOT feel as if I have "made it back". I have a deep
lack of trust now- in human nature and human kindness (especially from so-called
"relatives"). I find myself  "waiting for the other shoe to drop"  (will the
job that pays for the roof suddenly disappear? will there be a life-threatening
illness or accident?)

And while I have sometimes tended to dismiss "night out on the streets" efforts
to capture how it feels to be homeless, nonetheless, credit where credit is
due. How many people even WANT to try to be in our shoes? Even for one night?
Enough to risk hypothermia and god knows what else?

I can see this was an eye-opening experience for Dana.


Harmony


WorldHome- a homeless portal
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Agora/7076/causesindex.html

American Homeless Land Model
http://www.dreamwater.org/biz/kenchurchill/index.html

What Causes Homelessness?
http://www.planetsave.com/communities/user/?ID=Harmony














>
>The below item is the introductory of a must read essay authored by Dana 
>Szegedy, one of five Sterling College students who spent a night out 
>together one cold rainy evening in Montpelier, Vermont during April of this

>year.
>
>They began their education that evening in several indepth discussions 
>spanning a variety of matters, including homelessness, housing, mental 
>health, disabilities and related subjects while at the Another Way Drop-In

>Center before embarking out onto the streets for the night.
>
>Morgan <norsehorse@hotmail.com>
>Morgan W. Brown
>Montpelier Vermont USA
>Norsehorse's Home Turf: http://nht.blogspot.com
>
>--------------------------------------------------------
>
>-------Forwarded FYI-------
>
>An Eye Opening 24-Hour Homeless Experience in Montpelier, Vermont
>
>by Dana Szegedy: dazegedy2@hotmail.com
>
>
>Question of Perception
>
>
>Perception: something rarely thought of, but often used.
>
>What is your perception of a man walking the streets at night, tired, 
>depressed, ragged looking? What's your perception of a former mental health

>patient? Or a clean, wise, helpful man who happens to be homeless? Is there

>a difference between these people?
>
>Before you say "he wanted to be homeless" or "we don't have a problem with

>homelessness here," read about my experience as well as some of what people

>who either live or have lived homeless have to say about these matters.
>
>=======
>
>To read more, go to:
>
>An Eye Opening 24-Hour Homeless Experience in Montpelier, Vermont:
>http://vhj-essays.blogspot.com/2003_09_01_vhj-essays_archive.html#106471972129849567

>
>
>As featured on the Vermont Homeless Journal Essays Blog:
>http://vhj-essays.blogspot.com
>
>=======
>
>Note:
>
>The Vermont Homeless Journal Essays Blog is the blog page for any of the 
>longer original articles, commentary, columns or essays concerning 
>homelessness and related matters, which have been authored and blogged by 

>individual writers and bloggers of the Vermont Homeless Journal (VHJ) team

>blog.
>
>All Rights, concerning written material posted on the VHJ blog(s), revert 

>and belong solely to their individual author(s). If their e-mail address is

>not provided along with their writing, e-mail VHJ for further info or to be

>put in contact with an individual writer and VHJ blogger.
>
>-------End of forward-------
>
>Morgan <norsehorse@hotmail.com>
>Morgan W. Brown
>Montpelier Vermont USA
>Norsehorse's Home Turf: http://nht.blogspot.com
>
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