I am a child... by Tom Gomez

Coalition on Homelessness, SF (coh@sfo.com)
Wed, 1 Dec 1999 20:30:16 -0800


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I am a child...
a child of America.

 From the day I was born,
the government paid.
For the roach-infested apartment my mom lived in,
the government paid.
For the silver surplus food cans we lugged in,
the government paid.
For the social workers who were always trying to prove my mom didn't 
have a man to help her pay the rent,
the government paid.
To let us eat when the cans were empty,
the government paid.
For the jail cells they put her man in when he got drunk and noisy 
and they found him,
the government paid.
For the workers who tried to take us kids,
the government paid.
To give me a label at age nine (the first time I was homeless),
the government paid.
For the lawyers and courts and probation that dominated my childhood,
the government paid.
For the repeated tours I did in state hospitals for addiction,
the government paid.

Today I'm a man.
The government has a cell with my name on it.
They're ready to pay.
Yeah, I'm ready for them to pay, too.
Not for their stinking cell,
they can shove that cell up Governor Davis' ass.
But I want them to pay all right.
For all the roach-infested hotels children live in,
I want the government to pay.
For all the children who go to bed hungry at the end of each month,
I want the government to pay.
For all the families that the government tears apart,
I want the government to pay.
For giving birth to generations of addicts,
I want the government to pay.
For stripping me of my cultural heritage through assimilation without 
integrating me,
I want the government to pay.
For making me an addict without accepting addiction as a disability,
I want the government to pay.
For spawning multi-generational cycles of family violence and mental 
illnesses that were and are life-long,
I want the government to pay.

More than this -
since the government always reminds me how much it costs to provide 
these services to me all my life -
I want to repay.
For all the nights I spend in a cell,
I want to repay our government,
to repay in full.
Every night I wake up with a rock for a pillow,
go to bed hungry,
get thrown in another mental hospital,
(because after a lifetime of this shit I spend more time wanting to 
die than most people)
I really want them to pay,
and not in money, either.

Most of all,
I want to collect.
I want to collect,
and I want to collect personally.

And I know I'm not alone.

Tom Gomez














END FORWARD

**In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material
is distributed without charge or profit to those who have
expressed a prior interest in receiving this type of information
for non-profit research and educational purposes only.**



*******************************************************
HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK <http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn>
6,000+ POSTS by or via homeless & ex-homeless people
Nothing About Us Without Us - Democratize Public Policy
*******************************************************

chance martin
Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco
468 Turk St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
vox: (415) 346.3740
Fax: (415) 775.5639
coh@sfo.com
http://www.sfo.com/~coh
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HOMELESS PEOPLE'S VIEWS, News, Alerts, Actions & Research

6,000+ ONLINE POSTS by or via homeless & ex-homeless people

HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn

***********************************************************


<fontfamily><param>Courier_New</param>I am a child...

a child of America.


>From the day I was born,

the government paid.

For the roach-infested apartment my mom lived in,

the government paid.

For the silver surplus food cans we lugged in,

the government paid.

For the social workers who were always trying to prove my mom didn't
have a man to help her pay the rent,

the government paid.

To let us eat when the cans were empty,

the government paid.

For the jail cells they put her man in when he got drunk and noisy and
they found him,

the government paid.

For the workers who tried to take us kids,

the government paid.

To give me a label at age nine (the first time I was homeless),

the government paid.

For the lawyers and courts and probation that dominated my childhood,

the government paid.

For the repeated tours I did in state hospitals for addiction,

the government paid.


Today I'm a man.

The government has a cell with my name on it.

They're ready to pay.

Yeah, I'm ready for them to pay, too.

Not for their stinking cell,

they can shove that cell up Governor Davis' ass.

But I want them to pay all right.

For all the roach-infested hotels children live in,

I want the government to pay.

For all the children who go to bed hungry at the end of each month,

I want the government to pay.

For all the families that the government tears apart,

I want the government to pay.

For giving birth to generations of addicts,

I want the government to pay.

For stripping me of my cultural heritage through assimilation without
integrating me,

I want the government to pay.

For making me an addict without accepting addiction as a disability,

I want the government to pay.

For spawning multi-generational cycles of family violence and mental
illnesses that were and are life-long,

I want the government to pay.


More than this -

since the government always reminds me how much it costs to provide
these services to me all my life -

I want to repay. 

For all the nights I spend in a cell,

I want to repay our government,

to repay in full.

Every night I wake up with a rock for a pillow,

go to bed hungry,

get thrown in another mental hospital,

(because after a lifetime of this shit I spend more time wanting to die
than most people)

I really want them to pay,

and not in money, either.


Most of all,

I want to collect.

I want to collect,

and I want to collect personally.


And I know I'm not alone.


Tom Gomez















</fontfamily>END FORWARD


**In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material

is distributed without charge or profit to those who have

expressed a prior interest in receiving this type of information

for non-profit research and educational purposes only.**




*******************************************************

HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn>

6,000+ POSTS by or via homeless & ex-homeless people

Nothing About Us Without Us - Democratize Public Policy

*******************************************************

chance martin

Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco

468 Turk St.

San Francisco, CA 94102

vox: (415) 346.3740

Fax: (415) 775.5639

coh@sfo.com

http://www.sfo.com/~coh

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