Re: Homeless computer wiz builds Web site FWD

Theodore Latham (
Thu, 18 Jun 1998 15:44:11 PDT


   I'm up to my ears in backlogged e-mail, but I had to say something 
about this posting because I fully concer with what the young man had to 
say, particularly when he stated:

>"For anybody to say you can't work while you're homeless, they're 
wrong, You can do it. I've done it. I even slept right there at my 
workplace's doorstep."

   I've slept on the doorsteps of nearly every job I ever applied for 
during those times I was just coming into a new city, fresh off the road 
from a hitchhiking trip or journey.

>"They have to become more effective in cleaning themselves up. If they 
want a job, they'll find it. But if they're sitting around waiting for 
something to come to them on a silver platter, they ain't gonna get 

    Since I was an addict, and usually wound up manipulating the drug 
dealers into fronting me a big package, and thus eventually had to get 
out of the city after misusing (rather using up) their products or 
expected cash, I was always thumbing my way to the next largest city 
that I knew i could easily find a day labor or temp service to work for! 
I always kept a college backpack with me wherever I may be, just in case 
I have to get out of town or for job impression purposes. I never waited 
for one to manifest itself ... I'd go to the library and look at the 
bulletin boards, and then I'll mingle with the "Seeker's of Betterment" 
type homeless people to find out where they get their income from! 
Whenever I wanted to work, I found a job, and kept it too, so I could 
continue to get high! Then next on the list was all of the social 
service and government monies that I new I qualified for! I can truly 
say, that if I weren't working to get high only, I'd have spent very 
little time under the status of 'HOMELESS'. Oh and I too, carried my 
razor and other needed hygiene materials with me at all times. Nuff 


Tedrico Latham

Your Informative Homelessness Resource Link!
P.O. Box 514 Rich Square, NC 27869 (252)539-4228

----------------- BEGIN NEWS ARTICLE --------------
>FWD  San Jose [CA] Mercury News - Tuesday, June 16, 1998
>     By Vanessa Arrington - Riverside Press-Enterprise
>RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Harold E. Roosa III is technologically savvy. He 
>his way around the Internet and has launched a business designing World
>Wide Web pages.
>What makes Roosa unique is that he also is homeless.
>Clean-shaven, articulate and soft-spoken, the 35-year-old Roosa is far 
>the homeless stereotype. He said he does not drink or do drugs, and he 
>unwaveringly focused on getting back into ``regular'' society.
>``I'm very persistent,'' Roosa said. ``I don't give up.''
>When he is not out searching for work at a restaurant or convenience 
>Roosa can be found in a public computer cluster with his eyes glued to 
>computer screen. His favorite spots are the University of California,
>Riverside's Tomas Rivera Library and the UCR-California Museum of
>Photography, which offers free admission on Wednesdays.
>While on the computer, Roosa updates his own Web pages - which 
>his business - and designs pages for his customers, of which there are 
>so far. He is starting up a new Web site for people to submit and view
>personal advertisements. Roosa's main Web site can be accessed at:
>Roosa said he became homeless in October, when his landlord at a 
>apartment unexpectedly raised the rent from $280 to $380 a month, he 
>He lived in the Salvation Army's Circle of Hope shelter in Corona for 
>maximum 30 days, then slept in the National Guard Armory when it was 
>Now, home is a nook at the Riverside Municipal Museum.
>Since he has been homeless, Roosa has continued to work at a number of
>temporary jobs.
>``For anybody to say you can't work while you're homeless, they're 
>Roosa said. ``You can do it. I've done it. I even slept right there at 
>workplace's doorstep.''
>The hard part is getting the job, as most potential employers are leery 
>hiring homeless people, he said.
>But Roosa is confident that his job-searching efforts, as well as his
>entrepreneurial ones, will pay off. Eventually. He said hard work is 
>key to making money and getting off the streets. The city cannot do 
>for him, he said.
>``It falls back on the homeless,'' Roosa said. ``They have to become 
>effective in cleaning themselves up. If they want a job, they'll find 
>But if they're sitting around waiting for something to come to them on 
>silver platter, they ain't gonna get it.''
>Roosa practices what he preaches. He carries around an electric razor 
>his backpack so he can shave at any time. And he possesses a solid work
>ethic, especially when he is on a computer.
>``On Wednesday he usually comes in by 11 a.m. and is here until 8 
>said Jennifer Christensen, manager of the store at the photography 
>``He'll get up and take a cigarette break, but other than that he's 
>all day.''
>That is fine with Jonathan Green, the museum director. The point of the
>Internet Gallery, created in 1993, is to provide access to a wide 
>of people. So as long as others are not waiting, Roosa can work all 
>Green said.
>``He does act like this is his office,'' Christensen said. ``He always 
>'I have work to do.' Then he just types madly.''
>A native of Massachusetts who graduated from high school in Kansas and 
>lived all over the South, Roosa came to Riverside in 1994 from Florida 
>escape what he described as the prejudice and narrow-mindedness of that
>``I don't think there's as much discrimination against the homeless in
>Riverside as some other places,'' Roosa said. ``Of course, there are 
>nasty, belligerent people who are even scared of the homeless. Their
>perception of the homeless is that they are no-good, stinking bums.
>``But that's the perception of most people, wherever you go. It doesn't
>make a difference if it's this city or any other city.''
>So Roosa is concentrating his energy on becoming employed and escaping 
>homeless status.
>``There's nothing to say I can't get back off the streets,'' Roosa 
>``One of these days I will find a job.''
>** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this 
material is
>distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest 
>receiving the included information for research and educational 
purposes. **
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