Over the next three days, I’d like to share with you the stories of three homeless people I met at the Point-In-Time Count event we held at The Ministerial Alliance on Thursday, January 21, 2016. Each of the men and women I talk with are living in survival mode every day. Most San Angeloans have no idea of what I mean by “living in survival mode every day.”
Let me give everyone a few examples of what I am talking about:
- Time happens only in the present. The future only exists as a word. Time is not measured but assigned based on the emotional significance (lunch time, time to take my meds, and time to catch the bus, e.g.).
- When you can merely survive, having a cell phone is the only entertainment or distraction in your day.
- You only have friends upon whom you can depend, and those relationships are important for survival.
- A job is only about making enough to survive. A job is not about a career or saving for emergencies.
My recollections and observations reflect a brief half-hour or slightly longer conversation and not an in-depth interview or survey. Each person had already completed the PIT Count survey before I talked with them.
Based on what you read about each person over the next three days, I would like to present you with a challenge. I would ask everyone who reads these posts to think about what and when we, as a community, could have done to prevent or at least diminish the impact to their current circumstances. If we get enough people talking about these stories and posting comments, we may just be able to figure out how to close the existing gaps in supports and services in San Angelo for people experiencing homelessness and people at-risk of becoming homeless.