My Christmas story for Literotica this year is about a homeless Veteran. That’s right, folks, leave it to Tara Neale to right a romance where the hero is a homeless man. I won’t tell you anymore though, because I want you to go read and vote. But I will tell you a secret (do I have many left?)…I have been homeless before.
My first ex…the preacher, though he was not at that time…had lost his job due to his depression. We had tried staying with his father, my sperm donor and then my mother. Our car had been repossessed and we had replaced it was a used one bought with our tax refund that year. Oh, I forgot to mention…our oldest was about six months old at the time.
I decided that while the ex recovered I would go back to dancing…i.e. stripping. The best place to do that was Charleston…near the Navy base. So we packed up that used car and what was left of our tax refund and headed out. It should have been enough to get us a cheap motel for a week while I worked and we saved money for something more permanent.
But just as we arrived in Charleston, right after I landed a job, the water pump went out on car. It took all of our hotel money. Now I was supposed to be at the club that night for seven. Long story short…we spent two weeks in a homeless shelter with our infant son. Me working until three every night. Then having to be up and doing various things around the shelter during the day.
We were lucky though. My tits were still impressive enough that within two weeks we had saved up enough that through the connections of the people at the shelter, we found a place we could afford. It was a one room attic apartment. But it was good enough for the few months we stayed in Charleston before moving on to Houston’s booming oil titty bars.
I have never forgotten how that felt. Living by other people’s rules. Off charity. Having no privacy. And like I said we were LUCKY. At least, we were not living in our car or on the streets. But being homeless is one of the most humiliating things that a human being can face. Even in the best of circumstances.
- Without Dignity.
About the only person I would wish it on is a few Presidential candidates (and British politicians too), who think they know it all.
It is so easy to turn your head. Look down on this person. I mean…why don’t they just get a job like the rest of us? But even if they did…have you checked out the prices of rental properties in a few places? How do you keep a job, go into work every day presentable when you have to wash up in public bathrooms and probably don’t own much more than a change of clothes?
The issue of homelessness is not that simple though. There are many factors…domestic violence, alcoholism, mental health and like the hero in my story…Veterans are especially vulnerable to becoming homeless. It is estimated that in the US around 10% of the homeless population are Veterans. That does not sound like much…until you consider that in our all-volunteer military less than 1% of the population chose to serve. That means that our Vets are TEN times as likely to become homeless, folks.
Now do I advocate doing like my heroine and picking someone off the street, bringing them home for a shower, washing their clothes and feeding them Christmas dinner? There are worse things you could do. But you don’t need to go that far to make a difference. Here are a few simple ideas…
- Buy them a cup of coffee…WARNING: I tried do this the other week and the manager at the Holloway Road Costa (next to Argos) in London would NOT sell me one. She said it would just encourage THAT type of people to come there. I told her that was fine because I would not be coming there any more.
- Pick up an extra burger while you are in the fast food line…it costs so little. Better yet…take your nutritious, hot, homemade leftovers to them…if like me they live on the corner near you. But do it regularly.
- Instead of throwing away that old coat/blanket/sweater or giving it to a huge charity that makes so much money on other people’s junk and only a small bit of it makes it into the hands of those in need…wash it and take to them.
- Use the tips in this article to make them Care Packages.
- Yes, give them your change too. And before you get all high and mighty on me…they are just going to use it to buy beer. Let me ask you…you have never done that? After a tough day or week at the office, you have NEVER hit the bars or gone out with the girls/guys? You have never drowned the sorrows of the latest break-up in the bottle? Well, who are you to judge them?
And if all of that is still too damned much to ask…can you spare a smile? That’s right…look this person in the eye, smile and say hello. Give them back their dignity as a human being.
Are they going to ask you for money? Probably. But most of the time if you say you don’t have it…they say ‘bless you.’ They can offer you a blessing when they have nothing? You tell me who is poor in that situation.
Do I practice what I preach? Follow me sometime and find out for yourself.