For the past couple years I had been reconnecting with people from my hometown of San Diego, old friends from the neighborhood and from school. Things in San Diego that drove me away no longer have a hold on me. I thought what it would be like to see San Diego again, this time from my own perspective, free from the dark cloud that followed me in those days. There was potential that this time around I’d actually enjoy living here. Though these first days have been rough, things are actually looking pretty good.
I have a plan, and a back-up plan, for getting off the streets. And I have plans for once I’m off the streets. Although things don’t always work out they way a person would expect, there are still options available to me here, that can help me achieve my goals. I’m not revealing those goals – not at this time – it could be one of those things that stays a “nunya bizness” thing.
For some reason I didn’t think about the timing of my new homelessness. When I arrived in San Diego, 9:30am Saturday, it was at the start of a three day holiday weekend. Weekends are usually bad for homeless people, worse than weekdays. The extra holiday only makes things worse. Homelessfacilities take holidays just like everyone else, and so it happens that on holidays there are much fewer services available to the homeless. So, being that I was new to town, and not knowing anything about San Diego’s homeless services, it made for an excruciating first 3 days homeless.
As for the homeless people in San Diego, the thing I noticed almost immediately was their overall demeanor, they seem more congenial that the homeless in Nashville. There seems to be a lot of anger and hostility brewing just under the surface within Nashville’s homeless population. So, now I’m thinking it’s more a cultural thing. (Jerry Springer got many of his show’s guests from middle Tennessee.) I assumed that all the griping, complaining, and fighting among the homeless in Nashville was just a way of venting, of relieving the stress of being homeless. But if that is true, why is it that San Diego’s homeless are noticeably more quiet and reserved? Certainly, the homeless here have their issues, but arrested emotional development doesn’t seem to be one of them.
Some years ago, I attempted to relocate to San Diego in the same mannor but it didn’t go so well. One of the big problems was the lack of free wifi. Things have changed since. With Starbucks and McDonalds at the lead, free wifi is now the norm. If a restaurant offers wifi, it will be free. Thank you San Diego, there would be no blog for y’all to be reading, without it.
Twice now, I have gone to the entrance of a homeless shelter, hoping for a chance to get in and have a bed for the night, and twice I’ve been turned away, along with several other people. I will go there again tonight, and each night, until I get in. That is, until the 17th. On that day I will go to an assessment meeting to see if I qualify for a different shelter. I think I have a good chance of getting in there. But, that assessment is still 10 days away. I’ve got the basics. I know what to expect, know there to go to get the things I need. Now it’s a waiting game. Now I’ll tread water until the rescue boat comes and saves me from this asphalt rip tide.