It is very easy for me to get stuck in a rut. Actually, it’s a symptom of my particular mental health condition – once I develop a routine for myself, I rarely veer away from it. It is something I really need to break from, so that I can live a fuller life, including leaving homelessness for good.
I stay at the Alpha Project tent shelter. When I get up in the morning, I go either to Starbucks for coffee, or to McDonalds for breakfast. There, I get online, work on the blog, answer emails, and do other internet things. Then, around noon, I walk a ways down to Subway for lunch. I have gift cards from people for Subway. I then return to either Subway or McDonalds to get back online until I’m ready to go back to the shelter for the night. Yes, there are some variations to this routine, but this is the basics of my day. It’s a very small world I am living in. I have been breaking from this routine for things like replacing the various items lost when my wallet was stolen. I’ve got about half of those things back. I’m now thinking of just waiting until the first of next month (less than a week away) to get the other things, as those things will cost money to get – birth certificate and state ID – 50 dollars for the two. At the first of the month I will get my SSI check. I have about 50 dollars right now, thanks to some blog donations. But I think I should hold on to that right now, just in case something comes up. Yes, I know that I could go to a homeless service provider for that money to replace my IDs, but I just don’t feel right doing that when I can afford it myself. Those places operate with limited funding, and there are others they can help, who are having a harder time than I am.
I have the support of some very good/nice/smart/compassionate/generous people. And that is something that many other homeless people don’t have. Yes, there are other homeless people who receive help from family, and other sources, something that I don’t have. We are all trying to do the best we can with what we are blessed with. Yet some people have no blessings what so ever. It is interesting, and inspiring to see how the more fortunate homeless tend to help/assist the less fortunate homeless. Still, we are talking about people with extremely limited resources and who don’t have much to share. And since they are all living in abject poverty, the temptation to take what is not offered is strong among many of them.
When I first arrived in San Diego, I was blogging more often. That happened because I had more time to blog. There is no wifi in the tent shelter, and since I have a curfew to be back in the tent by 8 pm, it cuts my blogging time by one third. The trade off is that I’m more rested physically, and that’s a good thing. And for the fact that several in the tent have sticky fingers, I don’t feel comfortable pulling out my laptop in front of the masses living there. Yes, there are several people living in the tent who have laptops, and use them every day there, but doing so is a risk. I have a hard enough time when I’m at McDonalds and someone from the tent sees me working on my laptop. I do lock down everything I own each night. Hopefully that will be enough.
I still have a lingering cough from the cold I had a while back. I also have either an abscessed tooth, or an infected sinus cavity – perhaps it’s both. It doesn’t really hurt, but I can feel the pressure just under my cheek.
The condition of the showers and sink at the tent is awful and so I’m reluctant to use them. So, I just try to not get to sweaty and shower just once every 3 days. And I do things like brushing my teeth and wash my face in the restrooms of Starbucks or McDonalds. At the tent there is a row of portajohns, but they too are poorly maintained, and the place reeks from the smell of them. Yet because both men and women stay in the tent, we are required to do things like change clothes out in the portajohns. But that’s a bad situation too because the men at the tent have notoriously bad aim. Not only are the portajohns very small and hard to move around in, it’s hard to use them and not come out dirtier than you went in. And yet, these portajohns are in better condition than the 2 public restrooms offered by the city. Now, there is one clean facility that I’ve seen, and that is at the Neil Good Day Center. The problem with that place is that its location is about as far away from things as they can get, and the lines there are very long, and security is intimidating.
In a while I’m going to leave this McDonalds to go down to 4th Ave to do a load of laundry. It’s getting cool enough here to require long pants, I’ve been wearing short for a while. One thing I need to get on the first when the SSI check comes is another pair of jeans. It does get cool in San Diego in the winter. Eventually I’ll need to get a coat too. Now that I’m in the shelter and can store things under my bed, I can collect a few more things that I need. The plan is to get out of the shelter and into an apartment by Christmas. OK, so much for my rambling here.