Today had more than it’s share of “GRRRR” moments for me. Nothing bothers me more than people who say incorrect things about homeless people, or homelessness in general. It becomes worse when I approach them with a fair correction of what they said, and they deny that they said anything wrong. (I have a way of putting people on the defensive. – I blame my Asperger’s for that.) But wrong is wrong, and if not corrected, “wrong” can fester and grow into all sorts of inaccuracies. And those inaccuracies can have dire consequences for homeless people. It’s this ignorance about the realities of homelessness that is the biggest obstacle for people trying to leave homelessness.
Demolition of a homeless camp in Nashville started today, and the public radio station was reporting on the issue, unnecessarily painting the homeless who had resided there in a negative light. There is a homeless advocate calling himself the “Homeless Teacher” who doesn’t fact check the things he’s “teaching” people, and he takes credit for information about homelessness as if he was the one who discovered or created the information. Things that I had written about 10 years ago, he puts in memes with his logo on it. And, there’s some guy in north county San Diego who claims to have the cure for homelessness, but really all he’s doing is exploiting the labor of homeless people. He gets them to work on his farm with no pay and calls it rehabilitation. That’s got to be illegal.
Seeing all these things today has really put a damper on my otherwise cheery disposition. I feel it in my gut, like someone punched me. It’s depressing. The worst part of it is that there’s really nothing I can do to stop these things, these people, from doing what they’re doing – and the world stays as shitty as it’s always been.