March 17, 2012


Trying to find a place to sleep at night is always a challenge as a homeless person. There are many things that you have to consider when you are ready to go to sleep at night.

First of all the weather, you certainly want to find a spot that will provide a certain amount of cover from rain, if it suddenly starts raining at 2am. I was the victim of getting soaked in the middle of the night more times than I care to think about. The only problem finding a place that has cover, 9 out of 10 times you are trespassing and are sleeping on a porch or near a vacant building. The vacant building option was my choice for a long time, I had a place that was dark and covered and thankfully the police didn't drive by it every night looking to find a homeless person to pick on.

Secondly, you need a place where you feel safe. Alot of people say there's safety in numbers when it comes to sleeping at night on the street. I never felt comfortable sleeping with a large group of people around me. Alot of times you were stuck in a group of drinkers, smokers, or just plain loud assholes who would stay up most of the night doing the activities I just mentioned. So I simply would sleep by myself in a quite dark place. I knew that I was vulnerable to someone walking up on me and beating the shit out of me or worse. But my logic was, if I was in a large group sleeping the same thing could happen there also, and besides who says that just because you're in a large group that someone in that group is going to help you if some dumbshit decides to walk up and beat the shit out of you?

Another thing you need to consider when looking for a place at night, you want to stay out of the view of the police if at all possible. The police in most citys especially Fort Lauderdale, have a reputation for fucking with the homeless in the middle of the night. For some reason they get off waking people up at 2-3am and giving them a bunch of shit for sleeping. Hell, they even fuck with you when you are sleeping under a tree in daylight. I guess they feel that homeless men and women are without need of sleep and to them sleeping is a huge crime. I was woke up many night by cops that felt they needed to fuck with someone. And the dumbest thing about it, the first thing they ask you as soon as they wake you, "What you doing?". I was sleeping officer, but I guess its time for me to get up now and start the day. Thanks alot.

Finally, you want a place where you don't have to walk 10 miles to go to sleep each night and then have to walk that distance to go back into the downtown area. It's hard enough walking around all day, but then to have to walk a huge distance at night, that's a real bummer. I was fortunate to have a bike most of my time on the street, so I was able to travel easier, but for a lot of homeless walking is all they have and when you are burned out from all the daytime walking, you sure don't want to have to walk forever to get to a place to sleep at night.

Sleep tight my homeless friends.

March 16, 2012


As a homeless person you learn to bathe and do the things you need to do as the opportunity arises. Like a lot of the homeless most of my bath time came in the form of a sink in a public restroom. There is nothing quite like the cold water in the sink hitting your body at 6am.

Most of the time if I was lucky, I would find the handicap stall empty and I would have more room to bathe and do the things that I needed to do, such as shave and change clothing. But most mornings I had to use the sinks near the door of the bathroom and that meant a quick "Whore's Bath" where you basically take a wash rag or whatever you have to wash up with and you wash under your arms and various other locations on the body. The whole time, guys would be coming and going from the bathroom either looking at you like you were a fucking idiot or just in awe that a person had to stoop that low to get cleaned up in the morning.

I remember one morning I was washing up in a restroom and as I was trying to wash my hair some dick walked in and stole my backpack with all my clothes and the towel that I needed to dry my hair with. So after I rinsed my hair and realized I was without my bag, I had to use my dirty shirt I slept in that night to dry off with and wear the rest of the day. Not needing to say this but it wasn't exactly how you want to start your day. Actually any day that you have to start homeless isn't the way you want to start you day.

So, there I was in a soaking wet shirt, hair sticking up all over the place and I was now missing my backpack that had my radio, hygiene products and my clothes in it. I wander around the park to see if I could find my bag sitting by someone or on someone, but I had no luck. One of the guys I knew told me he seen a guy take off with it on a bike, so at that point I just chalked it up as a lesson learned. Never take your eyes off your bag for more than 30 seconds on the street, you will never see it again.

I just had to move on and try to replace the things that I lost that morning, which is quite difficult because those things I lost, alot of the people on the streets needed also. I eventually got a bag and my stuff  that I needed back together, but let me just say it was a total pain in the ass and to this day I hope whoever stole my stuff needed the stuff so badly that they had to steal it from me. I hope they had put it to good use.

March 15, 2012

Ziploc Girl

Like most of the homeless who have spent any significant amout of time on the street, you become bitter toward the rest of society. Not so much that you hate people but that you begin not to trust people.

I was always in fear of being rejected, laughed at, picked on, pushed around, you name it. People that have never been homeless or most likely will never become homeless tend to be really mean assholes toward homeless. Not all people but a large group of people are this way.
I remember many days sitting in the park or in the library hiding, because I didnt want people to know who I was or what I was about. I was afraid that somehow they would find a way to mistreat me with any little bit of information they could gather about me. So I rarely shared anything with people.

I can remember one time about 6 years ago, that I thought I could trust a person I met on the street with personal things about myself and that turned out to be a disaster. The dickhead decided to share everything I told him to people I didn't even know, and for weeks I get laughed at, fucked with and basically beaten down mentally.

For a long time after that I didn't want a thing to do with anyone, I just blew everyone and everything off, people didn't mean shit to me, and I didn't give a fuck what they thought about me. I felt abandoned, shamed, unwanted, you know all of the shitty feelings that we all hope that we never have to feel.

Then about a year later, I started going to a place in one of the local parks that fed the homeless. The first few weeks, I would just go there and grab a little ziploc bag and be on my way. But around the 3rd or 4th week I had this girl (who shall remain nameless) she knows who she is, that wandered up to me one night and started talking to me. I thought to myself "who the fuck does this girl think she is?" I was rather rude and told her to go away. And I left.

The following week, I went back to the park to get my little bag, and the girl I told the week before to go away, came to me with a bag in her hand and started chatting with me again. And like the week before I just walked away. But this time in the back of my mind, I was like, all she was trying to do was make me feel accepted, and I felt a little bit of guilt for treating her the way that I had.
The 3rd week I went to the park and she was once again there. She came right over to me with a bag in hand and sat down next to me, but this time she held the bag in her lap for a little bit, making have to sit with her and least listen to her. So, I sat there for about 45 minutes listening to her tell me about who she was, why she felt that I was the person she was meant to meet etc...

After her little chat with me, in which I hardly said two words to her, she gave me my bag, and told me that no matter what, she will always be my friend. That one sentence at first didn't seem like much to me, because I heard it before, but for some reason when I heard it from her, I just knew I wasn't going to be able to blow this girl off very easily. And you know what, I am glad that our lives came together in the park during a homeless feeding.

Today, I can talk to her about anything and she never judges me, she never makes fun of me, and even if she doesn't have the advice I need, she genuinely cares. And for that I will always love her, she means the world to me, and I would do anything for her.

Thank you my Ziploc Girl. You mean more to me than I can put into words.