What Does It Feel Like to Be Homeless?

Reblogger Dena Stevens
Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Canon Land & Investment

Please read this all the way down to the bottom. Deb Hurt writes from the heart and this is a great example of her heart.

IF YOU PREFER TO JUST GIVE MONEY TO HOUSE THE HOMELESS GO HERE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE HOUSE THAT ACTIVE RAIN IS BUILDING. WE ONLY HAVE $125.00 donated so far to build one of these homes in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans. A lot of people were made homeless through no fault of their own and now for $150,000 a great sustainable home designed to be both green and safe can be built to replace those homes. There are enough AR members to build a house if everyone gave less than the price of one Big Mac....

Today is election day and we are all excited about what is to come. But let us not forget what is in front of us.

Original content by Deb Hurt

I was intrigued by an article in the NEW MEXICO BUSINESS WEEKLY about a local organization that assists the homeless to gain the skills, the assistance and the confidence they need to reclaim their lives. The event is billed as a STREET RETREAT and is being used mostly by spiritually based groups to encourage people to understand at a deeper level what it really feels like to be homeless. The retreat is described as an intentional placement of people into a situation in which they are groundless and anything might happen. The difference,for most situations, is that there is usually a facilitator who is watching out for the participants and these participants know that this is a limited time experience for them- they will go back to wherever it is they came from to have the experience but most of them go back as changed people. For the most part, the groups who are sponsoring these events are also using them not only as a fund raiser but as a tool for people to explore their own spiritual grounding. For this reason and because they are there by choice it may seem to be an inauthentic experience.

Here is an article from a participant in an Ottowa Street Retreat about her experience. It may surprise you.

These events are taking place in many communities around the country and in different variations around the world. The aim is not only to raise money for the charity sponsoring the event but to have people really experience living on the street without options. Anyone who has been the victim of an event like some of the large California wildfires or Hurricane Katrina can tell you what it feels like better than most. Just think for a moment about how well you, or most people you know would do at even following the directions given on the website of the Peacemaker Institute to prepare for going on a Street Retreat:

Do not shave, nor wash your hair for five days prior to the retreat. This will also start your street experience prior to leaving home.

  1. Wear old clothes, as many layers as you feel appropriate for the time of year, and do not bring any change of clothes for the retreat, except for an extra pair of socks.

  2. Wear good, but not new, walking shoes.

  3. Bring one piece of Photo ID only, your Driver's License or a State I.D. with your picture on it.

  4. Do not bring any money (except for one-way bus fare from Boulder to Denver - approx. $3.85), illegal drugs, alcohol, weapons, or cell phones.

  5. Do not wear any jewelry, including earrings and watches.

Besides the clothes you are wearing, bring only an empty bag (shopping, plastic) or small (not new) day pack for collecting food from shelters, etc. You should not bring any books, conveniences, etc.

A lot of us, and a lot of people we know would never make it past the first instruction without considerable discomfort- and for us it would be a choice - which it is not for many homeless people. Many of us believe we can't even go on vacation without taking a cell phone. Imagine life with no access to a telephone at all unless you can talk someone into letting you use theirs or beg money from someone for a pay phone. Meals come from a soup kitchen, or are shared by whomever has been able to get food that day. Some of it is from the trash if that's all there is. If you want to participate in an upcoming Street Retreat in Albuquerque,you can find information here about St. Martin's Hospitality Center and their upcoming retreat at the end of January.

IF YOU PREFER TO JUST GIVE MONEY TO HOUSE THE HOMELESS GO HERE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE HOUSE THAT ACTIVE RAIN IS BUILDING. WE ONLY HAVE $125.00 donated so far to build one of these homes in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans. A lot of people were made homeless through no fault of their own and now for $150,000 a great sustainable home designed to be both green and safe can be built to replace those homes. There are enough AR members to build a house if everyone gave less than the price of one Big Mac....

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Dena Stevens

Putting The Real Into Realtor Since 2004
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