Here is the crash course, should you dare to take it!
FOR ONE MONTH:
You are cut off from just about everyone you used to know, including your friends, co-workers, and family. They won't speak to you. They are ashamed of you. They will not help you. You've been abandoned. In most cases, if you had a loving family you would not be on the street.
You have no cell phone, no land line. You can make out calls at a phone booth but can get no incoming calls. Forget job hunting.
You go to a Foodbank twice a week and they give you bags of uncooked rice and dried beans and even meat from Trader Joes - which you cannot cook. So you eat a lot of canned goods - peaches, pears, green beans, tuna. Also day old bread and reject cakes and pies from Ralphs... You rapidly gain a gut - too much sugar,salt, fat.
Afraid to sleep at night? You can sleep sitting up in a chair at the downtown branch of the Los Angeles Public library.
Keep moving - you are a transient after all - that or you're loitering - and you can be arrested for that!You decide a shelter is the way to go. At the shelter someone who does not own a can opener or a sleeping bag steals yours!
Tough! Your lover wants to be with you tonight! But she must sleep in the woman's section of the shelter. No sex! Guess what? Your children and wife to be ex are there too - across the room. You can hear them whimpering but you can't go to their side.
Don't think sleeping in your car, van, RV, or any vehicle is the solution. IT'S ILLEGAL to live out of or sleep in a vehicle. Never mind that the waiting list for Section 8 housing is years long or that no one would rent to you jobless!
You're caught smoking 19 feet from a public building. We can't inhale that second hand smoke, you know. So LAPD officers use this to demand your driver's liscence and wouldn't you know, you have an UNPAID PARKING TICKET!
You're arrested, thrown in jail, released on your promise that you'll show up in court, but you skip out of that too, since you have no money to pay the ticket and are afraid of what might happen to you in jail. You wear clothes from a church donation bag, but that's not why passerbys think you're a BUM.
It's cause you are unshaven and you stink.
You might be able to sink bath sneaking it in a public rest room, but we mean SNEAK! If you are tired, hungry,frightened or depressed, too damn bad!
Maybe you can try to get on SSDI without a lawyer or get yourself to a public hospital where you'll find a doctor who thinks you ought to be medicated for anxiety or depression!
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