It's here at last. Bookshelves overflow with books about homelessness, but only Humble Harv's Homeless Handbook tells you how to be homeless. This is an essential survival guide for the new or soon to be homeless. Life boils down to basics when you are homeless. Let Humble Harv help make your tragedy into a fun filled romp. On second thought, let's not get our hopes up. Still, you'll be drier and eat more often !
Yes, it's the first handbook for the homeless written by the homeless. In this case, your humble servant. Before I continue let me make a few things perfectly clear. Yes, I am homeless, living, so-to-speak, in So. California. No, this isn't a joke, I don't find my situation or homelessness in general to be fun or funny. 'Cuz it ain't. However, maintaining a sense of humor has been about the only thing that's kept me from taking a long, cold, swim. Believe me, I have thought about it. Try to remember that if you are among the humor impaired.
All the lessons and tips contained here are very real and sadly serious. Learned by yours truly through painful experience, observation or listening to tales from other pioneers on the homeless frontier.
My intentions in writing this are two-fold. First, to provide a perspective that you are unlikely to find elsewhere. You can read all the facts, figures and statistics you want, but a first hand account is in many cases far more enlightening. It' an experience that has certainly been an eye opener for me. So, I offer these writings in part as a genuine survival guide and a means to shed some light on exactly what it means to be homeless and the day-to-day challenges faced by the homeless. Also, to a lesser degree a social commentary. Frankly, considering the wealth and talent available in this nation it is a disgrace, let me repeat, a DISGRACE, that there should be homeless people on our streets.
Secondly, to attempt to secure employment. Huh? Employment? Don't I mean handout? Donation? Hey buddy gotta quarter? No, I mean employment. You know, a J-O-B. A novel concept where I bring my skills and services to bear in another's employ thereby increasing their profits. In exchange they give me money. A job.
Accordingly, there is no means on this site for you to send me anything.
No mailing address (Even if I had one.), no PayPal etc. Nothing. You will find an email address for those who can make offers in regards to potential employment or have questions, but that is all.
I make a special point of the above because there is at least one enterprising (IMHO) con-artist/panhandler who seeks "donations" via his blog. Ain't technology grand? Cyber Panhandling!
A final observation and thought on this before I move on. On his site, which he didn't even build, he mentions having several job offers that "I'm probably not qualified for." Huh?
If someone makes me a genuine job offer with a living wage, qualified or not, I'll make myself qualified and more. Seems to me all he has done is furnish further proof that a panhandler looking for work is an oxymoron.
With that said, you won't be surprised to find very little in the way of poor, poor, pitiful me prose. I'm not looking for pity, I'm looking for opportunity.
Trust me, I feel plenty sorry for myself without spreading it around.
Furthermore, wrapping the pity of others around me like a nice warm crying towel does nothing to achieve my goals. I will, one way or another, climb out of this pit I've fallen into. I will fight my way back to the kind of life I had before. I will resume the pursuit of my goals and dreams. I will keeping scraping, pushing, pounding and clawing until I succeed. Failure is not an option and I will not be defeated.
For those of you just searching for homeless statistics, or homeless facts etc. I've provided the handy facts link above. Ain't I grand? This site is more along the lines of personal experience in coping with homelessness and surviving homelessness. I'm not sure what California's homeless statistics are but from what I've seen there are plenty of homeless even here in Orange County. But I digress, more about the topics:
Here are the topics already posted and those planned for the future.
One 'topic' not listed that I will in time address, is what I believe is wrong with current 'solutions' to the homeless problem. Of specific interest is the apparent fact that most homeless services are 1) Far too centralized, and 2) geared almost exclusively for the chronic homeless while having next to nothing to offer the individual (like myself) who hit a deep pot hole in the road of life and wants to get back on the road. I never point out a problem without offering possible solutions, so naturally I'll detail those solutions as well.
I will also cover panhandling and why you should NEVER give money to a panhandler. This is not to say you can't or shouldn't give money to the homeless, just not panhandlers. The hows, whys and wherefores.
And of course, I'll be happy to answer your questions as best I can.