The Question: Do I tell my friends I’m homeless?

Well, obviously, by letting people know of the existence of this blog I have told some of my friends, but only a few.

So far I’ve noticed 2 reactions from the people I’ve told. And keep in mind that these are the few people that I thought would accept the situation and be supportive, ie. not that many people.

First is the “oh that’s too bad! here’s a website about homeless shelters, give them a call and I’m sure they can help you.” And then they sort of disappear. Poof. Gone.  My thought is that they’re scared. Not of *me*, of the situation. Many people today are living paycheck to paycheck. The image of the Great Depression is played all around us, in the newspapers, on TV, in the rise of women with children begging at intersections.  I think maybe these people are afraid that homelessness may rub off on them. I don’t hold it against them, fear isn’t rational.

Second is the “huh. so any idea what you’re going to do?” Which leads to a conversation about my camper top and building skills and safety ideas and general brainstorming. That reaction is not only useful, but supportive. There isn’t any judgement, no heaping servings of pity, just acceptance and discussion of how to make the things I’m making happen, well, happen.

There is also a third reaction, but I’ve been very careful to mostly avoid this one so far. The one from acquaintances, relatives, busybodies, and so on. The reaction that if you’re homeless it’s because you’re lazy, or greedy (strange that one but true), or crazy, or you just don’t want a job bad enough.

This third reaction always makes me angry. I know I shouldn’t get angry, but I do.  Truthfully, I wonder if the third reaction isn’t based on fear as well. But you know what? I don’t care what it’s based on. I’m not going to tell anyone that I think will react in this manner. I’m sure they will find out, but by then I expect to be settled in whatever routine I devise and be well on the way to proving to myself that I can live and succeed at what I think is important no matter what they think of me.

So who would you tell? Anyone? Would their probable reaction impact your decision to tell them? Would you actively hide it from anyone? Lie, or mislead with vague comments (“Oh, I’m staying with some friends”), to people you know?

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  1. Anonymous

     /  September 27, 2011

    I’m not sure I’d tell many people. It’s not a matter of pride. It’d just be a matter of having enough on my plate to deal with w/o having to spend the energy corralling them and their reactions.

  2. Yeah… that’s sort of where I’ve come down on it too.
    I was thinking it’d be nice to have people (the supportive people, not the negative people *grin*) be able to leave comments; to remind me that I’m still connected to the world, show me that there are still other people dealing with daily frustrations and joys.
    But I figure that it’d probably be the grumpy judging people that would leave most of the comments and that would be something I don’t need to be spending energy on. You are correct.
    See, your comment was useful! Well done. : D


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