Homeless Nashville

How do you describe being homeless? Growing up in a middle class family, doing all the right things. Then one day, you are on the street.What Happens now?

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Location: Nashville, Tennessee, United States

Now that I am no longer homeless, I still hope to help others. There are a few who truly want off the streets, out of the soup lines. Back to a "normal" way of living. Everyone who is homeless isn't a bum, nor a criminal. There are those that just need a chance. My first day as a homeless person was April 1st, 1997. From then on its been an unreal experience. Not one I would suggest anyone go thru, but one I know I have learned from. I hope in some way this blog helps you, the reader know a little about me. But more important , I hope it helps you understand a little more about homeless people in general.

1.21.2005

My Story Part Four

I didn't hang around the mission during the day. I was always out looking for work.
Back at the old mission( they have changed the rules now) a person could go in at 10 pm. After they had their evening service and assigned beds to those who attended their religious service.
I have to stop and say that, the religious service they put on is supposed to be non-denonminational. Although the head man has said numerous times that "the Pope is going to hell".
I would wait outside with others who didn't want to attend the service, some who were high on drugs or alcohol. When it was cold , there were a couple of the supervisiors who would let us in early. Some who seemed to drag their feet also.
Now the mission has different rules.
You have to attend evening service to get a bed and to get breakfast the next morning. They don't let anyone in for breakfast that didn't stay there the night before.
Also on Sundays , you have to attend their noon service to gut the noon meal.
Back when I first got there, it was hard to stay , but I didn't know anything about being on the street. Someone should make a handbook! I made friends with a gentleman , who was outside most nights waiting to get in as I was. He aksed one day if I would like to work. Well I jumped at the chance and didn't bother to ask what it was I would be doing or what it paid.
He took me and a few others to the Municipal Auditorium. Cleanup after a concert. We got $40. The Manager of the cleanup crew , J I will call her, told me to come back anytime, And I did. Everytime the Auditorium had anything going on I worked. Many weeks I worked as much or more than the full timers they had there.
About everyone at the place got to know me and I not only got to enjoy the shows, many times I was asked to work the shows as well as clean up afterwards. A plus for me.
Along about this time I also learned about the Flea Market at the State Fairgrounds once a month.
People who were setting up to sell would hire guys like me to help them unload their goods on Fridays, then load them back up on Sundays. I got a few regular customers there and usually walked away with about $250 for the weekend. I was wishing they had the flea market every weekend!
I actually was able to get a room in a boarding house for a short time. It was clean, sort of quiet, and all I could afford.
Shortly thereafter the management of the cleanup crew changed and they quit letting homeless come in, and hired thru a temp agency. And the temp agency had their own picks, and I wasn't one of them.
WIth only my money from the Fairgrounds coming in, it was back to the Mission.
Thats how it seems to be with those struggling to get off the streets. You make one step forward and get set back two steps.


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