Friday, August 31, 2012

Labor Day, Politics and Other Trivia

I've been concentrating this week on my Project Five-Star Blog, but I wanted to say a few words on everything that's happened over the last few days and will happen in the next few.

For the most part, I have been staying at the Healing Place of Wake County, as part of their emergency 'overnight' guests. The way it works is that those that want to stay there wait outside the SWSC at around 4pm, when a van comes to pick them up. I've seen upwards of 30 people waiting for that van, which I've seen hold up to 15 people. Two trips. And when I say the van holds up to 15 people, that's in the back. Imagine cramming that many people in the back of a van. I don't have to imagine, I've lived through it. And lived through the smell of that many people crammed together. Thankfully the trip only lasts 7-8 minutes tops.

Once we're there, we stand in line to check in, hand over our bags/backpacks to be thoroughly searched, and then hand over our ID's so that we can get a mattress with sheets and a blanket tucked inside the mattress. Then we have to find a bare spot on the floor to plunk down our mattress.

The best part of the visit comes at dinner, which is markedly better than at SWSC. I've seen half a chicken being served, though not all the time. They have a salad bar, and actual chairs as opposed to the benches at SWSC.

Sadly, the worst part of the visit for me is the floor. At SWSC the floor has a little 'give'. At the Healing Place, it's literally hard as a rock. Every time I've stayed there I wake up around 3am and my ribs hurt so bad I can't get back to sleep. It's that hard. Other than that, I'd love to stay there until I get into the program at SWSC.

Speaking of which, there are still more than a hundred names on the list to get into the program, and I'm far down that list. I go to the meetings every Monday, even though I risk not getting a bed that night. Even with a hundred names on the list, not everyone shows up for the meeting, for several reasons: First, if your name is low on the list, you probably won't get in unless you've never been in the program before. New guys get priority. Second, each person getting into the program is tested for drugs and alcohol. This has never been a problem for me, but it seems quite a few guys still have issues with it.

Management allows them to stay on the list while they get themselves clean, but that means that though over a hundred names are on the list, maybe 25 show up, and this is why I show up too, because that increases my chances.

So I will continue to risk not having a bed so I can get a 'permanent' bed at SWSC.

Labor Day is coming and that means picnics, barbecues and having fun for the average person. For the homeless, it means temptation, it means the libraries are closed and it means the buses won't run. Heaven help you if you have to work on Labor Day. But SWSC is not uncaring in this regard. The shelter will be open during the day, as it is Saturdays and Sundays, and homeless men will pour in. I will be one of them, taking advantage of their recently added wifi. Tuesday it goes back to normal and most people will be kicked out during the day.

On a final note, the Republican National Convention met this week, despite the threat of a hurricane. My only thoughts on the subject are: Who the hell invited Clint Eastwood? The man's getting a bit too senile of you ask me.

On their platform, I will say this: Romney seemed more concerned with how President Obama is affecting Romney and his family than how he is affecting others. He cares first about Romney, then his family, then his fellow rich people, and everyone else will be left behind if Romney takes office. Please don't let this happen. I can only hope that I can get Project Five-Star up and running before that happens. Because I know I won't get any help from the people who 'Built This.'

Yesterday I picked up an application for Reduced Bus Fare on the CAT system. It seems that being homeless is considered being temporarily disabled when it comes to bus fare. I will be taking advantage of this. I just wish being homeless was a disability for SSI, but then, everyone would want it. *Sigh*

I've been looking at all my options this week. I've been applying for jobs and not hearing from any of them. I've been thinking about my writing, but not much else. I've been putting some effort into Project Five-Star but that is so much work and right now there is little gain in it.

The bottom line is I need to concentrate on the things that will get me out of this situation, and after weighing my options, I plan to dive head first into my writing this weekend. And then once that's done I'll dive head first into promoting it. Because writing doesn't sell itself. And that's the really sad part.