I’ve talked about being homeless before. We were among the lucky ones, being able to return after the crash to our support system where there was always a safe place to sleep and a leg up where we really needed it.
Nevertheless, homelessness is a certifiable trauma however soft the landing, a tense and desperate time. I think about the children, blameless, yet finding themselves torn from their homes and neighborhoods.
Jobs were the cure for our predicament, but that isn’t always the case. In ’93 we temporarily housed a homeless person as a way to pay forward our good fortune. This young man was pinned with a “P” as in p-r-e-y. Although fully grown, he was physically small and had an intellectual disability. It soon became apparent that he had been routinely victimized during his time on DeKalb streets by thieves and worse.
I live in the 4th Ward. When DeKalb freezes over, homeless people in this ward who have no other options take to the alleys. They break into garages and RVs and sheds to stay alive.
Recently I heard a story about squatters in a vacant, foreclosed home in our ward. When it is below zero in an unheated house, somebody may burn something to stay warm.