In addition to writing blog posts, I have also been reading them. I look for blogs on homeless ministry or even on being homeless as much as possible. Some blogs feature these kinds of things as a matter of routine, some only occasionally. But I am always excited to find a post by a homeless person. But I think I am even more excited to find one by a guy who like me has a home but crashes the streets in an urban plunge for ministry sake.
Some of these blogs are just clueless from start to finish. I check in on this one person who claims to live out of a vehicle, and I believe it. This person posts a lot. This person does not actually complain much about the life, but seems to demonstrate the pains of being homeless and a bit dimwitted.
I used to read this one homeless guy who lives in Colorado and holds staunch conservative views on politics. This guy would frequently rant about the stupidity of other homeless people and shelters and other services that “only make things worse.” I guess I kind of respected the guy because he talked about how efficient he could live in a tent and save money for getting a room on nights that were viciously cold or maybe if there was a game on TV he wanted to watch. But I really didn’t care for his rants. He seemed to think too highly of himself. He was homeless, but made a regular practice of bashing other homeless people. I didn’t like that.
I followed this other guy a few years ago who claimed to live out of his truck while he taught school and coached ball teams in California. He was out of the Army, I think, and lived a very disciplined life for a homeless guy. He would move his truck to various spots almost nightly to avoid attracting attention as a vagrant. He would shower in the locker room. Sometimes he could sofa-surf a few nights with friends and family. He hid his housing condition from his employer though. And one time he posted about how some people from his school parked next to his truck one morning down on the beach. He needed to get out and use the bathroom really bad, but he did not want to expose himself to these people he knew. That was a hoot! He retired the blog a while back to turn it into a book. I hope that is successful for him.
I found a survival blog with an in depth post on how to survive the streets as a homeless person. The tips were solid, as I could tell. I have heard some of them from old hands and life-long tramps. Stuff about traveling light, keeping lockers and stash spots, how to lay low and not be seen when sleeping or how to blend in with regular people and not homeless people. This one made me feel that living a lie is important to survival, and that really bothered me. Also it seemed to classify homeless people almost like zombies in a zombie apocalypse, which seemed ironic since if you needed the advice, you would be one of them! Sad, really.
I found a ghost blog once that haunts me. This guy passed through Lubbock and stayed at our Tent City, he said, and posted on it shortly after. But his whole blog only had like three posts and it died. I really wanted to reach out to that guy, but he did not ever answer my messages to his comments.
There are others. Lots of them. Some quite remarkable too, but this taste I give here is enough for now. But I really must say that I am most jazzed to have found this minister in Clarksville who is camping on the streets as a way to expose the problem and raise awareness. This guy is the most like me that I have found. Actually, I should phrase that the other way round. I am the most like him of those I found. I do not doubt there are important key differences between us, but the fact that he crosses that threshold and joins the ranks of the homeless puts him in a very small category.
If you find any blogs that match the kind of descriptions I offer here, please send me a link or something. I learn a lot from them, even when I don’t share their views.