Tuesday, December 21, 2010

How People React?

I was recently asked how people react when they find out I'm homeless by choice. I tell people all the time what I'm doing and I get a few different responses. Here they are in no particular order.

The fast and easy way for me to explain what I'm doing is, "I'm traveling around the western states, living homeless, and writing about it".

Most of the people I talk to who aren't homeless think it's a really interesting idea. Many of them, however don't ask much about it. Out of the people who do ask about it, most of them get really excited about it and have a kind of long conversation with me about it all. This last Sunday I had one such conversation with a man. Like most other people in this group he asked me about how I came up with the idea. I don't remember if I've ever really written the whole story on this topic in this format, but I'll spare you for now. This man also was interested in what I've experienced thus far. Many of the things I said are already written here, so I will not be redundant. I've never had any kind of blatantly negative feedback about what I'm doing. People have always been either positive about my choice or they've been completely indifferent. So from complete strangers indifference has been about the most negative reaction I've gotten.

As far as the people I talk to who are homeless, they usually get really excited about everything I'm doing. They like to tell me about the different services that are available or things that need to be done better for people in our situation. A few times people I see often have been standing in a food line with me while it's cold or raining and turn to me and say, "Why did you choose to be homeless again?" I think that's kind of funny.

So those are the most common responses I hear when people find out what I'm doing and that I chose to be homeless. Thanks for the questions! Keep them coming and I'll keep answering them. Keep reading; it means much more than you can imagine. It makes the cold days, rain, loneliness, long cold nights, discomfort and waiting in lines for food, a bed, or a shower so much more bearable.


  1. When you go to a shelter or a food line and tell the people that run it what you're up to, how do they react? Or do you even mention that you are a non-tradtional homeless person? Are they cool and supportive about it or do they kind of hold off on the mashed potatoes?

  2. That's one group of people I failed to mention. Thanks for bringing it up. The people that run the shelters that I talk to and tell what I'm doing, are always really supportive of it. They see all kinds of people come through and they also get to see some of the people get back on their feet. So when they see me, a person trying to tell the story of homelessness, they are really supportive and give me a big pat on the back.