Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tea & Sympathy

When I am on the road (as much as is humanly possible) I avoid fast food chains and patronize local independents. Recently I found a local coffee shop where I can pick-up a free wi-fi signal. The coffee shop doesn't offer wireless, the open signal is coming from a neighbouring brewery, but as yet no one has turfed me off line (touch wood). I have a good idea where I can get my hands on a replacement internet key but I can't proceed with that until I move to my next location. I am less than a week away from leaving here and I will be in the new place for a few months...I hope. That depends on whether or not I find a job there.
I know it is hard to imagine but living homeless is NOT free, basic needs run me about $100 to $150 a month. The panhandler is possibly but not DEFINITELY funding an addiction. In some cities you pay $10 a night for your bed, or $2 -$4 per meal. Some places have limited access to soup kitchens (free meals). The last place I was in had 2 kitchens serving lunch only, you could go to one or the other. Nothing on weekends or holidays. So a homeless person there, gets 5 meals (soup & sandwich) per week. Not having any home mean one has no place to store groceries for an extended period of time, what you buy must be eaten within a day or two. No bulk buying...so even eating from the supermarket is relatively expensive. Then we have universal basics like cigarettes, bus fare, acetaminophen, antacids etc etc. This is what it cost just to be a stationary homeless person. I have the additional costs of travel and electronics. I have gone through my savings and my retirement funds, so now I must save up a little money to fund the rest of the journey.
Like most people, before I began this journey of homelessness, I thought living in a shelter was free and that everything our clients needed was provided. As always these agencies are doing the best they can with what they have to work with. But if I had to rely on donated clothes, (given my size) I would be running around naked... and that is something NOBODY wants to see. LOL. Fortunately, I can scrape together a few dollars to visit the thrift store as require. So if you see a plus sized lady panhandling...for all of our sakes toss her a loonie.
This discussion is in fact the A.D.D. run-off of my visit to this particular coffee house. A cup of coffe here is $1.90 with one refill...that is is pretty standard in this part of the country. Last week they had an apple pie on display so I ordered a slice to go with my coffee...OVER $8 with taxes holy crap...clearly I can't afford to eat anything at this place. The pie was good but not $8 worth of good. Anyway this morning I had my coffee at the drop-in so I ordered tea... almost $4.... guess coffee has become my beverage of choice LOL. Anyway rumour has it the library will issue free access once a week or so to their internet...so I should still be able to keep in touch one day a week.
Amazing news...the website is averaging over 20 hits (new visitors) per day. Last year we were lucky to see 5 hits in a day. It is nice to know so many people are interested in learning about homelessness...or are just curious about what that crazy lady is doing this week LOL. Have a joyous day and I'll talk to you all again soon.

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