Monday, March 16, 2009

Living In A Motel: Rude Awakening

No one usually wants to admit failures, sickness or mistakes openly. No one wants to admit to losing a home, losing your dignity, losing your pride. No one wants to admit to living in a motel. A weekly motel to boot. Your neighbors, simply put, are in a difficult position as well. Many have a bad monkey on their backs, some are just trying to make it. Some have no family support. Some are on medicaid, disability, and social security. Then there are the street entrepreneurs: hookers, pimps, drug dealers of all sorts, pedophiles, and simple gangbangers.

I for one, don't like to admit when life has squeezed me, or nearly crushed me financially. I like to make my life by my work. Living in a more secure place. Not living with all of this craziness around me.

But, there are those who are quick to capitalize on any handout, who are always looking for the smoothest, easiest lane. But I have seen things changing a bit, and its hard to bear. I see good families, losing jobs, losing homes, with children filling up weekly motels in some of the most seediest places. I have been there, I know first hand what it is like. I did not have family support that some of these people have, some let their pride in the way, when they should be asking for help from their families - that is when the family is most important - when, in times of distress we come together to help each other. Not run away from each other and hide, or worse, lie. I do realize many extended families won't help each other. It is quite sad.

I am writing about this because I do indeed have firsthand knowledge on how to survive out there, especially for those who never left the gated areas, or really never had to be on the street. I am also writing to inform and hopefully educate those who won't go through this, and really have no idea in concrete, how a person, or family, can get out of this. It's not as simple as "go to the shelter" because they are full. Then most, just shrug, and say, I hope for the best for you. And then they go home to dinner. Forgetting about everything.

I am not saying that carte blanche we owe something to someone, quite to the contrary. I owe nothing to anyone, and everyone owes me nothing. But there is something to be said about community, about love, about compassion. And as a Christian, there is a deeper meaning for me.

I want to focus on homeless families and individuals living in the weekly motel. I hope to dispense some common sense information, street smarts for those who really don't have a clue. And for the rest of you who are not in this situation, start to see and think about this phenomenon, and what you can do for your neighbor, or even a family member.

There are the correct ways in which to help people. My discernment in the manner of helping has come the long, hard way. I know what works. It is tried and true. But each case is unique. And each person I have met has taught me something, about myself, about suffering, about conning, about God, about Love, about faith, about REAL HOPE.

No matter where I lived, I always tried to better the place and the people I lived amongst. The heart can harden quite quickly, especially with those on the con, but there is a way out. It may take a long time, simple math will tell you that. BUT DO NOT GIVE UP. NEVER STOP FIGHTING! NEVER GIVE UP!! You are not alone out there.

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