When I was first trying to get inside, I made sure my prospective landlord wouldn’t know I had ever been homeless. Why? Simply put, I didn’t want to jeopardize my chances. It was enough to tell him I was on a fixed income, which at the time was Social Security Disability
Oakland is a city of so many races and cultures. Different, diverse, and from so many kinds of backgrounds. But one thing that unites us is the caring and loving people we are. No matter how hard the struggle may be, we always take care of each other. We are all in the same boat—struggling to live. We take matters into our own hands to get through life.
This very odd question occurred to me after Terry Messman, the editor of Street Spirit, suggested I write something for the paper in conjunction with the publication of my book, Doodling on the Titanic: the Making of Art in a World on the Brink.
This country preaches love and commitment to Democracy. But government officials and staff send government workers to come and demolish our houses and curbside communities. Officials cry, “Democracy!” But decisions hit us like the bombs the United States uses to destroy homes and communities in other countries.
One of the many unexpected challenges that arose during my transition from homelessness to indoor living stemmed from the fact that I had simply gotten used to living outdoors. This caused many of the practices that worked for me when I was homeless to be carried over into the context of indoor living.