what's it like...

 
 
 

What's It Really Like to be Homeless?  

Imagine it is 20 degrees outside or a heat index of 100.  I may or may not have shoes or a coat, a hat, or gloves.  I may have a tent, live under a bridge, or in the park.  I may have found an alley that has a small amount of shelter, or I may sleep in a port a potty or dumpster.  If it rains, I have no way to dry my belongings.  If I have a blanket, it may freeze or be soaking wet. 

I may not have eaten today, or yesterday, or even the day before.  

I may work.  If I do, there are many challenges.  How do I get clean?  The clothes I have on are the only clothes I have.  Anything I walk away from or leave will be stolen from me. I'm robbed regularly.  I can only keep what I can carry, often in a small backpack if I have one. I typically walk miles to work and carrying all of my belongings.  My shoes may have holes and my feet may hurt or blistered.  I may be cold, smell, and need a shave.  I walk long distances to get washed up, or I might even use the river.

I may have been in jail.  I may owe money for child support and I am saving up to have a place of my own.  I may have a problem with addiction.  I may have lost a spouse, child, job, house, or my entire family.

Rats are a huge problem.  I have to be careful where I eat and go to the bathroom to keep them away.  Rats may have eaten through my clothes, cans of food, and even my cooler if I am lucky enough to have one.  

I may be partially blind or disabled.  I may be a parent, a grandparent, a veteran, a relative, a friend, or even a child.  I may have been raped, possibly even in a shelter.  I may be on the streets waiting for space to open up in a shelter.  I may be newly homeless or I may have been living on the street for a year or more.  I may be saving money for rent, or a security deposit, or a bus ticket to see my child.  

I may have been robbed and I no longer have identification or a drivers license.  This makes it difficult to open a bank account, get a job, cash a check, or find a place to live.

I may lose faith that people care about me.  I may have been spit on or called horrible names.

I am often embarrassed of my circumstances and may not want to ask for help.

I may be sick. I may be dying.  I am most certainly the strongest person you will ever meet!

How Does Mission from Mars Help?

The goal of Mission From Mars is to create a community of like-minded men and women who feel compelled to help the homeless. We are a liaison and partner to the larger organizations and non-profits serving the homeless community.  We want you to find a place to serve within our street ministry, when you don’t know where or how.

Photo Credit: Wrangler