2/22/2006

 

Shouting on a Dust Speck

Before I begin, I want to correct a conclusion-jump I committed a couple of posts ago. I mentioned that the other mother in the GIHN program with us seemed to be too complacent. I'm happy to report that this is just a case of me judging a book by its cover (which I thought my mother had taught me not to do). Turns out, from talking with her, that she's actually got things rather under control and may soon graduate out of the program into permanent housing. The apparent complacency is no doubt the complacency we all get when we know that things are about to work out.

One moment, while I finish up this slice of crow...

Got a call yesterday at the day center. A reporter for the local newspaper, the News & Record, had found my blog while researching something else. She tracked me down at GIHN and requested an interview. I had no idea my little rant would attract so much attention, but even though I had some reservations (for one thing, I'd have to decide whether or not to reveal my identity, which can be dangerous to do when you're on the Web) I decided why not? What could be bad about calling attention to the homeless?

Met with reporter Amy Dominello this morning*. We had a very pleasant talk. She had a list of questions and a copy of the blog ready, and I hoped I answered her questions coherently. The interview covered a range of topics, touching on job availability, the scope of the homeless problem, which organizations seem willing or unwilling to help (oh, yes, the blog about Greensboro Urban Ministry is coming, bet on it...), how close to insanity Our Hero has gotten, and stereotypes of the homeless, among other things.

Amy asked some excellent questions. One which sticks out in my mind was how had my perceptions toward the homeless changed since becoming one myself. I had to admit that before, I was a cynic, but now I'm a hyper-cynic. My perceptions, however, don't seem to have changed. I still feel a sense of...well, revulsion when I see someone sleeping in the library or standing on the street corner, but at least now I know that such revulsion is the product of knowing that these people are feeding stereotypes, not from knowing that they're poor or otherwise flawed.

Another question she asked me was basically how was it that I'm blogging rather than focusing on the family's needs right now. A valid question. In the time it takes me to blog, I could be looking up another housing list, or talking to social workers. My reponse was that 1) people in adversity learn to multitask damned fast and 2) I simply compartmentalize. When I have time to blog, I do. When I have to work, I work, when I have appointments with social workers and whatnot, I do that. This blog has become important to me, not only to keep people up to date, but also (If I may be permitted a grain of hubris) because dammit, no one will pay attention to the plight of the homeless until somebody makes noise. I wouldn't mind being the "yopp!" that drew attention to the Dust Speck**.

Don't know when the article will be published, but I'm guessing no more than a couple weeks. Stay tuned...

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*I'd actually worked at the News & Record in the halcyon days when my graphic design skills were in demand. It was good to return to the place, although I didn't get to see much of it.

**C'mon, you seriously didn't forget Dr. Seuss' "Horton Hears a Who," did you?

Comments:
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I m amazed that a guy as articulate as you are is in this predicament. Funny. Well, there is stuff I want to ask you but its more of an intricate nature. just to get an idea of how you and your family are coping and carrying on with this. I m an open book also so I can reciprocate if you d like.
 
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