Identify Society Homeless 366 2/5/24 Day 128, Monday, Water is Home

2/5/24 Day 128, Monday, Water is Home

5:00 a.m. I wake up at my girlfriend’s apartment, I get dressed and get all my stuff together. I say goodbye to my girlfriend and I head out the door.

5:30 a.m. I drove to a homeless meal place in Lawrence called Cor Unum. They serve breakfast from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and dinner from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. 365 days a year. Or in the case of this year 366.

6:00 a.m. I arrive at Cor Unum and have breakfast. I really love how this organization runs. They have various volunteers that serve breakfast for all the people that come to eat. I can tell that a few of the people there are chronically homeless which means they live outside. Lawrence has roughly 200 people living outside. And it only has one 50 bed shelter. My job will be to do street outreach  and help improve the quality of life for those living outside. This could mean helping them access social services, bringing them food and supplies, just be somebody to talk to, help them access medical care, or help them get treatment whether it be addiction or mental health. 

7:00 a.m. I arrived at work. I really enjoy all of my coworkers and the people we serve. My partner will not be in today, so I will be getting the rundown of what my position will look like. I have a lot of work to do. I have to go through and upload all of the people that we connect with into a database, the state has a database for all the people that are homeless. I will also be putting together resources and making connections so that we could all work together as a team throughout the city to help those who need the most help. This is called collaborative care and I have a huge advocate for this. It’s people from different agencies all coming together to solve common problems. Too often nowadays each agency likes to separate themselves; and doesn’t put a lot of effort into working with others that are doing similar work. This is not an effective approach in my opinion.

12:00 p.m. I spent the morning getting used to my new position, and getting to know everybody. I’m really happy to be working. I can develop a schedule and a routine. Living out in the street for the last 4 months I found it difficult to develop any type of routine or schedule. You just do what you gotta do when you gotta do it. I mentioned this in the past and I can mention it again, when you are a homeless person it is easy to get stuck living from moment to moment. There is some comfort in this, but it’s also difficult to get things done living in this mode.

3:00 p.m. I drove to my new campsite. I have to use what daylight I have left to set up my new bigger camp. I bought a Coleman six person tent. I really enjoy this time it’s very simple and I will probably continue buying it. It cost about a hundred bucks. One thing I don’t like about this site is that it’s hilly in the ground and uneven in the spots I want to camp. I also don’t like the big trees that overhang, I’m afraid of a branch falling on me in the night killing me. It took me a while to find a spot that was relatively flat and was free from the possibility of a branch falling on top of the tent. I used what daylight I had left and I set up my camp. While I’m getting the tent set up, The mother of one of my old clients, someone I worked with while doing recovery coaching, reached out and disclosed concern about my past client, her son. I let her know that I would reach out to him to see what was going on. I stopped working and set my old client a text message asking if we could talk soon. 

5:30 p.m. The camp is set up and darkness has fallen. I’m still pretty sick with RSV. I had to start my job sick. I am surprised at how long this RSV has lasted. It’s like a bad cold that just doesn’t go away. I call my girl and I ask her if I could stay over at her apartment for the night. She says that’s fine. She will be home in a few hours. 

7:00 p.m. I drove to my girlfriend’s apartment and I spent the night. Hoping tomorrow is the day that this sickness breaks.

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