Monday, June 11, 2012

Popular Rob!

When I was younger I was a dork. The biggest dork you would ever see. I wasn't a people person, to say the least. Most of high school was spent with no real friends. The few friends I did have were not really friends at all, but mostly trouble makers who did not have half the ambition to cause trouble as to see someone else (me) do something wrong. No friends to say the least.

Girls were off limits and simply out of the question. Talking to a girl was a nightmare in my head and something I never dared to do. Even if I did somehow find an opportunity to talk to a girl the right words were never found and interest in me died fast. Honestly, I would have done much better not saying anything at all.

Not being able to talk to girls wasn't actually that big of a deal because I hardly ever spoke. Heck, I hardly ever kept my head up. Believe me, in classes I was the kid who never raised his hand. I felt that would be too much attention. I walked around high school under the assumption that everyone was somehow bigger than I was.

I was an easy target for the big kids too. Gosh, how they loved to pick on me. Actually, I have to admit, I like to get down in a good fist fight. I only had to get beaten up a few times before I realized pain was in the mind. After that I understood that feeling little and being little were two different things. I'll end this note on a "please please please try to kick my ass".

Social fool was my middle name and believe me, it was fitting.

Then one day at school I got into trouble. Big trouble! I'm not going to tell you what I did (pulled the fire alarm), but I will tell you that it got me in a lot of trouble.This lead me to be kicked out of school (deserved) and left with only one place to go - an "alternative school". For those of you who have never had the privilege of this option, an alternative school is where all the "bad" kids go after they are deemed unfit  to be in a regular school.

Now, I'm in a real bind. Now I'm going into a school where the real big and bad kids go and I don't know a single person. A dork in a mosh pit of unknown rebels. Was I scared of the fights? Nope! However, I also knew I was never going to fit in. I couldn't even fit in with the "normal" kids. To me, this was like a priest going to jail (almost).

Despite my gut feeling on the matter, I decided to go. This was when my whole life changed.

Alternative School Day 1: I was fresh in and still looking for my new classes. It was about one hour into the day. I was looking at my class list when I suddenly heard someone say  "hi". You would be shocked (as I was) to know that this welcome came from a girl - and what I later realized was that she was the hottest girl in the school.

Her: "you are new here right?"
Me: "ummmmm"
Her: "what got you put here?"
Me: "ummmm mm mm"
Her: "what school did you come from?
Me: "well I..."
Her: " do you have a girlfriend"
Her: "good, come with me"

To make a short story a little shorter, we were a couple by the next day!

Alternative School Day 2: I'm not too much of a sporty person. However, on day two of my new school I joined a game of basketball for the first time in my life. The funny thing then was that I found out that I was actually good. From day one on the court I had a bit of skill. Just enough touch of the game to leave people on day two of school wanting me to be on their team the next day. For the record, I can't jump to save my life but I can toss up more than a few nasty looking 3points (let the record show)!

Alternative School Day 3: A "bad ass" want's to fight. Oh NO! This attack was stopped short by an onlooker.

Onlooker: "don't mess with that kid"
Bad Ass: "why?"
Onlooker " because he is cool"

That comment came from what I thought was the coolest kid in that school.

Alternative School Day 4: I became the coolest kid in school. What do you know? The quick luck of female attention and a few 3 pointers and whooooo hoooooo....... I'M IN! Done deal.... cool house party's here I come!

I'm sure that you (my reader) can almost see this happening. A fluke! I didn't change me. Simply, the way other people saw me changed. And it didn't take much.

On day 4 of my new school I learned one of the most valuable lessons in life I think one can learn:
People are easily fooled into believing what is cool and what isn't!

Social circles work the same way, as in, people are easily fooled.

Personaly, I have never tried to fool anyone about who I am. However, I have to tell you that I have used this knowledge to my benefit when it comes to social circles, making friends, and meeting people. Whereas I used to never be able to look at or talk to people, you might see me now walk into a room full of people I don't know, shaking hands, and introducing myself along the way. This took years to develop, of course, but it all started with the understanding that I (at age 16) was not the only one confused. At age 33 I still understand this notion and it has served me well.

However, I've learned that being a social monster (like I tend to be) has its down falls. For me, being social is like a light switch. Sometimes I want to turn it on; some times I don't. I have learned recently that being non-social is not taken so lightly. When I'm expected to be social and I'm choosing not to be, sometimes the consequences can be devastating. Sometimes you are looked at as an outcast. For me, it's almost like I'm in high school again.

The reason being: because I have never changed! If you look at me on a personal level and you find someone you like and care about then that's what I am. Now, if you find me cool, honest, easy going, and big headed, then find out later I don't fit your social network to your liking, does that mean I'm a different person? NO! Being outgoing and friendly is always cool - one should always inspire to be friendly!

Fitting into a social circle that won't accept you for who you are is high school stuff. Never change who you are if you know you are a good person on the inside. I never did... I never will.... no matter how many hands I shake along the way of finding myself.

P.S. Love with all you got!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day - 204 Homelessrob, Leaves Homeless Behind

I never knew what would happen when I started this. Heck, I thought I was gonna be hounded by haters and be driven into the ground the first week. If you has asked me 204 days ago where my blog would wind up I probably would have told you "in the trash". However, things for me never turn out the way I want. Story of my life. Story of everyone's life, and that's my point now.

I could have never predicted I would do any of the stuff  I've done in the last 204 days any more than I could have predicted being homeless in the first place.

I have learned a lot though in the process of telling this story. One thing that I have learned is that in some way, my homelessness was my fault. I never asked for it in the first place, and I'm free from that incrimination. However, in my struggle to get out of homeless, I have been weak. I've been filled with pride, anger, rage, revenge, and hostility. I have allowed myself to be on the streets over and over again because of these feelings. Recognizing this has been a major key for me. I realize that now. My inability to make it fully out of homelessness is, and always has been, contributed to my lack of understanding the most important thing: self change. I always knew I needed to change (even on this blog I wrote about it), but I really needed to be told to do so. You, my readers and friends - in a very loving and roundabout way - have told me! I'm listening! And in response, I'm making the change.

I'm going to take a break now. I'm going to take a break from this blog and from the social networks for a little bit. I'm going to make some new changes and make some choices that are going to help me get past this part of my life.

Remember: this blog is a story about a man who is trying to get from point A to point Z and it so happens that he starts off homeless. This was never about how or if I could get off the streets. I still have a goal to reach (kids, car, house). This blog will continue for at least a little while longer.

Now, what will end? MY HOMELESSNESS! I am done with it! I did not know it then, but the day my friend DD came around and pulled me out of my tent kicking and screaming like a little girl was the last day I was ever going to spend on the streets.

For me, homelessness had become a part of me. My pride allowed me to say to people "no, I don't need your help! I have to do this on my own". When the truth was that I really needed the help. My anger and rage about the problem allowed me to have a closed mind to what people where trying to say and I developed a "they do know what they are talking about - this is my life" kind of attitude, when I should have been listening to the people who were trying to help me the most.

Hostility kept me away from everyone that mattered to me and turned me into someone that I don't think I really ever was.

In my heart I know I was never this person. Maybe I just needed to be that way as a means of surviving the streets, and when it was time to shut of off I couldn't. Homelessness had its hooks in me for sure. Beating on me and jumping on me around every corner. "Come in Homelessrob, and have a seat! Would you like to stay awhile? What's that Homelessrob?  Why did you notice the locks on the outside of the door? Well lets talk about that".

I feel good about me now though. For the first time in a long time I'm proud of myself. I've come a long way. If I have helped anyone on this cause or changed anyone's opinions on the matter what so ever, I consider that a jaw breaking move on my part in the face of homelessness. You, my reader, allowed me to do so, because you listened to me.


So, where does this leave me now? Well, it leaves me in a new chapter of my life. A new start. A clear mind.  

I'm done being in the streets. I'm DONE with it!

I'm walking away from it now and leaving it behind me for good!

With a newly focused mind and a sharped sense of who I am and want to be, I' now going to make some changes and focus on the next part of my life:
Getting my kids back!

Dear readers, I only made it this far because of you. Your open minds and warm hearts regarding me have shown me all the things I needed to see and know. The homeless part of my story is done and put away now for good, but I still have a lot more challenges on the way to come. Getting my kids back is not going to be easy.

I want to thank you all so far! You have all given me hope. You have all given me the things I needed the most. Friendships and honest truths. Thank you so much! THANK YOU!

I'm going to take a break. I'll be back soon though...... I hope you are still here :).

If you like my blog please visit and like my new Facebook Page:
and see the cool things I'm doing now!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Day - 189 The Frustrated Homelessrob

When you end up on the streets is it easy to become frustrated. The "why me" question is always the first thing you wake up to and the last thing you thing before you fall asleep, at least it is for me. After time, the frustration wanders away and comfort and acceptance settles in. This is easy for most people who understand homelessness to understand.

Frustration during my struggle out of homelessness has been my biggest fault. I get mad about it. Always, on my way up I tend to do OK. However, lack of progression to stability gets to me hard. Aggravation gets the best of me. I'm at that point now. Things have gotten better, but there is still so much more work to do. I've already fallen a trillion times. I've already lost my entire life. If I can't have the life I want, then whats the point?
Street living is painful, but at least I do not have to be constantly reminded of how much more I suck at being a human (this is me, personally). Trust me when I say falling into homelessness is far easier than the fight to get out of homelessness.

I fall into homelessness time and time again because of this. I get frustrated about the new way things are going. Then I start thinking about how to take advantage of the moment, which usually offers a very quick solution to go back into the streets. Then.... I act!

There is nothing wrong with these feelings, because these feelings are part of what causes homelessness in the first place. Thinking like this is OK, but only if you can recognize it and do something about it (something I have yet to learned how to do). It took me a very long time to realize what I was doing to myself. After all, there is no book about how to recognize these feelings in relation to this topic, or at least not that I know of.

I've seen this frustration and anger come out of me a lot since I have been off the streets and working. It seems to be pouring out of me. Things are not going right. This is not how my old life was. This is not how I want to spend the rest of my life. This is not the direction I wanted to go.

I tend to completely ignore the fact that with out all of that I'd be on the streets with nothing. I'm grateful about the distance I have come, and the people who have helped me get there, but a fool about it at times. I'm not frustrated and angry about about coming off the streets. I'm frustrated and angry about how I'm still feel like a loser.

So, I'm gonna make this time different. There will be no going back to the streets - not for any reason! I've made my mind up about that. The attitude about the way I make it up must fully change. This might be the hardest thing I have ever done. I never have a problem telling people about my short falls - I have plenty of them, trust me! I have a hard time telling people about the short falls I have that I do not fully understand within myself. How have I managed to wind up here so many times and allow my aggravation and frustration to get the best of me so much?

I'm gonna take the advise that was given to me today by my friend, Dave. Dave told me that lately he has seen my aggravation and even though he can't fully understand where I'm coming from about it, he says that I'm allowing it to devour me from the inside out. Dave says the thing I need to do now is relax! It is kind of funny in a way. I don't want to relax at all! I want to move on and bust my butt to get ahead. I thought about this for some time today. I came to two conclusions:

1: working hard to get out of this mess or "striking while the iron is hot" (in my case) is OK. However, I have to stop letting the stresses of coming up out of homelessness get to me. I simply have to calm down and let things take their course for now. Then fix the things I have a hard time dealing with later when it is easier for me.

2: Dave is right!

This is all new stuff for me. I'm sure not everyone will understand, Heck, I don't even understand it. All I know is that I've been here before and what I did before did not work for me. This time I have to do something different. I have to change me, now! I'm the problem!

If you like my blog please visit and like my new Facebook Page:
and see the cool things I'm doing now!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Day - 188 10,000 Homeless Blog Hits And Counting!

It has now been 188 days and just over 10,000 blog hits. Time for a Homelessrob update.

We'll I suppose I should start with the things I have done:

1. Got a roof over my head and a job!
2. Produced an ebook!  and
3. Did a live talk radio show!
4. Made the Tampa Times!
5. Built a Facebook of almost 300 of the most coolest people I could ever know, from nothing!
6. Have had my blog used more than a few times over in support of the homeless cause!
7. Have become someone who has been called an inspiration (not bragging, I have to say that because it's true and it says/means a lot to me. I'm proud of myself for that).
And I few other things I have not talked to much about. Still, in the works!

Now for the things I have not done:
1. In the past 188 days, I have in no way, shape, or form come anywhere close to obtaining my  goal (kids, house, car). Nothing!

So, what can I take away from this?

 A few things!

I have broken stereotypes. How could I not have? Trust me, I don't do things in category one listed 1 through 7 because I'm a lazy bum, with no drive, and wants to live on the streets taking free handouts. If you ever assumed that about me you where wrong. If you assume that about any homeless person before you know them you are also wrong - because I am that homeless guy.

Somehow, nothing I have set out to do has gone right for me. My plan has failed.

Currently, I'm living in a home with no lights in my room, sleeping on the floor, walking 8 miles a day to and from work, and will soon be paying $350 a month for rent.

Ebook promotion is hard work and a whole new ball game that I was not prepared for. If I want to do anything with that at all, I'm gonna have to break my butt hard for it. That is something I might as well never done. However I'll keep it for now and look at it later.

My job is going ok. However, it is in sales. There is no promise that from one week to another I'll make any steady money.

I had an idea to make a product at the start of this blog (part of my master plan) but have made no progress on that. I might re-look at doing that soon. I might have better luck this time.

So the end result is simple, so far:
I seem to be able to do big things for the homeless cause and others but at the same time have no ability to do anything for myself, odd.

Now, I'm not crying here - I'm just stating the simple facts to date. I'm not too much better off today than I was 188 days ago. I've simply done something for the homeless cause. I'm busting homelessness in the face like I said I wanted to do (that feels good).

I'm grateful for how much I have done in 188 days. I'm grateful for my friends and family who care about me, but still, I'm not happy that I can't seem to progress in a way that is gonna get me out of this mess and to a place where I will be within  reach of my goal. I don't even know how this is going to be possible!

Now, this is just a quick update. I still have a few tricks up my sleeve and some more work to do. I'm not done yet. At the very least, I still have hope to make something happen. I still have some fight in me. I still hope to come up with something. I'm still gonna shake this homeless tree until my arms fall off. This is no time for my old habits. This is no time for me to say "game over, settle into this life". No, things are not good for me but I still have a chance to make things better. I have to focus on that now. How do I take what I have going now and end this mess I got myself into, once and for all?

Today was a good day for me. I broke 10,000 blog hits and made the paper (a big paper). It should be a good day for me. On the homeless cause I feel great. In my own personal struggle of homelessness I feel like trash. That's probably because I have no right to be happy about anything now.

In light of this post (and for my new followers, sorry I don't have a happier post for you to read today) I do have remind you all that this blog is simply a story. It always has been, nothing more. I do this for you to be entertained. That's all I every wanted to do here, entertain you. Homelessness is an ugly thing and today, so am I. I hope to entertain you more from here on out, but please understand... this story might not end on a happy note!

Next post I'll have some good stuff going on..... I promise!

If you like my blog please visit and like my new Facebook Page:
and see the cool things I'm doing now!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Day - 173 The Homeless Moment of Truth

So here I am. I've been here before. This moment is not new to me. This is the moment when people watch me and wait. The moment that homeless haters wait for. This is the moment when people give up on the homeless. I've been waiting for this because I've seen it before.

This is the point when people will ask "so... you choose to be homeless???" This is the most hated question (in my opinion) on the topic. "So you choose to be homeless"???

People ask this question with fingers ready to point. If I say "yes" they win, and the circle of homeless stereotypes continues. If I say "no" then I have to explain that and watch while people pick my answer apart and try to figure out a way to call me a "lazy bum". How do I know this? I've seen it time and time again. Not at me, but at others. So yeah, this is my moment! People will point their fingers at me and judge me with no understanding. The time has come!

Luckily, I've thought about this post a lot. I have figured out a way to explain (kind of). I can only hope that people will understand this scatter-brained notion of mine.

Ask me "Homelessrob, do you choose" to be homeless?

Answer: "yes"...... and "no"!

Let me explain:
The "yes" first:

I've been here before, meaning that over the last couple of  years that I've been fighting my own personal homelessness, there have been times when I've found myself with a roof over my head and a job. This is where I am now. This is where I have found myself a few times in the past. I usually get here the same way via help. However,  at least once I did it on my own (with a little help). I've been off the streets now for about a month and a half holding down my job for the exact same amount of time (I got them both on the same day).

Now, to a lot of people, this is "problem solved". However, for me it's a little more complicated than that. For me, it was never about just getting off the streets. It's about moving ahead and my ability to do that. This is why I have my goal (kids, house, car). If I stay where I am now, I'm stuck. I'm living a life that is not me. I have to be moving ahead. Where I am now is defiantly a step in the right direction and a true blessing, but my ability to move ahead is the real question. I cannot allow myself to get stuck. I cannot allow myself the ability to say "I'm homeless with a roof over my head" which is where I am now. This is the same place where many homeless people are left after they make it off the streets (I'll explain that later).

This is the moment when, in the past, I started to question everything, and this what I say to myself (in this order):
" OK, I'm off the streets and with a job, this is great!"

"OK,  I'm getting by but it's by the skin of my teeth so I'll have to figure out a way to either minimize my life style or make more money. I have to move ahead!"

"OK, I'm doing everything I can right now but I'm still in a rut. I'm not moving ahead. I'm finding it hard to put myself in a position where I can move ahead and on into a life of security where I'm actually living a life that represents my age (33)."
"OK, I'm homeless with a roof over my head."

"Homelessrob, if you minimize any more you will be on the streets again!"

"This is not working. I can't find away to get ahead!"

"Maybe if I move I will find what I'm looking for somewhere else..."

"I'm not new to the streets..."

"I might as well hit the road because this is getting me nowhere fast. I'm wasting my time and I want my life back."

"I should save some money and move. I'll be on the streets, but that's easy now and at least I'll have some money."

"I should go with that plan and just consider this a stepping stone that I hope will get me to somewhere better."

"Start planning on where I want to go and how I'm gonna deal with street life once I get there."


It's easy for me to do this. There has never been anyone around to ask me about it. Why? Because once the "problem is solved" no one is ever around.

I do have to say that I think a lot of homeless people do this. It is a very easy thought process. For me, I did not know I was thinking like this for a long time. I had to go through it a few times. This is the one thing I'm looking to change now. If I do nothing else, I must change this portion of my brain. Now is the time for that. I have to accept that this has been my thinking pattern over the past few years and this has got to stop. Now.

This process of thinking goes well with homelessness. Homelessness is NOT a black and white problem. Homelessness is full of color and different dynamics and this process is one of them. This is a very large reason why people fall onto the streets over and over again. An inability to recognize this is also one of the many tricks that homelessness offers. We can't fight what we can't see. I see it now!

So, this is why I say "yes". At times I have chosen to render the streets as my home. The above is why!

Now the "no"!

NO, because if I was never homeless in the first place I would never have these thoughts. I did not choose it. It found me and made its move on me!

Now I know many people will go right to the "why" here!

Because you asked "why" I'll tell you. Does it matter? Honestly, if you don't know, it happens to people for a whole variety of reasons. I don't know what to say, but I have some ideas.

I'll just give you a list of reasons!
Starting with the most common (for the black and white thinkers).
"alcoholism" (once more, you do not have to be homeless to be an alcoholic or on drugs)

And now a few reasons that are understandable though not so commonly thought of.

"human trafficking" (I'm just now finding out that in fact, this is a very large problem in way of homelessness)
"immigration" (I've seen a lot of that. In fact, I have seen entire cities where half the homeless population was due to immigration)
"property damage" Yes, a tornado tore down your home and no one would take you in. This sort of thing happens every year, somewhere in America. Look into it.
"bad investments" Yes, I'm saying you lost all your money in the market. This also happens all the time. Look into it.
"loss of job" They say the avarage person is between two to three paychecks away from being homeless. I know some people do not want to say that the recession is an acceptable reason for homelessness, but I tend to think that loss of jobs is.
"relationships" This is more common than people think and it seems to me to be directed mostly toward women. I have seen a few times where a long term relationship that want south rendered a woman on the streets.
"youth" that speaks for itself. I could probably gather more than several reasons a youth would find comfort in the streets or somehow wind up there.

I don't know if I told you this story. It's actually my friend DD's story and you would hear him talking about it in the video I posted a few blog posts back. I asked him "what is the shortest amount of time you have spent getting someone off the streets?.

He replied, "3 hours".

Then told me:
The homeless person in this case was a mentally challenged kid. His mother, who had raised him his whole life, died. In an attempt to support himself he failed! Soon after his mother's death he was on the streets. The reason that it was so easy for DD to help him was because the kid had all his paperwork and documents together and found luck in someone willing to help him. How quickly this story could have turned into....... 10 years later.... "hey, look at that crazy, lazy homeless guy on the streets, he chooses to be here".

I was talking to a friend not too long ago. She was having problems and was a few weeks away from having nowhere to go. I think she said she was having problems with a crazy landlord (another story I have heard a few times). She said to me, "Homelessrob, I have over 800 Facebook friends and no one will help me". Yes, I hear this ALL the time. My, my, how fast people will turn away from you even before you are homeless.

An old woman told me almost the exact same story. The only difference was that she was older. However, she was confused about how people could treat her like they never knew her after she had spent all her life helping out others in her home town.

Stories like this are all over the place. People fall into homelessness for a lot of different reasons. More than I could probably tell you.

So ask me again-
"Homelessrob, so you choose to be homeless???"

Yes, in an tempt to fix my life starting from nothing I have a few times chosen to hit the streets. However, my better answer is still "no" because if it had never happened in the first place, hitting the streets would never have been an option. Homelessness made it so, not me!

I'm grateful that I figured this out within myself now because now that I know, I can make changes.

Right now I have no intentions of packing my bags and seeking about a new life on the streets with hopes of finding a better life in which I have an ability to move forward.

I'll just keep working on what I'm doing now and hope someday these doors will open.

I will say one last thing. This blog has done a lot for me. Every day I hop on and do work to help with this homeless cause and it seems like every day my fight on it moves ahead. Every day I seem to get stronger and stronger. I think having at least one thing in my life that is moving ahead helps me.

My followers and friends have given me that. This blog might just be the thing that keeps me from making another bad move.


Look, this is my brain on homelessness! O NO!!!

If you like my blog please visit and like my new Facebook Page:
and see the cool things I'm doing now!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Letter From Deputy Donaldson

This is cool! I'll post it here.


Stories like these just continue coming ....

Robert Rashford is one of my more successful students of homeless recovery. He currently lives at our first residential rehab project on Old Memorial Hwy. He since has been hired by our private sector partner, Mobile Auto Glass Repair, moving up to a sales position at one of their carwash locations. On one of his first days of pitching auto glass repair he transacted five commercial sales which by all accounts is a substantial day in the sales arena, says his new employer Rob Arnold.

What's more, Robert is one heck of a social engineer in the blogosphere world where tens of hundreds and I think even thousands of online followers as far away as Australia read and comment about his experiences on the streets as a recovering homeless man. His blog is a personal journal giving tips on street survival combined with anecdotal yet intriguing stories capturing the unvarnished reality of homeless plight.

Many from his cyber audience have encouraged him to write about these struggles and his successes to help others understand the hidden side of homelessness. He just finished writing the eBook version about this journey recently self-published on Since the release of his eBook titled: Yelling into the wind, he was featured as a guest on BlogTalkRadio this past Saturday morning to talk about his book.

When our homeless candidates receive help from our Homeless Initiative we only ask in return that they become a foot solider for the same brand of homeless recovery that helped them get off the streets. Robert fulfills this obligation to duty almost as a daily ritual. Through his blogosphere network he his has connected me to many professionals and homeless devotees in establishing a nonprofit organization and website.  Through the reach of his blog audience he has been contacted by the St Pete Times spending a day with him out on the street; and if that wasn't enough an award winning producer contacted him about a possible HBO documentary.

I would like to think that the Sheriff's Office has played a small hand in this success even though Robert has the innate motivation that very well would have produced these results on his own. At the very least, helping him with a residence and a full-time job certainly helped nurture these attributes that were always present.

Like I have always said: It's not about blankets and boxed lunches -- It's about, rehousing -- rehabilitation and a little redemption.

It's yet another compelling story of success and another proof-positive indicator that we are on the right track.

Thanks for all your support!!

p.s. This is the link to the blogtalkradio segment featuring Robert.

Deputy Steven Donaldson
Badge# 4153
Homeless Initiative
7202 N Gunn Hwy
Tampa, Fl 33625

LOL, I like it! I don't actually have that many followers. However, I believe I have been read that many times I'm sure.

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Day - 167 Hobenessrob and The Butterfly Effect

I busted my radio cherry last night, LOL!

I was on the "Butterflyeffect radio show". I was a nervous mess. People said I did well. I want to tell myself that I did well, but I don't think I really did. It was really hard for me to get my points across. I'm not a public speaker after all. Altogether I think I did semi OK, but clearly need to learn how to talk better. Short, sweet and simple should be my motto going into any sort of talk (Oh, and smile a lot too. I hear smiling a lot helps even if you are on a phone).

Will there be more talks? I do not know! At this point in my life I'm inclined to believe that depends on my ability to get any of my other anti-homeless stuff done (still waiting... you will know as soon as I do). I never saw any of this coming but I have to learn to adapt if I intend to do big things for this homeless cause.

On a personal note, I'm NOT the person to be doing any of this.There are much finer people than myself out there doing much better things than I do. However, I am determined to walk through every door that opens and take full advantage of every opportunity that presents itself in way of giving homelessness a serious back breaking. It's becoming a job for me now. I like it!

Now that this radio thing is done it's time to move on. I need to gather up more support. I need to get more doors open. I need to make more connections among the people I have now that follow me (that's my favorite  part of this. I LOVE introducing people to each other). Need to work on the ebook things too. That is gonna require a lot of work. I'm still gonna donate as much of that money as I can to kids with cleft lips. That's important to me. So, its work, work, work for this little homelessman. I'm just getting started.

I'm no longer holding the work sign on the side of the road anymore. I'm in full time sales now. I'm working in a car wash. Cars come in. I find the messed up windshields. I give people my little pitch, then I make money (if I'm lucky). Its not a bad little gig though. I'm defiantly doing OK at this. If I get a few sales in a day I make out pretty well. I need to spend more time doing it though. I've only been at it a week.  What I like the most about this job is that my bosses are cool. They know I'm working hard on my homeless cause work  and they let me use the office to hop online and do stuff. They support me a lot! So when I'm not on a sale I can jump on my desk and bang out some stuff. Cool! I'm working around the clock now. Every second of every day I'm grinding away. This all makes me feel better. It helps me stay focused. For a little bit I thought I might have been getting tired and  might have needed a break but that has passed and I've found more energy in me to burn up now. Besides, homelessness never lets up on me.

This is the link to my radio interview. I think I could have done better. I'll leave it to you do decide though.

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Day - 164 Homelessrob, and a COP???

I've known Deputy Donaldson for a little while now. This is the man who helped me off the streets. DD (as I sometimes like to call him, not to his face though) is a deputy in Tampa, FL. Helping out homeless people and working on the homeless cause in the streets  is what he does, and he is very good at it. 

In the time that I have know DD I have learned a lot. DD has a very fine understanding of the homeless problem and an even finer understanding of what homeless people have to go through to get by and to get off the streets. In that understanding, DD finds success. We have talked much.

This video does him no justice because the audio is pretty bad for some reason. I'm going to post it anyway and do another sit down with him later (we see each other every two or three days). I just think the parts you can hear are worth hearing. DD is someone worth knowing as far as this homeless cause goes. Believe me when I tell you that he had to fight very hard to get the people he has helped off the streets.

At one point in this video he and I mention about how we are working together to do some things that will help the homeless cause. This is true! Past the help that he gave me, DD and I are becoming friends and even a bit of a good team together (homeless people and cops are two very stereotyped people, after all. Also, we both like to break stereotypes - good common ground).

The system that DD uses to help the homeless is a system that I feel is the very best. On that note I support DD as much as I can. We (in conjunction with some others) are working VERY hard together to make some huge changes, not just here in Tampa, but hopefully someday across the country. Fingers crossed! Now, that's all I'm gonna say about any of that. I don't like to mention things until they are final. Loose lips sink ships, and all that. I'll keep you posted though!

This is Deputy Donaldson. A good friend that I owe a lot to. He does not ask me for anything though. Just to do my best and stay off the streets. I'm trying my best and he knows it. That's why I sit in the front seat of the cop car. LOL!

For the record, not all cops turn their lights on to get good spots in traffic. I keep telling him to just do it, but he won't listen to me.

I'll post more about my friend later.

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Day - 160 Homelessrob and the Tampa Times

I was pretty happy when the reporter for the Tampa Times said that she had "found" my blog. LOL, that means to me that this little world of mine is becoming more mainstream.

We spent the day together doing interviews and driving around looking for a a female, homeless, vet. Apparently that is a hard find. No one could find a female, homeless, vet. I know they exist. I've seen them. So they did the interview with me and some of my friends about my life. We also talked to some homeless people. I showed them where I lived, and where some homeless people hang out at shelters, and other kinds of resources. So, I did my best with it and I hope it helped them. If they choose to do a story with what I gave them I hope it causes change on the homeless issue here in Tampa.

I hope!

I did learn a few things along the process of this interview.

We were talking to someone, and at one point this person said something like "homelessness is in the mind, its not a bad economy, its something in the brain". I actually know the person who said this I and I have a fair amount of respect for her. This person does understand homelessness. However, for this topic I must disagree.

In order to have "homelessness in your brain" (or the "homeless glitch" as I had a feeling my friend was trying to say), you have to first know what homelessness is in the first place.

For me it was the economy. Pure, plain, and simple. Again, I went from making 23.51 an hour to 9.00 an hour, to shortly after that - nothing. My trade (manufacturing) died. Along with construction, along with teaching, along with many other things. I (like a lot of people in these trades) had never experienced homelessness until it just happened. Heck, I did not even know what it was. I certainly never thought it would happen to me. I can believe homelessness is in one's brain (It sure is in my brain) but let's not try to assume that one becomes homeless because they were born with a mental need or want to live a life on the streets. People become homeless for many different reasons. Loss of jobs is one of them.

At another point in the day I heard two different homeless people mention where they stand on the same issue. One homeless man mentioned that finding resources to obtain an I.D. was simple and easy for him here in Tampa.On the other hand, another man mentioned that obtaining his I.D., here in Tampa, was impossible. For me, I think of my Lance experiences and how hard it was for Lance. Lance had no I.D. at all and that was a HUGE problem. I had to wounder if the first man actually had at least one form of I.D. to start with. Listening to these two men was great for me. It reminded me that even as homeless people live in the very same homeless world, at the same time, we do not. Our personal struggles are almost always the same. However, in that struggle we often find different results and have different out comes (as in life). In the same notion, what works for one homeless person might not work for another.

At another point in the day I tried to explain what I am actually trying to do here with this blog. Like always, my thoughts were scattered and I kind of had a hard time explaining. However, it did remind me to remind you of what I'm doing here and what the reason is for this blog.

Reason for this blog:
To entertain you with a story. That's is it! It is not to educate you about the homeless issue, I'm not fit for that. This blog is simply a story. A person trying to get from point A to Z, and happens to start off homeless. I talk about homelessness because it is a part of my story, a huge part. For now though, this blog is simply here to entertain you, my reader.

If you read this blog and you are not entertained by now, then I did not do my job!

I do want to thank the Tampa Times for taking an interest in me, no matter what comes out of it. I learned a few things along our road trip.  My offer is always open for them. Whatever I can do to help.

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Day - 153 Homelessrob on

Finally, something good I get to talk about. I'll tell you the story.

About a month and a half ago, somewhere in the depths of Google +,  I was approached by a wonderful woman. Fiona was not happy. She told me that just a day or two before she saw me on Google + she had seen something that a homeless hater had posted, and it had bothered her. She said to me that she was mad about it and wanted to do something. We talked for some time and Fiona told me she liked my blog. Earlier a few people had mentioned to me something about doing a book. I never really cared about doing it and I had never really given it much thought. However, armed with Fiona (who explained that the actual act of publishing on was pretty easy) and our mutual desire to tip the tables as much as possible on the homeless issue, a deal was made.

Deal: She would edit the first 88 days of my sloppy spelling and I would publish it on Simple!

That was about a month and a half ago. Fiona probably had no idea how bad my spelling was, LOL! Poor woman, she's great!

Now today, I'm happy to say that the first 88 days of this blog is now published on It is called

"Yelling Into The Wind".
and it can be found here:  (Ebook)

or  (paperback)

I'm always saying that some help on the homeless  issue is better than doing nothing at all. I'm always saying you don't have to start off huge. You do not have to set out to save the world, and I'm also always saying that if you don't know what to do, then just consider the things you are good at and think about how to use your God-given gifts to make a difference. That's what I think and that's what Fiona did. She saw something she did not like, that came from some homeless hater, and used her skills to support me.

Fiona and I have no idea what is going to happen here with this e-book. Not a clue! It's all up in the air. However, I am sure about a few things, win, loose, or draw, no one can say that together, Fiona and I did not at least try to help the homeless cause. It took time, work, and understanding along with some will and drive (much more from Fiona than from myself).

If we do nothing..... nothing will happen, right?

To celebrate the first 88 days of my blog being published on and to thank Fiona and all  my supporters who have been reading my blog this whole time, I have decided to donate the first month of sales (whatever it is) to kids with cleft lips.

You are thinking "why not homelessness" right? I say why can't one cause help out another?
Besides, I could not have done this on my own. I had help and supporters, more than I probably ever deserve.

And who could say these little tigers can't use a hand.

Every penny of my first month goes here, no matter how much it is.
Thank you to all my friends and readers who have helped me along this way.

A very special THANK YOU to Fiona!
I hope now that all of us are working together we can make some smiles.
Fingers crossed!

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Day - 147 Homelessrob, God Knows More!

I have to say that I do not always tell you, my readers and friends, everything. At least not my on-the-spot progress. I tell you as much as I can about myself personally, that I do often. You ask and I'll tell. That's the deal. I do my best to uphold my end of the bargain. You deserve no less from me. However, I do not always talk about all of my progress, as they arrive, that is. That would confuse you as much as it confuses me. So, I tell you as much about me as I can on a personal level.

Allow me to explain the things I do not tell you about me, please. Good stuff. Lots and lots of good stuff. I did a count recently. I concluded that I now have several things going on, all because of this blog, all in the nature of this homeless cause, all because of kind hearted people. However, I have not mentioned any of this publicly (here). I have reasons for this.

One, nothing is final. I hate telling people things and getting them thinking, and worked up, about something will happen only to have it fall apart and fail. Sure, I'll talk to people about it. People that I think can contribute or might have an interest in it or might find it a benefit to them. However, until it's all said and done, my fingers can only be crossed. Right now, I have nothing final.

Second, I have to steady myself. I have to keep my composure. I keep thinking to myself "if all these things happen then what will become of me??"

 I do not wish to lose myself anymore than I have, due to homelessness, whether good or bad. Focus and concentration are all key here for me. I am a person that cannot keep his life together. Wining the power ball will change nothing for me. If I'm going to obtain my goal I must stay focused, even if things might be looking up for me at the moment.

Next, I'm likely to fail! This is a little different from number one. It's one thing to fail a thing or two here and there, but trust me when I say I could have 100 good and great things going on and have them all fail. I've been prone to this life for a long time now. I'm starting to think this might be intertwined into my D.N.A.

Yes, homelessness has me drugged. My friend Lance is a prime example here. I'm not saying by any means that Lance is a failure. Simply, just the Homelessrob portion oft his life is. I mean, what are the odds? What are the odds that after 13 years of never being in trouble and never seeing the inside of a jail, that it would happen all at the same time that he starts to make moves? Because of me! LOL, I came to a conclusion about why that is too. I figured that it was an act of nature. Much like camouflage, Lance was hidden from bad luck being in his natural state. Then when he shifted gears upon my arrival, bad luck found him. This might be a common occurrence in all our lives. I have not figured it out fully yet. However, I am prone to thinking that this notion is particularly hard for homeless people.

Now, with that said, I just don't let it all out. I think things are best that way. If I could ever finish something, and that something is good and contributing to obtaining my goal, you will be the first to know about my very victorious victory.

What does trouble me about all this is God. Yes, very troublesome. I have to admit that after Lance I was very conflicted about that relationship. FURIOUS and DEEPLY ENRAGED would be the correct words to use to describe me in that little moment of weakness alongside a hissy fit.

For a long time I thought God wanted me to go walk this homelessness off in a very specific walk. I thought about it so much. It consumed my thoughts. Then things started to build up, completely outside of these plans. These other projects are all great works. They all help (in my opinion). They are all worth doing and doing my very best at. However, they are very clearly taking away something that I KNOW I was told to do. I simply cannot fit it all in. There is no room for mistakes here. NONE, let alone failure. I've taken this up with the Man several times. I still hear the same answer. WALK! Over and over in my head, like an echo that will not die.

I know the typical Christian response here. God will lead the way. God will straighten it all out. Right? YES! Shay Kelley would tell me right now to simply trust. She told me that to trust and to have faith are two different things. There was a time in my life when I thought I did trust and that I knew the difference. I have to assume now that this is something that will need more focus out of me.

How or why would God be adamant about me leaving Florida and moving about and then fill me with things that keep me here in one spot? What do you do when conflicted in this nature?

For right now I will say this:

Win, loose, or draw, I'm onto my projects (if that's what I can call them). I'm not done with Lance yet either, unless he decides so. If that is what he chooses then I will definitely understand. I'll really have to talk to him though. If Lance understands and is still down, he and I will make our point together that NO human being is worth a quit or timeout. NO, I do not consider Lance a "project" at all! I'm simply just not ready to quit on him. I still have his stuff. And regarding the other stuff, I'm gonna shark this tree until my arms come loose. Remain calm and stay as focused as possible, that's what I tell myself. I can say this though, I'm giving it all everything I have. No matter what. No matter how it all ends for me. I'm full steam ahead. If it all fails on me then I'll know the truth about my life, and this story will end on that note. I have my fingers crossed for the otherwise.

Drop a prayer for me..... I could use a few!

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Homeless of Tampa, Florida

In the game of homelessness it is safe to say I've been around. I have seen places that were very homeless friendly and effective in fixing the problem. I have also seen places that are not so homeless friendly. Tampa, FL is the least homeless friendly place I have ever seen. By far, Tampa was the hardest place for me (and from my understanding, MANY other homeless people as well) to survive,. The homeless people I see here are beat up and beat down, hard.

I have come to a few conclusions about why this is. I have concluded that the biggest reason is because the "homeless haters" of Tampa, FL  do not just dislike the homeless, and would like nothing more than to push them out, but also have loud mouths and the ears of the law makers and city council here in Tampa hear them well. For some reason (probably money) the law makers and city council listen to them. This bad attitude and support with power has led to a very difficult life to live for the homeless here in Tampa, FL. I believe that was what they wanted in the first place to create a difficult life to live for the homeless, in an effort to push them out.

Recent laws on pan handling, news stories with public comments, polls, and the overall bad attitude of Tampa, Florida (regarding homelessness), have all led me to this conclusion, along with my research in the making of this blog post.

Homeless haters, law makers, and city council here in Tampa run around the homeless problems but they are clueless. They make decisions and pass laws that make no since at all, in an attempt to solve the homeless problem by pushing the homeless out. The reality of it however, is that they are actually making the problem worse.

For example:

Recently, Tampa, FL passed laws that restricted pan handling. They (city council) said it was to keep people safe while in traffic (homeless people and drivers). I only had a chance to see the last month and a half of this homeless bashing via T.V. But what I saw on T.V. was, in my opinion, one of the biggest waste of time, resources, and tax payers money that I have ever witnessed (I want to be rude right there, but I'll keep it to myself). A clueless city council member who could not think of anything better to do (literally), along with a bunch of homeless haters with nothing better to do (literally), actually got the ban passed.

The ban is simple. No one is allowed to pan handle 6 out of the 7 days of the week. Its OK to do it on Sunday (go figure). This ban did NOTHING. People just walk around here all the time, and to me it is actually safer to J walk. The traffic here is the worst you can imagine. I dare anyone to stand on ANY intersection , push the button, wait for the little man to pop up, and try their best to cross the street without getting hit. I DARE you! You are likely to die, VERY likely to die, homeless or not.

So, here we are, a room full of "great minds" and homeless haters passing a ban against homeless people that pushes them off the sidewalks and into property where there are even more laws that restrict homeless people from being. Tell me where - exactly - in Tampa the homeless people are allowed to go? Homeless haters will say right now "out of state".

So predictable.

What happened here is that the homeless haters of Tampa, FL all got together with a bunch of people with power, not understanding of the problem, and made life hard for all homeless people. It's that simple! I could not help but think to myself, that when it was all over, if these people had spent half as much brain power fixing the homeless problem in a holistic way, as they did making it worse, they could have accomplished so much!.  This is just one of the many attacks on the homeless here in Tampa, Florida, that I have found.

I also like to keep up with the local homeless issues here with the news. From time to time I'll go to a local news stations' website and look around. When I do find a homeless story (and there is always one) I like to read the public comments. It helps me understand how and what the local residents think and feel about the homeless people in their area. If you want to see a nasty bunch of homeless haters you should do this.

LOL, one comment that appears over and over is this: "do us all a favor and leave our city" (a homeless hater telling the homeless to leave). I see that one all the time in the Tampa comments regarding the homeless.

But look, I'll show you what I mean. This is an actual story I found that was done by a local news team a few years ago:

Six homeless people backed by a handful of advocacy organizations filed a federal class-action lawsuit against the city this week that challenges the constitutionality of a series of ordinances that target homeless people.

The city has passed six ordinances that restrict some behaviors associated with street homelessness in recent years, including measures that limit where and when the homeless can sleep and the amount of personal belongings they can keep by their side.

'What has been happening in St. Petersburg over the past couple years is one of the worst examples nationally of widespread abuse of homeless persons' civil and human rights'  said Tulin Ozdeger, civil rights director for the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, one of three organizations representing the city's homeless. The Southern Legal Counsel and Florida Institutional Legal Services have also sided with the homeless.

The lawsuit, filed in Tampa, claims the city's ordinances violate various constitutional protections, including freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, freedom from unreasonable searches and free speech.

Ozdeger said the ordinances also fail to provide sufficient guidance for police officers, which encourages arbitrary enforcement.

"We feel that we have a very strong case," she said.

Advocates hope a judge will grant an injunction against enforcement of the ordinances and declare them unconstitutional.

Responding to complaints about public urination and sidewalks crowded with dirty blankets and clothes, Mayor Rick Baker and the City Council rallied for tough restrictions against the homeless in recent years. The city's legal department vetoed some suggestions, deeming them unconstitutional.

The ordinances that were passed were carefully crafted and should hold up in court, said Mark Winn, the city's chief assistant attorney.

"We are not surprised by any of the allegations in there," he said of the lawsuit.

The 63-page complaint is the latest example of the sometimes difficult relationship the city has had with its homeless. The city gained nationwide scorn in 2007 after police slashed homeless people's tents, and advocates have staged protests downtown.

The lawsuit claims the city regularly searches the homeless without probable cause and makes arrests for public urination though the homeless have nowhere to use the bathroom. Their belongings have been snatched from city parks and public areas without adequate notice and without information how to retrieve them. The homeless also have been ordered to move, under threat of arrest, from public places where they are lawfully allowed to be, according to the lawsuit.

The named plaintiffs are Anthony Catron, Charles Hargis, Michael Lile, Ferdinand Lupperger, Jo Anne Reynolds and William Shumate, a popular homeless leader in downtown St. Petersburg.

At Williams Park on Thursday night, patches of homeless people reclined in the public square. Told of the lawsuit, they expressed hope life on the street would get easier.

"I ain't never been nowhere like this, with the rules and regulations," said Nygee Shabazz, 50, a drifter who's been in St. Petersburg about 15 years. "We are pawns. We are nobody."

Comments to this post include:

Wow! Homeless in St Pete for 15 years.

That's using the safety net as a hamock.

If the city doesn't do something about these feral people nobody will want to go down town.

It's discusting the way they have taken over Williams Park.

Anonymous May 22, 2009 8:30 AM
This is great. The city provides homeless services at taxpayer's expense that attract homeless people from around the country and then the homeless people sue the city. You cannot logically expect to stop homelessness by attracting more homeless.

Anonymous May 22, 2009 8:53 AM
There you go Bill Maxwell. The homeless have a civil right to disrupt the lives of the homed. Or at least they have lawyers who deem it their duty to inflict these poor vermin on the rest of us. Let em move into these vile lawyer's houses.

Anonymous May 22, 2009 8:55 AM
Why don't these advocates have the homeless camp and hang out on their property if they care so much. Sorry, but the homeless are a blight on business and tourism. I am sick of my taxes going to fight these lawsuits. They don't contribute to society

Anonymous May 22, 2009 9:39 AM
Why isn't this front page news?!?!! What's wrong Times, don't want to bring attention to this issue, only to the hit and runs that fit your social agenda?

Anonymous May 22, 2009 9:40 AM
Shabazz... you've been homeless for 15 years, living off the kindness of others... sounds like it is time for you to grow up.

Anonymous May 22, 2009 9:52 AM
The poor homeless eat three times a day. They have free showers, free beds (if they want it) free blankets, pillows. Most will tell you they have a sweet deal and there is not reason to work, unless you go to every corner and see them begging for $

Anonymous May 22, 2009 10:28 AM
So the rest of us have to step over them if they want to lay on the sidewalk? This is nuts. Working folks have the right to enjoy life without having to deal with the scummy, scary homeless. There are bathrooms by the st pete waterfront they can use

Anonymous May 22, 2009 10:57 AM
Funny I never quite saw these rights in the constitutional, however is it not my constitutional right then not to pay for their upkeep. Ergo if you do not like the rules and laws where you are move on, it's your right to do so & we won't stop you!

Anonymous May 22, 2009 11:35 AM
Being homeless is a sweet deal? You rushing out to join their ranks Maury?

That said, I wonder if I have a Constitutional right not to have pan handlers knocking on my doors at night begging for money or throwing stuff at my car when I tell them no

Anonymous May 22, 2009 12:35 PM
Wow; there are some truly heartless people here! I don't normally think this way, but I sincerely hope that all of you become mentally ill (yes, it can happen to you), lose your housing and come up against people just like your former selves!

Anonymous May 22, 2009 1:06 PM
There are more homeless citizens than available services. Many are veterans, disabled, or unemployed because of lay offs. It could happen to anyone of us. Rich or poor, no one deserves to be harassed for merely existing. Homelessness is not a crime

Anonymous May 22, 2009 2:39 PM
If people who have homes and jobs and sukch have a responsibility to the homeless what responsibility do the homeless have to the taxpayer? Go visit San Francisco to see what lawyers create when they force crazy panhandlers upon the rest of us.

Anonymous May 22, 2009 3:05 PM
Every other homeless man claims to be a veteran. Liberals like to buy into this lie 'cause it serves their causes. The truth is the vast majority of "homeless veterans" know the lie is worth a few extra bucks and a bucket of sympathy from Danell.

Anonymous May 22, 2009 3:22 PM
So the homeless have a right to urinate in public? What if the public should exercise their right to urinate on the possession of the homeless. How many "advocates" would defend that right?

Anonymous May 22, 2009 4:15 PM
They need to get a life & I don't think the working
folks need to pay for the freeloaders. Give them a time frame to get it together & then a bus ticket out of here.

Anonymous May 22, 2009 4:16 PM
If they don't like the way they are treated do us all a favor and leave our city.

Anonymous May 22, 2009 4:23 PM
Threefuries from Tallahassee might be right so lets help them out and ship them to tallahassee and see if you stay as liberal as you are now....I suspect not, should they be camping( and urinating ) on your doorstep!

Anonymous May 22, 2009 5:28 PM
Roy, get a grip.

Nobody said any of us SHOULD be urinating in public. But when there's nowhere else to go... St. Pete is sadly one of the finest examples of a failed society: homeless people on the street AND empty buildings everywhere.

Anonymous May 22, 2009 7:28 PM
I've been a life long resident & am disgusted by the aggressive "homeless". They have options (Pinellas hope) but most DO NOT want to live by the rules & want an easy ride. I spend my hard earned money everywhere but downtown St. Pete..Pitiful!!

Anonymous May 22, 2009 7:34 PM
To Mike from St Pete: the homeless DO have options!! Most want a hand out & not a hand up. Why don't you open up your home & lead by example. I am empathetic to those in need but am also realistic to this sad display of entitlement to harass.

Anonymous May 22, 2009 7:46 PM
Kahunna: Well said & on point!!!!!!
Danell: You're right, Homelessness is not a crime but harassment by aggressive vagrants is! Besides, most of there signs read "Why lie, want beer". I am over it!!!

Anonymous May 22, 2009 8:24 PM
Homelessness, like skateboarding, is not a crime - but it ought to be! Danell, there is a war on so the supposed vets should re-enlist. The more services you provide the more it attracts. Try feeding a stray cat one day & see what happens.

Anonymous May 22, 2009 11:06 PM
These dregs of society should all be collected and shipped off to a work camp and made to clean our roads and perform other community work. I don't feel sorry for them one bit. Most want to be homeless.

Anonymous May 22, 2009 11:08 PM
Between the homeless and preditor parking ticket writers (police) I never go downtown.

Anonymous May 23, 2009 3:24 AM
DO NOT buy that "veteran" bit for one second... as a vet myself, and an active vets' advocate, take it from me that if they are homeless, it is entirely their choice to be. And most are simply frauds who feel entitled and NEVER even wore the uniform

Anonymous May 25, 2009 11:16 AM
did any of these city officials offer food, clothing or shelter to these people? Any charity organizations in the area that couold help? How much did the taxpayers pay for them to draft the news ordinances? What happens when 1000 more come to town?

I hardly ever seen the local news report any good that's being done to fix the problem here in Tampa. When I ask myself why that is the only answer I can think of is "because there really is nothing good in way of this problem going on". But you can see by this what the homeless people here in Tampa, Florida are up against.

I have recently seen this link:

where this statement was made:

The metropolitan area with the highest rate of homelessness was Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida, at 57 per 10,000 people. Among the states with the highest rate were Oregon and Hawaii, at 45 per 10,000 people.
The national rate was 21 per 10,000 people.

I'm pretty sure that if you look around you will see a lot of data that supports that statement. And by this you can see the problem is not only real but also not going away anytime soon. All you have to do is look around Tampa and see that the problem is huge here and the solutions to fix the problem (if any) are going nowhere fast.

Recently I spoke with someone who said that the biggest reason there are so many homeless people here is because of the winter weather. To me, that makes since. In an effort to survive the streets and stay warm, homeless people will come to Florida. I have actually seen people talk about this often as they were about to become homeless and thought about how they would survive. I can see a "soon to be" homeless person coming here as a way to survive and getting stuck very easily!  This weather factor is not likely to change. The weather might be a very big reason for the problem, but it has nothing to do with the solution.

Now, if you are thinking I'm going to say something here like "there is no help here in Tampa, Fl," then you are wrong. There is help here in Tampa. If you are homeless here and IF (that's a big IF) you  have the resources to look for that help, you will find it eventually.

Nonetheless, I still have to say this: most of the help here comes in the form of simple resources (shelters, food, clothing) and yes, this is mostly done by the local churches as far has I can see. It is quite obvious, however,  that there is little help coming from other organizations. Sure, there are some, and YES, some are even  effective, but I have found that the organizations are limited, and also the problem is simply too big for them to handle by themselves. Simply put, (and I'm sure most EVERY SINGLE homeless person here in Tampa will agree), if you are homeless in Tampa, Florida and you look around hard enough you will survive the day to day struggles of the homelessness life. However, you are highly unlikely to get off the streets.

So what needs to happen here in Tampa, FL to get this problem fixed?

One,  we need a city council member who understands the problem for what it is and also uses their brains to work out the problem. That would be a start.

Second, unity of the resources and organizations that are available. Now, I realize that's very unlikely to happen, but I can still hope. These resources need to pull together and figure out a way to be seen and utilized by NOT just the homeless here, but also the average citizen who wants to help. Today a friend sent me a blog link, and in that blog I read this statement:

 "Collaboration rather than isolation; working to fill the gap with other agencies. As collaboration happens there needs to be effective needs assessment to determine what the true need is rather than the perceived need. Clothes and food may not be the real need".

I find a lot of truth in this when I think about Tampa. This is a basic anti-homeless structure, effectively used by not just small groups and organizations, but also by entire cites. I have seen it used. It is effective. Tampa, FL simply has not figured this out yet, or they have, but the homeless haters here have bashed this concept down in their attempts to move the homeless out.

Last, the hatters here need to stop crying about it, and stop leaving the problem to the few local churches and small organizations that do help. The homeless haters here in Tampa have large mouths and it's a shame that they have so much attention and influence over the law makers and city council people here. The homeless people of Tampa, FL are not going anywhere. Whether they (you, homeless haters) like it or not. And believe it or not, these solutions I propose now are easily said and easily done. If you live here in Tampa, I challenge you to take a good look outside your window and consider that what I tell you now is a truth. I believe you will see it yourself.

The following is my personal favorite homeless hater here in Tampa, Florida. Here is a very smart man that was in favor of the pan handling ban. He is easy to find on FB and you can see there (if you don't believe me here) that he makes all his nasty statements public.

"my area has been "scum" free now. If they do come back I don't have a problem calling the popo or the mayor."

another by him:
- " both my wife and I have been to intersection of hillsborough & 56. They are working it. They also run fast and ditch their signs at the mall Denny's. Like roaches, but and with no vests."

and another (YES, this guy is my favorite hater):
"stores pay taxes, lots of them, have inspections, health codes, collect sales tax, employ people, and are a benefit to the community. what do panhandlers/hawkers in the streets bring to our community, crime, don't pay taxes, cheat welfare, rob stores of customers so stores have to lay off employees, don't collect taxes, don't have licenses, don't pass health codes, and when injured will sue not only the driver, but the city too. our city council and lawyers are morons"

Here is one from one of his responders:
- "That panhandler may also be a sexual predator, murderer, or wanted. I'd like to get the scum off our streets"

And here is the first nut some more:
"Well, at least our city council are consistent, at being ignorant morons."

"Well, I was right, some yo-yo is going to print a special newspaper for panhandlers., so they can still be in the streets. City Council, Mayor, you suck."

"As I sat in Burger Kings drive up yesterday (for over 20 minutes) one of the bums that "sells" a paper IN the streets walked up to the drive up window and demanded to be served, as he was "starving". It is against Fl law to serve anyone that just walks up to a drive up window, but then, these bums really don't care about our laws here in fla, and our officials don't really care about enforcing them."

I've seen quite a bit while here in Tampa. I see a huge problem with homelessness. I see a huge problem with the attitude about the homeless. I also see a lot of people that support that bad attitude. However, I also see people that do want to help. The people that do want to help are all one their own, it seems. They don't get support. They are simply left to deal with the problem. While the ones that do not help cry their little eyes out, throw fits about it, and make things worse. WHOOOO HOOOOO BOOOOOO HOOOOOO!

I want you to know that I did not take this post lightly. I thought long and hard about what I wanted say. I also want you to know that in an effort to make sure what I'm saying was accurate I talked to quite a few people. Yes, these were prominent people, and yes, for the VERY most part, they agree with me. From Executive Directors, to cops, to homeless people, to a few public leaders, across the board there is a wide range of opinions. However, I have found that most everyone agrees when I say "Tampa, FL wants to push the homeless out" and "the law makers and city council of Tampa do not want to do the right thing, largely on account of people that are against the homeless". It is simply much easier to push the homeless out, and make homelessness someone else's problem, than to actually THINK about how to fix it, and fix it. What's funny is that the law makers and city council of Tampa has not done either.

Dear Tampa FL homeless hater,
If you want the problem to go away then I suggest you stop crying. Instead of wasting your time trying to push the homeless out you could actually do something to help fix the problem. I'm willing to bet that if you had that attitude you would find yourself  in a whole new, very enlightened, life as opposed to being part of what's making the problem worse, and being the half witted, wimpy, cry babies you are now.

Dear Tampa city council and law makers,
Stop passing laws that are based on the half wits above, then standing around scratching your heads wondering why the problem is getting worse and not going away.

Dear homeless helpers,
I think you do a great job with what you have. But this should not be simply left to you to deal with. I see you all have good solutions for the day to day struggles of the homeless. But what the homeless here in Tampa need (and clearly do not have) are long term solutions. Resources and events that are going to help take the homeless people out of the problem. Tampa, FL can be a great place, even with the homeless problem. I believe that very much. People like communities that care about people.

Usually I don't get like this. Usually my tone is much different. I'm just fed up with the crying and the people that support that attitude. As you can see by looking around it has not gotten anyone anywhere. The crying hasn't stopped anymore than the homeless problem solved.

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