Living homeless on the streets of San Diego is about survival! It isn’t easy being homeless in America’s “finest” city. As many in the community pull their cars into their garage at night, flip on the lights of their homes and look into their refrigerators for the evening meal…. being homeless paints a far different picture!
They are the hidden society, often they wake far earlier than most to get off the sidewalks, store front porches, parks, alleyways or under bridges to move along from there cold and unpleasant doze before those living in homes see them. They struggle daily for their basic needs that most take for granted…. where to shower, where to use the restroom, and most importantly where to find their next meal. The struggle is day in and day out that is never ending! They are on high alert, always having to watch their back, protecting the very few items they have to their name…. the basic possessions most of us take for granted are used for their survival.
Living on the streets is far more severe than just having a place to sleep! The fear of being robbed and beaten is constantly at mind! “I thought being in combat was rough”, one vet Anthony 23, told us! “I found myself sleeping in a trench in North Afghanistan…. It was hot, humid and I was scared! Scared the enemy would find us, scared to sleep in such darkness and despair. I never imagined coming home to nobody and having to live those nights of afghanistan again but now on these very streets of San diego ….every day seems hopeless, and filled with the fear that it will never get better. “
Societies basic view of “go get a job” is nearly a fairy tale when put into such a deep and unforgiving position. No transportation, No clean clothes, nothing to keep up with hygiene,and no paperwork to even prove who i am.. Where will I shower, were will i find my next meal, how am I to prepare myself for a “day at work” when i’m just fighting to stay alive… Being homeless isnt just having no place to sleep. I have been forgotten by all, everyday this hopelessness settles in more. It seems a dream of a normal life is to imaginary as I have near given up and lost all hope.