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This reference will date me, but back in the late 50’s or early 60’s, when I was a kid, there was a cartoon, with a moral (like many things during that era) called Mr Wizard. In each episode, a character asked Mr. Wizard to make him something he’d rather be than a boy.
In one episode, for example, Mr. Wizard granted the boy’s wish and made him a bird. The boy wanted to fly and be free. For awhile, he enjoyed it, but when a hawk swooped down on him to devour him, the boy pleaded “Please Mr. Wizard, take me back. I don’t want to be a bird!”
By choice, I have become homeless, living in my car for the past few months. Because a sickly person has nowhere to go, and can’t stay in a home with me, we’ve been sleeping in my car.
As I mentioned in a previous blog, my first “homeless” experience occurred when I spent a night on a walkway besides a business off a main street in Levittown, PA. After this experience, a homeless woman said “Jeff, just because you spent one night” on the street, you haven’t fully experienced what it’s like to be homeless.
Now I have a better idea of what it’s like to be homeless.
It can really suck eggs! Please, Mr. Wizard, take me back. I don’t want to be a homeless person!
Things you take for granted, such as having a bathroom a few feet away, where you can do your business, bathe, get hot water to soak your feet, having a refrigerator where you can store perishables, have a table and lots of storage space for food, medicines, and other items, are missing in this equation. You don’t have a desk or place to keep papers. If you want to eat hot food, you have to eat out or pay cash at a store and eat in your car, which I find, has limited space. You get to drive a hybrid — both a bed and a form of transportation.
There are many people in this position — in cars, in tents, or out on the streets. According to a Bucks County preliminary point in time count for homeless people, released January 26, 2015, the preliminary count for unsheltered people for 2015 is 38. In 2013 this count was 41, and for 2014 was 28. The unsheltered are people who “self- report they will be staying in their cars or outside or outdoors the evening of the count”, according to the county report.
People are unsheltered because the local shelters are full, and there is nowhere else to go except their cars, tents in the woods or out in the street with sleeping gear.
Unfortunately, Mr. Wizard is not here to take them back. I know many people in Bucks County may not be living in the real world, especially the people running the county, but Mr. Wizard is fictional (hate to break it to you).
What is real is Gimmee Shelter for the Homeless. If you are really serious about helping your fellow Americans who happen to be homeless, please go to the link below. You can skip the ad after a few seconds.