Thursday, September 17, 2009


8/25/09: I don’t want my mother to know that even I think this one’s crazy.  Where am I going to sleep, and will I feel safe and secure enough to get any sleep?  Where will I bathe?  Where will I access clean water, and where will I crap?  These are my major worries.  If I could scout out an acceptable, secure place where I might feel relatively free from getting harassed by the police or by late night partiers or by the homeless or by drug dealers or by thugs, then I might be less nervous.  But you have to figure that these few great “camping” places have been staked and claimed already, and that if I plop down in one of them, I’ll have a turf battle on my hands.  I could hang out with some of our clients but many of them are terrible alcoholics, or drug users and still others we suspect are dealers.  Don’t really want to deal with any of that at 3 AM, and certainly don’t want to be arrested for something worse than vagrancy. 

8/31/09: Thank God Erace Homelessness is successfully behind us. It is an exhausting undertaking but we had a record turnout so we’re happy about that. Now we have to get back to the DRCOG problem.

9/1/09: I have to keep reminding myself that I’m going to be the scary guy. It was a great relief to come up with a park I know well as a possible place to sleep, at least on my first night as a homeless person. I spent a lot of time there as a kid, it’s a manageable size in a nice neighborhood, and there are some bushes clustered together that should offer some cover, at least they did back then. I’ll have to go scout it out.

9/3/09: I got over to the park. There is in fact a perfect collection of bushes providing lots of cover and inside them is a perfect place to sleep the size of one person. There were several beer bottles, a vodka bottle and some pants left where there was supposed to have been a completely undiscovered crash pad. It might be a little too small and a little too popular for my comfort.

9/16/09: Last night in my condo. It’s a surreal feeling that I’ve garaged my car where it will stay, I’ll be using my bed for the last time tonight, my shower for the last time tomorrow morning, that I’ll be shuttering and leaving my place tomorrow morning not to return until our DRCOG funding is restored. Our formal homeless protest, our “homeless strike” begins. I’ve been thinking and worrying about this for a month now so it’s a relief that it’s finally beginning because it won’t be over until it begins.

9/17/09: The big day. I made my announcement this morning. Tonight I will be homeless.


  1. Ted's courageous protest on behalf of the voiceless--in this case, the homeless--comes from a remarkable lineage including Thoreau, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King. Every human being has a right to shelter and food. His action prompts me to contribute to Senior Support Services, to implore DRGOG to restore the $75,000 it cut, and to persist in volunteer activities to end homelessness.

  2. I hope you get the funding back, I see DRCOG has one employment opening for PR, that more than makes up the difference of your funding. Maybe the best thing they can do for PR is restore Sr.Support Services. The public budget has always been balanced on the backs of the most vulnerable, and those at the top never really feel that.
    If nothing else this action on your part will seal your commitment to those you nobly serve.
    Thank you,
    Shirley Whiteside (former homeless outreach worker)
    PS. Honor the camper. Never ever reveal your spots.

  3. while i have no doubt ted's intentions are genuine, these kinds of protests are all too often symbolic; they're good for garnering pr, which is good for pressure, but all too often they don't result in systemic change, ie, getting to the root.

    if his program receives funding, in other words, the problems still persist. what happens when the next fiscal year comes up and the recession is ratcheted up beyond now? this is a VERY distinct possibility, given the fact that there is NO recovery in sight, despite what "they" say:

    part of ted's problem is one that plagues so many non-profs; they aren't entrepreneurial, and rely on hand outs in the form of grants, subsidies and donations. that's a tough way to make a living in a GOOD economy, but in this one it's off the charts.

    i always advise non-profs to figure out ways that they can be independent, entrepreneurial and self-sufficient. it's the only way they will ever be free of the vicious cycle ted's org is now undergoing.