Is the place you sleep at night physiologically safe? Pyschologically safe? Emotionally safe?
My wish for you: May it be so.
One of the circumstances that occurs for those of us without homes is having a place to sleep during the pm hours; and wandering the streets during the am hours.
That's not a diss. It's merely a statement of fact.
I am very grateful to the shelters (temporary winter shelters, daily one-night line up shelters, emergency short-term shelters and the other shelters that exist) for their offerings of sleeping facilities.
Most days, you'll see many of us (us = myself and others like me without homes) on the streets, in places where there are a lot of people to blend in with (like Hollywood Blvd), on public transportation, at libraries, in malls, in parks ... or wherever it is you see us.
Yesterday (December 25, 2010) was an exceptional day of the year as many places I go for safety, warmth, and electrical plug-ins were closed.
My feets are tired! ::grin::
It was also an exceptional day, as I had the opportunity to take some photos and movies of where I was on the iPod I was given by www.invisiblepeople.tv / wearevisible.com / @hardlynormal. Therefore today is an exceptional day for you because you get to see the photos (naw, don't go looking for professional shots -- I can barely hold the equipment still!)
The day started out by locking my trusty steed D'Artagnan (a glorious tricycle I use to get me to metro.net rail stations) at a bike rack big enough to hold it safely all day. Nope, no shots of D'Artagnan at this time!
Traveling the rails to a well-used bus-stop, Gilda Radner's *fixed* Hollywood star jumped out at me! How wonderful to see it fixed (shots of what it used to look like a few months ago are on my posterous page--you'll have to scroll down that page to see the original shot).
Imagine my surprise of getting on a random bus (I was heading to 3rd & Fairfax to see what was up in that area) only to find myself face-to-face with an astounding gentleman without a home (David), whom I had met at a Winter Shelter only days before! I had gone to the Winter Shelter to participate in a memorial ritual for the homeless who have died on the streets in the year 2010.
During the short conversation another gentleman, with a gorgeous eagle bolo tie, on the bus introduced himself to me. It wasn't hard to ascertain I am homeless as David (my friend using the Winter Shelter) asked me loudly on the bus if I was homeless.
Laugh Factory, in Hollywood. I mean, I knew they had supreme talent there-- I'm new enough to the streets, this time around, that I didn't know they served a meal. In fact, as the gentleman pointed out to me they served multiple times during the day. At 1:pm, 3:pm, 5:pm and I think he said 7:pm -- but I could be mistaken on that.
However, it must be well-known to the locals, because that line you see forming (look closely) is at 10:30am and the first dinner was not due to be served until 1:pm.
What a tremendous thing!
The day doesn't end there, however. I had much more time to wander, until dark-thirty became a reality!
Next was a trip to downtown Los Angeles, to find a public restroom I could use. So it was off to Patsaouras Transit Plaza, and one of the grandest moments of my day, the fish! If you look carefully, you'll see the shadow of the child in the reflection of the tank glass. He was rushing up to get a look at the fish, and his head actually pops into one of the frames for a brief moment.
Pausing to sit down for a bit, I found out about the event taking place in Pasadena ... so it was onto the Goldline and over to Central Park. Wow! What a scene! It was HUGE! The park was overflowing with people, volunteers and attendees. I like it!
Dinner in the Park. Not only were they serving "wonderful and nutritious holiday meals to those in-need in the community" they were providing a Santa's Village for children to get gifts; resounding music throughout the area; and an unplanned play area for LeafBall throwing.
Now, being the intrepid reporter-on-the-streets ( ::rofl -- I've always wanted to use that phrase, however, I don't think I wanted so much emphasis of "on-the-streets" ::giggle:: ) I needed to stop, rest my feet and sit-a-spell. The Coffee Bean close to the park did the trick. However, trying to get my laptop to function was a half-hour ordeal, and the bless'd little thing apparently was having battery problems as well. I gave up and moved onto my next destination.
Taking a slow moving bus (as opposed to the faster moving Goldline to the Redline) I dwaddled my way over to Hollywood/Highland again. This time to meditate with the dragon. Yes, it is possible to meditate surrounded by myriad folks ... just harder for me than being at Zuma beach at sunrise!
The number of people on the Blvd. area was astounding! It must have been 4:pm-ish and the sidewalks were jam-packed! But I did wander into Grauman's Chinese Center Court to a spot where no people were so I could take my last shots for the day. I adore this dragon.
It grew darker, much colder and it was time to return to the location where I'm sleeping on the floor; giving me the ability to recharge my valiant laptop and put up this diary entry for you to browse through.
May your days be merry and bright ... and may all your dreams come true, each night.
A pleasure to be with you mes amis!