Monday, September 27, 2010

Homeless Culture: Lack of Fear

When one lives in a certain context, then that context lacks fear. If one hears gunshots on a regular basis, then gunfire loses all power to cause fear. Even so, those not homeless are scared of living on the street and one can’t imagine how one lives that way. The homeless are scary because they are strange. When one becomes homeless they are nervous about who they will meet and the tragedies that will follow.

Eventually, one learns that homelessness is just another way to live, with its pluses and minuses like any other way to live. But there is no fear of homelessness. For many people who had been homeless and then lived back in a middle class lifestyle, they know that homelessness is always an option, if necessary, and not a frightening one. I know of one man who was homeless and then ended up in an apartment. He couldn’t afford dentures, so he became homeless a while by his own choice so he could save up for a set of dentures. When he was ready, he moved back into an apartment. It was just an option for him. I know of others who become homeless for a month or two every year because they miss the kind of choices it afforded them.

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