Homelessness Marathon blog

... ending homelessness isn't a matter of charity, but a matter of changing the way our society is structured. -- Homelessness Marathon founder, Jeremy Weir Alderson, aka Nobody.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Homelessness is having no place to hang your hat

An old My Turn of mine published in the Burlington Free Press years ago (which I had also previously blogged to the North American Homeless News Network blog, here as well as Green Mountain Daily blog, here):

Sunday, July 14, 2002
Burlington Free Press
[Burlington, Vermont]
Editorial/Opinion section
"It's My Turn"/Op-Ed segment
Homelessness is having no place to hang your hat

By Morgan W. Brown

If "home is where one hangs one's hat," where does a person who is living homeless hang their hat?

When a person hangs their hat someplace temporarily, are they no longer considered truly homeless even if, in fact, it is not really their home?

Being homeless myself, I know well how the smallest items of hope are always held onto very tightly.

Just like one's own sense of dignity, self-respect, pride -- which are equally cherished and held close, such hope can often prove extremely useful and even vital in the long journey being undertaken just in managing to survive as well as living independently.

These core parts of one's self can also be key to what is needed to help find, obtain and then move into some form of safe, decent and affordable housing of one's own; which is an essential part of what is needed to end homelessness.

As near as it may be to my becoming housed once again, after being homeless in its various forms for nearly five years this time around, one would think nothing could easily stand in my way.

Yet, there are many moments when it seems too daunting and so very far away to ever be accomplished on one's own.

There are those days, and even weeks, which do not seem to pass by without a severe and persistent need to find and renew hope, inner strength as well as faith in everything.

Almost constantly, in many different ways, I remind myself that whatever the circumstances or, how they are experienced and felt, there are always other ways of thinking about them and other methods of accomplishing something when it is waited for a little while longer and, what is sought is looked for even deeper than we may believe is possible and, the support needed to do so is received.

Just as crucial though, the value of the smallest or seemingly least important thing to provide inspiration should never be underestimated; often found in what we may perceive to be the most unlikely of places or persons, especially when it is needed the most.

These are among the things which often help me to never, ever, give up on anything or anybody -- and, most importantly, never on myself.

When I do find and move into a place of my own, my hat will be hung where it can be grabbed at ease when needed. Then whenever it is off of my head and in its usual resting place, I will know I am home.

Morgan W. Brown is living homeless in Montpelier.
To provide an update to the above bio of mine, after twelve (12) rather lengthy years of living without permanent housing (aka living houseless, aka homeless), I finally became housed once again, which occurred in mid-August of 2009 and have been residing in a small efficiency apartment within Montpelier, Vermont ever since.

Another version of what had been an original much lengthier three part essay of mine the above was drawn from is available, here (via Poor Magazine).

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