May 25 2005

Homeless in Santa Cruz

Posted by J. Craig Canada in church groups, Cyberspace, page smith, shelter
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It’s been nearly two months now I’ve been homeless; first sleeping in hotels, and then in my car and in an abandoned building. And then in parks and church floors through the homeless services in Santa Cruz.

I got a library card yesterday and this is my first time using their computers. They say you’re limited to an hour a day…and my first thought was, “I can’t do anything in an hour.”

And they also have it rigged so you can’t upload anything, which means I can’t send email using my POP email accounts. So if anyone wants to email me palmspringsbum@yahoo.com or palmspringsbum@palmspringsbum.com is about the only way I will both know you’ve sent me an email or that I can reply.

I can access my email online from those accounts.

Being homeless is pure Hell. With luck I will be able to sleep with the church groups 6 days a week until I can get into the ‘Shelter’, which is free lodging in a dorm-like setting for 30 days.

All of the housing assistance available tests for drugs and I’ve been told as a medical marijuana patient I’m not eligible. Page Smith, for instance, is an 18 month ‘program’ here that gives subsidized or free housing. But they test for drugs, including marijuana. It is described as a ‘clean & sober’ environment. I’ve been told they have people with prescriptions for morpheme there…and everyone thinks it’s unfair I can’t live there and get my life back together.

There’s not much I can do until I get into the shelter. I have to take the bus at 1:45 pm to get to the shelter in time to be there for the sign-up for the church groups everyday in order to have a place to sleep. It’s aginst the law to sleep in public in Santa Cruz. They even passed a law against using a blanket…

There are a few homeless people that are obnoxious. And I guess those are the only homeless anyone sees.

I have medicine for diabetes, to lower my blood sugar, but I’m afraid to start taking it, even if it will result in me losing the extra 60 or so pounds I carry. Both it and an antibiotic list diarrhea as a possible side effect. And I’ve had problems, serious problems, with diarrhea from other pharmaceuticals. I just don’t think I can deal with that being homeless – If I should need a bathroom at 3 in the morning – well, there isn’t one here.

I was just given a 10 minute warning so I doubt I will be able to publish this today…


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