About Me

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Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States
A former homeless man in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, I am now back to my first love since being homeless no more, politics & racial oppression. Come join me on this adventure.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The End Of Homelessness In Cedar Rapids.....Part Uno

By Jueseppi B.

This installment is dedicated to Ms. Nancy Stephens, a Facebook friend, who reminds me, from time to time, to get off my ass and write. 

I left off last Friday, the 13th, telling you about my good fortune to get into the Mission Of Hope Shelter (MOH), and it was a stroke of good blessing. The staff at MOH helped me by supplying me with a list of housing options, allowing me to bend the rules a bit about eating because of my diabetes, ( you were only allowed to eat dinner in the shelter, which they provided for us) and allowed us all the option of staying in the shelter during the day if we decided to not leave. Of course we couldn't just stay in bed all day, we had chores to perform in the shelter if we chose to remain inside all day.

The atmosphere in this shelter was such a change from the Dady Shelter, God does work in mysterious ways. Right away I got busy revisiting all the agencies I visited before getting approved for SSI/SSDI...hoping that some or all would view me differently. I went back to the housing/rental agencies, and re-applied for the apartments with the backing of being approved for SSI/SSDI. Lo & behold...two days after "revisiting" one of the rental agencies, I got a call from a woman who told me someone had canceled their application for housing and I was next....and she had a studio ready for me to move into ASAP. I went to see the apartment, and it was clean, very nice and the price was perfect.

The next few days flew by in a rush of moving my very few possessions into my new apartment. I can not express the feeling of walking into your own place, using that key for the very first time. Stepping through the door way, into what will eventually become your sanctuary, your place of refuge, the one place where you can relax, unwind and de-stress. I did all of the moving on my own, and got everything in place in just over a few weeks....as a matter of fact, my brand new bed arrived this morning. The first time in over four months I will be sleeping in a real bed, not on a cot, or in a prison bed that the shelters supply. Over four months of being in rooms with four to a room, sharing bathrooms, dinning tables, privacy being impossible to come by.

Being lied to by "professionals" who are paid to help you, facing each day thinking is this the day I will find hope and get a place/job, or will this be the day I give up and step in front of a semi? I jumped through the "therapist/psychiatrist" hoop for the sake of trying all things suggested to me by the "professionals". I discovered that this world we live in is all about the Benjamin's...Cash Money....Dollar Bills. A medical doctor will prescribe you medication, with no basis whatsoever, just so he/she can be paid by the pharmaceutical companies who reimburse them with everything from cash stipends to golf memberships for pushing THEIR drugs.

Every "professional" I ever talked to, and I talked to hundreds, all suggested the same party line bull shit....get into therapy, see a psychiatrist, get involved in group sessions. Now, could someone explain to me how situational depression, which is what the geniuses diagnosed me with, can be cured by talking to a shrink, or a therapist, or sitting in group session for 3 days a week, 3 hours a day? Here is how you cure "situational depression"....CHANGE THE SITUATION. You do NOT prescribe six, count 'em....six anti-depressants/sleep drugs to a patient whom you never even talked to, upon reading a chart. I was depressed because of being thrown into homelessness by my ex-wife, during a divorce, a woman with no heart or conscious, but she is a Christian. I suppose her Bible teaches her Christ would do that very thing she did, make me homeless.

Here's a clue...if you remove the reason for depression, especially situational depression, which is caused by a new or existing situation which depresses you....then the situational depression vanishes. Instead of the "professionals" assisting me with finding a solution to my homelessness...they ALL figured a way to make money off of my situational depression rather than give me resources that would remove me from the system. Everything I accomplished, everything, except securing a reduced price bus pass, I did on my own. I was actually denied real help by two men incompetent in their paid professions. Mr. Joe Zito, and Mr Dustin Noble. Two people in positions to help all homeless men, but they chose to pick who they help. The rest of us, are shit out of luck.

By me finding a place to live, which was only possible by being approved for SSI/SSDI...I removed the depression, which was caused by my situation being changed from normal to homeless. Now, if any one of the "professionals" would have addressed this case on a one to one basis...there would have been one less man in the system. That spot I occupied in the shelters could have gone to someone else. County and federal funding used for me in all the places it was used, could have gone to someone who was in real need.
Yes, I was in real need, but taking up space and funding that someone else could have used, if only I had been handled the correct way. Instead, most every person who was paid to help, did nothing but figure out how to make a buck off my situational depression.

It took me from January 13th until today, May 17th, thats 125 days, to go from homeless to starting my life over again from scratch. I was blessed, and not because I was on my knees praying asking for help. I was blessed because I believe I have a purpose to help others just like me. I do not know how to accomplish this yet, but I am working on it. Daily. This is not over....changes will be made from within....not today, but the changer will come...........

                                                               To Be Continued.............


  1. I'm glad you have a safe, clean place to live. Since you are a veteran, can any of the veteran's service organizations help you? Not thw VA, but other agencies? They also have advocates that may have some inside info to help. Stay safe friend.

  2. Morning Gail...me and uncle Sam are at odds with one another, and being hard headed, I chose to do this on my own dime. The U.S. government and Veterans Admin/Affairs are not for me for personal and humane beliefs. But everything turned out ok.

    Thanks for your kind words.