By Mary Rogers
Homeless since: April 2008.
Background: [Owl is between 18 and 25 years old.] I was a Navy brat born in Iceland. My family moved around a lot. I got arrested when I was traveling through Rhode Island. I did nine months at the ACI. I was released from prison into homelessness. When I tried to have my probation transferred to a place where I could live, they denied my transfer.
Times got so tough I wanted to go back to prison for a place to stay. Instead of arresting me when I asked to go back, the state placed me in the Eleanor Slater Hospital. There I was diagnosed with a mental problem.
Now, I am on GPA medical and still homeless. I tried staying at the Urban League but there were too many people. I slept outside for awhile, then stayed at the Mathewson Street Church, and now I am staying with a friend.
Interests: Spray painting furniture, writing, poetry, traveling.
What have I learned: Shelters promote adverse lifestyles, many of the people get into drugs, prostitution. They do not have anything positive. Sleeping outside is peaceful; there is no one bugging me. When I am living outside I have to be in a ready state to protect myself from anyone who might try to hurt me. There is also a constant worry of the police bothering you. They always ask you to move on. I feel like a real criminal.
Plans: I am going to try to get housing by any means possible. I am pending SSI. I only want a place to live with four walls and a door. I wish everyone could just cart around four walls and a door, then no one would be without a place to stay.
Advice: [If you feel that you might hurt someone else...] just curl up into a ball and scream and do not stop screaming until someone comes to help. Someone will help you and will send you to the hospital. Once at the hospital take all the help you can. If they send you to a mental health provider keep all the appointments.
Dreams: I would really like to become a writer. I am interested in writing scripts for plays, TV and movies. Right now I am a staff writer for Street Sights.