Our house is up for sale and we are moving into our bus today. We have many things left to do to make this Tiny Home On Wheels complete in our eyes, but we are ready to jump in and move out of our traditional house. As happy as that makes us we wanted to take a moment to talk about a serious issue that we want to address.
What many people see as a dream come true and an epic adventure is unfortunately the very real world for a lot of people. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, as of 2017 there were around 554,000 homeless people in the United States on any given night. And as the weather turns colder, there are many people who will suffer without a place to stay, a hot meal, or a warm place to sleep at night.
Choosing to live a nomadic lifestyle and minimizing our worldly possessions seems to be a trend at the moment, there were many reasons why we chose it for ourselves and I am sure there are countless reasons why others choose it as well, but let us not forget that there are those that did not choose to be without a home, or a heater, or a shower, or means to a hot meal.
I am reminded of a ride along I did as a Police Recruit prior to joining the Police Academy in 2009. Through the night of this ride along there had been a slight misting in the air and the temperature hovered around 40 degrees. We received a call that a “disturbed man” had called the police non emergency number. He stated he had been hearing voices and needed help. We were sent to help get him to the Psychological Rehabilitation Center.
When we arrived we see a slender man, his hair a mess, and carrying a small torn backpack with a broken zipper. His belongings falling out, and him trying, frustrated, to put them back in. The officer I rode with asked him what was going on. He told us his situation and that he wanted to have a warm bed and a hot meal and asked if we could take him somewhere. There were 2 options. Either he could go to jail (the officer would make up a lesser charge to get him in) or he could go to the rehabilitation center a few blocks from the jail. He decided to go to jail for the night, he “didn’t want to be around the crazies at 8th Street (the rehab center).
During the ride to jail we talked to him. He was a veteran that had unfortunately come back from his deployment many years ago to a life that fell apart. Drinking was an everyday occurrence and soon after drug habits got a hold of him. He chose the actions that led to his own homelessness, he admitted that. There are many people living on the streets from their own doing and from situations outside of their control. We’ve met many, we’ve helped those we could and we want to continue helping.
We’ve handed out clothes, sleeping bags, cold weather gear, personal health products and other things in Jacksonville in the past and we are doing the same with some of the items we are getting rid of to downsize.
If you’d like to help the less fortunate we have set up a few tiers on our Patreon that you can donate to. Destoni crochets hats that we give to those less fortunate along the way. We choose to give and to help and we hope that it makes a difference in the world we live in.
As you spend the holidays with friends, family, and loved ones, remember that there are a lot of folks out there that could use a little help. A hug, a hot cup of cocoa, a warm meal, a homemade hat or even a hand me down jacket can bring joy and hope to so many others.
Have a happy holiday season from Sloth High Five