14 March, 2007

Dear Homeless Guy

I, too, could usefive thousand dollars. I already have a home, though. So I don't know exactly what hook I can use to grift it out of people.

I'll even make a deal with you. If I can raise the money I need to get out of homelessness, I'll never bother you again.

How much money will it take this time? Will the $5K be enough? Last time you had a home--about a year ago--that well-meaning people helped you get, you decided that the pressure and responsibilty were too much so you packed your bags and fled to that hotbed of responsibility and reason known as Las Vegas. If you get $5K now, what are your plans for it? How exactly will you spend it to "get out of homelessness"? It's not enough to buy a house. It's not enough to rent an apartment for more than a few months.

I'm tired, and I just want to go home - (if I had a home).

I don't doubt that you are very tired. You yourself have mentioned that you suffer from myriad illnesses that keep you homeless. Given that, how exactly is money going to solve your problem? Is money going to cure your various psychological ailments? I doubt it.

If you are truly serious (again) about leaving homelessness (again), then I suggest you speak to any one of the dozen outreach people available at the Rescue Mission, The Salvation Army or the Nashville Homeless Power Project. They can help you if you truly want to be helped.

If, however, all you want is to gull the Internet out of $5K, then you're doing just fine as is.


At 1:34 PM, March 14, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I already talked to those supposed "places of help" many times over the years. And guess what? They didn't help.

Do the math. The rescue mission and the campus for human development both claim that they see over 5 thousand different folks every year. And out that 5 thousand, how many do they actually help? Conveniently, the mission does not provide the number of people who returned to the streets shortly after helping them off the streets.

We could do with a little help here.

At 1:37 PM, March 14, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

btw, thanks for reading my blog.

At 2:06 PM, March 14, 2007, Blogger Kat Coble said...

You're welcome.

They didn't help.

So what is $5K in raw cash going to do that those organisations didn't do? How is cash, without any additional mental, emotional and physical support going to cure you of homelessness?

Conveniently, the mission does not provide the number of people who returned to the streets shortly after helping them off the streets.

You've mentioned this before and pointed to the rate of recidivism in homelessness. Given that as the case, why should we assume that a gift of $5K is not going to have the same net effect, in that you will use it up and then return to homelessness?

At 3:12 PM, March 14, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Desperation makes people do funny things.

Like you said, 5k could get me off the streets for several months. The plan is to then get a job of whatever kind so to keep whatever living arrangements I'm able to start out with, with that money.

I have to keep trying by whatever means available to me, and their really isn't anything but this blog. The mission doesn't work, the campus really doesn't offer anything for someone like me (I don't have a drug addiction) the power project is only a political org and does not provide any services. The Sally charges about 12 dollars a night for lodging. Matthew 25 almost works, but they also require a person to go through A and D rehab whether or not your have a drug or alcohol problem, and nothing is more depressing, making me more and more depressed, than doing that. I am very susceptible to depression.

When I went to LV, I had planned to be there only a couple days before heading on to San Diego. The plan was, once I got to San Diego I would visit my childhood home one last time before committing suicide.

You see, I had that apartment a year and a half ago because someone was paying my rent for me. But because I remained unemployed and was unable to take over those bills, I felt that it wasn't right for me to stay there - even though this person was willing to continue paying that bill. Excessive failures like this cause me to become depressed and suicidal.

But, I'm not really big on dying.

But, I digress.
When I got to LV I found the Catholic Charities shelter, and was amazed with it, and how helpful it could be. So I stayed there, instead.

After several months, I was feeling better - my depression had gone away. Then I received an email from a friend here in Nashville. It was an invite to a party he throws every year. I returned to Nashville via Greyhound. My initial plan was to come for the party and then leave for another city. I still had San Diego in mind - not because I was depressed, but because the Summers there are more bearable.

But, when I returned to Nashville, I sensed potential here. People seemed actually pleased to see me, and that I had returned. You see, another issue I had, which caused me to get depressed and leave Nashville was due to the fact that I'd become isolated. When I was homeless and downtown, there were always people around, but once in my apartment, the people I knew didn't come around, and it was very difficult, and costly, to go find them. Loneliness is an ugly thing.

Anyway, I admit that there's no guarantee that I'll be 'successful" this time out, and that I'll never return to homelessness. But I've got to try something cause being homeless is also killing me. Room In The Inn will be over at the end of the month, and I really can't bring myself to return to the mission and that degrading place. With no other option, in 2 and a half weeks, I'll be doing hardcore street homelessness.

With enough money, (the '5k' is an arbitrary number), I'll have another shot at making things better for myself. Without it, I'm done - it'll be all downhill from here on out. It'll be ugly.

Like I said, I'm desperate.

At 4:55 PM, March 14, 2007, Blogger Kat Coble said...

Well, I'm not a doctor, but I can tell you that depression doesn't just "go away". It sounds like you have manic phases, too. ( A manic phase would cause someone to hop on a bus and travel 1000 miles to go to a party.)

I'm sorry to say this but it does seem like you have a habit of getting in a good situation and then fleeing once things get too good. Here you had housing provided for you and then you left. In Vegas you were doing well at Catholic Charities and then left there.

Loneliness IS a hard thing for all people. You yourself mentioned that your blog is all you have. I don't see you giving that up, regardless of how much money you get for help.

Anyway, I admit that there's no guarantee that I'll be 'successful" this time out, and that I'll never return to homelessness. But I've got to try something cause being homeless is also killing me.

Kevin, I'll be honest. I've known a lot of drug addicts, alcoholics and chronic marital cheaters. They all say this same type of thing at least 4 times a decade. And I know that on one level they're very sincere. The drugs/drink/women/men ARE killing them. They want to get rid of the drugs/drink/women/men. They can't guarantee it'll be forever, but they will at least try.

Here's where I'm at with that:

I believe it can be done, that people can triumph over whatever mistakes they've made. But I don't believe any effort is sincere when all they do is ask others for help. There has to be some ground-level willingness to change that manifests itself in an outward effort on the part of the addict.

Unless the person asking for help is putting some kind of elbow grease into it, I don't think they are actually looking for anything more than a temporary fix.

You need more than cash. Your problems go deeper than money. Right now any money is just a band-aid that will keep you from going to the hated Rescue Mission. But it won't get you medical treatment, counselling and the other things that you so desparately need right now.

At 5:07 PM, March 14, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I appreciate that.

If you know where I can actually get REAL help, please let me know.

ps cramming the bible down my throat doesn't work.

Alcohol and Drug rehab doesn't work for me.

The mental health co/op only throws prescription drugs at you. but offers no real counseling.

I don't have the means to pay for a private shrink.

At 5:27 PM, March 14, 2007, Blogger Kat Coble said...

If I were going to do any Bible-cramming it would have come up by now.

Besides which, I understood that you were a professed Christian, so I would assume you are able to get Biblical counselling from your pastor.

As for the other types of help, you at least do need the perscriptions from the mental health co-op.

The Mental Health Association of Middle Tennesee has a list of support links to follow up with. Given your situation it would seem that you may qualify for TennCare or Cover Tennessee. I would suggest contacting the TN Mental Health Consumer's Association and asking someone there if they can direct you to some type of mental health services for the homeless.

I would also suggest that you contact the Depression and Bipolar Support Association for information. There are several support groups which meet around town and will have information specific to your medical needs.

At 5:29 PM, March 14, 2007, Blogger Kat Coble said...

This is the number to call for TennCare assistance.

At 7:05 PM, March 14, 2007, Anonymous Mac said...

Dear Pretty Farce,

You aren't a doctor, and I'd bet that in addition to your lack of medical knowledge about mental illness, you lack experiential knowledge of it, beyond simply knowing people who struggle with it. I don't know Mr. Barbieux, but I do know how hard it is for someone who is sick to advocate for him- or herself. Being ill is devastating, even for people who have homes.

Now, perhaps you don't think that Mr. Barbieux needs money to address his illness--that is beside the point. Also irrelevant is your demand that any donated money is spent in the way you see fit.

What astonishes me and prompts me to add a voice here is your ability--desire, even--to heap such judgement on someone who needs help. Mr. Barbieux's plea for cash could be the wrong way to get that help. But if you are genuine about wanting to help him, it requires something beyond judging and pointing to organizations that have already failed him.

Helping requires you to get down from your elevated position--box or horse, take your pick--and collaborate with Mr. Barbieux to discover what his needs are and how they can be met.

Otherwise you are simply a smug, offended bourgeois. Don't forget to shut the gate behind you on your way home.

At 7:32 PM, March 14, 2007, Blogger Kat Coble said...

The number of inaccurate assumptions in your comment, Mac, is laughable.

If you want to send Kevin some cash, go right ahead. I'm not stopping you.

At 11:34 PM, March 14, 2007, Anonymous B-Dub said...


You are doing fine.

Mac, as usual, wants to drop his comment bombs to appear intelligent while at the same time running someone down to make himself feel better.

Mac, sorry your life is pathetic but get a new hobby.

At 10:30 AM, March 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Morning Kat,
I will be posting on my own blog again today - I'm not giving up on the asking for money thing.

There is a lot of truth to what you say, but the right kind of help just isnt' available yet. But I know it is possible, if only the city would kick it in gear. The streets are a killer, and they are killing me. If I'm going to make it, I need to get off the streets,and soon. Yes, I have a problem with maintaining my own place. But, if I had what's called "supportive housing" I'm sure I would still have that other apartment. Getting the apartment is only half the solution. check out http://urbanhousingsolutions.org. I got my apartment from them. They did have one supposed case manager there, and when I first moved in he was really helpful, but after a while, he stopped returning my calls to him. (I was not overburdening him myself - only contacting him a couple times a month). But I wasn't getting the help I needed, even though I was asking for help. I only gave up after I was abandoned by them.

The Homelessness Commission is supposed to be creating a supportive housing situation for chronically homeless people, but they are seriously dragging their feet, and it looks like many people are trying to kill the program outright. After 3 years, they still haven't created any new housing opportunities for the homeless.

So, I'm taking it upon myself, regardless of how feeble my own attempt is, to get myself into housing. The Rescue Mission spends over $16,000 per person just to house and feed the homeless.

I could easily live on less than that in my own apartment - even if I did slip in and out of homelessness - saving the good people of Nashville and the rescue mission a lot of money.

At 11:15 AM, March 15, 2007, Anonymous "John Galt" said...

"I could easily live on less than that in my own apartment - even if I did slip in and out of homelessness - saving the good people of Nashville and the rescue mission a lot of money."

Or, you could inflict your homelessness on another city entirely and save the taxpayers and mission folks the full cost.

At 1:35 PM, March 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wherever I go, I'll still need help from someone like you. There's no need to keep running from my problems. With your help I can face them. And if it's not me, it will be some else just like me, needing your help.

At 1:37 AM, August 21, 2008, Blogger jack said...

The pressure and responsibilty were too much so you packed your bags and fled to that hotbed of responsibility and reason known as Las Vegas.

Tennessee Drug Treatment

At 7:23 PM, January 13, 2009, Blogger chromo said...

kevin always seems to be missing from the long list of people and places that have failed him. with all the money and assitance that his once popular blog have garnered him he could have bought himself a nice little shack somewhere, ah but that would entail taking on responsibilities which clearly mr. barbieux is too good for. he is a con artist, plain and simple.


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