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Can it be both situations?

In my examples, I am using three threads of framework in
which our society intercommunicates and networks.

Some individuals chose to be homeless giving them no responsibilities.

Many early day hobos were jobless and seeking work elsewhere. Then some of them conformed
to settling down having responsibilities, and many of them adapted to rambling around the country while making a small way of living.  Music has been created about those rambling folks, sort of glorifying this lifestyle.  Flopping freight trains or thumbing a ride is not so easy today.

"I know some of the drunks that beg or panhandle just to get money to buy more booze. They admitted they could make up to two hundred dollars a day by sitting at a corner with a 'WILL WORK FOR FOOD' sign.

If they get too cold they will intentionally get arrested for a minor crime, such as drunk in public
to get a warm place to stay, and some food at a jail or police station." (Torkerson, D.)

For some homeless it is a way to figuratively thumb their noses at government rules, taxes and struggles to achieve a modest lifestyle, which our culture calls the 'norm'. This is the way for
them to be independent and have self-government.

Some homeless situations cannot be helped by our government, probably due to our bureaucracy standards of red-tape and much paperwork. An example is a man in the military that married a woman from 'no mans land', who has no family members alive. They have children. This man now gets out of the military and leaves the family destitute. The woman and her children are forced to be homeless, and might have to live in the bushes under a bridge.

World War I veterans marched on Washington, DC after receiving promises of bonuses due them. World War II veterans had it better with GI loans and college offers. Veterans from the Korean Conflict are still fighting to be recognized. Vietnam created the 'under dogs' of veterans as they were offered nothing. Some of the Vietnam veterans were offered drugs from subversives, which introduced relief from their war years. However, many of them did not understand why they were in Vietnam; and they could not comprehend our governments policies.

There is a homeless group of many individuals near my home that I observe on an almost daily basis. They seem very content with their lives asking nothing of nobody. To my knowledge, there is only one female in this group of homeless individuals. A private citizen offered her free room and board. She tried living in this residence for a while, and then departed shortly thereafter because she felt closed in. This group's control wants complete freedom from our society to do what they want and when they want to do it. 

Pertaining to approval and affection, I have witnessed the female give hugs to a member who has just returned to their small cult. They seem to respect each other or they would not stay together as a homeless group. When it rains they migrate just like our Native American Indian's did during the four seasons.

As I mentioned, they seem to have approval with each other within their cult group. Yet the authorities (police) are always harassing them, especially the female. For all I know she could be their leader. They are definitely free spirited or they would not remain within their position of the homeless.

Photos of more homeless before I continue with my story.

I would certainly like to mingle with this group of homeless, but not without a support backup. I want to know about their logical reasons for living the way they do. I am scared of them because they look too rough and ready to me, and just might cause me bodily harm. Presently, I disapprove of their life style; and I do not understand why they choose to live such a lifestyle when this style of life can be avoided. I could not live the life of a homeless person. I think I would rather die first.
Our mentally ill and situations such as the young mother with children is a completely different story than our today's hobos.  I would like you to give me your views pertaining to the 'homeless' in the United States.


This website was created for an Intercultural Communications class at MiraMira College after much research, watching and talking to many homeless individuals. The course is taught by Professor Bea McWilliams. You can reach her at:

Mr. David Torkelson is a student in this class. His profession is 'Correction Deputy', a deputy sheriff who works in the country jails. He takes care of people during trials and before they are sentenced to prison.

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DISCLAIMER: The photos for this subject are from "Meet American's Homeless"
Below are additional reference links for your review.

Tedrico’s Page - Panhandlers and Street Paper Vendors
What are Panhandlers? Some Myths About Panhandling; The Lifestyle A Panhandler Leads. What Do The Mainstream Homeless Say About Panhandlers? The Origin of the Street Newspaper.

Theory Library - Homelessness
52 links: Homelessness and Housing -- What is Homelessness? Suzi: A Homeless Person's Story. Homeless Shelters in the United States; Homelessness Issues Around the World.

Homeless - Song Lyrics and the Stories
Story Behind The Song

Homeless In Paradise
Is a story written by Lawrence Solomon "In the 1960’s and 1970’s, Homelessness was virtually unknown in North America."

Homeless People’s Network Discussion List
“If you've ever been homeless--or are now--here's a new list just for you…"

In June 1998, fifty poor and homeless people crowd on a bus to document poverty in America. For thirty days these members of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union crisis-cross the United States collecting stories from other poor Americans.

54 Ways You Can Help The Homeless
By Rabbi Charles A. Kroloff - This book will inspire us to help eliminate homelessness.

International HOMELESS Discussion List, Archives and Web links
This site contains links to over 500 Internet sites (in several countries) with information on Homelessness.

Links - Charlie - A Photo Essay
Visit hundreds of links to web sites dedicated to the homeless.

Help the Homeless
Fannie Mae Foundation - CAN YOU HELP!

On Homelessness
Nothing attests more to the utter failure of US society than the subject of homelessness. "Statement from ACT UP SF"

Regional Homeless Resources
This site furnishes many sites from around the World pertaining to the Homeless.

Women’s Housing Coalition
Since 1979, the Women's Housing Coalition has given homeless and very low-income women the help and assistance they need to reclaim their futures and return to self-sufficiency.

I feel that you will enjoy the links below.

"Memoirs of S/Sgt Wm. G. Windrich, MOH - Korea"  By Bonnie 'Windrich' Monahan

Marine Corps Medal of Honor

Arlington National Cemetery

"Our Souls Cry Out"  By Virginia 'Windrich' Swan

Pony Called Dolly and a Boy Named Bill  By Virginia 'Windrich' Swan

USMC Reunion List

Big Band Era and Swing By Bonnie 'Windrich' Monahan

Homeless Web Page 1  By Bonnie 'Windrich' Monahan

Aunt Joey  By Bonnie 'Windrich' Monahan

"Daddy" Poem By Shawn 'Willis' Durham

Send a Greeting Card : Bluemountain

 Updated June 11, 2002