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Rock bottom is a place where you expect nobody to help you, at all, ever, full stop.

Homelessness in our society is seen as rock bottom. Homeless people are ignored, maligned, and often feared. But once in awhile someone will be kind. Those kindnesses are so important and so well remembered, as they are so few and far between.


u/laur38 asked:

Former homeless people, what did you need the most? What was the best thing someone did for you?

Here were some of those answers.

Rain

Gifted me an old, baggy waterproof jacket with a big hood. It had many pockets too. A little large to carry around, since I was carrying a lot of other stuff, too, but proved very useful. It was very rainy at that time.

cutsjuju

A Simple Shower

Giphy

Most homeless people aren't long term, living on the street type homeless. They're couch surfing or living out of their car. In my case mostly the former and some of the latter, for maybe 4 months many years ago.

I had a job, some savings, and a working car. All I needed was a restroom and shower so I could go to work and not stink. I saved some money and got a place with roommates when a room opened up.

Yes, my situation wasn't severe, but it was common. Luckily I had friends and wasn't addicted to drugs, so it wasn't really a terrible hardship.

I usually would do dishes for people after staying there before I left, cleaned up if I was staying at after a party, etc. Gotta repay people's favors and avoid being a burdensome mooch if you want to sleep on couches.

77884455112200

Just Keeping It At Bay

Employment. I wasn't addicted, and wasn't mentally ill. But I had legal trouble and employers aren't going to hire someone who is probably going to jail 5 months from now.

I had to work under the table for like $4 per hour. If there had been a way for me to get a decent temp job I could have probably got a crappy apartment for the interim.

I was able to secure a spot in a church basement for a little while. The nicest thing anyone did was one of the people from church brought me a super nintendo and a stack of games to help keep the boredom and loneliness at bay.

ThomasRaith

Giving Me A Home

I was homeless with a dog, so that made everything a lot more difficult. Just finding enough food and water for us both to survive. When I was first homeless it would get pretty cold at night and it was hard to keep blankets because when it rained and they got wet it took forever for them to dry again. Me and my dog would huddle together under a tarp just shivering.

This is the best spot we had. Lived at an abandoned tire shop, in a tire rack on a sort of bed I made us of stuff I found in various dumpsters. I would pick up bottles of water or whatever kind of drink people throw away, and fill them up at a water faucet outside this church that was nearby.

They never chewed me out so that was really nice. I was so scared every time I would go to fill up water, I remember shaking so bad, eyes darting around everywhere, ready to bolt. But it was so hot, I was so thirsty and hungry, sometimes on my way to get water I'd get too tired to even walk anymore from the heat and dehydration I'd literally fall asleep on the sidewalk on a main street for hours. No one once ever stopped to check if I was dead.

The best thing someone did was getting me off the streets. I was passed out under a bridge with my dog, and I get woken up by this guy holding a box of doughnuts. I was in awe. He gave me two, one for me and I gave the other to my dog. It tasted so good. Food! And it hadn't even been on the ground! He was with three people, they were part of an outreach group. They got me into a shelter, with my dog, that day. I was just crying, so happy, so thankful. I was barely surviving.

hexe_py2o1

A 180

Clean socks and underwear and basic hygiene. The best thing a person did for me was explain to me that nobody gives any thought to me except me and my family. That conversation went a LONG way to me stopping shooting up in alleys and getting a career.

RevRaven

It's Not A Project

My wife was homeless as a teenager.

On Friday afternoons, a "business man" would walk up to her and ask her if she was hungry. She would say yes, and he would take her into the restaurant on the corner. She never felt any danger with him (and she has had to cut somebody badly before). He was just some dude offering her a meal.

He would let her get anything in the menu. He would sit and read the paper and drink a cup of coffee. There was never any conversation. When he was finished, he would pay the bill and leave. There was never any exchange of words other than "You hungry?" and "have what you want", and "have a good afternoon".

This happened multiple times. She never felt like a project to him. She never felt less than him. She never felt in danger. He was just a guy who saw a dirty girl on the street who needed to eat.

She has since gotten her GED, graduated from a trade school with a fitness degree, and now has earned her MBA with honors. She is an amazing woman and an amazing mother. The one wish she has is that she can run into the "business man" who bought her lunches and thank him.

lifejustice

For The Pup, Please

Definitely letting me shower, giving me new sharp clippers for my toenails(from constantly wearing boots and not having clippers, your nails get really long and start to become really painful), giving me bags of food for my dog, letting me bathe my dog. Fresh socks and underwear, doggie sweaters or rain jackets for my dog. Pretty much hygiene for myself, food/treats and warmth for dog face.

Rye_Venture

Simple Helps

Currently homeless, ok and on my way to getting in a place

The one that struck me the most: I was sleeping in my car in the back of a parking lot about a week after I lost my place. About 6:30 am security knocks on my window. "Sorry, lady, I can't let you stay here," the usual. I apologized and told him I'd be out of hi is hair in a few minutes. So I got up and was packing my blanket and pillow into the trunk when he came back and handed me $5, told me to go get a coffee. I pride myself on the fact that I'm working, not begging, he's the only person who has handed me money. It was one of the most touching things that has ever happened to me. I sat in my car and ugly cried for about ten minutes, then went and got myself that coffee.

The biggest thing someone did for me, however, was a complete stranger covering the cost of my storage unit for a month. I'm in there almost every day, clean clothes and all that. She does eBay or something similar, we've run into each other a couple times a week since I became homeless. She picked up on the fact that I was leaving in different clothes then I had coming in and asked about my situation. I'll admit, I was a little defensive, but honest. Stopped seeing her around after that, not sure if she moved or changed her routine or what. Come the end of the month I go into the office to pay my bill and am told that it's been covered. I wish I could thank her.

EmTheMighty

Simple Acknowledgement

Giphy

I was a street kid. From 13 to 18 I coasted around on my own. As you can imagine it was a pretty rough ride. I don't remember an awful lot of it, but a few people stand out even now. I think the only thing they have in common is that they saw me. It's amazing how invisible you feel on the street. People steer their children away from you, avert their gaze, pretend you're invisible. It gets to you.

I vividly remember this one woman. Immaculately dressed, gorgeous eastern European woman. Around 40. I was panhandling and she walked right up to me and asked me to eat with her. We sat on a patio smoking cigarettes, snacking, drinking coffee. She asked me questions about myself like she really cared. And she listened. Didn't offer miracle solutions or pity. Just fed me lunch and listened. I remember her face 15 years later. It's why now, in my reincarnation as a soccer mom, I teach my children to always acknowledge when it's safe to do so. You don't always need to give. But a smile, or a "how are you?" goes an incredibly long way.

discopajamas

Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay

Life is hard. It's a miracle to make it through with some semblance of sanity. We are all plagued by grief and trauma. More and more people of all backgrounds are opening up about personal trauma and its origins. Finally! For far too long we've been too silent on this topic. And with so many people unable to afford mental health care, the outcomes can be damaging.

All of our childhoods have ups and downs and memories that can play out like nightmares. We carry that, or it follows us and the first step in recovery is talking about it. So who feels strong enough to speak?

Redditor u/nthn_thms wanted to see who was willing to share about things they'd probably rather forget, by asking:

What's the most traumatizing thing you experienced as a child?
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Image by klimkin from Pixabay

Being single can be fun. In fact, in this time of COVID, being single can save lives. But the heart is a fickle creature.

And being alone can really suck in times of turmoil. None of us are perfect and it feels like that's all anyone is looking for... perfect.

Now that doesn't mean that all of us are making it difficult to partner up. Sure, some people are too picky and mean-spirited, but some of the rest of us are crazy and too much to handle. So one has to be sure.

The truth is, being single is confusing, no matter how much we try to match. So let's try to understand...

Redditor u/Mcxyn wanted to discuss some truths about love and our own issues, by asking:

Why are you single?
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Tiard Schulz/Unsplash

Whether you're an at home parent, a college student just leaving the nest, or a Food Network junkie, there are a few basic tips that everyone should know.

Chef's gave us some of their top tips for amateurs and beginner at home cooks that will really make a difference. They are trained professionals with years of experience in the kitchen, so they definitely know what we're all missing.

If you're looking to improve some of your cooking skills and techniques, but you're still learning how to boil water correctly, this list is for you.

Redditor BigBadWolf44 wanted in on the secrets and asked:

"Chefs of Reddit, what's one rule of cooking amateurs need to know?"

Let's learn from the masters!


What a common mistake!

"A lot of the time when people add salt to a dish because they think it tastes flat, what it really needs is an acid like lemon juice or vinegar."

- Vexvertigo

"Instructions unclear I drugged my dinner party guests and now they're high on acid."

- itsyoboi_human

"Yes! Or tomatoes. They're pretty acidic too and go with so many things. Our dinners are so much better once the garden tomatoes are ripe. Or if a dish is too acidic, oil/butter or a little sugar can help add balance to it."

- darkhorse85

"Like tomato and eggs. Every Chinese mom makes those slightly differently and I haven't had a tomato egg dish I didn't like yet."

- random314

"There's a book called 'Salt Fat Acid Heat' that comes highly recommended to amateur cooks."

- Osolemia

"Reading even just the first chapter about salt made a lot of food I cooked immediately better, because I finally understood salt wasn't just that thing that sat on the dinner table that you applied after the meal was cooked."

- VaultBoy42

"Salt is important for sweets. A batch of cookies without that little hint of salt doesn't taste quite right."

- Osolemia

Unfortunately, this tip might not be accessible to everyone. Many people who contracted COVID can no longer use their sense of smell the way they used to.

"Have a friend that lost his smell from COVID, and now he only recognizes if food is salty, sweet, sour or bitter."

- AlphaLaufert99

"Just wait until he gets his sense of smell back and a ton of foods smell like ammonia or literal garbage now. Yeah, that's fun... It's been 7 months for f*cks sake just let me enjoy peanut butter again!!!!!!!!!"

- MirzaAbdullahKhan

You can't take back what you've already put in.

"You can always add, but you cannot take away."

- El_Duende666

"I find people's problems usually are they're too scared to add rather than they add too much."

- FreeReflection25

"I see you also grew up white in the mid-west."

- Snatch_Pastry

Safety first!

"Not really a cooking tip, but a law of the kitchen: A falling knife has no handle."

- wooddog

"I'm always so proud of my reflexes for not kicking in when I fumble a knife."

"If I drop anything else, my stupid hands are all over themselves trying to catch it (and often failing). But with a knife the hardwired automatic reaction is jump back immediately. Fingers out of the way, feet out of the way, everything out of the way. Good lookin out, cerebellum!"

- sonyka

"Speaking of KICKING in. On first full time cooking job I had a knife spin and fall off the counter. My (stupid) reflex was to put my foot under it like a damn hacky sack to keep it from hitting the ground. Went through the shoe, somehow between my toes, into the sole somehow without cutting me. Lessons learned: (1) let it fall; (2) never set a knife down close to the edge or with the handle sticking out; (3) hacky sack is not nearly as cool as it could be."

- AdjNounNumbers

"Similarly, NEVER put out a grease or oil fire with water. Smother with a lid or dump baking soda in there (do not use flour, as it can combust in the air making things worse)."

- Metallic_Substance

How else will you know it tastes good?

"Taste the food."

- OAKRAIDER64

"Also don't be afraid to poke and prod at it. I feel like people think the process is sacred and you can't shape/flip/feel/touch things while you cook them. The more you are hands on, the more control you have."

"No, this does not include situations where you are trying to sear something. Ever try flipping a chicken thigh early? That's how you rip a chunk out of it and leave it glued to the pan until it's burnt."

- Kryzm

Here's one just for laughs.

"When you grab a pair of tongs, click them a few times to make sure they are tongs."

- Kolshdaddy

"People really overlook this one. You've gotta tong the tongs a minimum of 3 times to make sure they tong, or else it can ruin the whole dish."

- BigTimeBobbyB

If you're looking to get into cooking or to improve you technique, pay attention to these few tips.

Salt generously, add an acid to brighten things up, and don't forget to taste your food!

If all else fails, you can always order take out.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Victoria_Borodinova/Pixaba

As part of the learning process, children often do embarrassing things before they learn a little more about the world and all the different implications therein. While the inappropriate moment is usually minor and ends in laugher some instances are truly mortifying.

One such instance involved a little sister who was around 6 at the time. It was the 90s and at the height of the youth-focused PSAs (think the frying egg representing your brain). One type was a safety PSA about stranger danger. The speaker would remind the children that if a stranger tried to take you anywhere to yell “Stop, you're not my mommy/daddy" to raise the alarm.

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