Around the world people sacrifice their own safety so that the citizens of their home country can feel safe and secure. We owe a huge debt to the military personnel who defend freedoms and keep the peace in times of torment and strife. I can't imagine what it must be like to live and work in war-torn countries for years at a time without seeing your own family and having that reminder of what you're actually fighting for.
Veterans on Reddit were asked: "What was the first thing you did when you got home?" These are some of the best answers.
I drank enough alcohol to work up the nerve to call the Soldier's Angel who had been writing me letters and sending me care packages to tell her I had fallen in love with her. Three years later we were married. Some days I'm all but sure I died in the war and this is my blessed afterlife.
One thing I do remember more than anything is that first shower I took when I got back to the Barracks in Germany. It was almost surreal, like a dream.. I couldn't believe the fact that I actually survived all that and I was getting out in 3 months after a 4 year stint. Never felt better in my entire life. Finally seeing all my loved ones again after not knowing if you would ever get another chance to.
My little brother was over in Afghanistan while I was doing my second tour in Iraq. I got back before he did and ETS'd, had the opportunity to greet him and his unit at his base when they finally touched down. It was really emotional, I was crying. Partly because I was happy my lil bro made it back in one piece. The other part was thinking about all my boys that didn't make it back and the pain their families must feel not getting the opportunity to experience what we were experiencing at that very moment. You lose friends that live and die with you, the bond is so close that you feel like they are your brothers, your family. Nothing good comes of war.. except when it ends.
1st tour: When I got home I made love to my girlfriend at the time and I tried to make sense of what just happened. I would just look at cars and building a lot.
2nd tour: I was pretty shaken up afterwards, I went back to my barracks. I have no family, ate in the club and took a shower and I volunteered for fast turn around. I was back in the field before the end of the year. I remember ordering a burger and a beer, the burger was cold and I went home and stayed in bed for 3 days.
3rd tour: I decided to take a trip to New York, I saw a Broadway show and just walked about enjoying my freedom.
4th tour: Well I got home and I had just been through my worst tour, it was awful ,terrible. I had pretty bad shakes and I cried in a shower, sat on the floor for what seems like an hour. I quit for a while.
5th tour: I asked my CO for a fast redeploy. It was refused. I haven't done anything as of yet. I'm still in my barracks and I don't want to take my leave. I think my field days are pretty much over, sad to think that. My next job will be behind a desk.
I'm 33 next week, I have no family or a SO. This job is all I am and all I have.
Drove. You have no idea how good it feels being in charge of something like that after months and months of having to walk everywhere. You want to go left? You turn the wheel and you go left. You want to speed up or slow down? It's all up to you dude, no one else is in charge. It's a powerful feeling, especially if you've only been allowed to go 30 mph tops for half a year.
The first time I returned from a combat tour in Afghanistan I was married. We had an absolute ton of sex the next few days in a hotel near the airport, starting about 30 minutes after the plane landed.
The second time I returned I was single, and an officer and I went to the base minimart (we were the ADVON and only people from our unit that returned early) and we stood there in shock for about 40 minutes not sure what we each wanted. I bought Nutter Butters and he bought raisens, and we wound up sharing. When I returned home, I was basically homeless and staying with my cousins, so we had some friends over and drank.
The third time will be happening in 89 days, and all I want is a hamburger.
My buddy picked me up and took me to his house to get my Mustang and my stuff. I had ordered some new cylinder heads, camshaft, intake, and a Procharger supercharger kit for it and I was excited to put it all together soon after.
It was already assembled, dyno tuned, and ready to drive. I drove the crap out of it for 3 days and then went home for 2 weeks on leave.
Fixed myself three PB&J on fresh, soft white bread. Washed it down with ice cold milk. It was the simple pleasures like fresh soft bread, hot showers, being able to relax after a shower not having to rush to get dressed. These are the things I missed the most.
Actually, my wife and I made a tradition out of me coming home (4 deployments in total.) She would pick me up at the flight line with a wonderful picnic lunch packed in her grandmothers old wicker basket. She always wore the yellow sundress that I loved, no matter the time of year. We would drive out to a farm near our house, lay out our blanket and picnic basket, and drink a beer.
I was lucky. As a former spook I was stationed shore and only sent out for very short periods of time (most awesome experience of my life was landing on and being launch from a carrier as a passenger).
But, when I was in temp waiting for discharge my wife and our dog went back home three months ahead of me.
Our dog is only about 30lbs, a little sight-hound. She is also extremely passive/quiet -- we've never once even kept a leash on her because she doesn't stray far from either of us, and she never jumps on anyone.
When I pulled up into the driveway and got out of the car, the front door to the house cracked open and out she darted. My wife shouting, calling her back because she'd never "taken off" like that before. There's this little brown blur moving towards me, and then suddenly I'm on my back getting my face licked. My mother in law said she'd never seen the look of love so much in an animal's eyes before. My little princess is now 9 years old, and ever since she has traveled with me wherever I go if it's longer than two days.
Walked down to the shoppette in my PTs and, after overcoming the shock of remembering stateside cigarette prices (Iraqi cigarettes are $1 a pack), bought a 6-pack of Steel Reserve tall boys. I drink like a lumberjack, but after nine months of no booze - period, my tolerance had completely vanished, and I couldn't even finish two. I was so messed up I couldn't even climb into my top bunk so I curled up on a pile of dirty laundry and passed out.
As a single, introverted dude in the Navy, the ONLY thing I wanted to do was to do something ALONE. The stress of constant human contact after more than 13 months underway almost drove me up the wall. So I went to a coffee shop, read a book, hit the beach and stared off into space. BY MYSELF. It was grand. Nobody asking how I was, for me to tell cool stories, or what I wanted to do constantly.
No family waiting on the pier, but that didn't bother me. We had a mini-reunion with Mom, Dad, Sis a couple weeks later and it was great.
Took a shower and sat on a keg my wife had gotten me. It was a pony keg of Coors Light. I'll always remember that day: sat on it in the shower until the water got cold while she sat on the toilet and talked to me. I drank, we laughed, she cried and I did too. Best day of my life with my wife. I love her.
The first thing I did when I got back home from a tour in Iraq? Ride the northbound bus to my sisters house in Seattle. Get in a bus accident, have to administer aid to 3 young women who decided to turn in front of the bus.
I drank a beer while in the hottest shower of my life. Once I'd finished that beer, I had another, and another.
After twelve months of combat patrols on the Afghani-Pakistani border, it was time for our unit to finally redeploy back home to Alaska. It was early August and the we knew the temperatures would be beautiful with highs about 70, but it was just as likely to be raining as sunny. A beautiful summer day would be icing on the cake, but honestly it was the least of our wishes at that point.
A few hundred of us boarded the first plane on the final leg of our journey from Kyrgyzstan to Anchorage. It was a commercial jet from 'World Airlines.' I was a 1LT at the time and sat in the front 1/4 of the plane with the other officers in the battalion. The enlisted guys were behind us in coach. (May I digress for just a moment by saying that I happily realize the injustice of that arrangement. My life is forever owed to the greatest men and women I've ever met, our nation's NCO's.)
As we neared Anchorage, we flew over Denali and it was utterly and perfectly clear. I have never seen Denali in such crystal clear visibility. I realized that we were flying into a perfect Alaskan summer day. I knew that I was about to have the greatest moment of my life: Kissing my girlfriend who would be waiting with other family members on the tarmac of Elmendorf Air Force Base, with the beautiful mountains all around us and the beautiful clean smelling air. (Clean smelling air was at a premium in Khost, Afghanistan.) My feeling of anticipation was so great that all of my senses seemed to be utterly on edge. Life felt more than real.
Well, what ended up being the happiest moment of my life happened to come just about 10 minutes prior to that kiss. As the landing gear on the plane dropped and we were about to land, a strange quiet came over the hundreds of soldiers in that plane. One last moment of anticipation. One last chance for everything to go wrong, as it almost always had in the previous twelve months. One last moment of attention and mindfulness.
But nothing went wrong. We touched down smoothly. And as those rear wheels made contact with the runway, the hundreds of enlisted men sitting behind us erupted into wild, joyous, unabashed cheers and applause. Their joy was like none other I have ever heard in my life. There was no filter. I heard and experienced something so utterly pure at that moment -- an unintended gift from my soldiers that I will never forget and can never thank them for enough.
I'll admit the kiss from the girlfriend that followed not long after was pretty great as well.
Oddly enough I came home form Iraq (the first time) 8 years ago yesterday so the memory was on my mind.
My dad came out to Hawaii. He came to hangout with me. He had rented two rooms in this bed-breakfast style place. We got in the rented car and he had a six pack on ice waiting at the house. My dad is a Vietnam Vet so we talked. We talked and talked about everything that happened on the deployment (early 2004 to early 2005). That short conversation actually lasted about 6 hours. I drank about three beers and was really loopy.
Still in my BDU's the sun was coming up, I changed and we went out to breakfast. I didn't have a girlfriend, or a wife, I would have felt all alone in the world but he thought it was important to come out and see me. Just my dad and I and a few cold beers. From then on we've been awesome friends as well as father and son, maybe I finally earned the old man's respect.
Came home from 7 months in the combat zone, spent time with my family, slept in my own bed, and then worried, heart wrenchingly worried about my friends that were still there. Wished that I was back to do everything I could ever do to protect them. When I was there I never wished for anything to be home, once I was there I wished for nothing more than to be back in hell with them.
My girlfriend flew down from Seattle (to Palm Springs) and we stayed the night at the on-base motel. The next day I said my goodbyes to a few friends (who were all waiting to EAS as well) and went to the admin center to pick up my DD214.
We did the whole road trip thing on the way back, hitting San Francisco, then we went to Oregon City to visit my roommate and best friend from the marines, and then back home to washington. We took the 101 instead of I5 which I highly recommend if you like pretty scenery.
When we were about to get home she told me that we were going to go see a couple of her friends at a little bar down the road from us. I said okay.
We got home and unpacked my car a bit, she had some of her friends decorate the apartment with balloons and streamers. So we leave for the bar to meet her two friends, I walk in and theres 20 or so of my friends yelling 'Surprise!'. Apparently my girlfriend had orchestrated the whole thing a month earlier with a private Facebook group. Even my buddy from Oregon City was there, he had driven up before we left in the morning and hung out at the bar for like 5 hours.
Anyways, the bar named a $2 specialty shot after me which for the whole bar was able to get all night. I got really drunk, took two puffs from a joint outside the bar and proceeded to pass out in a lawn chair until my girlfriend took me home in a taxi.
Then she made me steak for breakfast.
I returned home from both my deployments(Baghdad 03-04,04-05) in the middle of the night. The first time, we had a buddy waiting for us. We grabbed some food and beer. Drank about three and passed out.
The second time I came home as Advance Party (Barracks NCO) and my Smoke's wife met me at the homecoming (which was about twenty exhausted guys at 0300 in a half-empty gym where six band members played the Anthem for us) with a sixer of beer. I wasn't allowed into my barracks because they were still secured and I needed orders to break the seal on the doors even though I was the damned barracks NCO, so I caught a ride home with another guy and crashed on his couch. He told me to make myself at home, so I dropped my bags, took a shower, and sat on his couch drinking in my towel until the sun came up. I was single, but I didn't allow my family to come see me off or see me home because I knew my folks were struggling with cash at the time. The last thing they needed was to spend money on taking a trip to NC from IA.
The most emotional part of both homecomings was calling home. I woke my parents up both times, and each time I was barely able to choke out, "Mom, I'm home. I'm home." It's hard tell them that everything's OK when it wasn't. My homecoming trip took over two years and nearly my life until I was able to get my emotions to come home, too.
I walked my sister down the aisle. She delayed her wedding until I got home so I could be there.
I drove cross country from California to Ohio with another Marine who just got out. It was one awesome road trip. When I walked into my parents house (who I haven't seen in almost 2 years) my Mom said "Oh good you're here. Can you pick your brother up at school?"
I stopped at store and picked up bath bubbles, bath salts (not the drug) and a new towel. I went home opened up the bottle of mead that I bought in Ireland and enjoyed about an hour long bath while while drinking my mead. After that I went out and rented a black and pink tuxedo and crashed one of my friend's casual parties.
Some of this material has been edited for clarity.
How many people do you know battling addictions?
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), addiction is "a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual's life experiences. People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences."
Hearing from those who have battled addictions––and come out the other side––can be remarkably eye-opening, as we were reminded once Redditor YoshBotArmy asked the online community,
"People who have beaten an addiction... what's your secret?"
"I'd then check off..."
"Alcohol. The "one day at a time" approach was too much. I made a chart with a 24 hour day broken up into 15 minutes. For example: 8:00-8:15. [ ]
8:15-8:30. [ ]
8:30-8:45. [ ]
I'd then check off a box for every fifteen minutes I didn't drink. This really boosted my confidence because although I may have only gone two hours without drinking, my brain focused on the 8 boxes I checked off.
Minutes turned into hours, hours turned into days, etc.
It's now been 8 years."
"You need to want to quit..."
"You need to want to quit, otherwise, it will be a fight against yourself. I quit smoking about 15 years ago after being a smoker for like 18 years. I decided to quit several times but never stuck, always found a reason to fall back into the habit. One day my 4yo daughter told me that she was going to find a way to save me from cancer because smokers are bound to get it. After that, I couldn't stand cigarettes anymore and quit within the week. Never again. I wanted to be there for my girl more than anything else."
"The lesson to take away from this..."
"I realised my binge eating was due to a general lack of self-control. I developed bulimia (exercise is my poison) trying to counteract it, and I still struggle with that.
I struggled with it for years and tried everything under the sun to stop it. It wasn't until I started practicing Stoicism that I started seeing life differently. Then a couple of years into that, I overheard a colleague say "it's all about finding balance" in a conversation about the challenges life throws at you. That quote stuck with me for about a year until I realised I have no sense of balance because I used to be an extremely black and white/all or nothing character.
It's now been 2 years since I completely stopped binge eating, and it was all due to having that epiphany. Took practice to get into good eating habits and a routine with meals but I'm all good now.
The lesson to take away from this - teach your children self-control and the ability to say no to themselves. My parents gave me everything I wanted so I had to teach myself this throughout my early 20s."
"That does not mean..."
"You have to learn to give yourself grace.
Relapses happen. I self-mutilate. I will do incredible for months. Then one negative thought can send me into a spiral and I harm myself.
That does not mean that I undid any of the hard work I had done up to this point. I acknowledge that I made a mistake, identify my triggers, and make an effort to start clear of them. Take a deep breath and try again."
A valuable observation.
"I kicked the habit..."
"I wasn't physically addicted to marijuana, but I had such a mental dependency on it that it was pretty much like being addicted. I couldn't function without it.
I kicked the habit by pursuing a girl. I really wanted to date her, and I didn't want her to know that I was actively smoking weed. I stopped smoking weed because I'd fallen in love with a girl. I'm now married to her, and I haven't smoked weed in over 4 years."
"The most important thing..."
"The most important thing I ever learned was not to fight cravings. I don't mean to give in and use when a craving strikes but for a long time simply feeling the craving was awful. I tried so much to avoid the feeling because I was scared of it.
I saw the suggestion to actually indulge the feeling and just let it wash over you. When I tried it, it was still uncomfortable to want to use but by letting myself feel the craving fully I was able to let it go and move on with my day more easily. Fighting the craving just made me suffer."
"I wore a rubber band..."
"I wore a rubber band around my arm and anytime I thought about my addiction, I would snap it and hurt myself. That way, I associated my addiction with pain and eventually broke my body's natural desire for it."
It turns out this has merit.
"I have no idea..."
"Coffee. I was a serious caffeine addict (like 12 cups a day), and one day for no reason I just woke up and ... didn't feel like having coffee. I've had maybe 5 cups of coffee in the 10 years since then.
I have no idea why it happened, but I haven't felt a craving for it in years. I wish that would happen for my other bad habits."
"I don't think..."
"I don't think it's a secret. Understanding the addiction. Knowing that it takes time for the chemicals in your brain to reset. Knowing it's gonna suck. Being prepared as best you can. Knowing it's going to be a battle."
"I'm not very far..."
"It was really taking a toll on my overall health and one day I woke up and said never again. I'm not very far into recovery and I've never been to a meeting or anything. I know I can't have it around me or I'll relapse."
We are proud of anyone who manages to beat an addiction and who can speak about their experience so candidly. And if any of you out there are struggling, we're rooting for you.
Have some of your own stories? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below.
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I'm just spitballing here, but it seems to me that pretty much that weapons of war are among humanity's worst creations. Sure: We live in an anarchic world. States can never be certain of another state's intentions. Conflicts are bound to break out. But in a perfect world––and a man can dream––none of this would be necessary.
It seems I'm not alone in this, either. People had opinions of their own after Redditor Questwarrior asked the online community,
"What was the worst human invention ever made?"
"Cheap and easy to make..."
"Landmines. Cheap and easy to make, but they remain active and people forget where they put them."
"Styrofoam. It's toxic, can't be recycled, and there are better alternatives."
It also sounds horrible when rubbed against another piece of Styrofoam. Torturous.
"Now idiots can connect to each other..."
"Social Media - It gave people the ability to find others and create echo chambers. Before, idiots were isolated to dealing with just a few in their immediate radius of existence. Now idiots can connect to each other across the world and validate their thoughts/feelings."
This is very true. We're seeing the consequences, aren't we?
Ain't built like they used to - because they can't sell you a newer model if the old one is still performing like new.
If companies didn't have this in mind we wouldn't be running out of resources and messing up the planet in search of more. This would create less conflict and way less pollution. Imagine companies actually making insanely good, long-lasting products instead of cheap ones that needs replacing more often than it should."
"Heroin destroys people's lives every day."
"As a medical student..."
"As a medical student, I basically see people every day whose lives have been wrecked by smoking. Kids and unborn babies get messed over by tobacco smoke. Stupid and plain evil."
A great film about the tobacco industry: The Insider (1999). Really makes you think about the cost we all pay for Big Tobacco.
"I can't believe..."
"The concept of Flat Earth. I can't believe people are still stuck in the seventeenth century and still believe in that crap and try to defend it with their misunderstandings of science and physics, as well as pure ignorance."
People believe the most ridiculous things.
"They exist solely..."
"Torture devices. They exist solely to cause harm."
"How am I going to pay you..."
"Overdraft fees. How am I going to pay you EXTRA money when I don't have money?!"
Human beings are capable of so much innovation, beauty, and joy, but threads like these remind us of all the horrors in the world. There's a lot of darkness in humans, too.
Have some of your own contributions to share? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
Homelessness is an unfortunate and all-too-common occurrence in the world, particularly in the United States. Homelessness has grown to a huge degree, and while most countries have the resources to help their homeless, many choose not to.
It is also difficult to break the cycle of homelessness once you have entered it. It creates a never-ending loop of failed job searching, lost or stolen goods/items/things of value, and stigmatization by society. More often than not, homelessness is begotten by another condition wherein the state or country fails to provide resources--such as mental health.
"Ex homeless people, what are some things people don't know about the streets?"
Here were some of those answers.
A Sad Reality
"My stint on the streets was about six months and due to some bad decisions I made. But what sticks with me the most was the crushing boredom."
"No intellectual stimulus at all because it's safer to keep your distance from other homeless, and you're not going to have a chat with civilian out of the blue."
"So you're completely alone all the time. And to avoid putting yourself in risky situations you stay on the move as much as possible."
"Most cities you can get some day labor work for quick cash but then you have to be careful about people knowing you have cash. You're always on the lookout."
"The only sound nights sleep I ever got was when I could manage to scrounge up enough cash to get a room in a transient hotel for a night and basically pass out from exhaustion."
"Other than that you're sleep deprived most of the time. And of course all this is made worse if on the streets in winter."-HardALee99
The Worst Side Of A Woman's Life (TW: Rape)
"I'm a psychiatric RN who works with mostly homeless people."
"I have heard SO MANY TIMES where women who tested positive for meth have said they use it to stay awake 24/7 to avoid being assaulted by other homeless."
Lucky To Be Alive
"People can and often do develop PTSD from being homeless, especially in rough areas. BF was kicked out at 14 in what was, at the time, the heroin capital of the Northeast, and he very quickly realized that selling drugs was the easiest way to make sure he had food/water/shelter as someone under legal age to work."
"But bouncing from crackhouse to crackhouse— especially as a kid— creates this state of constant hyper-vigilance, possessiveness over your belongings, a lot of hoarding behaviors, etc."
"Basically you wind up living in survival mode the entire time so you don't get assaulted/arrested/kidnapped/shanked."
"To this day if you touch him while he's sleeping he freaks the f**k out. Loud noises at night freak him out, car engines outside, lights in the window, etc."
"He still sleeps better on a couch in the corner of the room than a bed, because 'at least then you have something at your back, makes it harder for people to surprise you.'"
"Nightmares, too. Just... a whole bunch of sh*t, some of which I won't get into because he's embarrassed by it. Here are a few of the choice events he went through, though, just in the first two years or so:"
"He's almost had his throat slit with a half a DVD, woke up with a fork in his chest from some crazy chick, had all his food stolen, even had somebody inject him with heroin against his will while he was sleeping. Sad to think about."
"He's off the streets now, kicked a drug addiction, found a good-paying job, and is about to go to college. But the damage being homeless for his adolesence/early adulthood did..."
"It's going to be a while before he really feels safe. Not to mention he feels like a failure going to college at 30, but... I mean, how many people could have gone through all the horrific sh*t he went through, lived to tell the tale, AND somehow managed to keep going and eventually recover?"-vishuual
Homelessness is even expensive for the country because it leads to more and more problems that resources have to be expended upon in order to deal with the mental health and physical trauma it causes.
Over And Over
"One thing that f**ked me up was my concept of time. Often I'd be up late as f**k trying to sleep and before I knew it, the sun's back up."
"You gotta plan your day differently to use the restroom and it's hard to even find anything 'normal' to do because there are so little resources."
"People don't realize that being homeless is a situation in which no one is really looking to help you to find a sustainable life. It's truly being otherized and ostracized until you die or miraculously get back on the work grind."-SuperDuperChuck
Not An Addict
"I guess the worst part for me was the lasting trauma."
"Sure walking around in sandals because it's all you have when it's raining sucks. Sure sleeping in public is terrifying. Yeah homeless shelters are packed out. Borderline impossible to get a job."
"But the worst part was realising I'd lost some fundamental part of myself and I wasn't getting it back. Innocence maybe?"
"But it's more than that, it's like that Lily Allen music video where she's walking around with rose coloured glasses but the audience sees what's real. Yeah well, you lose the glasses and you never get them back."
"There's nothing that fixes the trauma of knowing people who you thought were your friends or family were fully aware you had nowhere to go and didn't do anything about it."
"You can't fix that feeling of your best friend not returning your texts until you're back on your feet. Or the stares you get in the street when thousands of people walk past and don't stop."
"I'm physically ok now but I'll never see people the same way again. I don't know how to. I used to be a really sociable person and now I steer clear of most people. I don't trust anyone."
"Also as an aside, the people who were kindest to me were always working class. A construction worker who bought me lunch. A taxi driver who got me a blanket. Rich people treat you like utter filth and disappear ASAP."
"I was homeless due to domestic violence as well, but people just assume it must be drugs. I literally barely drink let alone use drugs, but in people's minds homeless = addict."-SunnydaleHigh1999
Stop Stigmatizing Homelessness
"The amount of 'ordinary' people there are that are homeless. I was homeless for about 6 months but you would have never known."
"I had job where I could make just enough to stay fed and get a gym membership. I kept all my clothes in the gym/ back room of the restaurant I worked at."
"I'd hide and sleep in the back office of the restaurant. A lot of homeless people have cars and can sleep in them."
"Gym memberships are the easiest ways to stay clean/ not look homeless. Once my boss found out I was homeless, he let me move into a room at a hotel he managed for free. That man saved my life."-SeamanTheSailor
Food Or Money?
"People seem to have this perception that food is the only thing a homeless person would need to use money on and so they will give food in place of money."
"While giving food is nice, it isn't some one-to-one replacement for money. Food can't help you get cleaned up for job interviews, for example."-CattyPlatty
And homelessness is caused by a number of things--most of which are failures of the government. There are enough vacant homes in the United States for every homeless person to have 6.
Policing Your Own Cleanliness
"What's really important is staying clean. But not so clean people won't give you money if you have to panhandle."
"Don't let people know where you sleep if you can help it."
"Don't take work offers alone, you never know what kind of sicko's there are out there, especially once they have you alone in their environment."-Tired_of_yer_ish
Read That Part Again About How Close You Are To Homelessness
"Former homeless person here (as a child and an adult) and someone who used to work helping folks who were unhoused due to violence get housing:"
"-You are more likely to become homeless than win the lottery. Most Americans (around 60%, that number has probably changed in the pandemic) are one missed paycheck away from homelessness."
"-As shared above, lack of quality jobs, affordable inventory (meaning not enough affordable housing), and integrative and trauma-informed heath care services are the leading causes that keep people unhoused."
"All this to say, you have far more in common with people on the street than you think you do. Please see them as people. I will never forget what it felt like to have someone's eyes slide right past me like I was invisible. "
"No one is expecting you alone to end homelessness, but you can give someone $10 for a laundromat or shower, or say hello."-AbolitionistCapybara
Why Is It Illegal To Have The System Fail You?
"I was homeless with my single mom at the age of 9. In the US it is basically illegal to be homeless but it is definitely illegal to be homeless and have a homeless kid."
"My mom was a great mom. We just hit a really rough patch in the 2008 financial crisis in the US causing my mom to lose her job."
"She could not get another one and we ended up living in her mini van. However she was always able to get me food and get me to school. I am not sure how she was able to keep our situation a secret but I was so ashamed of living in a car that I wasn't about to tell anyone about it."
"I think it is twisted that the government would rather place kids with strangers and give those strangers money to take care of the kid than to help that kids family find stability."
"Furthermore my boyfriend was in the foster system for a number of years and has a few horror stories from it. I feel lucky that I was homeless with my mother and that we were able to get out of that situation in comparison to what my boyfriend went through in his childhood living with abusive foster parents."-psychologicalfuntime
The bottom line is that homelessness is not the fault of the homeless. It is the fault of a system that criminalizes a lack of resources and support, especially in the USA, the wealthiest country in the world.
What would we gain by continuing to criticize and stigmatize homeless people across the country?
It's amazing what the legalities are from place to place. I live in New England, and in Connecticut, passengers are allowed to drink alcohol in the car, as long as they aren't driving. Weed isn't legal there, but open containers in the car? Totally fine. At least we have something to look forward to as we cross the border.
There are some truly strange laws depending on where you go. Here is a list of the weirdest ones.
Did you know that murder is allowed in certain instances, depending on where you go? Talk about scary.
I’m sure no one will test these laws.
Not sure how much of it is true. But apparently if the Swedes cross the border by walking over the ice given its frozen over, (which it hasn't in like more than 100 years) we are allowed to kill them.
The exact gates they have to be within are defined but I don't remember what they are.
Dying is illegal in France.Kate Mckinnon Snl GIF by Saturday Night LiveGiphy
Oh boy. France has some history and a love of regulation. Perfect mix for absurd laws. Quick examples:
It's still technically mandatory to have hay at home in case the king's horse is nearby and needs some... Horses have been a pretty rare sight, let alone kings.
A mayor made it illegal to die in his town. The initial problem was an overcrowded cemetery, but he kinda reached the wrong solution.
This probably isn’t enforced anymore.
There is a medieval law here that has never been repealed: all males over the age of 14 are required by law to practice longbow for at least two hours per week.
Some of these laws are so silly, they make you wonder what event happened that put them in place.
I think everyone has done this.
"Forbidden to pee in the ocean". I live in Portugal.
'Like a piss in the ocean' is literally a euphemism for something not mattering. What's the problem?
Tigers are fine, though.film history GIF by DiggGiphy
It's illegal to bring a lion to the movies.
Somebody better have a conversation with MGM.
You can't carry a salmon suspiciously.
"No officer, I was going to eat it later"
"Seems suspicious you were carrying it around in public. I'm gonna have to take you in for questioning."
What is the backstory here?
It's illegal to sleep on top of a refrigerator outdoors here.
I know this is Pennsylvania, but I forget the exact reasoning, but I think it has something to do with homeless people.
These next few laws will definitely make you question these towns’ legitimacy when it comes to lawmaking.
Poor raccoons.raccoon stealing GIFGiphy
In Virginia, it's illegal to "hunt or kill any wild bird or wild animal, including any nuisance species" on Sundays. However, it is permissible to kill raccoons.
How the heck is this enforced?
I don't know if this is still a thing anymore, but in Texas it used to be illegal to own more than six dildos.
It's illegal to own any at all in Alabama unless the owner has a letter from a doctor claiming a legitimate medical need.
Granted, most of these laws were written a very long time ago. But it makes you wonder, what the heck were these original lawmakers doing? And what event happened that needed these laws to be enforced at all?
If some of these laws don't make you want to be a criminal, then I don't know what will