Homeless for the holidays …

think what it's like to be outside looking in

Worried about Tommy? Don’t know any real kids who are homeless? There’s a lot more of them than you may think.

How many? No one knows for sure, but you can begin educating yourself about the problem by taking a look at this brief Wikipedia article.

Want to know more? Here’s still another site where you can educate yourself about the dimensions of the problem.

Wondering how you can help?

There are homeless LGBT kids all over this country, all over this world. And there are even more non-LGBT kids who are homeless as well. Fortunately, there are also lots of organizations trying to help that could use your financial support.

Here are a few in the United States worth checking out:

The True Colors Fund and the many local organizations it recommends are worth your consideration as well. Covenant House, which has locations in 27 cities throughout the United States, Canada, and Latin America, is another fine organization worth supporting.

I’m sure there are many other organizations as well that are helping, both here in the United States and abroad. Not sure where to start? Here in the United States just go to a site like Charity Navigator and key in LGBT, homeless, or youth as keywords.

You should be able to find organization worth helping. Once you have, you can contribute anonymously through an organization like the Network for Good if you want to avoid being pestered.

Or, better yet, give something at least as precious as money. Give yourself. Take some of that time you have on your hands and volunteer to help. What better time of the year to do it?

Visit the web sites. Get involved! Make a difference!

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13 thoughts on “Homeless for the holidays …

  1. I have been reading this since the start. I am so enjoying your story. I must say you do have a grasp of this situation. I live in a small town in the south. In the so called bible belt. I know the trials and troubles of this area. As a once closeted gay male, as well as a gay male, out to all. I do not broadcast my life, but do not hide either.
    From my own life and the trials of being gay. I do relate to the ones in your writings. I appologize for rambling here. But, my words cannot express how your stories and others have touched me. I hope have touched others as well. I wish that others could place themselves into the characters lives as if it was them, and experience the ideas, the feelings. that are associated with being thought of as different, broken, needing fixed. Until you walk in another persons shoes, and experience their lives… do not condem their lives, or who they love. This is not your right, nor mine to do so.
    Please keep up this good work you are doing.

  2. nice 🙂

    I so want to salute you for your intentions about writing this whole thing. You are like a living proof that gays does not just exist because of sex and cascading of pheromones. You are a very intelligent person. I do support this kind of write up and since i am still a student, I can’t promise to give any financial aid because i am not generating any income yet. but i think i could spread a word regarding your works and of course intentions.

    keep it up!

    PS.

    i am so loving Tommy, maybe he resembles myself a bit. small and coward to face the truth, i am also too proud to accept help because i don’t give my trust to people that easily. and the boy in the picture above is just how i imagined Tommy. AND it would be nice if you would bother to post pictures of how you imagine Josh, Nolan, Marcus, Wayne and everybody else.

    KEEP IT UP MISTER 😀

    1. Wow! That’s a terrific gift you just gave me there, Jason, because I can’t think of anything better than the gift of caring.

      Everyone is different and not everyone can contribute financially. But if you read some of those stories of those homeless kids at the site I’ve linked to above, if you recognize that not everyone is beautiful physically, that not everyone leads a comfortable life or is at peace with themselves or the world, that not everyone will have a Merry Christmas or a happy new year; if you can do all of that and still care and still try do something, well, I should be the one saluting you, Jason.

      It makes writing this story worthwhile because I know anyone who can write what you did is going to make a BIG difference in life and that gives me hope. Thanks for helping me to keep hope alive.

  3. Getting behind on my homework (reading). I liked the Chapter. As for the incident that upset Tommy I think Danny did the best he could to educate him.

    I do worry about Tommy his use of pot is not a good sign. He talks about wanting control of his life yet he is going to be trying to do it while high.

    One of the things about street kids you have to reach them quickly after they hit the streets otherwise the quick money and affluence it gives them is hard for a young teen to give up. The kids that are smart and stay away from the drug scene can and do make good money. The first kid I knew that looked after his money for his 16th. birthday his gift to himself was a brand new 1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser he paid cash for. Some of these kids grasp the situation early and do plan for a future and hopefully Tommy will be one of those.

    I know most people feel that being alone for the Christmas season is not a nice aspect for anyone. The thing that bothers me though is there are 52 weeks in a year. Like the poster above that is still in school when I first started to connect with gay kids on the street I too had no vast amount of money but I did have time and a warm place where they could sit and talk. As the years past I had more money to help out and I did. The thing is I did it year round.

    In fact the saddest situations I have ever dealt with were the aftermath of the Christmas season. These kids are often rejects from their parents. Then suddenly everyone is friendly and willing to help them out. They feel that things are going to improve the hard times are over things are looking up. Unfortunately all the lovey-dovey people and help they got at Christmas evaporates instantly and again they are thrown back out on the street with no help whatever. For some this second rejection is harder to take than their own parents, this time it is from people that are gay like themselves.

    Gay youth groups help but they do not take the place of a person that is there when they need them to just sit and listen.

    1. You’ve made some excellent points, James, and I thank you for sharing them with us. A donation in December is welcome. It may be needed even more in January and February. Being a caring person is not something we should aim for just during the holidays. It’s something we should strive to become every day.

      I would say that here in the United States, at least, people seem to be more willing to open their wallets around this time of year. Most parents love their children and will go out of their way during the holidays to provide them with whatever their greedy little hearts desire 🙂

      They know in their heads there are kids and others who are less fortunate, but sometimes they prefer not to think about that too much. It can be very discouraging and this is a time of year when everyone wants to experience a little joy in their lives. But they do know the truth and most people will do what they can if reminded. That’s why I put up my little reminder.

      As for sharing time, one on one, with kids, not just donating money, I think that’s the greatest gift of all. I do think that working through youth organizations is probably the best way to do that. Here in the United States there are tons of them looking for volunteers, some gay like PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and some straight, like Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

      Unfortunately, we are constantly reminded by the media here in the U.S. that there are older men and women whose motivation for becoming involved with kids is not the best. I’m not an expert so I can’t say how common this is, but we’ve seen enough of it to indicate some caution is in order. It’s sad that a few can make so many avoid wanting to have any contact with kids and rob kids of their capacity to trust. But we live in a sad world in many ways, unfortunately, and both kids and adults need to be cautious. Like the saying goes, not all that glitters is gold.

      I won’t say a lot about the story. Tommy has had a very difficult life. Marijuana is obviously a crutch for him, something that helps him forget what he has been through, but his use of it is hardly surprising. What independent effect it will have on him apart from the absence of love and caring remains to be seen, just as it remains to be seen what effect hustling will have. That’s a big part of the story to come, at least for Tommy, and no one should expect any quick or easy solutions.

  4. I really like this story so much. I feel the story and the character’s lives. It breaks my heart. I agree with so much that has been said here. I personally help a local charity that is geared to children. I am reminded of a story told by the local school superintendent about a year after Katrina of a 12 year old student that had two younger siblings. The school knew they were living on their own and that the 12 year old was keeping this little family together. They helped them in every way they could without ever asking if there was an adult present because they knew there wasn’t and that if the kids disclosed this they would have to bring in the social services which in turn would have split the kids up.

    It was out of respect for these children’s desire and enormous effort to stay together that the school and the district found other ways to support them. It’s like everyone wants things to be in these neat little packages with easy rhetorical solutions but the truth of the matter is that there is no one solution to individual problems nor is there any easy solution. If we put our minds to it I know that at least in this country we could really make a difference because it really is true that we are an amazing country in that we invent some great solutions to problems. But we seem to have lost our way on what is right and good.

    My heart just breaks and my soul grieves.

  5. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, my friend. They’re very welcome and certainly on target in many ways. We do seem to prefer cookie cutter solutions to a lot of our social problems. At other times, of course, it seems like we just want to close our eyes so we won’t even be aware a problem exists.

    I don’t know exactly where you are in reading the story, but I hope you’ll continue to enjoy it. It does become more complicated as it moves along and says things that most people do not want to hear so perhaps you’ll lose interest as well. But that’s fine. Not every story is for every reader.

    1. LOL Why do you assume I won’t like the story as it develops? I have read to the end of the latest chapter and yet find the story interesting…

      1. I see that. And I am an annoying optimist. LMAO I just know that it is going to turn out well and when it doesn’t I just know that it was meant for the better good and we will be stronger, better because of it. But sometimes, my heart just breaks and I pick up the pieces and I look at things and I say to myself, “how am I going to deal with this incredible tragedy?” My response is to be positive again. Mainly because I know that life is a series of shitty valleys punctuated by these amazing peaks and I cherish the peaks. And frankly, I just don’t know what else to do.

        But I do get being a pessimist. I mean the shit we go through would make anyone a pessimist. And the gay world is one of the toughest worlds I have lived in. I knew this as I came out what it was going to be like. I knew this as I gave up my life as a married man what I was giving up. But it was worth it to me because it was the right thing to do for me. It was having integrity even though I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, even though I knew I would probably be lonely and alone the rest of my life. I basically gave up a lifetime of effort just for the satisfaction of being honest with myself. But that is how I am wired and I just can’t live another way… lol I know right

  6. Hey there!

    Let me excuse myself first, as i’m a french guy and my english could be not so good.

    I’m currently reading your story, just having the 28th chapter finished. Back to work this day, i caught myself feeling sorry for Tommy, and filled with Hope for Nolan and Josh. I just want to say that i see myself in your characters. Once beaten at school for beeing so different and full of fear about beeing outed, i’m now a young man with a lot of friends who care me for what i am.

    I intend to make an artistic career, and once i archive my goal, then use it to soften the wanderer’s days. In fact, i dream of creanting a place where people could study, grow up and live in peace. I now that i am just a foolish one, but i can’t help thinking that it could be possible with some help and a lot of patience.

    For now on i can’t make any promise, but this one: If I ever archive my dream, I’ll use it to help others.

    Ps: I will finish your story soon, as i’m a fast reader. I will write you back my feelings right then.

    Reading you soon,

    Jerem.

  7. Your English is better than my French, Jerem, so there’s no need to apologize.

    You’re living proof for a lot of LGBT kids that it does get better; and your dream of an even better future is something to nourish and hold on to. The most important things in life are the people we help; because by helping them, we make both ourselves and the world a better place. And that’s the greatest testimonial anyone can leave behind.

    Have fun reading, Jerem, and take your time. Chapter 52, the last chapter, will be up in a few days so there’s no need to rush to keep up.

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