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Homeless But Not Exactly Living On The Street

     So you can be homeless but actually have a roof over your head like I am in a new Sober Living that has accepted me for a 6 month stay after my 6 months of Recovery Bridge Housing expired. Thankfully there are additional programs to keep me off the street.
     This place is located down on 119th Street & Main in Los Angeles near Watts in the Athens district of Los Angeles. I have been here one day and already someone has had their car broken into; to say it's unsafe is an understatement. The owner of the Sober Living runs four houses that house about 30 men per house. This place is a bridge for people with pending court cases a way to "Do Their Time" without actually being locked up. People who have really shown that they want a second chance and are working the NA program of addiction.
     I like these men. My own personal story which contains PTSD is having a period of adjustment here but for the most part in a few days that will subside and I will be fine.
     The Recovery Bridge Housing was another experience entirely on it's own. It was exclusively gay or LGBTQ+ friendly. Personally seems to be way more drama in the LGBTQ+ place than here at just an all men's sober living.  I have began a Kick Starter campaign to provide shelter for myself you can also donate through the PayPal address at the bottom of this page; or even if you can't give by re-posting this article on Facebook, Instagram or wherever. The more people learn about my first hand account of being homeless and the stories of the encampments that will follow on this Blog will paint a true picture of the crisis from the front lines. While this blog will still teach Wall Street, New York, New York style it will also report on Wall Street Los Angeles which is just off the center of Skid Row.  It is hard to write this article knowing the pandemic of Coronavirus is just about to affect the markets so heavily with Air France & Maersk being the first to show trouble in the reporting of earnings. I just felt this article's time had come. is transforming into a project. A project revolving around my life. How a smart cookie who self learned ecomonics, world banking, and supply line curves etc, Winner of the Wall Street Journal Dartboard Contest (no easy task in the 2008-2009 housing crisis market). Could actually be but for the grace of God down on skid row in a tent.
     The picture above is of a gentleman that was strung out on heroin in North Hollywood, CA so passed out on the street that I rolled him over on his side so that if he OD's he would not choke, he never came too.  He was laying in front of a shop that was open for business I was headed to my Barber.  Which was located just 100 yards from the drug and alcohol treatment facility Cri-Help that I went through only months before (Cri-Help is an amazing organization transforming many peoples lives). I just wanted to pick him up and take him over to the detox but I would not be positive they would accept him because he did not agree to treatment.
     While my story comes from the perspective that drugs and alcohol destroyed my life and brought me to the streets. The statistic is that 71% of the homeless population in the city of Los Angeles is homeless due to cost of living rather than drugs or alcohol and or mental illness.  The state through Medi-Cal provides free mental health services to all who seek them and they are very good. I use this service. It is not hard to get an appointment to see a therapist or a Psychiatrist and if you are in real crisis there are urgent care mental health centers.
     You also can get services through mental health that help pay a portion of your housing and a monthly bus pass. Finally after you get state GR or General Relief and SNAP which are food stamps the benefit for an individual being $220 cash per month and $189 for food, with the supplement of a food bank you can actually make it through the month.  I now a Republican is looking at this and saying my god that's a lot of free stuff. Well my taxes I paid into the system for the thirty five years I was working surely makes up for $220 a month. I want anyone who thinks this is a lot of money to try to actually live on this amount. Try it I make a dare to you add the food stamps live off $419 a month. Forget Starbucks or Wendy's try to buy groceries and then the extras that cost real money: razors, batteries, lotion, toothpaste, your monthly cell phone bill, gas (or try the bus) without a food bank you will not make it. So all those people giving up their food benefit of $189 for $75 cash to buy drugs is a myth yes it happens but few and far between.
     This journey is amazing lastly let me say I would not change it for all the tea in China especially since the shipment of that tea might give us Corona Virus by human to human transmission.  I am glad that God took me on this path It opened my eyes to a world I would have passed by the same way you do on your way to work. I never would have given that person change, now I would. Let this journey and this website continue and hopefully a successful Kick Starter campaign which will allow me a roof over my head without living with 30 people in the most dangerous gang infested part of Los Angeles.

William Staab
Winner of Wall Street Journal Dartboard Contest March 2009

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