Don’t Feed Trolls, Especially When it Comes to Homelessness

Internet Trolls

Recently, a friend said she’s been so ill and unwell that she has been thinking about her own funeral. After struggling for years with housing insecurity and homelessness, the constant high-stress levels have taken their toll.

This is also my story of living with chronic illness, though my wanting “early checkout” began around age 11 when I realized that the only way out of the abusive home I was adopted into would be to die. How horrific that all these years later, I am still stuck in that web, only now without my health or well-being.

My friend had been placed in a slum building – literally, my housing nightmare. Like me, she is on the spectrum. Constant loud noise, fighting neighbors, crime, and pot and tobacco smoke entering her apartment aggravate her condition. These conditions, combined with other factors like rodent and insect infestations, have turned the dream of getting off the street and into housing into her worst nightmare. Nothing about the situation is okay. She feels like she went from the street to a prison. 

A troll recently taunted me, saying we really want a new condo with a pool and jacuzzi, but we don’t want to pay for it. These types of comments are used to get a response from people he directs it toward and to sway public opinion, hoping other people who read such things will agree.

I never once answered any troll. I just delete and block. Trolls hate that so much!

Then I highlight their ignorance in my column here. Why? Because I want people to understand that when you read a comment like that, it’s important to understand that Mr. Troll has an agenda that is harmful to people who are victims of the housing crisis and the cost of living crisis.

I do not want a pool or a jacuzzi. Someone reading this might think, “Yes, but I bet you wouldn’t mind if a pool were part of the deal, eh?”. You would be wrong.

Public swimming facilities are cesspools of germs and bacteria. I would not go in one. Chlorine is a nasty chemical that reeks and is harmful to the skin, an irritant to the eyes, and dries out hair. So no, I would not use a pool even if it were there. Doubly so for a jacuzzi, which I see as a place where those germs can swim in a warm soup of body fluids.

No, thank you, Mr. Troll! I don’t want a pool! 

Most chronically ill people want a quiet apartment with clean air on the ground floor, or better yet, a small home that is not attached on any side and has no shared air systems. Most of us want peace.

We want to park near our door and have a handicapped ramp to bring our scooter or power chair inside. We want hand grips in the bathroom and doorways wide enough for scooters to pass through without banging into the doorway. Clean air, quiet and handicapped accessibility is what we want. We want a neighborhood where we don’t need to fear who is in the hallways or parking lots when trying to get in and out of our residences. 

Does that sound like luxury?

We aren’t asking for a concierge, someone to take our laundry, or valet parking. I don’t want a sofa. I don’t want rooms filled with lots of nice furniture. All I need is a mattress on a carpeted floor. It doesn’t need to be wall-to-wall carpeting – I’d settle for an area rug.

Whatever clothes I have that can’t hang in a closet, I can keep them in a plastic bin or zip-up clothing storage bag. All I need is one comfortable chair to work and a couple of folding tables as workspaces.

Does that sound like living in the lap of luxury to you?

The last time I owned a TV set was in 2002. I can live with just using my computer to watch things. I don’t need a big sound system with Dolby technology. I don’t need most of what modern people have or want in this country. So before you listen to these trolls, know they do not speak for me or most chronically ill women I know.

What we want is far more modest than what most people want. After you live with everything in storage, in a tent or car, or worse, without any belongings left to your name, you are really grateful for the little things in life and having your most basic needs met. 

Realistically, I don’t have a lot of time left. Maybe none of us do in the current state of the world. I want to use whatever time I have left productively. I just want to make art and work on creating my crafting business. 

When I get an opportunity to work on projects while house-sitting, I cannot finish. Projects get interrupted every time I have to clean it all up because the owner comes back. So while I am eternally grateful for anything that I can actually get done, it is not a substitute for housing.

If I had my own place, even something very small, I’d have no furniture in it other than what is essential for the production of art and for crafting items that I could sell.

Trolls want you to think homeless people are all bums who don’t want to work.

They want you to believe that homelessness is a choice because homeless people hope to have “everything handed to you.” If you believe this falsehood, you can ignore the problem of homelessness and justify despising homeless people.

Criminalizing homelessness is insanity. I’ve never met any homeless person who said, “Man, I love being on the street! I love the harassment, the dirty looks, exposure to all extremes of weather, no bathrooms, getting robbed, beat up, and having no money or soft place to lie down. I am so glad I chose this lifestyle.”

Since 2020, my health has really declined. I haven’t felt well in years. Believe me, if I could go out and earn a living, I would. There is nothing in my life that makes it worth living for, and the trolls couldn’t be more wrong about what the government will do for you. I don’t want a pool or a Ferrari to drive. All I want is what I described above. Failing that super modest request (which could be a functional RV at this point), I would settle for medically assisted death.


Homeless Loki

Homeless Loki

  

Homeless Loki is a disabled homeless person also on the autism spectrum currently homeless in upstate New York

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