In What Way is the System Failing?
So just now I'm hanging at Peet's Coffee and Tea. I just checked my GMail, may have a consulting gig if I bone up on my $SALABLE_JOB_SKILL over the weekend so I can include a small tarball and build instructions with my Word resume to the borker who inquired yesterday.
I just had a hot, nourishing, filling breakfast, all the coffee and icewater I could drink.
I dropped an elderly, confused and quite likely demented woman - Alzheimers perhaps but there are other kinds - off at The Salvation Army where she would have a warm, safe place to stay until Operation Overcoat got started. Before we parted, I ensured that she would know where to get her new overcoat; right next to that is where one can sleep warm, safe, dry and comfortable, with a spot guaranteed provided one sleep during the day.
She is on the waiting list for her own bed at The Salvation Army. Where I myself sleep and where she will sleep after she picks up her coat, there is no waiting list provided one sleep during the day.
The system is failing in Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo: one is not permitted to sleep during the day in the shelters there. Also Salinas: there are no shelters whatsoever despite the city's great prosperity.
In SLO, one is not permitted so much as to set foot within a mile of the shelter after 7:00 AM each day. The day center is about four miles away. I was able to walk there but those who are sick, disabled, young or elderly have to pay to ride the bus - there are no free bus passes for the homeless in San Luis Obispo.
Show up at the homeless shelter for supper so early as 4:59 PM and one is Banninated for All of Eternity.
Make the grievous mistake of supplying 43 Prado Road San Luis Obispo CA 93401 as one's home address on one's California State Identification Card or Driver's License, then one is simply not permitted to open a bank account to deposit one's paychecks. While one can - sometimes - walk for miles then pay $3.00 for each check one cashes at the branch one's paychecks are drawn on. (I was fortunate that my employer used a local bank, most don't.)
I AM ABSOLUTELY SERIOUS.
In Santa Cruz, one needs no identification to avail oneself of the two soup kitchens, the rescue mission or the shelter, nor in Portland. However, Santa Cruz is quite cold and damp at night. There is lots to eat but nowhere to sleep unless one waits six weeks to obtain thirty nights in a, uh... "Transitional" Shelter, after which one must sleep out in the rain and fog again.
That same Transitional Shelterr just lost most of its funding; while it still serves food now there is no shelter, showers nor laundry room. (Its coin-operated washers and dryers charged as much as any laundromat; one can at least purchase Turkish Coffee at Cruz' Wash Rock Cafe.)
San Jose is warm and dry; one can sleep anywhere and do just fine, but to get something to eat one must walk at least five miles to a soup kitchen that is not served by public transit and that is incredibly difficult to find. There is one other quite large soup kitchen, but it is so far away from Downtown San Jose that one must drive a car to have any hope whatsoever of just getting something to fucking eat.
In SLO, government-issued photo identification is required, or one is not so much banninated as not permitted a bed, a place to hang out during the day, to receive postal mail or to eat until such ID is obtained, at a cost greater than one can earn in a month by - in my case - singing on the street for tips. My California State ID set me back twenty-seven clams.
That insightful Solution to the Homeless Problem led a close friend who lent me the clothes off his back for my job interview, to leave town entirely because the State of Arizona requires one to show up IN PERSON to obtain one's Birth Certificate. For actually quite good reasons, the State of his birth discourages the Identity Theft that the State of Washington actually encourages.
If you knew my birthday, the full name of my mother, my father's as well but only if someone claimed my paternity, then the State of Washington permits you to obtain a US Passport in my name for about thirty bucks for my certified Birth Certificate, then seventy-five for my United States Passport.
My friend told me one day he would walk all the way back home, then the next day was nowhere to be found. But it's cool; he was set up with a backpack, tent, sleeping bag and wool sweater.
In California, all I require to obtain a fake ID is to know the Social Security Number of someone who is of the same gender as well as credibly the same age as I am. There is a good chance that the SSN number requirement may be dropped soon so as to ensure that illegal aliens feel comfortable obtaining drivers licenses and so are willing to study for the written test as well as not flee the scenes of collisions.
In Washington, all one requires to obtain a driver's license is a utility bill other than a mobile phone or Internet bill.
What that meant to me, was that despite residing in Salmon Creek, Washington for three solid years, I was not permitted a Washington State Driver's License, because I paid no utilities. Mom did.
So I do agree that the system is failing.
Self-Reliance as a Solution to the Social Problem of Stigma Against the Mentally Ill
Ye heard that it was said to the ancients: Thou shalt not kill, and whoever may kill shall be in danger of the judgment; but I — I say to you, that every one who is angry at his brother without cause, shall be in danger of the judgment, and whoever may say to his brother, Empty fellow! shall be in danger of the sanhedrim, and whoever may say, Rebel! shall be in danger of the gehenna of the fire. If, therefore, thou mayest bring thy gift to the altar, and there mayest remember that thy brother hath anything against thee, leave there thy gift before the altar, and go — first be reconciled to thy brother, and then having come bring thy gift.
— Iesu, "The Sermon on the Mount", Young's Literal Translation
Del, where I disagree is your assertion that the system is failing me.
Among The Problems I aim to Solve, is what I denote as The Culture of Dependency.
While several private mental health professionals who I myself paid out of my own pocket with money that I earned through the sweat of my brow have from time to time suggested I go on disability, when I pointed out that I myself regard Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), County General Assistance (GA-X) and the like as a trap that one can never escape, they were completely cool with it.
But the government-funded public employees of San Luis Obispo County, Western State Hospital in Lakewood, Washington, and the nonprofit, privately-operated but Clark County-funded Community Services Northwest were all over me like Carnie's on Marks to go on the government dole.
This had the eventual result that at 0 Dark Thirty one fine morning I called Clark County 9-1-1 to request a Vancouver Police Department officer call me back on his cell so I could request a No Contact Order against my Community Services Northwest Mental Health Case Manager, Linda Anglin.
"She's just doing her job".
"So if you had just gotten off the graveyard shift and were just trying to get your much-needed sleep so you could save lives and bust felons tomorrow night, were then I to ring your cell all morning long repeatedly into the afternoon then upon having given up on your return call, driven over to your residence then leaned on your doorbell until you came to the door to answer it all so I could say, sell you a magazine subscription, then I too would be 'just doing' my 'job'?"
While he failed to agree that my two scenarios were the same he was willing to at least amicably chat for more than an hour.
"The fact that you and I are even having this conversation at four in the morning means that you too likely have Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome."
"You know, you're probably right," by then quite chatty and friendly. Vancouver gets quite dull by that time of night; downtown Portland was quite the crime scene right around Last Call this morning, I AM NOT FUCKING KIDDING! it scared the living crap out of me. I really was concerned about getting mowed down by a high-speed chase just by wandering over in the general direction of a 24-hour convenience store.
"So could you serve her with that No Contact Order?" I requested one last time.
"No, but I will tell her that we had this conversation."
I was down with that, given that Linda Anglin never darkened my doorstep again.
But only at first:
Whatever became of Linda?
I expect that's because I requested the Vancouver Police Department serve her with a No Contact Order.
Those were dark days.
I at first celebrated Linda's just deserts but upon further reflection realized that while I really do wish well to all, to wish well to my sworn enemies often gets me down. This led to my recent insight that to be vindictive is unproductive; really what I want for Linda Anglin now - quite sincerely wanted then - was for her to Read The Fine Manual thereby obtaining the insight she required to do her Damn job.
When I pointed out to Dr. Mecouch that I did not need nor did I want some Useless Bint delivering to my door at collosal taxpayer expense gratis medication that I preferred to pay for with my own money at a pharmacy of my own choice, Dr. Mecouch being quite the astute and experienced Mental Health Professional thereby empowered - Oh Lawdy do I hate that word! - me to take responsibility for my own life by writing me a prescription to take with me and fill on my own, and to do so when I myself Damn well pleased.
I'll be back to see him at his next walk-in clinic. I have lots of Depakote and Perphenazine, but I need some Adderall if I am to have any hope of reading my technical books ever again.
I remain puzzled by your assertion that I am speeding.
There are only two effects I notice from Adderall:
- I can read straight through a book as much as I want to or need to without taking any breaks.
- When I set in to work each day I get started working right away, then continue working productively until it's time to knock off.
I am not stimulated in any way. The dose I take is not large enough.
Adderall would be quite addictive were I to take perhaps five times my prescribed dose over a period of perhaps one month. Were I to do so, I would burn through my month's prescription in less than a week. Adderall is a controlled substance so I must show up in person with a new written prescription each month. The only way to get addicted to Adderall is either to score it on the street or to "Doctor Shop".
Doctor Shopping is a time-honored, almost but not quite respectable tradition in the United States. Among my Social Problems is how could it possibly be that Doctor Shopping is flatly impossible in the Commonwealth of Canada, this because controlled substance prescriptions must be written on a government-issued, serial numbered prescription pad, whereas in These United States the simplest fool with a Drug Enforcement Adminstration number - a license to prescribe medicine - could write me a prescription for Deseryl (methamphetamine) with the business end of an Xacto knife on a mother fucking banana peel.
It's not like the United States Government doesn't know how to print serial numbers on paper, M'Kay?
I'm not so stupid as to take more Adderall than Dr. Mecouch's prescribed dose. I myself have seen the damage of Crystal Meth Addiction up-close and personal, many, many times and in many, many ways:
So, how long has it been since you got a really good night's sleep?
I don't know.
That same gent went on the threaten the life of quite a lovely young woman who moved to Santa Cruz all of her own accord I am dead certain because she was determined to marry me.
That same gent's "Welcome to Surf City USA!" moved that same lovely young woman to split the scene completely. I finally managed to track her down myself but learned only too late that she gave her hand in Eternal Matrimony to some other guy.
Yes, I agree that the system is failing.
That is precisely why I aim to Solve what I once called, then referred to but now denote as The Software Problem.
Solving the Software Problem
Every Diety Hath the Insigh to Foretell the Future
Yet G-d Almighty Himself Possesseth Not the Power to Undo the Past.
Read this paranoid manifesto online or reprint it at: