My Eyes Feel They Need to Cry
Stories from the Formerly Homeless
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Michigan State University Press
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Foreword by Susan E. Cancro
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Every one of us wants a place to call home. Finding, sharing, and keeping a home can be manageable or overwhelming. For some, home means the old family homestead, full of tradition and memories that span genera-tions. For others it means a place chosen outside of family tradition, shaped to express a different life path. At times, for a group of individuals and families, home means not a “place” but a “process” of gaining information and experiences, finding temporary oases of safety and support, redesigning themselves and their ...
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I wish to thank all the many, many people who supported the creation and implementation of “Your Story and Mine: A Community of Hope” that gave birth to this book, a reflection of this project. It continues to be a “never-ending story.” First, I am grateful to all the participants in the project who willingly, graciously, and honestly shared their painful, difficult memories and stories in so many different ways—through words, art, and music. They are all remarkable human beings in their own special ways. They each honored their commitment ...
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Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual . . . These tasks, and therefore, the meaning of life, differ from man to man, and from moment to moment. Thus it is impossible to define the meaning of life in a general way. Questions about the meaning of life can never be answered by ...
Chapter One. A Canvas of Homelessness
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Aside from extreme poverty and the absence of stable housing, there is no single characteristic that all homeless people share. Some are old men, some are young Amidst the obvious heterogeneity of the homeless, however, three salient and widespread conditions do stand out: first, the extreme level of poverty char-acteristic of the group; second, the high levels of disabilities of all sorts; and third, ...
Chapter Two. Their Stories through Words
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The use of the unrestrictive term, “the homeless,” is in certain ways misleading. It suggests a uniform set of problems and a single category of poor people. The miseries that many of these people undergo are somewhat uniform. The squalor is uniform. The density of living space is uniform. The fear of guards, of drugs, and of irrational bureaucracy is uniform. The uniformity is in their mode of suf-...
Chapter Three. A Change in Direction
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Education empowers you. You never lose the knowledge once you have the knowledge. No one can take that away from you. It’s yours for life. You had all these other things taken from you, but they cannot take education away from you.Not everyone who has lived on the streets remains there. Some find a way to leave this way of life—perhaps it is even a response to their lifelong feelings of abandonment. ...
Chapter Four. Their Stories through Paintings and Poems
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Just as people have been telling their stories and those of others through words—oral and written—for years, they have also been drawing and painting their stories. Some-times they write poetry—another avenue of sharing their thoughts, feelings, and ideas. Tens of thousands of years ago, people drew their stories on the walls of the caves where they lived. “The first rock drawings were etched and . . . the first cave-pictures ...
Chapter Five. Resilience from Memory, Hopes, and Dreams
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The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.Those who have been homeless struggle with layers of problems and traumas as chil-dren, teenagers, and adults, and the painful memories of these experiences—some remembered, some repressed. But these people also strive, as we all do, to create and realize their dreams—some concrete, some abstract. They have been primarily familiar ...
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Page Count: 198
Publication Year: 2013