5:30AM- Awaken before the sun rises. Must fold blankets and gather foodstuffs and clean up area before police arrives.
Police usually come by at or near sunrise and I will be harassed and bullied if spotted. Carry backpack and
tote bag to Votran transfer plaza.
6:30AM- Arrive at transfer plaza. I have a craving for nicotine so I search the ground for discarded cigarette or cigar butts.
People are talking loud, teenagers are skateboarding in the walkway, and other homeless people are asking me
for a cigar. I am shaking with tremors from the cheap, strong Steel Reserve beer yesterday and last night and I
need a beer real bad. I ask 3 different people for spare change to no avail. One person told me to "go to hell".
7:00AM- Walked 2 blocks to Halifax Urban Ministries for a couple of free cups of coffee. Standing in line, waiting for my cup
to be filled, I overhear people talking about how they fought someone recently, just returned from jail or how some-
one stole their belongings that were stashed in the bushes. 2 people ask me if I can spare a cigar. About 7:30 I
stand in line here and sign a list. Then I am given a small bag of Flaming hot Cheetos, a nutrition bar and a small
fruit flavored barrel drink. I pick up my bags and make my way to the Star Center at 340 North St.
8:00AM- Star Center (Volusia/Flagler County Coalition for the Homeless). I stand in line waiting to get a change of clothes.
People are talking about how they got ripped off, how their friend is in jail or where they can sell their food stamps
to be able to buy a bus pass to get around. Every day at least one person will break the line in front of others and
this not only irritates the others but occasionally will stir racial tensions. The door opens at 8:30AM and 2 males and
2 females are allowed in at a time. When it is my turn, I go in and show my Coalition I.D. card and search for pants
and a shirt. I ask for socks and underwear which is only available less than half the time. When I get my clothes, I
rush to the East door to sign up for a shower. If the list is not full they put my name down and call me when my turn
comes up. If the list is full, I leave and go to the Goodwill Job Center.
12:00PM- Bridge of Hope. Stand in line to wait for food. The weather is either sweltering hot or freezing cold with wind cutting
to the bones, depending on what time of year this is. After about 30-45 minutes (depending on what time of month
it is) I finally go inside and am served 2 pieces of pizza that has been donated from Little Ceasars and recooked,
shredded lettuce and carrots with a piece of tomato in it (salad), a slice of expired pumpernickel bread and a small
bowl of canned peaches. people before me drank all the sweet tea so I'm stuck with plain water. I eat and leave.
On my way out, I get a loaf of unsliced, expired Italian bread, 3 day old Krispy Kreme doughnuts and a brown bag
with 2 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in it.
1:00PM- I made my way back to the bus plaza. I am checking the ashtrays and the ground for discarded cigarette butts. I will
rub the tobacco out of the butts and tear a page out of my New Testament pocket Bible to roll me a cigarette. I feel
bad about it but Bibles are a dime a dozen. I make my way to the library to get out of this hot weather.
1:30PM- At the library on City Island. I was stopped by a police officer on my way here. He asked my destination and said not
to be hanging out on Beach Street. I'm just glad to be in the air conditioning. I need a beer real bad.
5:00PM- Library is closing. I'm making my way to beachside. As much as I hate to do it, I have to swallow my pride and beg for
money. I am disabled and the government is taking years to settle my case. Now I'm reduced to as if I were born in
Ethiopia. I still am selective on who I beg from. I don't ask anyone with children, no one busy on their cell phone or no
handicapped or other person who looks homeless. I must check for cops before I ask, if the cops see money change
hands, I'll be arrested.
11:00PM- Was able to raise a total of $9.50. Was able to get a 4 pack of Naddy Daddy, a pack of 305 cigars and a 24 hour bus
pass so I won't have to walk tomorrow. I'll go back to my spot, scope it out for cops and if it's clear I'll lay my pad down
and try to get some sleep. I'll have to sleep lightly though. I heard someone got beat up in their sleep with a base ball
bat last week. Someone stole my other friends shoes in his sleep 4 days ago. God, what I would give to have a safe
place to lay my head, out of the rain, warm and safe. Got to get some sleep. This starts all over tomorrow.