It's not what you are eating, it's what's eating you…

Archive for the ‘homelessness’ Category

The local disabled chick’s pick for helping the homeless/ the DT MPLS/ #SBLII edition …

(Image above property of St.Stephen’s )

It’s -2 below, with a -24 below windchill here in Downtown Minneapolis, which I’m sure anyone down here, is already fully aware of.

While I’m grateful that a benefit to having a Superbowl in your neighborhood, is that various charities have benefited  from that.

However,  I’m going to just concentrate on St. Stephen’s and Aeon, as far is in my desire to help the homeless today and until “52” is over.

I’m also going to reiterate, I’m always going to encourage supporting initiatives versus giving money directly to homeless people , which will result in doing the greatest amount of good for them.

The top above link, is the best link to get information on, if you see homeless people who need attention, when it’s this cold out, when you’re out and about,  note though depending on if someone’s medical and mental health is in question, please call 911.

The link below for Aeon, provides a wider base of  longer term housing solutions for people  all over in the Twin Cities, including the homeless,  people with disabilities, low to moderate  income working  people ,as well other populations, in addition to providing support resources so that residents who need it, have the optimal chance of remaining  stable in their housing.

If you follow me on here or Facebook and Twitter, I’ve been an active but crabby and whiny activist and human being as of late.

But, I’m always a  grateful human and realize many people locally,  for many reasons, there are less fortunate people who , don’t have a choice to not only go outside today, but have to stay there, because they don’t have anywhere else to go.

Disclaimer: I do activism  as a disabled activist and/or donate time and money to several charitable organizations. Because,   I can be controversial in both my being and opinions, which on any matter and in any circumstances are strictly my own and are not a representation of opinions and/or philosophy of ANY organization that I do activism for.  Thanks.


Things that are helpful to know for non-locals coming to Minneapolis (and/or Minnesota) for Superbowl 52/ #SBLII……


(Trigger Warnings: My opinions are strictly my own. While as a disabled activist I try to raise money and/or awareness for the first 6 above links (the 7th is to help those who are traveling to Minnesota/Twin Cities for the events and/or leading up to Superbowl 52) are/or much different than those who strictly advocate for the homeless and/or affordable housing.

But in NO WAY represent in any manner, other than trying to support non profits, of what I say in my blogs, to try and help others.

Also, I come from the perspective of “respectfully agreeing to disagree”

My hopes are that for those who are visiting Minnesota and/or the Twin Cities area, have a happy and safe time, here, as well as how they can help those who might be in need, if they choose to do so, in the safest and most efficient way possible, is not congruent with other activists who are more vocal and present than I am .

While I defend others right to disagree with me, even with as much at stake when it comes to homelessness and/or public safety, I feel strongly enough to state my point of view, do whatever you feel is right to you, as long as doesn’t interfere with another’s right to feel safe and supported,  whether you are  local or just visiting.

Lastly, my disabilities and lack of income (as well as I’m having technical difficulties, as of late), prevent me from linking websites or videos, in my blogs or breaking the subject matters covered in this blog, into separate blogs.

Safety and first aid tools can be found by using search engines such as Google (I be a “Google Girl, as well as Local 5 local guide for Google under Unstapled Lisa) or helfpul training videos can be found  on You Tube.

But at this point in time, I’m still choosing NOT to monetize anything I do on social media, although at the end of this below, if I can help in a way that’s time consuming, I’m not going to turn down renumeration for my time…

Anyhow…… Thank you in advance, for reading this blog, (hopefully in it’s entirety )as it’s only meant to help…)

Here we go…

The poor disabled blogger who has high end tastes, wants to welcome and empower those who are scheduled or thinking about visiting the Twin Cities, for either Superbowl 52 and/or the many exciting events extended in the Twin Cities area (which would include Dakota/Scott counties, which I’m also familiar with, where concerts promoted by
Nomadic Live at Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake, that’s outside of Hennepin (Minneapolis) and Ramsey (St.Paul) counties).

I’ve happened to reside in the core of the Mini-Apple, for the last 5 years. I’ve lived in Minnesota (I was born in Brooklyn about 984 years ago) for the last 43 years. I have lived though, 4 1/2 blocks away from U.S. Bank Stadium for the last 5 years.

Being currently a poor disabled person who should’ve been a successful small business owner, who comes from an upper middle class backround, I kinda have a unique perspective on things.

Where I live and how I feel about Downtown Minneapolis, isn’t any different.

I know what’s great about the Twin Cities and what’s NOT so great.

What I am hoping to accomplish with this blog, is multi-fold:

I want people to have the best possible experience that multiple planning commissions have invested a lot of resources in, that benefits as many people as possible.

Including those who don’t have a voice, which is the nature of most of my blogs and the “armchair activism” that I do on the internet for different causes.

Here are my “Golden Rules” for visiting Minnesota for 52 and/or the activities planned for it (and the beauty is, it could pretty much apply to where you live or anywhere you visit) although the links in the blog are either MN or Twin Cities specific, except the Red Cross one.

1. Treat people like how you want to be treated when you’re at home:

I live super duper close to U.S. Bank Stadium. I don’t live in it, though. If you wouldn’t want people yelling and screaming your neighborhood for ANY reason, at any time of the day, please keep your noise level IN the stadium and/or public spaces where it’s encouraged.

But realize BOTH Downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, are a mix of commercial and residential properties, sometimes co-existing  on the same block.

Downtown Minneapolis, as well as surrounding suburbs and counties, are very diverse of people of all walks of life. Maybe some people like it loud, lots of us, do NOT.

2. Please do NOT directly feed/finance the homeless:

No, I’m not a jerk. I believe strongly in helping the less fortunate, which is a category I actually fall in, but again, have not monetized ANYTHING I do on the internet (well other than this blog, possibly).

However…. IF everyone I know who claims to care about the homeless, gave to non profits versus a homeless person, directly, could probably house BOTH temporarily and permanently the homeless and less fortunate, dozens of people could have access to both temporary and permanent shelter, for about a year.

Not only that, it does  present a safety risk for the samaritan and it also unfortunately, I’ve seen this happen, provide a safety risk for the homeless person who one chooses to give money to.

If I am to be truthful, I usually if I’m staying in Downtown Minneapolis (or St.Paul) purposely look like a deranged lunatic. It’s not because I get pleasure out of scaring innocent people. I just get sick of being asked for money, sex and drugs all the time (and I’m not laying blame on the homeless for that). I’m just saying, it happens to work for me, just to say that I don’t have any money, whether it’s true or not, isn’t anyone’s business but my own.

I just politely look someone in the eye, say “I’m sorry, I don’t have any money” and quickly move on. I personally don’t feel the need to tell the truth to any stranger looking for something for me and I give, even with being poor both my time and money to those in need. By donating time and money to non-profits.

Again, this is with more than just the samaritan’s safety in mind. But unfortunately, people leave themselves wide open, for the potential to be robbed, because while sometimes, it’s possible, that homeless looking or professing person, may really ONLY needs a quarter, once you open your purse or wallet and give to them, you run the risk of getting asked by another person, who won’t take no for an answer, who sees you do that.

If there is something though, that rubs you the wrong way about those who are less fortunate, the 6th link is for The Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund at Children’s Cancers Research Fund. I’m kind of the mindset that if I can give to hospital that’s associated with a hospital chain that treats also adults and in my case, this particular adult, like total crap, if you don’t have empathy for those who are poor and/homeless, you can feel good about yourself in trying to help ERADICATE children’s cancers. I picked Zach, in about 9 other blogs that I explain in great detail, previous to this one.

Which brings me to the next topic…..

3. Learn safety tricks and first aid:

There are many videos for those who have time constraints or lack of money to learn how to best protect yourself. Minneapolis and St. Paul are not the U.S. hub of major crime, but it does happen here, like it could ANYWHERE.

I found because of my own disabilities, to feel less helpless and more empowered, to watch accredited and trained people’s videos on safety and first aid, so I would feel less helpless in an emergency or crisis situation of many kinds .

But also know that both the State of Minnesota, almost any city that could expect to have visitors, have excellent trained first responders to help in a true emergency. There’s also 10,000 (yes, you read that correctly TEN THOUSAND) people who volunteered to help visitors get help that they may need to have the best experience as possible, for the activities and/or leading up to 52.

And I’m about to say something that’s kinda contradictory. I do when I see visitors, it’s kind of like my own “random act of kindness” that I do, when I’m out and about, that’s not activism related, will offer to take pics of people who look like they’re tourists (well partially that’s driven by a few people trying to contort themselves to get in a selfie near a landmark and they’re seriously risking an ER visit, okay, I’ll stop being snarky).

Truthfully that’s not a good idea, to ask someone or it’s a risk you take, if someone doesn’t have good intentions, by giving them your smartphone to take a pic.

Also, don’t keep phones, hotel keys, car keys all in the same location, on your person. That way, if something bad happens, which hopefully it won’t, you won’t be out of EVERYTHING, should you get robbed. If you will be traveling with a group people, keep your valued possessions in different places on your person, than the others that you’re traveling with.

But personally, I think it’s a good idea for EVERYONE, who’s capable of operating a digital device, to take the ONE hour of your life, to learn various safety defense actions and emergency first aid. I can get the various reasons why people don’t have the resources to get certified, but I don’t understand how anyone cannot learn something that might save a friend or a loved one, by just investing a small amount of time that provides tools to save one’s life or another.

Again, see above paragraphs. But also note, we earned the “Bold North” rep, for a reason. There are many resources for tourists on my 7th link above. While it’s good to have confidence in some things, if you’re new to snow or cold weather, ask for advice from people you trust, the volunteers and the tons of law enforcement or even me.

I’ve been to major cities outside of the Twin Cities, such as Miami/Ft.Lauderdale, New York City (not since my teens, tho), Las Vegas (almost 2 1/2 years ago) and London (England and Paris, France, almost 22 years ago and I’m not trying to be braggy) and got around fairly easily (in da olden days).

As well as I did get around extremely well, for a disabled chick, in Vegas.

While it might feel embarrassing,  even though there’s a ton of help for example with public transportation, and/or  if you’re renting a car, for example and SNOW or extreme cold, is new to you, don’t chance it. You’re not only risking your life, but those who ride in car with you and/or who has to share the road with you.

While a lot of steps have been taken for example, with accomodations, to make them as safe and scam free as possible, if you need help, PLEASE ASK.

Also have backup plans, in case something goes awry. Again, there’s a ton of help offline and you can also ask your social media buds who are local.

I know for me, personally, I’d rather answer the same question, 63,251 times than someone feel stupid and not ask for help and it causes harm to them, a loved one or an innocent bystander, and I’m NOT the only person who feels that way.

Because while most people are reasonable, and realize that you’re only asking the question for the first time, if someone’s going to be a jerk, what they have to say, doesn’t matter, anyway, RIGHT?

So, please ask for help, if you need it.

5. Lastly… :

This blog is with the best intentions, as I said previously, to help as many people as possible. While it’s true that I don’t monetize my internet or social media, in any way, I wouldn’t turn it down, either. I wouldn’t expect any kind of renumeration, for helping someone,  via email, if it takes 5 minutes. More than that, or more in depth type of help, feel free to try and negotiate and/or offer some kind of  compensation.

Hopefully this blog helped. I get that I’m super wordy, and if you’re new to my writing, I get that my syntax, among other things, could be better, but they’re NOT, because again, I have a bizarre set of complex medical, mental health and cognitive disabilities.

Also note, I’m amenable to constructive criticism. Nasty comments though, will NOT be posted….

Additionally, I do feel bad, as there are groups of people, that I hope to do more activism for, in the future, such as veterans. Right now though I am doing the best I can, to help as many people as possible.

But if one is so inclined to help a Minnesota based veteran, the following link, can help….

And for those who have just a quick question that needs to be answered and/or in the rare case, if it’s someone’s a bariatric surgical patient who’s visiting the Twin Cities for the festivities of and/or Superbowl 52, I can be reached at my email address of

I apologize, as I re-published blog, while unfortunately, it made it even more wordier, it was necessary to best help as many people, as possible.

And unfortunately, with having both tech and WP issues, required publishing the blog, more than ONCE (well, three times to be exact and here’s to hoping the 3rd time is the charm)……

Homelessness Kills….


Note: Like always, for anyone that is in acute medical and/or  mental health crisis, please seek attention, immediately from an offline clinically trained medical and/or mental health professional and/or facility.

The problem is, with my above “normal” disclaimer on my blogs, that if one is homeless, and sometimes, it’s the symptom and sometimes it’s the “disease” itself (I’ll elaborate as I go along and for my new readers, sometimes with my complex medical/mental health/ cognitive disabilities, it takes me awhile and a lot of words, to make a point) and it’s the one thing people can be in acute crisis for, but CANNOT get acute care for.

Homelessness does KILL. If it doesn’t physically kill someone, it kills their spirit, both young and old.

No one would’ve ever guessed before 2008,  at the age of 38 1/2,  that I would become a statistic of sorts. I was in the process of starting my own business in 2005, I came from an upper middle class Jewish family and while I was a pro-active never married single mother of 2, I had worked from my teenage years, for 20 years, I paid for my college education,  as I went along, while working full time and I was for the longest time a loving and fully present mother.

However, when things went wrong, for me, they went HORRIBLY wrong. I’ve discussed that in much greater detail, in other blogs. Being physically ill for so long, led to a mental health deterioration, and I gave up custody of my children to my parents and tried to commit suicide in Summer of 2008, which is also discussed in other blogs of mine.

I’ve NEVER discussed though, in great detail, of what it was like to be homeless, at least technically, the two times in my life, that I have been homeless.

And I was luckier than most, those two times that  I was homeless. The first time, was in 2008, after my suicide attempt. I ended up, after a 34 day on a psych ward, in the mental health system (2 group homes, one 90 day behavior treatment, the other a long term group home for the chronically mentally ill) in Minneapolis, for 15 1/2 months but had nearly got committed to a long term mental health hospital for my “one and only”suicide attempt, which I discuss in way too much detail, in my first blog, also here  on WordPress.

While life in the 2 group homes I was in that period of time, was less than ideal, it was better than not having any shelter in a cold Minnesota winter or being on the streets during any season. I was able to get out of the system, when I got my social security backpay at the end of 12-2009, after fighting for it, for over three years and rented a condo, in the city of Plymouth, MN,  an upscale suburb in Minneapolis, where I lived most of my adult life and with my kids. But this time on my own.

So I didn’t enjoy my freedom, because I still was growing  sicker with my gastric bypass complications, and  I would end up spending most of 2010 on campus or inpatient at Fairview University Medical Center, fighting for my life, until my gastric bypass was reversed, almost 9 years after I had it.

I also found myself technically homeless, when I moved suddenly and it wasn’t my fault, out of a basement apartment, that I was renting from a friend, 3 years ago, at the end of 2012.

I was luckier than most, as in that case, I lived with my boyfriend for 2 months, so I was again, spared being in a shelter or on the streets.

One of my caseworkers in 12-2012,  had suggested Aeon, an non profit that provides affordable housing in the Twin Cities and outlying suburbs . The first time I called them, I was told I wasn’t eligible. After perusing hundreds of Craigslist housing ads, this time for roommates (as I had quite a bit of money in late 2009, with getting my backpay, so I was able to live on my own, in early 2010, but my rent at the  time was over 1/2 my monthly income) so living on my own without some help, wasn’t going to be possible, when I became homeless, the 2nd time. I had lost my Section 8 certificate, when I lost my housing post suicide attempt in 2008.

I had applied for public housing in Minneapolis,in Spring of 2009 (while still in the last group home I ended up at)  and still was waiting, when I ended up calling a 2nd time, in December of 2012,  talking to an assistant property manager of where I currently live and made arrangements and gathered the necessary paperwork, to secure my current housing.

For someone prior to 2008, who’s never had a problem getting an apartment, those 2 weeks I waited late December of 2012, were awful, but I knew could’ve been worse, as if I didn’t have my boyfriend to help. I couldn’t imagine how horrible it would’ve been to have to wait in a shelter, or even worse, out on the streets, during one of our cold Minnesota winters, as I wouldn’t ask my parents for help. By then they had been raising my children for FOUR years.

When I found out that I was going to get my apartment, going into the 2nd week of January of 2013, I was ecstatic. And even more so, when I moved in, a few days later.

I didn’t end up getting called from that public housing list, for that 1 bedroom that I applied for in Spring of 2009 until late Summer of 2013, and I was already established in my current home and happy with it. That’s FOUR years, I would’ve been stuck in the system, had I not gotten my back pay.

I still (and will always) have multiple medical disabilities, in addition to mental health,  that making living with other people, very difficult. I still vomit a lot. I have severe chronic widespread and localized pain. I have severe daily headaches and migraines. I have anxiety and panic attacks. While my last apartment with my 2 children, it wasn’t so bad, because we had 2 full bathrooms, sharing a bathroom while in the system or when I was at my boyfriend’s house, was really hard for me, even though I can be a mellow person to spend time with and so is he.

But I spend the majority of time, home, alone due to my complex disabilities And I need a lot of quiet, for how chaotic my head clutter can be.  And it’s both a necessity and a luxury, given what has happened in the last several years of my life, to be living independently (well with my disability waiver that helps provide services) but in a place that actually cares about my well being.

While my particular property is set up to help low income service sector, there’s others here who are also disabled in different ways who live on my property, as well children. While I don’t take advantage of the on site food shelter and or activities for inclusion, I appreciate that they are offered. We also have a “resident connections” coordinator who has office hours a few days a week on site, that helps with resources for those who need it, who’s there even just to listen, for someone like me, who spends so much time alone, that it’s nice to have someone who cares, as well as to bounce ideas off, of volunteer ideas that I have or if I’m not feeling the best and have been home alone a lot, will listen to me ramble, as it’s not unusual for me to by myself for a week or two at a time.  I’ve never had one negative experience with any of the Aeon staff either on site or corporate, in the almost 3 years that I’ve been living here .

I know it takes me a long time to make a point. I’m also nervous because I’m publicly affiliating myself with the non profit that is responsible for my housing. While they know I mean well , with the offline volunteer work and social media presence I have on their sites, I want to represent them, to the best of my ability, even though my thoughts and opinions about anything, are strictly my own.

And being concise and/or thinking and stating things in a logical sequence of order, is not abilities that I have any longer.

I had shared a link last night, on Facebook, of a very well intentioned post by someone who gave a homeless person, recently in Chicago, some new boots, clothing and some food, that’s starting to go viral. While I appreciated the sentiment that both the page and the poster meant, I also know doing that for homeless people, is the equivalent of putting a bandage on a gunshot wound.

This is where I tie the picture above on this blog and the 2nd paragraph. Because I’ve seen so many initiatives such as the bags above for homeless people, and/or other people sharing similar heartwarming stories about making a homeless person’s day by giving them money, buying them shoes, etc.



They need support services so they can stay in their housing. They deserve to live in decent housing, not slums.

The non profit that owns my housing, Aeon, does this so incredibly well, that’s why the little I can do for them online or offline, I try my best.

And there also  other non profit housing/homeless resources here in the Twin Cities, as well as outreach programs and shelters, that try to help the homeless, initially until more permanent  housing can be found for them.

A lot more good could come from supporting initiatives that protect the homeless from being on the streets in the first place, than making a bag with necessities and or giving money to just one homeless person, who I’m sure appreciates that more than anything, but it won’t help them survive a brutal winter night, when it’s -20 degrees below zero. It won’t protect the vulnerable who are homeless who are subjected to great risk of being physically and/or emotionally violated.

I could’ve spared you all from reading the first 1200 words before I uttered “HOMELESS PEOPLE NEED HOUSING”, but it wouldn’t have had the same impact.

The fact that I shouldn’t have became a statistic, doesn’t mean that people who had a lot less luck than I have, aren’t any more worthy of housing.  Because they are deserving of housing. Some people may have too many barriers to ever be able to live independently, but they deserve to have a roof over their heads and a safe place to sleep at night.

And in major ways, my family backround, my lack of chemical dependency issues but having mental health issues, STILL didn’t prevent me,  unfortunately, from becoming homeless. And I was luckier than most, that it DID prevent my children from becoming, homeless.

But I did try to get help when I was so vulnerable and unstable. The system fails families and individuals everyday, in multiple ways, and some people will DIE, because of that.

So yeah, I may get a little snarky, at least in my thoughts,  when someone does with the best intentions on social media,  posts a “help for the homeless bag” or talks about slipping a $20 in a homeless person’s hand while they’re  sleeping (not a safe idea for both the samaritan or the homeless person, for multiple reasons) after going to a fancy restaurant, after a Buffalo Bills  game, and while they can buy their tickets and order their food on a smartphone, but can’t resource on their I6 phone,  homeless initiatives locally, to best help the homeless.

Not trying to be a witch, just saying there’s so much at stake, because people can die from this and being too nice, doesn’t always work, when trying to get a life or death point, across. Or at best a necessary quality of life, issue.  The majority of the deaths for the homeless, could be so easily prevented, if more people put their resources in initiatives.

Just saying, the homeless population could benefit greatly from resources such as volunteers at shelters and entities like the non profit who owns my housing (which I think Aeon volunteers are awesome, thank you!!!) those who donate their time, money, clothing, toys, furniture to both temporary and permanent housing initiatives,wherever you live and if you care, can do the most greater good, for ALL homeless people.

So, while I have not been feeling the best and have been homebound lately, I’m still counting my multiple blessings. Grateful to still be alive. To have my housing. To have the realization that with my complex disabilities, that my life can and has been worse.

So doing what I’m doing  with my activism, regarding homelessness, isn’t all altruistic, as I know how lucky I am to be able to do this, from the comfort of my own warm home, but am haunted by the thoughts of ALL  the at risk children and adults who will be going to sleep in their cars, if they are a little more lucky and on the streets, tonight.

Locally. Nationwide. Globally…

And my heart breaks for them.

Note: As always, any comments that could potentially be triggering to my readers, will NOT be published. Thanks…..


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