Thursday, March 10, 2011

A vivid story of the torment of homelessness told by Sacramentan Sonny Iverson in the Sacramento Press. Read it!

From Iverson's Google profile.
A longtime homeless man, Sonny Iverson, has posted a four-part narrative of his experience of being ‘on the street’ [and getting off of it] to SacPress:
It’s a splendidly well-written story that I am hopeful a good many will read. While every homelessness story is unique, there are many things about Sonny’s story that reflect upon what is similar to all who fall into the muddy pit of homelessness — that writer and sociologist John Irvin codified as “Warehousing the Rabble” in his book The Jail: Managing the Underclass in American society.

Sonny was first homeless when he was 18, locked out of his father’s home for smoking marijuana. From there he began an extended period in unstable living circumstances as he tried to advance his education in junior colleges.

Moving to San Francisco, his interest in music bloomed, resulting in a musical odyssey to Tennessee where things took a particularly sour turn.

These stages in a fall – from bad to worse to dastardly – would get nods of comprehension from many homeless folk who tumbled down their own not-dissimilar slippity slope. “Yep,” we would say. “Mine was sumpthin like that.”

Writes Iverson:

That people prey on young homeless people to oppress and abuse them is still hard for me to believe. It does make sense though, because who would believe a homeless person, or even care for their welfare? Homeless are a perfect target for predators, because the homeless have no voice, and not many care what happens to them.
Anyway, y’all: Read. Sonny’s. Story. Got that? Read the whole of it, as Sonny relates repeated difficult circumstances as he pulls himself up and out of the mudpit.

Unhappily, and to be expected, the “homeless haters” weigh in in the comments sections of the serial. These folks offer up severe criticisms of the homeless whenever a story relating to homelessness appears in the Sac Bee or Sac Press.

The frustration that Sonny has, and I and other homeless people have, with these criticisms is that the comment writers are so starkly ignorant of the homeless circumstance. Things just are not like what the haters choose to believe and are determined to continue to believe.

Homelessness is a pit where true friends are too few and where the homeless-services charities and county and city services are riddled with ineptitude. There are exceptions, certainly. Thank God for the exceptions. But most of what homeless people find themselves having to do is run around in circles, striving mightily to accomplish what little can be done.

"Why, we are just where we were when we started!" says Alice. "Oh, yes," says the Red Queen; "you have to run twice as fast as that to get anywhere else."

From what I find on the Internet, Iverson was recently or is now an outreach worker for Wind Youth Services in Sacramento.  He also wrote a song, titled "My Dreams."

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