Surviving in the Rough Handbook (a work-in-progress)

Surviving in the Rough Handbook (via Google Drive):

Surviving in the Rough Handbook:

For those living unhoused in Vermont who either have been or are due to evicted from the motel/hotel program or have otherwise have already been abandoned to the streets, woods or elsewhere with nowhere else to call home.

A living, work-in-progress, document anonymously co-written by various peers (those with lived experience, knowledge and insights, because we have been there and have done that).

In solidarity. Don’t give up!!!

Anonymously co-authored by:

Noah Bodie (NB; nobody; street name);

Keep in mind that, no matter how alone or distressed that you might feel or be at times, you are not alone and this too shall pass. Others of us either are currently living in the similar type of circumstances or have previously done so and, no matter how difficult and trying the circumstances or situation faced, we are surviving or have survived. This might not make things easier by any means, however it can sometimes help to know that we are not alone in what we are experiencing or have experienced and about how there are opportunities ahead of us that are different than the circumstances and situations being faced in the moment, even when those moments grow into long hours, days, weeks, months and even years. Whatever happens, don’t lose heart and don’t ever give up, particularly not on yourself. You have not failed, nor are you a failure, rather the system as well as society as a whole has failed those of us who are most in need. – NB


The invite being sent out to certain peers with unhoused lived experience:

Given your wealth of unhoused lived experience, knowledge and insights that you possess, if you are so inclined to share those with others, you are being invited to do so on what is the beginning stages of a handbook for our peers residing in Vermont to be shared both virtually and in hardcopy form by those of us with printer access.

In solidarity,

Noah Bodie (nobody; an old alias and street name from years ago)


Update re: unhoused workshops or clinics: Thus far, it appears that this might end up being a truly grass effort with those of us doing what we might be able to arrange in our area with those we know, including with unhoused peers currently residing in motels/hotels who could benefit from our lived experience and knowledge: i.e., it seems like we might be on our own in these regards, as is often sadly the case. Fortunately, in Montpelier, a church has stepped up to offer its building as a host site and the next steps might be doing the rest to bring about having a workshop or clinic hosted there. That said, if at all possible and if the motel/hotel owners or managers approve and if the unhoused guests are potentially open to it, I also think that it might work better to have such workshops or clinics be hosted at the motels/hotels where people are currently residing.

Am hopeful though that we might be able to find the support in one form or another needed to do as well as offer more however. We’ll see.


Related, UrgentAll Hands On DeckCall, here.

Comments | 4

  • Montpelier Bridge article on mass exodus

    The Montpelier Bridge posted an article on homelessness and included the photo I took last Autumn of a person living unhoused resting on a bench:

  • Prose: Sleeping in the Rough

    Prose: Sleeping in the Rough:

    Sleeping in the Rough

    (days and nights of absolute despair and futility)

    Other people, those with a permanent and safe roof
    over their heads, can take that as well as much else
    easily for granted; however, most of them will never
    know or understand what it is like for those
    who have to try sleeping in the rough, outdoors,
    underneath the stars, in the rain or during
    other severe inclement conditions,
    even if and when they are fortunate
    enough to have a tent or some other
    type of temporary structure,
    until it is vandalized or removed; sometimes
    by municipal authorities and anyone else
    who simply wants to kick them down the road,
    as if the person were some useless empty can.
    Just ask anyone who has experienced
    such treatment for themselves;
    it is really agonizingly tough,
    which is an understatement to be certain; truly;
    it’s downright dehumanizing, immoral and should
    be against the law; yet ironically, under the law,
    those living unhoused (aka homeless) have little,
    if any, actual protection as well as little, if any,
    justice. Yeah, justice is definitely blind, for sure.
    Who gave society the right to deprive an unhoused
    person of their civil and human rights, merely
    due to the fact that they do not have a permanent
    abode of their own to call home and sanctuary?!
    Explain that one, if at all possible.
    Though, on second thought, don’t bother;
    because no one is probably even listening,
    nor obviously caring; not to mention
    about how, truth be told, neither am I;
    not unless and until each of us open
    both of our hearts as well as our minds to what
    else might be possible and have a meaningful
    dialogue together and, somewhere down the road,
    build a better as well as different future;
    where everyone can attempt to live
    in mutual peace and harmony.
    Imagine that, if you can.

    Noah Bodie
    (aka Nobody; street name)
    Wednesday, May 17, 2023
    Montpelier, Vermont, USA

  • Handbook since edited and updated

    By the way, the Surviving in the Rough Handbook has since been edited and updated:

    In addition, there is now a print edition available as well (text only).

  • Unanswered Questions

    Yesterday, after another peer — lived experience expert — contributor had posted their contribution to the Surviving in the Rough Handbook and, in response to a post of mine to Front Porch Forum (the prose I had recently posted about there), someone replied to me by email with the following:

    “Perhaps a silly question — reading through your handbook — if I was to become homeless in this moment, where WOULD I sleep? The handbook has places to NOT sleep. Warning about police. Are there reasonable stable places to sleep?”

    Their next question was: “State house lawn?”

    By the way, as already mentioned in the previous comment, the handbook has since been edited and updated, however, these questions of theirs have yet to be answered. Just saying, …

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