[ExI] On the Street and On Facebook: The Homeless Stay Wired

Beth Ferree beth.ferree at gmail.com
Sun May 31 18:32:47 UTC 2009

Hi, I joined this group not long ago  so this is my first post. This happens
to be a subject with which I am intimately familiar.
Last year I was homeless on the streets of San Francisco. I knew many who
had a computer, or computer access, despite having no housing. Several
(including me) even worked online. However, housing is so expensive there it
was often moved down below Internet access in priority. Mainly because the
programs that are available to help have long waiting lists and funding was
scarce. With the new changes Schwartenegger wants to make to the budget it
will become more so soon.
When you think about it, it comes down to the basic human need to be loved.
No one knows who you are online so they don't judge you based on your income
or situation. You can log onto a chat site and find others who support you.
Often, as you form online friendships you will find somebody who is a
kindred spirit. Several have even found some financial support beause they
were able to develop a relationship based on personality.

W. C. Fields <http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/w/w_c_fields.html>
- "I am free of all prejudices. I hate every one equally."

On Sun, May 31, 2009 at 12:47 PM, Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com>wrote:

> At 05:50 PM 5/31/2009 +1000, RL wrote:
>  Sure, I hear 'Internet Access' is right next to food, clothing and bedding
>> on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.
> Did you actually bother to read the WSJ article JG url'd? Maslow would have
> had no trouble understanding this:
> <When he realized he would be homeless, Mr. Livingston bought a sturdy
> backpack to store his gear, a padlock for his footlocker at the shelter and
> a $25 annual premium Flickr account to display the digital photos he takes.
> One recent morning, Mr. Livingston sat in a cafe that sometimes lets
> customers tap its wireless connection, and shows off his personal home page,
> featuring links for Chinese-language lessons.
> Mr. Livingston says his computer helps him feel more connected and human.
> "It's frightening to be homeless," he says. "When I'm on here, I'm equal to
> everybody else.">
> Damien Broderick
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