Land of 10K Homeless is a Minneapolis music-audio documentary project by Voices of the Streets, “An Artistic Portrayal of Homelessness in Minnesota.” Thier “website of artistic activism provides a space for the disadvantaged to share their stories.” Producer Danny Burke created this mix of the main theme, blended with interviews with individuals staying at a family shelter in Minneapolis.
After leaving the Marines, George Hill became addicted to drugs and alcohol. He soon found himself on the streets of Los Angeles, homeless for 12 years. But the kindness of another homeless man changed everything. Hill is now off the streets, working for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and pursuing a computer information systems degree at Cal State University. Recorded in Santa Monica, CA; part of StoryCorps’Griot Initiative.
A portrait of the self-named, Crazy John, who lives on the streets of Austin, Texas. He tells writer Carmen Delzell about his life. Carmen was homeless for a couple of years in the early 1990s. This piece was made after she got on her feet and was living in Austin. Produced by Jay Allison (PRX).
This time alone living in the luxury of Martha’s house has helped me relax enough to see myself and my circumstances a little more clearly.
I’m sick of Mexico. Sick of living in fear, of poverty, of the (mostly) assholes I know there and most of all sick of loneliness.
So tonight I’ve decided to head out into the night with my digital recorder and start doing a story on loneliness. You know, loneliness is probably the hardest thing to admit and for sure the hardest thing to bear.
I was inspired last weekend by a singer songwriter named Steve, who is sadly, dead.
#1 Bar Noise at a place called Buttons.
So here I am again alone in a bar waiting for this Dave Millsap to come on stage and sing the songs of Steve Bruton whose life was loosely depicted in Crazy Heart, the movie with Jeff Bridges.
I actually cried when I saw his beat up old truck drive down one of these breath-taking New Mexico highways because God Damn It that’s me driving up from the Matehuala Desert towards Saltillo, Coahuila in my beat-up Jeep and whatever it is that’s sent me down those lonely Mexican and New Mexican roads, I’m pretty sure it has something to do with movies like this.
The difference is that I’m a woman and don’t play the guitar or paint or anything except live and write about being alienated and sad and, yes, lonely. More…
Just imagine, if you can being an old (and you know I don’t feel all that old) woman with less than a hundred dollars to her name driving north on Hwy 57 between San Luis Potosi and Matehuala as the sun goes down.
A motel costs 400 pesos. So does a tank of gas.
Children stand by the side of the road holding out live rattle snakes for sale or a wild eagle dangled by its feet.
It’s getting dark.
The empty light comes on the dash board. There are no gas stations anywhere.
Food is out of the question till you get to the border; and when you do get there it’ll be another six hours to your friend’s house where you can sleep for a couple of nights.
I thought—in that hazy hopeful time right after graduation and before my foolish marriage that I could be a bohemian, a colorful avant-garde part of the late 1960s and then (I’m not sure when I thought it would actually be) I expected to have a house, go to graduate school and eventually teach at some small liberal arts college somewhere.
I guess I got a lot of these notions from biographies and magazine articles that fell into my hands from my mother’s casual (and probably mundane) choice of reading material.
She herself had fancied a similar life and she too found the shock of turning middle aged without it too much to bear.
Miracle Draven was a homeless girl on the streets of Portland, Oregon. She recounts a day in her life as a crystal meth addict. Excerpted from a longer work (2005) at Stories1st.org. Aired on NPR Day to Day; by producer Dmae Roberts, “Miracle on the Streets” (3:27 mp3):
[Carmen Delzell lives in Mexico, travels to India, and does occasional audio essays for us. Here’s the first of what we hope will be a series of posts & pix she’s calling the Bag Lady’s Guide to What’s Left of the Planet. This one’s from India…]
Today I took my regular rickshaw to Mother Theresa’s house to see if there was anything I could do to help or just see the poorest of the poor. I was expecting to be horrified by all the suffering but it wasn’t really as bad as I had expected. When I say it wasn’t as bad I mean it wasn’t as bad as the miserable beggars I see everyday on the streets of Delhi and Jaipur. At least at Mother Theresa the people I sat with were clean, comfortable and most of all smiling.
Years ago when I was at Mother Theresa in Calcutta a traveler girl told me that the ladies loved to be touched and hugged and patted. So I did that and I sang to them and I started to dance my version of Bollywood style movements waving my arms and undulating my hips. They were delighted… all of them old ladies or very brain damaged young women. More…
Two of three music/interview pieces on Minneapolis homeless have aired, via HV, on NPR. The work is by composers Andrew Turpening and Danny Burke. Their project “Land of 10,000 Homeless” (previous HV post) is part of Voices in the Streets, “a website of artistic activism, providing a space for the disadvantaged to share their stories,” which they did recently on NPR’s Day to Day:
“Land of 10,000 Homeless: Bill Speaks” (2:45 mp3):
Voices of the Streets has some “artistic activism” called “Land of 10,000 Homeless,” a music/doc/vid– “Every day, approximately 10,000 people in Minnesota will sleep outside or in temporary shelter. This video allows us a chance to see the world from their eyes:”