I’m glad you wrote back, letters are important in here. You spoke about things being fair. I wish! Not only for me but the countless others. The most bizarre thing is this, humanity as a whole has the means and knowledge to provide for one another in such a way that none should lack much of anything. The great wealth combined with the knowledge we have is more than capable to provide solutions for the problems of poverty and great oppression that we as a world all share. Our greed and pride is our downfall, our world leaders are blind to these things and ideals. They seem to care more about how powerful their nation is rather than look to the true needs of a people that they swear an oath to provide and protect. They spend trillions and billions of dollars on military arsenal to “protect” a nation that needs protection from ourselves. Drugs, violence, hunger, shelter, and clothing are on the backlist that is ever growing. We worry about weapons of mass destruction yet we are destroyed within our own lands. I wonder if our leaders think about the addict that is only addicted because he wishes to drown the pain of abuse they suffered. Do they see or think about the homeless that are hidden by the shadows cast by the wealthy as they pass them without even a word or hint of empathy? What about the single mom with four kids of all ages, who can’t work because she has no money to pay for the daycare. She is stuck with minimal food stamps, no transportation, and low income housing in a high crime area. Do they see her tears at night when she cries for her little ones? I am in amazement at all of this, so when I start to think my situation is bad I’m humbled at the lives of others that share the struggle.
I did not mean to get as deep as I just did, but I’ve lived my life in a lot of these situations. When I was homeless, I was also an addict. I was a shadow, no one saw me. I do have to admit some people showed me kindness, and I’m grateful. But mostly I was a shadow, at 3 am I remember digging through a garbage can looking for food and was happy to find a “McDonalds” bag with a half-eaten hamburger and a few cold fries. I would shoplift clothes, hygiene, food, even my drug.
You see, I was a huffer, and I huffed “spraypaint”. My life was hell, mostly it was just sad and I would get high to forget and dull the pain. I knew I had a problem, but to get real help cost money or you had to have insurance. I didn’t have anything. Some nights I would just cry. I did bullshit crimes, like, B&E “Breaking and Entering”. I wouldn’t even steal anything, then I’d go to jail or prison. The cycle continued.
It was all I knew. Success was something that I knew not, but it was easy to fail, so fail I did. I didn’t even know I had mental health problems, but all & all, today I’m a better person. My mind is way different and set on a better future. So. . .
You asked about the mental health pod. Well, we do some fun things sometimes, like we play bingo for prizes on Friday, or we do arts and crafts. We have cards, checkers, chess, Uno cards. Other than that it’s still jail. It’s also a lower population than the other blocks so it is a lot less stressful to me, anyway. I have anxiety and paranoia, the pod is still new and they say more things will come down the line.
You also asked what things IOA could do for us to make it better in here. Support is major knowing someone is thinking about you. That’s why I was talking about mail, that’s also why I asked for more people to write. That’s just me though, I’d like to meet more people and network a little.
Another big thing I know a lot of guys don’t get is money. It’s hard to sit around and watch all the guys that get canteen when it comes and they eat cookies, honey buns, candy, etc. And plus the hygiene they give you is shitty and they have deodorant and other products on canteen. They also have a care package you can send inmates at i-caregifting.com. It’s just something that I know guys struggle with. I know I do, who don’t like a snack once in a while. I’m sure you heard of how shitty the food is (haha).
Well man, I guess this is it until next time. . .