Via Liz’s extensive reporting of AOIR, I found The Homeless Guy (THG), a blog authored by someone who has been homeless off and on over the last twenty years. He lives primarily in Nashville, Tennessee, and provides an intrguing narrative about his experiences as a homeless person. The Homeless Guy, Kevin Barbieux, comments that he first discovered blogging on a public library computer (a little over a year ago according to his archives).
Like Liz and Laura, I was rather surprised (and disappointed) to learn that one class who saw the site became angry, complaining that the author should not solicit donations online. Donating is obviously voluntary (there is a discrete PayPal icon located somewhere on the page), and the author is clearly offering a valuable service–providing a first-hand account of his experience of being homeless (rather than merely panhandling). As Laura points out, several middle-class bloggers have PayPal or Amazon links, but I think the mentality must be that the Homeless Guy should “just get a job” must be pervading their logic. More importantly, Laura highlights the thin line between having a home and living on the streets, especially with so many people living from one paycheck to the next (I know from personal experience as a volunteer at a homeless shelter that many homeless people are, in fact, employed, but face other problems).
No matter what, THG is an interesting read, an intriguing life narrative that uses the blogging medium very effectively.