Joyce 🐝 Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee

4 years ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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I wrote a post earlier about I could relate to much of the story myself. I’m facing similar circumstances.

I find myself scrambling for solutions to my dilemma, and have finally come up with one. I will go homeless. I need medical, food, diapers, and a home. A home and its overhead are the greatest of my expenses, but if I forgo having a place to live and its many expenses, I can have the rest. I can eat; afford medications and medical; and, Thank God, afford to change my depends three times a day instead of my usual day or two.

Now while it seems to be acceptable to go without food or medical or live in dirty diapers, going homeless causes people to suck in their wind or brings forward hushed silences. “How could you?” People ask. How could I what? Eat? Attend to my medical needs? Change my diapers?

You see—if I’m encased in a home, people don’t have to know about the rest. If I forego a home in order to take care of the rest, people ask questions. I have no qualms about opening my big mouth.

I’m old and crippled. There are logistics to consider. A toilet is necessary. So that would necessitate a van. No—I’m not going to live on the outside. I think I’m going to get a van and live in it. I can do that for a number of years. If the time comes people believe they are going to shove me into a nursing home, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. But I can tell you now—ain’t gonna happen. I’ve spent my life taking care of myself and others, and I will not be pounded into the position of being forced into a warehouse that provides the substandard care often levied upon the poor.

I will miss heat, electricity, TV, but Que Sera… I will love clean diapers, access to food, and access to medical.

Currently, I am on Medicare for the disabled. I will lose drug coverage soon. I will be reduced to finding coverage elsewhere. Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage costs up to a few hundred dollars a month. There is what they call a donut hole where up to $3000.00 of your prescriptions are not covered. If you do not have that money to spend, you never meet the criteria for coverage.  Thus, you never get needed medication.

If I provide myself with shelter, I will not be able to provide for my medical needs. I choose medical.

I still have four months to plan my escape into obscurity. Whatever I can save of my life will go into a small storage bin. When I die, I have no doubt remnants of my existence will be auctioned off. Somehow, obscurity seems appropriate.

Copyright 2017 Joyce Bowen


About the Author:  Joyce Bowen is a freelance writer and public speaker.  Inquiries can be made at
Sobre el autor: Joyce Bowen es un escritor independiente y orador público. Las consultas pueden hacerse en
My Patron site.  Please support my work.


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Thank you, anonymous, for your support on Patreon.
Thank you, Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, for your support on Patreon.
Thank you, Gert Scholtz, for your support on Patreon.
Thank you, Todd Jones for your support on Patreon.

Helena Jansen van Vuuren

4 years ago #36

Will do same - where is the how to. please?
Patreon is a great site. I cannot afford to run a website or have one made right now. In the future, I will take care of all of that. Please note that any fees come out of my end and not patrons. It is my decision as to whether or not I feel that is what I can afford or not afford.
Actually been in touch with 2 organizations this morning. One has my email and will discuss my proposal that I tell the stories of some elderly/homeless tomorrow at a staff meeting. They are going to take a look at my blog.

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #33

Joyce and All, I've looked at the Patreon T&C and the 5% handling fee seems very reasonable to me -- especially given that any form of credit card or electronic payment would involve at least 2.5% handling cost or more, and Patreon appears to be absorbing that. I'll watch for news of what you're going to do, and stand ready to make good on my pledge. I expect that others will do the same. My best to you.

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #32

Thank you, Praveen for standing ready to help. Cheers!
Because I will be here for a few more months, I will start here. I go to the next town over to inquire after elderly homeless here in Massachusetts.
I do have a patreon site here:
I am on patron websites. When I can generate enough interest and material, I will set up a website.
Heh--come along for the ride, Melissa?
I have been published. I simply have never made derived a living from it. I save work to external hard drives now but have lost much from the past. I managed to save newspapers from my editorial column and the like from school, but have seen websites go defunct over time, taking my work with it. Silly me. I spread my work around on websites now and save copies diligently..

CityVP Manjit

4 years ago #26

There are a lot of good and great people here who are showing that their heart is in the right place. What I see here at beBee is that you have produced a body of work. In that body of work you have a stated mission. Right now you have an opportunity to think startup rather than obscurity. You have a base to work with what you have here including people who are supporting you. You need to work out how much you need to get your project off the ground and transform these circumstances towards the mission you have stated many times over about being published. The opportunity here for you is kickstarter and scale this through the kickstarter community, because you have bees already behind you. With pledges and charity the focal point is still pointed to obscurity, but with the passion you have already demonstrated it is time for you to think about your mission. You have the body of work here, you have a definite aim for service of a greater cause, you want to be published and in this hour of need people have come forth to show their support for you. Surely the best way to go in this minute is to figure out what you need to fund your dream and then create a plan and focus around that through kickstarter. To me this seems like a possibility, but at the end of the day it comes down to how much you can get your mind to what the big vision is. I know one thing, I saw Montel on CNN., Montel was on CNN and he was livid about what is happening with healthcare and absolutely fearful of what it means to poor people who have MS in terms of what "pre-existing condition" means. With your background and focus and your intent, these are the kind of challenges which can end up being a kickstarter project. That is a choice on the table when you speak of the "scramble for solutions".
I do have a blog setup here:

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #24

Update: Todd Jones have added their pledges to those of Pascal, Sara, Don, and Gert and me. Not a bad start, but we need to pick up the action if we're going to make this happen. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #23

Thank you, Franci, for joining the effort. Cheers!

Milos Djukic

4 years ago #21

This is perhaps the only real magic which writing on social networks brings with it.

Milos Djukic

4 years ago #20

The best way to terminate obscurity is to face the imminent fear of becoming irrelevant. And then what? Then the creative power of writing and an interaction with readers comes as a solution. "I began my story for nothing, without benefit for myself or anyone else. I must leave a record of myself the cronicled anguish of my inner conversation, in the vague hope that the solution will be found when all accounts have been settled (if they may ever be), when I have left my trail of ink on this paper, which lies in front of me like a challenge" - from “Death and the Dervish” by Mesa Selimovic, 1966 "This goal can and must be attained in this life. But even if this does not happen, remember that he who has found the way once, always returns to this world with an internal maturity that enables him to continue his work. Man is firmly convinced that he is awake; in reality he is caught in a net of sleep and dreams which he has unconsciously woven himself." - Gustav Meyrink
I have been fortunate in past years, and I'm fortunate to have friends as good as all of you.

Milos Djukic

4 years ago #18

Thank you Phil Friedman.
I have started my research already. Wow. Save now, people. Them checks you get when you're elderly or disabled or both will never keep you alive.

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #16

Thank you, Milos, for joining the effort. Certainly, this would be a boost for Joyce, who takes it all as it comes with stoic resolve, but who, yes, is worthy as a writer and storyteller. But it would also be a heartwarming demonstration of community and writer-to-writer solidarity. Cheers!

Milos Djukic

4 years ago #15

I am also in. Phil Friedman is productive as an author and also a very good story teller. Thank you Joyce for that. I also invite everyone to join. There is no obligation, of course. Other ideas are also more than welcome. It's easy to spread this message Writers are often alone, including me, but not here. cc. Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #14

Thank you, Todd, for joining up. It's often easy to love mankind in general and in the abstract, much more difficult to get down to actually helping someone on an individual, concrete basis. BTW, I for one am honored to have both Joyce and you as fellow writers in this community. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #13

Thank you, Pascal, Sara, Don, and Gert. Please share this with the writers you know. For to my mind, this is about community. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #12

Okay. So far we have pledges from Pascal Derrien, and me. And Joyce has indicated to me that she likes the idea of keeping her activist boots on so that perhaps she can make another "dent". Now, we have to take the idea home. So ask yourself if you can make a pledge. And if so, please do. We can make this work, I believe, with 100 paid subscribers. If we can get 200, then we could cut the commitment in half and still see it work. All, this is reaching out to help a fellow writer.

Milos Djukic

4 years ago #11

cc. John White, MBA.

Gert Scholtz

4 years ago #10

Joyce \ud83d\udc1d Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee 's pledge.

don kerr

4 years ago #9

I'm in with Phil's plan and intent Joyce \ud83d\udc1d Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee

Sara Jacobovici

4 years ago #8

Count me in Phil Friedman you have an extended community here. Combined with your abilities and attitude, things can turn around for you!

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #7

No, not at all. For years, I carried around enough tools and stainless steel screws, nuts and bolts to build a boat. Finally, my wife made me donate them all to Habitat for Humanity. You have to realize that they do not represent what you are. That which is in your heart does.!the rest is just inanimate junk, however much you might think it defines you. Yes, do. start a new adventure. There are those of us who will try to help, one writer to another.
Thanks, Pascal.
#6 Both great ideas. I like the thought of turning this into even more of an adventure, Phil. But I feel so damned old. Must be the MS. I've been looking around this morning to see what I will keep. Would you believe I'm having trouble with the idea of giving up my tools?

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #4

I am not sure how to get my head around what I have just read partially because I spent 11 years working in emergency shelters and other housings schemes and it just does not sound right to me...... What struck me when I read the post was the ability to speak openly and honestly without any form of self pity. You are a strong woman and maybe we can modestly help so I would be happy to follow Phil's suggestion Joyce \ud83d\udc1d Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #3

Joyce, I am sorry to read that things are so difficult. And I applaud your resolute determination not to give up without a fight. Surviving homeless and poor in America is something I've thought about for several years. Partly because I work so much of the time away from home and have accumulated a Road Warrior's bag of tricks to keep expenses down, many of which I've often thought could be adapted to making living homeless significantly better. I suggest to you that you could do a vast service and perhaps generate some income with a blog and website about Living Homeless, Old, and Poor in America -- Without Giving Up. If you were to go that route, I pledge $10.00 per month donation to support your efforts, and call on other Bees to do the same. If you could assemble even just 100 paid subscribers, that might, I think, help with your personal circumstances, while at the same time doing a service for others similarly challenged. Best regards. Phil Friedman
yea--I've been trying to get my writing going since lastNov 1. I am a trained writer. Believe me when I tell you professors beat that into me. My biggest fan was Professor John Nelson. (Thank you, John.) He created a one-on-one course to mentor me, and I will be eternally grateful. I know he hoped I would just run out and publish, but I was so damned scared. Shoulda, woulda, coulda.
Believe me. I've already tried much. Poverty limits are so low. You have to be starving to get help. I think the disabled are particularly at risk in this country. I swear they just try to kill us off to save what little money they can. Breakfast sounds good as a respite. I do have one more thing I'm going to try on the 11th. Let's all hook up after that.

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