Something Left to LoseSOMETHING LEFT TO LOSE Name: Grade Course: Tutor’s Name: (28 February 2011)
Something Left to Lose 2 Something Left to Lose One can have a house but not a home; and to according Dordick (1997) in his book‘Something Left to Lose’ this is a statement can be justified easily. Homelessness to him can notbe judged in the way media does it. They focus on poverty, drug abuse, security, hygiene, lack ofshelter and poverty; yet being homeless is a different aspect all together since home is not onlythe comfort of a Porsche house. This paper describes the author’s view of homelessness byidentifying the four different settings i.e. the Bus Terminal, a shantytown, a large municipalshelter, and smaller privately run shelter. It gives a summary of the setting and gives the settingwith the most freedom; in addition, the paper agrees with the author’s argument and explains it. In the three part book Dordick (1997) explains on the streets, in the shelters and from adistance. In his experiences with the people living in the four setting through visiting andhanging out with them Dordick identifies their lifestyles, and their flow of life. For those livingin the bus station this was at Manhattan which the author describes as a hell’s kitchen. It has highlevel of poverty and insecurity but the people still lived there. However, they don’t only livethere they are proud of their home and some even describe themselves as too good to beg. Thoseliving there find it enjoyable and see it as an opportunity of being able to do a lot of things onewill never do in a normal setting. But one thing is certain they enjoy their environment and havebecome used to it. Despite feeding on discarded food, using makeshift toilets sleeping all thetime with all their belongings they still consider it their home. The police on the other handharass them every time for being homeless and even deny them justice. This same case applies tothose living in the shanty town which ends part one ‘on the streets’ of the book. The second part in the shelters gives more on the opposite side of life where there isplenty to eat spare and throw away. Having adequate shelter and comfort of their house and with
Something Left to Lose 3adequate security around their homes. According to Dordick (1997) the place has no rules andthough there are rules nobody enforces them. These areas have many cases of drug addiction andalcoholism. The people are always indoors and never want to be disturbed in any way. They arenever welcoming to visitors and always are insecure of new faces in the neighborhood. The author views the four different settings as home to different people and with whatthey want in life. In addition coexisting in the home is all that is required to establish a home. Inessence, lack of conventional houses does not mean they are homeless. Though people live inunconventional places they still coexist with each other in their settings making it a common andpurposeful setting. Each setting has its own challenges and conventional private dwellingscannot guarantee lack of problems. They all care about each other in their same setting. According to Dordick (1997) more freedom is on the streets where they don’t have themany worries of life as compared to those in the shelters. They are more adjusted to life in theirminds since they don’t have to care for what is left but what is to come. On the other hand, theyhave acclimatized to the life of lack of necessities and difficulties in their setting. This argumentmaybe true since one does not need to have a house to have a home. Home is where the heart isand if the heart is already content with the environment then its comfort is already found, so onecan never be homeless.
Something Left to Lose 4 ReferenceDordick, G. A. (1997). Something left to lose: personal relations and survival among New Yorks homeless. New York: Temple University Press