I am 27 year old. I have a BA in psychology. I am unemployed and have been so since early March 2011. I have been homeless since December 2010. I am sick of this. Something has to change!!! I have been denied welfare. I have been denied unemployment because I 'left' my job. (My car died after I separated from my wife and I put the strain of living from my car on the car... Subsequently, I attempted to travel from Newark, where my family lives, to work in Princeton. I could not rely on public transportation and became unreliable myself. [Anyone in the mental health field knows that your clients depend on you and so do your co-workers.] I had to let the job go.) I thought that I would have the ability to live off of unemployment insurance until I attained another job, but that was not the case. My situation got worse when I was ARRESTED and ASSAULTED by police officers for being assaulted by loiterers outside of my sister's apartment after I asked them to leave. (That's what I get for expecting there to be clear cut right and wrong.) My brother was holding was clothes I had and lost his apartment. His landlord threw out everything without notice. My most prized possession, my auto biography, was destroyed or stolen. He filed for possession of the property and took the notification the courts say they sent from the mailbox to be sure it would not be contested, at least that is my assumption. Meanwhile, I was marketing myself for other jobs. I received requests for as many as 6 interviews a week, but my clothes were gone. (I only had two sets of formal clothes to begin with, to be fair, but without them, gaining employment was not possible.) I sought help from OAR, Salvation Army, and various other sources. I even tried to get into the armed services. The general consensus is that I am a capable college graduate. I AM capable, but it appears that the 'system' has built a resistance that I cannot penetrate. I went into a depression that rocked my core. I went to a mental health program via charity care to see if I really wasn't functioning at a sane level. I am not declared mentally ill though, which I considered faking in order to get some help. I was/am without help. This IS utterly insane. My effort and skill mean nothing. They, whoever 'they' are, have too much power. There should be something available to help people who don't want a hand out. What in the world is wrong with that? In a way, I am glad that I don't qualify for welfare - even though I'm not sure how that is possible - because I have not lost my drive. I am as resilient as the cockroach. However, my situation makes me feel as though the only options I have to make a living put me in direct opposition with other citizens... screw the police. I don't believe they know why they exist. For some strange reason, I doubt most police officers wake up in the morning and say to themselves "I'm going to make sure that everything is peaceful today." It seems more like they get caught in the 'I'm gonna catch a bad guy' mindset and behave accordingly. Everyone that I know in Newark who knows the police is in no way a comfort to me by revealing that knowledge. This is not a neighborhood problem, it is a police department problem. The public should not be threatened by the presence of police and this has to change!!! I want to come to the protest site, but I have no resources. I would walk, but I am not suicidal, at least not yet. I have been without a phone for ten of the last twelve months. So, if there is anyone who can help me get there, please message me on Facebook. (That way I can make sure that the message is not lost in spam hell anywhere.) My name is Osei Long. Facebook.com/catalysticfrost I really would appreciate the help.
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Jan. 21, 2012