They knew they’d need some help. They knew where to find it.

They weren’t very good at building anything, even less at securing it to withstand the snow, the winds, the cops.

Or so they hoped.

It was better to make use of what was already present.

What others, who had better skill and quite possibly better sense, had built.

Sure, some called it squatting. Some found them vagabonds.

But why not when the struts provided good foundations?

It was a pity, really, that so many did not understand.

The cops raided one night. Tossed the tents.

Kept the struts.




For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Ted Strutz



19 thoughts on “Out-Strutted

  1. Hopefully they’ll find another good spot to pitch their tents. Modern cities have an abundance of structures for them to hook onto.Shame about the police raids though, I think they’re an occupational hazard in the vagabond lifestyle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly, Iain. There are buildings standing empty and becoming derelict while there are people who have no protection from the elements and no place to safely put their heads to sleep. Something in this equation is very very wrong. You totally got it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You highlight a very important issue in your story. Homelessness should hardly ever happen in a first world economy, and yet it is increasing rapidly.
    It must be incredibly hard to survive when you’re homeless. You’re story picks up on shelter and police raids, but what about food? You have no cooking facilities, so whatever food you have is either cold or (if you’re lucky) a takeaway. Very hard to eat a healthy diet.
    Good story to raise awareness, Na’ama – thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed. In NYC there are many soup kitchens and food pantries and places where one may get a meal, but it is not always nearby and a subway ride costs money (unless one sneaks in by evading the fare and that’s illegal and so on), and one does not always want to dive into garbage cans and dumpsters and wait outside restaurants and stores to see what gets dumped. It is a lot of dehumanizing, I’m sure. Then there are the many realities of indignities – people giving you the stink-eye, lack of bathroom and washing access, benches that are set so once cannot stretch on them, and so on. It really ought not be an issue in a first world country. Not that there won’t always be people with complex needs and mental health issues and so on, but that there should be reasonable solutions that keep society humane. Thank YOU for the comment that led me to the soap box … 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Na’ama Y’karah,

    There but for the grace of God go I…or any and all of us. Way too many of those homeless are veterans who’ve served their country and then been tossed like those tents. And I could ramble on. Well done story down to the struts and, dare I say with Strutz photo. Tee hee.



    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great one, Na’ama.
    This is such an interesting (sociological) topic. I wish I understood it better. Maybe I need to search up a book or two. I read “Travels with Lizbeth” by Lars Eighner years ago, and a few magazine articles since, but I want to know more. Thanks for musing it into my mind. 🙂


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