Blank Cardboard Sign

By Jacob Folger

February 10, 2016

Sitting on a park bench

People passing by

I try to speak

But my words just stay inside

I know I need a sign.

One cold can of chicken noodle soup left

To my dog and me

I look hard down the cold sidewalk

Trying hard to muster up a plea

With an almost dried up pen

And cardboard sliced off a box

I cannot seem to write at all

Jesus? What now?

Panhandling is just not for me

Helping Hands

By Jacob Folger - December 25, 2011 

The night time is coming to a close

I have awakened now

But I’m not ready to get out of bed

I can hardly feel my toes. 

This is pretty much a common place

Among the friends I know

It’s okay, I will work it out

Cause I got to take a leak right now. 

So I am up and moving around

Tidying up my things

Put that there, stuff this here

the trash in the trash can sling. 

My friend the business lady

Will be coming soon

With coffee and perhaps some food

Best of all, conversation too. 

I thank my Higher Power

For the good people in this land

There is some hope for folks like me

Thanks for the helping hand.

Questions For You and Me

By Jacob Folger

Christmas Eve, 2011

Stuffed and overflowing stockings hanging by the fireside

Pretty plastic candlelights glowing in the night

Sticky candy canes hanging from pine tree boughs

This all presents questions, I will in this poem pose.

When a little kid with Christmas time coming round

The joyful music, it seemed was the only sound

But really, I wonder now what it all means to me

Is it all about that perfectly shaped and lighted Christmas tree?

Little, sweet baby Jesus sleeping in some straw

It seems to me that someone might notice a little flaw

What is the difference between that dirty man without a home

And the King of Kings that almost all of us must have known?

And tell me what was that message that He gave to you and me

Before His life was ended on that old and lonely tree?

Was it all about just taking care of little, selfish me?

Or is there more here, more for all of us to see?

I asked a lot of questions in this poem this Christmas Eve

I guess this time of year, the cold, and the suffering that I see

Fills my head and heart with old and sad memories

I am hoping that maybe from it all we will not always flee.

Little, sweet baby Jesus sleeping in some straw

It seems to me that someone might notice a little flaw

What is the difference between that dirty man without a home

And the King of Kings that almost all of us must have known?

Although I Wish...

By Jacob Folger

December 20, 2011

All I got is this bag

Tattered and so frayed

One pair of socks to call my own

No place for my head to lay.

Beg for money to buy my food

No fork or knife, man this is crude

I wish I knew what I could do

I should slam a six of booze.

People passing in fine business suits

As if I am not here

“I am a man!” I want to shout

This life is hard to bare.

There is no job to be had

So I sit and hope for better things

I organize my tattered bag 

Whatever it takes to not feel sad.

The sun is setting it is night

My fight has just begun

I pray I won’t freeze before it’s through

Although I wish my life was done.

Am I Invisible?

By Jacob Folger

January 26, 2018

People pass me by
I must not be here
Sitting alone, down and out
No one will come near.

No gaze from another
No concern for me
I am completely by myself
On this cold street.

In the Morning I wake
From my Homeless sheets
Where I slept the night before
Should I even call it sleep?

Homeless I am
Forgotten by the world
Am I invisible?

Am I invisible?

Lost My Job

By Jacob Folger

Move on out
The rent's not paid
Lost my job
I could go insane.

All my things
On the curb
Carry what I can
Gave me the spur.

Too much to carry
One pillow case for me
Where to go
Get on down the street.

Beg for a dollar
To buy a meal
Bed in the bushes
This life's not for me.

Image & video contributors for this page:

Vincent Shepherd

Jacob Folger

Big Stock Photo


By Fuernica Hill

Looking for shelter from the street
Barely anything to eat

Fighting the freezing cold
In clothes full of holes because they're so old

Maybe I can find somewhere to stay
Even if it's just for today

Still won't be a place to call my own
I yearn for a house to call my home

The times have gotten tough
Someone gave me what they had but it still wasn't enough

Some people look down on me and judge

Those are the ones that when I ask for help they won't budge

I don't know what I'll do for tomorrow
I just wish someone had some stability I could borrow

Tired... Lugging around all my things
Hoping that a break is what life brings

On me some take no pity

Negating the fact that on any given day they could trade places with me

So remember I am a human being
Not just a "HOMELESS PERSON" you're seeing

Feel our lives as Homeless People for a moment. Taste it through our lips. Know it through our touch. Experience it through our words.

Written by Formerly Homeless People, Jacob Folger and Fuernica Hill

Curb Pillow

By Jacob Folger

Curb pillow
Curb pillow
Grass in my ear
Old blanket
Old blanket
Freezing cold near.

Honking my music
Cars rushing by
Clicking heels on the sidewalk
I let out a sigh.

An old soup can my cup
The same for my bowl
My food not enough
Take me out of this hole.

Weeping, weeping
This to I sleep
I am so tired
Give me my peace.

Homeless Poetry

Learn how you can make a difference in the lives of Homeless People

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"... I was so touched by your poetry, and by the website. It is already making a difference in the way I think about and interact with homeless people, and I am hopeful that my composition will help expose more people to your work."

Jon Russell

Home Sweet Homelessness

by Jacob Folger

April 2016

Homeless Homelessness
Not warm to my heart
No familiar smells nor voices
No toasty hearth
No frosty windows to look out
But out in the cold
I try not to look in
For the pain, for the pain in my heart.

The Homeless Stretch

By Jacob Folger

Stretch the chicken, it might keep
Stretch the peanut butter two bites more
Stretch the cool aid for one more drink
Frugal only is the way I think

Stretch the towel one clean corner still
Stretch the soap, it is just me alone
Stretch my clothing for one more wear
It is good no one is near

Stretch my smile for there still is hope
Stretch my good mood for another day
Stretch my humor a little bit
Hoping I won't get more closed doors

Stretch the blanket over my head
Stretch the warmth through til dawn
Stretch my sleep til morning comes
And then stretch the warmth of the sun.

A Shiver Is All

By Jacob Folger

Summer drops off to Autumn

Leaves change and blow free

Days darken early

A shiver is all

A clear cold night

Wind whistling through trees

Frost keeping me up

A shiver is all

A cold dank stairwell

One blanket not two

No pillow for my head

A shiver is all

A sweet Christmas home

Cozy and warm

Comfort completely

But for me, a shiver is all

Please use this poetry with permission only. Contact us.

By Jacob Folger

Homeless Morning
Homeless Noon and Night
I am alone, fear gripping me
As I fight this fight.

Cardboard For My Bed
Trash bag for my head
No future home in sight
Move on the land owner says.

Sleeping rough
Boy its tough
My days no job to do
I have no purpose, where oh where am I going to?

People looking down at me
Ignoring me I see
I am invisible, not even here
I wish I could be free

Try To Sleep Now

By Jacob Folger

November 25, 2017

Thanksgiving Day toasty warm
Kitchen bustle
Oh Sweet smells
Familiar voices
By the fireside
Sitting in my car

Tired and cold
A chili dog only shared with my pup
Try to sleep now
To forget the Homelessness
Try to sleep.

Light Once There

By Jacob Folger

Deepening shadows mark my bed

The time of day is a familiar one

But still I feel the fear

Light once there to me has gone

The cold grips and holds me tight

But no warm relief is near

I tighten my blanket for more heat

Light once there to me has gone

Long forgotten are my prayers

Before I close my eyes

The blanket now my safety net

Light once there to me has gone

So Cold and then forgotten

My higher power once so near

I reach to pull him to me once again

Light once there to me was never gone.

Homelessness 2

By Jacob Folger

Homelessness to me is loneliness
In its most painful form
Like a cancer, Homelessness
Takes me like a storm

When I lay down to sleep at night
Tears flood my eyes
No one knows I am here
It is me, it is only I

Homelessness to me is loneliness
No touch, no one cares
No hug or warmth awaits me
There are only tears.

Concrete Pillow

By Jacob Folger

December 22, 2011

It is hard, cold and unforgiving

All morning, day and night

Many think I chose this life for me

They say it’s not their fight.

Sometimes the hunger really sucks

But I do have my pride

I wont beg, so if I must

In the garbage I will dive.

My one pair of stockings

are so filthy and so stiff

I try to wash them in the public fountain

Since I wont likely get new ones as a gift.

I while away the hours

I just try to get through each day

I wish there was a job for me

To earn some honest pay.

I watch the traffic going by

Busy people to and fro

It is though I am not even here

No one will say hello.

It is now time to lay down to sleep

I pray the Lord, my soul will keep

And whether or not I die before I wake

All homelessness in this world, please erradicate.

The Fake Therapist

  • Inspired by Jacqueline Wallen
  • By Jacob Folger 
  • Gay Human Rights Activist

Ancient eyes look out from behind thick glasses.
Understanding gentle prodding
Months and years of tearful talking
Pain in every step I'm walking

Trust for many years of schooling
And for all that amazing writing
And the respect of others watching
Trust this amazing healer

Share my most inner secrets
Screaming nerves need gentle care
but you must wipe your own damn tears.

You can talk about whatever
Just don't talk about my brother
And if you do, I will rip your life
I will smear your name 
And all will quit you.

Now tell me how I can help you.

This Homeless Way

 By Jake Folger - December 23, 2011

It has been years and years and years since I left that awful life

The freezing cold, the sweaty hot, being lost in time

The isolation, the loneliness, am I not even of this earth?

Will my life ever have meaning? What will it ever be worth?

I had not bathed myself in so many, many months

My clothing was so filthy, man I surely must have stunk

Everything I owned in the world was within my very reach

This life I had not chosen had completely taken over me.

Terrible fears plagued me, would I lose my little spot? 

No one must know I’m living here, absolutely not

I had to hide my life from the world, of which I was not a part

This whole life I was living was hurting me a lot.

It took so many years before I landed on my feet

Still could I walk among the world? Was I really free?

Yes, I guess I have a home I can almost call my own

But even though, it is all still, so very bitter sweet.

So now I do have a home but there is little change in me

I still have the homeless habits, that homeless mentality

I think I will, in some way, always feel I’m still on the street

Do other former homeless people feel the same as me?

So if you know me now, if you see the same clothing day to day

For some reason It is difficult to even want to bathe

And I worry about tomorrow, If I still will have a home

Please know I am trying, it is hard to change this homeless way.