WILLIAM CHARLES TINKER
A Hoboes Heart
by William Tinker
November 1, 2004
This is the season of the
tramp,transient,gypsy,nomadic wanderer whom drift
across this country working a few days here and there
to travel on seeking that one place that each of us
I still get a bit wistful when I see a weathered seasoned
veteran of the road and homelessness walking into a
local soup kitchen,not asking for much except a meal
and maybe a nights lodging to rest up and head out at
Not so long ago I lived this type of nomadic life
style, and I did not consider it a hardship until I
found out I could not go home any more.
You see my ex had been seduced by the easy money of
the NH welfare system,and seeing as I was due to be
housed at the Edna C. McKenna Facility for DWI,
eventually she got a jump on her assistance and had me
removed via restraining order.Back in 1980s in order
to go onto general assistance/welfare you had to be
separated from your family by court order.All it takes
is a few white lies and whom ever is requesting the
DVRO gets it,and guess what the police will tell you
got 5 minutes to grab what you want from your home,and
if you need more ask for a escort so their will be no
I understood the reality that since my mother died in
1987 of cancer, I had been fighting acute bouts of
black out drinking.But this new slap in the face did
not actually sink in until about January 1989 when the
winds started blowing through the Concord Railroad
Yards where a crew of us had banded together for
protection and body heat on those brutally cold
You might have seen our large blue tarp tent next to
93 South that winter?
I survived but built up a general loathing for DHHS
and the on the dole welfare revolving door system
they created and now want to make go away?
Any how it was determined that I was disabled after I
signed up in September 1991 and I started getting my
SSD checks in 1994 after waiting 2 1/2 years I was
found to be totally disabled and I decided to buy
myself a home and did a 1988 2 BR Astro Country Manor
60×14 manufactured home.
Ahhh I neglected to tell you how the former welfare
commissioner Terry Morton almost took my home for non
support,because some one complained that how could
some one be on foods stamps and still own a
Eventually it was determined that I owed about
$4,000.00 to two ex wives [and an agreement of $12.00
a month paid to prevent a lien from being placed on
the home] for children that were all grown up,except for one
whom got a retroactive check of over $6,000.00 because
she was the child of a totally disabled parent.
I will pay this until either its paid off or I am
deceased,I figured I would be paying for about 22 more
I really do believe that I must have a over worked
guardian angel, because back when I was living foot
loose and fancy free I managed to survive 8 total
wrecks and numerous bar room blitz including being
shot in my right elbow.So when I say I am lucky to be
here I mean it!
So my brothers and sisters if you got a hoboes heart
it does not make you a bad person it means your a bit
down on your luck and could use a hand up.
And those of you whom read these words please
understand some choices in our lives were
preordained,it always so easy to look back in
retrospect, but today is the tomorrow you worried
about yesterday so live and speak out we are here to
listen and to help if possible!
Please allow me to introduce myself to you.
My name is William Charles Tinker age 59 and counting.
I have been houseless and homeless on 5 different occasions,four of
them more than likely were my own doing, the last was fate .
I was born in Burlington, Vermont in 1945 my father was a 30 year
service man,my mother was a home maker .I am the only child by that
marriage,which only lasted 2 years from what I was told.My father was a
strict disciplinarian,my mother was easy going.
Any way I grew up rather quickly, graduated June 13, 1963 18th of a
class of 18. If might add it was by the skin of my teeth,as I did not
know if I was getting my diploma until the very last day..
OK I will move along to I worked many jobs the ones I held the
longest were in the psychiatric and medical fields.
I was married multiple times none of them lasting more than 5 years I
used to joke about that I traded them in when the mileage got to high, all
my bluster and joking was a means to cover up my own problems which were
drugs and alcohol..Yes folks I was addicted to ritalin [pill speed]at the
age of 19 years old,so I went to a Dr. and conned him into giving me some
tranquilizers meprobamate for high blood pressure now when I drank with this
I was a real mess.
I finally kicked all the drug problems in 1980, but not before I got
arrested for drugs and served a year in the Merrimack County House of
Correction[corruption] in Boscawen , N.H. I lost my third family due to
this incarceration and I can not blame her or the others for leaving I
was unable to function with out pain killers or alcohol on a daily basis,I
am not bragging I have done more LSD than Richard Alpert [Babba Ram Das] or
Timothy O’Leary…I am lucky I am not sitting in padded secure room
somewhere because I did lose it a couple of times and took the “kill or cure
So the last time I was homeless I was partying with the local
homeless crew from Concord,N.H. I usually did this on a bi monthly
basis spending the week end with them and just talking trash with
They were always happy to see me come and sad to see me go, but they were
real and loyal friends and most keep in touch with me still. Check us out :
I got arrested for DWI in 1987 on my mothers funeral date,did not
make her funeral because the state police refused to take me to her
funeral so my step brother and sisters believed I missed this on
purpose,the truth is I should have been allowed to go,as even convicted
sentenced prisoners go to their next of kins funerals.
So I was a drunk for 4 years after she died I cared nothing for this
world it sucked… because my umbellical cord link with life from birth was
I am really lucky I am here because I neglected to tell you I was
paralized on my right side from Saint Vitus dance and Rhuematic fever
at the age of 9 years old,I was like this all summer long about 3 months
and then a Dr. from Canada came looked at me and said give him a spinal tap
start him on penicillian four times a day..I got better rapidly I would
say almost with in a ten day period,I was lucky that I was only left with a
But remember the years of abusing my body caught up with me in
1991…I lost my job working as a PCA [personal care attendant] because
I could no longer lift my client to transfer him from his bed to his
wheel chair with out fear of dropping him,as I suffered a hernia.
So in Febuary of 1991 I left for Florida I stayed in Florida for 20
months but it was getting rough to find a place to live and I got tired
of bouncing around from couch to camper to tent.
So I went back north on Amtrack got as far as Burlington,Vermont and
ran out of money stayed in some church transitional shelter, they were
really nice folks there very helpfull and informative,I visited the
Way Station down by Lake Champlain every day it was open they cut your
hair, fed you,gave you needed blood tests and checked your complaints weekly
medical problems…Had to wait until my check was forwarded up from Florida
by our ex land lord so that took a couple of weeks but finally got it
and decided to go back to NH I never contacted my family all the time I was
in Vermont which I regret because my father was not well and no body could
get in touch with me!
Upon my arrival from Vermont in New Hampshire I stayed with a couple
of friends in Weare NH but soon got the itch to travel went to
Concord,NH hooked up with my old crew what was not dead and partied
hearty until 2 am thats when the police arrested me on a default warrant
for old court deferred sentences which they pulled while I was in Florida
did not know about so I ended up serving another 1 year sentence in H of
Got out got my disability retroactive check 1994 from social security
for over $12,000.00 dollars and said no more ever being homeless again
bought me a 1988 mobile home and live a pretty comfortable existance,found
out last year 1999 that my heart was becoming enlarged and valve surgery
was needed if I wanted to live,so got it taken care of last may 1999 and in
August 1999 I decided to buy a computer and try my limited knowledge out of
internet..Hooked up to a few programs I liked, [Homeless Peoples
Network] became quite vocal and opinionated on homeless issues and
advocating change and prosecuting police for murder when they kill some one
with out the need…. or provacation to use of deadly force….
I started my own egroups called NHHomeless@egroups.com in November of
1999 and believe we have to become a means for persons whom want to
discuss, rant, vent, or attempt to change their world living conditions
now not in ten years because we must change or educate persons along non
discriminatory lines if we ever expect to motivate local,national,or a
If any one is interested in joining you may, here is a means to do so
or if you find it hard to do I will be glad to sign you up, but I will
need a e-mail address and your first and last name..or just a first name
will do..send a blank e-mail to
NewHampshireHomelessfirstname.lastname@example.org when you get a e-mail
back just hit reply and your a member.
Thanks for your hearing this out and I can be reached on ICQ Tink 2
70949650 www.icq.com or on AOL Instant Messenger WHomeless
if you want to discuss more of your theories on rough sleeping and
housing or views on disabled, poverty and anti-discrimination for all I can
be reached on MSN messenger wtinker99 or yahoo messenger wtinker1999 .
A Brother In Peace And In Strife
William “Bill” Tinker