People Who Are Homeless Are Like Us.

The link below was written by a fellow who lived with the homeless near Harvard Square in Boston.  The article matched perfectly the experiences I’ve had with people who lived on the streets or in shelters.

He writes that the homeless people he met are mostly ordinary folks who had several things go wrong  at once.  Maybe they lost a job just when there were medical bills.  A family upevil happened or mental illness struck.  There are dozens of other things that happen to people.

Just today, my wife was upset after visiting with a friendly and seemingly competent couple in their thirties who showed up at the food pantry where she volunteers.  They had just found themselves homeless and needed food for the next few days.  She said they were clean and articulate, but she did ask what had happened to them.

I spent a couple of nights at homeless shelters several years ago.  I met people who were having  trouble staying on medications for mental problems, a divorced man who lost his job and home and so many others.

A homeless man living in a tent called on me when I was a Mayor.  He wanted the community to know more positive things about homeless people.  We organized an event to do just that.   He now married and lives here.

There are hundres of thousands of children living in shelters and trying to keep up with school.  I wish there was  a simple solution for this problem.

4 Responses

  1. Michael Ross

    Take away the debt and tax burden on the economy and leave the wealth in private hands and we can take care of ourselves.

    1. Michael 1:34 “Take away the debt and tax burden…”

      I like the government services. We need someone to figure out how to provide them with no expense to the public, no taxes.

    2. Leaving wealth in private hands is exactly what is happening now. Consequently, the rich get richer and the people who work for a living are getting less and less. Oil companies make billions, but do you see gas prices coming down? No. Society can not rely on the wealthy to create a social safety net. We all participate in doing that through government action. This country went through a similar period during the era of “Robber Barons”. The very wealthy took extraordinary profits, but didn’t pay workers accordingly. Poverty was extreme. One of the most prosperous times in our country was also the time when we had the highest percentage of workers in unions earning a living wage. History can teach us if only we open our eyes to it.

  2. Wolfy32

    I had seen some statistics on the homeless and a large percentage of them had severe mental illnesses and could barely take care of themselves. That’s not to say that there’s not normal people out there without a place to live or to afford a place of their own. I agree there are. I was almost one of them when my house burned down. If not for my girlfriend I would have been so lost, not know where to live, what to call home. I had lost everything… I had some money in savings, but, that would have gone fast as I still needed to pay all the bills I had before the fire… I still had a car payment, a mortgage to pay on a destroyed house, and so much more. Thank God for insurance, but, it didn’t come right away either.

    Within a couple days I was moved into a hotel and living in a hotel with $200 worth of clothing. If you look at all the clothes you own… There’s a lot more than $200 worth of clothes in a closet. I’ve since bought $300 -400 more opening a dept store CC and using a coupon in the male I got 50% off the clothes that day. I bought casual and dress clothes to last me a week for under $300. Without the coupons it would have been $600-700 worth.

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