November 14 2011

Homelessness


Out My Back Door

As I sit here in the heated comfort of my little RV, drinking my cup of hot coffee at the computer screen.  I look out  my back window.  There is a man I see out this window.  He lives there in the brush under a Yucca Tree in this vacant lot next to the RV Park.  It’s close to a public transportation bus stop which he uses every day to go somewhere.  Still, almost every night he spends it under the Yucca Tree in this lot.  He’s got a shopping cart which he lovingly packs and unpacks every day with his possessions.  I sit here and think just how fortunate I am as compared to this gentleman.  Then as the old saying goes, “for the grace of God”  comes to my mind.

How many people are living like this I wonder at times.  I heard a commercial on TV saying there was 50,000 people living on the streets of Los Angeles.  The talking head on the TV tells me that more people are slipping into poverty than any other time in the last half century.  Then on the presidential debate, I hear a participant state we need to roll back the war on poverty in this country that was started back in the sixties by a democratic president.

I’m not poor, neither am I rich, I live on the edge and I’m sure there is many more just like me in this country.  I don’t go hungry, nor am I cold at night.  Nonetheless, when I can observe it every where I’ve been across this country so far, I start to question the state of our nation.  I know friends and acquaintances who are struggling every day just to put a roof over their heads and food on the table.    Our so called leaders are out of touch, they really should come down from those ivory towers of government and walk the streets of our country.

Maybe I’m too soft, and maybe we should just tell everyone to buck it up, tighten your belt and find a job.  Pull your self up out of poverty, why this country is full of opportunity right?

2 Responses to “Homelessness”

  1. Z from Chicago says:

    There are people who live in the parks here and have for ages and ages. Some even have tents. I don’t know what they do in winter, however I think they find sheltered areas to sleep. One time I stood under the roof at the beach house during a rainstorm and chatted for a minute or two with a guy who had his posessions in three shopping carts strung together like a train. He said, with a laugh, that he couldn’t stick around as the police come by at a certain time to get the street people moving. I think the cops’ schedule is well known as, sure enough, the police drove by a few minutes after the man left. He was quite cheerful about it. He said he doesn’t like going to designated shelters for the night as there’s petty theft and violence and, more importantly, there are annoying rules, however he did go sometimes when the weather got too cold at night. I gave him some money and that made him even more cheerful.

    Not all are as benign as this man was. One time my boyfriend, who used a cane, was walking along a rather secluded path and there were two men under a clump of nearby high-bush cranberry bushes. One of them approached my bf and said he had some car oil he wanted to sell and tried to coax my bf to the bushes. My bf felt all the little warning hair on the back of his neck stand up and he got away from the men as quickly as he could.

    I’ve noticed that some of the homeless who panhandle downtown are a little more aggressive than I remember them to be.

  2. Star Fortress says:

    Here in San Luis County, we had a fellow that was using part of his own personal land to provide shelter and services for homeless people that the county wasn’t able to do. However, the county has now taken him to court and arrested him to stop that. The housing may be less than perfect, but it got the people that needed it off the streets and out of private property for the nights. Now, some of those that had a place are staying on the wooded land behind a store. I can hear the loud music, the fighting, the yelling.

    Yes, there’s a huge problem that needs to be fixed. I’m not sure I have a solution. Nor am i in a position to do much myself. But, we did make a (small) donation of canned food to the local food bank.

    I look at everyone in Washington and I wonder just what is going through their heads right now…. And that’s why I vote.

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