reply to post by jude11
Homelessness sucks. I've known homeless people.
But I'm on the fence. Here's why:
I used to walk downtown Atlanta at night, and met with all kinds of people asking for things. Most of the time, I gave change, whatever I could, to
whomever I could. Of course, they weren't just sitting there with signs, they would approach you...constantly. Over time, I stopped giving change
because it became annoying, though.
While in Athens, there are people with signs all over the place. The same people, every day. This is where I met my homeless friend. A guy who had a
marketing degree, a wife, a life, and gave it up because he got tired of the BS. He had a job, a couple of jobs small jobs (such as mopping the local
Pizzeria), so he didn't have to beg, but he was still homeless. He never asked for ANYTHING. He was a good person, fun to talk to. He told me that
there is no need to beg in Athens. There are shelters and a myriad other places to get help but the people we see everywhere are basically lazy and
looking for handouts. One winter, when it was supposed to get down into the teens, I gave him a zero sleeping bag that I had had for years and never
used. I had no need for it, and it probably saved his life.
Also in Athens, one time I was getting off the highway. I saw a couple people, obviously homeless, sitting there. I noticed that one reached into a
backpack and pulled out a few cardboard signs. He looked at the ones he had before he selected the one he wanted to use that day. He didn't just have
ONE sign, he had an array. That solidified it for me.
I've seen one same person in the same place in the mornings in Atlanta. I have also seen tents and etc erected in underpasses, which breaks my
I was in Atlanta another time, and passed by a guy who wanted me to help him. I told him to wait (I was in a parking meter hurry), and after I went in
to the store I would help him. When I came out, I reached in my pocket and gave him all the change I had. He said, "what i'm gone do with this? I want
something to eat. Buy me a sandwich." So I took him to the deli next door and pick out what he wanted.
I've always been of the opinion that it's better to do or give something even if the person is deceitful, than to do nothing if someone should need
it. But I am cynical and apprehensive due to some of the things I've seen and witnessed.
And no, I've never been homeless. I guess some of what some of them do is a tactic for survival.
ETA The documentary "Dark Days," with Marc Singer, is an interesting film about actual homelessness in The tunnels of NY and how they survive.
edit on 7-1-2014 by Liquesence because: (no reason given)