People walk by the vacant hallways and stare. They see the bag ladies and give a long glance of disgust. Winos line the sidewalks and occasionally try to get some change for one more jug to carry them through the day. Dumpster rummagers seek out a scrap or two to at least partially sate their appetitie. These are real people on real streets in real cities. They live and breath the same air as the persons dining on steak and drinking fine wine.
In the winter those vacant hallways become sanctuary for bag ladies, dumpster scavengers, and winos. When the cardboard boxes no longer do the job, they might resort to enter a shelter for the night. It sure beats watching your toes and fingers slowly freeze to the point of frostbite. Where is God''s name did these people come from? Don''t they have any pride in themselves?
If maybe they could only see how bad they look and notice just how putrid they smelled, a change may happen. They certainly are not that way because they want to be, are they? Where did these folks come from?
For starters, drug addiction and alcohol make up a goodly portion of the homeless. Then we have those who feel, no know, for sure society has turned its back on them. A small number of homeless in this country are veterans, yes I said veterans, who can''t get any help from the very country they helped defend. Once many get into the "hallway" way of life, there is no getting out. Shelters may offer temporary safety, yet many street people don''t trust shelter people.
A handful of the street generation have abused the system.They''ve been known to take things from the overnighters who only drop in when things get really tough on the side walks or vacant hallways are all filled up.
Wherever they come from or why one point of fact must be remembered. These people are human beings! They may not smell pretty and wear fashion rich clothes, but they have real blood in their veins. When they cry, it is real tears. The hurt these folks carry around inside them feels the same as a Park Avenue tentants.
Maybe one day we will understand why the streets appeal more to the hallway people than living in nice apartments. Perhaps if we treated them with the same dignity and respect we show ourselves they would seek out change.
The name of the city does not matter. It could the man sleeping on a park bench in Atlanta, Georgia or an empty box in Chicago, Illinois. This is a part of America no one wants to see and even less want to do anything about. God Bless America!