From "Creed," by Dom Helder Cámara

I want to believe that the whole world

Is my home, the field I sow,

And that all reap what all have sown.

I will not believe that I can combat oppression out there

If I tolerate injustice here.

I want to believe that what is right

Is the same here and there

And that I will not be free

While even one human being is excluded.

Monday, August 5, 2013

A Homeless Man's Perspective on Homelessness

This article was written by a friend of the LACW community, Kenny, who comes for our free breakfasts and lunches daily. From his composure, kindness, and lucidity, I venture he has not recently, if ever, abused drugs or alcohol, and unlike many of the guests we serve, I feel completely safe around him. At one point, he was homeless. He may still be, or he may live in a low-priced Skid Row hotel these days. Either way, he has been (or still is) one of the people he is writing about.

Content writing is his sole income source.

Who Are Homeless People and Why Help the Homeless?

Submitted by kdockins on July 10th, 2013 – Flag this news as inappropriate
Category: Politics
Who are homeless people? The reality of homelessness is two-fold.

Perhaps you are currently blessed with educational opportunity, a decent career or occupation, and have never experienced the more serious type of misfortune which can come with a bad decision or even an honest mistake.

Still, the facts about the homeless plight remain two-fold because people can only view homelessness from "one side of the fence" or the other. Without being truly homeless, for instance, one can only WATCH the spectacle and make guesses about how or why it exists.

Why help the homeless? Ironically, a very curious human phenomenon occurs, not just toward homeless individuals, but basically about anyone or group of people who behaves or SEEMS "different" from that to which the upper echelons of our population have become accustomed.

Today's topic of "who are homeless people" makes major mention of the city of LOS ANGELES, because this particular metropolitan area both captures and displays the essence of homeless conditions.

Curiously enough, even in the most beautiful and monetarily endowed sections of town including Hollywood, Burbank, Pasadena, and Beverly Hills, you can essentially ALWAYS spot a higher-than-expected number of individuals who simply have experienced financial or career-oriented misfortune.

Granted, public sentiment towards homeless people in the Los Angeles area tends to be rather cynical or stereotypical. After all, according to "popular" beliefs (or the views of those who are blessed without the bearing of a homeless condition) the men and women who sleep on streets or hold up signs asking for money... are LAZY, non-caring, undignified BUMS who deserve the unfavorable circumstances in which they find themselves.

Some members of the "average" and also well-to-do American public will even do surprisingly negative things to homeless individuals, such as:

-- Write hate mail papers and post them prominently in public places;

-- Shout verbal obscenities in variously degrading styles;

-- Cast raw eggs at them from speeding cars;

-- Kick or punch them while they sleep.

Yet, why help the homeless? Because the true character of man can be defined by his individual actions. On that note, the saving grace of humanity lies in the following supportive plus highly true fact.

A strong portion of the American population goes out of its way to OBSERVE the CAUSE of homelessness. For instance, especially here in Los Angeles, groups of American citizens from almost every culture demonstrate their undying devotion to the human condition of homelessness by:

-- Donating small plastic zip-lock bags which contain toothpaste, tooth brush, paper towelettes, liquid or bar-style soap, hand sanitizer or skin moisturizing lotions;

-- Gathering up some OF the great clothing that normally get discarded by local stores and tailor shops -- and simply passing it out for free at Sunday prayer sessions;

-- Making early morning and late night visits to "sleep areas," with a delivery of excess foods from great places like Von's, Starbucks, and the Whole Foods Market.

There are two major ways to look at homelessness. One, you can shut your eyes and HOPE that it just "disappears" in the same way as you might believe it originates. In other words, homelessness is "the other guy's problem."

Or, you can be one of those who actively SEARCHES out the meaning of homelessness, its TRULY ultimate causes, and the most effective plus practical and HUMANE solutions.

Want to know "who are homeless people?" Then, just ask one of these persons to tell you his or her REAL story.

Why help the homeless? Because, wise people know fully well that being part of a solution rates far more highly than being part of the cause for the continuation or perpetuation of homelessness.