The Scraggly Man Down The Street
How did it happen?
Many of the homeless youth of america have been forced to the streets because of poor foster care; others because of family problems or disputes. Although some of these homeless youths find a way out of their situation, many others live into adulthood being homeless. For other homeless adults drugs and alcohol are a large reason for being on the streets. Loss of jobs or income resulting in loss of living space and belongings. Others are forced to the streets because of their previous criminal records. Its hard to aquire a job with jail or prison time on your resume, thus you have no income and again no living.
Personal Stories of Living on the Streets
One story that intrigued me was of a man named Shane. His story has to do with the criminal record part above. After going to jail for seven years, he came out clean of drugs and alcohol, making productive change in his life. However, when he got a jaywalking ticket, yes that is a real thing, he went back to jail for six months for breaking parole. With this ridiculous jail time tact onto the rest of his life, he has quit trying to beat the system and decided living in jail was better than the outside. However he did beat the system in a sense that he has learned multiple languages and taken many college credits whilst in jail. His life could go onto a productive track if he pushed himself in the right way.
The government has helped homeless of LA during a Supreme court case. The decision was made that the city could not remove bags and other items from the sidewalks or public areas, even if they were abandoned. This means that the homeless need not worry about having cleaning crews taking their belongings, however they still probably need to worry about other people.
Homeless but working
Many homeless people strive to make their way out of their situation, usually in terms of finding a low wage job in places like McDonalds or Walmart. Others, usually the youths, try finishing their education and expanding their knowledge so they have more range of jobs. No homeless person truly wishes to be homeless, and all make strides against it, the struggle is finding employment and keeping that employment.
What can we do?
First off, when you see someone standing on the side of the road or at a cross ways, don't simply assume they are going to buy drugs with what you give them. Give back, drop off your change or a few dollars. If you are worried about how they might use the money, offer to buy them some food or other essentials. Don't look at these people like they are scum, but instead as if they were your neighbor. Many of these people have been through the worst, something you should never wish to endure. Not all of the homeless are on the streets because of drugs. Have some compassion.