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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What Does Homeless Look Like?

What does "homeless" look like?   Do homeless people look different than you and me? You might think that homeless people are lumped into one big group.

This may be what some homeless people look like, but not all.
That they are all derelicts, drug addicts, drunkards - or that they are helpless, penniless, uneducated, unmotivated.  But in the two months that I have been working with HousingONE.org I have learned a lot.   I have painted over my own misconceptions and learned the following:
  • Homeless people do have choices, but they often choose to be homeless rather than burden a friend or relative who is also going through a rough time of their own.
  • Homeless people look like you and me. If you did not know someone was homeless, they would look like the colleague in the cubicle next do you, or the clerk you just purchased something from, or the waiter at the restaurant where you last ate, the mailman that just delivered your bills, or your kid's teacher.  They look like you and me.
  • Homeless people are often born into conditions they had no control over.  One man we met was only 2 years old when his father was killed in a motorcycle accident. His mother went into a deep depression which forced the children into foster care.  Home after home, school after school left an indelible scar that has made it difficult to succeed.  
  • Homeless people are often extremely humble, grateful and sincere.  They are grateful for the food they eat, the roof over their head and the help that is extended to them.
  • Homeless people have dreams.  They need the guidance to help get them there.
There are indeed homeless people who fit the generalities we have formed from quick judgement.  And there are those who had a series of unfortunate events and are down on their luck. (for more photos Click here to continue)

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