Thursday, April 10, 2008

About the homeless problem

My brother used to employ this bright, educated guy from South America who eventually ended up living on the streets of Los Angeles. He would still talk to him because this bright fellow would swing by occasionally to ask "for a cup of coffee". That’s how my brother found out that at least in Downtown LA, homeless people don’t worry too much about things that we think they normally would, food and shelter for instance. Besides a number of missions run in the area, there are several private, independent food drives going on all the time, this bright fellow always ate more than enough, I know, I saw him several times too. They give them clothes, they have toilets, showers and job training available, some of them even get a monthly cash allowance from the government.

Most of these men and women though have lost all hope for the future, a large percentage of them even suffer from a number of mental illnesses. You see, at least in some areas the problem is not so much there being enough money or who is willing to help or not, but a system that will always produce such excess, collateral damage you might call it. The price we have to pay to be able to sit comfortably at home discussing the issue online, sipping on a cool or warm drink, and feeling thankful that it was them and not us...

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