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February 2, 2010

Walking around the Berkeley campus and surrounding streets, you can’t help but notice the many homeless people. I see so many everyday that it almost becomes routine. It becomes harder to distinguish between the recent homeless who are just down on their luck and the chronic stragglers who don’t seem to care. I guess don’t really trust the homeless. It seems irresponsible to see some of them beg for money and then use it for things like alcohol and drugs, when what they should really be doing is trying to get out of their rut. That’s why I usually don’t like to just give money and believe that the recipient will put it to good use. I guess it’s not really my place to judge homeless people, but if it’s my money, I don’t want it wasted. I’d rather spend my time, not money, trying to help others. I think it’s a better way.

I definitely feel for the homeless though… It must be horrible to be wandering the streets without a place to call home. I think about it more during the winter, when the weather is the worse, and wonder how hard it must be to have to deal with the elements, especially the rain and cold.

I hope you and I will never have to experience it. But to those who don’t have a home, I wish you the best at getting back on your feet.

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 9, 2010 11:23 pm

    Giving money to homeless people is always something that tears me both ways. I hope they use it for food or shelter or clothing, but I know that won’t always be the case.

    I went to the National Conference on Hunger and Homelessness in Davis last year. A large number of those who are homeless have mental problems they can’t get treatment for. Others have had health problems they couldn’t pay the hospital bills for.

    I understand how you feel about them using it for alcohol and drugs, but then I also think that it’s sometimes difficult to fathom the power of an addiction. I mean, I know my childhood was pretty sheltered and privileged.

    Addiction is certainly a big problem, and from the accounts we heard, it’s a large factor in becoming homeless for many of those on the streets now. But sometimes I wonder how much you can blame a person for becoming addicted and not being able to pull out of that rut when you haven’t experienced what they have.

    And a book, if you’re more interested: Land of the Lost Souls: My Life on the Streets (by Cadillac Man)

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