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Day in and day out in NYC you will encounter a homeless person. They will either be asking you for money, food, performing or simply just standing around. They are everywhere.
Everyone will become silent as the homeless person passes by, some cruel or young foolish ones will laugh, some will hand them change, some will clutch their purses or feel for their wallets, while others move because they cannot stand the smell. It is a silent, or not so silent, common ritual.
This is all commonplace in a large metropolis like NYC. But do you ever stop and wonder what the day is actually like for this person? This morning as I waited for the E train, I saw a homeless man sitting on a solitary bench. He had his head buried in his hands, and he was totally still.
This man has no escape from the heat, he has no entertainment, and apparently no one in this world cares about him. As I came to this realization, I felt a terrible sadness deep down inside. I also considered something that some have told me in regards to this topic, that a major problem in our society is mental health.
It is no great secret that a lot of these folks suffer from mental illness. Could the solution to homelessness lay in providing mental health treatments to these people? Given a chance, how many of these folks do you think would do something differently?
I’m not on here claiming to have a solution, but I am looking to establish a dialogue. We are all human beings, and it’s not enough to just care for ourselves. We have to consider these folks, and find a way to help them out. I mean, really speaking, many of us are just a job loss away from being homeless. I’m not talking about charity, I’m talking a long term, viable solution to this problem.
Since the beginning of time there has been a separation of classes, the haves and have nots. I don’t expect this to change, but I feel if we find a way to help, society and humanity as a whole could benefit. Perhaps we can raise the bar on the lowest of the have nots? Again, not charity, not spreading the wealth, but having a heart, providing a real, long term solution. I’m surprised that we don’t experience more death or crimes due to a homeless person losing their mind.
What are your thoughts on this topic?