We have all seen it before. The traveler, the business man and women, the backpacker, all shapes, sizes, and
walks of life… Almost.
More often than not I don’t see backpackers and business men and women. I see people living out of their
suitcases, living on the streets, homeless.
I’ve lived out of my suitcase as well, I’ve been homeless before and it’s very frightening and hard living.
Everyday is a day you have to make hard choices.
What am I going to do for food today? I only have three dollars, will that be enough to last me? How can I get
more money? Where am I supposed to go for shelter? Can I trust taking a nap on this bench? What should I do
next? Is it going to always be like this?
There is more shame in the eyes of the homeless asking for spare change, simply because they want change I
I’ve heard it before. “Why don’t they just get a job?” the real question is what could they do for work? How
could they get showered and clean for a job every day without a reliable place that has a worker shower? How
will they keep their clothing clean and their bodies fed if they have next to nothing to their names, men, women,
even children. There are so many out there that are without homes, without the safety and comfort of a roof over
their head and walls to protect them from the outside elements and the dangers of others.
The worst of all is that being homeless in some states is criminalized, if you don’t have an ID you could be
arrested, if you are sleeping on the street you could be arrested, if you are caught pan handling you could be
arrested. These are possibilities of being homeless in some states and it doesn’t stop there.
There are a few states that have outlawed giving food to the homeless.
There are many others states that have allowed the implementation of something called “homeless spikes”, these
inhumane crude versions of pigeon spikes are being used in places in our own country, NY and CA are just a
few I can recall. These are designed to make it impossible for a homeless person to sleep under a bridge, next to
a building, or even find rest by sitting somewhere.
How can we as human being justify the use of such an inhuman, torture device looking deterrents on our streets
to keep the homeless people away from establishments?
There has been some talk of the benefits of these homeless spikes. A friend of mine who lives in Reno told me
they use them there too and it’s helped lever the amount of people being beaten or raped at these hidden
locations, but that is not an answer collected from the study and investigation of the homeless population of
Reno, NV. I could not properly take in that sort of information as factual without the evidence to back it up.
Maybe at some point I’ll go to the shelter or some of the areas the homeless congregate and ask large groupings
of them myself, taking survey information and coming up with the data to back up or disprove her claim.
The point I’m trying to make here is that in the end we are treating those who are in a state of homelessness like
stay animals and even then we do better for strays than we do for the homeless.
Things need to change for us to make it better, to get people off the streets and into places that can help them
with whatever they need. Food, water, shelter, rehabilitation programs for those struggling with addiction,
medical coverage, and much more. There are facilities that provide much of these things, but not enough
to keep up with the ever fluctuating homeless population
Written By: Pearl Aurora Legen