Homelessness carries with it a powerful social stigma. The myth is that life is full of choices, therefore, homeless people must have chosen to be in this condition. Homelessness, then, carries with it the sense among the general population that the adult(s) involved must be reckless and irresponsible people.
While that may be true for some people in this condition, the reality is that most people face homelessness owing to societal and economic factors beyond their control, such as job loss, wage/salary freeze or reduction, general rise in cost of living (in the US, at least, salaries have not increased apace with the cost of living over the last 30 years or so), lack of affordable housing. The reality is that any one of us could find him- or herself facing this condition, and probably sooner rather than later.
So, please, when you walk past a homeless person begging in the streets, do not judge. I’m not asking you to do what I do – share or give away your coffee, water, breakfast or lunch – but, please, have compassion, look him or her in the eye and greet him/her as you would any other human being, with a smile and a “G’day!” And, please, whatever you do, don’t tell him gruffly to “get a job!”
Sad thoughts for today, but I wish you all
The Original Maddie