Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I'm not romantic about homeless

Good article in Spartansberg, SC's GoUpstate on Sunday about a homeless man, Tom Rogers, who graciously allowed reporter Lee Healy to accompany him on his journey through the typical day of a homeless person.

The comments that followed Healy's article are at least as interesting as the story itself. So many people seem to know what being homeless is all about, even though completely lacking personal experience. They put the most cynical interpretation on Rogers' situation, including comments like, If they offered him a job, he'd run in the opposite direction!

Well, I don't know Mr. Rogers so I'm not going to judge. I certainly have met a number of homeless people who fit the worst stereotypes. I've suffered personally from some of my relationships. But I've also been homeless myself and lived "at risk of homelessness" most of my life.

Question of the day: how do we construct a society where our inborn optimism cannot be warped into being satisfied just to survive?

1 comment:

MoonRaven said...

Thank you for posting this, Michealann. That's such a good question--how can we create a society where people can thrive, rather than just survive? How do create something that works for everyone? (That's the question I keep asking...)

I keep learning from your blog. You should know I wove material from your posts on tent cities into my latest post on 'Temporary Shelter'. I am outraged that instead of creating more possibilities for everyone, people who create real alternatives are being attacked.

Homelessness is certainly not romantic; it's something we need to deal with. I wish I could tap into that 'inborn optomism'--I'm not feeling very hopeful about the direction this society is heading...