Monday, December 13, 2010

Homeless people

Somehow on the way to church yesterday the subject turned to homeless people. I have no recall as to how. But oddly enough my 10 year-old daughter was interested. I tried without too much stereotyping to tell her that some homeless people are homeless because things happened they couldn't control. Lost jobs, lost their homes etc. But there are some folks who are homeless because they want to be. They'd rather have a life on the street with whatever that brings than the so-called normal life the rest of us lead.

I explained the hard part is that it is often hard to tell the difference when you see them on the street. We have to pass a popular hangout for (not sure what the politically correct term is these days but here goes ...) panhandlers. They all hold up small signs with the usual - "stranded, out-of-work - need help - God Bless." Touching some times and I'm conflicted but when you see them with the same signs week after week or in a nearby parking lot and one hands the cardboard off to another - it makes it even tougher to know what is the right response.

Just so happens I am reading a 20 page report on homeless in Springfield. I'm only on page 11 but I mentioned it to her. She said she'd like to read it. I told her it was long and complex but she still wants to see it when I'm done.

Check back to see what she says. I'm curious too.

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