I’ve been feeling conflicted about writing this article because for many, it confirms prejudices that I would not like to feed, but intolerant people always find something to be intolerable towards.
A few weeks ago, I came across a homeless woman while going out to treat myself to a fast food meal. She was asking for money and I told her I was just going to buy some food and offered to buy her some. I gave her a couple of spare pairs of socks from the few pairs I carry with me, for chance occasions such as this, and told her I would be a few minutes. When I returned with her burger, she was gone and the socks were on the pavement. I was worried that perhaps I had scared her off, maybe she was used to people offering help revealing conditions to that help afterwards, I don’t know. I tried not to think about the woman, though her face was burned into my memory. I couldn’t tell how old she was because she looked so rough.
A week later, while walking to the gym (on the other side of the city), I saw the woman again. Accompanied by two equally rough looking men, she walked past me without noticing who I was, but I had not forgotten her after a week of transient worrying. I slowed down my walk and watched them sit at a bench… and begin drinking. I wasn’t sure how I felt. I don’t care what homeless people spend their money on, once I’ve given it to them it’s theirs, but I couldn’t help feeling a little jaded. I am nearly homeless again myself and it’s tiring seeing so many homeless people around. It makes me tired of caring. It makes me cynical.
I usually have some point in mind that I want to make whenever I write an article but this story is just something I felt like sharing but don’t feel like thinking about. I just want to help but it’s so difficult.
There are good stories of my local encounters with the homeless to come…