Homelessness is a word that for most people provoke fear and uncertainty especially in today's hard economic times. Most people turn the other way when approached by or see a homeless person. Why, I ask myself. Well, the answers are pretty simple. We see a homeless person and we think he/she is in that place because he/she is a drunk or drug addict. Many times this is the case. But in many it is not. A person loses his/her job then his house, car and so forth until nothing is left but a few clothes. And homelessness requires you pack light, only a few clothes and essentials.
Homelessness is a very scary place to be. One does not have a home. That is very scary indeed. Being without a home means sleeping wherever you can and hoping no one bothers you. Food is scarce and hard to come by. One can often find a rescue mission for at least one meal a day but most people need more than that. A homeless person has to walk everywhere they go unless they have a bike but more than likely that is going to get stolen. A few homeless people are able to hold on to their vehicles but this doesn't mean being able to drive them any more than is absolutely necessary.
Some homeless people are able to find shelter in old, abandoned houses or even old abandoned vehicles but there is always the risk the owner of that house will find out and when that happens the person will have to leave and start all over again trying another place to sleep and stay out of the weather.
Personally, I don't blame anyone for going into an abandoned house and living if the owner is not around and isn't taking care of the property. But there are many safety concerns, one if other homeless people find the place and decide to live there too. Often there is no water or power, they are often fire hazards, many leak, are usually dirty with plenty of bacteria floating around and just not sanitary. But for a homeless person to find a place they can get out of the rain and cold and have a roof over their head even if a substandard one is a Godsend.
People who have never been homeless don't understand the concept and think it's as easy as finding a job and getting out of the situation. But it isn't. Many homeless are families. It is hard on even two incomes to support a family and pay rent/mortgage, buy food, etc.
The next time you see a homeless person don't simply assume he/she ended up in that situation because he/she is a drunk/drug addict or don't want to work.
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