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The Face Of Homelessness: A Moment With Bill Reflection

Updated on May 24, 2013

SOME INITIAL THOUGHTS

Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.

Mother Teresa

The playing field of life is not level. Never has been and never will be. There are many in Bangladesh who know this to be true. There are many in India, England, Croatia and yes, the United States, who know this to be true.

Being born into abject poverty means your life is pretty well scripted out before you reach the age of one. The self-help gurus can talk about infinite possibilities but really, it is just a bunch of rubbish for the five year old in Nairobi whose father is dead and whose mother is working the streets as a prostitute.

Books like the “Power of Positive Thinking” can be printed until hell freezes over, but they have little effect on the Vietnam vet with PTSD who can’t get the benefits he fought for.

You can talk about retraining until you are blue in the face, but how does one retrain a single mother of four with no education?

The problems at the root of homelessness are endless. The rhetoric is spouted from the nearest pulpit and from the Halls of Congress, but solutions are few and far between.

Meanwhile, the numbers are growing. Travel the streets of any major city in the world and you will see the harsh reality. People are suffering, the situation continues to worsen, and there are no answers.

Do you doubt it? Perhaps we should meet a few of the homeless and then we will better understand.

A common sight in America
A common sight in America | Source

ARNIE IN OLYMPIA

Six foot four, 320 pounds, moving slowly down the sidewalk at three a.m. pushing a grocery cart….that was my first sighting of Arnie M. from Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Each night on my paper route I would see Arnie, and eventually we began a dialogue that would continue the next night, and the next, through clear skies, rain, hail and snow.

Arnie told me he served two terms in Iraq, and when he came home he knew something wasn’t right. “I got angry too easy, Bill,” he told me one night. “There I was in the town I was born in, fresh out of the Army, but nothing was the same. Little things would piss me off, and I started getting into fights over stupid shit. I went to the Post and asked to see a doctor, but there were delays….and then the booze took over….and my family was afraid of me and didn’t want me around….so one day I grabbed some clothes, tossed them in a backpack, and started walking down the road.”

I asked him one night if there was anything I could do for him.

“Nah, I’ve got everything I need, Bill. I know a lot of the folks on the street. I guess you could say they are my family now. The Mission down the road has warm meals when I’m short of cash, and I always seem to find a dry place to sleep on rainy nights. It’s best this way, you know. I don’t belong in your world any longer. This is my home.”

SHANIA FROM SEATTLE

Damn pretty girl. That’s what I thought one warm July night as I was finishing my route. There she was, sitting on a raised flower bed in front of the Starbucks. She couldn’t have been much older than twenty with long blonde hair. She smiled at me as I delivered the papers and asked me if I had a dollar for some coffee when the Starbucks opened in four hours.

We got to talking as night people will do, and I asked her what she was doing on the streets at that hour.

“I couldn’t sleep. The ground was too hard so I thought I’d walk around a bit and try for some sleep again later.”

I explained that I meant why was she on the streets at all. She told me it wasn’t safe at home in Seattle. Her step-dad kept abusing her until one night she decided it couldn’t be any worse on her own, so she hitched a ride south to Olympia and she had been here for six months now.

“It can get pretty dangerous out here, but nowhere near as bad as at home with that drooling, drunken asshole pawing me.”

I knew better than to give advice. That’s a fool’s errand at best, and until you have walked the walk of the homeless you have no business giving advice to one of them. I gave her five bucks and told her I’d see her around.

I never did. I have wondered often this past year what happened to her. All those dreams she had as a little girl….all the unfulfilled expectations….all wrapped up in a blanket with her spare clothes, slung over her back.

MARIA AND HER KIDS, LUCAS AND TIMOTHY

The rain was heavy that night, the kind of rain that makes a man wonder if sunshine will ever again return. The little family was huddled under an awning of a local supermarket, looking about as cold and miserable as it’s possible for human beings to look. Drowned rats came to mind as I pulled my pickup to the curb and pulled my North Face jacket tight around my neck.

I asked her how she was doing and she nodded in reply. No smiles on this one, only the blank look of a woman who has seen far too much of the dark side and is wondering if this stranger is going to add to her woes. Her two sons were huddled under each of her arms, shivering in the cold as the rain relentlessly drummed on the sidewalk.

“Don’t you have any place to stay?” I asked, feeling foolish as the words escaped my lips.

She shook her head. “The Mission is full up tonight; we got there late and missed out on a bed.”

“What about family? What about a home? There must be someone!”

“Family is all back in North Carolina. They disowned me when I married my husband, a black man. We moved out west for a new beginning, had us a home, had us these two sons, and then he got shot in a drive-by down in Portand two years ago. I didn’t have a job and we lost our home. We’ve been on the streets ever since.”

She asked me if I could spare some used newspapers. She said they make good insulation for their coats, and the nights were getting colder. I gave her ten papers and the first smile appeared, accompanied by a quiet thank you.

I haven’t seen them since although I always look for them when I’m in that part of town. I’m not sure why I do…I guess because a brief connection was made that night… four human beings in the dark of night, passing a few moments to ward off the loneliness.

I HAVE ANSWERS BUT NOBODY IS LISTENING

I have been homeless. Perhaps that’s why the Marias, Arnies and Shanias of the world touch me so deeply, although I would hope I would feel the same way even if I hadn’t lived out there. My street sentence only lasted two weeks, but it was the longest two weeks of my life.

As Mother Teresa said, the real pain is not the hunger. The real misery is not lacking a place to sleep. No, the real gut-wrenching misery comes from knowing that nobody cares….knowing that nobody gives a damn whether you live or die. It is at that moment, under the weight of that realization, that death appears to be a viable alternative.

Of course there are answers. This is the United States of America, purported to be the richest nation on Earth. We can feed all of the hungry in this country for the cost of development of one weapons’ system. We can home all the homeless for the cost of an unmanned probe to Mars. We could fund medical and psychological services for all who need them for the cost of one aid package for Bolivia…..but we don’t….because….nobody in an authority position cares about them. That is the cold, hard truth.

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

The words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty….our symbol of Liberty, proclaiming to the world our intentions, as a country, to help those in need….but what about our own? Who will feed them? Who will take in our homeless? Who will help our tired and poor, our huddled masses?

Humanity One Word...be the instrument of change
Humanity One Word...be the instrument of change | Source

I Cry Real Tears

H.O.W. ARE WE GOING TO HELP THEM ALL?

One person at a time, and for that, I am responsible….and so are you!

Until the day comes when our government truly represents all of the citizens of this country, the onus of action is on each of us. Do not tell me that you are too busy to help or I will say shame on you. Do not tell me that it is none of your business because I will say shame on you. Do not tell me you can’t get involved or I will say shame on you.

Every single one of you reading this has seen the homeless in your city. How can you miss them? They are everywhere that you look unless you live in a neighborhood that has a police force that does not allow them in your precious city. How many of you have spoken to a homeless person before? Or do you cross the street so you don’t have to pass in front of them?

These are human beings! These are citizens of the same country that you live in, making them your countrymen and women, and yet they are ignored, avoided, shunned and then, the cruelest act of all, they are forgotten.

Join me please, before Maria, Arnie and Shania die out there and nobody is there to witness it.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I really loved the stories about the real people on the street Bill. I wonder what happened to them too.

      There are homeless people everywhere here and no one wants to help them. There was an establishment set up and the city gave homeless people blue tents and some land down by the river. They called it "Hopeville"....then they kicked them out of there too. Some hope! I constantly wonder where they ended up.

      Great article! I wish we had more answers for how to help people before they get to that point.

    • profile image

      JThomp42 4 years ago

      So true and also so heart breaking Bill. People just do not realize the plight of those who have been forced into this hell. Yes, P.T.S.D is something I would not wish upon anyone. I suffer from it and I'm afraid will continue to suffer from it for some time. This is what really troubles me about the "system." Our heroes are sent into battle only to face a life on the streets? Unbelievable in this day and time. I think the problem is unless you have been there it is hard for most to accept this is not their fault. Especially those in Washington who really need to help. God be with these fellow Americans and may they get the help they "Deserve."

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, for a while, shortly after I left home at the ripe age of 18, my home was my car. I'd find an empty school parking lot, pull in and sleep there. One morning a cop banged on the window and once he discovered I wasn't dead or hurt, he told me I had to leave. He offered no help or direction, just that I wasn't supposed to be there. Shortly after that a male friend offered me his home in exchange for cooking and cleaning. Thanx to his kindness, that was the first and last time I was ever homeless.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      We all think it couldn't happen to us....Where do you begin? I do see a lot of homeless..not where we live...but they are there. I think giving food and warm clothing is the best thing...We all do take for granted our warm homes, good food and all we have. I also really appreciated the real stories.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Yes, I have meet homeless persons in person, face-to-face, while serving the downtrodden and homeless around the building in the city in which I work.

      As the Lord reminds us, "those who are last, will be first, and those who are first, will be last in the Kingdom of Heaven."

      I am always mindful when serving Him, so I love serving in ministries as described in Matthew 25:31-46, i.e., hungry, thirsty, needing a home and clothing, as I certainly do not want to be lumped into the "goat" category as opposed to the "sheep", in His eyes.

      We are all just one paycheck away from being on the streets ourselves, and especially now with this economy, more and more are sadly without a home . . . and this is America!!! :(

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      Peace and blessings, Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kelly....Hopeville, huh? Not when you kick them out. I loved the idea you had a few months ago about the abandoned buildings...that's the kind of forward thinking that needs to happen.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Beautiful article Bill and seriously think we all have our fair share of homeless in our hometowns. Seriously, it boils down to what is not afforded to these people by our own government. And there stories are unique and yet so similar to many that we see in our own towns. Thank you for sharing and for just being you. Have of course voted and shared, too!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jeff, it is a national shame and I refuse to be quiet about it. We have so many in our small city here, and the city ignore the problem and hopes it will go away. Great leadership!

      Thanks buddy and have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Sha, for sharing your story.....were you worth saving? was I worth saving? People don't seem to realize that these are human beings who could be productive if they just had a chance....like you and I. :)

      love,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Carol! I know the one thing that isn't working is ignoring the problem. Cities want to pretend that this problem will go away, but it just keeps growing and growing.

      I appreciate you being here and caring.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, it breaks my heart, but what really bothers me is the complacency and apathy of those who see but do not help.....I'll never understand it.

      Thank you for sharing and have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, you live your faith and because of that you will always have my respect.

      Was I worth saving? Is there value in me? How many more "Bills" are there out on the streets of America? Are they worth saving?

      This subject saddens me and disgusts me, so I'm done for the moment before i get more upset.

      Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for all that you do.

      blessings,

      bill

    • wayne barrett profile image

      Wayne Barrett 4 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Great piece Bill. These people need to be noticed, and with voices like yours, there is just that much more awareness brought to the public eye.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Bill,

      I believe unless you have been homeless or directly worked, even talked, with this population, it is extremely difficult to put a face and a story behind this universally tragic issue.

      Your writing about real people is invaluable in this regard. The agency that I worked with had a " housing first" philosophy. Unless the individual behaved in criminal activities, there was little to reasonable financial responsibility and even that was based on each person's circumstances.

      Thanks for the inspiration and motivation to keep our eyes open, see everyone around us as real people, not an eyesore or inconvenience...and do the best we can to help, in some way.

      Voted UP and UABI. Love, Maria

    • Sheri Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 4 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      I love this one. I would love to see it published in some of the big papers as this is important info. Well done! It pulled on my heartstrings and you brought those people to life.

    • CloudExplorer profile image

      Mike Pugh 4 years ago from New York City

      Another lovely and quite impressive hub here bro, as an ex 3 times homeless dude, I feel the stuff emanating in this article you have crafted so eloquently Bill. I sense all the pain that derives from people who have not the option to buy, I am in a financial position today to fully comprehend how it feels earning only $105 dollars via Adsense and thanks to Youtube partnership per month only. (I haven't yet tried to figure out the hourly rate on that monetary stat LOL)

      The difference for me is, I chose to quit my job during the worst economic crisis in America, and so I could fall into the depths of poverty at my own will and own accord to somehow emerge like a phoenix as a Online business owner someday hopefully. (2 years later things are looking much brighter, I'm praying it gets better bro)

      I aim to show humanity that anyone can make it and in any condition on earth, this is my truest journey. My family helps me stay afloat but monetarily I receive nothing from them. I'm on a mission bro as you very well know to be a message besides making one.

      So I know 100% what you mean by this hub here, your H.O.W. campaign is no joke! I also sensed from reading this, that Mother Teresa knew the core behind ones heart, which isn't the aches and pains of hunger as you stated here & I agree, it's of feeling alone and with no hope whatsoever that life is worth living. If other don't care, I feel that we need to learn to show them how it works, just as you are making efforts and strides to do on and offline bro.

      So you know I'm with you all the way, give my new RealTalk blog a look bro I been working my methods to merge your global campaign with mine there as a single voice. Awesome hub to say the least, thumbs up and all the good stuff that goes with it.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      So incredibly sad. We have many homeless people here in the Phoenix area. You begin to see the same people in different areas. They are not the "typical" people that used to be on the corners. They are you and me. They are people who have been out of work for too many years and have lost their homes. They are people struggling to keep their kids in school. I will share this everywhere in hopes that more people will see and join . Thank you! up across except funny. Have a great weekend, my friend. Sending those 20 degrees!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 4 years ago from Chicago Area

      This is such a sad issue! I'm so impressed with people, like you, who bring this issue to light AND do something about it. Here's another person that's doing some great work in this area that you might want to check out. I met Mark Horvath of InvisiblePeople.tv at a business conference. Something to check out at http://www.athomedocumentary.org/about.html Kudos on the H.O.W. program!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wayne, we can only hope. Thank you my friend; you are appreciated!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, my hope is that there are more people like you out there...if there are then hope is always close by.

      Thank you my dear!

      love,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Indeed, Sheri, these people need to be brought to life....these are human beings suffering right in front of us daily, and people ignore it.....it is beyond my comprehension how this happens in rich, industrialized nations.

      Thank you for caring.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, you are a living, breathing example, as am I, that there is value in the homeless, that there is hope as long as we are breathing. I love the work you do and I will stop by to take a look at your blog soon. Way too busy but in another week things will slow up for me and I can get back to spreading the love and working with you and others to spread the message.

      Blessings to you my friend. Keep doing what you are doing....the good will come.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Randi, thank you for noticing and caring. This isn't like the old days when the homeless were a collection of skid row drunks....now, as you say, it is people like you and I who got so far behind that all answers were gone for them. We, as a country, have got to find a way to turn this around.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for the video, Heidi. I will take a look at is this weekend after I finish up my to do list. I appreciate your kind words and your caring spirit.

      Enjoy your weekend my friend.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 4 years ago from West By God

      Oh I know all about this from a friend who worked so hard to get where she was and it is on the Streets. She had a bad childhood got locked up a few times during her teen years. She then got a chance and got some training so that she could be on her own....well she completed all the training and cannot find a job and is a street person. I cannot helkp her anymore and she is between a rock and hard place. I feel for this girl as I helped her get herself together and pulled her from her very disruptive and abusive family and put my neck on the line many times for her....all this to still have her become one of the lost yet again. The only good point that I see in her struggles was while she was locked up she at least had shelter and food and no worries about her next meal or where she would sleep. I just cannot believe how hard she worked to get nothing yet again. It seems like a vicious cycle. I cry for her. She is also about 21 years old.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lady, that story is a common one, sadly. This problem will continue to multiply until it is out of control, if it is not already. All I know to do is keep raising awareness and hope that community activists pick up the ball and run with it.

      Thank you for sharing your story...a very sad story...and very real.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 4 years ago from West By God

      Well I will share this with all that I can.

    • MrsBrownsParlour profile image

      Lurana Brown 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      Wonderful piece---my favorite thing you have written so far. Thank you for writing it.

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Billy,

      Either I'm getting softer in my older years or your writing is getting more touching! :D Boy... I had all I could do to fight back the tears. First, it breaks my heart that you were homeless, for even a day, but I know you'd feel the same even if you hadn't.

      I went with a girlfriend to NYC, our senior year of high school. We road a train and coming above ground from below Grand Central Station out onto the streets of NYC... I was amazed and terrified at the same time. A scruffy, obviously homeless guy asked us for money and even though my thoughts briefly flirted with "He's probably going to kill me"... I had my trip money packed away, but the loose bills in my pocket from buying food on the train, they were his. He said thank you and looked almost amazed as we walked away and I felt safer the further away I got, but I also felt good, despite my friend telling me that I was out of my mind. We are taught to fear strangers and nothing is stranger than a rugged, lost-looking person on the streets and I admit... I'd always looked at them with bittersweet feelings. A couple years later, in college I read "Grand Central Winter" about a homeless man who was once a marketing executive, turned homeless, drunken crack-head who sometimes babysat homeless hookers babies. The same pencil he used to clean his crackpipe on the streets, turned out to be the same pencil he would use to write THAT book. Miracles like that don't happen every day, but it goes to show that nobody is above being homeless and there is hope for anyone. Thanks Billy, as usual... you touch hearts and let's hope, make a difference!

      Cat

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Thank you for a very heartfelt, sincere piece on a truly shameful situation. I remember 'Hopeville', as I live in the same absymal city that Kelly does. It seems a former resident was given a camera by a compassionate organization and the man became well-known as an artist with his photography welcome in galleries. He went back to Hopeville, and as the story published in the RFT goes, he visited Hopeville, got into an altercation with a resident and the photographer killed him. Shortly thereafter, Hopeville was dismantled. The mayor here is on a mission to take the ghost of downtown and make it a moneymaking tourist spot. Seems the only thing left are the remaining businesses and heavy homeless foot traffic. He had the police not only run the homeless out of a park where they were once allowed to congregate, but also dumpster all their prescription medications for heart disease, diabetes and high blood-pressure. A local mission was filled to capacity so the mayor had the sidewalk barracaded to prevent the overflow homeless from sleeping on the sidewalk. They hosed the sidewalk down and the homeless were forced toward the Mississippi.

      Mother Theresa, herself, became so overwhelmed by the relentless suffering of the poor she tried to help, she questioned the existence of God, as relayed in a journal she kept. I think good people lose faith when they see the problem, try to help, but are dissuaded by a corrupt government too big to change. Before I was laid off, a new law governed downtown and the homeless. People who give 'beggars' a few bucks are now breaking the law by giving the destitute a gift.

      I found out for myself, after a divorce and losing my job to the economy about 2-1/2 years ago, I am on my own. I heard all the rhetoric about pulling myself up by my bootstraps. I am resourceful and have managed, but the verbiage from those who still had a job was enough to make me puke. The last thing someone who is suffering needs to hear is that somehow it is their fault. Many of the homeless that walk the streets have mental and physical illnesses that make the reality of 'getting a job' a fairytale. It is despicable to 'lecture' them. One positive note is that if they happen to have a few dollars in their pocket, they won't be spending it on another useless motivational book, written by someone full of hot air who doesn't have a clue .

      Bravo for your truthful piece of reality on this pervasively defeating, unfair way of life for too many people, Bill. From what I see from the leadership in control, change won't happen fast enough to help those out on the streets today. Government corruption, even within our own IRS, is too pervasive for the average individual to fight. Just like I know I am on my own, unfortunately, so are the homeless. The problem has gone on far too long. If there was any real interest in helping the poor, programs would already be helping them. Even our own brave military, who give their all, have been treated the same by the government, with little regard, some eloquent verbiage and no follow through. The homeless, no matter their circumstances, are looked at as a blight to tourism, too unsightly to acknowledge, much less help. I help when I can, but it is far too little to make a difference. As always, Bill, thank you for your honesty and heart.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Lady! I appreciate it very much.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lurana. This is the type of writing I cut my teeth on at HP, but I somehow got away from it....time for the real me to return. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cat, what a great story. Now I have tears in my eyes. :) I love your heart young lady. I love your compassion and your empathy and your love for your fellow man. Please never change. We need to find a way to clone you about a million times.

      Have a wonderful birthday my friend.

      bill

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Okay, that's it Billy, now I'm crying :D ... honestly, if I can even stay at your pace on the path you're walking... I'll be honored! You're the undercover hero!

      Thanks again!

      Cat

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Sad, but true, even in North Dakota, a place where we wouldn't think that such things are happening, but they do, especially on the reservation.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 4 years ago

      Bill - As always you said what people need to hear.

      Many of the more fortunate have no idea how deep this problem really goes.

      In my area, most of the homeless are in the downtown area. I rarely go downtown anymore as there is just no reason to do so. Most of the big stores have closed their doors long ago and moved out into the shopping centers away from the downtown area.

      So, the out of sight out of mind rule applies for most of us. And many really believe that government programs are taking care of these unfortunate souls. As you know, and I know, nothing could be further from the truth. The problems of the homeless and our returning vets are way at the bottom of the governments priority list, and this is criminal.

      We give government grants for some of the stupidest studies and programs I could ever imagine. Most of us know that many of these government grants go to friends and family of Politicians, or to pay back the favors for huge campaign contributions. Most all of this money could be put to a far better use helping homeless people and returning veterans, but nothing will change until we change it.

      What we need is an all out campaign questioning why our government is not more involved with these issues. Why we continue to give foreign aid to countries who steal most of the money, and hate us no matter how much we give them.

      If we could see a published list of the totally worthless grants that are being handed out, we would be sick to our stomachs for days.

      There are a few private organizations who strive to help these unfortunate citizens, but they depend on contributions from churches and private citizens. With the current economy, most of us just don't have that much extra to give anymore.

      I believe this issue should be at the very top of our demand list to those we have hired to represent us. If we collectively started bugging them about doing something about this problem, we just might get something done. I can't believe there are not some funds available, especially if they stop funding studies on "The mating habits of butterfly's."

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Great piece Bill. Here is a truth that I have learned knowing my neighbors without houses: If you get right down to the heart of it, if you looked into so many homes you will find people worshiping their stuff. You will see a lack of caring about others, you will see tired worn out souls dying inside in order to keep their outsides.

      Once "homeless" many let their outsides die in order to preserve at least some of their insides. The ones that do OK on the street get out of the street. The ones that suffer on the street and do poorly are the ones who remain attached to that which they had, and cannot attach to what they have left.

      The sad ones are not so much those who have lost hope, of getting back to a "normal" life. But as I see it the sad ones are the ones that have not learned to hope for what is truly important. That is what we need Mother Theresas for.

      Ooops sorry for waxing on so uneloquently.

    • Hawaiian Scribe profile image

      Stephanie Launiu 4 years ago from Hawai'i

      What a beautiful hub. I love the "close-ups" of those you met on the street. My husband and I slept in our car for a few months after we lost our home in the 'crash' of 2008. Looking for a new place to park the car every night and a simple electrical outlet to recharge the cell phone was the pits. Being on food stamps and never being allowed to buy anything 'hot' with them was even worse. To this day, I get flashbacks when I see a container of Pringles or a cold crab salad that's been on the shelf for a few days. But we were able to pick ourselves up and turn the page. We now are in a better position than we were before the crash, so blessings abound. But so many of the longterm homeless really need intensive help and a good number are mentally ill. I don't pretend to know what the problem is. Here in Hawaii, the homeless are on many street corners & beaches, and very visible in Waikiki. And they do not want to go into shelters. Lots of $$ being thrown at the problem & many good people dedicated to finding a solution, but it's worse than ever. Voted up and sharing. Aloha, Stephanie

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cat, you spread love for your fellow man every day you go to work...then you come home and do it in your writing. I swear, Cat, I want to be you when I grow up. :)

      Enough with the tears....go have a great weekend!

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Denise, I have family on the Rez in Devils Lake....ugly conditions there. Homelessness has no boundaries.

      Thank you for visiting and sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Poolman, bless you my friend. You speak the truth from the heart. What are they called? Pork-barrel, right? Worthless projects that pay back some politician for favors, and they total billions of dollars. Bridges that go nowhere.....highways that serve no purpose...studies that are idiotic....it makes me sick my friend, and the public allows it by their silence.

      It starts at home...every community has to step up because the federal government cannot be counted on to take care of its citizens.

      Eloquent comment my friend. Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, I disagree....you waxed on quite eloquently. Perfectly stated....this is a problem that will not go away until we as a society step up and make it disappear. This starts at the very core of society and the worship for the dollar and the invasive greed that infiltrates most citizens. We have lost our way as a people and I'm not sure I'm going to live long enough to see us find our way back.

      Thank you, Sir!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Amy, there is so much truth in what you wrote that I don't know where to start.

      Retraining??? Are you kidding me? How do you retrain someone with no skills or education? Pull up by the bootstraps? How do you do that when you have no food, no warm place to sleep, no cell phone and no hope? Government assistance? Where is it for those who are mentally ill? It goes on and on my friend.

      Your statement about being bad for tourism is right on. We see that where we live in the capitol city of Washington. Keep them off the main drags so tourists won't see them. The homeless are herded to the side streets out of sight. Is that a solution???? Band Aids for cancer is what it is.

      I'm disgusted and disheartened....but not hopeless.

      Thank you my friend.

      love from Oly

      bill

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      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Thank you for sharing those touching stories. Too often, we see the homeless as an issue rather than real individuals who struggle daily to survive. I swear, it seems that people care more about dogs and cats these days than they do about people. It's a sad situation.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lizzy, to some your remark about dogs and cats may seem far fetched....honestly, I believe it to be true, and I find that very sad.

      Thanks my friend. Have a great weekend!

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Billybuc - Your story is so touching. It pains me every time I leave my house to go into town as I see the homeless on street corners with their signs asking for help. It's so true that we as a country waste so much money on silly things when we could be feeding and helping out those who live on the streets or in poverty. Any of us can be thrown into that situation at any time. I have a 25 year old daughter with autism and mental illness, and I know she would be homeless if I wasn't here to help her. Her situation has helped me see that our world is becoming more and more bitter while more and more people are diagnosed with mental illness and left to the streets because their own families will not care for them. When I go to visit my daughter, a new young person is introduced into the home where she resides. So many people between the ages of 20-50 are in rest homes where they can be cared for by those who can assist them 24 hours per day. However, the government's revisions in Medicaid and other resources are being ripped away from them left and right to where they are left to the streets. Why can't we do away with the tremendous fraud that takes place with food stamps instead? Or, why can't we do away with the 10-digit bonuses at the IRS and other agencies? It makes my heart heavy every single day, and I'm always pondering what I may be able to do to start a great thing to help all these people. If only I would have won the recent Powerball! LOL. It angers me to see people like the Kardashians wasting their financial resources on stupidity when they could be helping those in need.

      Additionally, people have changed in this technologically advanced modern world. How do we make people have compassion? Many don't even love themselves. The world is becoming harsher by the day, and it's scary to even bring children into the world anymore.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Abby, welcome to my site and thank you for the following.

      I have written often about this changing of America, the exact thing you just wrote about. This is not the country I was raised in. I am sickened by the changes I see and the lack of compassion and empathy, a country where complacency and apathy are the watchwords of the day.

      I started a movement called H.O.W.....Humanity One World....you can find us on Facebook and we would be proud to have you as a member. We are a "raising awareness" group of writers who all share one goal...making this world a better place to live, one person at a time. Come join us.

      bill

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      Jami Johnson 4 years ago from Somewhere amongst the trees in Vermont.

      Bill, I think your story is powerful and true. I lived in Rutland Vermont for a long time, and unfortunately there are a lot of homeless people there. I worked at Subway while I was pregnant with my daughter (I opened the store alone) and at 7am a homeless man would waddle in, drenched in rain, trembling cold, and he would just take a seat in the comfortable leather chairs in the front (and sometimes spread his belongings out to dry on a table in the back). I never thought twice, I allowed him to loiter for hours as he dried off and warmed up since it was freezing cold outside in the crazy Vermont weather. Eventually he warmed up to me, seeing my smiling face in the mornings, and would strike up an interesting conversation that I barely understood (I am pretty certain he was an illiterate and uneducated), but I would provide him with the stale cookies (that were edible, but I was told I could not serve a cookie that was so firm) and half a sub at no cost, even when he did pull out his quarters to pay. Unfortunately, other costumers complained to the owner, and she had to say something to him and he rarely came back (he did on occasion for a few minutes at opening time and I would give him the usual firm cookies). It truly saddens me that people do go through such hardship in life.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jami, I am proud to know you....why? Because in that simple act of compassion you showed your true heart. Most people would never consider giving the homeless a cookie or half a sub...most people would not even allow the homeless to stay inside the store. Thank you for renewing my faith in humanity.....one act of kindness at a time we can change the world. Come join us on the H.O.W. Facebook page and you will be among friends. :)

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      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      These are very touching stories Bill and like you I'm afraid of their whereabouts. It is a horrifying thought to just think being homeless, and yes, being uncared, unloved and unwanted, in this world is hell, right here. This is the biggest misfortune that can befall someone.

      I feel each one of us have a responsibility to do the least we can do for as many of these unfortunate ones, as we can. This write and the stories are heart wrenching.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a powerful hub, Bill. Homelessness is a sad and serious problem. There is something very wrong with our cities when we can't provide shelter for every inhabitant. Thank you for continuing to remind us of the help that is needed.

    • JamiJay profile image

      Jami Johnson 4 years ago from Somewhere amongst the trees in Vermont.

      Bill, thank you, I am proud to know you as well, and I already joined H.O.W on facebook :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great, Jami...thank you for joining.

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      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this.Though I have had some interesting exposure, I must bow to you.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Giving a face to the 'homeless' is one way to personalize these individuals who for one reason or another are homeless. And knowing that 'there but by the grace of God go I' keeps it real. As I have written, I have been homeless and it was a frightening place to be. Fortunately I found a way out. And it changed me...forever.

      One person at a time is the way, Billy, just as you suggest. Caring is another huge part too..it takes so little for us to let a whole group of our population know they are valued and not forgotten. Thank you once again for focusing on an important pervasive social issue we all need to become involved in solving.

      Angels and hugs are on the way to Washington this morning ps

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Hi Bill. I just joined H.O.W. I was going to comment on your latest post, but I guess I have to be accepted first? I'm so glad that I found you because I have been looking for an organization that will stand up for these people. I have always had a heart for the homeless and hurting. I moved to North Carolina 8 years ago to a rural community from the suburbs of Washington, DC. My husband wanted to move my girls to a "normal" area of the world where they could see how people truly live... so that they could learn to have more compassion for people. Even though I had them involved with community service (i.e., homeless, nursing homes, meals-on-wheels) in that area, the DC area is still very much a prosperous area where you don't see too many homeless unless you walk down the backstreets of DC. Since we've moved to North Carolina, we had been involved with Meals-on-Wheels until they closed. The area I now live has so many that are hurting and uncared for that my heart has been yearning to either start some sort of revolution or get involved with an organization that is helping.

      Funny story to share -- this has to do with the recent Powerball lottery when it was $600 million. I don't normally play, but I have this yearning to help the mentally ill, elderly, and homeless in my state. Since I have little or limited resources to do this, I actually placed the lottery. Why? I saw so many people on television being interviewed answering the question, "What would you do with the money if you win?" I heard such shallow answers, it made me sick. How can people be so selfish with that much money? If I would have won, I would have started a statewide organization building homes for these people, training them to run other homes, and be an example for our very own government on how a little compassion can rebuild lives and give them hope. Then I would like to have seen it grow throughout the rest of the United States. It may sound silly, but it's a dream of mine. But, I guess I shouldn't give up my own hope. I've found you and your organization here, and who knows what we can do if we put our heads together. ;)

      My hubs have been crafted around my professional niche, but I had recently asked Robin from HubPages to change my user name of "MaximumFatLoss" to my real name so that I can begin writing hubs that are more meaningful and personal to me (i.e., mental illness and the Medicaid issues at hand). I don't believe in coincidences. Obviously, a higher power has been directing me in this way. I look forward to helping H.O.W. promote its cause.

      Many blessings to you, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rajan! I think giving a face and a name to the homeless helps everyone to understand that these are human beings who are suffering.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alicia! It is sad and it is a mystery why we cannot address this problem as a nation.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Martin! I always appreciate you stopping by my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, I think when you are homeless, like you and I were, it gives a whole new perspective to the problem, doesn't it? It is no longer some nebulous social problem that does not affect us....it goes much deeper than that when one experiences it.

      Thank you for caring my friend. Have a wonderful weekend and God bless.

      blessings and hugs coming your way

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Abby, I'm so happy you joined us, and I just approved your request, so feel free to post anything that is related to helping humanity.

      Not a funny story at all...I would do the same thing if I were suddenly rich. My wife and I talk about this constantly....I just read recently about someone who came into money and decided to give a huge portion of it away...that's the kind of person I want to hang with.

      I love your commitment and I love that you are raising your children to understand that they need to be committed to social causes.

      Thank you my new friend and I look forward to putting our heads together and moving in the right direction for social change.

      blessings to you as well,

      bill

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Really touching! Imagine a homeless man saying that he's got everything he needs. There must be a way to help. Here in the islands, we've got our work cut out for us with joblessness like we've never seen.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I have always been mad that the US helps the hungry in other countries and turns their back on ours and after all it is OUR money they are distributing. Maybe it is time we made a noise about helping them, run a few petitions? It is worth at least a try.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 4 years ago

      Bill, now that you have opened the door on this tragic situation, I think it is time to take it up a notch.

      Not sure how to do this, but we need as many as possible to contact their representatives and make some noise.

      Or, we could hire a lobbyist if we could set up a fund to collect some money to pay him. It seems that most things accomplished these days always starts with a lobbyist. I personally detest lobbyists, and wish they would go away, but that is not likely to happen until we change some rules.

      Do you have any ideas?

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      Billy, I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth. However, my parents income was above average countrymen income.

      Since, early in my life,my parents taught me to e sympathetic towards poor people.

      Homelessness is also an issue in my country.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, I do not have all the answers, but I know the solutions begin with me. :) Thank you for the visit my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, anything at this point is worth a try. I am going to get H.O.W. involved in this movement and see if we can't shake things up a bit.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Poolman, we are dealing with complacency for the most part. Everyone wants someone else to do something but nobody wants to initiate any action. I'm working with my H.O.W. group for ideas and strategies.....and yes, I hate lobbyists as well. :) Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vinaya, I believe homelessness is a world-wide problem. We will all be stronger as a society when this problem is faced and acted upon.

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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Maybe I'm too far away from downtown, but I have never seen anyone homeless around here. Not even by the lake. I know people that have lived here for years. I'm going to ask them where they are.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 4 years ago from Hawaii

      This is so true. I've lost count to the number of times I've passed by homeless people along the road, or at the streets

    • mylindaelliott profile image

      mylindaelliott 4 years ago from Louisiana

      I live in a city of maybe 100,000. I see the homeless...early in the morning I see them crawl out of little hidey holes. Or at night pushing grocery carts... It's surprising how many people I know who don't see them...

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Bill, this really puts life in perspective. How many of us take for granted the things that we have when there are those out there with nothing but the clothes on their back? We should be ashamed as Americans that this can happen in this country. I don't have the answers. I think it starts with treating these folks with respect and not ignoring them. It starts with lending a helping hand if they want one. Where it ends however is a mystery to me. I think our government needs to spend our money better and keep it here in this country as opposed to trying to support the world. It's all about priorities. What's more important, launching that probe to mars or helping our fellow citizens? I think the answer is clear.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Great idea billy, sorry I got so fumed I forgot to compliment you on your ability to make us feel, but I never forget to vote you up! I sign petitions for everything else and I certainly would for this. Everything starts somewhere, we are behind you, just let us know! I don't see many homeless but I know they are there and do care. My son saw one (a woman) hit and killed that was living under a bridge. I guess some places must keep them ran off. I don't think a day goes by I do not think of them. Usually when I eat.

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      Mary Wickison 4 years ago from Brazil

      This was very moving Bill.

      Here in the area of Brazil I live, they believe if you are American or European then you are rich. I have told them, there are people living on the streets with signs saying they will work for food. They find this so confusing because the media shows them programs of 'happy families ' going to Disneyland.

      The truth is any of us could be in the same situation and probably a lot faster than we think.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, that's interesting. I lived in Beaveron, Oregon for two years, and there they do not allow the homeless...they shuffle them off to the internet and tell them to find another town. Sad but true.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      vkwok, they are everywhere and I find it incredibly sad.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      mylindaelliott, that's an excellent point my friend. I think many people have conditioned themselves not to see the homeless....they are part of the landscape, like a tree or a rock, and as such are worthy of maybe a passing glance but no more.

      Thank you for stopping by and for caring.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, the answer seems clear to you and me, but evidently we are in the minority as far as decision-making. I can't believe this can happen in this country in the year 2013...if I didn't know better I would think it was 1931.

      Thanks buddy and have a great weekend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie my friend, you can fume here any old time you want. At least in your fuming you show you care, which is more than I can say for a great many people, including our leaders.

      I'll keep you posted on H.O.W.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Blond, it's interesting the view the rest of the world has of the United States. The great, rich country is all smoke and mirrors economically. We may not have poverty like some nations have, but we have poverty bad enough for us to be concerned about....or at least that we should be concerned about.

      Thank you for stopping by my friend.

    • HappyMikeWritter profile image

      HappyMikeWritter 4 years ago

      I have a friend who is homeless. He lives on a street for a few years now. It become when his wife left him with mortage and all financial responsibilities. He had to pay all off. He lost home, his companny, pretty much everything. He became homeless and choose it as a way of life.

      Your article is very beautifull

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Hi, Bill!

      Wow! This is a very powerful and moving piece. Thank you for infusing the truth of reality by sharing these empathetic encounters you've had with people that so many others do whatever they can to not even look at, as if that very selfish act enables the homeless to become invisible. This one is going to haunt me, Bill, and rightly so. We fortunate ones who still have homes to live and be warm and secure in each night need to be awakened from our apathetic existence. Truth is, given the current state of the economy and a government that keeps putting Band-Aids on the tip of the iceberg or, worse yet, keep kicking dirt over the grave of "I don't care...I just want it to go away!"...NONE of us are very far away from being homeless. Thank you for this wake-up shakedown call, Bill!

      I've given you and a few others a shout out in my recent hub. This article of yours underscores my choice to feature you and your work. Aloha, and have a wonderful rest of the Memorial Day weekend.

      Joe

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      HappyMike, thank you for telling your own experience through your friend. It is a sad situation and it needs to change.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Joe!

      I hope this finds you well. I will be by to visit your new hub shortly.

      I have nothing more to say about homelessness that hasn't been said already in this hub.....it is a shameful cancer in society and it is one most people do not want to recognize....until it strikes them, and it could strike any one of us. I am disgusted by this problem and I am disgusted with my government for choosing to ignore it.

      Have a great day, buddy. It is raining once again here in Oly....a good day to go to a movie. :)

      Aloha,

      bill

    • sybol profile image

      sybol 4 years ago

      This post is very moving. Even though we see the homeless daily we tend to forget that their need is greater than ours and how we can help with small kind gestures. I was almost homeless once except that someone cared. Thank you for reminding me to pay more attention. I CAN help.

      The inscription on the Statue of Liberty ..... It does not make me think of America, far from it.

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      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Bill, my special friend with the great big heart, I think this one may be my new favorite of yours. I cried through each of the stories which are all too real because you made them so. You gave life to the stories that could be the stories of almost every town in America and summed it all up with the wise and true words of Mother Theresa. There is NO excuse for homelessness to exist in a country as wealthy and powerful as this. And yes, it is our/my responsibility to do something to change it. Whether we offer a hand up or become the voice, at least we can do something, and we must start screaming at these political fools who are fighting among themselves over things most of us couldn't care less about. Thank you for the motivation. You, are my hero once again.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 4 years ago from Scotland

      This is so true and so sad.

      It isn't much to ask to feel safe and secure but in our society it seems to be the case that people can just disappear and then be lost forever. It is a global problem and one that really needs addressed.

      Well written Billybuc.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi Billy, your stories of those poor people really upset me. Yes we have them over here, and it makes me so mad. Why does the governments totally ignore them? why do they give a new house and social money to immigrants that get off the darn plane and walk straight into a house? that's in England by the way, not sure if that happens over there. did you know that the guy who killed the young soldier over here this week was on 25, 000 pounds a year social money? no job, just a layabout who was evil!

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      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      So well written Billy, as usual. I was just thinking the same thing the other day about the words inscribed on the Status of Liberty. Too often, I hear people complain about those who receive assistance from the government, and criticize the homeless. What will it take to open their eyes? At times, I wish they could see the thin, invisible line that separates them from our homeless. Perhaps then they would wake up and do something to help. Not tomorrow; not next week; but now. Hugs Billy on this amazing hub.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      sybol, thank you for caring. It is all so easy to forget about the homeless...they almost become invisible, or a part of the landscape, and we forget that these are human beings.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, I'm going to keep hammering this point until things change....and if they don't at least I'll know I gave it everything I had as a writer.

      I have given up on our political leaders....this needs to start in each town across America....a grassroots program to end homelessness.

      Thank you as always....you are special.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Anna, it is indeed a global problem and the homeless can easily disappear and nobody knows it....here one moment, gone the next, and nobody noticed....and that is a shame against society.

      Thank you for caring my friend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nell, we have our share of layabouts who are evil....the entire system needs a complete overhaul, and it has to start on the local level. We cannot expect our national leaders to care any longer.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, thank you for your kind words, and your passionate words. You are right...it is a very thin line that separates most of us from homelessness....and that is very frightening.

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      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Bill - Powerful as usual. For ten years when my boys lived at home we cooked and served dinner to 75 five people in a local shelter and then cleaned up afterwards. Three other church ladies and there children helped. I will pick up women and children and make sure they have a meal and take them to a shelter. There are a lot of opportunities at the university to donate clothing, shoes, books and help others raise money for various causes. Still I am able and need to do more -- this is a timely reminder. Blessings. Theresa

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Theresa, bravo to you that you raised your boys to do service. Oh, if we could only have more kids like yours doing good deeds. I love it...thank you for sharing your experience.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      The homeless here are unfortunately handicapped too....many of them blind musicians talented beyond belief. But as you say, we have no business giving advice until we have walked the walk. Thanks for sharing!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes Michelle, many are handicapped and many need medical and psychological help, and until they get it they will continue to suffer out on the streets, and that is very sad.

    • LKMore01 profile image

      LKMore01 4 years ago

      Bill,

      Once again a powerful and thought provoking HUB article. There are no easy solutions. There are leaders, programs and governments that can and should bring about awareness and economic change. The truth is many people are incapable of feeling compassion until they are made to face the same day to day struggle. Thank you for your insight.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LK, I think you hit on an important point. Compassion seems to have to be forced on people rather than come naturally, and that is a sad statement of fact.

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 4 years ago from East Coast

      You have done a great job of sharing some stories of the homeless. I also wrote a hub about this subject to show that there are many homeless and many causes. And you are very right about positive talk being rhetoric for some that is the unfortunate reality. Voted up and awesome because you have written another engaging, truthful, and inspiring hub.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Express, thank you! This is such an important topic and it needs to be discussed often by many.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Awesome hub. I am guilty of turning the other way like many people, but boy did your examples hit home. Makes me question my behavior and that of others too. Well done.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, there are for sure some scam artists out there who do not deserve help, but many, many of the homeless started out just like you and me....and then life turned on them. :) Thank you for caring enough to be open to this hub.

    • benisan85745 profile image

      Ka'imi'loa 4 years ago from Tucson, AZ.

      I feel your battle my friend, i just finished up with all my court hearings from the fines and citations I was given for illegally building houses for those unfotunate. Although I was shutdown on one project, my other is to go in on with some old associates of mine and try to buy old motel buildings and fix them up instead of the pop-ups we were doing in the desert across Tucson. Good piece, I understand that this issue is world wide, but our own just down the street can use some aloha just as well.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Hi Bill, I have not only seen the homeless, I have been one of the homeless. I know what it feels like to be hungry. Like you, it was a short stint. But, the time served was unsettling enough to keep me mentally aware that people are starving, living without a roof over their head, and starving. I am only one person, but I vowed to myself and God that I will always look to see how I can help at least one person each day. Bill, if everyone did that, then hunger and homelessness would be a non-issue.

      I hope your hub inspires one more person to do one thing every day to help at least one person overcome hunger or homelessness.

      Thank you for your inspiration and plea to humanity.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      benisan, bless you my friend for the work you are doing. That's the kind of civic action that makes a difference. You have a friend for life.

      Aloha,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, if this inspires one person then I will be happy...I would be ecstatic if we broke through the apathy and reached more than that.

      Bless you my friend.

      bill

    • rtburroughs2 profile image

      Robert Burroughs 3 years ago

      Bill, it is always great reading your hubs. This particular hub touches very close to home, since January I have joined the ranks of the homeless. It is a very hard life, I too hawk papers to try to get some money for food, Sunday being the only day I make more than $15. Sure there are day labor places to bring in considerably more, yet for the longest time I had no ID, and most jobs require skills that I do not possess. One thing I would like to do is start a non profit organization to help those in my position, however it is hard to think of the future when you feel like nobody cares. I don't know what happened to those in your stories, but hopefully they found that light at the end of the tunnel.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      rtburroughs, best wishes to you my friend, and thank you for sharing your experience. It is important for people to hear stories like yours. I'm not sure how much good it does other than raise awareness, but at least that is something. Take care and hopefully things will turn around for you soon.

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