A reader writes:
Ever want to understand what a homeless person endures? Dress up like a transient and walk around downtown Seattle. People go out of their way to avoid you. Women clutch onto their purses as you walk by. Street thugs hassle you. You get treated like a dog. You feel as if you could be a victim of violence at any given moment. Not to mention the obvious of being hungry, cold, lonely etc. Could you imagine living like this for several months, years or a lifetime?
People that are kind to the homeless are found in the strangest places. The young kid that makes peanuts flipping burgers at Dick’s (Broadway) or the grocery clerk at Safeway (U-District). But mostly, the people that look out for homeless are other homeless or formerly homeless people.
It’s hard to understand the plight of the homeless until “you’ve walked a mile in his shoes”.
Please consider choosing one person who shares our public spaces but is roped off from mainstream life by homelessness, and meet in a cafe weekly for coffee and conversation. Ways to get started are tabbed above. Thanks!