Labels: ban on feeding the homeless, helping the homeless, Homeless in NYC, New York homeless people
I know I'm not the only one that has noticed the amount of homeless people living in the street. As I walk through NYC amidst the crowds, I can't help but observe how we interact with people living on the streets. At what point did we, as a culture make a decision to tune out those genuinely in need?
The hard thing about life is that anyone could end up on the streets for countless reasons...whether it's having had a negative experience in the current recession or being caught up in the disease of addiction. Even a nervous breakdown can spiral any one of our lives to the point where we feel we have no hope or control. What we fail to realize is that these people who we ignore are someone's child, parent, brother, or sister. Would we like our loved one to be ignored if they were calling out for help?
Personally speaking, I am willing to admit that I too was at the point emotionally where I could have been in this situation. Luckily for me I have family and friends that I was able to turn to for support. What if I wasn't so fortunate? Where would I be today?
Reflecting on this, next time you see a homeless person...would you stop to help or would you judge these real-life stories by their covers?
The important question though, isn't how they got to the streets, but since they are on the streets, how can you help them? I know some of us have had negative interactions when offering help, but it's only a small percentage. Most of the time, we've had luck in extending a warm sandwich, a coat in the cold winter, or a hot coffee. Sometimes just the act of concern can spark someone's trust in humanity once again.