"A little compassion?" Beggars / Panhandlers / Homeless Tip by Smallu

I've lived in Seattle my entire life, and as a small girl who doesn't carry a weapon of any kind, I have always felt safe walking in Seattle anywhere after dark. Homeless people in this city are not dangerous, but they have needs. That is why they ask for money. Many if not most of these individual suffer from mental illness, that is why some of them can get belligerant. MAny of them are addicted to drugs, or are otherwise unemployable -- skillless, undereducated, without a picture ID (ever tried to get a driver's license when you don't have access to a car?), unshowered, with no permanent residence. Now, the homelessness issue is a huge problem in Seattle, for us, but it is a bigger issue for them. If you really want to be constructive, don't cause unwarranted paranoia for tourists, write a letter to the city of Seattle's government and complain about how our undertrod citizens are not being provided the resources they need to get back into the work force. Do NOT criticize, blame, condemn, or otherwise judge people you don't know anything about. And give them a freaking dollar. It's nothing to you and everything to them. If the city isn't going to take care of them, then we have to. And if they go and buy booze with it, then maybe that's what they need to stay warm and to self-medicate against painful disabilities and the difficulties of living on the street. If you're not comfortable with that, then offer them your leftovers from the meal you just had out. Or offer to take them to the nearest coffee shop and get them a coffee. Offer them your coat. These are not the scum of the earth, people. They are human beings just like you and me. You and I could be one mental breakdown or one layoff away from being on the streets. If you have a heart and/or a soul, pick up a book ("Crazy" by Pete Earley or "Shelter Blues" by Robert Desjarlais) about the issue and actually try to put yourself in someone else's disadvantaged shoes. And then, after getting informed, maybe take some constructive action.

Website: http://www.realchangenews.org/

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Dec 8, 2007
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