Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Homeless

I used to think I saw homeless people all the time in OKC.  I would say on average I saw somebody on the streets maybe once a week.  Maybe.  Of course, that was OKC and this is NYC.  Now, if there is a day when I don’t see a homeless person, it’s because I didn’t leave my apartment that day.  If a day goes by where I only see ONE homeless person, it’s because I got 100 feet outside of my apartment and decided to go back and stay inside the rest of the day. 

That being said, here are some truths I’ve learned about homeless people.

1) They have names.  This one for me is the hardest to come to grips with.  It’s easy to keep going when it’s “The guy on Penn with the sign” or “Corner guy on Broadway”.  When you find out that his name is Javier or Kevin and realize that somebody named him long before he became a homeless guy on the corner, that’s when you have to actually reevaluate life.

2) Very patient.  It makes sense, I mean, they have nothing to do?  It’s hard to imagine a patient person in this city sometimes but they find a way to do it.

3) Humble.  They don’t care if you ignore them, they don’t care if they beg their hearts out and you turn a cold shoulder, they probably wouldn’t even care if you threw your shoulder into them walking by.  Actually, the only times I’ve EVER heard “have a nice day” in the city of New York (outside of church) is from the homeless guy outside of the corner store every time someone walks by him. 

4) They do stuff other than beg.  This is a new revelation actually.  I talk to this guy probably every other day that sits on the corner and I just recently found out that he plays tackle football in the park.  “Gotta show these young kids what’s up!”  Kind of embarrassed that I don’t know his name yet, but I’m sure I will soon.

There are more things I’ve learned but I’ll stop there.  Basically, I just want to say that if you don’t know a homeless person, you’re missing out.  If you’re moving here soon, here’s the deal…you’ve got no reason to fear the homeless, trust me.  And don’t be afraid to step out a little, I promise it’ll be worth it.

1 comment:

Amber said...

LOVE this post Leighton, way to carry on the Honduran tradition.