Thursday, January 15, 2009

Door Into Summer

A Very Chilly Good Afternoon;
It is colder than.....I could go on and on but in the name of P.C. I'll leave it at that. Yes it is going to be in the single digit range tonight, with wind chills at ZERO!! I hate cold weather, but at least I should be safe enough and warm enough, with a couple layers of clothes and sweats and socks, and the '0 degree' sleeping bag. I really feel for those who are not so lucky, and are in dangerous circumstances due to a combination of the weather and their own mental demons, which cause them to stay away from the shelters and emergency "warming" centers set up by the city. Although I too choose to avoid the shelter system, I am aware of the reasons I do so and if push comes to shove, rather than die I WILL go to a shelter.
There was a column in the "Baltimore Sunpapers" today in the YOU section by Kevin Cowherd that was both humorous and quite on the mark regarding panhandling and peoples reactions to same. He started out by noting how some of those on the corners asking for help/money were being displaced by vendors/hawkers selling Raven's souvenirs. He then commented on the fact that peoples reactions to the homeless varied from the blind to the annoyed and angry, in the most part, with some accusing us of working a 'scam' to separate them from their money. As he goes on to say, much more eloquently than I am here, out on a corner in the rain, cold, snow, and extremes of heat and humidity, for a dollar or a couple of coins????, if I was working a scam I would be in better environmental conditions and looking for a much better return!!!!....(see his column..1/15/09). Anyway...THANKS Kevin!! One other reaction is the (usually) white, male, mid-twenties, redneck, drinking and driving type who helpfully shouts out things like "Get a job you bum", (ignoring the reality of the highest unemployment rate in decades, and the current spate of layoffs in all fields),( and the simple fact that many of us out there are simply physically, emotionally, and mentally unable to do what work is out there, not to mention unskilled or unqualified) or "you're too clean to be homeless". I'm gonna publish this now and hope I get more computer time later and add some more thoughts.........Dave

1 comment:

Neil R said...

Dave, I haven't been in Starbucks for a while and don't know if I'll get there this Sunday. I just want you to know that for what it's worth I've been thinking about you in this miserable weather. I very much admire that you are working so hard to get your life back together. You are in my prayers and I also keep thinking of ways to help you that I can. For now, I hope a little conversation and the knowledge that others are thinking of you helps. Hang on. Better times are coming. It sounds like you've already gotten through the worst. And when you are time, think of that beautiful little girl you introduced me to a few weeks ago.