When visiting an urban area in the U.S. there is no way to avoid being confronted by the homeless, especially if, like me, you are awake & outside getting exercise early in the morning. These men (I’m sure there are homeless women as well, but I only saw men this time) were sleeping on the benches in open parks, on the steps leading to the aquarium, on the benches outside the church at Jackson Square, almost everywhere I looked, everywhere I walked there were homeless men.
With this number of homeless there was also the associated odors – unwashed bodies, urine, feces, vomit, garbage cans & sewage. Not my usual pleasant early morning walk environment. Was I frightened being so near these unwashed, unwell, unloved? No. I was struck by a heavy sadness. Mental illness & addiction go hand in hand with most homeless populations & after much thought & prayer I am no closer to a solution. Anyone who has dealt with mental illness or addiction understands at least a little bit that this is a nightmare.
My opinion – Homelessness is not an issue that can be solved by government edict, government programs or more tax dollars…
I took no photos of this all-to-familiar scenes. That would have been disrespectful to these who experience so little respect in their lives.