I worry about our many homeless citizens. With the growing economy problems, we are seeing a rapid increase of homeless people. Downtown Indy we have always seen the homeless men, but recently the number of women have increased in our area.
It is cold here in Indianapolis during this time of year. I can't even imagine facing this cold without a warm home. We have four season here. With that, we get rainy Springs, hot & humid Summers, colorful but crisp Autumns, sometimes with cold rains, and our Winters are very cold, windy and snowy.
The line is long in the morning, people waiting to get into Horizon Homeless Shelter. Hoping for a warm meal, a place to sit down and get warm, an encouraging word or perhaps some hope. At this homeless shelter I rarely see children. It's hard to tell the men from the women, as the stand in the cold covering up. As I get closer to this shelter, I see several people walking over, to stand in the line. Some are carrying coffee from the Hardee's restaurant across the street. I get stopped at the light here every day. I see these bodies, but they never look up at me.
During the day, downtown is a different story. I see at least three, sometimes several more, on the same corners. There is the colorful musician playing his horn, by the very elite Conrad Hotel. It's a busy corner leading to the Mall, Bank and more. He seems to fare well there. Across from him is a friendly fellow always asking for change. He shares this corner with a quiet elderly man that has a stuffed animal Puppy on a leash. He sits there with his sign & jar for change. Closer to my office is a woman that doesn't seem to be able to make up her mind what her story is. She alternates signs from "Homeless Mother", to "Homeless and Deaf". She is the only one that irritates me as she is very much not deaf, and I have yet to see her children. By my Bank is the man shaking his change box telling everyone Bless you & have a good day. Roaming around, there is a very scary mean guy that seems to be high or just very chemically imbalanced, all the time. He will follow, intimidate & spit at you. NEVER make eye contact with this fellow! There is the large man that seems to be sleeping off a rough night every morning, this one actually makes me tear up and pray for him daily. The old man with yellow eyes and the longest dirtiest dreadlocks I have ever seen, just walking through the city. Then the poor guy that smells of urine, near our Steak & Shake.
I pray for them all.
I don't give them money. I can't. Although I am very much in a better situation than they, I don't have any spare currently. Also, unfortunately, it's much like the stray animal that you start to feed, they then expect it, next thing you know you have a new family member. Sergio has put up with a lot of stray animals that I have brought home, I am sure he'd put his foot down if I tried to bring home a stray person.
I also am that person that constantly give to the person standing at the intersections or store fronts. It is easier to give to them. It is not as daily nor do they really see me.
I know in my heart that it does not matter how they got there. Some have truly ran a very rough life. Some may have started as a run-away. Some (several) have mental disabilities and without proper health care can not help themselves. Oh, and I am not forgetting the other. The ones that are refereed to as the BUM, the DRUNK, or the DRUGGY. They are there too. But, regardless, they are in a worst situation than I.
Who am I to pass judgement?
I am no better, just more fortunate.