Homeless in America


This photo was taken 03/19/2011 in downtown Tampa FL.  The temperature then was about the same as today’s, in my part of Washington State, 53°F. 

I chose to post this picture today because of an incident which took place just outside my backyard this morning. 

You see I share an alley with a few local businesses and homeowners.  One such business is a main street accountant.  Behind his non occupied business home is a detached carport, with two covered sides.

This morning I heard him screech his tires when entering the carport, then shifting aggressively into reverse to park outside his carport.  Once he exited his Lexus, in the course of 20 seconds he shouted at the sleeping man, in the corner under a blanket, with at least 10 “f” bombs.

I later checked the sleeping spot, there was no urine or trash.  I am not saying the homeless person was in the right, I’m only pointing out the severe lack of compassion of the owner for what seemingly was only an inconvenience to him.

There are over 8 million people in our country one paycheck away from being in the streets, yet we forget our blessings and look upon these people as less than human.

About a year ago, the city of Saint Petersburg FL put into place a city ordinance prohibiting any type of soliciting on city streets.  Most likely prompted by several of the wealthy residents not wanting to look at someone dirty outside their car.  The side affect of this ordinance was no newspaper sales, no muscular dystrophy collections, no recognized charity could ask for donations.  All under the guise of public safety.  It wasn’t long before Tampa enacted something similar.

Why do we have the compassion to pull over to help an injured dog, yet berate and devalue a fellow human being?  Is it we make assumptions that we know all homeless are less than us? Nobody can know for certain what any other person’s life’s challenges have been, yet we still judge. 

Shame on this owner, he easily could have told the man, “It’s time to get up and move along.”. 

I apologize for the rant, through God’s graces I’ve never been homeless, although I seem to recall, Jesus was.

Mark 12:30-31 – And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

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