First off, they never told me they were homeless and I never asked them. I just assumed.
Walking through America afforded me ample time and opportunity to meet lots of folks. Some of what I will refer to as “homeless” were in small towns, some beside the roads, but most were in large cities. Some had signs that spoke of different things, most did not have signs. Almost all of them standing at heavy traffic spots had signs.
I spoke with many and never had an unkind word or gesture given to me. I never asked any unnecessary questions. I knew my ability to make a difference in their life was slim. I gave them all a slight smile, respect and gave out a lot of $5 and $10 gift cards to Subway. I took a few to lunch or breakfast.
Since I was pushing a jogging stroller, most asked about what I was doing. I would tell them and every one of them seemed touched.
I noticed most of them had teeth that expressed the situation they were in. Clothes were in bad repair. In everyone of them I saw eyes of a human being.
A lot of them were Veterans, mostly of the Vietnam era.
Some cried. No laughter that I remember from any of them.
In Albuquerque one asked me if he could go with me. I fumbled for an answer and he finally told me he couldn’t make it that far.
Lots of hugs and handshakes from these folks.
I can still see some of the faces. I wonder about them.
I looked for a quote that may be good in this post. Maybe this one . . . . .
“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty.”