"It was a natural curiosity for me too. I wanted to
know how the homeless became homeless. What
broke in our vast system of public assistance to
allow Americans to become so poor they lived
|"You see, Michael, the homeless have no voice.
listens, no one cares, and they expect no one to help them.
so when they try to use the phone to get benefits due them,
they get nowhere. They are put on hold, permanently.
Their calls are never returned. They have no address.
The bureaucrats don't care, and so they screw the very people they're supposed to help."
"They rarely go straight to the shelters. At first, they'll go to their families, then friends. The strain is
enormous because their families and friends also have subsidized housing, and their leases restrict
the number of people who can live in one unit. They're forced to violate their leases, which can lead
to eviction. They move around, sometimes they leave a kid with this sister and a kid with that friend.
Things go from bad to worse. A lot of homeless people are afraid of the shelters, and they are
desperate to avoid them...Not all shelters are good. There have been assaults, robberies, even
Take a guy living on the streets, in and out of shelters, working somewhere for minimum wage,
trying his best to step up and become self-sufficient. Then gets arrested for sleeping under a
bridge. He does not want to be sleeping under a bridge, but everybody's got to sleep somewhere.
He's guilty because the city council, in its brilliance, has made it a crime to be homeless...
"Wouldn't they be better off in jail?"
"Have you been to jail lately?"
"Don't go. Cops are not trained to deal with the homeless, especially the mentally ill and the
addicts. The jails are overcrowded. The criminal justice system is a nightmare to begin with,
and persecuting the homeless only clogs it more. And here's the asinine part: It cost twenty-five
percent more per day to keep a person in jail than to provide shelter, food, transportation, and
"TRUTH IS LIKE A TORCH... FROM IT WE SHIELD OUR EYES
FOR FEAR OF BEING BURNED"
in the sand
In Their Own Words
Poems and words from the streets
Sins of the Fathers
The Throwaway Child
What happened in Houston?
Down and out in L.A.
an ongoing saga of the homeless
Foster Lack of Care
to your right and
down and out
in Los Angeles