Not too many people pay attention to the homeless people. Usually they try not to make eye contact as if they’re Medusa and they’ll turn you to stone if you look. Some people look at them in disgust and think that they’re faking the homeless status. And then there are people who avoid them by walking across the street or something.
I’d have to say that I’m one of the people who avoid homeless people. I don’t avoid them because they smell or anything. I just avoid them because I don’t like to tell them “No.” I wish I could help some of them out by buying them food but I barely have enough for myself.
I used to be one of those people who give to homeless people when I can but unfortunately, things happen and I stopped. I don’t know what they’re going to use the money for and I don’t trust them enough to know that they’ll put it to good use.
When I worked at the library, a lot of the homeless people were using the library as a hotel. They would come there to sleep and it was security’s job to wake them up. From what I was told, we had to wake them up to make sure they were still alive. Apparently, an old homeless guy passed away while he was sleeping in the library so they’re using that excuse to make sure no one is allowed to sleep in the library anymore.
I saw a lot of things when I worked at the library and it unfortunate for the homeless people to be in the situation that they are in. And it’s really unfortunate that I’ve seen too many of them drunk out of their minds. Some of them aren’t even drinking alcohol. They’re drinking Scope. They’d be piss drink but their breath is minty fresh.
Because of what I’ve seen at the library, I don’t help out the homeless people as much as I used to. I assume that some of them were down on their luck and had to resort to living on the streets. And I wished that the city would do something to help them but unfortunately, they can’t do much to help because the funding isn’t there.
Often times, I feel sympathetic towards the homeless people because it gets pretty damn cold in the winter. Sometimes I see a homeless in the summer and then see him the following summer and wondered how he made it through the winter. They’re pretty resourceful if they can make it through Canadian winters.
Down the street from my house is a black homeless guy that likes to hang out in front of the Shoppers Drugmart and RoyalBank. He’s clothes are all dirty, he’s missing a few teeth and I think something’s wrong with his eye. When he’s outside of the store, he looks at you and asks for change. I could be an ass and tell him, “If you want change, go to America” but I be nice about it and tell him “No.” And I’m not lying when I tell him I don’t have change because I don’t. I use the Interac machine everywhere I go so I don’t have to carry change.
There was one time when he caught me when I was coming out of the bank. I went in to withdraw money from the machine. Usually I avoid going to the machine if I see him around because I don’t like to tell him “No.” And because he has a way of phrasing a question that makes you feel a little guilty. So when he saw me coming out, he asked, “Could you break a $20 and spare me some change for food?”
I’d have to admit, that was a pretty clever way of phrasing the question. Because on one hand, you probably did have a $20 on you since the machine only dispense $20 bills. And on the other hand, you do feel a little guilty telling him no when you probably could spare a bit of change. And because of that question, I avoid him completely.
There were times when he did catch me going into the bank and I guess he’d run across the street in time to catch me coming out. But during those times, I honestly couldn’t help him. I needed the money for rent. I still feel bad for not helping him out but I just couldn’t afford it. So maybe in a way, I’m a bad person for not lending a hand. But I can’t help someone else when I can’t even help myself. I know it might sound a little greedy in a way but during these hard economical times, everyone’s trying to save a penny.