There has been a lot of talk lately about homeless people. I have been a volunteer at Hospitality House/Utah’s Place since October of 2005. I have seen many homeless people come and go. I have also volunteered with the biennial homeless count and interviewed homeless people who do not use the shelter.
The main thing I have learned over the years is that they are just people. I bet many of you have even encountered homeless people waiting on you at a restaurant, helping you at the local drug store, working hard at the local grocery store and fixing your cars. I know these people, and they are good people. It is so annoying to see others just lump humans into categories. You can’t say all homeless people are this or that. Sure, there are bad seeds, but there are bad seeds in all “groups” of humans. It isn’t the homeless as a group you don’t like, it is the behaviors of some homeless people. The same behaviors can be found in your neighbors, politicians, churches, friends, family and anywhere. It’s like saying that all people who carry a gun will kill or all young men wearing a hoodie will mug you. It’s insane.
I can’t recall many homeless people in the news for heinous crimes. It’s usually the guy next door whom everyone thought was so clean-cut and kind. There are great organizations out there helping homeless people get housing, and they need to keep on doing this. Please don’t disturb these wonderful people who are just trying to help their fellow humans. Instead, please concentrate on how to help the behavioral health of those who need it.