Now here’s a topic you don’t hear a great deal in the news about.  What?  You say it isn’t so in the good ole US of A.  All I see is the advertisements on television about feeding children in Africa you say.

Let’s get realistic now.  Homelessness is growing in the United States.  In the city in which I am currently homeless, there are over 3,000 like souls.  Yes, I said 3K.  Granted that isn’t homeless people just from here but  it accounts for those passing through as well.  You ask, “Passing through.”  Why yes.  This town is a way station of known repute for the homeless who travel up and down the east coast.

I’ve met people from as far north as Massachusetts all the way south to southern Florida here on the streets.  I’ve asked many their story and a lot of it is either total crap or it’s heart wrenching.  Each party, including myself, has his or her own reason.  Some are drug related, others are alcohol related, and some like me just are tired of working for a wage that will NOT keep you off the street.  That last statement is interesting as it’s prevalent here in South Carolina.  More on that in another entry.

Being homeless is an interesting life.  In many ways, I feel like a herd animal.  Yes, like cows.  When I’m not doing something along the lines of finding work, I’m going from place to place for food and clothing.  Many a times I’ve stood in long lines for both.  Lines you say.  Think Walmart or for those that have seen films of the Great Depression of the 30’s soup lines.

Oh we even have one of those here in Columbia.  It’s called the Soup Cellar.  A local church runs the place.  The homeless go there and get soup and two sandwiches (one is always PB&J) as well as whatever else is available along with all the ice tea you can drink.  Yes, seconds are available on soup.  Seconds on sandwiches is another story altogether.

There are other places to eat here and other organizations who feed the homeless and help cloth them when they have the availability.  Most of these organizations are church run.  Some require you to attend a service (chapel as one place calls it) or just listen to a short prayer.

Shelters are another sore spot I’ll address in a different posting.  Suffice it  to say that the locals here have made a cottage industry surrounding the homeless and still bitch about us being on the streets.  More on eating and shelters in the next post.


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