I want to talk about the people that we avoid talking about. The people we avoid making eye contact with when we’re at a stop light or walking down the street.
Homeless people are painfully visible, especially in Baltimore, but when we see them what can we do? We might give them some money, offer to buy them food, or avoid eye contact and ignore them completely. It’s jarring, to see someone in need of help and nothing being done. To see people pass by and ignore them. To feel unable to do anything, or even like they don’t deserve any help to begin with. I think about the ways we make sense of the homeless in order to carry on with our days and avoid that feeling in the back of our minds— that something is seriously wrong, that things should not be this way. I feel enormously guilty of my position in society, one that I came into out of sheer luck, and honestly a string of bad circumstances could find me or anyone without a home. Homeless people are left economically disenfranchised by society, but there is a moral stigma attached to homelessness, as if existing as such is a punishment one deserves for personal failings. I can’t generalize why people are homeless, but I don’t think that anyone deserves to be left on the fringes of society like that. The problem is I really don’t know what to do. It’s such a large problem and I feel so small in comparison. I guess the best I can do is try to help the people I see in my daily life, but I want to do more than that. I don’t think that anyone should be homeless.