Homeless morning, pre-breakfast

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2007/08/homelessstsuff-thumb.jpgTook my usual ride this morning, and spotted this.

My birthday today put me in a customarily introspective mood, so on seeing this, I thought, “There, but for the grace of God …”

Half of me was glad that I don’t sleep in the L.A. river wash, wear cast-off clothes and eat day-old baked goods. I have a good family, a nice home, and a computer for sharing brainless natterings with strangers.

The other half of me wondered who the owner of the clothes and food is, where his family went, what became of his nice home, and how those leftover muffins will taste this morning when the pigeons and rats are done with it.

Be glad for what you have, all. And think how you can help those who haven’t.

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4 Replies to “Homeless morning, pre-breakfast”

  1. Mack,

    Happy Birthday!

    Germane to your post, many b/la readers may not be aware of our regional 2-1-1 system.

    Formerly known as INFOLINE and long accessible via a toll-free phone number (800-339-6993) which remains active, the service can now also be contacted without charge via the easy to remember 2-1-1.

    Persons who have long-term or sudden health or human service needs, such as being in social or mental crisis, or in need of shelter, food or health care can access the service around the clock any day of the year. Personal assistance is offered in any language and there is no charge.

    So… the next time you are approached by a person who ‘just needs bus fare’ or ‘money to buy a meal’, politely tell them to call 2-1-1 (which also works without coins from any of the decreasing number of payphones). More information about our local 2-1-1 system can be found at:

    http://211LA.org

    Again Mack, Happy Birthday!

    Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

    Brian Humphrey
    Firefighter/Specialist
    Public Service Officer
    Los Angeles Fire Department

  2. Hey, Brian – thanks very much for the kind words. But thank you even more so for the useful info on 211.

    Listen folks – the safety net for people who’ve given up on society, or vice versa in some cases – is pretty damn thin, but it’s broad because homelessness is a bafflingly complex problem that defies simple solutions.

    211 is a starting point for anyone who’s gotten that lost and wants to find a way back but doesn’t quite know how or where to begin.

    Thanks to Brian for pointing it out. Keep it in mind; 2-1-1. Maybe you’ll meet someone this week who could use it.

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