A few years ago I wrote an article on violence against homeless people to give you guys a glimpse of how homeless people are treated. Now I’m about to give you a true eye opener on this subject.
OK, now here is the ice-breaker. No one wakes up in the morning and says “I want to be homeless,” or “I wonder what homelessness is really like,” or “I wonder how people are gonna treat me while I’m homeless?” No one does. And it’s a shame how modern-day housed people can sit there and have malice in their hearts toward homeless people.
See, homelessness is not by choice, and everyone who is homeless has a different story on how they became homeless.
So, let me ask you this question: Is it right for a housed person to downgrade, belittle, better yet inflict bodily harm on a homeless individual? I asked 100 people this same question, and most of them said “no, it’s not right, and something has to be done.” Some said the violence is because of the situation, and the last of them said they didn’t want to comment. See every day a homeless person is getting hurt mentally, emotionally, physically, and nothing is being done for or about it.
See, what people fail to realize is that being homeless has its downfalls: worrying about your belongings, safety and well-being. The last thing homeless people should need to worry about is violence inflicted upon them. I know a lot of people who are homeless, and the majority of them have had some types of violence inflicted upon them. Even those who have not personally experienced violence know someone who has, or has known someone who died because of violence against homeless people.
Whether people know it or not, violence of any kind impacts a lot of people and a community and family members. Some of the impacts are sometimes very little to extremely out of this world, such as emotional or physical stress, financial burden and psychological trauma. Family members stay up late nights worrying if their loved ones are being harmed or killed. That’s just a little thing about the downfalls.
And what hurts even more is when violence is done, the perpetrators are set free, or the violent act is brushed to the side without anyone noticing that it’s been done. Or better yet it becomes someone’s statistic.
Even though I’m housed now, I still interact with homeless people on a everyday basis. People come up to me crying their eyes out, asking me “when is this violence going to end towards us?” or saying “I’m done with this shit, I give up cuz nothing is being done about it.” For example, a lady not very long ago came up to me, telling me her husband of 20 years died from getting run over by a car while riding his bike. She had been on the phone with him when he was hit, and the last thing her husband said to her was that he loved her and to stay strong. It was a hit-and-run situation. I’ve found out the person who hit her husband was arrested on DUI charges and later released.
Another incident just recently was my situation, where someone who’s like a daughter to me came into my house and jumped on me for no reason. Now, I don’t feel safe in my spot, and I can’t sleep at night.
Now I’m going to ask the general public and the Board of Supervisors: “How can we come together as a community and help stop the violence towards the homeless?” How can we hold the past District Attorney responsible for his failure to take violence against homeless people seriously? And how can we educate the current District Attorney, so he doesn’t make the same mistakes? How can we make our community a safe place for homeless people and for everyone?
In closing, our community should be a safe place for everyone — including homeless people — to live, because you never know if it might be your loved one who’s next.