Street Life in New York City
Inspired by a post by Tiramit at Dhamma Footsteps…
Have seen the plight of the working poor in India, especially working women in films like Ankur,” and in many other Indian films. But it is not just India. It is everywhere. And it is not just the working poor.
The belongings of the first resident to set up camp near a seminary and a church
A block away from our apartment in New York City is a tiny campsite of homeless people. I think of them every morning at prayer. I wonder should I bring them food? Coffee? Meantime, in shame and shamefully, I cross the street to avoid walking into their bedroom. I feel for them especially when I am sick and think how horrible to be homeless when sick. But actually it is a daily horror. Only a scaffolding protects against the elements, the heat of summer and the bitter cold of winter. And know I could be there, too, if not for the grace of God. For these people are most likely unemployable. Most likely they are mentally ill, like me, only unlike me, unable to work because they are untreated and homeless. My husband, a retired psychiatric social worker had many homeless clients who could not work and could not get it together to get disability. These clients spoke of the horrors of homeless shelters and explained how living in the streets is preferable.
The residents of this little homeless camp seek refuge and food in the church across the street. As they huddle in comforters in winter and on the sidewalk in summer, I ponder their lot in life while we have our little lives, wrapped in middle class comforts.
And in the United States we have a candidate who speaks to the rascist and xenophobic of our country. To our shame to have even running. But he also speaks to the working poor who are failing despite working one, two and three jobs, to the people who would despise the people down the block because the residents are not working. And he promises his followers a better life. And they believe his fantastic lies. Such are among the many problems of having an underclass of the working poor.