Homelessness is something that we as students don’t think of that often, but the hard truth that we have to face is that there are more than 4,500 unsheltered or homeless people in Seattle, and 352 homeless in Auburn according to “The Seattle Times”.
Being homeless is difficult, and a person would think that it would be more difficult to talk about, but the homeless people at The Kent Library seem to offer their information and their story before being asked. I met two open, friendly, and humorous men; Mark-Anthony, and Ken R. I’m going to be completely honest before I interviewed them, I was terrified, and nervous. But once I started conversing with these people, I’ve never been more comfortable while talking to someone.
During our conversation Ken made many good points. I asked him what he does when he’s hungry and he replied, “Just because you’re homeless, doesn’t mean you go hungry. I get free food all the time, but most of the time it’s food I don’t like. But I still eat it.” His comment
opened my eyes, because before this interview I figured that all homeless people went hungry. But in all reality, some of them don’t. There are so many different churches, groups, and just genuinely nice people who give to the homeless. Ken also told me that every Wednesday a group of people come in a van, and bring them blankets, warm clothes, and food. This got me thinking. If so many people are willing to help the homeless, and give to them, then why is homelessness still a worldwide issue?
There are many people who reach out to the homeless, but one of the main things that they crave the most is attention, and knowing that someone out there cares. While donating to the homeless is nice, I think we can make a bigger impact by talking with them, and let them know that we do care. I feel that these people were so eager to talk to me, because they’re so lonely. While talking to them I noticed that some other homeless people passing by would stop and join the conversation, or listen for awhile.
People often walk past, avoid eye contact, and ignore homeless people. It is so simple to help a homeless person. You don’t need to give away your clothes, or give them food; you merely have to talk to them. Make them feel like they matter. Make them feel like they’re worth something. Don’t we all want that? Holidays are especially hard. Holidays should be about friends, and family. All you have to do to make a homeless person’s day is let them know that you care, by talking to them. It’s pretty easy. All you have to give up is your time.