Not in that particular order. Those adjectives, I mean.
Did you know that homeless people sleeping in your carport is “A Thing”? Neither did I!
I live on the end of a long block, and it ends on a cul-de-sac. That’s a dead-end. There’s no outlet. So there’s not a lot of foot traffic here. You come down the street if you live here or if you need to see someone who lives here or your connect stays here. (Dealer? Who calls them “dealers”? Narcs and lops and people who don’t use drugs because they’re good and clean and wholesome and sane and saved, that’s who.) You do your business and leave.
My neighbors’ granddaughter found some people nestled up against her car in the carport one night, asleep. She’s in college and a cute young thing of about 19, and it shook her up. I think anyone else who lives here would have been all, “Whoa, that shouldn’t be,” or “Get the fuck outta here, you bums!” or “Call the policcccce.”
The landlord has trimmed the shrubbery and put in higher voltage lights around the place so we can see better. The theory is this will drive Them away, the terrifying homeless, that it was the darkness that attracted Them. But the whole thing is just weird. Why on earth would anyone choose here? I mean, you’re unlikely to get fucked with at night here, but how would you choose this place? How would you scope it out? No one’s taken my recycling that I’ve noticed (I would never call it stealing–take the fucking cans, I’m not using them. I was after the contents all along). No one’s going through the dumpster.
No one steals the mail when the postal carrier gets bored looking at the letters at the end of the addresses and just stuffs them in different boxes willy-nilly, so they get left on top of the box. This happens often. Checking your mail is like a game! I think he has terrible ennui. What is an address? What is the difference between an A and a B anyways? What would make someone end up in one apartment instead of another? What choices have I made that I ended up as a postal carrier instead of a fireman? What have I done with my life? What will happen to me when I die? Will anyone miss me? Will anyone miss this magazine? As a result, the mail is misdelivered. There have been checks on top of that mailbox before. I know because one was mine for a couple thousand dollars. (Everyone rush to Seer’s house and steal the mail!)
Everyone I’ve told this to–the tale of the sleeping people–has been dumbfounded and saddened. Everyone except one.
“I’m never going to get out of the ghetto,” Ginger said when she phoned me today. Ginger has accidentally jogged through a puddle of blood in her neighborhood. Her neighborhood is way worse than mine. At least my building is an island of fineness is a sea of not okay.
“No, someday we’ll get out. We will.” I say this until I believe it.
“I need to just accept it. Wait: helicopter going overhead,” she paused. “Circling–and gone. I need to just accept it. This is where I belong.”
“No, someday we’ll get out. To the suburbs, or the city. Someplace with chocolate shops. Where you don’t find homeless people sleeping in your carport.”
“Don’t you fucking hate that? It’s sad, but don’t you hate that? Why is it you have to sleep on the concrete island under the bumper of my car? Why there?”
I didn’t know this was “A Thing.” Apparently in Ginger’s hood, this place is a cement island in the middle of a busy street with parking spaces. Winos meet and hobnob here, and camp out under the cars at night with cardboard in front of them to protect them from the elements.
Really, we need to do something, guys. This is no way for people, for human beings, to fucking be living. Yeah, it’s sad, and a nuisance, and scary, and weird for me, but this shouldn’t be someone’s–anyone’s–lifestyle. Jesus. Imagine if the best you could do for the night was get under the front of a car, or between some aluminum and a car door on the ground. I mean, these are people with hopes and dreams and lives. They deserve to live with some fucking dignity. Jesus.
Translate this into action: so I found a site that evaluates charities. You might want to plug “homelessness” in and look and see if there are any worthwhile charities near you that you could kick down to. It’s only for the US, though. They have a whole long bit on their site for their methodology, and the kind of sites they evaluate.
Here’s one for the United Kingdom.
Here’s one for Canada.
Here’s one for Sweden.
Here’s one for Israel.
Yeah, I don’t think you-all are immune. Homeless people, in my carport? It’s more common than you think. It’s the future–unless we act now.