We Shouldn’t Have To Live Like This
Reposted from Minnesota Public Radio
If aging is not for sissies, that’s especially true if you’re homeless. You can be on your feet for hours, or forced to sleep in the frigid cold or seriously ill with no place to go. But, increasingly, the nation’s homeless population is getting older. By some estimates, more than half of single homeless adults are 47 or older.
And there’s growing alarm about what this means — both for the aging homeless and for those who have to foot the bill. The cost to society, especially for health care and social services, could mushroom.
As in many cities across the country, there are plenty of homeless people in Baltimore, Md., — about 4,000 by the latest count. In the early morning hours, dozens of bundled-up men, carrying backpacks and duffle bags, emerge from an unmarked door next to a parking garage downtown. This is the city’s overflow homeless shelter for men, and the residents need to be out by 5 a.m., before office workers start to arrive downtown for the day. READ MORE
The images of the savvy street urchin, Gavroche, in Les Misérables, still haunt me long after leaving the theatre. The 12-year-old boy had such a captivating personality that even the harsh inspector Javert was moved to pin his own medal to the boy’s chest after the child was gunned down. Moving also is the story of Jean Valjean who raises the orphaned Cosette with love and good care even while he is constantly haunted by his past.
These kids were the imagination of Victor Hugo and made famous in one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. A story both of the terrible conditions people lived in and the heroism of good people intervening to improve the lives of perfect strangers. READ MORE