As the title says, homelessness does not equal laziness. Last month I took part in a student protest against the discrimination against the homeless. I’m not talking about walking by without giving money, or passive things like that, but I’m talking about the active aggression some people show towards homeless people.
One time I was sitting in Starbucks coding a program for an assignment, when I noticed an older homeless man outside. It was the dead of winter, freezing outside, so I bought him a venti dark roast and took it to him. What happened next surprised me, but I am so happy it did.
The man came in to Starbucks with me and joined me at my table to drink his coffee. Instantly the baristas were on high alert, and I could tell they weren’t happy that he was there. But he told me some of his story about how he ended up homeless – he had a child at a young age who died before turning two, leading him to sell his business to get away from the town and the memories. “Selling my business was the worst decision I ever made,” he said sadly.
People often assume homeless people are bad people, or scary people, or drug addicts and alcoholics, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes they are just people who have got the rough end of the stick one too many times. It does not mean they’re lazy.