One Stop Poetry has a photo prompt on homelessness. I am not a poet, but I will try to get some words down. Because it happened to me, and it can happen to you.
It's easy to ignore the scruffy one, the one sitting smoking the butt of the cigarette that he found on the ground.
It's easy to ignore the noisy one, the one standing outside the shop, stopping you for change as you leave.
It's easy to ignore the loud one, the one screaming to sky, hoping that God hears him, because no one else is.
It's easy to ignore them, because you see them. Even if you try not too, they are there.
But there are the ones: too proud to beg, too proud to let themselves look like they are homeless, and too ashamed to let their friends know.
Some even have jobs, but instead of heading home every night to watch reality TV. They are cramped with their family in one bedroom of the family shelter or living in their car. Mother and Father and kids.
They bathe at the Y. They make excuses if someone wants to visit them. While others are buying too much junk for the Holidays, they have to tell the kids that Santa might not come.
They are not there because they abused drugs, they are not there because they ran. They are there because what they are paid cannot even get them a small apartment. Or the medical bills have wiped out all their funds. Or they lost their home and there are no jobs.
You can't ignore them, because they do not want to be seen with the scruffy, noisy, and loud ones. They want to just have a stable place to call their own. A place where their kids can have friends over. It doesn't have to be a mansion, just a place to hall home.