In case you were not aware, today is Homeless Memorial Day. At first I kind of laughed when I heard Tom Leykis talking about it a few days ago, but then I actually looked it up and sure enough, December 21st has been declared to be Homeless Memorial Day. According to the article, because this day is the first day of winter (and therefore the longest night of the year), we’re supposed to be honoring those that having ‘fallen’ in the name of homelessness. Now, call me a jerk if you want, but doesn’t honoring the death of any group of people rank up there with fallen soldiers, fallen victims from natural disasters, fallen victims from war and/or terrorist attacks? If so, do we really want to do that? In some crazy way, doesn’t it detract from and diminish the ‘honor’ from these other innocent victims?
I’m just playing the Devil’s advocate here simply because I’m not too sure how I feel about this. I mean, it’s not like we’re making a Federal holiday or erecting a stone memorial in Washington D.C. or anything.
Anyway, if you read the article, it talks about what this day means. At first glance, you might think we’re just having a day of rememberance (as if we could forget everytime we get off the freeway) for these unlucky souls walking the streets day in and day out, but it seems that it’s slightly more than that. It happens to be about remembering that a lot of homeless people die each year.
I guess it’s hard to relate because now that the economy has taken a dive, some of these people might just be out of a job and after losing all they had in a degrading stock market, this might be their only option. So now we have a mixed group of people; you have dirty crack heads that talk to themselves, starving families living in cars, drug dealers that blow all their profits on more drugs, newly homeless people due to the economy and crazy people that with more aid from the state would likely be in an asylum. That brings me to another point. Sometime in the 70’s, the governer of California (Reagan I think) thought that locking people up in crazy houses was not only costly, but possible in-humane. By the way, the movie One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest is an awesome film!
So we decided to let them all go out into the world and fend for themselves. This is likely the cause of a huge percentage of homeless people on the streets today. With that said, the question is what do we do about it (if anything) and who do you give your spare change to?
It’s easy for us to just keep our money and say if they weren’t so lazy, they could get a job, but maybe there’s other reasons why they can’t that you can’t see. I for one will admit that I don’t give out money to these people. The main reason is I hardly use cash anymore, but also because I, like most of us out there, feel that these people will just go out and buy drugs or alcohol with it. Is that really fair to say though?
Again, I’m not going one way or the other on this, but I posted this just to let you know what day it is today. Happy Bum day!
Here’s an article for further reading. [Link was removed because the source was no longer available.]