The Homeless - Have you ever met one?

During my two years of full-time service in the Orange County area, I ran into a lot of people that might not have been on my "People to meet" list. Then during the two years that I took the bus to school (because UCI students get free bus passes :) I quietly observed the other bus frequenters, usually those who don't qualify for a drivers license. Many of the individuals I met and observed during this four-year period were homeless. Those whom I did get a chance to speak with showed me a sense of determination that impressed me. It sometimes seems like the general sentiment in this area is that these "lazy bums just need to get up and find a job" but many of them can't. Recently, I was riding my bike home from work, and as I turned a corner I saw two men in each others face at an intersection. Suddenly, as I approached, one man pushed the other man hard into the road (luckily no cars were coming) and started cussing at him and kicking him. I had to swerve to avoid the fallen man, and was too stunned to stop and do something. Down the road I stopped, waited for the assailant to leave and turned around to help the man who was still laying in the road. Once he got on his feet and put his glasses on, I asked him where he was going - he came up close to me, much like he did with the other man, and just started crying. After several minutes of trying to talk to this man, I realized that he has difficulty talking, probably due to a speech disorder. He stands close because he can't see well. Finally, he turned to leave without a word. As I rode home, I realized that some people are on the street because they've been pushed there, just like that other mean guy pushed him into the road.

I read an article today that brought my memories about homeless people to surface again. It illustrates the systematic inconsistencies that result in the postponement or failure of any major effort to help the homeless.

She could rock the house -- if she had one

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travel log
  • 02.13.08 - to the temple with Luan and his mom, good to be back
  • 02.14.08 - Mẫu's alive! and staying for the weekend
  • 02.15.08 - floor hockey and Thái food makes for some strange dreams
  • 02.17.08 - frisbee and swamp monster at the park: fun but I'm pooped!
  • 02.19.08 - just read Triết's response to my last post - game on!
  • 02.20.08 - raining and expected to continue through Sunday - thank goodness!
  • 02.21.08 - 3-hour nap is a bad idea right before bed
  • 02.23.08 - to the beach to watch kites, a baptism @ 5pm, and homemade bulgogi - what a day!
  • 02.25.08 - just gave myself a haircut - woo, cold head!
  • 02.26.08 - 75° and spring cleaning - couldn't feel better
  • 02.27.08 - fed the elders bún đậu tonight - think it's their first time
  • 03.01.08 - working on new background...
  • 03.02.08 - finalized javascript to change background without muffing up my other scripts
  • 03.03.08 - fhe: "In his strength I can do all things" (Alma 26:12)
  • 03.07.08 - some decisions are harder than others, but some are downright excruciating
  • 03.08.08 - there is life after work... i almost forgot
  • 03.11.08 - the distance between good and bad is much shorter than between better and best
  • 03.12.08 - conversion is sometimes a gradual process, so much so that we don't even notice
  • 03.14.08 - for some reason everything was a little harder today, looking forward for bed!
  • 03.15.08 - last night after blog reading, I missed OnlyBlue, today I find she's back
  • 03.16.08 - best day of my life!
  • 03.19.08 - "Pray for the answer that they've been looking for"
release notes v1.0 - FINALLY DONE!
  • 12.07 - first thought of starting a new blog
  • 01.08 - busy with election stuff but blog design still on back burner
  • 01.13.08 - first idea to imitate jk rowling with the "desk" theme
  • 01.28.08 - start sketching current design, breaking down development into phases
  • 02.02.08 - election only days away but still drafting final plans
  • 02.04.08 - v0.6 LAUNCH
    • main components (blog body, sidebar, header, etc) designed and implemented
    • styling for font, links, drop caps, etc. finished
  • 02.07.08 - v0.8 LAUNCH
    • image style to imitate polariod
    • moveability - post-it notes and static clings can be repositioned by drag and drop
    • release notes styled and written
  • 02.16.08 - travel log (beta) added in hopes of catching the mundane
  • 02.22.08 - lightbox 2.03 reinstalled and working fine (hopefully - let me know otherwise)
  • 02.26.08 - v0.9 LAUNCH
    • travel log seems to be working, so I'll keep it
    • lightbox also seems to have passed the test, so it's a keeper
    • some credits/info added to bottom (will expand)
    • keeping old Viet terms in archive for future viewing
  • 03.18.08 - v1.0 LAUNCH
    • installation and testing of time-sensitive background completed (for now)