How to See Homelessness and Homeless Persons with Dignity
A Man of Dignity Without a Home
How Do You See Homeless People?
The way you view a homeless person depends on your assumptions about his or her situation.
Your values, religious beliefs, your political persuasions, socioeconomic status and work ethics are directly related to how your form those assumptions.
Even your stereotypes about culture, gender roles, and perhaps, race influence how you perceive the homeless.
The next time you pass by a homeless man or woman on the street, try to remove all assumptions, values, beliefs, and stereotypes from your mind and see a person who was born a child of God with humanity and dignity.
The following poems attempt to give perspective on how we can view homeless persons differently.
Flocking in from the early morning cold
for a place to meet and greet.
Bringing stories and histories untold,
they find comfort in a table and a seat.
Their lives have dignity and pride
Stuffed in duffel bags.
The shame and disgrace they hide
behind incomplete degrees and dog tags.
Lost men with hungry hearts,
Looking for meaning in a warm meal.
Food for the soul served from carts,
Comforts, sustains, and heals.
The nurtured souls of men now warm and layered,
Return to their lives strengthened with food, fellowship, and prayer.
Some Homeless Choose the Streets
"A Cure For All Seasons"
In the dead of winter we are sheltered;
Protected by the numbing sub-zero temperatures that shield
Us from feeling the bitter cold stares of the heartless.
In the searing summer heat, we are protected;
Screened by the baking degrees of the sun that shade
Us from the hot glares of those cooking under the collar.
The heartless and hot under the collar have no idea
The insensitivity that stings like wasps of summer
Nor the callousness that burns like the frostbite of winter.
Until they open their hearts to the medicinal effects of
Warm smiles on numbness, handshakes on frostbite, and twinkled eyes on bitter souls,
We will remain throughout all seasons with dignity.
One's Entire Life in a Backpack
Interaction with Homeless Persons
What type of contact have you had with homeless persons?
Treat the Homeless with Dignity
If you notice a positive change in your perception the next time you see a person on the street, think about what difference you could make to help the homeless.
No matter how small, directly or indirectly, every little bit helps. Whether it's donating clothing, blankets, food, money, time, or just saying "hello," see what you can do today.
You will be surprised by the response you get from needy persons when someone displays care and kindness to them. It makes them feel a little more human to be treated with dignity.
When I feed the homeless, it warms my heart when they say, 'thank you,' or offer a little change to pay for their meal.
Interact with the homeless by giving, and it will change your heart, too, not just during a specific time of year, but all year 'round.
Support Services for the Homeless
Questions & Answers
© 2013 Janis Leslie Evans