Homeless Hungry

by Miki Kuwabara

As I was at a red light on my way home from running errands today, I spotted a man (possibly late 30s) holding a cardboard sign. It read, “Homeless Hungry”. He had a lost look in his eyes which broke my heart. I didn’t have much time since the light was about to turn green, but I grabbed a couple of dollars I usually keep handy in my car for snacks and handed them to him. He accepted them very gently and said, “Thank you Sweetie”. As I drove away, I couldn’t help but think about the increased numbers of people living on the streets lately. Every day, on my way to work, I always see homeless people. No, I’m not driving through the ghetto, I’m traveling through nice residential and city areas. There’s also a disturbing trend of the homeless being younger and younger. I could understand how easy it could be to end up living on the street because the cost of living is so high here in Southern California and many people live paycheck to paycheck, just “keeping their heads above water”.
I know a couple of dollars is not going to solve all of “Homeless Hungry” problems. But I do it more with the hope that the person realizes someone cares.
The following photo is one that I took of a woman sleeping across the parking lot from a big grocery store. Shoppers came out with carts full of food and didn’t seem to notice this lady. The scene reminded me of a song by Phil Collins called, “Another Day In Paradise”.

"It's cold and I've nowhere to sleep"

“It’s cold and I’ve nowhere to sleep”

“She calls out to the man on the street
‘Sir, can you help me?
It’s cold and I’ve nowhere to sleep,
Is there somewhere you can tell me?’
He walks on, doesn’t look back
He pretends he can’t hear her
Starts to whistle as he crosses the street
Seems embarrassed to be there

Oh think twice, it’s another day for you and me in paradise
Oh think twice, ’cause it’s just another day for you,
You and me in paradise, think about it

She calls out to the man on the street
He can see she’s been crying
She’s got blisters on the soles of her feet
She can’t walk but she’s trying

Oh think twice, ’cause it’s another day for you and me in paradise
Oh think twice, it’s just another day for you,
You and me in paradise, think about it

Oh Lord, is there nothing more anybody can do
Oh Lord, there must be something you can say
You can tell from the lines on her face
You can see that she’s been there
Probably been moved on from every place
‘Cause she didn’t fit in there

Oh think twice, ’cause another day for you and me in paradise
Oh think twice, it’s just another day for you,
You and me in paradise, just think about it, think about it
It’s just another day for you and me in paradise
It’s just another day for you and me in paradise, paradise
Just think about it, paradise, just think about it
Paradise, paradise, paradise”
Songwriters: COLLINS, PHIL
© EMI Music Publishing

 

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About Miki Kuwabara

I am a freelance photographer who strives to reveal the hidden beauty in our world through compelling images. I was born in Japan, grew up in New York City, and moved to Southern California as an adult. I have enjoyed and participated in a variety of art forms since childhood and continue to do so daily. I strive to bring you photo art with heart!
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3 Responses to Homeless Hungry

  1. Mabel Kwong says:

    A lot of the time, homeless people we see on the street are harmless and they have no intention of hurting us. Which is why I find it disappointing that some people will change their path just to avoid walking too close to the homeless. One time I dropped a guitar pick on the ground in the city. I didn’t realise it until a homeless man sitting on the ground called out to me and pointed at it lying there. I gave him a few coins 🙂

    • Hi Mabel,

      Thank you for your comment! How kind of that man to save your guitar pick and for you to give to him. Yes, I have noticed that, in general, the people who are homeless usually do not intend to harm anyone. Every once in a while though, there are some who have severe untreated psychoses or problems with drug addiction. Their behavior can be unpredictable. It is up to the pedestrians encountering those individuals to “listen to their gut feelings” and make a decision to change their paths or not. Do not override that little voice if it tells you that something is not right. Compassion is important but so is safety.

      • Mabel Kwong says:

        Yes, very kind of the homeless man to pick up my guitar pick – and I rarely play guitar these days. Kindness comes during the most unexpected of times.

        That is so true. No matter how harmless homeless people may seem, they may be under the influence. And there’s the saying that goes “better safe than sorry”. So I really don’t blame those who walk a bit further from them. But if the homeless people does look aggressive, by all means, run for your life.

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