We all see them and we all turn our heads and pretend they don’t exist. I’m talking about the homeless people in Burke County. During the past two years I have found out these people have names, they have hopes and dreams of a better future. They have emotions and feelings. They are tired, hungry, cold, hot, or wet, depending on when you see them. Most of them are trying to raise money to get a sandwich and something to drink, for themselves and/or their pets. They are thoughtful and they look out for each other. They are people who are down on their luck. Most of them would qualify for disability income due to mental illness but they don’t know how to get the process started and there are not enough SOAR workers in the county to help them with the application process. I don’t have all the answers, but SOAR workers would be a start. More funding for shelters that would let them take their pets in with them on cold and rainy nights would be another start.
The next time you see a homeless person flying a sign, give them a bottle of water or a sandwich. You have no idea how much they will appreciate it. Give them quarters so they can go to the laundromat. They like to be clean and have clean clothes just like the rest of us.
And, last but not least, thank you for the outpouring of love and compassion for Bennett and his dog, D.J. Burke County has some amazingly awesome people. Give more love and less judgement. You will feel better when you do.