Tuesday, May 25, 2010

somebodies baby.

So I was driving to meet a client yesterday, and stopped at the same light I stop at every day looking at the same man I see everyday, holding his sign "Hungry, anything will help". I typically don't carry around cash, but when I do I always try to give them something. Even when people mock me and say they're just going to spend it on beer.

Well, I actually made eye contact with this man and felt my heart breaking. I sat there imagining his childhood and his home life. How he is somebodies baby. Their Child. I couldn't stop thinking about this man and why he was on the streets. I woke up this morning and he is still on my mind.

The path I take to get to my favorite spot on the river passes a circle of trees under an overpass. Amongst these trees is a soaken matress surrounded by fourties and wet clothes. Someone's bed. I haven't ever seen the dweller of this secret hide-away, but I always check to make sure that he's still there.

When I was a little girl, my family used to take me to participate in a program called CARITAS where homeless families stayed at our church for a week. I may have abandoned all beliefs from this particular church, but this program was one thing they did right. Some of my best childhood memories are sitting next to people on their dirty sleeping bags, listening to their stories and asking questions about how it felt to sleep outisde in the winter. I remember wanting to bring all of them home with me.

My point is this: Next time you see someone holding a battered sign and wearing worn and dirty clothes, look past the assumptions our culture seems to make about this population and remember they are somebodies baby.

Even if they do spend the money on beer - they are still human and searching for acceptance, understanding and love.


  1. love this. i too give money whenever i have cash...no matter what. seeing homeless people breaks my heart. i don't like that we live in a system that creates homeless people. did you know there are no homeless in norway? yup. we can do it. we can treat people well, and give them opportunity to live well. i am in LOVE with this post. thank you for sharing it.

  2. I gave up some spare time to be a nurse in a homeless health centre for a while, it was so rewarding.

    Some of the hideous things people go through to get to the point of homelessness is as unfair and devastating as what they go through whilst homeless. It was a real eye opener and I learnt a lot about the cruel realities of life.

    To be honest I am not surprised some of them spend money on beer and drugs to 'get away' from their experiences.

  3. I feel the same way, you have a lovely blog.


  4. Great Post Kara. It's easy to turn our heads and blame it on drugs or bad choices that person made in life. No one knows the truth, and I hate it when people make these damn assumptions!

  5. i, too, try to give when i can. these people just break my heart, i wish i could help them all! there is one homeless man that is always on one particular street corner. i saw him today and he looked worse than ever. i couldn't get to him from where i was and had to keep going... but i literally wanted to burst into tears for this poor, poor man. i haven't stopped thinking about him... i could have turned around. i could have gone back after my appointment. shame on myself. i want to go back and give him some food and maybe a blanket or two. he sure could use it.

    i was once yelled at in hollywood for giving a homeless man money. i guess he uses it to buy alcohol, someone told me, and that he uses the same little speech on everyone. but really, what if that was the ONE time he decided to not buy alcohol and buy something he really needed, ya know? what if something i said unknowingly, sent him a message? the fact that i gave him the time of day (instead of passing him by), a few bucks, a warm smile, and a friendly pat on the back... that could have changed something in his thinking. does that make sense? any moment we have to show love and compassion and hope to those less fortunate, or to anyone for that matter, we shouldn't let opportunities like that escape us. the world needs more love and understanding and tenderheartedness.


speak your mind! always!

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