Growing up I did not have much experience with the homeless. Where I’m from we have about one homeless guy, and his homelessness has always been a matter up for debate. Dancing Dave is his name. He’s an older black man who wears what looks like a white sailor suit. Back in the day he would dance for money, giving him his name, Dancing Dave. Once when I was a kid, my dad and I gave him a ride after I begged my dad to please pick him up.
In Europe there are all of these gypsies that beg for money. If you aren’t familiar with their practices you are liable to get your money swindled. When I was in Prague, my best friend would give me a hard time for giving any one any money. But one girl simply laid on the ground, knees under her, arms outstretched. I gave her money because I thought she was humble.
When I moved to Atlanta and would go to Little Five Points, I was terrified of the homeless. I had always been taught to look away, turn away. Don’t look at them.
A few months ago a man came up to me at the gas station. He asked if I could call someone for him. He was tired of being on the streets. He said he couldn’t go on this way. I called all of the numbers I could find for him, but unfortunately at 1 in the morning, none of them answered. I was devastated that I had to turn him away without being able to help him. I was able to give him some food, but I knew that that wasn’t enough. I don’t know if he got the help he needed, but I hope he did.
Living on the streets is what I would consider a nightmare. I can’t imagine waking up and having nowhere to go or no one to help me, but I know that thousands of people are forced into that situation everyday. It’s so easy to ignore them, walk past them, or look away. It’s an inconvenience. If they didn’t want to live one the streets they wouldn’t. They just panhandle because they’re lazy. Or they’re just gonna spend the money on drugs or booze. These are all excuses that people have for avoiding the homeless. We don’t want to be bothered by their pain, their struggle. It would hurt too much if we could look and see them.
My dear friend Kayla Shai is hosting a Christmas project this year. It is The 2015 Christmas Comfort Project. Here is a link to her website. Please check it out for further details Kayla Shai Project. The purpose of this project is to give 300+ gifts to 300+ friends in a current state of homelessness in Atlanta. The gifts will be three items. They are the first book of the Layla Sue series, Comfort, written by Kayla Shai, a composition notebook, and a pen. To donate, one can buy spots through Paypal for $10 dollars each. Each of these 10 dollar spots will cover the three part gift. One can also buy as many spots as one would like. Donations will be open on September 1, 2015.
It’s so easy to look away, but if you’ve ever wanted to make a difference in someone else’s life, please consider going to the website and giving a donation. Be a hand that helps.