My husband and I have been staying in a loft in downtown Asheville for the last few days at an Air BNB. The city life is kind of exciting, to be able to walk to shops and restaurants, to hear and see the nightlife, to be close to the pulse of the city. The loft has a huge wall of windows so we can see all that is going on in the streets, sidewalks and even the shops and restaurants.
But there’s a darker side to the city, any city, the Homeless.
How many people are homeless in America 2016?The following statistics are alarming: 564,708 people in the U.S. are homeless. According to a recent report, over half a million people were living on the streets, in cars, in homeless shelters, or in subsidized transitional housing during a one-night national survey last January.There were 194,716 people in families with children experiencing homelessness, representing 35 percent of the homeless population. … In January 2016, 39,471 veterans were experiencing homelessness. Nearly all (97%) were homeless in households without children (as individuals).
And here, in a small part of downtown Asheville, we’ve seen many wandering the sidewalks during the day and at night. There is even one who sleeps curled up in a doorway of a shop directly across the street.
The first night we got out and walked to a restaurant. There was this guy who walked out of a shop in front of us and he dropped his hat abd didn’t realize it. Me, being from North Georgia and fairly nice, said ‘sir, you dropped your hat’. He whirled around and grunted something like, why are you bothering me. But then he saw his hat laying on the sidewalk and must have realized how cold he’d be eithout it and he profusely Thanked me, many times as we continued walking down the sidewalk.
There are others we’ve seen who you would be a little intimidated to have a conversation with or any type of interaction. But people here just seem to go about their business and look past the Homeless.
But back to this guy who sleeps in the doorway of the shop. The first evening we didn’t notice him, but the next morning, when we opened the curtains to look out the windows, that’s when we noticed him all curled up in the doorway. He had a sleeping bag and what looked to be an umbrella which he used to ‘kind of shield’ himself from view and possibly from the wind. He had the umbrella opened and in the opening as kind of a door.
Each evening, he comes back to this doorway to sleep on the concrete and each morning, he gets up and puts his sleeping bag in its bag along with anything else he needs to carry, and he’s gone. He sleeps in a hat, gloves, a heavy coat and his boots. It’s really sad to think that he does this, even as we go into freezing temperatures.
Being Homeless is a sad but real issue here in the United States and I think if people would just help in some way, monetary or at a food bank, or to give coats, hats, gloves, then we can see so much more help for them. It’s hard to understand why the Homeless do what they do, but they do so it would be nice to help them out.
It’s a real crisis right here in America!
My way of helping is going to be to help right here in Pickens County. When we get back, I plan to get in touch with those in our county who are helping the Homeless of Pickens County and I’m going to help too. Won’t you?