One, two, maybe three: I was driving and couldn’t look away for too long so that’s all I saw.
First thought: if I found myself dealing with homelessness, I would try to be invisible in plain sight. There is a brown tent on the side of a brown hill, but it is quite large; people driving by often comment on it. There are people who have set up their tents in the alcoves under the highway — where the engineers build slopes up from the road or railroad tracks that support bridges over the same — that are nearly invisible unless someone knows to look there. Some days, I’ve seen people sitting up there in the openings to their tents, looking down at me.
Second thought: to be invisible in plain sight means keeping the area surrounding my area as clean as possible. The tents I saw today were surrounded by detritus, filth of all sorts. How difficult is it to haul garbage to the bin? I think of the people I know who are or have had to deal with homelessness. They often have buggies, shopping carts, or baby carriages to move their belongings. If they have a camp, they use the carts when they go to the food bank or elsewhere so it seems an easy task to take any garbage to a bin along the road or next to a store (in the unincorporated parts of town, families get dumpsters that sit in front of their houses instead of individual garbage bins for green waste, regular garbage, and recyclables so there’s that too).
Maybe I just don’t get it.
A woman with a baby carriage full of all sorts of things stood under the bus stop overhang, wearing a headphone radio.
She was smiling and dancing, seemingly happier than the people who drove by her.
To be that happy on a totally random Tuesday …