I am speaking of my experience being homeless on the streets. I am a recovering alcoholic and addict. Both have taken me to a level of hopelessness that to the average person is indescribable. How does one turn their back on any and every responsibility to themselves – society, family, friends, their own children?
The pull of addiction will never cease to amaze me. What I was willing to walk away from and the life I traded it in for is not fathomable. Do I think being homeless is a choice? Yes, I do. I also believe that when one loses all hope, there is nothing at all left.
So, what’s the answer to end the constant question, “S’cuse me, do you have any spare change?” I don’t have the answer for that. There is a difference in giving a hand up instead of a hand out, a difference between using your heart vs. your head when dealing with another less fortunate than you. We, as a whole, may not solve any of the worldly issues, including homelessness. However, individually, we can be responsible in many kinds of ways for restoring hope.
I’ll never know that exact moment when I decided to live differently. But It was then that the resources available came into sight, random acts of kindness from people I knew and people I didn’t had restored hope, and I was able to take responsibility for my life one step at a time.