Day 64: Homeless in Seattle

In the City, People People People, The office

ImageEvery city has their share of homelessness: people who beg for spare change or a dollar for whatever it is they need, whether it be food, booze or drugs. Come early enough in the morning and walk by bridges or entryways of businesses and you’ll see the area lined with the homeless cacooned in their trash bag or blanket, a grocery cart of things sitting  next to them. I, like most people, ignore the scene – mostly out of fear and avoidance in acknowledging the situation. It’s really is a sad sight to see.

There is this homeless women who walks the streets of Seattle who can arguably be considered the most infamous of them all. She makes her runs up and down the same street; one moment you’ll see her along 4th Avenue, later on in the day she’ll in the shopping area of Westlake. Everyone I know has had an encounter with her. She comes up to every passerby she sees, her expression dramatically sad and pitiful.

“Spare a poor a women some change”

Each time she’s comes up with a different reason.

“Please, I’m hungry”

“I need to buy my medication”

“I need a tampon”

These are all true reasons that this particular homeless women has encountered me with.

One time, one of my coworkers felt compassionate and took his wallet out o see if he had some spare change. He had a five dollar bill and a few ones which tried to peel apart and she ended up snatching the five dollar bill out of his hand. We were both shocked that that happened to do anything about it.

A part of me wonders how much of it is true, and how much of it is she acting and being overly dramatic. Another part of me wonders who she is, what’s her story, if she has any family, what she really does with the money that people actually give her. She has walked the streets of Seattle the entire time that I’ve been working at my company, 8 years. It’s a long time to be walking around, begging for money…

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