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Archive for the ‘Homeless’ Category

All he wanted was $2.

The guy standing outside the Dunkin’ Donuts in North Babylon asked for money to buy a cup of coffee. I had little doubt that he had little desire to go inside and order, and so I instinctively pulled back and told him I didn’t have any cash on hand. I generally don’t. That’s what the debit card is for.

But the truth is I had plenty in my wallet, having just stopped at the local credit union to withdraw money for the weekend, and for coffee, munchkins and whatever else I felt like buying.

So I reached into my pocket, and gave him $3. I suppose the extra $1 was a surcharge for questioning another man’s motives for no good reason.

We exchanged pleasantries. I asked him if he was a Giants fan. The winter hat with the team’s NY logo should have given it away.

But he answered anyway, tugging on the blue cap.

“Yeah, man. That was a tough loss this week.”

I asked if he watched. His answer was inaudible. By then he had started to make his way away from Dunkin’ Donuts.

I opened my car door as he turned around to wish me a Merry Christmas. I nodded and slowly drove off. Perhaps he turned around and bought his cup of coffee. Maybe he pocketed the money to pay for food later. It really doesn’t matter.

Here is hoping he has a Merry Christmas, and that he never has to ask me for $2 again.

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tentThe New York Times just posted a depressing story about the growing number of people who areĀ  moving into motels.

The story details a California family of five forced into a California hotel after the father’s real estate and mortgage finance business crashed. The Hayworth’s now live in a cramped room and sleep on two beds. They eat in shifts and on borrowed plates.

One of his neighbors dragged a half-naked woman out of a room next door while he beat her.

Meanwhile in Sacramento, Calif., a big tent city has popped up as more people are forced into homelessness. Check out this MSNBC gallery of today’s tent city, which look eerily similar to Depression era pictures.

There’s also a tent city in Pinellas Park, Fla.

The New York Times story did offer some hope:

The hope is the recently passed stimulus package stems the tide of people who end up homeless. The stimulus included $1.5 billion for homeless prevention, including help with rent and security deposits. Schools have made special efforts to help children in displaced families stay in class, and some send social workers to connect families with counseling services and food aid.

It’s money well spent, though at least one financial reporter, CNBC’s Rick Santelli hated the idea, calling the people who failed to pay their mortgages, “losers.” There’s compassionate conservatism for you.

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