I've grown very cold and unsympathetic toward homeless people in the recent years. I think that partly comes form living in San Francisco for 2 years, and partly from my recent living arrangements in San Jose. I feel like homeless people are ungrateful, rude, and at times threatening.
In my line of work, there are always questionable customers, but as long as they pay, who am I to deny them service? These people at times smell horrible, of body oder and urine, and other street smells. They also have unkept wardrobes and hygiene and not very good social skills.
One person stands out in my mind. There is an older gentleman who has made it a habit of coming into my store and "ordering" coffee. Actually what he does is keep a rancid old coffee cup and pay the $0.50 for a refill. I do not think he has ever paid for a cup of coffee in full.
When I first started at this store, I tried talking with him, simple polite talk such as:
"Hello sir how are you?"
"What can I get for you today?"
At the gas station near where I live, there used to be another homeless. He also rarely talked to people, instead he would bark at people to get their attention. That only worked once on me. I frequently wait in the car while Ryne runs in for something and I've watched him many times. He is clearly begging and asking for money or food or whatever it is that homeless people ask for. One day, while it wasn't hot, it was defiantly warm out. A couple of well dressed men went into the gas station store and came out with a huge cold bottle of water for that homeless man. He refused it, turned them away and their gift of water.
Another time. i went to grab food late at night at a drive-thru. I saw a homeless man in the parking lot and decided to go through the drive again and ordered a meal with the intent of giving it to the homeless man. As I pulled up to him, he refused the meal I had bought him.
These experiences have lead me to grow unsympathetic toward homeless people. Many people see them as people who have come upon tough times. I have learned that there is not a homeless people problem in the country, there is a problem within the mental health community. What sort of government allows people like this to wander around the streets? The government funding set aside for helping people, is clearly being squandered on something else, it is not being put to work. What kind of society are we to think that those people are normal, or acceptable?
This is not a problem with the homeless population, this is a problem with the health care system.