When faced with a homeless person, what do you do? – Chicago Muckrakers

How do you feel when you see a homeless person sitting on the sidewalk with a cup of change? If you’re like most people, it’s a combination of uneasiness, guilt and dread. Should you give money? Or does that make you a sucker? And if you don’t give, are you grinch? Not everyone feels that way. Not Mark Horvath, at least.

The realities of the interaction:

A day with Mark always leaves me a little broken and confused. I would rather talk to people living on the street than hustle by and give them a shifty look. When you talk to people, you start to wonder: Will they get better? Do they want help? How did they get there? The space between you and them gets a million times smaller. That is both beautiful and frightening.

Their stories capture me for a moment, and then slowly, I emerge back into my regular life. I distance myself once again. I don’t want to. And both times I’ve gone out with Mark, I’ve told myself that this would change me – that I wouldn’t go back to being that person who hustled by, annoyed and uncomfortable.

How we react to a homeless person is a personal thing but if you look at the interaction as if they are people too & consider that their name is not “those people” you will make it a lot further into a productive exchange for both of you.

Here’s a video performance of a poem described here:

Video presentation from Be The Change: A Benefit Luncheon for Building Changes (May 5, 2009). My Name Is Not Those People, poem by Julia K. Dinsmore, read by Danny Glover, from “Give US Your Poor – 17 New Recordings To Help End Homelessness” (Appleseed Recordings). For more info, go to BuildingChanges.org. Photographs by Lynn Blodgett, from “Finding Grace: The Face of America’s Homeless” (Earth Aware Editions).

Watch the video here:

There have been books & videos about them that attempt to share how the way homeless people are treated affects them. This seems counter-intuitive but if we, one-at-a-time, observe how we react & take our own inner inventory, we will move closer to being the helping hand that just might make a difference!

This article has been written from the perspective of how one person’s interaction with Mark Horvath changed the way they think about this interaction on a daily basis. The person writing it is honest about their feelings & their abilities to be consistent with that reaction being a helping, supportive one.

via When faced with a homeless person, what do you do? – Chicago Muckrakers.


About homelessnessinsavannah

Advocating for Homelessness Issues in Savannah, GA, so that we can educate, share experiences & generate a Christian understanding of the issues & people who experience, support & attempt to end homelessness in Savannah, GA or anywhere else we can share stories from or about...
This entry was posted in About, Action, Advocvacy, Challenge, Christ-like response, Faith-based response, homeless, Homelessness Action Week, Hope, World Homeless Day and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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