The Homeless Person

Part of my daily job is stopping by the post office in the mornings to pick up and drop off the business mail.
The post office is a large historic building that sits right in the middle of town. The streets are full of homeless people and panhandlers.  Though I am a compassionate person, I will admit, I cant stand a pan handler. It makes me mad that people walk up to you asking for money for bus tickets or to pay there moms doctor bill. I just don't buy into that. They are flat out lying to me. Its the same ones every day. These people are walking around all day doing this, they could make themselves presentable and work if they wanted too. But that's just what I think. 

A lot of times my husband will drive me to the post office on Sunday nights to get the mail so I don't have to on Monday. The post office seems to be a safe haven for the homeless after 6:00pm. Its always open, its warm and the there are recepticals to charge their phones. However, they ruin this luxury. It never fails, we walk into some nasty stuff after hours. There is pee in the floor and poop in the corners. I have even walked up on a man masturbating in the middle of the walkway. Its scary.
I loose compassion at this point. There is always a janitor cleaning the floors come Monday morning. The city ignores the problem and you are shunned and considered a hater if you complain about it. 

It was New Years day, We had just cleaned up the dishes from my new years dinner. I had lots of left overs and we delivered a plate to Nicks brother and headed to the post office. We walked in, and lying under the the mailbox I needed to get onto, was a person curled up in a blanket playing on a small flip phone.


I honestly could not tell if it was a male or a female as his hair was long and greasy and she/he was skinny as a rail and wearing mix matched clothes. She/He did not ask for money but spoke kindly to us as we walked by. "Yall have a nice evening" she/he said. Me and Nick both nodded and said you do the same as we tried not to make eye contact. I felt sorry for this person as they have scooped so low on life. Here I was, just finished a big meal surrounded by family and this person is making a bed with a rag blanket against a mailbox. My heart broke as I called back to him "stay warm!" She/ he said "I will. Thank you!"  

When we were safely back in the car, I told Nick I wish I knew that person would be there and I could have brought him a plate of left overs. I had so many.
Sometimes I think "what if that was Jesus?".
This particular homeless person has been on my mind ever since. I would have loved to hear her/his story. What makes a person like this? No family? Drugs? Just release from jail?" Who knows. Something keeps telling me I should have shared some scripture with him. But I ignored my chance. 

I now have an idea of making some care bags filled with protein bars, Tylenol (because they have to hurt), a water, some moist wipes and a tiny Bible. I will keep them in my car in case I run into another sweet homeless person. I usually don't pay them much attention as I feel they choose this way of life. But sometimes there is that one that hits my heart. 


13 comments

  1. Life could put any of us in that kind of situation. You never know. Your eyes have been opened.

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  2. I contribute to a homeless early morning centre here. It is a world wide problem. Perhaps you might like to include some gum in your care bag - a great toothcleaner/mouth freshner when toothpaste isn't available.

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  3. It's a problem that's for sure, and you never know what their circumstances are. As for sharing some scripture with them, I carry gospel tracts with me so I can hand them out on occasion. Most people take them and say thanks.

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  4. I think their stomachs have to be nurtured before their souls!!

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  5. It's often hard to tell who's real or fake when it comes to the homeless. I never give because of it

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    1. The ones around here have more money than I do!

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    2. A sandwich to a "fake" person might be better than leaving the "real" person starving when the sandwich might not be a bother or real expense at all. That said, I often don't give money anymore, but a person who is hungry, well, I'd rather be wrong & at least give a little food...

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  6. It is so good of you to open your heart. Believe it or not, this is where it all begins...

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  7. Everyone's path is different. Like you, I try to be kind. If I have money, I give them a little. What they do with it is their business.
    If there are people who are con artists and rip me of for $5 that i give with kindness, it's something they will account for at some point.

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  8. You bring up a real and very confusing problem. I have known a case close and dear to me. The man was a good worker when he wanted to. But learned he could live in many places and on the street and there was no STRESS or problems. he was as healthy as I. Some one in his family would pick him up at times and bring him home for a meal and bath. Once a sister, said something like, "You need to get a job and we would not have to do this for you."
    His answer was, "Did I ask you to?"

    He was a well known Gastonia and Meckenburg Homeless guy.
    Yeah the bums do get to you. I have given many times, but it is getting harder to justify when the person becomes a regular.
    There are charities available in every county.

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  9. I think the care package, sans a religious talk might be better at onset(which I've done in my area), before you know the person's beliefs. Of course I say that as an Atheist, but...

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  10. Wow, what a sad story, Lisa. When I lived in the city I encountered homeless everywhere I went. I remember being in a restaurant with friends and there was a homeless man begging outside the door. I ordered him a meal to go, and when I gave it to him he threw it at me. He wanted money for booze or drugs and I gave him food - I refuse to give them money to support their addictions. Sad, truly.

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  11. I, too, see lots of homeless people on our city streets..I think we just have to do what is on our hearts at the time we run into these people.When it's really cold here, I worry if they can find warm spots...my son in law, years ago, said something that is always..ALWAYS...on my mind when I see these poor people..."I would much rather give to these people and them not really need it than NOT to give when they really did need it" so this quote always rules my heart and I give. Sometimes, it's just a dollar...sometimes, it's more. Oh, I know I might be giving them drug money..who knows...but I choose to think they will use it to buy their child a quart of milk....
    and now, I am sad thinking of them...

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