As the summer winds down here in the city, I can’t help but be glad. No I am not one of those fall lovers that wishes all the seasons away without having really enjoyed them, but I am glad that summer is almost over.
In a city where there are over 8 million people living here on a good day, I do find the city to be suffocating during the summer. The amount of homeless people increase making your time outside a little less enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that not everyone has the ability to live in apartments. I mean come on, our rents aren’t for people making $40,000 or less a year. Our apartments aren’t for people with bad credit (because really your credit score should determine whether or not you should have a place to live.)
Yet, sometimes I can’t help thinking could there be one day, just one day, where I am not worried about running into someone who is going to harass me for money or makes me feel uncomfortable as they watch me walk away as though committing me to thier memories.
Their reactions to you range and as a new yorker you learn real fast that not all of them will be positive. It’s interesting for me to read articles, blogs, etc about New York from tourists who inevitably bring up our homeless and how shocker they were people weren’t acknowledging them. I’ve always wondered where they were from exactly that they still had their rose-colored sunglassess on even though they had visited this great city.
We avoid the homeless because on our daily commute we can easily see more than 15 different homeless people(and that’s just out morning commute.) In our neighborhoods we can easily cross paths with 15 different homeless people (and that”s not counting the regulars that are there rain or shine.) and this is daily. DAILY.
I want to let you in on a little secret, New Yorkers are tough, but we’re not that tough. We’ve all been there, where we’ve broken down and tried to help them. We’ve all been there, when the realization hit that they don’t want your help and they aren’t always accepting of said help.
I’ve been yelled at, followed, spit at, and put into situations that I would have rather avoided just because I wanted to help the homeless. Am I saying that all are like this? No. Am I saying that you shouldn’t help the homeless? No.
I am saying though, that before you judge us New Yorkers take a minute to understand that we deal with homeless people far more than a tourist. Far more than someone who has just moved here. I am saying, that if we helped every homeless person we wouldn’t be able to pay our rent for our box that we live in.
I am saying that we are not oblivious to the homeless problem and it breaks our hearts. We help when we can, but we can’t always help and sometimes our help is met with such a negative reaction it puts you off from helping for awhile.
The summer is always the worst. Since it’s warmer they travel and sleep in areas that they don’t usually sleep in. They crowd the sidewalks some walking minding their own business, while other’s will be the aggressor.
As the weather cools of they start dispersing. Finding places to sleep with more coverage. As the summer winds down the sidewalks start to empty and you finally start to feel like you don’t live in a city with 8 million other people.