I have worked with the homeless in San Diego for the past 18 years and I agree with Christie Ritter on one point: I wish there weren’t homeless people at the Central Library.
In fact, I wish there weren’t homeless people in San Diego. I wish there weren’t homeless people anywhere, but there are. And the thing we must remember is that homeless people are still people.
There are as many paths into homelessness as there are homeless people. No two lives are identical but no matter how they get there, when a person’s life leads to sleeping on the streets, it is natural to assume there is something about that person, something he or she did or didn’t do that led to their state.
It’s a kind of victim-blaming of which we’re all guilty to a degree. We believe, on some level, that the least among us probably deserve their circumstance.