I have a six-figure income, and I am homeless.
Most people we call ‘homeless’ are actually just pennyless, in my experience. A lot of them have homes, in the sense of having a community and safe place to rest. And most, if not all, have the full-time job of subsistent living.
What they don’t have is a steady income, a reason to shower, and support. And for some reason, we ostracize them for it.
Recall your most recent encounter with someone begging you for money or food. How did you react? Did you do your best to ignore them, maybe even claim you had nothing to give? I know that tends to be my own standard reaction, grilled into me by years of watching my family’s example. But I’m trying to change it.
Can you imagine how it would feel to beg someone for something? And I mean truly beg, not in an exaggerated sense of the word. The amount of pride you’d have to swallow, the fear and expectation of rejection you’d have fluttering in your throat just waiting to sink into your stomach?
I’ve never had to beg in my life. I sincerely hope I never have to. Nevertheless, I am pennyful and homeless, and it is incredibly lonely.