Money Dreams to Help Others, When You’re Broke!
By Clover Jernesy
I am riding the light rail and looking through a blurred and scratched window at scenes of warehouses, manufactures, factories and what some would call the seedy side of town. There are human beings lying on the ground, with their mobile home, shopping carts filled with their life’s belongings, wearing dirty, ragged clothes unconscious to the world around them.
Some are lying on cardboard boxes that have been flatten and others are flushed against the hard concrete surface, as if lavishly resting on the most comfortable bed one could wish for in a five star hotel room.
As the train speeds past, the ugliness I take in a deep breath and thank my ancestral universe for my life that is just a little bit better than what I am heartbreakingly seeing. I do have a place to lay my head at night, with the safety of a roof overhead, a place to put away my valued possessions and if I want a hot meal or cold drink, I only have to venture to my kitchen too retrieve these sometimes taken for granted items.
Then I think why? Why are these people in this predicament, while living in this prosperously rich country? Maybe they did work and got laid off or fired due to the nation’s economy crises. They could have gone through a divorce and the spouse has taken everything, released from prison, although they have paid their debt, society and the unforgiving corporate policies will not afford them a job so they can have housing. Addicted to drugs is also a likely scenario. I know a lot have mental illness and some have just given up on life.
I remember wanting to help this homeless lady. I was stopped at a stop light; she began transferring her belongings one bag at a time from the inter-island before the light changed. I got out of my car to help her get her belongings to the other side of the street faster. As I bent down to grab one of her bags, she said “leave my things alone.” I said “Oh no it’s okay; I‘ll help you.” She said. “If you touch my things, I will cut you.”
Both of my hands went up, I turned and quickly got back into my car, hoping the light would change and fast. I will always remember the coldness in her eyes as I drove past. I learned on that day, not to be so naïve when it comes to the homeless. Still, if I have the opportunity to help someone, I will do whatever I can. I do not have a lot of money nor do I live a care-free lifestyle, yet here I am living paycheck to paycheck realizing this could very possibly be me one day.
I often think about winning the lotto or being left a very large sum of money from a long lost relative that would help me in assisting them. “I would like to have the taste of honey in my life to share its nectar’s sweetness, with others who wish to have a life worth living.
I arrive at my destination, a meeting with other organizations, “How to Improve Our Cities Image and Boost Tourism.” The event opened, with a welcoming prayer and followed by speakers lining up to put-forth their suggestions. The first speaker suggested ridding the blight from the downtown area which has recently grown in number due to the demolition of a project high-rise, causing displacement, and is now the reason of the new homeless.
I looked around and saw many shaking their heads in agreement. Then the State’s Comptroller, stood and told the group, “The State budget could not afford to fund such an undertaking. In finding suitable living quarters for those whom have found themselves in these deplorable circumstances, therefore our best suggestion would be relocating the homeless to an invisible site, where tourist will more than likely not want to visit.” And with that being said, the entire room erupted in laughter and it was my signal to excuse myself and leave.