Living Homeless

Homeless tent

Yesterday I was surprised by this homeless person’s camp as I walked up from my car to the office. Homeless people aren’t that unusual in this area, but this is the first time I’ve seen an actual dwelling. Sometimes in the evenings I’ve seen them sleeping in the entryways where they’re partially protected from the elements, but they’re usually gone by morning.

It was just so odd to see all this stuff exposed on the side of the road, practically right outside my building. At first I walked past it, but then I decided to come back down and hastily snap a few photos. Normally, I try to compose shots more artistically, but it felt really weird, like I was was intruding on this person’s privacy even though they weren’t there. I didn’t get very close either. I didn’t want the owner to feel like I was trespassing or had my eye on his goods. I’m not happy with this photo, but maybe its just reflecting the truth – that there is nothing happy in being homeless.

A nearby worker with the road crew saw me take the picture and said that there were actually two tents there early that morning. Apparently the crew needed the occupied parking spaces, so one of the guys took down a tent, stashed it in the other, and then they just walked away.

When I left work last night, the tent was still there and it remained there this morning. I wonder why the owner doesn’t take it down and carry it with him? Isn’t he worried that someone might take his stuff? Or that another homeless person might move in? Or is there some unwritten code of honor on the street? I guess I just don’t get it, but I hope he’s alright and wasn’t forced to abandon his stuff.

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