Art Vandelay wrote:I used to work about a block away from the park affectionately referred to as 'bum village.' There was always a lot of homeless people in the park, on the streets nearby, and hanging at the metro station...also, a lot of drugs, prostitution, etc, happened in the area. Anyway, there was one homeless guy who I saw almost every day, and I kind of became friends with. I'd usually visit with him for at least a few minutes every day, gave him a hat and gloves one day when it was getting really cold, an umbrella, etc. There was a Subway sandwich shop across the street from my work, and they had a deal where you could get two foot-long subs for $8 after 5pm or something, so oftentimes I would stop on my way out of work, pick up a sandwich for myself, and for an extra couple of bucks get duke a sandwich as well.
For about six months I gave this guy at least a couple of sandwiches a week, and other stuff, then one day I was walking from my work to the metro station and I saw him running toward me at a full sprint, yelling into his hand as he ran. I figured he had gone over the deep end. As he neared I noticed that he had a small walkie-talkie in his hand, and a badge on a string around his neck. He ran into the park and tackled some guy, then a bunch of uniformed officers came over and arrested the guy. The homeless man I'd been helping out for months was a damn undercover cop! I was pissed. I wasn't making much money at the time, and here I was, spending $25-30 bucks a month or so on someone who probably made close to $100,000 a year. Ridiculous.
The juxtaposition between the haves and the have nots in Washington DC is crazy. Bum Village was in a park that was about two blocks away from the White House. You've got the capitol and leaders of the richest, most powerful nation on earch, thousands of tourists, and then, literally less than a quarter mile away, a park with 50-100 homeless people living in it.
That sucks. My teacher senior year told me a story about this time he bought a homeless woman a drink in a bar because he felt bad for her and liked talking with homeless people. They had an interesting conversation but the homeless woman started to flirt a lot and ended up giving him a box with some of her only possessions as a gift, which he obviously had no use for (as the box was filled with random nothings) but he felt really bad cause she really wanted him to have it. Anyway, it was an awkward night for him overall.
Point of the story is, homeless people have some intersting stories if you take hthe time to converse with them.