Got on the CTA to head downtown for a job and saw this gentleman get off the north bound train at Howard, it’s final destination, cross over to the south bound platform, board the train, and fall to sleep. The trains run all but 4 hours a day I believe and it is possible, if homeless, and cold, to spend most of the day at least warm, and dry. I’ve asked myself how I would manage if I became homeless, and until such a time that I face that possibility I’m speculating. Where would I have parked the belongings such as books, artwork, clothes, other things way more than I could carry around, or pay for at a storage unit, or leave at a friend’s garage. Whatever the circumstances a person goes thru that would deliver them to the state of homelessness, and there are several, loss of employment, debt load, broken family, mental illness, addiction, I personally can’t image the ability to endure that hardship for long. A very good friend of mine did wind up on the streets after a long, slow decline thru poor financial decisions, substance abuse, frustration with career struggles, wearing out the welcome of friends who tried to help him. In the end, he gradually poisoned himself with alcohol till he had a systemic collapse. It was his way of killing himself, of that I’m sure. I would try to see him on return trips to the city he lived in and towards the very end, the loss of will, and his mental and emotional decline sealed his fate.

Now, as my generation gets old and the possibility of safety nets and affordable health care and affordable housing seem anything but certain, this challenge has become too possible for a frightening number amoung us.

My generation became obsessed with how they were going to get their children into good schools and pay for insanely expensive college degrees. Having cleared those hurdles, the conversations will definitely turn to their wellbeing and management of their August years.

 

Rebound Rider

  • April 26th, 2017
  • Posted in Drawings
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