Sometimes We Need A Reminder To Help The Homeless

The Scene County currents and undercurrents

September 19, 1990|By Deidre Nerreau McCabe

Driving home from work last week, I passed a sobering sight.

A man was standing on the on-ramp to U.S. 29 from Route 40 with a sign that read, "Homeless veteran. I will work."

It's not a sight we are used to seeing in Howard County. Homeless people holding signs describing their plights are something we expect to see in Baltimore or Washington, but not here.

But the man with the sign was a very real reminder that the poor and homeless exist in every community; some are just better at concealing the problem than others.

The man with the sign is also a reminder that the homeless are not a group that are content with their lot in life and an occasional handout from the rest of us.

Some have serious problems and even mental illnesses and need help and support just to survive. Others are individuals who, for whatever reasons, have fallen on hard times and are working to change their situations.

I think the man standing on U.S. 29 was trying to make that point.

It's been said dozens of times before but bears repeating: He was looking for a hand up, not a handout.

He was standing out there as dozens of cars whizzed by because he wanted a job. I hope that someone passing by who is in the position to offer one took the request to heart.

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