Helping Hand

When I was fourteen years old  my church “Victory” did a mission trip in Downtown Atlanta. During this trip we remodeled and cleaned up the homeless shelters. We also made dinner and served it to all the homeless people at the shelters and on the streets. We also gave them  used clothes because winter was approaching since it was the middle of November. This experience gave me the opportunity to get to know the struggle of how homeless people live and survive on their day to day bases. I was able to ask some of the people how they became homeless and you tend to hear many different answers as to what choice or mistake brought them to their living condtions they live in now. My church did this big prayer circle where everyone was welcome to join even the homeless people. Every single person who ate dinner with us that night joined in and shared how they were thankful we helped them with their dinner and giving them clothes and blankets to survive the weather conditions. It seemed that even though  they did not have much and did not get to eat everyday, they would still thank God for another day everytime they woke up and everytime they went to sleep. This showed me they are just regular people just trying to survive. Now I am a Freshman at Georgia State University, where I walk from my apartment to school and see homeless people every single day. Homelessness effects the pedestrians and students in downtown Atlanta. 

The weather is 38 degrees in downtown Atlanta  near the campus of Georgia State University, and the clouds loom over the highrise rooftops.  The intersection of Decatur and Central Avenue Southeast is buzzing with herds of people. As, students and pedestrian hurry to and fro the crosswalk being directed by the policeman in a bright yellow vest with neon orange stripes through it while the sound of his whistle pierces the ears of people nearby. A whiff of wind runs through the breezeway of the tall sky scrapers with a retchet smell. As the crisp wind hits people’s faces their noses begin to run, eyes tend to water and start to get rosey cheeks. They close their jackets and hold them tighter trying to keep their body warm and shield their torsos’ from the cold. 

There is a store located adjacent to Langdale Hall called Walter’s that has a substantially large cherry red, sign that reads, “sells brands of shoes and clothes for a cheaper price than regular.” There is man who has a Walter’s charcoal gray pull over on with a  black beanie and burgundy gloves on trying to bring costumers into the store to look at the new merchandise. Some of the pedestrains would walk in and look around but most would come out empty handed. Meanwhile, there was a little boy with black long hair braided to the back and his father with short, curly, black hair who were walking past and the young boy sprinted to the window where black Adidas shoes with three orange stripes sat on the seal as eye candy. Then the little boy wrapped his tiny arms and legs around  his dads’ like he was holding on to a firemans pole at the playground. He was begging his father to buy the shoes for him. After two minutes of the dad shaking his leg and could not get the boy to stop he laughs and says, “Fine, lets go in.” As the dad was getting the change for the shoes he handed the son the coins he had recieved back. The toddler was so estactic he wore his new shoes out the store with a grin from ear to the other.

Homeless man sitting down

A man sitting with a shopping cart filled of his belongings and his dog.

There is an older white man in ragged, musty clothes that has two different colored shoes on. One was a white shoe that was dirty and dusty it looked as if it was brown now. The other shoe was black but now looked gray from all of the filth that it had collected from the ground. He did not have much with him except the clothes he had on and a bookbag on his back. He was shaking an old, dirty cup at people as he asked for change or money to the pedestrains as they walk by him. Some people would stop and give him their pocket change or maybe a dollar or two. The little boy who had just got shoes skipped to the him and gave him all the coins he had just recieved from his father, while other people as they walked by him would try not to make eye contact by looking the other way or down at there shoes.

Meanwhile,  a crowd of students is scurrying from out behind the tall silver, metal fences that are up on the side walk for construction next to Langdale Hall. A short, scrawny boy with a light grey bookbag on, looked as if he was about to fall backwards  trying to carry all the books he had. He proceeded to try and make it through the herd of people as he was tensely looking at something on his phone. He was so stuck at what was on his phone, he was just walking one foot in front of the other without looking up at all. While he was furiously typing on his phone he took a step with his left foot and then his right foot got stuck on a

Bunch of sleeping bags and people bundled up

People sleeping on the side walk by GSU

women sleeping on the ground, bundled up with jackets and a filthy thick brown blanket. The boy stumbled with his bookbag flying over his head causing all the books to come out as he collapsed and banged his knees on the concrete. He avoids looking at the lady and scrambles up all his books into his bookbag and rushes off looking around to see if anyone else saw. 

To recapitulate, homlessness is an issue all over America but has viciously increased in downtown Atlanta. It is to the point homeless people have started to mark their territory all through out Greorgia State University. This is an issue because no one should be living on the streets and outside in these weather conditions. People tend to just ignore the homeless community as if they are invisable. Which they clearly are not, they have card board boxes, beds, sleeping bags and tents lined up under each tunnel in downtown Atlanta. Homeless people beg for money or food outside of most buildings or at intersections. Most people just hurry and get in their cars when they see a homeless person. Meanwhile, homeless people only have the clothes they are wearing and a bookbag or suitcase or even a shopping cart if they are lucky. They are truly just trying to survive because they have already lost everything they had. The society has played homeless people out to be the villains when they just need a hand to get back on their feet and become finacially stable.

 

 

 

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