Let me dispel a misconception about those of us who live, or have lived on the street, or have lived by the rules of street life. None of us really want to be there, but once there we will do what we have to do to survive until we can get off of it. For most of us freedom comes only with going to jail, death from a slow debilitating sickness, or a violent death. Not many of us get lucky and get a second chance at a normal life, like I did, but we all have a story to tell, but no one to tell it to. No one cares about why and how when it comes to us, just arrest, jail, or kill and so we kill, die and destroy all that comes into contact with us until we are stopped, but the reasons for us being in te first place, lives on and breeds more of us and the game of the invisible people goes on and on in the street.
Whether you believe it or not those you consider the lowliest of us, the junkie, the homeless, often dream of having a family or regaining the love and trust of a family they have lost. We long for the house, the children and the respect of society that we will never have if we do not get better and off of the street. We promise ourselves that we will do what it takes to get back to civilization if we can just make it through another night, but once on the street society will not welcome us back without a fight, a fight that all too often the person living the street life is just too weak to fight.
Pimps do not let whores go home; they consider the money that they make off of them their ticket off of the street and if they open a legitimate business with the money they can leave it all behind and to this end they will work the girls without mercy to achieve this goal of freedom. The drug pushers do not stop selling drugs to junkies they know are trying to quit for the same reason and so we continue to die, and continue to feed off our own. How many of you have taken a homeless person home, bought them a meal, or flipped them a dollar, instead of walking by in disgust.
There are many reasons that junkies, pimps, whores, drug pushers, drug abusers, alcoholics, the homeless etc. become what we are and make the ultimate bad choice that lands us on the street, but once there we are all scared, angry and looking for a way off. Some of us have made bad choices that land us on the street; some of us seek shelter from abuse in our homes on the street, while some of us are lured onto the street by others, but you are sadly mistaken if you honestly believe we are having fun, or that this is where we want to be.
Some have lost jobs due to no fault of their own and with our government cutting funds to shelters, food banks and job creation programs all too often find themselves unable to keep up with the rising costs of everything and end up on the street. Others trusted the government and their companies with their pensions which both squandered and lost leaving the forced retiree with little, or nothing to live on. These people can no longer afford an apartment, or the heating, or food, or all of the above and land up on the street. It could happen to anyone, but it happened to them. They would like to be warm and sleep indoors, but it is not possible, the government has seen to that by closing shelters instead of opening them. These are some of the people you pass judgement on by their appearance today.
Once on the street we get into trouble with the law, because the only way to make money in the street is to do something illegal. Life on the street is a minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, night by night struggle just to stay alive. Looking over your shoulder for the police for some of us; trying to find enough to eat for others; trying to find a warm, safe place to sleep for the night for the most vulnerable is not glamorous way to live, it is survival.
Hookers go to jail where they are given fines to pay and the court does not care where they get the money from, so back to hooking they go and now they have two pimps, one at home and the judge in the court room and both expect timely payment and the vicious circle goes round and round.
What of the business men and women who use under age prostitutes, rape children, squander pensions, raise rents in the ghettos and are making money out of making people suffer, what is to be their punishment? It is easy to turn your nose up and talk down about the alcoholic, the drug abuser, but stop and ask yourself what is that person’s story. I think that you would be surprised to find out how and why they ended up on the street and how the street will not let them go. When nobody wants you and you can’t see anyway out of your troubles the world becomes a lonely frightening place. Do not be fooled by the glamorous cars, the fancy clothing and jewelry of others, because they are props, lures and tools of the trade, but what these people really want is to be like you. When you become invisible to society and to your government you tend to give up and lose all hope of escape and a brighter future and people with no hope and alone are already dead in spirit and therefore lost to themselves.
Every one has a story of how and why they do what they do even those society tries to judge by appearance. From the homeless bag person to the guy driving a Cadillac and living off of the avails of prostitution, they all have a sad story to tell. The 2 biggest pimps in Montreal, now dead, died paupers deaths. They did not get off of the street in time and the street ate them up. They were turned out by old whores who found them cute and paid them for sex and taught them the game and how to pimp for a living. I had talked to them both and all they wanted out of life was to get enough money together to open a store, or bar. One opened a store and it failed and one opened a beautiful bar and the police harassed him until his bar failed and he was forced to start pimping all over again. Bag persons are found dead under overpasses with thousands of dollars in their possession. They do not get off the street because they feel no longer part of society. These are just some of the stories you would find out if you took your head out of the sand and took the time to learn instead of judge.
I do not say feel so sorry that you can not punish people for breaking the law, but I do say, know what it is and who you are fighting and maybe the fight can be turned into help and we can all benefit from the knowing.
- Abuse And Ignore Your Children The Street Always Has Room For Another Pimp, Whore, Or Drug Dealer And No Education Is Required (archemdis.wordpress.com)
- Mark Horvath: My First Night Homeless: A True Story (huffingtonpost.com)