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09      Homeless

  There is a saying ‘Home Sweet Home’. There is another saying ‘Home is Where Your Heart is’. But what if you did not have one, what would it be called?

When I first came to New York City, the first thing that awed me was the number of homeless people. For a cosmopolitan city like New York City, there is always a possibility for anyone to live below the poverty line. Some people are unable to own a property as long as they live. Some people do not have jobs therefore live on social welfare. Some people have to be homeless.

Homeless rate in New York City has dropped quite a bit. Although I have not seen that many, I still see them every once in a while, especially during my morning commute.

For someone who lives in the border of Queens and Long Island, I have to leave home early in the morning for work in Manhattan. I do not mind commuting from home to work for a good one hour and ten minutes. What bothers me is one particular view that occurs almost every day. It is a view of homeless people on either subway trains or subway platforms.

The view itself does not bother me in an annoying kind of way but more like, I am concerned of them. Okay, I may not be related to them in any case. However days like today hit me. I do not remember New York has ever been hit by a much worse weather than today’s, ever. As of right now, the WeatherBug says 5° Fahrenheit on my screen or -15° Celcius — minus, mind you. One thing that crosses my mind whenever the temperatures hit below freezing point is the homeless people.

Questions that pop up in my head are where they will be at when it is freezing out like right now — most probably at shelters, whether they have enough clothes and layers to cover themselves from the cruel January weather, what they do to survive in this kind of weather situation. I know it might sound whacked to think of them as the temperature drops. But there is one thing that can never be missed out — the feeling of being grateful to have a place where I can call ‘home’, that offers me comfort and most importantly, warmth in Winter.

I know for a fact that New York City Department of Homeless Services does help provide homeless people shelter services. The City also helps find places to live by offering homeless people or people at risk of being homeless public housing or commonly known as Section 8. They even provide homelessness prevention programs.

In other words, when one lives in a city like New York City, there is no reason to be homeless.