Here’s another shot from the Niles City ruins in Fort Worth Texas. On our second trip there, we pretty much explored the entire place. All 20 some odd buildings. This was one of the last buildings that we went into. During our first trip we actually ran into one of the homeless men living on the grounds and he kept his distance from us the entire time. This time we didn’t see anybody but there was certainly plenty of evidence that we weren’t alone. This suitcase was sitting in the corner on top of a pile of trash and old clothes. It’s really sad to think that people live like this and I never know quite what to think about it. I’m one of those guys who actually will offer to buy someone food if they ask. The problem is, they are almost always just asking for money and when you tell them you’ll buy them food they aren’t interested.
My wife Kristin worked for a youth group for a couple of years and they visited a bunch of homeless people on regular basis down in San Antonio who lived under a bridge. It was really amazing to hear their stories about how they got there and how they viewed their situation. Several of them actually looked us right in the eyes and said to never give them money because they’d just use it to support a drug or alcohol habit. I think somewhere around 95% of the people living there were addicted to some sort of drug and in most cases the drug addiction is actually what led to their current state of homelessness. One man was even a doctor. A medical doctor! But he had gotten addicted to cocaine and lost everything. Others chose the lifestyle they were in because they didn’t have to answer to anybody, be anywhere at any certain time or do anything they didn’t want to do. It really was fascinating and terribly hard to understand.
So what’s your take on all this? Are you the one who always says, “No, I don’t have any money,” and avoids eye contact even if you have $10 in your pocket? Would you gladly give the person money and give them the benefit of the doubt, trusting they will use the money to better their state? Would you offer instead to buy them a warm meal or a drink? Hope this gets some good conversation going, I’m interested to know what everyone thinks!