When Dave and I moved back on Aotearoa New Zealand in 1990 from the San Fransisco Bay area, one reason for returning was that we felt uncomfortable that the US was so wealthy yet had so many homeless people begging on the streets. That sort of thing didn’t happen in NZ.
That was then.
How is that OK? And how do we respond?
When the first homeless people appeared on Wellington streets I would usually stop and ask if they were hungry; the answer was always yes and we’d go and buy something from the nearest cafe or shop. It was awkward and embarrassing for both of us but it seemed better than giving money, although who knows. And even if this is an appropriate response, there are too many people on the streets now for this approach to be a practicable. So instead we support the Downtown Community Ministries – who have some wisdom to share on the topic.
Homelessness in any wealthy country is not OK. A homeless newborn baby is so not OK that I can’t think of the right words to describe it.
And what are the answers?