John Calvin, volunteer for the L.A. Mission, reports that the countries homeless industry has taken a turn for the worse because of the failing economy. “People just don’t feel like sparing a dime in these hard times,” Calvin said outside the mission.
Many homeless people agree. A homeless beggar known only as Tom said this about the economy, “I was just outside a Vons today and asked a man leaving the store, ‘brother, can you spare a dime?’ And he flat out said, ‘Brother, if you could see my bank account you’d be giving me a dime.’ What do you say to that?” Tom later added, “If times get any worse, I just don’t know what I’ll do. It’s like I’ve been given the pink slip to being homeless—but where does a man layoff from the homeless industry go? It’s not like there’s some second level of being homeless or something.”
One noted professor of economics from UCLA, who asked to remain nameless, said that he believes the homeless might be one group that may benefit from the economy. “Think about it—if more people lose their jobs, they might be on the streets real soon. Whose going to teach these people how to be homeless?”
Why some remain hopeful in the President’s economic recovery plan, others are not so sure; the Crazy Cat Woman, a noted homeless person in Santa Monica, had this to say about the President’s plan, “Cats. That’s what I’ll do to the President’s plan. I’ll eat my cats. And my cats will eat me.” The Crazy Cat Woman did not say she did not vote in the November election. Another homeless man, who shuck his fist at the Crazy Cat Woman from the other side of the street said the woman is way off, and that, “Kennedy will definitely be able to pull the country out of troubled times.”
Jessica Hunter, a widow mother of three who lives in a motel with her two elementary school daughters had this to say about the economy, “Maybe now people might finally realize some homeless people don’t want to be homeless. Maybe now they’ll realize that sometimes they are in an endless rut that they’re children will one day inherit.”
When one of the homeless congressmen was asked to be quoted for this article, he said he was “not aware the county currently had a homeless problem, but that things like that tended to work themselves out without the help of the government.”