You might be thinking once again I’m exaggerating but I’m not. Under every freeway overpass in Oakland California, at least two homeless tarped or tented compounds have sprung up. Some underpasses are so full of tents, the sidewalks are completely impassable.
The other day as I waited for the traffic light to change, I noticed a resident actually out there sweeping the gutter and organizing his newly found treasures with care and determination. He was a grizzled old man who looked as if he had made some serious life mistakes or he had ‘beered’his life away but there he was, thoughtfully sweeping every cranny of his tent’s front yard.
As I approached the garage’s roll up door, I saw the severely stained mattress had yet again had another day’s occupant. This time it was a middle aged woman who had passed out on it. Unfortunately for her, it looked as if she too had made some pretty bad life choices.
I then thought of Matt living on the streets of San Diego and wondered how he was doing. Had he listened to my fatherly advice and found a shopping cart to load his few possessions and treasures into? At 29, he wasn’t far behind the old man sweeping the sidewalk or the woman passed out on the stained mattress. My heart breaks knowing he is where he is; just another mentally ill soul scraping by on the edge of society… This too will pass