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How homeless people live in the USA: a difficult story of one man

A small coffee house, from whose windows the Pacific Ocean gleams in the rays of the awakening sun. Tom, a 55-year-old thin American, carefully attaches to his wife a piece of apple pie.

Photo: Shutterstock

Suddenly a bearded man comes in. Greasy blonde hair and ask for a haircut. The zipped up windbreaker, the well-worn jeans are homeless, he's homeless. In the faded brown eyes, fatigue is reflected mixed with indifference, as after a hard working day. Suddenly he rushes to our table.

- Tom! - joyfully greets my neighbor.

- Jason! How do you? - answers Tom.

-In order. Like children? Says the homeless man.

The conversation comes out quick. As if two old acquaintances waved at each other at the intersection. Homeless disappears in the restroom. To go to the toilet of a small cafe or fast food for the homeless in the United States is a common thing.

“We studied in the same class,” Tom calmly explained. “Good boy, he lived next door.”

On the subject: Homeless in New York: who are these people and how did they end up on the street

Tom spent his childhood and youth near the ocean. The prestigious area, where now renting the simplest house costs from $ 4 per month. And a tramp in soiled clothes grew up there? I ran a chill.

“Jason loved surfing,” he continued calmly. - Often ran away from lessons to the ocean. Already a teenager conquered the waves. Not like the avid pro surfers, but also good ones. It's time to go to university. But Jason kept surfing. "

“He never did. More precisely, I did not even try. Not a year or three. As a result, he didn’t become a surfer either, ”said Tom.

“But what about the parents? Really didn’t force, didn’t direct him? ” - I was surprised.

“It’s not customary for us to put pressure on a child. I agree, sending would not hurt. I don’t know if they tried. I only remember that his sister, on the contrary, followed in his parents' footsteps, working in a bank. And Jason left home. Yes, and parents are tired of it. An adult son, he does not pay rent, ”Tom shared.

He grinned, noticing my surprised look.

“Well, what did you think? We have been moving away from parents from our student age. And if anyone lives, then he pays for the room. Of course, it is often less than the market price, but you will have to give $ 600- $ 700, ”explained Tom.

“I often met Jason by the ocean. With the same undecided guys hanging on the beach for hours. Finding food is not a problem: there are enough shelters with feeding for the homeless. It just turned into a lifestyle. Instead of the house - a tent, and the “bed” - from old cardboard boxes, ”the man continued his story.

“You see, they have their own lives here. With your challenges and events. To get food, to shoot a trifle, to clarify something among themselves. One trouble: settling in such an area is not very pleasant. They feel at ease, and you can’t drive them out, because we have freedom and equality. The authorities are trying to influence, but these are already whole "areas". Moreover, most of these people were born in the United States, they could easily get a job. The same loader or delivery man. But why? This is the lifestyle they have chosen. It is clear that someone got into a bad company or got hooked on some rubbish. And someone was just unlucky, ”Tom shrugged.

On the subject: Which states have the largest number of homeless people?

I could not believe that that fair-haired teenage boy, who subjugated the waves, who grew up in one of the most prestigious areas of California, wakes up in the morning in this dirty carriage. It is covered with a shabby blanket obtained in the trash. He sleeps on cardboard.

“But after all, these people can live differently,” something escaped me.

-Maybe. But they don’t need it anymore, - answered Tom.

The original column is published on the blog. Dumb America on Yandex.Zen.

ForumDaily is not responsible for the content of blogs and may not share the views of the author. If you want to become the author of the column, send your materials to

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