The Problem That Never Goes Away


berkeley homelessHomelesspolice-by-Ted-Friedman-720x480

I’m visiting my brother who lives in Berkeley, California, and I’ve noticed that there’s a war going on here between the people who can afford to live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and those who can’t. I’m not sure who’s winning this war, though the most obvious combatants are the homeless, who line the streets, slump on sidewalks and lean against buildings, occupy any bench, sleep on any lawn, and browse through any dumpster. Their clothes are dirty.  They smell bad.  But most of all, they need to use the bathroom.

All establishments jealously guard their bathroom.  Usually a customer needs to procure a key from the person operating the cash register. Places with large homeless populations smell strongly of stale urine. These people who live on the street don’t appear to be temporarily disadvantaged computer programmers, so I suspect that many a city less liberal that Berkeley offers their homeless free passage west, to where you can bask in the sunshine or fog from public sidewalks free from shame.

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