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Health & Lifestyle
on Sun, 02/17/2008 - 9:54am.
I'd suggest that everyone who loses sleep over the plight of the homeless go to ABC News and read about Adam Shepard. Here's a short excerpt: "Alone on a dark gritty street, Adam Shepard searched for a homeless shelter. He had a gym bag, $25, and little else. A former college athlete with a bachelor's degree, Mr. Shepard had left a comfortable life with supportive parents in Raleigh, N.C. Now he was an outsider on the wrong side of the tracks in Charles¬ton, S.C. Shepard's descent into poverty in the summer of 2006 was no accident. Shortly after graduating from Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass., he intentionally left his parents' home to test the vivacity of the American Dream. His goal: to have a furnished apartment, a car, and $2,500 in savings within a year. To make his quest even more challenging, he decided not to use any of his previous contacts or mention his education. During his first 70 days in Charleston, Shepard lived in a shelter and received food stamps. He also made new friends, finding work as a day laborer, which led to a steady job with a moving company. Ten months into the experiment, he decided to quit after learning of an illness in his family. ***BUT BY THEN HE HAD MOVED INTO AN APARTMENT, BOUGHT A PICKUP TRUCK, AND HAD SAVED CLOSE TO $5000.*** The effort, he says, was inspired after reading "Nickel and Dimed," in which author Barbara Ehrenreich takes on a series of low-paying jobs. Unlike Ms. Ehrenreich, who chronicled the difficulty of advancing beyond the ranks of the working poor, Shepard found he was able to successfully climb out of his self-imposed poverty." ************************************ I guess the difference was that Adam wasn't investing every cent he made in something to pour down his gullet, smoke, or snort. Plus he didn't have little green men whispering how nice it would be to sleep under a bridge into his ear. Adam Shepard was basically a normal guy. That's the point. "Basically normal people" who fall on hard times somehow manage to get through them and aren't in tough times for long. The chronic homeless aren't in that state because of poverty or a lack of affordable housing. They're there because they're drunks, druggies, bonkers, or a combination of all three.
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