Photo by myself on Fifth Avenue, around 16th Street.
An older man was propped up on the sidewalk while the world walked by.
I've been using the word 'homeless' to describe a large category of people.
There are those who are truly homeless, who are in obvious need of a shower and change of clothing. Some amass heaps of found objects, shopping carts and bags on the sidewalk, which they call their home. Many suffer from mental illness.
Others live on the margins of society, but are not completely 'homeless'. They look cleaner, healthier. These folks are probably itinerant. They might sleep in shelters or SROs (single room occupancies), where you can rent a bedroom and share a bathroom.
Our local New York news channel, NY1, reports that homelessness in New York City increased by 1/3 this past year. After canvassing the streets, city volunteers found over 3,000 people living outside or in the subways. The shelters are also reporting record numbers.
I've read that many families and individuals that wind up in shelters stay there for a short time. They've encountered a spot of bad luck, like losing a job or losing their apartment. A brief stay in a shelter is what they need before getting on their feet again.
For the NY1 article, click here.
Society's Trash, Homeless Woman, 34th Street Platform and Homeless Man, Central Park.