Thursday, March 26, 2009
Pics like this makes people think that the homeless are lazy. People see the homeless sleeping on benches, in churches, at meals, and they think, "No wonder these people are homeless! They sleep all the time and never get off their butts to work!"
What most people don't know is that when the homeless sleep, it's because they're tired.
Sleep is one of the hardest things to do when you are homeless. The police roust you in the middle of the night on occasion, but even when they don't you are listening for them. Or for kids who want to beat you up. Or for stray animals. Or whatever else that might harm you. Or it just might be really cold and you don't have adequate warmth.
The point of being homeless is that you don't have four walls and a roof. This automatically means less security than a housed person and less protection from the weather. That's a given. Well, this also means less sleep. It's hard to rest when you don't feel safe, when you might get rousted at any time of the night. It's hard to sleep when your bed is wet. It's hard to sleep when the ground you're sleeping on is so cold that your body temperature drops.
So the homeless often catch up on sleep during the day. Which makes them look lazy. But many of them are just trying to not go insane. Some of them succeed.
Pic was taken by Portland Monthly Magazine