Poverty among riches: Third-world living in the first-world…

a 1

Was that picture taken in Bangladesh? Nope.

a 2

I took these on the same day I took the pictures from the edge of the San Francisco Bay and the sunset photos from up in the hills.

a 3

This is America. There are children living here. And veterans. Old people. Sick people. Hungry people. People with mental health issues.

a 4

That row of hills in the far distance… that is where I took those delightful sunset photos I have been sharing from. The house I grew up in, that I still go back to, is up in those hills.

a 5

I am thinking of contacting some publishers and offering… for an advance… to write a book, a book full of photos… where I live among these people, all over the country, for a year.

a 6

Everybody knows these people exist. Nobody knows what to do about them. Most people just don’t want to see them so they don’t have to think about them.

a 7

Yes, a few of these people are opting for this. They don’t want to work. But the vast majority do. How do you get a job if you have no phone, no address, no nice clothes, no shower?

a 8

Where would you cash a check, or keep the money if you could cash it?

a 9

That photo I took as I drove out of town a few days later. From the freeway. This encampment is seen by hundreds of thousands of people every month. And this is going on all over the country. All over the world. While some have more than they can ever use, and whine about high taxes, others starve and freeze and die forgotten.

a 10

Those people are ‘living’, if that is the right word to use, within walking distance of this view of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge.

a 11

That camp, as seen from the top of those hills, is just in the center foreground of that photo.

a 12

Those people down there, they were under this golden sky, this sunset, a sun that set, for them, on another day of hopelessness.

About pouringmyartout

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4 Responses to Poverty among riches: Third-world living in the first-world…

  1. We have a similar dilemma here in Dallas. One of the most populous and wealthiest metropolitan areas in the U.S. also has a significant homeless population. A few years ago the city of Dallas decided to remove a couple of homeless encampments beneath some highway overpasses near downtown. They all but made it illegal to be homeless in Dallas. Of course, those people didn’t all magically find homes or some decent place to live. They just spread out to other locales. Making them disappear didn’t resolve the problem. It never has and it never will.

    I don’t know what the solution is or should be. But we have a president who wants to spend $5 billion to construct a wall along 1,500-mile length of the U.S.-Mexican border. That money could settle a lot of student debt and/or build a lot of homes for the people we see in those homeless encampments.

  2. Jane Lurie says:

    Excellent post. An extremely painful aspect of living in SF. (And many other cities around the country, for that matter.) I hope you get support for a book or a series.

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