Thursday, May 28, 2009

some people can't be changed.

We zipped up our hoodies, tied up our converse, and headed out the door. With my neighbors, I walked over to a movie theater in the 'hood which claims to have the best popcorn in the city. I digress.... only because of the multiple flavors available to add to your popcorn does Landmark Theather stand at the top of my list.

Movie tickes sold for 4$ at our local theater. We saw The Soloist. Although I assumed the movie to be predictable and without creativity, I was surprised at the outcome of this movie. The movie was full of interesting information that I was before ignorant to and did not disappoint.

I was never aware of the LAMP Community in LA that houses poor and homeless people with severe disabilities, until I saw this movie. Los Angeles is home to over 90,000 homeless people, more than New York, Chicago, and San Francisco combined. Often times, the homeless people of LAMP's community are harassed by cops who perform twice-daily sweeps and trash the residents' belongings. Read more about it here.

Years ago, when I still lived in Fort Wayne, I was dating a guy who got weekly haircuts at a barber shop in our neighborhood. One day while at the barber shop, he noticed a guy sweeping hair and performing other small jobs around the shop. Turns out this guy was homeless, had been hired by the shop for small amounts of cash.

Barry [Mr. Homeless] was hired by [guy I was dating at the time] to clean and paint his basement for a mere 40-50$. Eventually we introduced Barry to a few neighbors in the 'hood, many who also hired Barry for odd jobs around their homes. Barry moved into an apartment owned by one of our neighbors, and they hired him full-time as their handy-man. For quite a while, Barry enjoyed the improved lifestyle and took advantage of ordinary things like sleeping in a warm bed, and shopping at the grocery store for food. BUT although Barry had a house to live in, he still had the mentality of a homeless person. Eventually, he moved back in to the streets. We have not seen or heard from him since.

Who were we to assume that Barry was not living the life he loved?
Who were we to tell Barry that there was more to life?
Who were we to attempt at changing a person unwilling to change?

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