Hi, I'm David Scott. I founded the homeless Action Network in order to help raise awareness on the problems faced by the homeless everywhere.
Whenever I see a homeless person I experience strong feelings of empathy and compassion. I ask myself, "Where did this person come from? Where is his family? What could have happened to bring this person to her present condition?" Homeless people are often the victims of violent crimes; they suffer from hunger and exposure to the elements; are vulnerable to disease; have little access to medical attention; and, they are generally ignored when they seek help.
Contrary to popular belief, most homeless did not become so out of choice. Most did not become homeless because, as I have heard some people say, "they are lazy, stupid, or immoral." Many of them are the victims of abuse in the form of neglect and abandonment by their parents or other caregivers; prolonged sexual abuse; or isolated incidents of extreme trauma. Some of them are simply victims of life's tragedies, such as hurricanes, fires, or other catastrophes from which they simply don't have the resources to recover. Also, there is a snowball effect that occurs with homelessness--once a person has fallen to the level of living on the streets it is very difficult for them to get a job, even if they are capable of working. After all, who is going to hire someone with no address? Most homeless people don't have the resources to even do their laundry; who is going to hire someone in filthy clothes? Also, the condition of homelessness creates and/or adds to a low sense of self-esteem, which makes it difficult to relate to other people. It is difficult to find, much less keep a job, once a person's self-esteem is so badly damaged.
The next time you see a homeless person, I challenge you to look them in the eye...smile and say hello instead of turning away in disgust. They can sense your disdain and they probably feel worse about themselves than you will ever know. You don't have to give them money if they ask for it--just say hi and meet their eyes. Sometimes a friendly word is worth more than a few cents, anyway. In order to raise awareness of the problems the homeless face, I look for homeless people and ask them if I can take their photographs: I always give them a dollar or two for the privilege of doing so. Usually, I am surprised by their cheerfulness and sense of dignity and pride. Often, they will show themselves to have some kind of talent--there is a fine line between genius and insanity. They are usually very friendly and will sometimes perform great acts of generosity. Help me to fight homelessness by donating to this website or making a purchase through the Faces of the Homeless gift shop. In my opinion, a poor homeless man who gives away his last dime, is holier than wealthy man who makes huge donations to charity.
I am currently in the process of obtaining a non-profit status for my organization. If you would like to contribute your support or services in any capacity, you will have my deep gratitude on behalf of the homeless people I serve.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and may you find peace and happiness in all of your endeavors.