Welcome to “Who’s Out There”
This blog is about talking with people living in the streets – and, actually, it’s about listening.
So far it’s with people in Monterey, California, with one person in San Francisco.
This started as a project in a course in which each student takes on something that they say will be a contribution to their community. The project is centered around the idea that in our current economy, people disappear – to the streets. Suze Ormond noted that when people lose jobs and can’t make their mortgage payments and then lose their homes – they go to the bottom. They can’t get loans, can’t get credit cards, lose their FICA ratings, etc. Some employers are asking for a credit report and a person’s FICA rating when one applies for a job.
We all encounter such people – holding cardboard signs, begging for a buck or for food.
Who are they?
(An edit – I’ve changed a couple of people’s real names to names of Greek gods and goddesses, after discovering that I had put a person in peril by posting his name and information. I intend this to be an interesting and safe place. Let me know if I’ve crossed a line, and I’ll take down the post immediately. -Vaughn)
I propose we find out – that we talk with them. Find out who they are, where they came from, what happened, and what they care about. So far, I’ve ‘interviewed’ more than a dozen people and have met many of their friends. The experience has been extremely moving, rewarding, and revealing – revealing a presence of humanity and community network I would never have guessed existed. My friend, Joyce, interviewed Joe B., thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and came away thoroughly inspired.
And to my surprise, I’m discovering more about who I am – perhaps the real reason I’m doing this?