Street Life

Reads: 168  | Likes: 1  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 2

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic



Street Life

A Global Embarrassment

Graffiti hovers over street people.  There are sketches of these inhabitants in parkas; being warmed by basket fires and trying to stay warm.  To the right are drawings of skyscrapers, the American flag and all the things that represent freedom. But fairness and freedom aren’t for them. 


Pieces of cardboard, plastic garbage bags and random discards on the dirty street, cluttered with garbage, dirty concrete buildings except the white background brushed on by the artist himself, actually adding a bit of flare and light to the area.


Living outdoors requires daily scrounging as the street people who are shuffled from one area to the other hoping for one corner where they will be left alone by the street cops. 


People wrap themselves in plastic bags or make a bit of a tent in which a scrap of fabric or plastic makes a door to keep out the wind. There are stashes of personal possessions taken from dumpsters in the area and making them more comfortable. 


One man makes a bit of a cart in which he can haul around anything that can be sold for a few bucks to get himself a morning coffee.  Mornings come early due to morning dew in the air, rain or snow of the day.


Hopefully, no one takes his possessions or throws them away while they’re gone scrounging for cans and bottles, and more valuable throwaways. This bit of money is necessary for the food they buy packaged.  No place to cook a bowl of soup or make a proper meal. 


Maybe the soup kitchen will have something warm and tasty today. The line up is long but they have time to wait. It’s sad to see a country so wealthy without enough for social programs. 


No apartments are available that they can afford and so they are in the hostel, on the street, or in abandoned buildings which are often dangerous places, especially for the young. 


Many street-people have mental disorders.  They do not feel comfortable around others, so choose to be out in the cold as opposed to a hostel where they are often harassed by bullies. 


With nowhere to put their possessions, they will have to haul them around all day.  A kindly restaurant owner or coffee shop allows them to get cleaned up and maybe suited up for a possible chance for work. 

They shave, wash their face and hands and a bit of their body if they have time before a customer comes wanting to use the facilities. 


Hopefully, this man has decent shoes.  Many have ones that are taped together without a complete sole.  His feet are wet all day in the slush and rain he will walk through all day. 


When you don’t have a home to start your day in, there is no place to make breakfast and you start out hungry, depending only on a huge paper cup of coffee that you carry around all day, hoping that today will be a better one. 



Shirley Langton 2020


Submitted: November 12, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Shirley M. Langton. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:



It is very sad that some people are suffering without a home and aren't able to get the proper support they need. I really enjoyed reading your piece and you really highlighted the struggles of homelessness. There's so many elements to it such as not having access to food and hygiene and mental health issues. It's a problem which we should all address.

Tue, November 17th, 2020 11:46am


Thank you for showing interest. Shirley

Tue, November 17th, 2020 7:26am

The Ghost-Bull

This needs to be heard and spoken about more frequently. This reminds me of Ocean Front in Virginia Beach. It is pretty sad to see this, indeed. I've seen many homeless individuals sleeping on the benches at the boardwalk at night, considering it home. After this pandemic grew into existence, there's been more homeless living out on the streets at Ocean Front. With the dangerous, wild, life out there, their survival is also against people with scary intentions, leaving them endangered throughout each night.

Fri, November 20th, 2020 9:05pm

Facebook Comments

Other Content by Shirley M. Langton