Homelessness on the Rise

With current economic troubles, I’ve heard lots of news about the rise in homelessness.  I believed it, but last night I really saw it.

I was taking the train from NYC’s Penn Station.  I’m a regular in this station and am quite used to the regular inhabitants.  But yesterday, I was completely flummoxed by the number of homeless people.  I’m used to seeing 1-2 folks who aren’t aggressively asking for money. 

Things have changed.

There were two guys at on the the 7th Avenue entrances.  They were attempting to charge people a toll for the escalator down.  I passed 4 more homeless people on my way to the main waiting area.  Many were waiting just outside the station eateries, begging for money.  I even saw one guy harassing a customer at Zaro’s for the change from his meal purchase.

I was saddened to see this step-up in the numbers and the desperation.  The aggressiveness is something I’d never seen in NYC. 

What happens to the homeless when everyone is financially struggling?  Do the social services that support them shut down?  Do people stop caring because they have their own problems to deal with?

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