Recently I saw the aftermath of a car impacting a person. The person hit was a man, a bit older than middle-aged, appearing for all intents and purposes to be stereotypically homeless. I do not know the circumstances of the incident itself, but seeing a man writhing on the ground, blood spattered on the road near his head, his belongings strewn down the side of the street, was jarring.
Everyone involved stood around him, speaking to one another, all the while he was groaning in pain and asking for something to cover his legs; the impact pulled his pants nearly off his body. He said he was embarrassed and asked to be covered to save his dignity, but no one seemed to pay any heed. I asked him his name. He said, “What do you care?”
I have never seen a more visceral representation of how we treat the homeless, both here in Boise and throughout the nation; a man lying there, blood smeared, battered, groaning for help, everyone talking about what happened and what to do, but even surrounded by people, he was all alone. And we all seem to be OK with that.
Matthew Miller, Boise