Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Cellophane People


Cellophane People

Look hard when you drive through Anytown USA. You will see them. But you really must look hard.

Because you’ve been conditioned not to see them.

We don’t want to see them. We’ve been conditioned to believe they are human failures. Bums. Slackers. Ne’er-do-wells. 

They are the undeserving, lazy scum without homes or jobs. 

They are the Cellophane People. People without names or faces.

And worse, they are people without value to our society. 

Our town councils and state legislatures pass laws to keep them out of our parks and tourists’ areas. Away from downtown merchants’ stores and from sleeping on our sidewalks.

They have nowhere to go. No resources. No hope.

Only despair.

Today, as you drive or walk past them and look away, know that you didn’t see just one of more than one-half million* Cellophane People trying to find a place to sleep tonight.

Not our job? 


We are all just a job loss away during the next politically driven, heartless, economic shutdown. Or, the next time the banks too big to fail, fail. Or, the MAGAt people succeed and eliminate our pitiful safety net.

Please consider asking your city council person to create a local, humane program to help your local cellophane people find a path back to their identity as human beings, a living minimum wage, and a safe place to sleep tonight.

*State of Homelessness: 2023 Edition

Who’s unhoused in California? Largest study in decades upends mythsSam Levin, The Guardian, 20 Jun 2023.

"The research from UCSF’s Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative, based on a representative survey of nearly 3,200 unhoused people, contradicts several persistent myths about the population, including that most unhoused people come from out of state to take advantage of services, as well as stereotypes that homeless people are mostly young adults who prefer to live outside and don’t want help."

“People are homeless because their rent is too high. And their options are too few. And they have no cushion,” Dr Margot Kushel, initiative director and lead investigator, told the Associated Press. “And it really makes you wonder how different things would look if we could solve that underlying problem.”

"The researchers recommended that the state (California) increase access to housing that is affordable to extremely low-income people, including by expanding rental subsidies; expand homelessness prevention through financial support and legal assistance, including for people leaving jails, prisons and drug treatment; expand eviction protections; increase access to treatment; and increase outreach and services for people living on the streets."

America’s Hidden Homeless: Invisible People on the Streets | Poverty in USA Documentary

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