At a highway exit, he stands with his sign, nowhere near a shelter, on Christmas Eve.
What is his story?
Yesterday I headed downtown. All along the way, I saw men holding signs.
They did not give up. Each time the light turned, there was a new group of cars offering them hope.
As the light cycle ended, they would drop their sign, seemingly in defeat.
One had a limp. Is it real? What is his story?
I am told that many have disabilities, that in the line for food, they talk about how their disability landed them in the food line. What are those stories?
Yesterday they seemed to only have one extra coat and their sign. Where were the rest of their belongings? Do they have anything? Where are their families? What are their stories?
If I gave them a dollar, what would they do with it? What if I gave them $100? What would they do with it?
What are their stories?
Some people say that we need to hold these people accountable.
Do people who say that know the stories of people on the corners?
If people are on the corner, do they have any resources? If they have no resources then how can they begin to be accountable?
Where could we start? How did they get there? What are their stories? Is anyone willing to listen?
If they messed up and landed on the corner with nothing, how can we hold them accountable for messing up when they now have nothing? And what is their story?
If they are there out of plain bad luck, then what accountability do we demand? What's the story?
If they are there because of addiction, is it our place to judge that they should be held accountable? What's the story?
Do people on corners know much different, or has this been their way of life, and the way of life for those before them (ie generational poverty)? What is their story?
Have people who want accountability ever been out there? Have they heard stories? Then in some way, these people who want accountability from those who have nothing... don't they have accountability to listen to the stories and to know why people are on the corners? Are the people demanding accountability, accountable?
And in this whole circle of accountability and stories, does anyone have