Chris is homeless in Hawthorne, a city in southwestern Los Angeles County, California. At the start of this interview, Chris states that he recycles to survive instead of committing crimes.
Some of you may have trouble understanding the significance of what Chris said. People have to eat. Humans have basic needs, and if the person cannot get a job or if they are unemployable, let’s say because of a prison record, their choices are to steal or sell drugs, which will send them back to prison, and as a taxpayer, we pay considerable taxes to lock criminals up.
Chris spent some time in prison. Now, because he cannot find employment, he lives outside in a tent. Chris is a good guy. He tries to help other homeless people all he can. Chris even teaches the ins and outs of recycling.
Chris has lived at the current homeless encampment for six months. He says that’s a long time. Police make them move after people complain about seeing the trash. What the public needs to understand is humans make trash.
All of us, without exception, create some waste or garbage. Most of us are used to having trash pickup. Homeless people do not have that luxury. As Chris says, if the city provided a dumpster with even just monthly pickup, the homeless camp would use it.
There is a direct connection between homelessness and incarceration. Many people end up on the streets after being released from prison. There is little support for reentry back into society, and it’s nearly impossible for an ex-con to find employment.
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