On Mother’s day Sunday, Krissandra and James sat parallel to a Whole Foods entry door. James Bannister, a homeless man in the George Washington University area, was sitting on two milk crates, wore a yellow jacket, blue ragged jeans, and worn work boots. Bannister was with his cousin, Krissandra. They wished people a happy mother’s day as they walked out of Whole Foods. We spoke to them for over an hour, trying to understand what brought them to where they are today. From this we learned these things:
First, we learned that citizens feel their government leaders must be responsible for fulfilling the basic necessities. Krissandra pointed out during our conversation, that the mayor of DC, should spend at least a day sitting in her shoes to discover what it’s like to be homeless. She mentioned the government has plenty of resources at their disposal, there is no reason that people should be living on the streets. She gave examples of government money being invested abroad while local people are still without a home. Krissandra discussed how she saw private sponsored fundraisers for the homeless, however, she never saw the money.
Homeless people are human, people walk by these two individuals without saying anything. When I approached them for a conversation, they were happy to share their story. They, like you and I, need food to eat, a place to live, and want economic stability. They feel that it’s a shame on our country that any person should have to live like this.
The homeless issue must be an issue looked at by society. It would require a collaboration amongst individuals, communities, and government to put together a sustainable solution to this problem. These people must be given an opportunity to thrive or extreme poverty will only continue.
Most people walk down the street without even a second thought about the other bodies that inhabit that sidewalk that is being shared. If we took a second to stop, and view the world around us, who would we see? A lot of people who share the sidewalk with us call it their home. The homeless are the pinnacle of an issue not often brought up in conversation. We were able to witness a story told by two beautiful people.
Reflections from a Millennial: What Do The Homeless Think Of The Government?