Sunday, December 28, 2008

How to tell who is homeless on warm winter day

I've been fortunate to be around the homeless in downtown Nashville and north Nashville for a month now, and it has been a real learning and spiritual experience.

Take for instance the past several warm winter days.

It's easy to tell the homeless person in Bicentennial Mall compared to the visitor or tourist.

The tourist or local visitor is in short sleeves and even shorts.

The homeless person still has his or her coat on, along with layers of clothing.

Aren't they hot? I don't think so. I believe there is a chill to the bones that never leaves, no matter the shift in temperature. And there also is a chill in how you are treated as a pariah, particularly in Nashville by its authorities. Finally, there is no safe place you could leave your extra clothing or any other possession.

So that's how you tell who is homeless on a warm, winter day.

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