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Out of the closet and onto the streets

I met Robert Mullins by chance at a bus stop in the Temescal neighborhood of Oakland, California. It was hot, and we had both crowded in the only slice of afternoon shade the tired blue bus stop had to offer. He introduced himself to me, and because we seemed relatively close in age, I asked him if he went to school in the area. He didn’t – not at the moment at least – because he was homeless after being forced out by his parents shortly after his sixteenth birthday.

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In viewing the entirety of the homeless as being beyond a minimum threshold of society, we place them below “us” and they are thus easy to help. But make no mistake, helping has the same result as blaming the individual: They are silent, and we are content.