Friday, October 29, 2010

Day Seven: Just One More Night

This week I've been noticing the ways in which the homeless working poor venture around San Francisco. One of the things that I've been seeing all week that I haven't mentioned yet in any of my blog posts are the homeless folk that have been paid by local campaigns to care political signs for $10 an hour, or the folk in the GLIDE line that got paid $1 for each signature that they got from individuals in the line. The pitch to sign was: "sign this, I'll get a dollar." The information on the signature sheet left it to the imagination what it was that we were actually signing. It was something to do with reduced telephone fees for the poor, but without additional info it was hard to tell if we were signing in support or opposition.

I'm a big fan of getting people without resources access to resources, particularly through jobs that are well suited for their particular abilities. However, during this campaign season, I find it a misuse of power to have the very people these propositions or politicians will be cutting services for promote the very campaigns that will end their programs.

Paying homeless people to carry signs as if they are supporting the idea or person on the sign sends a false message to others who may want to vote for the person who is most likely to help the poor.

In the same way that people are urging for transparency in commercial sponsorship, it should be required at "grassroots" rallies and public signature gatherers and sign carriers to where t-shirts signifying that they are actually on the payroll of the group, idea or candidate they are supporting.

Tonight will be my last night on the streets and I'll get to go home to my own bed in the morning. I'm deeply looking forward to an end of this particular type of exhaustion in my life. I'm also excited to have more than just fried starchy foods in my diet again. I think my complexion and tummy will also enjoy this.

I feel confident as my street retreat ends, that what I have learned will benefit my work with the homeless for the rest of the year. If you have not yet taken the time to respond to my begging and send a gift large or small to Welcome (where I work with the chronically homeless all year long) I hope you'll click on the donation link on the top right of this blog.

I beg so others don't have to.

Thanks again for readying my adventures on the streets. I'll post another entry tomorrow and be adding some stuff that I didn't have computer access to add earlier.

My prayer tonight is that bosses everywhere will be aware of the power they have and think about the ethics of requiring their workers to preform their daily work duties. And of course for those who are without work to get some - and when they can, to get better jobs (in whatever way that means to them).

Have a blessed night, here's hoping that there is no more rain today! May you and yours be warm and dry tonight and every night.

Location:Starbucks, Polk and Van Ness, San Francisco

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