Dilemma: Homeless in Los Angeles

in homelessness •  last month  (edited)

Homelessness happens--painfully. Like unexpected collisions with the unanticipated, just around the corner. But with lingering effects. 

There is an UPside to it--you are FREE. If you desire, there is no longer any real schedule, no commitments...but the DOWNside of this is, with no schedule, soon--there is no point

Is amazing to me, even now, seeing how "socially unraveled" a person who is homeless often becomes.

Booze, cigs, drugs and weed are SO EASY to find. The entrepreneurs of the homeless have made cigarettes a form of commerce. They acquire a tobacco pouch and rolling papers, then scour the ground near coffee shops, libraries,  corporate and government buildings for dropped butts. They harvest remnants of tobacco and then roll their own cigs. Sell them for a 25-50-cents a piece. People prefer cigs with the traditional look/packaging but the sheer addictive need for nicotine sweeps away snootiness. The rolled cigs are snapped up greedily.

There is a formal, if quietly, targeted market for the homeless. Even the major supermarkets and the 7-Elevens are not immune, making certain that 211 Steel Reserve and cans of tall Busch are easily found. Come the first of each month when the benefit checks arrive, merchants silently make certain that 12-paks of beer, Taaka vodka, and cheaper cig brands like "Time" are in abundant supply so they can get their cut. The first months of homelessness can be a non-ending party for the "Charlie Sheens" among us.

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