Sometime last night this homeless statistic rolled her shopping cart onto Ronald McDonald’s premises and parked it. 

The Albuquerque homeless problem is ubiquitous even if un-employment is low and jobs are rumored to be everywhere. Most  intersections in the better parts of town have panhandlers holding ” I’m Hungry ” signs right under City Hall notices that tell you not to give them a dime. 

When McDonald’s opens at five this morning, Javier will come out and shoo this squatter off but she will be back tomorrow unless she finds a better place under a freeway overpass where homeless people’s cell phones, at night, look like bedroom night lights as they lean against overpass stanchions and surf the net.

This country has wealth but people are evenly divided on whether we should steal from the rich to take care of those who have and give nothing, or whether people are entitled to keep what they have worked for if they have broken no laws to earn it. 

This cold morning, our squatter will come into McDonald’s and slump in a booth. We will buy him,her, or he/she a coffee and burrito. Even though we talk tough about pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, we know bootstraps are not always handy.

Using band aids to treat cancer isn’t the best strategy but to leave a homeless hungry, with change in our pockets, would be criminal.

 

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