Monday, February 06, 2006

Monday in the Park with South Pas Blogs

Apparently, Orange Grove Park is where it's at for my little blogosphere. While jogging this morning, I noticed a disheveled man walking across the park. As I passed him, he said that he used to run, but due to tendonitis and the fact that he doesn't have a bed, he can't do it anymore. My second time passing him, he told me that most people don't realize it, but it's a lot smarter to run on grass instead of concrete.

There are actually a number of homeless people who live in/near South Pasadena. There's a guy named Stephen who has a bushy white beard and speaks with a Russian accent. There's another woman who spends a lot of time at the bus stop near Oaklawn Bridge on Fair Oaks. Today when walking on my lunch break, I said hi to her and asked her how she was doing. She responded, "I'm not sure," and then asked me if I had a cigarette. These are the two that I see the most frequently, but I also see others.

What do you think the role of the community is in caring for the homeless? I realize that sometimes homelessness is the result of decisions a person makes. On the other hand, South Pasadena as a whole is fairly affluent and so small; it amazes me to think that there are people who are without homes in town. I wonder what their stories are, where they come from.


Blogger marielle said...

I'm not sure what to make of the homeless folks in South Pas. There are more and more - when I first moved here, there was just the Oaklawn Bridge woman, and for a time she had a male companion who tended to be threatening and belligerent. He's gone, but now there are the ones you mention, and the guy in front of Rite Aid, and the guy who hangs out in Garfield Park or spends the day walking.

As a renter in the community who will probably never be even a quarter as affluent as the average South Pas homeowner, I'm not sure what the community's role should be. I'd like to think that my more affluent neighbors are altruistic enough to want to help out, but I fear that they are more likely to call the police than to do anything else.

9:38 PM  
Blogger marielle said...

Hey, an update: this morning I saw a motorist actually stop and hand some cash to the homeless guy who spends the day walking!

8:56 PM  
Blogger South Pas Blogs said...

I'm sure there are numerous residents who help out and even have some sort of relationship with homeless people in town. I know there is someone who leaves food in the alley behind our apartment on a regular basis for a homeless person.

8:39 AM  

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