As our economy collapses around us, homelessness rises. We have a higher rate of homelessness in Arizona because of the weather. Old, young, disabled, veterans, mentally ill, and entire families are living on the streets.
People are dumping their animals in alarming numbers in this depression, yet homeless people manage to hang on to their dogs. I met this man today resting in the shade behind a building while his friend was going through a nearby dumpster. Every dumpster behind every supermarket has foragers who depend on them for their lives.
This man’s name is Eddie. I walked up to him and asked him how he was doing. OK, he said. I asked him if $5 was a fair trade for a photo of him and his dog, whose name is Willie Nelson. Sure, he said. I asked him if he had enough to eat. Sometimes. I asked him where he slept. Behind Walmart. I asked him if there were a group of them who sleep there. Yes. I spoke to him for a few more minutes and snapped a few pictures. I pet his beautiful dog and asked if the dog got enough to eat. Yeah, he said, Willie eats before I do.
I thanked him and shook his hand and wished him luck. I kissed Willie Nelson on the head and once again felt disgust for our government. A billion here, a billion there. Foreign aid packages, oil wars, bailouts. But keep cutting programs that keep our people alive, because who gives a shit about us spoiled, greedy Americans going into foreclosure and moving into our new homes behind Walmart. Fuck you, US government, all of you.