Brian McLane

Media and Social Commentary

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May 9th, 2012 · No Comments · Social Commentary

I got to the top of subway platform and it was very cold for a May morning.

There were no trains in sight. I looked across the platform and there was a cop radio-ing for assistance as he stood a few feet away from a homeless man. It all seemed routine.

The homeless guy didn’t seem drunk, but he just didn’t care to comply with the whatever it was that the policeman was requiring of him. He sat, slumped onto his right palm supported by his elbow which rested upon the worn wooden bench. He’s given up.

A picture was worth a thousand words. It was clear that the man preferred the comfort of jail than of trying to make a go of it for another day. He was probably in his early 40’s but looked much older. Younger than me and beaten. Some are motivated by their alcoholism, others drugs, some try to turn it around. But I have noticed recently a marked increase in homeless on the subways. Perhaps they retreat there for what they perceive as safety.

The other day I was coming back from my favorite bakery in Chinatown (Swan on Center Street at Canal) and a guy, who didn’t look all that homeless, walked to the back of a little sitting area off Broadway on White street, took down his pants and just defecated right there on the street. Why are we seeing all these things again?

Here are some interesting facts on homelessness in New York City.
Each year 100,000 New Yorkers experience homelessness.
* Each night, over 38,000 homeless individuals sleep in the New York City shelter system. This includes more than 16,000 children and 8,000 single adults. Thousands more sleep on city streets and in other public places.
* Nearly 1-in-20 New York City residents have experienced homelessness.

Some more interesting facts. The following were homeless.
Billionaires: 1
Millionaires: uncounted
Nobel Prize Winners: 1
Nobel Prize Nominees: 2 (includes above)
Oscar Winners: 7
Oscar Nominees: 11 (includes above)
Emmy Award Winners: 8
Emmy Award Nominees: 11 (includes above)
Grammy Award Winners: 9
Grammy Award Nominees: 14 (includes above)
Best-Selling Authors: 9
Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients (U.S.’s highest civilian honor): 1
Knighthoods: 1

Some celebs that were homeless?
Halle Berry, Jim Carrey, Drew Carey, Kelly Clarkson, Kurt Cobain, Daniel Craig, Troy Donahue, Kelsey Grammer, Carmen Electra, David Letterman, Lil Kim, Suze Orman, Tyler Perry, William Shatner, Tupac, Martin Sheen, Sylvester Stallone, Rob Thomas, Hilary Swank, and hundreds of others. For a more comprehensive list click

And here is a great article on the sharp rise in tent cities in the United States.

what if this was your daughter homeless give up

what if this was your daughter homeless give up

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