A Bum Deal Fascinating and Disturbing Look at Homeless Life--Book Review

Many automatically avert their gaze to avoid making eye contact when they see a homeless person on the street, since it is better, they feel, to not recognize through their own eyes, that homelessness exists. Those who look away are fighting a fear that they too could wind up on the street. As the philosopher, George Berkeley, reasoned, “What one perceives exists. What one does not perceive does not exist.” So what is playing out is fear, denial and perception defense.

To the homeless person, the turning of a head away from them signifies total rejection, because, they think, they are disgusting and less than human, a self-hatred perception which cause them even greater pain. They have been thrown away, rejected and treated as trash, being caught in a trap that seems inescapable.

A high percentage of those who recognize homelessness as a malfunction of society have no idea what the life of a homeless person is like behind the scenes. Maybe 50% have an idea. but less than 20% of those have knowledge of a particular form of violence in this mysterious, secret world (that is too familiar with violence in general), where the goal each day and night is simply to exist, to stay alive..

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