Your story touches me in a very personal place.
My youngest sister spent 4 years homeless. It was difficult to know that. I stayed supportive of her when the others in my own family could not, all for good reason.
I tried to learn from her what her life as a homeless person was like. She once drew me a map of the places she could be found throughout the day — the tree shaded park, the soup kitchen — places like that.
We wrote letters back and forth. I’d slip $20 bills into mine to keep her alive until she could find her own way back out.
And she did and I am thankful. She now lives in my deceased parent’s old RV on a lot she owns and keeps their old dog as her companion now. I think of it as a minor miracle. At least she is still alive.
I actually stop and even turn around to give people who are begging some money. I can’t believe anyone would do that out of laziness — only because they are desperate in some way. I am careful about it. As a woman, it tends to be given to other women. I do know it can be a dangerous world, if one encounters someone with bad inner wounds. If safely public, I will give a hand-out to a man.
I never “not see” them. That is the cruelest thing we can do.