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June 05, 2015

If you can't get online, how do you find a job?

First, see our post Round 2: "One Night, One Person" and related links. As those links show, we're still testing the waters here for what we white collars of four generations might do for people we literally trip over every day in the world's larger business districts. Query: If a motivated homeless person can't get online, how does she find a job? That's, after all, the first place to start these days. Yes, we realize that public libraries have free access to the Net. For years we've all been seeing homeless people in both big city downtowns and "nice" suburbs from New York City to Poway, Rancho Bernardo and Carmel Mountain California, right? But is there enough access and hardware to help everyone who needs it? And for many applications don't doesn't she need a U.S. mail drop, too? For regular mail, there is no Bass Pro family camping version of it, as far as I know.

Hey, I don't like these questions either. But living in the Dupont Circle-Logan area of DC I see about 50 homeless people every day and night. Most aren't crazy, drunks or addicts.* How do I know? I talk to them--which should surprise no one. I talk to everyone. And I know crazies, drunks and addicts when I engage them, folks. Anyway, most I meet are clean, well-clothed and well-groomed given their circumstances. Many are amazingly well-organized, too. So what if a "deserving and motivated" rough sleeper wants a job? Thanks to lawyer's lawyer and my favorite limousine liberal Peter Friedman for the idea, this NYT article and making me more behind in my work for other limousine liberals.

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*One technical exception is my "regular" Reggie who I keep giving money to even though I shouldn't. Reggie is funny and bright and about my age--and does admit to drinking but never seems drunk. I think he wants to work. I see him two or three times a week we spend as much as 20 minutes goofing on his cronies who really need panhandling lessons. Reggie is a little too good ("I need you tonight, Dan...") at begging but does buy food with the money he receives outside the P Street CVS. I taught Reggie and his friends a dance a bunch of us made up in high school called the "Philly Dog New Breed" and so far only Reggie can do it. He yells at his friends when they screw up a new free spin I worked into it. I am thinking of taking Reggie to an AA meeting--which he wants to do anyway; he once had 8 years sober--even though he never seems soused to me. Find him a sponsor and maybe get him working.

Posted by JD Hull at June 5, 2015 05:49 PM

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