Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Homeless for a day

Life Experience: We put politics aside today (I wonder what would happen if politicians would do that every once in a while:). We shot a story as a homeless person asking for money. I'm always curious when I pass people holding those signs asking for money or food. What do you do when you pass them? Avert your eyes? Shake your head in sadness? Shake you head in disapproval of why they don't just get a job? Do you offer them money? Do you offer them food? Do you offer them a smile? I ditched the suit today and tried to look like someone you might expect who is asking you for money on the side of the road.
We stood outside for an hour at the Des Moines/West Des Moines city limits at 63rd Street and Grand. Our photographer Jeff Felton tried to hide himself and his camera behind whatever he could and shoot video of how people reacted to us. I wore a tiny camera on my shirt giving us a close-up view of our interaction with drivers. I was nervous when we started. I was nervous after we started. I didn't know if anyone would ever stop. It seemed to take forever but people did offer to help us out. We caught some people doing just about anything not to look at us. But we found others who seemed like they would do anything for complete strangers. Our story runs Wednesday night at 10 on the Channel 13 news. I hope you will watch and let me know what you think and whether it changes how you look at someone the next time you see him asking for your help.


Anthill_Goddess said...

We'd gone into Des Moines to pick up some family from the airport. On our way out of down-town area we spotted a man with the BEST sign ever. It was simple, block letters that said, "Not going to lie. I'm going to buy beer."

We cut across traffic to reach him...and Mom gave the man a $50 and told him to get a sandwhich, too.

When my grandmother passed away she left instructions for her obit to say "Memorial donations can be made to any homeless person on the streets of Tucson."

I'll be watching the story, for sure!

Anonymous said...

Please help the homeless this year. I have helped many of them. Alot have medical problems and can't afford medication. I worked in Des Moines last year and it is so sad, we gave a homeless person money for his medication,some food, and some warm cloths. May God Bless them all.

Snoopy said...

I won't give money to anyone who seems to be homeless, been burnt too many times with the sad sob story of needing milk for the baby or food for the kids only to have them head straight into a store and come out with booze. I will however go and get them some food and bring it back. I am very low income myself so I am not going to risk it not being spent on something that is really needed! It's sad that the few fakes out there made me this way, I used to give money freely.....but at least I know if they truly are homeless they are getting something to eat.

Anonymous said...

How would you want others to treat you if you were homeless? Me and my son were homeless and people helped us out. Got me back on my feet and my son back on his. I am a single father raising my son btw. I have no family. I had no job. Lost it due to the economy. But, people gave us money and food and shelter to keep me going. In a few months, I had my apartment back, a good job and my son didn't have to eat at the homeless shelter scared anymore. But, we now feed the homeless, give what we can and donate our time and clothes to those in need. America is in need of real Americans. DO NOT label someone who is homeless as a drunk or using others. Many out there are for real. Its not about getting burnt. Its about what you would want others to do for you.