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Friday, May 4, 2012

Homelessness in Warsaw

I watched a few homeless guys enter our "gated" community here in Warsaw today. They didn't jump the fence or sneak in ... they had the code to our electronic gate. These guys walked in with their bags, politely went to the dumpster area and began their ritual of sifting through the garbage for anything they might find useful. I met a couple of them at the dumpster and I have to say they are more polite than most people I have met in the tram or the bus. They were friendly and courteous ... pleasant people. The same cannot be said for a few of the residents in our community.

I write about this observation because in the US these guys would definitely be the target of the police. However, in the situation here, there is a difference in attitude. The homeless seem to be more tolerated. When a person goes to Central Station, he is guaranteed to be approached by a homeless person. If it isn't for cigarettes, it is them "helping" you park your car. They can be a bit pushy at times, but no one seems to give them a hard time. There is no raging anger by people passing by as I have seen in major cities in the US. Unless he is disgustingly drunk, the man asking for money or a cigarette or offering to park your car is simply trying to live. How can one get so angry over that?

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