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Northern Arizona University



The homeless, as a general population, are not "crazy" or "dangerous"; at least, not any more so than any desperate person.

They are the skilled laborer, laid off a job in a town with no prospects and no money to travel to more work. They are the single mother who couldn't care for her children and work at the same time, missing the rent too many times and lacking any family or friends that were willing or able to help adequately. They are the elderly, lost to the streets having possibly outlived their children (if any) and possibly suffering from some illness. They are castaways, put out by their family and friends for being abusive, freeloading, possibly a substance abuser, or a combination of these factors. They are any or all of these, or something entirely else.

For certain, there are released mental patients and other such invalids on our streets, but they require help just as much as a "hard-luck case," and they certainly don't speak for the homeless en masse.


Tim Salam and Jessica Rice