Understanding Homelessness. Personal Experience
I knew that I would encounter homelessness when I came to Berkeley. I was expecting it, because just about everybody I knew had something to say about the rumors they'd heard filter over from the West Coast. Coming from New York, however, I figured I'd seen it all, and would be in control over whatever I would be up against. Reality quickly hit me, though, as I began to familiarize myself with Berkeley and its main streets. I'd never seen anything quite like Telegraph Avenue and People's Park. No matter how much poverty one has seen throughout the course of their lives, it's far more difficult to accept when it occurs in areas of high concentration.
Understanding the nature of homeless people asking for money and their interactions with people walking up and down a main street such as Telegraph Avenue is a difficult task. This observation process, which took place on Telegraph Avenue watching the homeless at 'work', was difficult because of the wealth of information one could find in simply watching as one person asked another for money. …
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