I would just like to say that I find Nick Welsh’s article on Pope Francis a totally brilliant analysis of both the present Pope and the world attitude toward poverty. My wife and I work in a program here on Long Island, NY, that provides food and shelter for the homeless during the cold winter months. As you can imagine, the problems of the homeless here are more severe than in Santa Barbara with it’s relatively benign year round climate.
We have found that many of the homeless actually have jobs but can’t afford a place to live. Some don’t have regular jobs but do all they can to survive. An example is one of our clients, who lived in the woods on public land. To make some money, he collected wooden orange crates from supermarket dumpsters and, using simple hand tools, fashioned them into beautiful birdhouses and somehow marketed them. Ergo, a homeless entrepreneur! Others are just ordinary people who have fallen on hard times and through the social safety net.
The attitude of many people is that the homeless are a drain on our society while actually they are the result of the failure of our society to provide an environment in which all of our citizens can live and prosper, not only those who happen to be fiscally advantaged. So, again my kudos to Nick on a brilliant piece of writing!!!