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Home(less) is where my heart is…

It seems to me that the homeless population of Los Angeles is in need of an advisor. I nominate myself. The following are some very useful tips in which, I believe, will help to better serve the homeless plight.

– Stop the angry begging tactics. If you ask a person for a dollar, and they politely refuse, move on to the next person. Under no circumstances should you harass them. Keep in mind, you don’t like them harassing you when you’re trying to take a nice long nap on the sidewalk they use to walk to work. You also don’t like it when they stare at you in Starbucks because you just sat on the “comfy” chairs that they can no longer sit on because of the smell that is now stuck to the fabric. You don’t like it when they judge you, so don’t judge them. They might not have given you money because they have their own personal neighborhood homeless that they support. I personally pay a homeless couple in my neighborhood about ten dollars a week and I’m glad to do it. Because of this however, I do not give to any other homeless people I encounter outside my neighborhood.
– And speaking of supporting your local homeless, I have another idea. You should congregate more. Why are you always by yourself? You should be out meeting other homeless people. Start a homeless gang. Then when you hit up people for money, more people would be likely to give. I’m more likely to give up money to a homeless gang of five then a single homeless person.
– I notice some of you offer to wash windows in parking lots. Right idea, wrong tactic. People like to have windows done properly, by a car wash. They are very particular about it. One thing you could do is put all of your money into buying an air compressor (another reason for a gang, pool resources) . Hang out on busy intersections during rush hour and offer to fill tires for people. This would be very effective with women. We hate putting air in our tires. I would be willing to pay at least three dollars to have this service done by a homeless person. *Also, if you get really good at this it could lead to job opportunities. Nascar is always looking for fast pit crews. Another job that could be a great money maker is parking space sitter. Many people who live in apartment-filled neighborhoods would really enjoy having a homeless person “sit” on their parking spot all day. All you need to do is walk up to them in the morning and say “hello ma’am, I notice you are leaving and I would like to sit in this spot for you until you come back tonight so that you don’t have trouble finding parking.” –now, if someone pays you the money you must remain there until they get back. This is a verbal agreement and should be treated as if you had signed your name to a contract.

Keep checking in (from the Beverly Hills Library) for helpful tips on how better to navigate the city as a homeless person.
Good Day, warm night-
Nola Shumway
Official Advisor, Helping the Homeless