Thursday, January 29, 2009

"They need those bumps..."

I was riding the late-night school shuttle last week to go to a get-together at the University Village, the shopping center right next to campus. I told the driver that I'd be out late that night, and that I'd see him later that evening, so he knew to be looking for me. When he asked where, I indicated the shuttle's stop at the Grand Marc apartments, right across the street. He replied that that wasn't a good idea, as "homeless people sleep there at night." (Which doesn't really bother me that much... The homeless are mostly harmless in my experience.)

So I said "Yeah, the City really ought to do something about homelessness here."

To which another rider replied "Yeah, they need to get those benches with the bumps in the middle so you can't sleep on 'em."

Just wow.

I responded "Erm... I was thinking more along the lines of a homeless shelter. But bumps are great. Really."

Is this the state of social justice in our society?
Are the homeless in our city just some objects that we need to prevent from getting on to our bus benches at night?
Are there really people out there who are so callously unconcerned with the plight of their fellow man?

Shame on Riverside, for managing to make so little provision for the less fortunate among us. Shame on residents, for managing to see just a pile of blankets on a bus bench, and not the person beneath them, huddling for warmth.
Shame on you, anonymous guy on the shuttle, for thinking the solution to the problem is, for frack's sake, BENCH BUMPS!

I can't think of a good ending to this post, but hopefully this gets my anger noted for the record. For the rest of you... please, try to see the humanity in all of us.

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