And she's homeless. I met Cindy at the Laguna Beach bus station. She started chatting to me - all excited as someone from a restaurant had brought over a few packaged meals for her and some of her friends. We got to talking...she said she needed a hair cut and I said it looks pretty short and she said "it has to be really short as I am homeless" She went on to tell me that at one of the shelters another woman grabbed her hair (it was long at the time) and started pulling it so now she makes sure it is very short. She doesn't sleep out at night as it is too scary...she spends the night at Denny's for the price of a coffee so she feels safe. She is disabled and uses a cane. I don't know how Cindy ended up on the street...I know she does smoke and that goes with an addictive personality. Most homeless people smoke...so it could have been drugs, alchohol...who knows. As the saying goes, a lot of people are just a pay cheque away from homelessness. The last I saw of Cindy she was asleep on the bus...someone had given her a 30 day seniors bus pass.
Cindy never once asked me for money but I gave her ten dollars. She was thrilled to death and said she wanted to hug me - but didn't - I told her to buy herself something to eat. Maybe she will do that..maybe she won't.
I feel very grateful - for having wonderful parents who brought me up with love and kindness, for having a good job, good friends and good health. Don't judge anyone until you walk in their shoes.
Note: a good friend pointed out to me that Cindy could be homeless due to lack of affordable housing. Very very true and something that is very pertinent in my own city as well.