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Walking in their shoes 

Street Smarts

As Colorado Springs sees a steady influx of homeless people at the doors of churches and shelters, passersby share their perceptions of the homeless and solutions to the issue.

click to enlarge Rachelle Obert
  • Rachelle Obert

Rachelle Obert of North Union is a communications assistant at CaptionCall

Local shelters have recently been overwhelmed with homeless people searching for food and shelter. Should the city attempt to further accommodate the homeless, and if so, what actions could be taken to do so? I think we should start taking away money from those who can work and put it toward those who can't work. A lot of people who don't work can't work. But as far as people who still can work, they need help finding jobs.

If a homeless person speaks to you, do you respond? If they're asking for money because they're hungry, I'll often go get them food. But I've had some get angry at me for giving them food instead of money.

What is the "homeless person" stereotype, and how does your perception match or contrast with that? I think the stereotype is that homeless people are dirty and lazy. And I think laziness is some of it. Some people have not been taught to go out and do whatever it takes to have a roof over their heads.

click to enlarge John Lopez
  • John Lopez

John Lopez of North Colorado Springs is retired

Should the city attempt to further accommodate the homeless? Well, where are we going to get the money to do that? The problem is, marijuana has brought a lot of people here.

What is the "homeless person" stereotype, and how does your perception of homeless people match or contrast with that? Well, a lot of them pick that way.

Why do you think that might be? Alcohol, I suppose. A lot of them die young, out here in the cold.

How do you feel or react when you pass homeless people? I don't really pay no mind to them. I don't really have no money to give them. I wish I could, but I don't. I've never been in that position, I've never walked in them shoes.

click to enlarge Matt Andrews
  • Matt Andrews

Matt Andrews of downtown is a graphic designer

Should the city attempt to further accommodate the homeless? There are a lot of different forces going on in the city, and I feel like they're doing a good job, doing the best they can.

What is the "homeless person" stereotype, and how does your perception match or contrast with that? My stereotypical homeless person I guess is someone with some sort of mental illness. Someone who tries to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol, that kind of thing. I haven't done a lot to reach out. I've thought about volunteering and stuff.

Is there a reason you don't? It really just comes down to being busy. It's always on the back burner when I'm busy day-to-day.

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