During the 1950s and ’60s they were the winos, the “derelicts” who had had one too many drinks or got tripped up on drugs, the ones who somehow lost their grip and fell through the cracks of society. Most people never stopped to ask their stories, although when they did, most of them were pretty much the same. Somewhere along the line they became the Homeless. Most people still don’t ask, but the stories are not quite the same.
They are the family we’ve lost touch with, the friend who was always there but somehow disappeared, they are Us in two years, if an unexpected illness strikes or we lose our job. The Us we don’t dare think about.
Meet Henry, not long ago Henry was like a lot of us, nice house, car and a job that paid the bills. However all that changed when he lost his job. Now Henry makes his living collecting aluminum cans he finds downtown. Each day more and more people join Henry living in the streets. Some say that each day, another 10 people become homeless in Las Vegas.
Contrary to what most people think, not all homeless are crazy, dirty or beggars. Henry is intelligent, likes to keep clean and work for the things he needs.
So as Thanksgiving gets closer, stop and think about all the things you should be thankful for. Not everyone will be having Hot Turkey and Stuffing. Some will be out there making the best of the situation as best as they can.
If you would like to help, please contact the Las Vegas Rescue Mission. You can donate money, food and/or your time to a good cause.
Another thing you can do, when you see one of these odd colored “Parking” meters around town, reach into your pocket and see if you have any spare change. Money collected in these goes to helping the homeless in Las Vegas.
Photos © by Las Vegas Photographer Dave Proctor