Homeless in Murray Hill–I

I have been thinking a lot about the increasing numbers of beggars and homeless persons on the streets of our neighborhood, especially in the area between Murray Hill and Penn Station. I saw someone the other day on 37th Street between Madison and Fifth Avenue who was actually sleeping on a foldout bed!

There are so many issues here. I recognize that many of the beggars travel in from other areas because there are so many tourists here who will help them; I’m skeptical about the neediness of some of them and the veracity of their signs, since they appear young and in good health. I have noticed how many of the people sleeping on the street are also in their twenties or thirties and appear able-bodied.

Even so, there are many older people who are mentally troubled or obviously disoriented. And it’s hard to say that anyone who is sitting on the sidewalk begging to spending the night there is to be envied.

The problem is getting much worse in our neighborhood. I plan to preach on this topic on June 11 and reflect further on this troubling issue. —J. Douglas Ousley

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2 Responses to “Homeless in Murray Hill–I”

  1. CBG says:

    I have also wondered about the homeless people I see on the streets…I’ve talked to 2 or 3 of them about shelters and they each said the conditions in the shelters are not too nice, that the shelters aren’t easy to get into (certain requirements), and so on…I’ve also wondered about the able-bodied, young people-mostly male ‘begging’. I was so surprised at one of the young men who seemed adept, well acting, etc.-when I talked to him he even had a bit of a grin as if he wanted to have a laugh with me, but held back…I wanted to ask him if he was ‘conducting a study’ or something…he seemed to be putting himself ‘in the place/the shoes of a beggar’ though not one himself though he claimed to be…

  2. CBG says:

    ps…I meant to say there is/was a homeless man on a corner of 34th who was there at least a year, but has found work and is not there any longer…I am very happy for him…

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