The other day I was, in short order, approached by two men at the Mission Hills Mall.
The first one, not dressed in his Sunday best and shouldering a plastic bag containing what looked like empty cans, said, “I’m hungry. Can you help me?”
Pointing to his bag, he added, “That won’t get me much.” I took a toonie from my wallet and handed it to him. He thanked me in his own way. “God bless you,” or something like that.
Just minutes later I walked by a man sitting, leaning against a Safeway wall, with cigarette smoldering away in his left hand. He spoke up.
“Can you give me a dollar? I need that to go on the bus.”
I looked at him sternly.
“Sorry, I don’t give money to people who smoke. Besides, I just gave a toonie to someone else.”
I walked away thinking I should have added, “Someone who is hungry.”
So, do we call this homelessness? Or, just moneylessness?
The one said he needed money to eat, and the other money to get on a bus.