by Sonne T. Hart on May 26, 2011 · 1 comment

What comes to your mind when you think of park benches?  Most of us think of sitting in the park, listening to the birds sing.  But, for many the bench is a place to just sit and rest, for others a quiet place to take a nap, or for those less fortunate a place to sleep for the night.

In Five Points (Public) Park, Sarasota, Florida, this won’t be an option any longer. The city commissioner says he had to respond to residents of “the highest property tax value in the county.”  These residents, who own million dollar condos at 1350 Main Condominiums, say the aristocracy simply cannot condone the riff-raff, who hang around in “their” park. So, ALL THE PARK BENCHES HAVE BEEN REMOVED.

RIFF-RAFF – I want to cry just writing those two words.  Do they realize just who they are calling riff-raff, I don’t think so.  As I write this, there are 17,000 U.S. Veterans living on the street.  These are men and woman who have served our country in the armed forces, who fought for us; YES, that includes the aristocracy, who lives in Sarasota. These members of the Armed Forces served to preserve our rights and our freedoms, and 17,000 of them are living on the streets.  Something is really and truly wrong with this picture.  Maybe these residents should think about whose beds they are taking away.

Somewhere out there, there’s a lawyer who had a stroke.  His insurance coverage gone, and rehab out of the question, he no longer has a job. He is paralyzed on one side, and can no longer speak. There are no relatives or friends who can take him in. HE lives on the streets.  HE could use a bench.

GARBAGE CANS – There are abused women and children who are living on the street with no place to sleep, and nothing to eat.  While sitting in a Five Guys Restaurant with my husband, he noticed an elderly woman stop at the garbage can outside.  She reached into the can and retrieved a half empty can of coke, and bits of a sandwich.  She began to eat what she found.  Before Bill could buy her a sandwich, she disappeared.   This broke my heart.  No one, I mean no one, in the United States of America should have to eat from a garbage can.  Yet, thousands of our fellow country men and women are doing just that.

We are a rich country who gives millions and trillions of dollars to other countries, we help everyone, everywhere, but what about our own; Those, who are less fortunate, who are down on their luck, the lawyer who has had a stroke, the veteran who can not adjust to life after being in the middle of death and chaos, an old woman who is mentally ill.  The majority of our street dwellers do not choose to sleep on park benches or in cardboard boxes, or eat out of garbage cans.  Please think about this the next time you see someone holding a sign that says, ‘I’m hungry.’  MAYBE, HE OR SHE REALLY IS!




Lisa Capehart May 26, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Powerful post! How about submitting this to your local newspaper?

Previous post:

Next post: