About the time you think you know everything there is to know about the homeless along comes someone like Charles. I was doing my almost weekly run to the dump. As usual there was my friend John. He was at his usual post with his shopping cart overloaded with bottles he collects. He has been doing this for about 2 years and when as he puts it he “gets by”.
Near by was Charles who told me that John helps him out with clothes. Charles’ story is not atypical from a lot of homeless people that I run into in Portland. Charles is 62 and he is trying to get by on whatever amount of money that Social Security will pay at 62 year of age after working all of his life in construction. The construction business dried up and now he is in survival mode. He is not on food stamps. He has never been on food stamps. He does not want to go on food stamps and he takes his meals at the food pantry and sleeps at the shelter.
If you don’t know how much he gets from SS I can only guess that it probably would around $600 per month. Mind you he has contributed all his life. He is a veteran. And he is diving into to the system to claim his “ENTITLEMENT” which when presented by the Republicans it is a dirty word. Compare Charles to Michele Bachman’s farm subsidy of a half a billion dollars.