New Shoes Are Not Enough For The Homeless

New Shoes Are Not Enough For The HomelessEverybody loves a hero. So, when the Internet was flooded with the picture of Officer Larry DePrimo buying homeless man Jeffrey Hillman a new pair of boots, everybody was filled with hope for humanity. However, that bearded homeless is once again barefoot, and his story turns out to be much more complicated that it seemed.

‘Long-term attention and help’

Hillman apparently owns an apartment but chooses to stay on the streets. Even though he has veterans benefits, financial assistance, and Social Security, he chooses to walk barefoot on the cold streets of New York. From here, we can see that this situation cannot be easily solved with a brand new pair of footwear. Officer DePrimo rightfully deserved the attention and praise that he got from his good deed, but Hillman deserved something else — more long-term attention and help.

Although America is currently facing mounds of economic challenges, it remains one of the richest countries in the world. And that homeless man lives in that country. Citizens should recognize that one man shedding a few of his hard-earned dollars to buy a homeless man new shoes can make a difference. This is a good start. But they should also recognize that some problems are just too complicated to be solved by ordinary individuals.

‘Not just on Christmas’

Looking at the major cities around the world, we can see that they have practically become home to homeless people. Every city has a different situation, different laws, and different statistics. But each major city still needs all the strength and resources it can muster to combat poverty, homelessness, and unemployment.

The police officer’s act of kindness became an Internet sensation that came and went. People have already moved on to the next internet sensation. But we should all realize that we should all turn back and look at the homeless man’s story more closely. The shoes are a big help for him, as well as for other homeless people scattered all around the world. Cash donations certainly help. But the story of Police Officer Larry DePrimo and Jeffrey Hillman could have a happier ending if everybody, including those in the government, would only stop to look at the whole situation and push for better health services, more affordable housing programs, and more jobs. And not just on Christmas.

When was the last time you helped a homeless person? What other things should be done to provide long-term solutions for homelessness?

Image: Joie de Vivre Lifestyle

What Italians Think of British Winter Clothes

Being Italian may be bad for your health. Being British could be fatal.

My four and six-year old Anglo-Italian children want to play outside in our garden in London early morning at the end of November. The kids are dressed in flimsy cotton pyjamas. But my British partner doesn’t hesitate to open the back door and let them out.

I yank them both back in and bundle them in padded jackets, thick socks, boots, hats, and scarves. Oh, and gloves. Just to be sure. Then again, as anglicised as I am after decades of living here in London, I clearly haven’t turned completely British yet either.

Growing up in Italy, I was told repeatedly by Italian family and friends that the cold can kill you. In any case, it is not just an Italian ailment. I spent time in Indonesia too when I was younger. There they call it “masuk angin”, or “the entry of air”, an affliction which shares many similarities with Italy’s “colpo d’aria”.

As a child, there was a definite downside to this Italian obsession with health. Summers on the beach for instance. Swimming after food was a complete no-no. We were fed horror stories about children who had disobeyed the no-swimming rule, only to be hit by intestinal cramps in the water. This meant the hottest part of the day – the hours after lunch – were spent sitting on the beach watching the foreign kids frolic in the surf. A full meal required a three hour no-swimming rule. A couple of biscuits might set you back half an hour. Every minute counted.


Source: BBC News