Sometimes people will ask me about a particular homeless person they had gotten to know. They will say they hadn’t seen so-n-so in a while and wondered what happened to him/sher.
Here’s the deal. When homeless people decide to leave a place, they just go. Most of the time anyway. Some will make the rounds and say good bye to those they’ve known, but not usually. It’s funny too, that people will just show up, seemingly out of no where, they will be a part of the homeless landscape for a while, and then they’re gone without a trace. The homeless population ebbs and flows that way.
I think it has something to do with the ugliness that is homelessness. When people get an opportunity to leave, they don’t want any attachments to what they are leaving behind. They just want to forget the whole mess. There is nothing much to be proud of, or be nostalgic about, concerning homelessness. Especially knowing how the non-homeless judge the homeless, homelessness is better left and forgotten, never to be mentioned aloud to anyone.
That’s the main issue involved.
There is another issue to be considered too. More and more I see the signs of Asperger Syndrome in the homeless population. The big issue being that people with Aspergers lack “proper” social skills, and are not aware of what people expect of them behaviorally in a social context. They just don’t know that people would appreciate a “good-bye” when they leave.
I have had to work on that myself. Like when I used to volunteer to wash dishes after a homeless lunch. When my particular job was done, I’d just leave without saying a word to anyone. Though I might have been chatting it up with the other volunteers while doing the job, I didn’t know that I should let them know that I was leaving.
People are funny like that.