I used to walk by homeless men and think,
“Why don’t you just get a job?”
I would give a beggar a dollar or buy him a slice of pizza, and continue with a pocket full of stereotypes about the poor, drunk, and lazy.
One afternoon, I didn't walk by, and I stopped to gently ask that question that bothered me after buying a man a burger.
I was shocked at the answer that I heard,
"I can't get a job, I don't have an ID."
And then I asked the same question and got the same answer as I shared meals with the homeless across the country.
I found that a common theme for many of them was that they did not have proper identification. And you need ID to get ID. And money to pay for it. It's a vicious cycle.
A few years later, I heard the same stories on the streets of Philadelphia. Men and women wanted to work, but they couldn't get back on their feet. They needed help.
Philly Restart was formed to meet the immediate need of hunger, but focuses on helping men and women to take steps towards full and healthy lives.
Northwest corner of 19th and the Ben Franklin Parkway.
Near the Philadelphia Free Library.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Every Monday, 4-5 p.m.