Stories like this one consume me on my “good days.” For most of her adult life, the woman in this article lived among the affluent in an expensive condo. She didn’t worry about saving money, because she was good at what she did and had no reason to believe she’d ever get laid off. Now she sleeps in her SUV with her two golden retrievers.
The problem of middle-class homelessness is so dire in California that a homeless outreach program, New Beginnings, has opened twelve parking lots in Santa Barbara to accommodate people who have been laid off from well-paying jobs and don’t have enough in their savings to make ends meet.
Maybe her story will hit closer to home for those who have no sympathy for panhandlers. Poverty isn’t just about the poor these days, the people who didn’t work hard or who dicked around in high school. This is all part of the gutting of middle class. Living in a car for a month probably makes a minimum wage job appear mighty appetizing.
The world seems to be falling apart. Am I supposed to feel good about it, just because I’m not officially a victim, yet?