People and Talking with Colored Speech Bubbles

Homelessness is a Byproduct of Abuse

Re: “Homelessness is Terrifying: One of my biggest worries about sleeping on the street is harassment by people who have homes,” Opinion, Dec. 5

Thank you for publishing that beautiful article by a human being experiencing homelessness.

People who harass and threaten homeless people are the same type of people who create homelessness. They are mentally ill, even if they may be high-achieving wealthy homeowners. There’s probably unresolved childhood trauma that leaves them feeling powerless, so they do what most power and control seekers do: they wake up early and hit the streets (or show up at their offices) looking for someone vulnerable to abuse. With homeless people they know they’ll get away with it.

To impersonate a police officer and threaten to Taser a pregnant woman and a black man is an arrest-worthy offense and a hate crime. I hope the woman to which the Taser-wielding man bragged about his actions reads that article and reports that criminal. He is the real problem in the neighborhood. Anyone willing to commit a felony on their morning walk is capable of far worse in private.

There’s a scapegoat mechanism triggered when the fear and anger we feel is met with someone safe enough to blame. This is why we fight with loved ones — they are safe. It would not be safe to express similar emotions to a hostile person who lives next door, so we transfer our anger toward someone who is unlikely to strike back.

Think about how tired you are when you get home and flop down on the couch. A homeless person has no safe place to rest, and their constant exposure to the elements is exhausting. They all have PTSD. And many of them are homeless because they had to escape abuse. Imagine how badly you’d have to be abused to choose sleeping out on the sidewalk indefinitely.

I am an heir to a wealthy family, but families like mine can get nasty, fight over money, and psychologically and emotionally abuse one another. I’ve ended up homeless twice in my life. Other times I’ve paid $2,000 to $3,000 in monthly rent while working high-paying jobs, driving fancy cars I later had to sleep in. I can tell you that the main cause of homelessness is not some form of disease or unexplained mental illness. Homelessness is a symptom of psychological or physical trauma that has not been treated.

Toxic families are as common as crazy neighbors who harass, emotionally attack, physically threaten or otherwise cause dis-ease. In other words, homelessness is a byproduct of abusive behavior … but the real disease is carried and spread by people who lack empathy and become addicted to the feeling of power and control they get by hurting others.

Be kind to each other. And God bless everyone. If you yearn for power and control, then act more like God and learn to love others. Otherwise you may just be a jerk who
just thinks he is God in his neighborhood.

Coley Carnegie

West Los Angeles