Ranking of homeless types in New York

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After spending the summer in New York, I changed. As someone who has been pampered in a small suburban town all my life, living in the big city has been a huge change for me. I had to learn to use public transport, I had to incorporate the word “boss” into my everyday language, and I had to witness some rather disturbing sights on the streets. Nowadays, people inject heroin anywhere, no matter how many limbs they are missing. It’s amazing. The term “crackhead” is extremely true in New York. However, there is a common misconception that all homeless people are “crackheads”. This notion is not only grossly discriminatory, but also simply false. Here is my homeless ranking.

5. Crackheads

It turns out that the worst kind of homeless person is a crackhead. If you’ve never interacted with a crackman or crackwoman, imagine a zombie pretending to act like a human. The Crackpeople walk around throughout the day talking to themselves in their own invented languages. Although they are definitely scary creatures, they are mostly harmless. The worst thing they could do to you is to get too close and have skin-to-skin contact. If this happens to you, you will need to immediately clean up any moisture that has settled on you. To avoid interaction, make sure you never make eye contact with a crackmember. They are like dogs and will take this as a sign to come and rub their bellies.

4. The subway rats

A Subway Rat is a homeless person in the subway. It was evident. The subway rats seem to have bought a unique subway card in 1998 and haven’t left the station since. Much like crackheads, subway rats are fairly harmless as they don’t want to be escorted out of the station. That being said, you still don’t want to see rats on your subway. If you see an SR in your car, it will most certainly be seated, no matter how crowded the bench is. After 8 p.m., you’ll be sure to see them asleep, stretched out on the seat with at least two toes sticking out of their socks. You’d think you’d rather see a subway rat during the day, but you’d be wrong. They have too much energy during the day, so they often make alarming noises and walk in the wagons. A lot of them look dangerous but that blood on their shirt is weeks old, it’s not fresh. The only thing you should worry about when you see a subway rat is that it tries to sit next to you. If you get too close to Subway Rat, their pungent smell of rotten cheese can rub off on you.

3. Engineers

About 99% of New York’s sidewalks have some kind of resident. Most of the time, they will have a backpack or shopping cart full of belongings. These are things they’ve picked up on the street over the course of their careers, like necessities like clothes and blankets, as well as impulse pick-ups like used pistons and packing peanuts. While it’s all nice and dandy, you’ll occasionally come across a homeless man who lives lavishly. I’m talking about a cardboard estate complete with a makeshift bed and even walls for privacy. These people are called engineers. Seriously, the things these people make out of junk are insanely awesome. The engineers will figure out a way to turn a dumpster full of trash into a legit studio on the literal corner of 59th and Park. I mean the respect I have for engineers is incredible. They build themselves custom homes for free. There should be an HGTV show about New York’s homeless engineers. I would watch that Flip or flop any day of the week.

2. Real estate agents

You are probably wondering what a real estate agent is in the context of homelessness. Well, to answer your question, real estate agents are people who may not own any property, but still understand the importance of prime real estate. For example, a large portion of the homeless population bombards unsuspecting strangers walking around to buy food and/or drugs. However, real estate agents do this better than others because they have a keen eye on potential locations to make money from. I will give an example. Many bars in New York are frequented by local New York residents, while others are frequented by children under 21 and interns who can only enter two places that will serve them a gin and tonic. Real estate agents will settle in this last place. Why? Because they know their scare tactics will work better with fresh meat. Everyone knows that homeless people’s main strategy for collecting donations is to scare their victims. Unless you have some change you don’t want or you’re the nicest human on the planet, chances are you’ll walk past a homeless person. However, if someone really approaches you and threatens to touch you, you will do anything to make them leave, including paying $5. So real estate agents will target the weak drunk to play their scare games in the hopes of scaring a 19-year-old into buying them a Wendy’s 4-for-4. However, not all real estate agents harass weak-minded young people. Some strategize and settle near paying establishments only knowing that people will have change. Whatever their plan, you can’t help but respect the spirit of the hustle.

1. Go-getters

The idea that all homeless people are lazy is disgusting. There are countless people forced to live on the streets who still wake up every day and go to work. They are go-getters. A few Go-Getters have normal day jobs that pay them a salary, but the majority of them are just hustling. I’m talking about earning a dollar any way you can. That means street performances, painting yourself gold and standing still for 12 hours, washing people’s windshields and then demanding money, or even just holding up humorous signs. Any effort is appreciated over beggars. Go-Getters won’t just ask people for a sandwich, they’ll show you why they deserve a sandwich. Now I’m not saying everyone doesn’t deserve to eat, of course all humans should be fed, but Go-Getters understand the concept of hard work and not relying solely on handouts. It is respectable. While they may not be making a lot of money, they’re not just sitting twiddling their thumbs as they sit next to an empty hat. Go-Getters make things happen for themselves and sometimes even bring joy to the community while they do it. I’m not saying every homeless person should start making bucket drums or doing flips in Times Square, but maybe do a nice wave rather than lie passed out next to a solo mug red.


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