David Serota


The channel changes.

“This is Mike Downer, reporting for Channel 12 news at 1,” a voice says from the screen.

Someone watches from his  living room as the reporter talks about the rise in number of people suffering from homelessness, and the violence that is bestowed on them.

“Screaming and yelling, the people are feeling pretty hopeless for a city called ‘Hopeful’ Washington, D.C.,” reports Downer from a crowded city park where many homeless people gather.

An angry citizen stops on her walk through the park.

“Too many unfortunate people find their way to the streets – more and more each day!”

“In a city called ‘Hopeful’ Washington D.C. people expect to prosper and live well – but most find that to be a lie.” Downer observes. “Different types of people – all races, creed and color-  are homeless. Women and men, children and teenagers: all are lost within the city of ‘Hopeful’  Washington D.C..”

“The well off – the rich people – say oh well. It’s too sad to hear. It’s too sad to hear that news every day. And they turn away,” says a homeless man to the reporter. “They turn off their televisions and never read about us in their neighborhood newspaper.”

One prosperous citizen of ‘Hopeful’ Washington, D.C. runs up to the news reporter and replies, inconsiderate out of frustration “I don’t like to read sad things ALL THE TIME!”

Another homeless man offers a rebuke. “Sleeping with no roof over your head too sad to hear; too painful to see?!” What about us? Too painful for your eyes, emotionally, spiritually… I sleep with the elements.”

(a beggar’s plea)

“The people of ‘Hopeful’ Washington D.C. say their government can’t and won’t conquer the problems contributing to homelessness in their city. Nor will it address the violence incurred on them, many believe.,” Downer concludes. “The mistreatment they go through living homeless on the street… I am sad to report that many women and children must sleep outside with no protection.”

(a beggar’s plea)

The TV clicks off.

In the dark living room of this abandoned shack, Jimmy Townson thinks about the broadcast and fears things are going to get worse, not better.

As he heads out the door of this shack, where 40 other homeless people live, he goes to work trying to better his life. Going back to school, panhandling, and working all types of low-paying side jobs; it’s hard living like this, in a city called ‘Hopeful’ Washington D.C..

(a beggar’s plea)

(to be continued)