We returned our rental car in Seattle and checked in at the hostel – the only one available and cheap enough not to ruin our budget. The place was cool, located in downtown with various activities for guests every day: Monday hot cocoa and cookies at 8 p.m., Wednesday excursion with a guide, Saturday beer. The only drawback – if you go out on the street for sure you will meet homeless people. They are not dangerous, it just feels strange. People standing or lying on the street, tents on the pavements. This is a picture of every bigger city in the US but here if was the most saddening. For sure there are homeless who are dirty hobos but there are also clean, good looking bent over laptops. I read statistics about homeless families, homeless children – the number of which so big that each class in every school has at least one.
We paid a visit to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Center, a very interesting place showing what the foundation is trying to address – homelessness, poverty, health, education. All that presented in a very clever way and a quite intensive lesson for us all. In the ”homelessness” section you can put together a basic-needs set – bandages, snacks, towel, clothes. You can then leave it for them to distribute or take it with you and hand over to someone on the streets. Within few minutes from leaving the building we got rid of all our sets. If I had 100 of them and also gave money to each person who asked for it, it would be still like a drop of water in ocean. In the US very often I met with an option that everyone gets what they deserve so if you are homeless then you have not tried hard enough.
Really? Just look up the rent prices. Don’t even bother checking how much you need to buy an apartment there.
My beloved Pearl Jam will be playing two concerts in Seattle in August and is running a huge aid campaign for homeless people. There are posters all around the city, both shows are sold out long ago. We were coming back from the Safeco stadium one day, where after the baseball game there was a fireworks show with their music. The local team handed over a big cheque. The crowds one their way home, burgers, sausages, music. In the middle of this there was a young girl holding a sign „I am homeless, any help is welcome”. The crowd splits in front of her only to reunite right past, like she would be an invisible obstacle. The sorrow on her face and this whole situation will stay in my head for a long time.