Another ‘Art, Literature, Europe Potpourri’ Post.
A right-wing / Republican / RWNJ charge that continues to astound me is that the homeless – anywhere – ‘are just lazy,’ that they could get jobs if they just wanted to. It’s simply not true. Even if you have the skills necessary for a certain job, there may be many other qualified applicants who live closer, have newer degrees, have experience with software you could learn but haven’t since you were never able to afford it privately, and so forth. There are many reasons that an applicant can’t get a job – he or she may be a chemical engineer while the job offered is for a retail clerk in a convenience store – or vice versa. No, the store won’t give the job to the engineer even if he/she could do it.
A foreign news source I read often is ‘Der Spiegel’ published in Hamburg. The German original is also available in an international edition published in English available here.
From: today’s Spiegel:
Munich, Stuttgart, Cologne and other German cities face a similar problem: There are more people seeking help than there is space in homeless and emergency shelters. The homeless population in Germany has grown sharply in recent years, partly because of a growing influx of destitute Romanians, Bulgarians and other Eastern Europeans.
But the homeless are not just foreigners. I worked on several films about the homeless when I lived in Germany. The homeless (‘Obdachlosen’ – ‘people without a roof over their heads’) – had degrees, technical and otherwise, had had good jobs, had had families. They had just lost their jobs for the reason many people lose their jobs here – they had been made ‘redundant’, their skills had become obsolete, their jobs shipped overseas. They had been hard workers with valuable skills who did not choose homelessness but the jobs were no longer there and many were older, past the age where they could retrain, even if training had been available. They were by no means ‘lazy’.