This is an excerpt from a recent blog post from a woman who provides free bag lunches for homeless people in Santa Cruz CA:
“Some disabilities are invisible; I’ve found out about them only by talking with people. There are homeless people with neurological conditions: a young man with autism sleeps in the park and under a bridge. Others have mental illness: an older man with schizophrenia spends much of the time talking to the voices in his mind and studying his hand. Veterans of war – in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Vietnam – live with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Women who have been sexually assaulted labor under severe depression; one woman I serve was sexually assaulted twice on her first night on the street.
“There are physical disabilities that one cannot see with the naked eye. There are women with sciatica and other back ailments who cannot work. There are men with heart conditions and swollen legs and backs injured in work-related accidents. Others have lost everything because of drug and alcohol addiction – or have become addicted in order to cope with the exhaustion and vulnerability of living on the street…”