Asheville Homeless Network and Fat Old Men in Sweatshirts

Cover of "Robert's Rules Of Order 10th Ed...

Cover via Amazon

The fat man sat in the corner at a table with his coffee cup in front of him. His ever present ball cap pulled low over his eyes and his grey sweatshirt not doing much to hide his paunch.

People he had seen many times walked by his table without acknowledging his presence. He sat alone and lonely. People had grown tired of his structure, his twisted idea at organization and his bungling bureaucratic methods.

The former president of Asheville Homeless Network had become in so many ways a symbol of the very problem that his organization had been founded about a dozen years ago to end.

Instead of helping the homeless now though, he found he got in their way. What worked in another lifetime to solve the problem didn’t work anymore and he didn’t have the maturity or wisdom to know and to see.

The homeless problem in America is bad and getting worse everyday. With an overweight and bloated government bureaucracy that spends more time sitting around talking about solutions to the problem instead of actually fixing the problem, more people find themselves on the brink of being in the streets.

Meanwhile, the old man with the paunch walks in demonstrations, carries a cardboard sign and tells people he is trying to raise awareness of the problem.

That’s not the solution, people are already aware of the problem, what they need is more awareness of the solutions that are available.

As the people continue to file by the lonely old man in the grey tshirt, they get ready to start another meeting of the Asheville Homeless Network.

Maybe today will be the day when someone in this group that was “founded by the homeless for the homeless” finds a unique solution to a growing problem.

In the meantime, the old man and the bureaucracy need to get out of the way and let people work to solve the issue without the imagined requirement for structure, organization or Robert’s Rules of Order.

Robert’s Rules of Order might be nice in their place, but they never had a person off the street.

And never will.

 Jerry Nelson is a freelance photojournalist from America.  His latest book of photography, Suenitos tells the story of the only daycare inside the dangerous Hidden City.  Now based in Argentina, he continues to turn his lens on social justice issues around the globe.  Connect with Jerry on MosaicHub, Facebook or LinkedIn today. Follow this link to read more of his work on Huffington Post and Examiner.  Have a story that needs to reach national media?  Email him today.

As photo editor for the Internet’s largest collection of Travel Articles, Outbounding, he is always looking for rising stars in photography.  Contact him today about submitting your images.

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