I'm not trying to be snide (for a change), this is a sincere question:
Is selling the Real Change homeless advocacy newspaper a lifelong career choice that the community should encourage and support? Forever?
I've been living in Ballard for a long time. I recall Real Change being around since, oh, maybe the early 1990s - maybe going on 20 years now. Some of the guys I see selling the paper come and go. I wish them well, and sometimes buy their paper. But there are a few guys that I swear have been selling Real Change in Ballard for at least 10 years now, maybe longer. They appear to have settled on this is the way they're going to get through life.
This got me to wondering...I think most of us figure selling this paper can serve as a short-term bridge for someone between just hangin' out with nothing to do, and a more stable life with a regular paycheck, a fixed address, and other earmarks of someone trying to improve their lot in life. But what if selling Real Change becomes a never-ending, co-dependent "enabling" behavior where the community is actually helping to keep someone dependent?
If someone has decided that selling Real Change is their "career" - all they want to do to support themselves for the rest of their life - and they have made a conscious choice to not do anything else....is that a choice that the community really wants to support and enable? Permanently?