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Homeless Problem

I can no longer ignore my conscience. I have to tell you about Florence. I first met her 1 1/2 years ago. Then, she had only been homeless for a couple of months. She reminded me of my grandmother. I asked for her name and she told me. It was the last time she ever answered one of my questions. It was also the last time she ever asked me for money.

Since then I have seen Florence dozens of times on the streets of Hollywood. Mostly she is curled up in the fetal position, but sometimes I actually see her walking. All her pores are filled with dirt and her nails are several inches long and curling around her fingertips. She is constantly talking to characters that I do not see, though I am sure to her they are very real.

Every time I see Florence I go to her and say hello but she does not answer. Sometimes she will take money from me though she nevers says anything to me. I can see in her eyes that she is alive and “in there.”

I am sure that I live in the greatest country on Earth and I probably would die for the causes our Founding Fathers seem to have had. The “bottom line” in my heart is that I am very ashamed of the way my government has taken care of Florence.

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MAURO OLIVEIRA

Hollywood


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