Homeless Anna Quindlen Analysis

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The Homeless Need More Than A Blue Room In "Homeless" by Anna Quindlen, she writes that she meets a homeless woman, Ann, who claims she's not homeless because she has a photo of a yellow house. Quindlen understands what Ann is trying to tell her because Quindlen feels that a home is a unique place that can't be replaced by a shelter. Unfortunately, Quindlen concludes, our sense of home has changed significantly, but people like Ann remind us that the homeless, more than being a group of poor people without homes, are people who are rootless. While I initially disagreed with Quindlen that the homeless were people for whom I should have individual compassion, she ultimately convinced me that I should focus more on what they need rather than who…show more content…
So even if the woman in Walnut Creek didn't have a photo of her house in her bag, she would have had other things she could have told me about her past if I had bothered to ask her rather than interrogate her. I needed to remember that while her situation is different from mine, she's a vulnerable human like me. Thinking that Quindlen's essay was about how the homeless need a place to live like anyone else, an argument with which I now agree, the point could also be made that a unique home where one can paint a room blue or red or black is just one of many things we should provide the homeless. But certainly we can only know what the homeless need if we understand them not as "nouns" but as unique people with memories and aspirations. Quindlen mentions but doesn't focus on those who avoid shelters because of mental illness. We should understand their needs as well. And we should provide a place free of fear for those who, instead of wanting to paint a room blue, would like to read a book or watch a movie on TV. So yes, Ann needs a home that she can call her own, but to be a compassionate people, we should take the time to understand and help even those who don't have pictures of yellow houses in their soiled
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