Homeless helpers

Occupy Wall Street

Editor's Note: This past week, WORLD editor in chief Marvin Olasky hosted a group of mid-career WORLD readers for a series of intense journalism training sessions in Asheville, N.C. One of their assignments was to analyze aspects of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and here is one of those commentaries.

Accusation: The homeless are messing up Occupy Wall Street. Reality: Not all homeless people follow the scent of hot dogs on a grill. Some come to help.

In Atlanta some homeless individuals have brought their expertise. They've helped protesters learn how to put up tents, live in close quarters, and live outdoors. Billy Jones, on the "security" detail, said he's not just looking for free food: "I can get food anywhere. I don't have to be at Occupy Atlanta to get food."

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The visible needs of homeless people heighten the public platform for protesters to share their political views. Salt Lake City organizer Jesse Fruhwirth said, "We can help people get out of homelessness." But with the free food and medical care provided by those sympathetic with the movement, many among the homeless may not want to give up their way of life anytime soon.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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