Urbandumpsterdiver's Blog

November 5, 2011

Homeless In America – A sobering picture

Filed under: Uncategorized — urbandumpsterdiver @ 10:09 pm

We decided to dumpster dive early this morning. We felt we needed to change up the routine.

The first picture is a bed of a homeless man behind a dumpster. Out of respect for the man or woman who is sleeping there, we tried to keep the location secret so he/she is not hassled by anyone.

This is what we see on a regular basis. My husband insisted I take a picture and show you the world and my loyal readers what we see.

For you foreign readers, this is very common in the USA. A constitutional republic that our ancestors fought and died for and now their descendants are homeless on the nation that their forefathers conquered.

It’s truly heartbreaking. There is simply no reason for this poverty. No reason. There is plenty of money to go around. If you read my previous article about occupy wall street, you’ll see my point of view.

My entire truck was full by the time I came home. Full. Cake mix, towels, rugs, candles, children’s toys, juice, hair clips for women, lotion, aloe vera lotion, paper plates and fancy tropical napkins. The pictures tell it all.

The one thing I did allow myself to keep was my leopard print throw I found. Last week I found a leopard print bar stool (which needs some minor repair by my handsome handyman husband). It’s quite lovely. But had I met that homeless person in person I might have given him/her my throw.

We invited the neighbors over for a first pick. Two couples, one older with a teenage daughter and the other with 2 youngsters. They took home many boxes of good stuff. All of us were happy tonight.



  1. Great article as always UDD.

    I wish I knew how to help homeless people. Almost every time I try to help a homeless person, they push me away. I don’t know if it’s because they are scared or because being White (I live in a predominantly White area) they are proud.

    Now that I am living in my van, I feel I should be able to gain some trust in the “homeless community” if you will. We shall see.

    I am learning from my own experience that the needs of homeless people vary from person to person. One person might need a blanket. Another may be in dire need of some comfortable shoes. I don’t think we should assume we know what a homeless person wants. We can’t even assume they want to be relieved of their homelessness. (I don’t.) We should give them the dignity of asking them what they have need of and sadly we have to allow them to push us away, if that’s what they want to do. Every human has a right to self-determination.

    Comment by VanLady — November 5, 2011 @ 11:44 pm

  2. Found 8 brand new frying pans and two new sauce pans tonight. With tags still intact. What is the purpose for not donating to shelters etc??? We will make sure it gets to people who can use them. I needed a one so FREE is good!!! Also a water gun, and brand new household items (used one for a gift this am for girl at church 🙂

    Comment by thediveteam — November 6, 2011 @ 8:32 pm

  3. Jen – free is good. Really good. When I find stuff, it gives me a rush like no other. Now my husband is more of a dive addict than me. I’ve really created a monster. The other night when we were getting all of this stuff there were a few things at the bottom. He said I’m getting every one of these, so just stand there and take them as I get them out of the dumpster.

    So you found new frying pans, tags intact. Sickening. It’s too much work for these managers to be critical thinkers. In their mind, out of sight, out of mind. So if those frying pans lie in the landfill until the year 3,000 who cares right? Now people who can really use them, will get them. That’s how I feel about it.

    Great great find. I’m grinning from ear to ear right now for you!

    Comment by urbandumpsterdiver — November 6, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

  4. I think by just being kind to them is all that matters. If you find something in the dumpster, i.e. food, hygiene products, that is something in real time you could give away OR leave it by the dumpster so a diver like myself can pick it up.

    Comment by urbandumpsterdiver — November 6, 2011 @ 9:13 pm

  5. Just came back from our favorite store dumpster and got 3 BIG boxes of scrap metal. Savings for a Disney trip for hubby, me and the kids. It will be a while but every penny counts! Hooks and shelf brackets etc. Weighs a lot so some good scrap value. The kids are addicted to dumpster diving. They beg to go. SOld a lot at yard sale, gave a lot to rescue mission (25 cans of maxwell house coffee like ones in your pic above) and tons of other usable items for them to sell in their mission store. Kept what we need and pass on other things. Sad to see what is tossed out~!

    Comment by thediveteam — November 6, 2011 @ 10:25 pm

  6. Wonderful!

    Comment by urbandumpsterdiver — November 8, 2011 @ 8:29 pm

  7. The down-and-out guy approached my pick-up asking for a buck for a burger.

    “Follow me,” I said and inside the Burger King we went.

    We stood at the ordering counter and I ordered a couple double bacon-burgers with fries and a milk shake.

    The obviously (to me) poor guy asked for one item from the dollar menu.

    Pshaw!!!! I told him to order his favorite and one for later, perhaps for supper, and to grab a fry and drink.

    I forget what he ordered but it was akin to what I got.

    He did not want to eat inside and said it would be best to get off BK property.

    Sure… no problem.

    It was a nice spring day so we left BK property and while still within the strip mall property sat on a curb away from the main traffic flow and discusses things in general as we ate out vittles.

    He was appreciative and I told him I enjoyed the company and conversation and we went our separate ways.

    He seemed mentally normal to me.

    Sadly, so many homeless folks are mentally ill yet cast aside by society.

    The ACLU is responsible for SOME of this homelessness (read your history) along with governmental budget cuts.

    A complicated topic not well-covered by the mass media and with too many folks making money off the homeless for any real change to occur.

    Comment by obbop — January 18, 2012 @ 12:41 pm

  8. That’s so sad that our society is making money of the most vulnerable in our society. Most of those cuts should have been in the area that does not serve the greater good like ludicrous congressional salaries along with their staff, the military industrial complex and federal agencies that hurt rather than help us.

    I’ve stopped being a fan of the ACLU for a long time. They’re quite selective in their cases that involve free speech and other matters. I feel they only take on cases that are politically advantageous for them.

    Comment by urbandumpsterdiver — January 18, 2012 @ 2:38 pm

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