Ranking The Types Of NYC Homeless People

After spending the summer in New York, I have changed. As someone who was coddled in a small suburban town all my life, living in the big city was a huge change for me. I had to learn how to use public transportation, I had to incorporate the word “boss” into my everyday vernacular, and I had to witness some rather disturbing sites on the streets. People will just shoot up heroin anywhere nowadays, no matter how many limbs they are missing. It’s astonishing. The term “crackhead” is extremely true in NYC. However, there is a common misconception that all homeless people are “crackheads.” This notion is not only grossly discriminatory, but also it’s just simply false. Here are my rankings of homeless people.

5. Crackheads

The worst type of homeless person does so happen to be a crackhead. If you’ve never interacted with a crackman or crackwoman, imagine a zombie pretending to act human. Crackpeople just roam around throughout the day talking to themselves in their own made up languages. While they definitely are frightening creatures, they’re mostly harmless. The worst thing they could do to you is get too close and make skin-to-skin contact. If that does happen to you, you’re gonna want to clean any moisture that has rubbed off on you immediately. To avoid any interaction at all, make sure you never make eye contact with any crackmember. They’re like dogs and will take it as a sign to come over for a belly rub.

4. Subway Rats

A Subway Rat is a homeless person on the subway. That was obvious. Subway Rats look like they bought a one-time metrocard back in 1998 and haven’t left the station since. Just like crackheads, Subways Rats are pretty harmless because they don’t want to be escorted out of the station. That being said, you still don’t want to see any rats on your subway. If you do see an S.R in your car, they will most definitely be seated no matter how crammed the bench is. Any time past 8 p.m you’ll be sure to see them fast asleep, sprawled out on the seat with at least two toes poking out of their socks. You would think that you’d rather see a Subway Rat during the day, but you’d be wrong. They have too much energy in the daytime, so they often make loud alarming noises and walk throughout the train cars. Many of them look dangerous but that blood on their shirt is from weeks ago, it’s not fresh. The only thing you should worry about when you see a Subway Rat is that they try to sit next to you. If you get too close to Subway Rat their pungent rotten cheese stench can rub off on you.

3. Engineers

About 99% of New York City sidewalks have some sort of resident. Majority of the time they will have a backpack or shopping cart full of belongings. These are things they’ve picked up from the streets during their careers such as necessities like clothing and blankets as well impulse pickups like used plungers and packing peanuts. While that’s all nice and dandy, sometimes you will pass a homeless person who is livin’ lavish. I’m talking about a full cardboard estate with a makeshift bed and even walls for privacy. These people are called engineers. Seriously, the things these people make out of trash are crazy impressive. Engineers will find a way to turn a dumpster full of garbage into a legitimate studio apartment on the literal corner of 59th and Park. I mean the amount of respect I have for engineers is incredible. They build themselves custom homes for absolutely free. There should be an HGTV show about NYC homeless engineers. I’d watch that over Flip Or Flop any day of the week.

2. Realtors

You’re probably wondering what a realtor is in the context of homelessness. Well to answer your question, realtors are people that may not own any property of their own, yet still understand the importance of prime real estate. For instance, a lot of the homeless population bombardes unsuspecting strangers walking around for food and/or drug money. However, realtors do this way better than others because they have a keen eye for potential money-making locations. I’ll give an example. Many bars in NYC are frequented by local NYC residents, while others are frequented by under-21 children and interns that can only get into like two places that will serve them a gin and tonic. Realtors will set up shop at the latter location. Why? Because they know their scare tactics will work better on fresh meat. Everybody knows homeless people’s main strategy in collecting donations is by frightening their victims. Unless you have spare change you don’t want or are the kindest human on Earth, odds are you’re just going to walk past a homeless person. However, if one gets really close to you and threatens to touch you, you will do anything to get them to go away, including paying $5. Thus, realtors will scope out the drunken weak to enact their fear games on in hopes of scaring a 19-year-old into buying them a Wendy’s 4-for-4. Not all realtors harp on the feeble-minded youngen, though. Some strategize and set up shop near cash-only establishments knowing that people will have loose change. Regardless of their plan, you can’t not respect the hustle mindset.

1. Go-Getters

The notion that all homeless people are lazy bums is disgusting. There are countless people forced to live on the streets that still wake up everyday and go to work. These are Go-Getters. A few Go-Getters have normal everyday jobs that pay them a salary, but the majority of them just hustle. I’m talking about earning a dollar in any way they can. That means street performances, painting yourself gold and standing still for 12 hours, washing people’s windshields and then demanding money, or even just holding up humorous signs. Any effort at all is appreciated compared to beggars. Go-Getters won’t just ask people for a sandwich, they’ll show you why they deserve a sandwich. Now, I’m not saying everyone doesn’t deserve to eat, of course all humans should be fed, but Go-Getters understand the concept of hard work and not relying solely on handouts. That’s respectable. While they may not make a ton of money, they aren’t just sitting around twiddling their thumbs while they sit next to an empty hat. Go-Getters make things happen for themselves and sometimes even bring joy to the community while they do it. I’m not saying all homeless people should start making drums out of buckets or doing flips in Times Square, but maybe make a nice sign versus lying passed out next to a red solo cup.

Alex Becker

Written by Alex Becker

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