Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: homeless

Beggars and Choosers


Sociology experiment:

This Morning

Looking disheveled and unshaven, I stood outside my local Starbucks and panhandled for money.  I said I was an unemployed Desert Storm veteran.  I mentioned that my wife and child left me and that I hadn’t eaten in a week.


This Afternoon

After showering and putting on a Lacoste polo shirt, I returned to the exact same spot to panhandle for money.  This time, I asked my film school friend, Roland, to show up with his camera and videotape me.   When asking for money, I told passerbys that I was one of the participants on NBC’s "The Apprentice" and that our latest "task" was to use our marketing skills to obtain the most money by "begging," or risk being "fired" by "the Donald."  I told everyone how important winning this game was to me, because despite my trust fund, my Harvard education, and my success as a Wall Street attorney in my father’s firm, I thought it would be "cool" to become Donald Trump’s apprentice and try to get a television gig of my own.  After all, who doesn’t want to be on TV?

TOTAL AMOUNT COLLECTED:  467 dollars, including 2 dollars I took from a homeless Desert Storm veteran

Real Estate News – Los Angeles

The new Midnight Mission homeless shelter opened in downtown Los Angeles.  The Christian Science Monitor called it "one of the nation’s plushiest homeless shelters."

The $17 million state-of-the-art facility boasts a full-sized gymnasium, library, playroom, hair salon, education center, and professional kitchen.

The project could have been code-named "Keep the Homeless Downtown so they Can’t Hurt Real Estate Prices by Moving into the Super-Expensive Westside."

In related news,  Donald Trump will be the headliner in a two-day real estate seminar at the Los Angeles Convention Center.  His face is already plastered on billboards across town, with the ad slogan:  "One weekend can make you a millionaire."

An anticipated crowd of 25,000 will listen to speakers, including Trump, share their wisdom.  Some of the advertised topics include:

"The Lazy Way to Create Real Estate Wealth," "How to ‘Quick Turn’ Real Estate in Los Angeles With No Money, Credit or Risk," and "How to Get Free Money From the Government for Real Estate."

The "building affordable housing in Los Angeles" seminar has been canceled due to lack of interest.