From a 2013 Homeless Point-In-Time Count volunteer:
“Until today, I had never actually had a conversation with a homeless person. I’ve brushed off many with a curt ‘no I can’t help you’ or ‘don’t have any change’. And that was only, if there was no other possible way to completely escape their advances. But that’s the extent of it. Near zero contact has not stopped me from developing notions about what they are like. You read ‘stuff’, you hear ‘stuff’, you see ‘stuff’ … albeit from a distance. That ‘stuff’ has informed my picture and opinions.
When a friend was looking for volunteers to help interview the homeless on behalf of the Coalition for the Homeless today, I felt called to step outside my safe distance and help out(…)”
You can read the entire blog post here: http://dripinventory.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/preconceived-notions-tested-against-reality/