LAS VEGAS: With indications that the economy is improving since President Obama initiated different economic programs earlier this year, many financiers and political figures remain optimistic with a continuous improvement within the state of the economy.
But this is not the case in Las Vegas, Nevada. On Foremaster Lane, between Las Vegas Boulevard and Main Street, a growing number of homeless voices are starting to be heard. All along the lane homeless people are camped out in tents and cardboard boxes and are feeling the hard economic times this country is going through.
"It's just so hard for us," homeless veteran David "Peddler" James said, during an interview on Saturday morning at 3:00am. "When I first became homeless, it used to be so easy. But when Bush came to the White House, things just started to go downhill.
Dorothy Johnson, 25, corroborated David's statement by reporting how hard begging has become these days. Taking a break from holding up her sign along a busy suburban street, she was able to discuss some "tricks of the trade" she uses in order to influence the amount of money she can receive from the community.
"When I first started begging, all I had to do was simply ask. Now days, I have to hold up a sign at exit 74B on the Interstate 515. It's humiliating! Parading myself like that!"
Dorothy and other homeless people describe how trickery can be successful when taking monies from responsible community members. "I don't want to give out too many of the tricks I use," an anonymous homeless man said with a 'tooth-missing grin and a wink'. "All I can say is that I am not a Vietnam War veteran."
Other homeless community members are trying to build strong, social support groups within mainstream society; however, this is proving to be very difficult. "It is so hard for me to find a girlfriend," Rodney McMahon stated from his wheelchair. "Not only am I disabled, but also homeless. Not many women go for that in a guy. Especially during these hard economic times."
But that doesn't mean that Rodney doesn't work hard everyday. Each morning at 7:15am, he parks his chair, with the brake on, just off Interstate 515, exit 70A, with a dirty piece of cardboard and mounting enthusiasm trying to woo forty-year-old BMW drivers with his clever signage. "I can't get a girlfriend," the sign dingily says in a purple crayon. "Honk if you are interested."
Some homeless people have started seeing a vast improvement within the economy. Jessie Fletcher, 18, discussed these improvements while scavenging through a garbage can just north of the city. "As you can see," Jessie said, trying to rip open a double strength Glad kitchen sack, "the economy is improving. Just look at this garbage bag. It smells like potpourri. I've hit pay dirt! Yep the economy is definitely improving."
Another piece of evidence that shows this community how the economy is beginning to bounce back is the items found inside regular suburban garbage. "We are slowly beginning to see an increase in wasted products again," hobo Rodney Smith said. "People are slowly starting to throw away their leftovers, whereas we didn't see much of that during the worse of the economic times."
With Obama now in the White House, the homeless community is now beginning to see a reflection of the different economic programs he is initiating. "Change just doesn't happen overnight, "Rodney said, 'it takes time."