Walking a couple of miles through Kensington, I saw about 40 tents on three different streets, plus dirty mattresses with folks dozing on them. Most of the homeless were white and under 35. I saw junkies nodding on steps, and a young lady, all doped up, in a wheelchair.
On the train to Kensington, I saw a white guy with a cardboard sign that stated he was an Iraq War vet and homeless. No one gave him anything. On the train back, there was a white guy of about 42 who said, "I'm broke and a junkie. Some people come on the train and bs, but I'm not going to lie to you. My life is so unmanageable right now that I must humiliate myself to ask for help. I know some of you are going through a difficult time also, but if anybody could afford to help me at all, with a bit of change, anything, a token or food, I'd very much appreciate it." Everyone ignored him. Seconds after he got off to try a different car, a black guy of about 32 got on, walked around and said, "I'm broke, with no friends and family, so I'm asking for your help." He, too, was ignored.
In Kensington, there's a very busy soup kitchen that's used daily not just by the homeless, so no one is in danger of literally starving. If you're hooked on heroin, however, even a hundred bucks of "spare change" a day won't be enough.