An Open Letter to Neel Kashkari

Dear Mr. Neel Kashkari,

As a real homeless person I find your little homeless man publicity stunt to be a slap in the face of real homeless people. For one thing, I don't know any homeless people who worked for Goldman Sachs nor do I know anyone who headed the bank bailouts of 2008 but I do know that for all the homeless people that exist in this country, homelessness is not a publicity stunt or a temporary adventure. What exactly have the bank bailouts done for those living in poverty and entering into poverty daily as we speak?

Anyone who can read has probably already seen the myriad of news articles and television documentaries on American poverty so your claim to me out on Twitter that you will use any tactic to bring forward the issue is misleading. I strongly suspect you'll do anything to bring forward your campaign and little more than that. We the homeless have already heard countless promises from politicians over the years and yet, we are still homeless or living in poverty while working low wage jobs if we can get one!

For all the homeless families, vets, seniors and disabled people currently stuck in poverty with no hope of getting out anytime soon, the last thing we need is another poorly planned publicity stunt. The power of social media cannot be underestimated anymore so it stands to reason why so many politicians have become enamored with it. But here is the reality outside of social media, Mr. Kashkari; we are dying out here and no publicity stunt has ended homelessness in this country. It's not about not being willing to work or any other negative stereotype your political affiliation likes to spew on a regular basis, it's about the blaring injustice of not being able to access what most people take for granted. I should know. I worked two jobs until the point of stroke, never did drugs nor am I mentally ill and yet I am judged for not being able to get out of homelessness. The record amount of jobs I have applied for in one month was 42. Not one contacted me for an interview. Now go ask homeless Californians what the reality is for them trying to get a job if they are capable of getting one!

Unfortunately, you are quite out of touch with the realities of the homeless life yet you are more than willing to exploit the homeless platform to further your campaign. In case you haven't figured it out, the poor could care less about political agendas when they're living outside and don't have enough food to eat or get murdered in their sleep by young people with nothing better to do. You are not the first in pulling a publicity stunt by posing a homeless man. The real question is: what exactly do you as a human being intend to do to alleviate the injustice of poverty for Californians or anyone else for that matter?

The homeless don't need another publicity stunt, we need jobs that pay a living wage, affordable housing and the same access to opportunity as everyone else.

I wish you well on your... political career.


Carey Fuller, Homeless Mother