Last night I watched a rerun of Deep Space Nine in Which Captain Sisco and Dr. Bashir (never read name in Braille) and Lieutenant Dax were shifted into a time not too far in the future. The Captain and Dr. were held in a public "Sanctuary" in San Fransisco. It was a 20 square block area into which ten thousand people were held. Some were people with mental illnesses and no treatment, due to budget cuts. Others were simply unemployed. No one there had an official criminal record, but there were people who preyed on others.
A couple of friends were driving down a street several weeks ago and saw an elderly man holding up a sign. All it said was, "Hungry." As they were both working in jobs paying just over minimum wage they had a little money. They went to a nearby fast food joint and bought this man a meal. They asked him briefly what had happened in his life. He used to own a home, he had worked all of his life, but all of those things were gone now.
Tomorrow, one of the largest rallies of people trying to keep deep cuts from being made in the Medicaid Program will take place in Washinton, D.C. It will include many people with disabilities.
One of every returning veterans from Iraq or Afghanistan is already homeless.
Many "working poor" people can't even Qualify for Medicaid. And many have lost their homes due to unemployment and foreclosures.
Some families are divided. A husband and father must go to the shelter for men while his wife and children go to a differing shelter for women and children only.
Many people have forgotten survival skills like mending clothes, gardening, bartering, raising animals, and what will they do if the prices of food keep climbing?
All of these people Could very easily end up in a "Sanctuary." On the DS9 episode, when the inevitable riot began an th police began shooting, I couldn't stop my eyes from filling. That could be me, it already Is so many places today where there is war. It could be my healthcare aide who works to support her disabled husband and three kids. If Ann were alive, it could be her, and our veterans and the elderly man with a sign which simply said "HUNGRY!"