If I sound unsympathetic it is because I got to really know them after I got out of the army. I spent a few years knocking around the country, staying in cheap rooms and working out of rent-a-drunk labor outfits and government employment centers. I always had a buck in my pocket, clean clothes on my back and a roof over my head because I was willing to work at whatever I was offered. I never met any homeless person who was "down on his luck" or mentally ill. They ALL had simply made a life decision to beg, drink cheap wine and use drugs instead of work.