flickrI have never experienced the plight of homelessness, but I’ve seen many people throughout the streets of downtown Philadelphia who have.

For the last six years, I have worked as a barista part time at the Philadelphia Free Library. I get homeless customers as well as the regular patrons of the library. Sometimes they arrive just to rest; sometimes they remain in the library all day. Nowhere else to go, I always assume.

Many can be seen daily playing with electronics or eating potato chips and sandwiches from the carts outside. There are times when these unfortunate individuals will reach into their pockets and pull out a few crumpled dollars to purchase a cup of coffee from me.

Sometimes I wonder what they must go through every day, what their interaction with people who deem them invisible must be.

Photo: Flickr/Creative Commons License “Everyone has the right right”

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Dominique “Peak” Johnson is a North Philadelphia journalists and blogger. He is one of the founding editors and writers of the North Philly Metropolis and blogger for The Huffington Post. Click here to learn more about Peak