The British call it sleeping rough. We call it for what it is: homelessness.

It starts the day when all the support systems — fragile as they often are — fail. When there is no home to go to; no bed to sleep in, no meal to eat, no toilet to use, no place to wash even a face — just the hard, cold and often wet streets that offer no succor. The hospitality of a concrete sidewalk is scant.

Llewellyn King is executive producer and host of “White House Chronicle” on PBS. His email is He wrote this for

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