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Old 11-25-2008, 07:05 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 66,962,535 times
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ART and CHIcubs and WULF - your posts bring up so many aspects to this situation. It is one wh/ deserves our attention and thoughtfulness. It is a conundrum - how to help - but not enable.

All homeless do not share the same story, as many of you have so poignantly expressed. Each person has a story. How to reach each one . . . how to help those who can use the help to get to another place in his/her life . . . that is a complicated scenario.

It is especially concerning to see the mentally ill on the streets, b/c so often, they reject help. And the druggies. Why do we incarcerate addicts rather than providing rehab for them? An addict will typically turn to crime to support his/her habit. So we are essentially creating a group of criminals (allowing it to happen, let's say) when we do not address their addiction. They will often end up in the penal system. And then we have the mentally ill w/ dual diagnoses, wh/ may include self-medicating w/ drugs and/or alcohol. How do we address these situations? With a $300 check each month? Seems that is how we do it . . . but that $300 check should be used for group housing . . . rehab . . . SOMETHING to help people get their lives back on track.

Our system is screwed up. How do we help people help themselves? What if they are so fragile, so mentally ill (or even - psychotic) that they are incapable of helping themselves?

I don't know the answer. I do know that at least I can crawl in my warm bed at night and feel that I am a decent person when I have contributed in some way to make sure another human being out there is warm. Give a blanket? Contribute to the Salvation Army? Hand a panhandler a burger? Is that enabling?

Truly, I do not know the answer, but I do know that when I do some small thing, my heart is in the right place. Cast your bread upon the water . . . sometimes you just have to trust that as long as you did SOMETHING, even if it wasn't something BIG . . . maybe it somehow made a difference.
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Old 11-25-2008, 07:26 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
3,421 posts, read 9,219,899 times
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I'm curious, because I can see something like this happening, what is the alternative (for men, anyway) to living on the street if one can't afford housing, particularly if they ARE working, but just don't have enough net income for housing?
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Old 11-25-2008, 07:29 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 66,962,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superk View Post
I'm curious, because I can see something like this happening, what is the alternative (for men, anyway) to living on the street if one can't afford housing, particularly if they ARE working, but just don't have enough net income for housing?
The Salvation Army has limited space . . . and I would assume they are at full capacity, but I think that would be where I would go first, as they could then evaluate the situation and suggest other alternatives (if there are any). I think the shelters basically are on a "first come, first serve" basis. I also am not sure what group housing opportunities are available in the area, but I suspect . . . most are thru/ agencies that are working directly w/ offenders and the mentally ill.

Our system is just not very open to helping the working poor, wh/ is outrageous and wrong.
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Old 11-25-2008, 07:29 AM
 
4,222 posts, read 6,704,722 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bs13690 View Post
I can't count how many times I have heard the "I'm out of gas" story. I was at a Kinko's in DC once and this guy came wanting to get a large poster board laminated. On this posterboard was a long elaborate story about how he needed money for gas. Some people have no shame.
One night I was sitting in McDonald's after having a late, after beer, meal when a jerky looking kid (white kid with low hanging pants, etc.)approached me and said that he was out of gas about three blocks away and wanted to know if I would help him. I told him that my friend was a cop and on patrol around the area and I could call him. I told him that he kept a gallon of gas in his trunk in case someone ran out. Boy, that idiot took off in a flash.
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Old 11-25-2008, 07:45 AM
 
4,222 posts, read 6,704,722 times
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My advise to everyone is to ask these "disenfranchised" individuals if they are willing to do some work for you to earn some money and watch their response. Better still, ask them they would like you to help them finding appropriated social services to help them. This way, you can really help the individual and also see if the person is willing to help him/herself. If giving a bum money makes you feel good, you have created a false sense of charity and good will. They all have a story. Ten percent of them are ligitimate. I wonder how many of the sensiive/caring subscribers to this thread have offered a warm room in their home on a cold night to one of these individuals? How many have had one to their home for a warm meal? Until one has, one can't criticize others for not being as caring. Saying is one thing, doing is the other. I am always amazed when a homeless person bums from passersby while smoking a cigarette. Christ, a cigarette cost what, a quarter?
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Old 11-25-2008, 07:54 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 66,962,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bandibadji View Post
My advise to everyone is to ask these "disenfranchised" individuals if they are willing to do some work for you to earn some money and watch their response. Better still, ask them they would like you to help them finding appropriated social services to help them. This way, you can really help the individual and also see if the person is willing to help him/herself. If giving a bum money makes you feel good, you have created a false sense of charity and good will. They all have a story. Ten percent of them are ligitimate. I wonder how many of the sensiive/caring subscribers to this thread have offered a warm room in their home on a cold night to one of these individuals? How many have had one to their home for a warm meal? Until one has, one can't criticize others for not being as caring. Saying is one thing, doing is the other. I am always amazed when a homeless person bums from passersby while smoking a cigarette. Christ, a cigarette cost what, a quarter?
I would never take someone home, LOL. I usually give them info on where to find help. The mentally ill can be psychotic and you don't know who might b/cm violent or be delusional. Best to make a phone call to an agency on their behalf - or give them directions to the closest shelter or soup kitchen. I like to support the organizations themselves - and just direct people to those organizations.
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Old 11-25-2008, 08:13 AM
 
549 posts, read 1,560,926 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoanD'Arc View Post
I didn't see the story but I have been thinking about another story I saw a couple years ago about a young boy who asked his mother why there were people living in the streets. When she told him about homeless people, he insisted on taking blankets out of their home and distributing the blankets to those people. When word got around town about what he did, others donated blankets or money to buy them and a whole new movement was founded. That is true story and may have made the national news. What if we all did that? And added a sandwich, as well.
Honestly? If everyone in Charlotte enabled the homeless then Charlotte would become a magnet for homeless people. I'm not heartless but some homeless people are deserving of help and others are on the streets by choice. I have no interest in enabling the latter.
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Old 11-25-2008, 08:16 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 66,962,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palmetto Heel View Post
Honestly? If everyone in Charlotte enabled the homeless then Charlotte would become a magnet for homeless people. I'm not heartless but some homeless people are deserving of help and others are on the streets by choice. I have no interest in enabling the latter.
I have heard a lot of discussion from my friends who live in and around Asheville, that this is exactly what is going on there. Since I am not there to see it for myself (only on occasion, when I visit) I don't know if this is accurate or not. But what I have been told is that the city is enabling homeless and they are actually COMING to the area from other states, b/c they have heard they can survive on the streets and in shelters. Just what I have heard. Maybe someone can comment on whether that is accurate or not.
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Old 11-25-2008, 08:28 AM
 
7,335 posts, read 16,573,480 times
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Part of the problem is the lack of MONEY to help these people.......or that is what we are told! There are so many Charities today that the rich are giving to, but none of that donated money seems to go to the homeless situation! Why? Is the reason b/c a lot of the rich feel the same way about the homeless that part of us do in this Thread? I mean, sports figures are getting millions of dollars in Contracts today, like Aron Rogers (Packers) signing a 10 year for 65 million!
But, what can be done and what can be said about these people who simply donate to Charities, but not donate to the homeless problem???? People can volunteer their time to Shelters and Food Banks, but MONEY and other things is what is really needed AND all thru the year, not just at Thanksgiving & Christmas!
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Old 11-25-2008, 08:38 AM
 
549 posts, read 1,560,926 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
I have heard a lot of discussion from my friends who live in and around Asheville, that this is exactly what is going on there. Since I am not there to see it for myself (only on occasion, when I visit) I don't know if this is accurate or not. But what I have been told is that the city is enabling homeless and they are actually COMING to the area from other states, b/c they have heard they can survive on the streets and in shelters. Just what I have heard. Maybe someone can comment on whether that is accurate or not.
Oh, it's true. I have no problem helping homeless families or homeless people with mental problems but there are far too many able bodied homeless men who live that way by choice.

When cities provide the homeless with free shelter, churches provide the homeless with free meals, the Salvation Amry provides the homeless with free clothing, and idiots give cash to panhandlers then the bums have no incentive to get jobs!
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