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Old 12-10-2015, 07:03 AM
 
5,612 posts, read 4,178,484 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodestar View Post
I think this may be an outdated viewpoint of what happens in prison. At least here in MN we have rehabilitative programs, job training, chemical dependency counseling, education, halfway house placement and community follow-up after release.

Apparently with some Minnesotans you have to get their attention before you can help them.

And yet the recidivism rate in Minnesota is over 60%. Despite best rehabilitative efforts, most people end up back in prison within 3 years. Underlines the point the OP was making with "Justin". What do we or can we do with people who don't rise to help themselves?
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Old 12-10-2015, 12:07 PM
 
5,207 posts, read 3,026,181 times
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There are no easy answers. Here are a few thoughts.

I don't' subscribe to Jerthebear's premise that every one of these individuals has something as yet undiagnosed which prevents them from functioning - if I am understanding him correctly. There are lazy people, dishonest people, self-centered people who have no problem manipulating others to have their needs and wants met. At best you could call them spiritually disabled. At any rate giving them things won't fix what ails them.

Generally they travel from enabler to enabler and as each burns out they move on to a new "helper." Although we are conditioned to view them with pity and treat them with kindness very little is ever said about the wake of damage they can leave in their path. They may actually be feeling less pain than the people who tried to help them. I believe this is the type of person to which the OP refers.

One thing which may help is educating the public about the fine line between helping and enabling. Parents really need to learn about this concept. At some point doing things for someone who can do it for himself or giving him things he can get for himself can actually cripple a young person's ability to grow up and accept responsibility for himself.

Some of these people have very little hope left of ever building a life for themselves as long as they can always find another helper. There are natural consequences for this behavior and to prevent it only postpones the inevitable or ties you forever to caregiving. Emotional pain is a great motivator and it's not a good idea to prevent these folks from feeling theirs.

Sometimes having no one left to turn to can be the turn-around point for them. It's not always cruel to say "no."
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:56 PM
 
538 posts, read 346,489 times
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According to statistics from the "National coalition for the Homeless," the average homeless person has a lifespan of 48.1 years, so, you don't have to worry about Justin much longer. That 48.1 years is 36% less than that of the average housed person. Their average length of life as an adult is WAAAAAAAY less than 50% of that of a housed person.


I have personally found [and research backs it up] that the very poor are MUCH more likely to share what they have, even if it is very little, without judgement. Not only that, but I have found while feeding the homeless that there are always some who give up what we are offering if there is someone around who 'needs it more."


'Users" and "manipulators?" I am sure that there are some, but I would guess probably a much lower % among the homeless than you find on Wall Street, banks, and most political arenas.


How do I distinguish between the "deserving" and the "nondeserving'? Well, I am not a Christian. I do not have a clue about Jesus' spiritual DNA, but I embrace his teachings of how to treat those less fortunate. It is my job and responsibility to give the gift, not to see what the recipient is doing with it [ and yeah, I do not drink or use drugs but if I were homeless and cold and being treated as though I were lower than whale sperm rotting on the ocean floor, I might grab some liquor to ease the pain. so what?]
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Old 12-10-2015, 11:46 PM
 
2,502 posts, read 1,415,722 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodestar View Post
There are no easy answers. Here are a few thoughts.

I don't' subscribe to Jerthebear's premise that every one of these individuals has something as yet undiagnosed which prevents them from functioning - if I am understanding him correctly. There are lazy people, dishonest people, self-centered people who have no problem manipulating others to have their needs and wants met. At best you could call them spiritually disabled. At any rate giving them things won't fix what ails them.

Generally they travel from enabler to enabler and as each burns out they move on to a new "helper." Although we are conditioned to view them with pity and treat them with kindness very little is ever said about the wake of damage they can leave in their path. They may actually be feeling less pain than the people who tried to help them. I believe this is the type of person to which the OP refers.

One thing which may help is educating the public about the fine line between helping and enabling. Parents really need to learn about this concept. At some point doing things for someone who can do it for himself or giving him things he can get for himself can actually cripple a young person's ability to grow up and accept responsibility for himself.

Some of these people have very little hope left of ever building a life for themselves as long as they can always find another helper. There are natural consequences for this behavior and to prevent it only postpones the inevitable or ties you forever to caregiving. Emotional pain is a great motivator and it's not a good idea to prevent these folks from feeling theirs.

Sometimes having no one left to turn to can be the turn-around point for them. It's not always cruel to say "no."
This is quite possibly the best & most honest post I've read on this forum, especially the bolded segment above. Perfectly stated! If I could rep you 100 times I would. I do completely agree many of these people are lazy bums who are perfectly capable of working but won't hold down a steady job because they don't want to. I've seen this with my own eyes, and it makes me sick to my stomach.
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Old 12-11-2015, 03:38 PM
 
3,713 posts, read 3,039,826 times
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"Our" problems are definitely ours, and that's most likely the realization we'll all have at some point in our mulling of "what to do." Some here have told us of their personal accounts of dealing with "Justin," others have chimed in with their views of how they would, and by extension, how we should, be dealing with Justin. When I see these people panhandling or simply wandering about I always see them as damaged goods. And in that vein I begin to understand the reasons for a less than caring view of them by an increasing number of our society. They appear to be healthy and therefore they challenge the notion of self responsibility.

I've stated my own suspicions regarding their mental state, simply because their behavior suggests an aberrant thought process at work. People have said that these people are what they are because they lack the proper self motivating drive to better their situation, but on closer observation it's obvious that there has to be an answer to the charge that they are simply lazy, dishonest or just plain obstinate. I've worked alongside folks with all those attributes, and they still aren't in the same league as Justin.

The OP laid out the early day life of Justin by allowing us a view of his childhood of less than desirable experiences, my point is, what does that connote? And further, what will be the ultimate cost to us even when we opt out of any compassionate help for these people? Here is something I was reading a few days ago, the questions raised by the fact of a rising populace of these types speaks to the possibility that this isn't about parenting as a possible spoiling of a kid's natural desire to be self sufficient, but moreover the fact of just plain bad parents not giving a damn about their kids:

"The negative impact of child abuse on adult mental health has been documented for over 150 years,*, and, over the last thirty years, in particular, numerous research studies have documented the link between child abuse and mental illness in later life. At present, there is no single diagnosis or condition that describes the psychological effects of child abuse. When in contact with mental health services, many adult survivors of child abuse find themselves diagnosed with multiple psychological conditions, many of which have considerable overlap."

The above simply supports my opinion, Lebowski will never be swayed by it nor will Lodestar, I'll do what I can to contribute to providing some sanctuary for the severely screwed up, but I'm seeing the futility in making any attempt to persuade others to do the same. I've often wondered what America would look like if we all had a choice of where our tax dollars were spent..For those who feel they are being unfairly taxed with regard to the amounts going to the likes of Justin, I'll have to say, I can relate, for I too have my own doubts about the validity of government expenditures with regard to those costs of programs I don't support.
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Old 12-11-2015, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna.
11,424 posts, read 6,831,839 times
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Well at any rate, It's been gratifying to see interest in this thread revived.

Justin has been seen back in town on a couple of occasions since I started this thread; he apparently managed to get his hands on a car again, because he turned up in the local papers when the authorities towed it away; (The local paper, like so many others, has fallen upon hard times, and makes ends meet, in part, by documenting the misadventures of the local riffraff for the back-porch gossips -- that, and the obituaries. )

I suppose that one of the reasons why I take an interest in this story is that I can relate it to my own experience -- I never could muster much enthusiasm for a back-row desk in an office run like an overgrown classroom, and a part of my middle age was spent in a variety of jobs in other states. In the process, I saw what can happen to people like Justin, and have tried to warn him -- but to no avail.

But the point I seek to make -- again -- is that the number of people out there living day-to-day, and straining the societal "safety net", is growing rapidly. It really is nothing new; some very scholarly works have been written on the pool of un-rooted men who lived a footloose existence in the early days of the Industrial Age. But the growing burden is likely to run up against the "New Puritanism" spawned by the further emancipation of women (the largest single societal pressure of our time) and we seem to be setting ourselves up for a painful, and expensive reckoning.
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Old 12-12-2015, 07:08 AM
 
Location: Kansas
19,189 posts, read 14,127,847 times
Reputation: 18146
It has to start with personal responsibility. Justin would have had to make the decision. We cannot force anyone to do something they don't want to. There are programs out there with all kinds of help but the person has to want it and seek it out.
One of the problems in society are actually the enablers, the old "if you give a man a fish, he eats for day but if you teach him to fish........." If someone is determined to consider themselves a "victim" for life, there is no way to change that around.

I always have an issue when someone talks about being thrown out of the house when they are 18 years old. That is an adult.
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