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Thread summary:

Homeless: act of kindness, hot food vs. money, mental illness, long term solution

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Old 07-14-2008, 03:42 PM
 
Location: "FV" (most can't pronounce it)
1,187 posts, read 2,178,615 times
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Default I am curious to see what YOU all think of this "post" from another state CD board

This posting below has started quite a flurry of activity on another CD board - both positive and negative. It seems many of the negative have an issue with the original poster's use of the word "INCREDIBLE" - while others think the gal enabled the man instead of making the guy want to go and help himself.

Is this so bad? Is it so common down here for there to be "homeless" and the beggars that they just turn away? I don't recall this at all in NH. Have you ever witnessed an act of kindness or had one done towards you?



Incredible act of kindness witnessed
As I was out cycling today, I came to the corner of Leadmine and Glenwood and noticed an older man with sign that read "Homeless and Hungry". As we were stopped at the light a car that is making a right hand turn stops and a little gal jumps out of her car. At first I wasn't sure what she was going to do. She opens the back window of her Ford Explorer and pulls out a plastic food carry out container - says something to the homeless man and begins opening containers she has in the back fo her car. She then starts to dish up corn, beans and by then the light changed and I wasn't able to see the conclusion.
I looked behind me and everyone could not believe this exchange . . it was very humbling as it is easy to pass judgement on people but I felt honored to witness something very special happen right in front of my eyes.
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Old 07-14-2008, 04:32 PM
 
Location: Manchester, NH
282 posts, read 771,021 times
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IMO, enabling the man would have been to give him cash--often times that gets used for purposes other than food...ie.alcohol, cigarettes, etc.......Obviously, she does this sort of thing routinely, given her set up in the car, etc, and I think it is a beautiful thing. Giving some hot food to someone in need is all positive in my book, especially given the state of things today. Also, who knows what the situation is with this man...he could suffer from a significant mental illness and be unable to hold a job (especially since we no longer have "institutions" and expect these folks to get help from the community mental health centers), he could have lost everything due to an accident or some other misfortune, he could have just gotten released from prison and no one will give him a job, or, yes, he could be the rare "bad guy" taking advantage of people..........but we really can't be the judge of any of that, can we? I think what she did was admirable, and we need more people like her in the world. And, yes, we do have homeless people in NH...they tend not to be too much in the public eye in most parts of the state, but they do exist.
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Old 07-14-2008, 04:38 PM
 
1,775 posts, read 5,406,241 times
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Just a couple weeks ago when i was still in Florida right in my small town of Inverness, there were 2 guys driving by and saw a homeless man on the side of the road across the street from Walmart on a very busy highway. One of the men in the car just returned from the Iraq war so he thought out of kindness, he and his brother who were driving would pull over and offer the man some money. well, what would you know, the homeless man pulled out a gun and shot the man (who just came back from the war with no wounds) in the shoulder!!! I couldn't believe it. The brother driving just took off fast and drove to the hospital. The gun shot wound wasn't serious but it certainly could have. Just goes to say, you never know what to expect anymore even when you try to help.
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Old 07-14-2008, 05:06 PM
 
Location: "FV" (most can't pronounce it)
1,187 posts, read 2,178,615 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelaK View Post
IMO, enabling the man would have been to give him cash--often times that gets used for purposes other than food...ie.alcohol, cigarettes, etc.......Obviously, she does this sort of thing routinely, given her set up in the car, etc, and I think it is a beautiful thing. Giving some hot food to someone in need is all positive in my book, especially given the state of things today. Also, who knows what the situation is with this man...he could suffer from a significant mental illness and be unable to hold a job (especially since we no longer have "institutions" and expect these folks to get help from the community mental health centers), he could have lost everything due to an accident or some other misfortune, he could have just gotten released from prison and no one will give him a job, or, yes, he could be the rare "bad guy" taking advantage of people..........but we really can't be the judge of any of that, can we? I think what she did was admirable, and we need more people like her in the world. And, yes, we do have homeless people in NH...they tend not to be too much in the public eye in most parts of the state, but they do exist.
One of the guys arguing on the other board says that saying the man is "mentally ill" is not giving him a chance to do for himself. He is one of those for the "long term solution" not just helping for the moment. He doesn't see how this was so INCREDIBLE. He also doesn't see that maybe this is all that woman could do? I just thought it was beautiful that the OP thought so highly of this woman's actions that he/she was obviously touched by it enough to talk of it and maybe he/she will do something of their own instead of just stepping past those who need help.
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Old 07-14-2008, 05:10 PM
 
Location: "FV" (most can't pronounce it)
1,187 posts, read 2,178,615 times
Reputation: 1238
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniellefort View Post
Just a couple weeks ago when i was still in Florida right in my small town of Inverness, there were 2 guys driving by and saw a homeless man on the side of the road across the street from Walmart on a very busy highway. One of the men in the car just returned from the Iraq war so he thought out of kindness, he and his brother who were driving would pull over and offer the man some money. well, what would you know, the homeless man pulled out a gun and shot the man (who just came back from the war with no wounds) in the shoulder!!! I couldn't believe it. The brother driving just took off fast and drove to the hospital. The gun shot wound wasn't serious but it certainly could have. Just goes to say, you never know what to expect anymore even when you try to help.
Danielle, unfortunately this is the type of action (that the guy pulled the gun) that is making so many people cynical about stopping and helping others. I am so glad that the wound wasn't serious - and I certainly hope the shooter is behind bars - which is probably where he wanted to go for the free food and board.

I personally have had one person help me stave off homelessness by offering me a room in her house (granted she was a friend - but an angel nonetheless). Another woman gave me a couple hundred dollars to keep my car out of hock and said " just pass the chain of love on when you can" she didn't want it paid back. I will NEVER forget that and I pass on the chain of love to as many as I can.
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Old 07-14-2008, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Monadnock region
3,712 posts, read 5,834,753 times
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Down here, there are so many people who may be truly homeless and many who only look/act that way that you have no idea who has decided to make it their 'job' and who really needs the help. For example, there was one well-known area where a few 'homeless' guys lived in a trailer behind some store - complete with cable tv! yet every day they would take shifts on the street corner with a sign asking for money. And they (not just this crew) would come up to the cars at the traffic lights and step into the street to get to more cars until laws had to be passed prohibiting it.

Problem is that it has made most people extremely wary and skeptical so they won't help the truly needy because you can't tell who is and who isn't .
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Old 07-15-2008, 05:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NH2NCMom View Post
Danielle, unfortunately this is the type of action (that the guy pulled the gun) that is making so many people cynical about stopping and helping others. I am so glad that the wound wasn't serious - and I certainly hope the shooter is behind bars - which is probably where he wanted to go for the free food and board.

I personally have had one person help me stave off homelessness by offering me a room in her house (granted she was a friend - but an angel nonetheless). Another woman gave me a couple hundred dollars to keep my car out of hock and said " just pass the chain of love on when you can" she didn't want it paid back. I will NEVER forget that and I pass on the chain of love to as many as I can.

Well he was never found. they put up flyers around town with a description of him but he's probably gone off back in the woods in hiding. It's a shame something like that could happen but i guess if your homeless and have nothing to lose, anything can happen.
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Old 07-15-2008, 06:37 AM
 
Location: Bedford, NH
23 posts, read 35,472 times
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I'm new to these forums but this one caught my attention! I once wrote in my blog.. "Pay it Forward", one paragraph of it is below...

"What I wanna know is, why are people so heartless... why do they not see the whole picture, instead of only looking at what they want to see? Whatever happened to people actually caring about the lil old lady that needs help across the street, or giving the homeless person a few bucks.. not caring what he's gonna spend it on, but cuz you have it to spare. Whatever happen to giving someone your word and it actually meaning something? Whatever happen to family being there no matter what.. but they were there just for the simple reason of being family? What happen to smiling at someone, even a stranger, instead of looking at them like a stranger? WHAT HAPPEN TO PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE JUST OUT OF KINDNESS?? Am I the only person that wonders this.. am I the only person that would love to help that lil 'ol lady across the street because I find alot of self satisfication in just knowing I did something good for someone who needed me?"

Obviously, something happened that triggered me to vent like that but needless to say, there are times when I often wonder what kind of a world I'm bringing my children into and can be a scary thought. Oh and for the record, I don't think that ALL people are cold & heartless, just the ones that assume it is the way they see it and don't take the time to see the details. Not everything is black and white.
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Old 07-15-2008, 07:55 AM
 
Location: NH. NY. SC. next move, my ground condo
3,543 posts, read 8,891,608 times
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i never came into contact with people that were homeless when i lived in n.h or where i live now , here in upstate ny. their probably out there i just haven't seen them. where i have seen them is down south in georgia. we spent some time down there a few years ago for the winter. we couldn't beleave all the people we came accross that were begging for money or food or work. they were standing at intersections at the top of off ramps coming off the highway all holding signs. these people would walk right up to your car asking for what ever you could give them. one thing i couldn't beleave was, we were at walmart shopping down there and this guy comes right up to us asking for money right in the store. i couldn't beleave it. we had never been subject to this before our trip down there. it's very alarming to see this. just the thought of that going on in this country. and people are so worried about other countries, ah , hello! what about your own. like i said, i don't see any homeless people around my area but if i did i would want to help someone if i could. i do beleave in paying it forward.
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Old 07-15-2008, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Just moved to NH
179 posts, read 275,324 times
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They say that many, many families are just one paycheck shy of being broke. In today's climate, if someone loses their job, the mortgage crisis, etc., the family may be forced out of their home, not have enough money to put down on an apt, and ends up living in their car. It used to be that neighbors, family and friends used to help those who, by no fault of their own, hits bottom. Unfortunately, this is now a mobile world and people no longer know their neighbors, end up across country from family and friends tend to be on the "internet" because people no longer think they have the time to develop new friends when they move.

This country has also closed down the institutions that used to care for the mentally disabled, including vets who have severe PTSD and cannot work. If you don't have an address, you cannot receive any benefit checks they may qualify for, and often those checks are usually not enough to provide heat, food, and shelter.

Another group of people who are thrown out with a few bucks and no safety net are they children being "released" from the foster system. Often they are not taught how to make their way through this complicated world. They are often drop outs, do not trust adults, struggle with some mental problems stemming from how they got into the foster system in the first place, and just don't know what to do now. If they are lucky, they had a good foster parent who tries to teach them. Unfortunately, the foster care system is broken, leaving these kids stranded.

With a few exceptions, I believe that many homeless just need a break. I don't think there is anything wrong with providing food, a few dollars, or some clothing, personal hygiene products or blankets. I think the media plays up the occasional violence or the ones who turn begging into a full time job. They don't report about the guy who lost his job when he was already a few months late on his mortgage because he had to choose between heat and food for his family, medical care, or the mortgage payment that skyrocketed because he was lured into a bad loan that he thought was a great deal after seeing the ad on the internet. No, he is probably not the brightest bulb in the pack, but did nothing to warrant him and his family being thrown out on the streets because just trying to live left him no savings to put down on an apt.

When we lived in IL, by daughter worked with a young woman who was homeless, living in a shelter when she could get a bed for the night, but managed to make it to work every day, at minimum wage. She cashed her checks at a check cashing place, who took a cut. She used her money for food and bus fare to get to work from the shelter. There usually wasn't much left over. She worked part time, because the place did not hire full time so they didn't have to pay benefits. She did not have an address, so found it difficult to get a better job. She had stopped her drug addiction, and stayed away from her twin brother who was a gang member. After talking to her for several weeks while dropping off or picking up my daughter, and listening to what my daughter said to her, I offered to let her move in with us. Was this a smart move? Probably not, but I had a good feeling about her. She lived with us for 4 years, worked on life skills, stayed clean and is starting college this fall.

Personally, I think all the money the US spends on helping people in other countries is fine, BUT, I think we should take care of our own first. Katrina briefly highlighted US poverty, but they are now forgotten, as are the rest of the poor. As smart and wealthy the US is, I think it is a crime to let so many go without proper shelter, food and heat.
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