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Old 06-07-2009, 01:25 PM
Location: Looking over your shoulder
27,465 posts, read 22,991,870 times
Reputation: 68633


Iím not their judge is correct; do you give them money or direction for help is the question?

I have compassion for those that are homeless, however those that are habitual vagrants and choose to be are another problem and issue for society. Many of these habitual vagrants carry contagious communicable illnesses or diseases while using your public restrooms in fast food restaurants. This is a health issue for THEM and others who frequent those same facilities. Helping them get checked out and get assistance is the right thing to do. Our church has a food pantry and cash donations that help those homeless who are in need. Iíll give my donation to them, the public shelters and the agencies that know what these people need.
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Old 06-07-2009, 04:17 PM
Status: "Epiphany." (set 2 days ago)
Location: Memphis - home of the king
22,739 posts, read 19,014,670 times
Reputation: 108846
They know where the shelters are. I have enough responsibilities without micro-managing a homeless person's day telling them where to go to seek help.

Thank God Almighty I am not, nor have I ever been, homeless. Like a couple of people said, "There but for the grace of God go I." I literally think those words when I see someone panhandling. But as a result I don't know where the shelters are.

Some money given to shelters goes to care, some of it is siphoned off. It happens. If the homeless person gets a donation, it is going to go directly to what they need. It's their decision as to what that is.

I agree if someone is a nuisance or a danger they should be dealt with. Unfortunately the institutions that used to help people who can't take care of themselves and who have no family were shut down in the 60s. More unintended consequences from supposedly touchy-feely law making.

Last edited by bjh; 06-07-2009 at 04:28 PM..
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Old 06-07-2009, 04:38 PM
Location: Airports all over the world
5,178 posts, read 5,004,776 times
Reputation: 90378
I guess someone needs to take a stance on the other side of this issue. Regarding the hard core homeless I offer no support. There are options out there which they chose not to take. That is their business not mine. While I will donate money to organizations that help say battered women or food banks, I will not support programs directed towards the hard core homeless let alone people pan handling on street corners. I only have so much money to donate and I would rather donate it to programs that help people that want the help getting their lives together.
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Old 06-07-2009, 05:15 PM
Location: Moved to town. Miss 'my' woods and critters.
25,463 posts, read 10,947,226 times
Reputation: 31606
If anyone has the time, attempt to view the movie, 'God Bless the Child', with Mare Winningham. A touching story of a young divorced mother with a daughter. Through circumstances beyond her control, life takes a direction that leads them both to a devastating lifestyle.
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Old 06-07-2009, 07:55 PM
Location: Looking over your shoulder
27,465 posts, read 22,991,870 times
Reputation: 68633
Default You got'a help those who help themselves!

Originally Posted by Northwoods Voyager View Post
If anyone has the time, attempt to view the movie, 'God Bless the Child', with Mare Winningham. A touching story of a young divorced mother with a daughter. Through circumstances beyond her control, life takes a direction that leads them both to a devastating lifestyle.
Iím not sure if Iíve seen that movie or not but it sounds familiar. My wife and I have adopted (so to speak) a mother of three who is divorced. Her husband left her and the kids, took all of the money in the bank account and disappeared. She (the mother) had to earn a living to keep the family together by taking a cleaning job in the office building. Her car breaks down and needs a new motor (or rebuilt one) so she saves $800 for the replacement that a friend said would do the job. He replaced the engine with another but failed to do it correctly and the main seal leaked.

I talked with her and managed to get her to a repair shop that I knew of that could help her. They could fix things but it would be another $600 for the needed work. I told her that Iíd pay for the work and she could pay me back later when she could. While the car was up on the lift at the shop, I noticed that the tired were very bad and made arrangement to have the tires replaced with new ones at a shop nearby where she and her family live. That was another $250 that she didnít have but needed. Then the transmission went out and there was another $400 charge to repair it. I took care of this as I did the other fees.

The lady has to work for minimum wages; she works during the day cleaning at the building and tries to get house evening jobs in the evenings and weekend. She is a very hard worker and wonderful mother of three. Without help she and her family would be in trouble. My wife and I canít help much more then we have, however without the car to get to work and to her jobs Ė she canít take care of her family.

Her son graduated from high school with honors, valedictorian, and two full four-year scholarships at our state university and MIT in aerospace engineering. She is so proud of her kids and should be. The younger son worked so hard at school he was able to skip a grade and moved on to become a sophomore in high school. Her youngest daughter is a straight A student and on the honor roll (always). None of her kids are ever in trouble at school or into gangs on the street. Sheís a good mother taking care of the kids and working hard.

So what do you do? She needs help and she has no family that can assist her. If she doesnít have a car then she canít care for the kids and the family is out on the street. I only pray that what little I can do continues to help her along her way, and that life become easier for her. As for the money for the car repairs, she will repay the debt when sheís able to. If that can help her and the family itís money well spent.

I donít know of any agency or church in our area that would help her with fixing the car repairs. But helping something that I could do at the time and I stepped forward to do the right thing. It was money keeping someone off of the streets that ďwanted to workĒ keeping someone in a home (apartment) and not letting them go homeless. This woman (and her family) shouldnít be a victim.

My point is that there are those that need help and you should step up and help, then there are those who are habitual vagrants who chose not to help themselves and anything you give them or do for them ďindorses or condonesĒ their lifestyle and behavior.
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Old 06-07-2009, 08:09 PM
27 posts, read 83,782 times
Reputation: 43
I'm in Vancouver, and there is a serious problem with homeless people.
I don't like to give money, but I always have a wallet full of tim hortons cards. That way they can at least get a sandwich and a coffee.
I've done a lot of volunteering at the different shelters, one of the best things we did was give out parcels last December. They had gloves, a hat, a toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, washcloth, socks, a few tylenol, a bottle of water, a $5 phone card and the names of different help lines and shelters, a comb and gift cards/coupons that some local fast food places donated.The women also got a brush and some personal hygeine products. We included a little pamphlet of directions to a few of the shelters.
The end result was far better than we imagined, over 40 people called the help lines, and the shelters said they had a real surge in people coming in.

Unforunately, it was alot of work and money, but it's something we plan on continuing.

We figured if we gave one to someone who didn't really 'need' it, oh well, I'd rather find out I helped someone unnesecarily than walk past someone who was truly in desperation.
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Old 06-07-2009, 08:10 PM
Location: Looking over your shoulder
27,465 posts, read 22,991,870 times
Reputation: 68633
Default Some things you donít throw money at!

I found a guy sleeping in his car in the parking lot at the building that I was working at years ago. He was unemployed and without a place to live. Over the next several days and weeks after talking with him, I was able to get him working as a night watchman in a security job.

Time passed and we talked often over the next several months. He was able to save enough money for an apartment and moved forward with his life a little at a time. After several months of conversations, I was able to understand that he was very interested in the law. I talked with him and helped to motivate him into going back to school; this time special training in paralegal classes and training.

After he finished school I was able to direct him to the county offices where he could apply for a job with the county legal department and the court systems. He was hired and no longer had to do the night work while going to school during the day.

All of this was over a period of just more then a year in time. I never gave him any handout or money. I only gave him direction, advice and friendship. Money wasnít needed and if he wanted to help himself he had to do it ďhimselfĒ.

My point in this is that some people donít need money and can work things out if given the right direction to agencies, schools, and employment. Give them your time instead of a buck helps those who help themselves.

He no longer sleeps on the streets or is a homeless, he never got a dime ~ he got help and direction to help himself!
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:44 PM
Location: Moved to town. Miss 'my' woods and critters.
25,463 posts, read 10,947,226 times
Reputation: 31606
AksarbeN, your thoughtfulness and direction for these two examples of human kindness are an inspiration. The young mother in the movie that I referred to would have benefited greatly by the type of assistance, guidance and/or monetary, that you have provided.

I also believe that there is a difference between 'homeless' and 'street people'.
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:34 PM
Location: Looking over your shoulder
27,465 posts, read 22,991,870 times
Reputation: 68633
Iíve got two street people that are known heroin addicts in our neighborhood commercial area that panhandle daily and visit the fast food restaurant to wash in the morning. They sleep in the garbage containers behind the buildings and use the restrooms during the day. Both had served time in the state correctional facilities for heroin addition. These are the street people that panhandle during the day to buy drugs at night. If they can earn an extra buck buying alcohol or cigarettes for the teenagers they will try and do that. Part of the problem is that too many individuals will give them money for food but itís used for drugs. Iíve seen one who had more money ($20s) folded up in his pocket then I used all month buying a coffee at McDonalds one morning. Then spend the day sitting at the curb panhandling customers as they drive in and out.

They arrested the one a short while back for trespassing and he had 12 used hypodermic needles in this backpack when the officers searched him. This becomes a problem for police trying to do their job safely and avoid being stuck with a drug users needle.

There is a difference between street people that are passing through as transients who have a direction and need to keep moving on, and then there are vagrants who loiter and panhandle these are habitual vagrants in some areas. And there are homeless who have fallen on hard times and need help. Doing the right thing for the right person is important. Thereís no need to support a drug user with money that could go to someone else and be better spent. Professionals in agencies and church groups know how to read people like this and exactly who needs the help.

Another funny story was a lady came up and asked if I would buy the remaining credit on a gift card that she had. It was worth far more then what she was asking for, but her need was only to have cash to pay for a local bus ride to get back home. I smiled at her and said keep the gift card and buy something that she needed for herself as I handed her a $5 bill for the bus. I did notice that she went to the corner and caught the next one that was just arriving
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