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Old 08-21-2013, 04:42 PM
 
Location: PA
2,086 posts, read 1,834,488 times
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Nope.

I have more of a "teach them to fish" philosophy. When I give money, it's to reputable organizations that work to help people improve their lives. I donate clothing and other items to thrift shops, and old books to my public library.

Our taxes already fund a number of programs that can help these people. Not to mention that we're inundated by charity request for this, that, and the other thing everywhere we go. Right now, it's a bookbag drive at work, which will be followed by the yearly pressure to contribute to the United Way, and after that, Thanksgiving donations and then the Angel Tree. Not to mention the canisters and donation jars in seeemingly every place of business. If, after all that, someone is still on the street begging...I don't know what to say.
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:38 PM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
3,067 posts, read 2,093,464 times
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So it appears chiroptera, Sedivec and I are on the same page. Detroit, Cleveland (visitor at least; given "middle of nowhere" as his location I don't suppose he lives in Cleveland, as that city hasn't yet become a complete urban prairie), and Buffalo united in the quest to allow the homeless to get high if they feel like it. I'll ignore the incredibly small sample size in order to say cheers to the perhaps-misplaced empathy exhibited in the Rust Belt.
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Old 08-22-2013, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Where I'm At
582 posts, read 932,302 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midgeorgiaman View Post
As a resident of an area with many churches and organizations who help the homeless and many beggars who harass visitors and locals alike...I donate only to reputable charities and never to the people. Actually, I wish others would practice the same as the beggars (most of whom I have observed in the convenience store spending their money on beer) trash the highway, defecate in the bushes and urinate in public (as in front of drivers and not in the bushes).

I realize most of them are addicts or mentally ill, but I just can't see how encouraging them to get drunk and trash nearby corners with their bodily waste and beer cans is helpful.
Totally agree .

Do you ever wonder if any of these people have adult children? Do they have a mother? What about a father? Sisters and brothers? Nieces and nephews? Aunts and uncles? Cousins and second-cousins? Former best friend(s)? Former co-workers? Former bosses? Former neighbors? Former lovers? Former church members?

Why haven't any of these people stepped up to help their family member or friend who's out in public panhandling for money? I'd be curious to know if any of these panhandlers have reached out to family and friends, and if so, why does it appear that those family members and/or friends have said "no."

Do these family members and friends know something that we don't? Why would family and friends turn their backs on a good person with a good heart and a good work ethic who's fallen on hard times? Do all panhandlers have the misfortune of having crappy/uncaring family members and friends or is there something else going on?

Personally, I think 95% of panhandlers are scam artists with drug and/or alcohol issues, while the other 5% belong in a mental institution due to their mental issues. That's specifically why I never, ever, ever give money (not even loose change), food, personal toiletries, etc. to any of them. That's what federal programs and grants (federal taxes), state programs and grants (state taxes), non-profit programs, private programs, family members, and churches (especially mega-churches with their mega-millions of dollars!!!) are for... god bless them .
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Old 08-22-2013, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA and Washington, DC
23,563 posts, read 33,282,476 times
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My personal policy: don't.
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Old 08-23-2013, 12:18 AM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
3,067 posts, read 2,093,464 times
Reputation: 3960
Quote:
Originally Posted by clevergirl05 View Post
Do you ever wonder if any of these people have adult children? Do they have a mother? What about a father? Sisters and brothers? Nieces and nephews? Aunts and uncles? Cousins and second-cousins? Former best friend(s)? Former co-workers? Former bosses? Former neighbors? Former lovers? Former church members?

Why haven't any of these people stepped up to help their family member or friend who's out in public panhandling for money? I'd be curious to know if any of these panhandlers have reached out to family and friends, and if so, why does it appear that those family members and/or friends have said "no."

Do these family members and friends know something that we don't? Why would family and friends turn their backs on a good person with a good heart and a good work ethic who's fallen on hard times? Do all panhandlers have the misfortune of having crappy/uncaring family members and friends or is there something else going on?

Personally, I think 95% of panhandlers are scam artists with drug and/or alcohol issues, while the other 5% belong in a mental institution due to their mental issues.
First off, I'm an atheist, so **** the church. Also, **** the idea of "work ethic", myth that it is. Work ethic is predicated on thinking that there is something worth working for, and there isn't, inherently anyway. Situationally, there can be things deemed worth working for, but if people determine that nothing is worth working for, there is no argument that can be lodged against that conclusion. Because ultimately, nothing is "worth" working for. The fact of death ensures that. Any personal goal is entirely subjective and not justifiable logically. Survival included.

Your contrived percentages are ENTIRELY arbitrary. Your outlook is overgeneralized and nave.

Edit to say that the church part is in regards to the quote with which you professed to be in total agreement.
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Old 08-23-2013, 12:39 AM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
3,067 posts, read 2,093,464 times
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Also, even if 95% were scam artists with drug and/or alcohol issues, well, what causes that? I could've been that, or could someday be that. You could be too, inconceivable though that may seem.

Hell, I already drink a lot. I'm not all that far removed from habitual drug usage...the only reason you (general "you", addressed to my ideological opponents here) don't drink or use is that you assume teleology (I'll bet). In other words, "you" assume purpose to life. There is no purpose to life. It's an illusion we experience for evolutionary means. As everything is such an illusion. Disenfranchised, embittered people may be closer to that truth (even if they blame their lot in life on mythical beings like "God"). There is only nature and luck (built into nature...so really, there is only nature).

If I'm wrong to assume that you assume teleology, well, there must then be another explanation for your flawed thinking that would likely reveal itself upon further discussion.

It's all circumstance....the antecedent of "it" being "life"

Think. This is the philosophy forum. In my apparently idiosyncratic world, philosophy still trumps all. Opinions that are not rigorously justified will not be accepted (by me if by no one else here). The only worldview that is logically consistent is philosophical materialism, the idea that everything in the universe is caused by some other physical entity/force in the universe, as dates back to the pre-Big Bang singularity...the implication being that everything is both entirely nature and entirely circumstance. Nature AND nurture rather than nature VS. nurture. Metaphysics is dead. Unlike Stephen Hawking, I don't think philosophy is dead...I think philosophy is definitionally alive so long as the human species exists.

I challenge anyone reading this thread to give half their paycheck to the next homeless person they see. See what happens. Do it. He's not going to use it to buy a gun and ammunition and then shoot his altruistic benefactor...well, not in 99.9999% of cases anyway. And even in the .0001% where that does happen, well, welcome to the fate of 108 billion or so people who have already died in the history of homo Sapiens. Such species-wide population numbers I find mind-boggling, myself.

Just try it, though. We need more socialism and less ruthless capitalism. Society's eventually going to trend atheist (already is, but eventually will trend that way moreso, given scientific progress), and in the emerging anarchic "brave new world", there needs to be a renewed understanding of the secular social contract. Otherwise I'll have to resort to ****ing beating you over the head with my beer bottle and then giving what you have to the homeless guy at the corner who has been figuratively (or literally) beaten for some unknown, indefinite period of time. Because if there's anything that needs to be explained to the average American, it's that the militant leftist uprisings known to most near every other country in this world is due to an intuitive understanding that there is no justice in a social Darwinist system such as capitalism. (Globalized capitalism, these days).

If it's ever America against the world, I'm with the 6.7 billion, for the record.

Last edited by Matt Marcinkiewicz; 08-23-2013 at 01:28 AM..
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Old 08-23-2013, 03:43 AM
 
31 posts, read 67,688 times
Reputation: 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by clevergirl05 View Post
Totally agree .

Do you ever wonder if any of these people have adult children? Do they have a mother? What about a father? Sisters and brothers? Nieces and nephews? Aunts and uncles? Cousins and second-cousins? Former best friend(s)? Former co-workers? Former bosses? Former neighbors? Former lovers? Former church members?

Why haven't any of these people stepped up to help their family member or friend who's out in public panhandling for money? I'd be curious to know if any of these panhandlers have reached out to family and friends, and if so, why does it appear that those family members and/or friends have said "no."

Do these family members and friends know something that we don't? Why would family and friends turn their backs on a good person with a good heart and a good work ethic who's fallen on hard times? Do all panhandlers have the misfortune of having crappy/uncaring family members and friends or is there something else going on?

Personally, I think 95% of panhandlers are scam artists with drug and/or alcohol issues, while the other 5% belong in a mental institution due to their mental issues
. That's specifically why I never, ever, ever give money (not even loose change), food, personal toiletries, etc. to any of them. That's what federal programs and grants (federal taxes), state programs and grants (state taxes), non-profit programs, private programs, family members, and churches (especially mega-churches with their mega-millions of dollars!!!) are for... god bless them .
I have been homeless. It started the morning of my 18th birthday. I was kicked out of my foster home with no money and nowhere to go. I had no job or work experience because I moved around so much. It was a miracle I even graduated from high school. So there I was with all my belongings in black trash bags and nothing to do but ask strangers for money. Eventually someone paid for a taxi to take me to the police station. One of the officers looked for a place for me to go and guess what was found? A local non-profit had a subsidized housing program for "at-risk youth" but you had to be in school. It was October and the next semester wasn't until January so I was not eligible at the time. They also had a shelter but it was full. They told me to keep in touch until then and gave me a $25 gift card to a grocery store. The police department paid for my hotel for the weekend but after that I was right back on the streets.

A friend of mine is homeless and is also a former foster youth. A lot of us faced homelessness. He can't get into a shelter because his work shifts are after the cut off time. His employer won't change it and the shelter won't make exceptions because it is first come,first serve. He gives most of his paychecks to his 16 year old sister who has two newborn babies and rents a room and cannot work.
You shouldn't judge. Not everyone is a scammer or mentally ill. Everyone has a story and everyone's circumstances are different. Some of the programs you speak of have conditions or qualifications that can prevent people from getting help.
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Whittier
3,007 posts, read 5,082,927 times
Reputation: 3033
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Marcinkiewicz View Post
First off, I'm an atheist, so **** the church. Also, **** the idea of "work ethic", myth that it is. Work ethic is predicated on thinking that there is something worth working for, and there isn't, inherently anyway. Situationally, there can be things deemed worth working for, but if people determine that nothing is worth working for, there is no argument that can be lodged against that conclusion. Because ultimately, nothing is "worth" working for. The fact of death ensures that. Any personal goal is entirely subjective and not justifiable logically. Survival included.

Your contrived percentages are ENTIRELY arbitrary. Your outlook is overgeneralized and nave.

Edit to say that the church part is in regards to the quote with which you professed to be in total agreement.
Existentialists disagree.
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Old 08-23-2013, 04:50 PM
 
1,938 posts, read 2,844,655 times
Reputation: 2675
Quote:
Originally Posted by laughandlove View Post
I have been homeless. It started the morning of my 18th birthday. I was kicked out of my foster home with no money and nowhere to go. I had no job or work experience because I moved around so much. It was a miracle I even graduated from high school. So there I was with all my belongings in black trash bags and nothing to do but ask strangers for money. Eventually someone paid for a taxi to take me to the police station. One of the officers looked for a place for me to go and guess what was found? A local non-profit had a subsidized housing program for "at-risk youth" but you had to be in school. It was October and the next semester wasn't until January so I was not eligible at the time. They also had a shelter but it was full. They told me to keep in touch until then and gave me a $25 gift card to a grocery store. The police department paid for my hotel for the weekend but after that I was right back on the streets.

A friend of mine is homeless and is also a former foster youth. A lot of us faced homelessness. He can't get into a shelter because his work shifts are after the cut off time. His employer won't change it and the shelter won't make exceptions because it is first come,first serve. He gives most of his paychecks to his 16 year old sister who has two newborn babies and rents a room and cannot work.
You shouldn't judge. Not everyone is a scammer or mentally ill. Everyone has a story and everyone's circumstances are different. Some of the programs you speak of have conditions or qualifications that can prevent people from getting help.
There was a segment on our public radio about this very issue. I know that your story is a common one for the foster kids who turn 18. You were abruptly thrown out of the system once adult age though you had no skills, contacts, resources. The foster system is horribly underfunded and poorly run, and you guys have truly been victimized since birth. I am sorry that you and others in our country have had to face this. A portion of foster kids end up using drugs and/or never making it beyond living on the streets, but hopefully you become advocates for one another, share tips, and help one another transition out of the system before it is too late. 99% of the homeless are decent individuals who have ended up in those circumstances through no fault of their own (OK, I made up that number, but it is the majority). They want better lives and often need help.

Another example is homelessness due to inadequate insurance coverage. I've seen people end up homeless because of medical issues, whether physical (ex. cancer treatments or organ transplants not covered by insurance, seriously ill children, multiple household members seriously ill, etc...) or psychological/mental (ex. schizophrenia, psychosis, disability). Many people seeking daily radiation treatments or weekly chemo infusions live in their cars or parks, for instance. I have met these people in person, and know first hand that our medical system is seriously deficient for those without good insurance. When it's a choice between your house or your life, in one of the richest and most educated countries in the world, we have a problem -- and we are ALL potentially vulnerable if insurance companies can cap your lifetime limit for treatments. Hence the reason I am for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

We have multiple homeless camps in Seattle, and at one point in time about 2 years ago, there were 11 children in the camp in my neighborhood -- this camp has no running water or electricity, is often muddy in Seattle rain in the Winter, is on a Superfund Toxic Waste site, and has no police presence. One of the kids was a newborn. The families with kids were waiting for placement from the county, but sometimes the wait is for 6 months. One woman at that point in time was a domestic abuse survivor who escaped with the kids in order to protect them. The school buses stop at the homeless camps. Men and boys of a certain age often cannot stay in shelters with their moms or sisters, and end up on the streets. In addition to drug abuse and mental illness, homeless youth are subjected to criminal activity and victimization. We have thousands of kids being sexually abused and/or involved in prostitution, for instance. We have a tract of land within the city called "the jungle" where it is dangerous to be a homeless person, particularly a child, because of the high rates of crime.

But, the victims in this type of situation tend not to be the same individuals who end up on the streetcorners. The homeless with families, and those who want to better their lives, are INVISIBLE. The truly seperate destitute may panhandle short-term, such as a kid thrown out of the foster system, but they do not become permanent fixtures on the streetcorners year after year. The majority of streetcorner beggars in Seattle are a huge permanent network, they know one another and have their own set of rules about who can stand on which streetcorner. They often scam/lie to make a buck. Of course there are those who truly need help temporarily, but these people often stand out from the standard panhandlers. For example, in Seattle we had a problem with these scammers using dogs from the shelter in order to make money off of your sympathy -- this is one reason why shelters charge money for dogs and insist that anyone adopting show proof of address. They will claim to be vets, pregnant, needing baby milk, wanting a job, and victims of one sort or another, when in reality they have made homelessness and begging a choice and seek to victimize you.

I have limited funds myself. Am I going to give my spare money to someone from the first scenario, or a drug and people user of the second type?

If you REALLY want to do some good, actually walk into a homeless camp or volunteer for an agency. Or work with foster youth. If you can't do that, use your dollars wisely to support an organization that is helping people in the first category get out of their situation. Also, LEARN about the homeless population and resources in your community. Every community is different, so if you want to spend wisely and use your dollars to their maximal effect, take the time to find out how to do that.

Last edited by west seattle gal; 08-23-2013 at 05:25 PM..
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Old 08-23-2013, 05:30 PM
 
Location: CasaMo
15,467 posts, read 7,472,583 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Marcinkiewicz View Post
But they want meth, not toothpaste. I say let them have it. I'm conflicted about it, but ultimately I say people should have the right to enjoyably self-destruct.
They do have that right and I'll choose not to aid and abet self destruction.
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