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Moral obligation to homelessness

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posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 06:53 AM
Moral obligation to homelessness

Ok I think this would fall under social issues

Ok I am saying here and now…please be brutally honest with me…I am straight up asking for it and inviting it – Stay in ToC’s of course 

We don’t want your beautiful self getting in trouble

Ok I have a question that I will ask then give a bit of background in. Then like I always do I will probably expand ad nauseum because I like to hear myself talk

One thing though…READ THE NEXT PARAGRAPH BEFORE YOU JUMP ON ME!!! ((you’ll see why))

When is it morally acceptable to not care about homelessness?

Now…please read on

I am a licensed therapist in my state. I am finally getting a full time therapy job starting this Monday…thank goodness.
For the last three years I have worked as a Crisis Clinician/Emergency Mental Healthcare Technician. My job is basically simple yet complex. I have but two singular priorities

1. To assure a patient is mentally/physically/emotionally safe

2. Ensure the appropriate care for said patient

That’s it….nothing else. So basically, when an ER doctor has a client who is suicidal, homicidal, psychotic or unable to care for self ((and by this I mean literally hasn’t eaten, bathed for weeks…not just not eating for a day or two)) then they call me. I come in and do rapid assessments, diagnose, and decide what might be best to help serve the patient. It can range from hospitalization ((which is 90% voluntary)), step down facilities, enter a patient into substance abuse programming, homeless shelters, disability…blah blah…you get it. Our stats show that only 35-40% of the time is someone clinically and truly dangerous enough to be admitted.

Now I am asking/begging that we do not turn this into an argument regarding the legitimacy of mental health and all that…I shared the above so that you know how, like it or not, it works. Here now is the meat of my dilemma.

We have patients who legitimately come to the ER every…single…night…pretending to be suicidal or psychotic because they want to be on the psych floor for a place to stay. Obviously, this is NOT a reason to take up the few precious beds I do have. But literally, we have four or five men who have been here every day, sometimes twice a day who walk in and say “I’m suicidal…” then proceed to lay down, demand the TV remote, lights off and a meal

Ok I get that homelessness must be awful especially in this weather. I am NOT trying to judge or pretend to know the feeling. But here is my issue. All five of these guys, and many more, have been referred to the shelters, had intake, and got a bed only to be kicked out in two days for fighting, stealing, drugs, not returning and a plethora of reasons. Then the next day, come back, I send em back to shelter, and kicked out again…they do this three or four times until NOW the shelter says NO…we’ve given you four chances and you’ve burned us…we need these few beds for people who want to be here. Then they return to their nightly routine of ER, suicidal, food, leave when I discharge them…then yell at me because I won’t help

Ok…so time for some Kyo facts

I was raised in lower class, but never homeless. I am now what I would consider middle class with a few goodies and extras. I have a car, apartment, all the bills paid, and outside of student loans, no debt. I have some niceties for me and my wife is taken care of while she goes to school…although as a doctoral student she gets a healthy stipend.

So…I am NOT pretending to know what it’s like to be on a bench or in a warming shelter when it is 5 degrees out and this is not some attempt for Kyo to feel better about himself. I am truly curious and don't know what to feel any more…but I ask again

When is it, if ever morally acceptable to not care about these specific individuals?

Some guys I send there, they stay 6 months, work programs and next thing I hear they are clean, sober, a decent apartment or shared space and have a job and reasonable car. But what of the guys who come back every single day after they burn bridges multiple times at both our shelters? Then they get mad at me when I discharge them…yell, scream, and one of them broke a $20,000 stroke screen monitor on the way out and went to jail

Be honest ATS…please…am I an *********? Is there some point where I am allowed to say “I have been trying for months and you keep burning me?”

Go ahead…be gentle…tear me up or anything in between…this is a 100% genuine question


posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 07:08 AM
a reply to: KyoZero

An ideal society should have a roof available for every man, women and child of the said society, regardless of their finacial state.

In my opinion, food and shelter should be not be privileges. They should be rights.

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 07:26 AM
a reply to: KyoZero

Moral obligation to homelessness

People become homeless for many reasons but rarely from choice , whether it's because of mental illness , family break up or just pure misfortune a civilised society has a moral obligation to look after those who can't look after themselves , that includes the homeless.

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 07:38 AM
Housing should be a right.

There should also be filtering immigration and asylum seekers. There should be proper support for those 'going off the rails' to ensure they don't. The police weren't interested in the criminal activities of the homeless people during my employment for a charitable organisation, perhaps because of the criminal network of drugs and prostitution adding to the GDP. Perhaps more will be done preventing such criminal activity now it is EU taxable income.

However, having worked for 4 years for a charity status organisation at the front line of housing homeless people, from asylum seekers, those being released from mental health institutions, being rehoused via the probation service from prisons and secure facilities, some were schedule 1 offenders, to direct access homeless people that were on the street, it became obvious all wasn't as it seemed there.

I went into that position with lofty ideals of 'helping people' that needed help and with the naive view that it wasn't their fault, society had failed them etc, to cynicism and experiencing a sort of empathetic 'burn out' as had all the others in the job done upon leaving.

Statistically the majority of them were increasingly drug addicts, drug dealers and of despicable disposition. They didn't want help, they were making hundreds each day from theft and illegal activities for covering their addiction. Money wasn't their issue and they mostly refused interventions etc from GP's and other agencies.

The asylum seekers were often part of gangs, they weren't the destitute of their lands, they were the connected that could afford the fees paid to criminal networks that got them to the UK. When they arrived they normally got housed by the local authority rapidly. They were also connected to gangs when they arrived, some were drug dealing or other illegal activity.

Those suffering mental health issues were amongst the perhaps more genuinely homeless and were often eventually housed by the local authority.

The probation referrals were treated similarly.

During those 4 years, it became obvious that more than 90% of those 'homeless' going through the organisation were more able to do something about their situation themselves if they wanted to and also were connected to criminal networks. The charities resources were essentially being used by criminal networks. The charitable donations from the churches and well meaning would probably have been better spent on those more deserving than the type of thugs that spent most of their days breaking into people's cars and houses whilst having more than £120 a day spent on their food and accommodation by the government.

edit on 29-12-2014 by theabsolutetruth because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 07:49 AM
You can go ahead and shoot me for saying this.....BUT....I personally don't feel any moral obligation to ANYONE ( homeless or not) who's cheating the system at the tax payers expense. Especially when they've been given a roof and a meal at the shelter and they piss on it. By going to the ER and faking an illness,They are taking up a bed and keeping you from helping someone who NEEDs your help...They were given several chances at the shelter and didn't want now they're playing a game. I have no sympathy for anyone like that. .....and yes people fall down on their luck, for various reasons....but that doesn't mean you get to con the ER personnel and pretend to be suicidal .....OP , maybe you could contact other ER's in your area or other states to see if they have the same problem and how they handle it . I realize legally you can't turn them away.

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 08:02 AM
a reply to: KyoZero

Looks to me you're also a victim, and it's called structural violence. Like the poster above me said, any really decent society (if as a species we really want to earn the title 'intelligent form of life") should give the basics of life for free to anyone and everyone and unconditionally. It makes me think of those photos, in Brazil for example, where you see a luxurious five stars residential building and just to the other side of the road there is a favela with all the poverty, the misery etc. I don't think the people who live in the luxurious building are happy about their lives, they must be constantly stressed and afraid that something happens to them. Here is the photo I am talking about
Inequalities have an obvious harmful effect on the health of the poorer, but studies have proved that inequalities also have a harmful effect on the health of the richer. Here is a great video on the subject

"If Americans want to live the American dream, they should go to Danemark"

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 08:03 AM
I think in your role, Kyo, that you have to protect the health system from people who are abusing it for shelter needs. For your repeat customers you should have a very fast way of getting a medical opinion that they are not in fact suicidal and removing them from the hospital ASAP. I understand that you need a medical opinion to cover your behind. I understand there is typically an observation period to confirm suicidal claims, however if you have a file on a person and this is there 5th time making the claim in 2 weeks I'm sure the medical professional can include these facts and skip an observation period after a brief examination. Sadly another way to discourage this type of system abuse is to make the 'routine' unpleasant for abusers. So, for example, people with 3 visits on suicide claims get transferred to a psych facility for an in depth evaluation. That's likely not a transfer homeless people would want and thus repeat customers would stop at that point.

Work with your medical team to come up with a solution that saves the system for people with a real medical issue. Thanks in advance because one day I'll need it and hope there is room for me. Good luck!

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 08:06 AM
Moral obligations of a society... what a scary, scary concept so often abused by the so-called 'moral majority'.

Yes, everyone deserves a roof and food, right? Even pedophiles, violent criminals, and people who just don't want to work.

Liberal extremism, it's like a cancer in the USA now.

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 08:17 AM
"When is it morally acceptable to not care about homelessness?"

That seems to me, to be a loaded question. As it very mucj also has to do with the reality of the illusions of a monetary economic society. But maybe its just me.

In all reality, these people, who are homeless and likely moneyless, just have to be shown exactly how free they really are. They are no longer in bondage to the system. Why does one with nothing, need an illusion to continue on acquiring more things they don't really need, though monetary means they don't have?

We all need shelter and food. Yet we can get those things without money. And seeing as money isn't real, why continue the illusions for the people who truly can do without it all and obviously have difficulty adapting to the illusions of a monetary economy?

I highly recommend the book called: The Man Who Quit Money.

Also his blog:

Or simply Google: Daniel Suelo. There are some good videos out there too of him and others who live without money.

Now I know that a large percentage of homeless people are also battling mental health issues. For sure a blind eye should not be turned on this. But the issue there isn't homelessness, it's mental health care, or the lack thereof.

Give the blog, and if you can find it, the book a read. A moneyless lifestyle isn't for everyone, but maybe for some who are already there, it is. And they just need the encouragement to be strong and carry on.

Remembered, home is where the heart is.

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 08:17 AM
a reply to: Calalini

Because prisons are roofless?

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 08:24 AM
a reply to: Calalini

Yes, everyone deserves a roof and food, right?

Yes everyone does deserve a place to live. Right now we have enough empty houses in America that we can get rid of the homeless overnight.

Even pedophiles

These people belong in some kind of program where they are under constant watch so they can't hurt any children.

violent criminals

These people belong in prison. So we would still be paying for their shelter.

Liberal extremism, it's like a cancer in the USA now.

It may be like a cancer but the true cancer is unregulated capitalism and it has destroyed this nation. It is because of this that we have so many homeless now. Many people lost their jobs and were unable to find another one because of the jobs moving out of the country.

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 08:30 AM

originally posted by: Calalini
Moral obligations of a society... what a scary, scary concept so often abused by the so-called 'moral majority'.

Yes, everyone deserves a roof and food, right? Even pedophiles, violent criminals, and people who just don't want to work.

Liberal extremism, it's like a cancer in the USA now.

So what exactly do you suggest that society should do with those people? Be spesific, I really am curious.

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 08:31 AM
Your doing all you can .. quite well .. but at the end of the day.. as much as we want to help others .. there are always those few who are unreachable.. or who take advantage .. all you can do is keep trying to point them in the right direction and hope .. never give up no matter how frustrating it gets at times ..

World would be better place if more people showed the compassion for others that you show..

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 08:38 AM

originally posted by: swanne
a reply

In my opinion, food and shelter should be not be privileges. They should be rights.

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 08:45 AM
a reply to: Calalini

Liberal extremism, it's like a cancer in the USA now.

Actually, arrogant anti-humanitarian apathy is more the disease running rampant these days.

It's seems to be most commonly spread through "city folk" - with no vaccine in sight.

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 08:59 AM
a reply to: KyoZero
I have a cousin who has burned so many bridges, and worn out her welcome in so many places, she has a hard time finding a new victim. Even the people who have raised her 5 children she basically abandoned, don't trust her enough to stay a night with them on one of her rare visits to see them.

You can only go so far, and do so much Kyo. After that, you have to move on to those who really want and need your help...

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 09:40 AM
First off...thanks all for not going into the whole mental healthcare issue. Gonna answer you all one by one. I also thank you for realizing I am not looking for sympathy. Heck I am doing a lot but maybe there is more?

Ok here we go

a reply to: swanne

I do 100% agree. I think there should be as much as we can offer to the point where homelessness does not exist. The problem is, while I love my county, it's garbage for resources. We have two homeless shelters and they are only for men. The nearest women' shelter is approximately 50 miles away unless you are a woman with a child in which case there are approximately 30 beds throughout the one church. Anyway, point is while I agree, there is a fundamental problem, which is space. Apparently we are very interested in funding the college but just toss a few dimes at a shelter. Shelter A has 50 total beds AND you are absolutely not allowed if you have a misdemeanor or felony no matter how long ago it was. Shelter B i a bit more generous and has about 80 beds which expands to 90 in winter. So all told about 140 beds. We do have warming shelters but they are only accessible at night and you have to check in by 7pm which means in some legit homeless individual finds himself frozen, he is out of luck as that door shuts at 7:00. So what to do I guess. Like I said I feel 100% as you do on this but sadly in this area the reality is so far away.

a reply to: [post]gortex[/post]

Absolutely agree. I hate doing the whole see above...but in this case it sadly applies

a reply to: [post]theabsolutetruth[/post]

I would love seeing some methods of prevention of the problem. That to me would be the ultimate goal. And burn out for the ER is where I am at. I have a long weekend before I start my new position which I am delighted about but this was the time for me to be done after three years in the ER. Now that is interesting. I won't specifically state that I know everyone's story but I always found it interesting on the days I'd drive from one ER to the other for a new call and saw one of my "super-users" ((that is was our Public Aid system calls them)) on a corner in what "seemed" to be selling. Obviously I say seemed because unless I am right there I am not interested in making false accusations. But at some point, each of them, especially my really frequent flyers would come in and just say "I'm suicidal" then lay down and TV would go on. So who knows. Thanks for the response

a reply to: [post]Meldionne1[/post]

Well this is my point. It gets to where I am like "really....again." Both ER's have a computer patient board which only ha initials, gender, and age. I can walk into both, and spot them in two seconds. So that was my point. By now, can I not feel bad and still be a good person?

a reply to: [post] gosseyn[/post]

I would love to see us get to that point. Unfortunately I am here and here are some messed up obligations.

a reply to: [post] noeltrotsky[/post]

Oh no no no…ALL 5 of them, and the others tell me every time they WANT to be on the psych floor. That’s the point. It’s a place to stay, with a roof, and a guarantee they can’t be kicked out ASAP. For example my personal hospital has 14 rooms with 2 beds each and 1 for quarantine should someone come in psych but also have a contagion that isn’t deadly such as Ebola. But those room dwindle super fast because they fill quickly and they will become single rooms immediately if a person I severe enough and cannot have a roommate. So I prefer to save my psych floor for people who are legitimately ill. But yes unfortunately they cannot be turned away unless they get repeatedly violent.

a reply to: [post]Calalini[/post]

Well I am not here to judge others as my job is to heal without prejudice. I have indeed assessed and interviewed several members in transport to federal lock up for child crimes. So judging? No…but then in the situations I am speaking of, I am talking about homeless men who are faking being suicidal, not trafficker and rapists.

a reply to: [post]Sparkymedic[/post]

I’d love to read the blog, but sadly in the country we are in, despite my wishes for simplicity and removal of money, does not exist and thus none of these men can walk to our local apartments and just crash there.

a reply to: [post]Expat888[/post]

Yes…we will lose some won’t we? I haven’t given up fortunately, but I mut ay my venue change is sorely needed. Also, on a lighter note, I now have bankers hours starting next week…so there’s that!

a reply to: [post]CranialSponge[/post]

I agree that society sometimes shows its ugly side, and I won’t comment on that specific quote, but really, there does seem to be some who would just a soon piss on the availabilities I make to them. Look don’t get me wrong. I, nor any of the people who do my job, are really heroes…not by a long shot. In fact I have my own thoughts on what a hero is…the point is I don’t hold myself to some plateau. All I am aiming for is helping others. And many day I do get a good soul, like tonight, who is legit ill and I do my work and move on. All I am saying is, at what point for these cases, if ever, do I stop and realize the system is getting used? I don’t take it personally by any means, but a bed to a guy who is staying for a day just to get arrested for battery versus a bed for a guy who wants to start job processing…who gets it?

a reply to: [post]Klassified[/post]

We do see a couple who will disappear and assume that they went to the next city. Thanks for the comment

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 09:41 AM
also...can someone teach me to multiquote!!

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 09:53 AM
a reply to: KyoZero


I have actually lived on the street before. One is not always strictly responsible for the way things turn out, and indeed that was the case with me. I was not a drug addict, and while I liked a drink and still do, that had no bearing on my circumstances at the time what so ever. Life, as they say, simply threw a curve ball worthy of legend and song, and I could not even manage a bunt, to carry the baseball parlance further than I have any business to!

In any case, this has given me somewhat of an insight into the affairs of the streets, and I can tell you that there are a great many people who end up on the streets, who HAVE genuine mental problems, whether bought on by way of a chemical abuse problem, or a condition which is nothing more than an unfortunate result in the genetic lottery, or, and these in my opinion are those most in need of assistance, those who have simply been very poorly done to by circumstance, and the callous nature of people close to them.

There are, as with any demographic you care to name, those who are on the make, amongst the denizens of the streets, but there is a significant difference between someone on the make, and someone looking to get a bed for the night, no matter who they have to lie to in order to achieve it. When I was on the street, I used my head to keep me safe, to select optimal locations to bed down, based on available shelter, wind direction, foot traffic, and ease of concealment, with varying emphasis depending on the situation at hand. Between that and a few friends who would invite me to their place, ostensibly for a drink, but mostly so they could offer me a sofa and a shower occasionally, I never had to lie to anyone in order to secure some kind of safety and protection from the weather.

But not everyone who ends up on the street has that capability, or the friends and connections necessary to make a successful fist of living in a bush or under a tree, or against a thermal exhaust port out the back of a frozen storage warehouse.

As to whether it is ever OK not to care, I would say no. No, not really. Is it understandable? Yes. But OK? No. There, but for the grace of God, or good fortune depending on ones preference, go each and every one of us. We would all like to think that we would never have gone down a path that leads to deprivation, destitution, and desperation, but the truth is that there are far more ways to get into the gutter, than there are to escape from it, and it has to be said that the vast majority of rough sleepers would not be rough sleepers if there was a legitimate, and dignified alternative. By that I mean an option not involving some group shelter, with no privacy and close confines.

Society creates the circumstances which mean that those without money cannot have homes, and therefore a significant amount of the responsibility for the results has to fall on society itself.

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 10:04 AM
a reply to: KyoZero

If you judge them as individuals, and not as the homeless, you won't need to have any moral obligations towards the fact that they do not have a home. It's easy to treat someone as a living being and not as trash in the street.

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