posted on Mar, 23 2006 @ 09:21 AM
I don't think there is any one simple answer which will take care of the entire problem.
My small city has a "soup" kitchen, a pantry, sleeping facilities, counseling and help for job placement. I was a volunteer in the kitchen.
Some take advantage of what is offered. I became friends with one veteran, he does have some physical problems but he can work. While taking
advantage of the facilities he also became a volunteer, cooking breakfast in the mornings. From there he was hired as a part time cook in two other
establishments, and from there to full time employment out on his own. A wonderful success story!
I saw many young people suffering from substance abuse using the soup kitchen. BTW the dinner meal was a full nutritional and good tasting meal.
Prepared by volunteers. Served by volunteers. Anyone could come in and eat, no questions asked. However anyone obviously under the influence was
turned away. Here I observed many who seemed in good spirits and thought this seemed owed to them, even though they did not work.
Then there were many very sad cases. Some from substance abuse, but probably no longer able to help themselves. Others with obvious mental problems.
I don't know what else can be done other than to see that they get something to eat and a safe place to sleep.
I was walking home from work one very stormy cold winter evening. As I came by the park a saw one man standing there in the snow. The snow had built
up on his head and shoulders and I could barely see him. When I got home I called the authorities. They said that someone had already been out to
try and bring him in. He refused to come. I know that this was not a single case. During very cold or stormy weather volunteers are out on the
streets trying to bring these people to a warm place. Doesn't usually work. So, what do you do in those cases?
One size does not fit all.