Homeless -- Pity or Looking to Help?

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posted on Aug, 19 2006 @ 07:55 AM
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Originally posted by chissler
I've always come from a small town, so most Social Issues are not something I come across on a daily basis. So homless people are not something I come across on a regular basis, but when I do its something I can not shake very easily. Going back about 6 months ago I was approached after a movie, about 1AM, by a stranger asking for change. He scared the hell out of my girlfriend and I, mostly because we did not see him coming. Before I knew it I told him no and kept walking, this drove me nuts for weeks. I was almost at the point of turning around and driving back to offer him the bit of change I did have in my pocket.

Well about three days ago I was stopped at a red light and a young man not much older than myself was holding a sign that read:

"Travelling through. I'm Cold, Broke & Hungry. Anything Helps! Thank You"

Being from a small town not everyone smiles at this sort of thing, so you see the gossiping. I quickly put my car into Park and offered the man everything I had in my pocket. He thanked me quietly and walked on, as he did I could see in my mirror that cars behind me were quickly reaching for change to give him as well.

This man was only my age and I could not shake the thought that this man did not know where he would sleep tonight, or wake up tomorrow. What a scary thought that is.

So to my point, is this a Pity for the homeless? Am I simply looking to Help? I can offer the guy some change, but what about the guy who could offer them a home or job. I doubt this feeling is pity because I don't exactly feel sorry for them, I Just wish I could do more to help.

When you come across a Homeless individual, do you help? Walk away and gossip, or maybe walk away and kick yourself for not helping. I'm guilty of all three, but I know the few bucks I gave to that man was the best money I spent all week.

This is really just an issue that does not looked at very much and I would like to hear some thoughts from our members. Maybe even a personal encounter of your own.

Thanks!
chissler


Some are truly needy but most just down on their luck people that have learned to feed of the system.

If I see a homeless person who is overwieght he obvisouly isnt starving.

Only the truly needy homless people should be helped. Im talking about the ones physicaly or mentally able to get a job and lodging.




posted on Aug, 19 2006 @ 08:11 AM
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Originally posted by Sonata
If I see a homeless person who is overwieght he obvisouly isnt starving.


An overweight man can get hungry too. Two men can eat the same, depending on their metabolism others may burn off the food much quicker. A homeless man who is overweight is not open to scrutiny anymore than the next guy.


Originally posted by Sonata
Only the truly needy homless people should be helped. Im talking about the ones physicaly or mentally able to get a job and lodging.


So those not capable of caring for themselves should be left out to dry? Survival of the fittest? What of the innocent victim who is on the street and can not hold a job due to his health, age, etc. Should we turn our back on him because he can not contribute to society? Again, he IS the innocent victim, he is not on the street due to his own mistakes. Albeit a small percentage, these people do exist and do need our help.

Your post was alittle cold hearted.



posted on Aug, 19 2006 @ 08:20 AM
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I regularly give my change or money to people I see who are homeless and even people who are broke.

Now, years ago, I worked in my friends Deli and I remember this day so well, this guy came in and bought milk and bread, some ham, anyway it came to about 3.00. But the policy was that if you were using your card the transaction had to be over 5 dollars. Now this guy had 3 small children with him. I say to him, you have to get something else to bring it up to 5.00, he says I cant because there is only 3.50 in there. I say, oh sorry, well I cant put it through. He walks out the shop with nothing.
OMG I still shudder at how I just didnt think and see what had happened. It wasnt until later that night, that it occured to me that he needed to feed his kids. If I had just been aware I would have given it to him... or paid for it myself. This guy wasnt even asking for charity. oh I feel so bad over that, but now lets say I am in a que and someone is buying groceries and they dont have enough to pay for it, I just say, I will take care of it. Its usually only 5 or 10 dollars but that is the diference between eating and not eating sometimes.




posted on Aug, 19 2006 @ 09:20 AM
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Originally posted by chissler

Originally posted by Sonata
If I see a homeless person who is overwieght he obvisouly isnt starving.


An overweight man can get hungry too. Two men can eat the same, depending on their metabolism others may burn off the food much quicker. A homeless man who is overweight is not open to scrutiny anymore than the next guy.


Originally posted by Sonata
Only the truly needy homless people should be helped. Im talking about the ones physicaly or mentally able to get a job and lodging.


So those not capable of caring for themselves should be left out to dry? Survival of the fittest? What of the innocent victim who is on the street and can not hold a job due to his health, age, etc. Should we turn our back on him because he can not contribute to society? Again, he IS the innocent victim, he is not on the street due to his own mistakes. Albeit a small percentage, these people do exist and do need our help.

Your post was alittle cold hearted.


Sorry I ment help the needy. But for the ones that are just out on their luck if they are capable of even a mininum wage job should they still receive assistance?

No i completly agree with you on your second point.

[edit on 19-8-2006 by Sonata]



posted on Aug, 19 2006 @ 09:43 AM
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Originally posted by Sonata
Sorry I ment help the needy. But for the ones that are just out on their luck if they are capable of even a mininum wage job should they still receive assistance?


Ok gotcha!

I agree with that statement, if a man is capable of turning it around he should always be making the right strides to do so and simply not raping the charity of the good hearted.



posted on Aug, 19 2006 @ 09:50 AM
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[edit on 19-8-2006 by Sonata]



posted on Aug, 19 2006 @ 05:14 PM
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I think the demographics are:

20% displaced
30% evading
35% drug-related
15% like it



posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 01:18 AM
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Since even though this thread is only two pages, it is very long,
and I get tired reading long post after long post I have'nt read
the whole thing, so sorry if I say something that's already been said.


Where I live (about 30mins north of Seattle) I don't see alot of
homeless people.
There's an intersection that goes onto the freeway that I at the most
twice a year have sen a homeless person at, but I don't see many,
so I don't really think about this kind of thing alot.

I do feel bad for the people who for whatever reason have become
homeless that don't wish to be, and want to get a handle back on life
and stuff, but I don't feel bad for those that choose to be homeles
and act like parasites on society by getting people to give them money
to only turn around and use it for booze or drugs.

I'd like to help those that need it, but there really is nothing I can do
except donate money, and I don't trust most of the organizations
that one donates to.

I have before stated ideas on ways to help this problem (see the thread
"A Progresive Solution to homelessness" in this section), but apart from that,
there is nothing I can do.



posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 04:00 AM
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I know what it feels like to be homeless; believe me, it doesn't feel good. I was not homeless by choice nor did I find it particularly profitable, monitarily. I spent almost a year living in my car, in shelters and VA vocational rehab facilities being treated like something slightly less than human, all without meeting anyone who had found the "secret to wealth and fame through panhandling." It was humiliating, it was soul wrenching and it was very, very lonely.

I do what I can for homeless folks or anyone who approaches me for help. If they need a couple of bucks and I have it, i give it to them; if I can help them out with a meal, I'll do that. I have even given homeless folk rides in my car to get to someplace where they can find help that I can't provide. One thing I will not do is turn away anyone who is sincerely and truly in need of assistance. I can't in good conscience because I've been there.

"Forget not to show love unto strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." Hebrews 13:2

Peace and Love,

Stormrider



posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 04:39 AM
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According to the 2005 statistics from The Institute for the study of homelessness and poverty

70% of the 34,898 homeless people in Orange County, California were families.

The stats for the number of familiy members on the street in other cities and counties( just a sampling):

50% of the homeless in the metro Denver area(7 counties).
40% in Chicago
40% in Detroit
57% in St Louis County
63% in Clark County, NV(including Las Vegas)
59% in NY City

Read the full report here...

Granted, that these percentages are not as high in some cities and counties; there doesn't seem to be much of a homeless problem at all in the Phoenix-Mesa AZ area, but the average seems to be somewhere between 30-35% for the country as a whole. People, this is not something that we can just ignore; there are folks raising their little kids on the street.

It's not showing pity to help these less fortunate human beings, it is plain old every-day caring; it is love, and that's nothing to be ashamed of, at least IMO.

Peace,

Sr



posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 07:13 AM
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I watched a special on TV the other night about young kids (teenagers) who live on the streets. Some of them have formed "street families" that substitute for a regular one.They were almost all victims of violence or drugs. A couple of the young girls were pregnant.

That show touched me, because these kids were so young and vulnerable. And so many predators are out there to take advantage of them.

On the other hand, it's common to see a man up here with new Nikes and a warm jacket on a street corner with a sign "Will work for food". Please help".

These guys never show up for the job, though. But they'll take your cash.



posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 04:53 PM
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I figured I would chime in on this one. I live in southern California, a very large city, about 3 million. I have seen my share of those who live on the streets, from the disabled to the not so disabled. In this large city, it is estimated that with all of the shelters, organizations and charities there are, they have an annual budget of about 2 billion, with a B, dollars. Now here is my experience. The homeless are divided into 4 groups. The smallest group are those that really are homeless. And they are such as they have a valid medical excuse. The next group are the addicts. Now where I live it is easy to determine if it is alcholics or drugs by where they are at. Those that are in the parks and away from everyone are addicted to drugs while those downtown are alcoholics. Then there are the youth, who have ran away from their homes for what ever reason and then finally there are those who seek to simply cheat the system and yes live in a nice apartment or house and this is how they make their living. Myself, I do not give anything to the homeless, especially when they have all of the help organizations out there. Alot of them I have seen, they are healthy, able to get around and simply need to get back on track of life, hence all of the organizations to help them. But at the same time, they are also violent, mean and nasty. They will fight with the owner of a business or each other for a spot for them to pan handle, and often make a nuscense out of themselves. They do not seek help, rather choosing to live on the street. With all of the help out there, why they do not take it, well cause they made a choice. Those who choose to live on the streets, chose that life. I have seen where homeless people turn away food, and I do mean gormet food, wanting money instead. I have heard tales, such as the large woman who is having her electricity turned off, has a 4 year old child and he is going hungry, who preys off of people using the child as example, not having the child there of course, and stating the childs father is in the military, (I live in a large military town.) Story has not changed in 5 years. She got upset when I stopped some people from giving her money. As it turned out to be false. Yes where I live has a large homeless populations, but here is what I am curious about if you are broke, hungry, and out of work, how can a homeless person afford luxuries, like smoking brand name cigarettes? Or eating food from an expensive cafe, that they went in and bought?

Just my take, will have more to say in the next posting.



posted on Aug, 29 2006 @ 10:47 PM
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Originally posted by Pyros

I use the term sparingly because, while it's true that these people do not have homes per se, I believe most (but not all) of them do so by choice. For the majority of these people, I prefer the more traditional and accurate term "bum".



Thank You Pyros, Just tell my former employer that I chose to be a "homemaker", that will make her happy. The richest B.... in my state has blacklisted me.
I did not choose to become her number twenty- one victim. I can't get a job. Any where.
Call me a bum, she will burn in Hell, I just wish I didn't have to starve first.
Oh and we are not homeless yet and No we don't take hand outs.

I wonder how many million "bums" we have, in this so called richest, most civilized country.
Hay People, whom have no home, computer access, no civil rights please tell us how many you are?
Oh you can't hear me, sorry, time over.

Calcutta, why are you even mentioning the poorest place on earth? We boast of our wealth and still have minimum wages bellow poverty level.
People can hardly survive.
Do you wish to compare us with a third world country? well go ahead and prove your own arrogance.
Sorry Mods, Punish Me I have been bad.
Sorry Pyros, just had to vent. But perhaps I do have a point here and there.

chissler Good thread, no we don't walk away, and we give out of pity, what else, we aren't saints. But does it matter as long as one does, what one thinks is right.
Is pity any different from compassion? Or have they just become synonymous?
I do agree with the people who only give meals, though, I just don't have the guts to take the harassment.
WIS

[edit on 29-8-2006 by WalkInSilence]



posted on Aug, 29 2006 @ 10:53 PM
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I help, i give the homeless man a dollar, whatever i find suitable and whatever im carrying, I try to help because i hope that if im ever in that situation people would help me out. And why not help, you'll feel good about it later.



posted on Aug, 30 2006 @ 01:50 AM
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For those who say that they wont hand cash over to a homeless person in fear that the money will just be spent on booze or drugs, I say that I do in full knowledge that it will.
Three reasons to consider
1: According to the disability act drug and alcohol abuse is in fact a disability, and if the addiction is so strong that it has led to homelessness it obviously is a serious mental problem for the person.
2: I’d rather the 89 cents in my pocket go to them to buy their crack then have them go into a store and rob it.
3: The drug addicted people on the streets don’t always chose the streets, often they are evicted due to their addiction



posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 08:20 AM
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Not every homeless person is a drug addict, not every homeless person is on the street by their own account.

We can not blanket every homeless person as a drug addict, because the fact is the innocent victim does exist.

I do agree with the statement, I would rather give the 89 cents than have him go rob a store in order to get it. When I come across a homeless person, I give the spare change that I have. Sometimes I think back and say to myself, that guy was not as deserving as another maybe, but either or the guy needed the change more than I did. Whether it was to go buy himself a cold beer, so be it. Odds are I would of spent it on soemthing I didn't need, so atleast it went to something that was important to somebody.



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 11:33 PM
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This is for you, Chissler:


You have voted chissler for the Way Above Top Secret award.


Thank you for your thread. My mother and father helped for years serving food and working for the homeless. And they still do. They donate time to food drives to help stock our local food banks. They also work on getting tolietries and other supplies such as diapers, formula and even socks to make things better for homeless families. It is not an easy job because it requires a lot of caring and kindness when giving your time to others. Let's face it. These times are tough. And because of the economy, a lot of people cannot find a job. And what especially breaks my heart is the children. It is one thing that adults are exposed to the elements with no where to go. But children really are a vunerable part of the homeless population.

I can't imagine what it is like to be a homeless person on the street. But after meeting, helping and talking to them since I was in high school, they deserve dignity, respect and help. Scorn is the last thing that they should be receiving.

If we cannot help the least of us, then what kind of society are we in the end?

So I appreciate you for keeping this vital issue front and center. It's time to stop thinking of the selfishness afforded to "national security" and begin to help each other become better individuals.



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 08:57 AM
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We should all remember that but for the grace of god...

Working late night in a local supermarket we get a large circulating population of transients, plus our usual crowd of regular homeless who live or at least congragate in the park across the street. I have, and will undoubtably again, buy a small meal for a hungry transient; its not much out of my pocket...and the gains, if unintentioned on my part, have been interesting.

My car, and I park in a seeming freefire zone for car thieves and stereo thieves, all of my co workers have had their cars damaged or broken into, mine has been left alone...as I said unintentioned gains.

Bread cast upon the waters...one never knows how a kind deed will be returned. Maybe never...but who knows.

Somehow or other, I got on someones good side. I am not the worlds kindest soul, and make no claims to a high level of compassion. It hurts no one to help out where you can.

There are bad seeds whereever you go, but alot of these people are not there by choice, only by circumstance...it would do us all credit to remember that.



posted on Sep, 15 2006 @ 10:21 PM
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I was homeless myself for 2 months, before my family found me. So i know what it is like to be at the recieving end of people who are generous and helpfull and also people who are just plain ignorant.

I was one of those people ignorant to homlessness, until I felt what it was like.

Now if I have spare change I always giveout to people who are homeless. Or donate, Or take Bblankets out when its getting colder during the winter and hand them out.



posted on Sep, 15 2006 @ 10:28 PM
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Originally posted by seagull
My car, and I park in a seeming freefire zone for car thieves and stereo thieves, all of my co workers have had their cars damaged or broken into, mine has been left alone...as I said unintentioned gains.[emphasis mine]


It's really called blackmail.





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