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Homeless Man Drives Across Country Helping Other Homeless

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posted on Dec, 29 2010 @ 02:50 PM
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Huffington Post


It might seem counterintuitive for a homeless person to sell all his remaining belongings and drive around the country passing out coffee and warm socks to other homeless people, but Greg Staffa doesn't mind defying expectations.

"I know not everyone will get it," Staffa told HuffPost. "I think there are expectations about what homeless people are supposed to be doing."

Staffa, 35, says he became homeless on December 18, 2009, after he was injured on the job at Northwest Airlines. He lost that job, and then lost his house in Farmington, Minn., to foreclosure. (Last December HuffPost chronicled his effort to save his home, which he said he was losing because he was fat.)

For a while, Staffa says, he lived out of his Ford Focus and used local free Wi-Fi to apply to jobs and hang onto his unemployment benefits. But he quickly tired of feeling like he had no purpose.

Hoping to prove that homeless people can be as productive and inspiring as anyone else, Staffa sold all of his belongings on eBay and embarked on a 9,000 mile road trip across 48 states, raising awareness for homelessness.


I found this article heartwarming and inspiring. I am sure just meeting someone who befriends you and doesn't look down on you must be a very welcome experience in the life of a homeless person. I have tried but I probably can't really imagine what being homeless would truly be like. I have been very poor at times but always had a place to stay where I could be warm and safe. I always had enough to eat and adequate clothes to wear and most people didn't really know (or care) how much I actually had.

All this while Staffa has continued to look for a job. I'm not clear how being fat was related to losing his home, but I give him the benefitof the doubt. I hope this article will give him enough publicity to interest an employer. Compassion is a rare gift beyond price.





edit on 29-12-2010 by Sestias because: composition




posted on Dec, 29 2010 @ 02:56 PM
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reply to post by Sestias
 


I have never been homeless before, but I know how it feels to sleep on a bare cold floor. To sleep out in the open while the hot baking sun roasts your skin. I wish this man a better future and to those who are struggling for everyday life. If the rich and poor traded belongings just for one day, would the rich still be greedy or give a helping hand to the less fortunate?
edit on 29-12-2010 by Stop-loss! because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 29 2010 @ 03:08 PM
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What an amazing and heart-warming story! My heart goes out to anyone who is homeless and suffering. What an angel to bring awareness to the plight of the homless.



posted on Dec, 29 2010 @ 03:13 PM
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Great story and props to this guy for taking the initiative and instead of succumbing to depression etc. which would be easy to do in that situation doing something positive. I hope it comes back to him in spades!



posted on Dec, 29 2010 @ 03:27 PM
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reply to post by Sestias
 


Heartwarming and Inspiring?

If he lost everything because he was fat, then how does he drive the country doing good deeds?

If he sold everything he had, what does he drive in?

If he had enough money to fund a cross country trip, why didn't he pay his mortgage?

If he was savvy enough to coordinate all of this, document it with the Huff Post, and garner nationwide coverage of his actions, why couldn't he get a job managing the night shift at McDonalds?

Every McDonalds in my town has help wanted signs for shift managers, so does Whataburger and Tacobell. It pays decent, it would help you get at least an apartment, and it doesn't require as much skill and coordination as planning a cross country trip!

Sorry, no sympathy from me, and undo praise on a guy taking an easy way out. It is easy to be a martyr, it is hard to buckle down and do some dirty work for little pay and no fanfare!



posted on Dec, 29 2010 @ 03:29 PM
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Reply to post by Sestias
 


Is he really homeless if he has a car to sleep in?


 
Posted Via ATS Mobile: m.abovetopsecret.com
 



posted on Dec, 29 2010 @ 09:22 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


I worked as a General Manager, Training Manager, then District Manager for nearly ten years. I have a college education, and was making over $50,000/year before I turned 24. I am now 30.

Last year, I lost my job due to a back injury. I have bulging discs that swell when I walk/stand/move and cause both of my legs to go numb and I collapse on the ground. I also live with back severe pain every day. I was receiving injections in my back to numb the discs and prevent the swelling - but after losing my insurance, the $3000 each shots became too expensive. (I needed a series of 3 shots within 2 weeks every few months.)

After holding the upper management positions that I held, fast food restaurants would not consider me for employment. I interviewed at Arby's, Wendy's, McDonald's, etc. Each interview ended the same, "You are overqualified for this position."

(I have subsequently used my unemployment wisely and started my own business. This business is starting to do well and I will soon be able to help the economy by hiring additional employees.) HOWEVER, I was fortunate to have the funds to start this business without a bank loan, etc.

The point of my post: To those of you who say "Go get a job at McDonald's" - it's not that easy. I challenge you to go to your local McDonald's right now, and ask every employee working if they have ever had a $50k, $75k, or $100k/year job. Unless it's a retired person working for "fun", I promise you that you won't find anyone.

AND, for those people that do get hired at McDonald's, you claim it's enough to get an apartment with? My mother managed a McD's for 5 years, from 1997 through 2002. After 5 years of management and nothing but positive reviews, her ending pay was $6.10/hour. Before taxes, that is around $976/month. She had a 13 year old son at the time. CAN YOU LIVE OFF OF THAT? And yes, minimum wage is now $7.50 here. Do you really think that makes much of a difference? And if you were living in a modest home of $100k, with a $10k car and $30k in student loans, could you manage on a McD's salary?

Yes, there are too many people that rape the system. But don't blame everyone. The gentlemen in the article sold everything he had, after losing his home, (presumably except his car), and is trying to make a difference. He is HELPING people, not judging them.



posted on Dec, 29 2010 @ 09:34 PM
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reply to post by journey2010
 


I'm sorry for your pain, and I'm glad you had the resources to start a business, but I believe I could have helped you get the job and promotions at McDonalds. There is no such thing as "over-qualified." That is a myth. That is a politically correct way to say you were arrogant in the interview, or your back problems worry us, or you won't fit in with this crowd. It is something you did during the interview that gave them a bad taste.

I have worked with many people that thought they were "over-qualified" or "too old" or too experienced, or not hip enough, etc, etc. Those are not the true reasons, those are just soft rejections to save face and avoid conflicts.

No offense, it is a very common myth and misconception. I have hired hundreds of people for dozens of different positions from lube jockeys to upper management. I have hired lawyers to change oil, and I have passed over accountants to answer phones. It is always an individual thing.

If you were "over qualified" they never would have talked to you. Every organization wants the best and brightest people. WIth a place like McDonalds and its outrageous turnover, do you think they are really worried that you might leave in 6 months? NO! They would be thrilled to have you for 6 months!



posted on Dec, 29 2010 @ 09:42 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


Let me add, that when I was younger, I applied 3 times at a factory before I got hired. I too was once over-qualified. I finally went to the interview in jeans and a 2 day beard, and I got the job. I was a little too "pretty" for the work they did on my first 2 interviews.

When I was younger than that, a straight A student, popular athlete, etc, I could not get hired at a clothing store in the mall for the life of me! I tried dozens of times! I suppose I wasn't "pretty enough" for that job? I went to work at McDonalds instead and it worked out for the best. I wanted the job at the mall for the girls, and surprisingly McDs worked pretty good for that as well!

Let me also add, that the position I am currently hiring for had 4 candidates with Law or PhD degrees, and none of them got an interview. Not because they were overqualified, but because their work samples were subpar compared to other candidates. They rested on their resumes and didn't put the effort into giving good worksamples. A couple of the samples came back late, and one guy with an excellent sample, was just "too busy" to schedule an interview right away, although his application indicated he was unemployed?



posted on Dec, 29 2010 @ 09:45 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


First and foremost, you failed to mention how minimum wage will afford an apartment.

Secondly, I will use my Arby's interview as an example. I submitted my resume, and within a week or so was contacted by the District Manager. We had a very pleasant interview. Subsequently, I was drug tested, which I passed as I have never done an illegal drug. I then drove 100 miles (one way) to a second interview with a District Manager of another district. This interview also went well. Both District Managers discussed my possibilities, and decided to refer me to the Regional Manager, who makes all GM hiring decisions.

I drove 120 miles, (one way) to an interview with the Regional Manager. The interview was scheduled for 1pm. I was wearing dress pants, a shirt and tie, and blazer. I am 6'1 and 180#. I have a rather short and neat hair cut. I shaved that morning. I smoke, but I didn't smoke for the drive up or during my 3 hour wait so that I wouldn't smell like cigarettes during my interview. I looked very presentable.

3 hours later, at 4pm, the Regional Manager showed up. I had waited patiently in the lobby of an Arby's for 3 hours while he was running behind schedule. He walked over to my table and asked for my resume. He read the resume, and said, "I am sorry, but you appear to be overqualified for this position." He then got up and walked back into the kitchen.

NOW, if I was arrogant, stupid, dressed poorly, etc - why did I get through 2 sets of interviews, travel 440 miles, and wait 3 hours in a lobby - to only be told I was overqualified? I applaud you for hiring people for who they are, and not based on jobs they have had. However, not everyone is YOU. All I ask is that you step down from your high horse and realize that finding a job is not a cake walk for everyone.

And let me add. I also was hired for a job managing a coffee shop. It was a $27k salary with a required 6 day, 55 hour work week. Even though my last job was 45 hours/5 days/week and nearly $60k, I accepted the job. The day before I was to start, the company was presented with legal issues, and immediately closed 3 of their locations, including the cafe I was to work in. Needless to say, I never worked for them.
edit on 29-12-2010 by journey2010 because: added last paragraph



posted on Dec, 29 2010 @ 09:46 PM
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Commendable.. And refreshing to see a man who understands and shows compassion for his fellow human beings.. Truly rare these days..



posted on Dec, 29 2010 @ 10:04 PM
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reply to post by journey2010
 


I didn't mean to indicate it was a cake walk, just that the mistakes made are almost always on the part of the interviewee. I definitely won't dispute that there are some terrible management types out there, and they sometimes just make piss poor hiring decisions.

I have had similar experiences to the one you mention, and it is very, very frustrating, especially if it is a job that you really want! Most recently I interviewed several times for a Federal HUD Grant Manager for a community development position with the state. I was perfect for the job, and they wanted to hire me, but after being stood up 4 times by the Ranking official in the Department, I refused to reschedule. They called me back a couple of times, and I politely told them that their department needed more help than I could offer from that position and I was no longer interested. That was a luxury, because I already had a job, but it is an example of how I understand your frustration.

As far as surviving on minimum wage. It isn't easy, and it might be impossible over the long term, but it is much easier to find a job when you already have one. Therefore a minimum wage job is better than nothing at all. It also gets you a little negotiating power for your rent and utilities and food. Landlords are much more negotiable with someone that can at least pay a little. I supported my family of 4 on $25,000 per year for almost two years when I left my corporate job and took an entry level position with the state. Now I am finally back up to a position that is better suited for my skills, but it took over 2 years. I gave up my new truck, new car, cable television, cell phones, and ate a lot of rice and beans, but it was worth the sacrifice to reset my priorities and be able to spend time with my young children.

I hope it doesn't sound like a "high horse," I am only speaking from personal experience, and if I am judgemental, it is only because I have been there myself on many occasions. I have made a lot of mistakes, but I have also dug myself out from under those mistakes.



posted on Dec, 29 2010 @ 10:06 PM
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wonderful and i agree



posted on Dec, 29 2010 @ 10:15 PM
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Originally posted by getreadyalready








I hope it doesn't sound like a "high horse," I am only speaking from personal experience, and if I am judgemental, it is only because I have been there myself on many occasions. I have made a lot of mistakes, but I have also dug myself out from under those mistakes.


And you are to be commended for your efforts but there is no call for arrogance and disregard for the circumstances and motives of others that you know nothing about.

Making mistakes and overcoming them is no cause to be judgmental!

"Pride goeth before a fall" pray that it doesn't happen to one of your loved ones!

edit on 29-12-2010 by whaaa because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 29 2010 @ 10:26 PM
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reply to post by whaaa
 


True, but back to the OP, are we really to celebrate a man that became homeless because he was too fat to work, and is now receiving nationwide attention for continuing to not work, but simply lives off of others and shares with other similar homeless people? If this guy had actually done something good, and was now employing, housing, and educating other homeless people, that would be something, but he isn't. He is still homeless, and he is still living off the naive goodwill of others, the only difference is that he is sharing his good fortune with others.

I still say it is much easier to be a martyr than it is to buckle down, get dirty, and survive with little fanfare or reward.

I used to "try" to employ homeless people with a construction company. We offered training, tools, temporary housing, and we picked them up every morning. All they had to do was work. Out of about 25 attempts, only 2 guys made it past 2 days. Only one guy made it past a week, and he actually turned into a success story, and as far as I know he is still working as a carpenter.

Last winter, on a particularly cold week in Florida, I also decided to give all my survival gear to the Homeless Shelter here in town. Brand New Survival blankets, candles, crackers, and good used pillows and quilts. Upon learning what I had done, my brother did the same thing, but when he arrived, he saw all of my stuff in a trash pile! He asked them why it was there, and apparently they don't accept anything "used" and they did not know what a survival blanket was, so they assumed it was junk. He turned around and left, and did not make his donation, and I have steered people away from donating to the shelter ever since. Apparantly their plea for help on the 6 o'clock news was only a plea for cash, not for any real assistance!

Sorry, I might be rigid, judgemental, or just plain cranky, but I have absolutely no sympathy for people in this situation!



posted on Dec, 29 2010 @ 10:34 PM
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reply to post by cmdrkeenkid
 

Yes, I think so. If a person has only their car that is not an actual house. Many homeless people live only in their cars, that is, until they lose those too because they can't afford to maintain them.



posted on Dec, 29 2010 @ 10:47 PM
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This man is not unemployed, he is employed by a higher authority. He is not homeless, the world is his home. Some will look at his story and issue judgements about this or that. I look at his work and see it is a job that needs doing.

Well done Brother of Man.

With Love,

Your Brother



posted on Dec, 29 2010 @ 10:57 PM
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Originally posted by getreadyalready
reply to post by whaaa
 


True, but back to the OP, are we really to celebrate a man that became homeless because he was too fat to work, and is now receiving nationwide attention for continuing to not work, but simply lives off of others and shares with other similar homeless people?


Read the article carefully. He did not lose his job because he was fat, but because of an accident at work. He was physically disabled and therefore unable to do the job.



I still say it is much easier to be a martyr than it is to buckle down, get dirty, and survive with little fanfare or reward.


Well, I have buckled down, gotten dirty and survived with little fanfare or reward in my life. It was still a hell of a lot better than being homeless would be. I have no sympathy for people who insist that homelessness is a "lifestyle choice."

As a matter of fact, many, many homeless people are mentally challenged or mentally ill. They are the effect of "de-institutionalizaton" of such people, a movement that began in the 1970's. The philosophy was that those discharged from long-term state institutions would somehow integrate successfully back into their communities. My state has closed all but one of its state hospitals.

What has happened is that these people are helpless to survive on their own, often run out or don't remember when and how to take their medication, and are altogether unequipped to join their communities. They end up homeless on the streets or, very often, in prisons because our society no longer provides any other place for them to go.

The subject of the OP is not mentally ill, but nevertheless survived as best he can. The longer this recession/depression goes on the more people will join him. It doesn't take much to fall into his fate. Many, many people are just one paycheck away from where he is now. They will soon be living in their cars (if they are fortunate enough to have one) or go from shelter to shelter (most homeless shelters do not take people long-term) or just live on the streets, until they are run out of town and have to find somewhere else to squat.

I'm surprised three ghosts didn't visit you this Christmas. Happy New Year, Scrooge.


edit on 29-12-2010 by Sestias because: composition and format



posted on Dec, 29 2010 @ 11:36 PM
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Fer Gawds sake look at it this way.....There are x many jobs....There are y many seekers now y is greater than x so there will be loosers!
It makes no difference if you dug yer ass out of the hole a hundred times, there will still be a dozen failures to every success!
Now, how is that reconcilable?
The only answer to the whole problem is that everybody has to agree to a minimum standard for a person, and mandate that every person get it.
After that, the extras can be earned and scrapped over, but the loosers, of which there will always be some portion, will never be left totally behind, and be allowed to live with a certain amount of human dignity.
And dont tell me its a bloomin impossibility because it is quite feasable....there really is plenty for all.....



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 12:07 AM
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Originally posted by Sestias
Huffington Post


It might seem counterintuitive for a homeless person to sell all his remaining belongings and drive around the country passing out coffee and warm socks to other homeless people, but Greg Staffa doesn't mind defying expectations.

"I know not everyone will get it," Staffa told HuffPost. "I think there are expectations about what homeless people are supposed to be doing."

Staffa, 35, says he became homeless on December 18, 2009, after he was injured on the job at Northwest Airlines. He lost that job, and then lost his house in Farmington, Minn., to foreclosure. (Last December HuffPost chronicled his effort to save his home, which he said he was losing because he was fat.)

For a while, Staffa says, he lived out of his Ford Focus and used local free Wi-Fi to apply to jobs and hang onto his unemployment benefits. But he quickly tired of feeling like he had no purpose.

Hoping to prove that homeless people can be as productive and inspiring as anyone else, Staffa sold all of his belongings on eBay and embarked on a 9,000 mile road trip across 48 states, raising awareness for homelessness.


I found this article heartwarming and inspiring. I am sure just meeting someone who befriends you and doesn't look down on you must be a very welcome experience in the life of a homeless person. I have tried but I probably can't really imagine what being homeless would truly be like. I have been very poor at times but always had a place to stay where I could be warm and safe. I always had enough to eat and adequate clothes to wear and most people didn't really know (or care) how much I actually had.

All this while Staffa has continued to look for a job. I'm not clear how being fat was related to losing his home, but I give him the benefitof the doubt. I hope this article will give him enough publicity to interest an employer. Compassion is a rare gift beyond price.





edit on 29-12-2010 by Sestias because: composition


A homeless man selling all of his possessions... What did he sell? His shopping cart?

Honestly. Look for the hypocrisy in the stories you read. This man wasn't homeless until he sold everything he had.

A homeless man with money, I guess.

Come on a journey down the allies of Chicago if you'd like to meet the homeless.
edit on 30-12-2010 by Nutella because: Grammar, of course. To the tune of 50M.



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