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Help The Homeless

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posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 02:39 AM
Every week I see threads crop up dedicated to a cause that is an unachievable one or one everyone talks about, but no one takes action for. The main one for this website is of course revolt; revolt against government and against enslavement of the body and mind.

But what I do not see is a revolution for the homeless.

In a given year, as many as 3.5 million people experience homelessness in the United States. 1.37 million of these are children under the age of 18. That means nearly 40% of the homeless population are families.

Here are some additional statistics:

Homeless Health Concerns

• 58% suffer from famine
• 55% do not have health insurance
• 46% suffer from serious health conditions (high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer etc.)
• 22% suffer from mental illnesses or mental or physical disabilities

Homeless Backgrounds

• 27% were in foster care as children
• 25% were physically or sexually abused as children
• 23% are veterans
• 21% were homeless at some point in their childhood

We have children who began their life disadvantaged, people dying of starvation on our streets, and mentally ill individuals not receiving the care they need and deserve. Is this the best we can do?

23% of our homeless are veterans. That is an absolute disgrace. These people voluntarily enlist in our military, are used as pawns in war, and our thanks is a worthless medal, an engraving on a wall, and a place in an alley or on a street corner.

I am absolutely ashamed of this country. We are all talk, no results. We pride ourselves on being supposedly the wealthiest country in the world, yet this is a common sight in our cities. So are we the wealthiest, or are we the greediest and most insensitive?

Our leaders are not going to solve this problem. It is about time we the people stop waiting for our leaders to do what they were elected to do and start taking matters in to our own hands.

The homeless are the most overlooked and least advantaged demographic throughout the world. Although the degree of suffering varies from country to country and continent to continent, homelessness is something no one wants. Banding together and launching a collective effort to making a difference is the only way to insure that none of us who are still privileged to have a home, a source of income, and food on the table are not the next individuals to add to that growing total of 3.5 million homeless.

It is for this reason I propose a project and a cause to help the homeless.

For the last several weeks, when I have had spare change or spare dollars, I have given them to the first homeless person I saw. Doing this got me thinking: If everyone did the same, just how much money could be contributed to such a cause?

Rather than figuring up the statistics of everyone in the country, I started with ATS. If every ATS member gave a spare dollar or two each month to a homeless person, that would be between $150,000 and $300,000 each month. That is between $1.8 million and $3.6 million every year. And if, theoretically, every member gave a spare dollar or two each month to a different homeless person each month, we collectively would have helped close to 2 million homeless people in one year.

It's true, a dollar or two will not buy them a home. It won't buy them health insurance. It won't even buy them a few days worth of food. But just think about these numbers for a second. Even though it is only a dollar or two, it will help them in the short term. Then what if this catches on? We would have started a trend of compassion and giving, and the impact becomes much greater because it has spread well beyond our 160,000+ member community.

What will you buy with that dollar or two? A pack of gum? A cheeseburger you don't need? Maybe you won't really care to keep track of it and it will get tossed in a jar or lost in your couch?

Instead, give it to someone in more need of it than yourself. Give it to someone who is suffering from serious health issues. Give it to someone who is hungrier and thirstier than you. Give it to someone who never had a chance at life. Give it to someone who has to wither in the heat of these summer months in the hope that someone will be generous enough to spare some extra change. Give it to someone who gave themselves to fighting for this country and got absolutely nothing for their service.

Your political beliefs aren't valid here. This is just good ol' fashioned human compassion. Unless you are a heartless ass, I can promise you giving that spare dollar you have to a homeless person will make you feel a hell of a lot better inside than giving it to the person at the drive-thru window at McDonalds ever could.

Additional Resources & Reading
Wikipedia - Homelessness
Wikipedia - Homelessness in the United States
Urban Institute - Homelessness: Programs and the People They Serve

posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 02:47 AM
I took in 2 homeless people into my home last winter thru spring. They did not get enough money from their social security or whatever to afford to live so I helped them out... right up to the point where they bleed my checking account into the ground. Paying for someones electricity and food bill was a killer. Unfortunately I had to give em the boot after 3-4 months. They simply chewed me up and spit me out. I do have a high degree of compassion for these people and help where I can, but times are so bad so with the economy and inflation being so high, cannot even afford to keep my own family running. May God be with those who are homeless and suffering.

posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 02:51 AM
reply to post by mapsurfer_

That is unfortunate that that happened to you. But what I am proposing isn't as drastic as that.

The method here is not one person or a few people contributing a lot to the homeless, but a lot of people contributing a little. One or two dollars will not cripple any of us on this website. The very fact that we all have Internet access tells me we all have spare change lying around somewhere.

Our strength needs to be in our numbers, not the amount of dollars we individually contribute.

posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 02:58 AM
reply to post by NovusOrdoMundi

I hear yah but how would ya decide who gets it? There are so many people who have hit the bottom, and it's really bad times. Our local power company has a thing where they collect a dollar for people who cannot afford their bill, but there no nobody keeping these greedy bastards in check with the distribution. Nobody can see where it collection plate goes, so they get a jaded view.

posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 03:02 AM
reply to post by mapsurfer_

I'm not advocating that we launch some large organization to oversee the distribution of money to the homeless. I'm only talking about giving a little back when you can. If you have a dollar or two, and you drive by or walk by a homeless person on the street or on a sidewalk, it couldn't hurt to give it to them.

posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 03:08 AM
reply to post by NovusOrdoMundi

Lol, at one time, we went to what supposed to be tropical paradise to relax, but there are so many poor people around, I eventually ran out of cash, giving them more than they asked for!

I'm not in a good spot either, the family business isn't doing good and I'm hanging in a balance at my job. But I'm pretty sure, there'll always be people less fortunate than us! Help others with a smile

[edit on 17-6-2009 by ahnggk]

posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 03:46 AM
I personally have been homeless and consequently came into regular contact with other homeless people that were that way for all of the statistical reasons mentioned above and more. I can't help but to think of the adage that goes " if you give a man a fish he eats for the day, but if you teach him to fish he'll never need to go hungry". Each time that I was able to get off the streets it was because I was creative, resourceful, and I didn't get caught up in identifying with homelessness. One time in California I woke up in Griffith Park to the turf being watered with sprinklers...I broke my barebones camp, a bedroll and a bookbag, and found that someone had left $7.00 under my foam pad. This anonymous assistance helped to restore my floundering faith in humanity that day. On occassion I will help a homeless person out, but only selectively; they must exhibit signs of wanting to help themselves. There are not many homeless here in this wash and wear town of about 6,000, but I can give you an example of some one that I eventually helped, but not at first. He was blowwing mindlessly on a harmonica in the parking lot of a local market here. He expected me to hand him some money just for doing time in the way! I talked with him for awhile and found out that he was just panhandling and did have a home to go to. I said that I had seen him before with the same harmonica playing the same 2 or 3 notes over and over again...I said that he should put some effort into learning to actually play it and that if he was better by the next time that we met I would be inclineed to throw acouple bucks in his hat...he did and I did...I think that he must be managing his resources more wisely now because I've seen him around town looking well, but never panhandling again after that day that I gave him the $4.00.

[edit on 17-6-2009 by plainmike]

posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 04:29 AM
I love the idea. But..

Why not go country-wide? $5-12 extra dollars a year for the (what?) 225 million Americans who can easily afford it? So like $1.125-2.7 billion a year? Set up an organization, make it fully transparent. Let me see exactly where the dinero flows.

Start with the fringes of the homeless community and work your way into the heart. Build schools; get some water sanitization going; make more food lines; get some medicine, therapists and psychologists; etc.

It's time to realize:
A. This county is suckin and we need all the help we can get.
B. The vast majority (especially on ATS) has no clue what it's like to really struggle.
C. They are living, breathing, crying, dying creatures juss like every last one of us.

Really, what's the big deal?

posted on Oct, 7 2009 @ 11:31 PM
reply to post by NovusOrdoMundi

Why not skip the money, and give them the bottle of booze instead? That is what they spend any money people give them on.

posted on Oct, 8 2009 @ 12:26 AM
Money is not the answer.
And besides the dollar could bust any time and be worthless.

I think we need to bring some piece of joy to them despite their circumstances. Something to occupy their hands, their time, and their minds. They need something that will give them a sense of accomplishment and help restore their pride.

I have been thinking on this alot lately and have also done research.
I think it is important that we help those who want to gain some independence. If the dollar collapses, these people may need barter items. Also, I think they need to gain independence from church organizations so they aren't obligated to go along with programs.

One of my ideas was to recycle cotton and linen clothing into cut squares with embroidery patterns on them. I would like to make up some small sewing kits...couple of needles and couple spools of thread and small hoop... along with instructions on maybe 3 basic embroidery stitches. I was thinking of going to some of the homeless areas and see if perhaps some of the girls might be interested in a simple sewing project.

Many of the goodwill stores will let a homeless person have a couple of pieces of clothing. If they decide they like making hand embroidered handkerchiefs, they have a ready supply of material they can recycle from.

Many projects they can do along those lines: crazy quilts, rag rugs, etc.

For the guys, one of my ideas was to use black hefty bags with small slits cut every 6 inches and some vegetable seeds. If you put down the black plastic with a couple of rocks and leave it for about a month, it will kill all the grass roots underneath and also nematodes, etc. It will be ready to easily turn and plant. You lift the plastic, turn the soil with a trowel, spoon, whatever you got. Then, place the bag back in place and plant your seeds where the slits are. The black plastic will keep you from having to weed. Of course, you would need to be able to come back every day to water for at least 2 weeks until seeds come up.

As for insects, use (cold) ashes from the campfire to sprinkle on the leaves when you see insects are starting to chew on your groceries.

Also I was thinking let each person grow one thing and then all could share and trade the veggies. One person may plant a plot of beans, another squash, etc.

As far as finding a place to plant...there are out of the way places...behind shopping centers, a scrub bush area near the laundrymat, vacant lands. They may have a friend who would agree to let them use a 4X6 area in their yard. Maybe someone would let them use the area outside of their yard and let beans trail on their fence. Maybe the homeless person could offer to rake once a month for the privelige.

I was thinking of supplying the black bag, seeds, growing instructions for the plant, and info on bugs that are beneficial and bugs that are not.


If they need something in particular they should ask for it. I bet they would have it within 30 mins. and not have to stand on the street all day begging. For instance, have a runner go out with a "Need toothpaste and soap" sign. People will give that. Runner can collect a few things for the group and be done. Or how about "Need recycle coffee cans/tuna cans/parrafin". They can learn to make safer fires using a bunsen burner for cooking. People will be glad to give them materials.

Do any of you think the homeless would be receptive to these ideas?

The thing is, I do not want to go through any church volunteer program.

And I doubt many "organizations" would like my ideas because it seems they are geared to making these people dependent and my ways are a bit wild and geared toward self sufficiency.

Any help on how I should get started?

posted on Oct, 8 2009 @ 12:29 AM
Help the Homeless.

No, you give them your money, my wife and baby gets mine.

posted on Oct, 8 2009 @ 12:34 AM
As mapsurfer stated, ... some homeless are that way because they choose to be, ... and they dont want to work. They'll take you for what your worth, and move on the the next sap.

I used to give to the homeless quite a bit, I would see them at Mcdonalds, buy them like ten dollars worth of food, and throw an extra fifty in the bag. I stopped when I would see them at the same spot the very next day !!! even after all that money I gave them !!!

posted on Oct, 8 2009 @ 12:53 AM
Does anyone here remember Tramp Art?

Are there any wood workers or whittlers here that could volunteer one day a week to go among the homeless and teach some skills like this?

A few cuts and scapes might get them off the booze if they found something they were really entheused about.

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