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post #31 of 43
I would probably report it, tho' I have learned the hard way that no good deed goes unpunished!!

If I saw an elderly person who was taking food - and I don't mean filet mignon... I would quietly intercede, ask if they needed help. That elderly person could also be mentally ill. If that person did need help with buying food, I would pay for it for them. I am also out of work, but I am not so desperate to turn a blind eye to someone who is worse off than me. ( I always donate to our local food pantry. Going hungry in a nation of plenty is a crime in itself.)

I have an elderly mother who does have the means to support herself, eat well, afford her meds. Others are not so lucky.

When I am in the grocery store, If I see an elderly person shopping by her/himself, I offer to help them and have done so often, not paying for their food, but helping them find things, etc. I hope that when I am frail and elderly, someone will give me an assist.

Some poeple shoplift as professional criminals, some do it for the thrill. I knew a girl in high school who would shoplift small things - gum, make up. She tried to get me to do it; I refused.
post #32 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
Nobody is chronically homeless and on the street by choice. Virtually all long-term homeless people suffer from mental illness, and many of them are so paranoid that they refuse to enter a shelter. Some of them are also addicted to drugs or alcohol, so for them, entering a shelter usually means going into withdrawal.

Therefore, these people who are afraid of shelters appear to choose the street... and that's where this myth of being "homeless by choice" comes from.

So here we have a person whose own mind has betrayed him, who has literally nothing but the clothes on his back, and who is most likely eating out of dumpsters. And we expect that person to go out and find a job? And then do the job consistently, despite his mental chaos?

If a person suffering from severe mental illness (and possibly addiction) is ever to be a functioning member of society again, it's going to take a lot of professional help -- and he still may not make it. Such people often need treatment and housing for life. But in this country, you only get that if you murder someone and end up in prison.

As a nation, we grasp these issues so poorly that we are willing to spend money to lock up violent thugs -- but not to rescue and rehabilitate people whose only crime is an illness that manifests itself in mental symptoms, rather than physical ones.

The happy homeless person who loves sleeping under bridges and eating out of dumpsters is a MYTH -- but we keep perpetuating it because it allows us to pretend we have no moral obligation to the mentally ill.
So well said!
post #33 of 43
If it was kid(s) shoplifting, I'd probably approach the kids and tell them to put the stuff back or I'd report them. I have no problem approaching people for confrontations!

But in the scenario Betsy (GingersMom) gave... I'd also turn a blind eye.
post #34 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
Nobody is chronically homeless and on the street by choice. Virtually all long-term homeless people suffer from mental illness, and many of them are so paranoid that they refuse to enter a shelter. Some of them are also addicted to drugs or alcohol, so for them, entering a shelter usually means going into withdrawal.

Therefore, these people who are afraid of shelters appear to choose the street... and that's where this myth of being "homeless by choice" comes from.

So here we have a person whose own mind has betrayed him, who has literally nothing but the clothes on his back, and who is most likely eating out of dumpsters. And we expect that person to go out and find a job? And then do the job consistently, despite his mental chaos?

If a person suffering from severe mental illness (and possibly addiction) is ever to be a functioning member of society again, it's going to take a lot of professional help -- and he still may not make it. Such people often need treatment and housing for life. But in this country, you only get that if you murder someone and end up in prison.

As a nation, we grasp these issues so poorly that we are willing to spend money to lock up violent thugs -- but not to rescue and rehabilitate people whose only crime is an illness that manifests itself in mental symptoms, rather than physical ones.

The happy homeless person who loves sleeping under bridges and eating out of dumpsters is a MYTH -- but we keep perpetuating it because it allows us to pretend we have no moral obligation to the mentally ill.

I agree! Some people cannot help the way they are and thats just the way it is. Mental illness can strike anybody at anytime, so be carefull how you judge! I saw an elderly couple one day at the local food store, they were trying to buy 2 ready cooked meals (little ones at that) and they didn't have enough money! I couldn't imagine being them, I looked at the counter lady and told her "I got it" and she just let them go out without ever knowing what happened... Social security is often not enough to get by, and is that any way to treat our elders? Many of whom have fought for us! Ive turned in many a shoplifter, but they were stealing earrings, not food! I think if it was food I would try to help them out if I could. No one wants to be homeless, and no one wants to be hungry either... If you've ever looked into the eyes of a 90 year old lady and told her she couldn't eat today, it would be heartbreaking, and I dont think I could sleep at night!
post #35 of 43
My youngest Sister Stole once and we had to go get her. We were so embarrassed. She listened to her friends and took something small. That was the only time she did that. I also caught Employees Stealing and I fired them. I would turn people in for stealing if I saw them.
post #36 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
I don't believe most homeless people choose that life. As another poster said, there is often a mental issue involved and sometimes just a run of bad luck and those folks often get the help they need to get back on track.

Judge not, lest ye be judged.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
Nobody is chronically homeless and on the street by choice. Virtually all long-term homeless people suffer from mental illness, and many of them are so paranoid that they refuse to enter a shelter. Some of them are also addicted to drugs or alcohol, so for them, entering a shelter usually means going into withdrawal.

Therefore, these people who are afraid of shelters appear to choose the street... and that's where this myth of being "homeless by choice" comes from.

So here we have a person whose own mind has betrayed him, who has literally nothing but the clothes on his back, and who is most likely eating out of dumpsters. And we expect that person to go out and find a job? And then do the job consistently, despite his mental chaos?

If a person suffering from severe mental illness (and possibly addiction) is ever to be a functioning member of society again, it's going to take a lot of professional help -- and he still may not make it. Such people often need treatment and housing for life. But in this country, you only get that if you murder someone and end up in prison.

As a nation, we grasp these issues so poorly that we are willing to spend money to lock up violent thugs -- but not to rescue and rehabilitate people whose only crime is an illness that manifests itself in mental symptoms, rather than physical ones.

The happy homeless person who loves sleeping under bridges and eating out of dumpsters is a MYTH -- but we keep perpetuating it because it allows us to pretend we have no moral obligation to the mentally ill.
I would agree with you except I personally know a friend's father who is homeless only because he's too lazy to work. He gets just by for food by driving around people in his car, which he "borrows" money from others to pay for the gas. Friend is barely making ends meet himself so helping his father is not an option. The only reason my father isn't homeless is because he owns his house and his sister is nice enough to pay for the taxes each year. He uses his friends' leftover food stamps to get food. There's rarely if ever electricity or running water at his home. He refuses to go out and get a job. No mental illness again except laziness.
post #37 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by okiron View Post
No mental illness again except laziness.
Perhaps there is an underlying illness causing his laziness?????
post #38 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marianjela View Post
Perhaps there is an underlying illness causing his laziness?????
Lol that's just making excuses (at least for my dad). I'm far worse than he is with mental and emotional instability and I work just fine. It's more of a "I paid taxes and was in the military, I should be pampered by the government now" mentality.
post #39 of 43
Honestly, I dont know if I could report someone, or turn them in... mainly because I am not a confrontational person. But that doesnt mean I think it is right.

I have an old, old memory of myself about 4 or 5, kindergarten age. I stole a pack of gum while shopping with my mother. I was SO afraid of getting caught that I immediately hid the gum when we got home. I never did find that gum.

LOL

I've never forgotten that.

Fast forward 20 years, when one of my daughters was about that same age, they stole something from a store, when we got in the car and I seen her playing with it, we marched right back in, returned it and she apologized. And I imagine that memory will stay with her throughout her years!

As an aside... another daughter, as a 6 year old, went around the neighborhood collecting money in a spaghetti jar (while I was at work). She told the neighbors she was collecting money for her birthday, saving for a trampoline. And the neighbors gave it to her! I was horrified when I got home to learn of this. 1) at the mother of her friend that let them go out! 2) that she actually did it.

She collected less then $10, but I was livid. We went back around the neighborhood trying to return the money, but no one would except it - most stating that they didnt know how much they had given. They just threw in pocket change. They thought it was cute.

I ended up dragging her over to our church and knocking on the rectory door. When our priest answered and seen her holding the jar of money, he reached in his pocket to donate also - AGHHHHH. She then had to explain why she was donating this money to the church.

So I guess I went off on a tangent. No - I cant justify someone stealing. Not even an elderly couple. They of all people should know better. Like someone else said... there are churches and food banks that help. And I dont buy the "too proud" argument. Too proud to accept help, but not too ashamed to steal?

All that said... what about a homeless runaway or a child whose single mother is so addicted to drugs that she cant afford to pay attention to her children let alone pay for groceries? I could probably justify that more than anything. But it still doesnt make it right. It just means that person needs help. And perhaps getting "busted" could point them in the right direction.

One last thing: CarolPetunia did say it best regarding homelessness. It is sad that a criminal in jail getting free meals, tv, electric, etcetera, etcetera, is sometimes judged less than the beggar on the corner panning of change.
post #40 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by okiron View Post
I would agree with you except I personally know a friend's father who is homeless only because he's too lazy to work. He gets just by for food by driving around people in his car, which he "borrows" money from others to pay for the gas. Friend is barely making ends meet himself so helping his father is not an option. The only reason my father isn't homeless is because he owns his house and his sister is nice enough to pay for the taxes each year. He uses his friends' leftover food stamps to get food. There's rarely if ever electricity or running water at his home. He refuses to go out and get a job. No mental illness again except laziness.
I highly doubt someone is lazy when they see they have no electricity or water running in the house, is he an alcoholic? this sounds like a mental illness to me. He might look healthy to you, but you dont really know whats going on deep down his brain.
post #41 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by fwan View Post
I highly doubt someone is lazy when they see they have no electricity or water running in the house, is he an alcoholic? this sounds like a mental illness to me. He might look healthy to you, but you dont really know whats going on deep down his brain.
Ok, no offense but I rather not share about my father's personal life on the forum in depth. No he's not an alcoholic and think what you wish on the mental illness part but you'll just be making up excuses for a deadbeat. I do know what's going on so please don't try to convince me otherwise.

Please don't think I'm trying to be rude but I figured it was better to say "the subject is closed" rather than ignore your question.
post #42 of 43
Sorry i didnt want to offend you.

I only was stating because my mother is an alcoholic, and i know plenty others who are in the same situation and just have a mental disability even though they look completely healthy and normal.
post #43 of 43
I work 3rd shift at a 24hr gas station in this part of VA(not sure if it is the same state wide) we stop beer sale at midnight We have 2 or 3 people a night who steal or try to steal a beer I usually catch at least 3 people every Friday Saturday and Sunday that I work I have 4 court dates next month...I do report shoplifting if I see it Prices do go up because of this at our gas station we charge 1.39 for a regular size candy bar and 1.59 for a large due to shoplifting. Though I do agree that you can tell if a person is in need...Instead of turning a blind eye to it I usually pay for a couple of cans of beans and maybe a pack of hotdogs and some bread for them. You can almost always tell who is doing it because they NEED it and who is doing it because they learn that this is a way to live.
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