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post #31 of 59
Sometimes i just toss them money, I mean I don't care if they even use it for cheap booze (hell if I were on the streets I would) But other times I don't want to encourage it, and I tell them I give to local shelters and food banks (I do)
post #32 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charcoal
I do not.

Not because I am mean but because so many people fake being homeless just to get money and aren't really in need.


I'm sorry but this subject is too close to my heart. What you are saying is absurd! How do you know they are faking? Did you just see them get out of their Volvo, or their mansion? Do you interview them to assess their needs, did you do a psychosocial intake to determine their chief complaint? I'm sorry, wait, no I'm not, some the additudes on this thread really ruffle my feathers. No I don't believe people on this thread are "mean", they just no nothing, nada, zip about homelessness. The movies and TV shows you watch do not count. How can SOME people here, that are supposedly so empathetic to the plight of cats, not give a rat's ass about their fellow human beings?
post #33 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom of Franz
[/i][/b]

I'm sorry but this subject is too close to my heart. What you are saying is absurd! How do you know they are faking? Did you just see them get out of their Volvo, or their mansion? Do you interview them to assess their needs, did you do a psychosocial intake to determine their chief complaint? I'm sorry, wait, no I'm not, some the additudes on this thread really ruffle my feathers. No I don't believe people on this thread are "mean", they just no nothing, nada, zip about homelessness. The movies and TV shows you watch do not count. How can SOME people here, that are supposedly so empathetic to the plight of cats, not give a rat's ass about their fellow human beings?
You know I am bothered by that too, that people care about animals but not their fellow man.
post #34 of 59
I think people care, and I think there's alway's going to be a difference of how people see things, I care about everything and everyone. I am only going by what I see where I am located just the same as everyone else. We donate to the salvation army, red cross, and whoever we can, I at one time had 129 grapefruit trees, called everyone we could think of to donate the fruit, NO ONE wanted to pick it, not food for america, not local pantrys, none except a church that served as a local shelter that was some 100 miles from where we lived, they came and picked it boxed it and took it away, plus don't you think that we all see different ways in different areas, we do what we can and that includes the cats, dogs, whatever, just because I don't care to give to people on the street doesn't mean I don't care or give, I do as much as I can for human care and the animals..
post #35 of 59


Please, give the people here a little credit. We all do what we can with the gifts and opportunities presented to us. For some that means working with people, for others animals, for others the environment, and others still it means working to improve infrastructure of communities. It doesn't mean that they don't care about anything else.

And like she said, every place is different. Not every community in the world has the same homeless issues as NYC.
post #36 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by halfpint
I think people care, and I think there's alway's going to be a difference of how people see things, I care about everything and everyone. I am only going by what I see where I am located just the same as everyone else. We donate to the salvation army, red cross, and whoever we can, I at one time had 129 grapefruit trees, called everyone we could think of to donate the fruit, NO ONE wanted to pick it, not food for america, not local pantrys, none except a church that served as a local shelter that was some 100 miles from where we lived, they came and picked it boxed it and took it away, plus don't you think that we all see different ways in different areas, we do what we can and that includes the cats, dogs, whatever, just because I don't care to give to people on the street doesn't mean I don't care or give, I do as much as I can for human care and the animals..
It's not the fact that people don't want to give to those on the street. I understand that because there is an element of danger. What gets my goat is the attitude many people on this thread have and the misconceptions they harbor concerning the homeless, the poverty stricken, the substance abuser and the mentally ill. All of these ills are a pretty good profile for the homeless in America. Not just NYC, Chicago or LA, but in The South and the heartland. Very few homeless folks, fit only one of these categories, they are usually a combination of these categories. NYC has one of the most liberal, (and I don't mean in the political sense) "benefit packages" in the country, so we are a magnet for people all over the USA, so I have "seen" other areas. I've had homeless clients from as far north as Maine, and as far west as Ohio.

When I read remarks such as people faking homelessness" and "I'd rather give to animals" I am ashamed to be a member of the human race. One member of this site, has given her love, her heart and a home to a mentally ill drug addict from the street. People's post about this young lady are full of prayers, good thoughts, and well wishes. I wonder how many members here, would have given her a dirty look if they had met her on the street, I believe many, the same people who are now so full of "Christian goodwill." Rather two-faced don't you think?

Believe me, I get angry with some of my clients, the ones who are abusing the system and have baby after baby despite the huge amount of birth control methods available. However, these are not the majority of the homeless population I serve, most fit into the above named categories.

Take in and feed homeless cats, but spit on a homeless man or woman, that seems to be how a lot of people think around here. I am not a religous person, I consider myself an agnostic. But if there is a God, I wonder how he feels about man abandoning his most gifted creation?

Thank you to those who give in anyway they can. Call me preachy, condesending, a bleeding heart liberal, anything you want, but I know the facts, I live it.
post #37 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirque
Being on a fixed income myself, I don't have cash to give to beggers, however after reading these stories I think I will have to get some McD's certificates to keep in the car incase I do go out.

I have seen some people at one specific spot near an off ramp on the way home once in awhile. Usually it is an old half toothless man that looks very "used up" for lack of a better term.. so I doubt he is part of any crime ring and just someone who has a bad life. Once or twice I have seen other people as well.

Although I can understand their maybe wanting drugs, a drink or a smoke to escape the harshness of their lives, at the least knowing someone in need can get a meal and not just "use" away what I give them seems better and more validating. Although I hate to contribute to the "problem" of people begging, sometimes everyone needs a hand up.
I never give money....I have bought sandwiches to give to someone who is homeless.

Katie
post #38 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom of Franz
It's not the fact that people don't want to give to those on the street. I understand that because there is an element of danger. What gets my goat is the attitude many people on this thread have and the misconceptions they harbor concerning the homeless, the poverty stricken, the substance abuser and the mentally ill. All of these ills are a pretty good profile for the homeless in America. Not just NYC, Chicago or LA, but in The South and the heartland. Very few homeless folks, fit only one of these categories, they are usually a combination of these categories. NYC has one of the most liberal, (and I don't mean in the political sense) "benefit packages" in the country, so we are a magnet for people all over the USA, so I have "seen" other areas. I've had homeless clients from as far north as Maine, and as far west as Ohio.

When I read remarks such as people faking homelessness" and "I'd rather give to animals" I am ashamed to be a member of the human race. One member of this site, has given her love, her heart and a home to a mentally ill drug addict from the street. People's post about this young lady are full of prayers, good thoughts, and well wishes. I wonder how many members here, would have given her a dirty look if they had met her on the street, I believe many, the same people who are now so full of "Christian goodwill." Rather two-faced don't you think?

Believe me, I get angry with some of my clients, the ones who are abusing the system and have baby after baby despite the huge amount of birth control methods available. However, these are not the majority of the homeless population I serve, most fit into the above named categories.

Take in and feed homeless cats, but spit on a homeless man or woman, that seems to be how a lot of people think around here. I am not a religous person, I consider myself an agnostic. But if there is a God, I wonder how he feels about man abandoning his most gifted creation?

Thank you to those who give in anyway they can. Call me preachy, condesending, a bleeding heart liberal, anything you want, but I know the facts, I live it.
Well put, I agree. I just feel too there is a trend toward a very cynical view of those in trouble, that it's a moral short coming.
post #39 of 59
If you come across a person in need, once.. it is easy to feel pity or compassion or whatever and lend a hand if your able, at least for most I would hope. When you keep seeing the same people turning to begging as their sole method of making an income, without trying to give anything back in the least.. well that kinda sucks.

Obviously drug use, alchol abuse and mental illness are contributing factors to homelessness, but how much of that was learned from parents, caused by enviroment, and used as a way to escape their already pitiful lives? Once a persons quality of life goes down past the point of what most would be expected to deal with, I can understand why they would choose drugs to escape. That does not even consider those who just get hooked while trying out something new or diffrent. Myself I enjoy watching movies and using the computer to escape, but thats a personal choice and in some small way connects me to others. That is not to say that all homeless are drug addicts or crazy people, but it does not take a lot to get tossed out on the street sometimes and once there its almost never uphill afterwords.

I don't give heroin addicts dirty looks.. I am more likely to just kinda look at them with facination and curiosity.. kinda cat like in that reguard, perhaps not to my own benifit. *chuckle* People are people and we all have our problems and hobbies :P Let them without sin cast the first stone.

I have a "friend" who has had perhaps 3 or 4 kids .. most likey to poor to afford birth control, or perhaps too "mentally" abused to enforce using it, I am not sure which.. perhaps even just not "aware" how important it is.. however in her defense she has asked multiple times to be put on birth control implants or "snipped" so as not to get prego and been refused due to her "young" age. I blame the system, not the human who only wants to have some "pleasure" in their otherwise miserable life and who might not make the best choices as to who or when. So in that case at least, I blame the system for failing the person, not the person for failing the system. They asked and were refused what obviously should be done.. much like the cat over population, some people should be "fixed" as well. And that does not even bring into consideration the fact they most likey could do with a bit of extensive therapy as well.

Personally I think God has provided us all with free will and it is up to each and every one of us to make the choices and decisions that we will later be held accountable for. Wether thats helping someone homeless or spitting on them or running in fear .. whatever the reaction, the people we interact with and ourselves before and after we pass on are the ones that have to deal with it. My hope is that everyone remembers that familiar statement, "Oh but for the grace of God, there go I". It is so easy for the average person to slip through the cracks and end up on the streets. If we do not help the people we meet in life, how can we ever hope that others will help us if we need it, not to mention its better to give then it is to receive and what goes around comes around...besides.. its just right to help people... AND animals anytime they need it.

Oh well.. enough rambling.. but I leave you with this thought.. if everyone helped two people who helped two people who helped two people.. etc.. wouldn't the world be a heck of a lot better?

Thanks Mom of Franz, very nice post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom of Franz
It's not the fact that people don't want to give to those on the street. I understand that because there is an element of danger. What gets my goat is the attitude many people on this thread have and the misconceptions they harbor concerning the homeless, the poverty stricken, the substance abuser and the mentally ill. All of these ills are a pretty good profile for the homeless in America. ....

.... I wonder how many members here, would have given her a dirty look if they had met her on the street, I believe many, the same people who are now so full of "Christian goodwill." Rather two-faced don't you think?

Believe me, I get angry with some of my clients, the ones who are abusing the system and have baby after baby despite the huge amount of birth control methods available. However, these are not the majority of the homeless population I serve, most fit into the above named categories.

Take in and feed homeless cats, but spit on a homeless man or woman, that seems to be how a lot of people think around here. I am not a religous person, I consider myself an agnostic. But if there is a God, I wonder how he feels about man abandoning his most gifted creation?

Thank you to those who give in anyway they can. Call me preachy, condesending, a bleeding heart liberal, anything you want, but I know the facts, I live it.
post #40 of 59
I hate to say this, but it's U.S. culture, the "me against the world" glorification of the individual.Don't get me wrong, I love my country and want to live here, but I know we are really young culturally. In other countries, like the Iran "axis of evil" they never abandon their neighbors, or India if a woman is widowed she isn't alone. Here even just coming in second makes you a loser...
post #41 of 59
the church i went to in high school put together 'care packages' for homeless people in oklahoma city... but only during thanksgiving and x-mas time... we would make packages that had sandwhiches and drinks, chips, sweets, soaps, hygenic stuff, and first aid stuff(like bandaids and neosporin)... we would also have a clothes drive and pass out used coats, shoes, and other winter garments like earmuffs and gloves...one year we even had dollar store and goodwill certificates!!... i felt really really bad when we went out on those days... i have never given anyone homeless money, but that doesnt mean that i wouldnt... i have never really lived in an area that had homeless people... even okc was a bit of a drive from where we lived... but we would all load up in vans we would drive around the city all evening until everything was handed out...
i live in northern cali now, and i dont really ever see homeless people... then again i have never really driven deep into sacramento, but the surrounding areas i have never seen anyone...
as for homeless animals, i am always seeing those and i always always give them something if i can and i donate to the spca and other rescue organizations
post #42 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marge
I hate to say this, but it's U.S. culture, the "me against the world" glorification of the individual.Don't get me wrong, I love my country and want to live here, but I know we are really young culturally. In other countries, like the Iran "axis of evil" they never abandon their neighbors, or India if a woman is widowed she isn't alone. Here even just coming in second makes you a loser...
You know Marge, I never looked at it that way, I think you have an excellent take on "our" mentality. I have nothing against Nursing Homes, I believe the vast majority of folks there needed skilled nursing/medical care. However when I speak to those dreaded foreigners(LOL) they can't believe how soon many people abandon home care (if possible) and stick old mom and dad in "the home". I would bet a gold bedpan that we have more nursing homes per capita than any of the other industrialized nations. We "abandon" I believe what we don't want to see or be reminded of, the sick, the old, the homeless, the mentally ill, and the druggie or drunk. Yep Marge, your right, everyone hates a loser.

Thanks Cirque
post #43 of 59
that is to true about the nursing home and how quick we do that here. I have a friend who moved back in with her Mother who is elderly. Instead of people being supportive of her being near her Mom, they are judging her for "living at home". She works and is responsible but has this stigma now.
In European culture families live together forever (remember the move Moonstruck?)

I saw that Indian actress on Letterman, you know the really pretty one who recently started making movies over here? She still lives with her parents and told Letterman that she doesn't "make appointments to see my parents" I was so impressed...good for her for not going Hollywood "Aren't I cool".
post #44 of 59
Thread Starter 
This is a hornets' nest, and everyone has good points. But it is a difficult value judgement. In the UK there have been a number of undercover investigations of 'homeless' street people and beggars, and while some are genuinely in need for whatever reason, there are others who make a lot of money and yes, do get up off their blankets and go home in a nice car parked round the corner. And in the West one can shrug it off to an extent and say there are shelters and charities and govt benefits available.

Here, none of that exists. People tend to live with their extended families, often in very small apartments, and those who can find work leave the children with grandparents or other relatives. There is 70% unemployment in some areas, and pensions and social security simply do not exist for many. Added to the effects of the war, the family system has broken down, and it throws people on hte streets. Returning refugees have found their apartments occupied by others who refuse to leave, and it can take years, and money they have not got, to regain their homes. But there have been prosecutions and deportations of gangster types who run 'stables' of beggars, some very young children. It leaves people like me in a quandary, and I only give inthe street to people who I am fairly sure are genuine, which in practice means very little.

I think we will see a lot of this happening in Iraq soon, as the existing social system breaks down. we do not always consider the effects of our actions. Many older people here say that at least under Communism they had jobs, roofs and could afford cars and annual vacations. They like democracy, but have yet to experience any of its benefits.
post #45 of 59
many of us feel this way because we have been burned. yes i have seen people go to thier car parked around the corner and later in bars laughing at the kind souls who thought they were doing them a good turn.

my mum is a teacher. many of the 'homeless' children miss days on end of school, taken out by thier parents who find it more profitable to suppliment their benefits by begging rather than see their child put through education.

maybe its a sad fact that we are so mistrustful of people in need but at least where i'm from the frauds seem to be the majority, not the minority.
post #46 of 59
I don't think anyone wants to ever give up on someone, but when people have tapped out every last resort and have no where to turn that's when they wind up on the street, and yes everyone of us could wind up that same way someday, it's doesn't take much to get that down. But I beleive that we all have the power to pull ourselves up and get headed in the right direction if we choose. And of course there are alot on mentally ill and addicted people who it is very diffcult for, and then all of the programs that are out there in the United States are getting tapped out because there are people who keep taking and taking, leaving not eneough for those who really need that extra help. I think our Welfare programs take the idea that when it doublt give it to them. Some of these programs are just not running right. Sometimes when I see people with all there stuff in a cart I just wonder how does this happen to them, and yes it is very sad.
I think there are alot of people that care, just not enough people that care enough.
post #47 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom of Franz
[/i][/b]

I'm sorry but this subject is too close to my heart. What you are saying is absurd! How do you know they are faking? Did you just see them get out of their Volvo, or their mansion? Do you interview them to assess their needs, did you do a psychosocial intake to determine their chief complaint? I'm sorry, wait, no I'm not, some the additudes on this thread really ruffle my feathers. No I don't believe people on this thread are "mean", they just no nothing, nada, zip about homelessness. The movies and TV shows you watch do not count. How can SOME people here, that are supposedly so empathetic to the plight of cats, not give a rat's ass about their fellow human beings?
I'm with you! Quite a few of the clients I have worked with in the past have been homeless. A good portion of women and children who are homeless come to that circumstance because they are leaving abusive homes. Especially when dealing with homelessness, it is never right to judge.
post #48 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom of Franz
Call me preachy, condesending, a bleeding heart liberal, anything you want, but I know the facts, I live it.
Can I come work with you? I love it when people call me a bleeding heart liberal. Know how to counter that? Better a bleeding heart than no heart at all!
post #49 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by halfpint
I think our Welfare programs take the idea that when it doubt give it to them. Some of these programs are just not running right. Sometimes when I see people with all there stuff in a cart I just wonder how does this happen to them, and yes it is very sad.
I think there are alot of people that care, just not enough people that care enough.
I know for a fact that SSD (Social Security Disablity) is not an easy thing to get as I was denied at least twice if I remember correctly. I had to go to a hearing and was still denied. Only after contacting a "free" lawyer that handles that sort of issue was I accepted for SSD. Granted it is a diffrent program then "Welfare" but similar in some respects.

Sadly the payout is partially based on how much I earned before I went on it, and due to my young age it is not much. If my GF did not absorb most of the bills I doubt I would be able to survive on it and I would also be homeless, perhaps begging on the streets. *shudder* If you see me, give me some McD coupons please, I will be the shy person avoiding everyone else.
post #50 of 59
I would like to make a response to an earlier post relating to homeless shelters and how the homeless can always go there.

That was my viewpoint to many years ago. But when I was at college/university, I did some volunteer work at one of those community help places (homeless + low income) during the school term and discovered some stuff. I was talking to the people and realise why many homeless do not go to shelters. The reason is because there is a high rate of theft thus they lose whatever little they have when they go to a shelter.

By the way, I guess I should say this least I seem to paint myself in too good a picture. My primary purpose in volunteering was so that I could have something nice to put on my resume, so you see I am quite an evil materialistic person.

I once saw an old lady with a sign stating "Kitten Food" and sitting beside her was this really pretty looking kitty cat. Not too sure how much of the money was for the kitten food. And while I gave money to the kitten lady I did not give any money to those woman beggars carrying babies I met while I was in London. I don't know how to reconcile this...
post #51 of 59
Many humans, for whatever reason, are just instinctively more sympathetic to animals than they are to other humans. Same reason why we have 3 times as many animal shelters as we have domestic violence shelters...
post #52 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by ugaimes
Many humans, for whatever reason, are just instinctively more sympathetic to animals than they are to other humans. Same reason why we have 3 times as many animal shelters as we have domestic violence shelters...
It is also cheaper and easier to put a cat in a cage then a battered woman.
post #53 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marge
I hate to say this, but it's U.S. culture, the "me against the world" glorification of the individual.Don't get me wrong, I love my country and want to live here, but I know we are really young culturally. In other countries, like the Iran "axis of evil" they never abandon their neighbors, or India if a woman is widowed she isn't alone. Here even just coming in second makes you a loser...
Homeless people and beggars are not restricted to the U.S., nor is failure to help them. I'm sitting here trying to come up with a country without this problem. Japan, Korea, France, Italy, Russia, Kenya, Saudi Arabia? Nope. India might not be a good example to give, due to the abject poverty and inhumane treatment far too many people experience there. As for widows - sati (the ritual burning of widows), although illegal, is still practiced in many regions, because nobody wants the expense of feeding a penniless widow.
post #54 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
Homeless people and beggars are not restricted to the U.S., nor is failure to help them. I'm sitting here trying to come up with a country without this problem. Japan, Korea, France, Italy, Russia, Kenya, Saudi Arabia? Nope. India might not be a good example to give, due to the abject poverty and inhumane treatment far too many people experience there. As for widows - sati (the ritual burning of widows), although illegal, is still practiced in many regions, because nobody wants the expense of feeding a penniless widow.

I'm not saying there aren't problems elsewhere, but what I am basing this on is actual talks I have had with students in my program who grew up in India and Iran. Who go back to visit every year etc. This is what they tell me.
post #55 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marge
I'm not saying there aren't problems elsewhere, but what I am basing this on is actual talks I have had with students in my program who grew up in India and Iran. Who go back to visit every year etc. This is what they tell me.
I understand that, but keep in mind that if their families have enough money to have them study abroad and visit home evey year, they probably have very little contact with the "hoi polloi".
A friend, born and raised in Brooklyn, who moved to North Philadelphia (one of the worst neighborhoods in the country), married an Indian woman, who often insisted that India got "bad press" as far as poverty was concerned. She's a Brahman, and thus a member of the upper caste.. The two spent close to a year traveling around India in the 90s, and he was utterly shocked at the conditions he saw there. The funny part is, so was she - she'd never been exposed to that sort of misery before he decided he wanted to see the "real" India.
post #56 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
I understand that, but keep in mind that if their families have enough money to have them study abroad and visit home evey year, they probably have very little contact with the "hoi polloi".
A friend, born and raised in Brooklyn, who moved to North Philadelphia (one of the worst neighborhoods in the country), married an Indian woman, who often insisted that India got "bad press" as far as poverty was concerned. She's a Brahman, and thus a member of the upper caste.. The two spent close to a year traveling around India in the 90s, and he was utterly shocked at the conditions he saw there. The funny part is, so was she - she'd never been exposed to that sort of misery before he decided he wanted to see the "real" India.
I agree, poverty is it's own disease. I am talking more of a culture of inclusion, and community.
post #57 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marge
I agree, poverty is it's own disease. I am talking more of a culture of inclusion, and community.
I'm not so sure that it exists any more nowadays.
post #58 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
I'm not so sure that it exists any more nowadays.
You mean anywhere? From people I talk to it does. I have a friend in NZ and feels very comfortable there.
post #59 of 59
Oh wow this has opened up a whole can of worms hasnt it. Many people 'slide' into homelessness without much control. Lost job leads to lost home leads to lost family etc. Before you know it you are on the streets! It isnt hard to get there given the right circumstances - we could all be in that situation. I read about people on this site who are just about holding it together financially and emotionally and see how easy that slide could be. It would not be their 'fault' and they do not wish to be there. Clawing back up is the hard thing. Not everyone wants to live in so called shelters and anyay they only hold so many, not all. Yes we have beggers on the streets especially in the larger cities. Coventry seems to be a magnet for some reason.
One of the problems is trying to differenciate (sp). Rumanian gypsy families are actually known to disfigure their children so they will get more money begging. It works in Rumania so why should it not work when they come here is possibly the reasoning. There is something sad and wrong about a society that allows that to happen.
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