Do you give to beggars?

by jean-luc picard 101 Replies latest jw friends

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee


    If you taught grade 3 you might have taught my daughter who was in the reverse integration program (not the deaf side despite the fact that sign was her first expressive language) for a year - probably 1984-85 year -- I think.

    I also did a one semester internship on the deaf side (Social work dept)

    So yea we may have met but the name was a bit different back then - what a small world

    The begging here in Ottawa got pretty bad. Almost always young kids. A couple of years ago one kid was killed and they tried to turn the area into a shrine. I understood that. They lost a friend. I understood it until I saw one of the kids peeing in the shrubs around their "shrine". After that it was closed down and has been turned into an underground (it was a tunnel under a very busy downtown street) art museam displaying the kids artwork. No more peeing in the bushes. And the kids got their memorial.

    I do think that we need to find ways to specifically target this group of people and stop the begging. I was talking with my daughter's brother-in-law the other day. He was in Switzerland and they have no homeless people. no beggars on the streets. I don;t know how thye do it but they have succeeded in deal with the problem. But then they have the gypsy camps outside of town and that presents a different type of problem.

  • AGuest
    they have no homeless people. no beggars on the streets.

    I'm not completely certain, dear Lady (the greatest of love and peace to you!), but I think the Swiss are like the Swedish, Dutch, Norwegian, etc., where the income tax rate is something like 50% for everyone... and so there are ample revenues to care for those who would otherwise BE homeless, etc., includuing producing adequate jobs. Again, I could be wrong and someone is more than welcome to correct me if I'm wrong. I prolly should have researched it first, but going by memory of something I think I saw on TV on the matter...

    Again, peace to you!

    YOUR servant and a slave of Christ,


    P.S. These papers might shed some light on it: and Apparently, the Swiss have sound currency... and an awesome social services program (no doubt, funded by the high tax rate).

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    Interesting study Shelby but the paramenters of the study were pretty wide. They defined homeless as beign without a home for at least 6 months. Most other countries take that down to one month and for some it is any time without a home. If a fire burns down your home and you have no where to go you are homeless even if it is only for one night. In the places I worked or the helter I stayed at one night was enough to classify a person as homeless. We frequently sawe people come into the shelter after a fire gutted their homes. One night I had to go over to a pharmacy and get enough of a woman's prescription medications to hold her over until she could see her Dr for new prescriptions. She camer in with the clothes on her back (actually a night gown and nothing on her feet). She certainly wasn't out begging but she sure was homeless.

    Most of the homeless people I knew were not out begging on the streets. A few were. And I certainly saw many more people out on the streets that I knew were not homeless than people I knew who were. In Winnipeg I was at the only homeless shelter in town. We knew who was really living on the street because they came in for meals. They weren't the ones out begging either.

    So who are they?

    In Ottawa we have community care nurses who go into the shelters and treat the homeless and hook them up with doctors and make sure they get what they need in the way of treatment. In a country where family doctors are overburdened I had one within a month because this nurse hooked me up with one.

    People with dual diagnoses (often a mental disorder and an addiction) were referred for treatment. Many refused. You can't force them unless they are a real danger to themsleves or others.

    I absoilutely agree that the government did people a great disservice when they deinstitutionalized those with mental health issues. Many were not capable of taking care of themselves, paying the rent and the utilities, shopping, cooking and doing all the necessities of life. I saw this in both Winnipeg and in Ottawa. Placing them in ghettos isn't the answer either. Or restricitng them to live outside of the city for that matter.

    We do need to make changes so many of these people are getting what they need. But they aren't the ones out begging either.

    One thing I have seen is an extraordinarily high niumber of homeless had suffer a lot of abuse as kids. Many ran away to get away from it only to find themsleves ill prepared to deal with life.

    It has been my belief for many years now that we need to do more to help people deal with their abuse histories and give them the supports they need to overcome their past and all the problems thnat result from it including homelessness, prostitution, addiction and mental health problems. I have worked with people who were on the street - counseling the, When given the opportuunity to deal with the past and turn their lives around many take it and learn to thrive.

    Chronic homelessness is often a symptom of a much bigger problem than not having a place to live.

  • wobble

    I agree with all Lady Lee says above, but being an old softy, I still give as I always have, from my youth as a JW I have always thought it right to alleviate suffering if it is in the power of your hand to do so, I left it to others to be judgemental against the person, after all, I did not know their whole story, or perhaps none of it.

  • AGuest

    I hear you, dear Lady (again, peace to you!). I thought your friend's observation was a little... ummmm... off the mark as to "no homeless people", though (although probably accurate as to "beggars on the streets". It reminded me of the last couple of times I was in NYC. I'd lived there during the late 70s-early 80s... and there were MANY "bums" on the streets, so when I took my husband for a visit in 2006 (I think)... I warned him (even though he works in SF and so sees SOME vagrancy, what I was used to in NYC was way above and beyond. So...).

    We get there, though, and WHAT?? NO homeless/bums on the streets!! OMIGOSH! I mean, the streets were CLEAN... and NO sign of vagrants, etc.!

    So I asked the cabbie about it and he said, "Oh, Juliani cleaned all of that up." WHOO-HOO... I thought: finally some of these people got help. And then... we took the subway. And all along the underground path you could see.... WAY back in the shadows, under the streets, in the seldom used and older areas of the system... evidence of where they had actually gone. Underground, literally. It was like looking out the train window and seeing people living in the dark, among the shadows. It was kind of creepy, actually.

    I realize that many countries can say that have no VISIBLE homeless/vagrancy... but I don't think they can say that have NONE. Even if most are in some kind of social program/housing.

    Ah, well... to each his own in this matter. For now, we only have ourselves to answer to and so long as we can do that... se la vie!

    Again, peace to you!

    YOUR servant and a slave of Christ,


  • Low-Key Lysmith
    Low-Key Lysmith

    I saw homeless guy (I usually refer to them as "bums", because that's what most of them are) begging on a freeway exit with 4 dogs tied to his shopping cart. I went to the nearest grocery store and returned with a 40lb bag of dog food. I was furious. Don't try to take on even one dog if you can't even take care of yourself.

    I will sometimes give homeless folks extra food, if I have some in the car with me.

  • AGuest
    Don't try to take on even one dog if you can't even take care of yourself.

    Perhaps his heart was soft... and he preferred to drag them along with him and hope for some scraps... than turn them over to a shelter only to be euthanized, dear LowKey (peace to you!)? Or perhaps he was able to take care of them all at one point... but then lost his job/home, whatever, but couldn't bring himself to "abandon" them? Or maybe he found THEM on the street... and took them into his cardboard box (I'm hypothesizing, here, of course). Could be a number of reasons why he had four dogs with him...

    But BIG KUDOS to YOU... for giving them somefood!! And who is to say he didn't [have to] eat some of it, as well?

    Peace to you!

    A slave of Christ,


  • DaCheech

    I see beggars on a daily basis.......... alot of them have deep problems.

    since I do not know what they're gonna do with money, I give them stuff I always have in my car (like granola or snack bars).

    my same principles are for the unfortunately unwealthy--> I believe in helping with food and shelter.......... but I DO HAVE A PROBLEM with tax dollars feeding their luxuries or drug addiction

  • ballistic

    Here is the best beggar I ever met in the world and it was in your country...

    and no in England - I don't give to beggars because it goes 100% on alcohol.


  • ballistic

    Do you kinow where I took that photo for first prize??? Wasn't being mean about England beggars but we have a huge social scheme in the UK and all homeless get payouts. I think I gave that guy in the US a dollar for his picture.

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