I hope that those saying that there is help for everyone who wants/ needs can understand that this isn't true everywhere. I must admit that I'm not convinced that the former statement above exists, however even with that being a given, it is definitely not like that everywhere. I know this from my own experience and also that of others. It is a horrific thing to believe, but very true. Sushi Crow
Who here gives to the homeless?
by JW83 82 Replies latest jw friends
I have a problem with the term homeless. As far as I am concerned, the term homeless means somebody whose house burned down or who suffered some emergency. The term now has come to encompass drug addicts, mentally ill (who belong in institutions) plus a few others. (Have any of you had to run from a mentally deranged homeless person? Well, I have).
Longhairgal (and anyone else who may feel this way), I seriously hope that you reconsider your statement above. Since some have already written about drug addicts/ alcoholics and this is not part of my personal experience, and since I have been labeled "mentally ill", I feel a need to respond to this.
I hope that you don't really feel that the "mentally ill" - whether on the streets or not - belong in institutions. If you've ever been in one in the States, you might even feel that no one belongs in an institution - they are a nightmare and foster a violence. I have never been a violent person, and was labeled with mental illness. Most labeled with mental illness are not violent, homeless or not.
I was almost on the streets. The only reason why I wasn't was because someone kindly let me live with them until I could get public housing. I was very lucky regarding this, as I didn't have family to stay with. Before I found someone to stay with, I called up all the homeless shelters in the area and they were either full or I didn't qualify because I wasn't a part of a certain population being targeted. There's a long waiting list for public housing, so that was not an option. I was on public disabilty benefits and it was impossible to find an unsubsidized place to live within those means.
I realize that you no one on this board has come out and said that "mentally ill" people are more dangerous than the rest of the population. However, to me, the number of statements regarding violence have implied this. Here are some links to consider. There are far more, but these two get the point across.
Link to National Mental Health Association. The study listed finds that people labeled with mental illness are no more violent than the general population. http://www.nmha.org/position/ps17.cfm
Here's a link to a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, a study done by Northwestern University that shows that shows that peole labeled with mental illness are more likely to be *victims*, rather than perpetrators of violence. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-08/nu-smi072505.php
Just one more general note on public housing. The idea of public housing is a great thing and works very well for some people. However, it doesn't always turn out that way. I live in a subsidized building and am being stalked by someone in my building. I am not getting appropriate assistance with this matter, even though people know that it really is happening. It is very scary. Because of this situation, I was given a Section 8 voucher (a public housing voucher that moves with me, the rent subsidy I have now is only good in this building). Unfortunately, most landlords around here won't like those, even though not taking the vouchers is illegal. I was unable to find a place with the Section 8 and then my voucher expired (I no longer have Section 8 and can't get another for several years). No one is either willing or able to help me with this situation. Putting it extremely mildly, this does not put me in a very good situation.
I really hope that generalizations can stop. I know that my situation absolutely does not speak for everyone with current or former housing issues, but I also know that I'm not the only one who goes thru stuff like this. Thanks to whoever takes the time to read this. :)
There's been a few comments where people were bothered or upset about some of us who said that we don't give money to beggars.
In my case, I said that I gave to charities that work with homeless people, trying to find them homes, give them clothes, keep them fed. (Something I didn't do as a JW) That agency can do a much better job than I can at helping the truly "homeless" people.
What I don't do is give money to bums and beggars who stand on the corner or who approach me on the sidewalk looking for a handout. If they need help, there are several charity organizations in town that will help them. If they really need help, those organizations, some of which I give to, will help them.
There's a difference between "homeless people" and "bums". Homeless people don't want to be homeless and jobless. Their pride may be wounded but they'll accept help and they'll work to get out of that situation. Bums don't want to work, they don't want help to overcome their situation, they want handouts so they can continue to be bums. And I refuse to contribute to their lifestyle.
I am sorry I offended you personally. I do realize that depression is also a mental illness and I have suffered from it myself at some point in time.
I know you feel that institutions are horrible places and I tend to agree. However, here in NYC there have been some very DANGEROUS characters who have seriously hurt people. They DO NOT belong out in public where they can hurt people! The greater good to the public demands that they not be around anybody.
I do, however, stand by my statement about not giving money to homeless because I am NOT supporting the vice of some drug addict or scam artist. If somebody feels good about giving money to them that is their right. There are exceptions to my rule and I will help a traveler in distress or some person who lost their wallet, etc.
I also give tons of clothing to charitable institutions.
This thread definitley has a kind of rhythm to it.
I want to say two things:
1. I would stack my charitable work up against anyone else's on this board.
2. Giving money to bums is the best way to get more bums.
There's a difference between "homeless people" and "bums". Homeless people don't want to be homeless and jobless. Their pride may be wounded but they'll accept help and they'll work to get out of that situation. Bums don't want to work, they don't want help to overcome their situation, they want handouts so they can continue to be bums. And I refuse to contribute to their lifestyle.Yeah, what he said
I help my friends out all the time, and they can count on me any time of day to help them. I can't help everybody....I'm not rich.
I contribute to the Homeless Coalition Org here. That organization helps them with temporary shelter and daily meals.
I can't help it... seeing a fellow human being sitting, stinking on the street in tattered clothing and having not eaten in a day or two, I have to give them something...
Although, I do tend to give to the ones that are actually DOING something... dont just sit there and beg... open the door for me, play an instrument in the subway, squeege my window... I like to see a little effort. Once instead of giving a bum some money... I went into a dep nearby and bought him a sandwich... at least I know he isn't buying crack with it.
Since not donating to the WTBS anymore I have been giving to my local hospital, they took such good care of my grandfather before he died, I would like to know I am doing my part to thank them and ensure that others have the same positive help in a difficult time.
I have as of late been giving my clothes to the "VON" shops in montreal. (I have wayyy too many anyways)
Makes me feel good that my money is no longer wasted on printing brainwashing publications.... at least it is going somewhere useful now.
My sister lives in TO and once a bum walked straight up to her and asked "Can I have a buck, I really need to buy a beer"
She almost died laughing... he got what he asked for... she said to him, "Here is a buck for your honesty"