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I gave a homeless man dinner and money tonight, so why do I feel so bad?

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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-22-03 11:37 PM
Original message
I gave a homeless man dinner and money tonight, so why do I feel so bad?
The poor guy was obviously desperately in need of both, and was so grateful to be getting any attention at all. I was in the parking lot of my local Convenient store when he came up to me. I was scared at first, since my robbery I'm still real jittery when strangers suddenly appear at my car window, I suppose with good reason.

But all he wanted was a couple bucks so he could go next door to the McDonald's and get a value meal, and I knew it was hard for him to even ask for just that. I only had a 20 on me, so I told him I'd have to get what I'd come for at the Convenient, then come back out with the change.

It was late afternoon and still light, it was downtown and there were plenty of people around so I wasn't afraid of being set up and him trying anything. Yes, I know it was also broad daylight when I was robbed in my car in my work parking lot, but there was no one else around at that time and it wasn't totally out in the open.

Once I was in the store, I decided to buy him a box of donuts as well and brought those out to him along with the change. It was pitiful to see how grateful he was for just a five dollar bill and a box of donuts. His clothes were practically rags, and it was really cold. He told me he lived with several other homeless people under one of our local bridges; fortunately, he said, he did have some blankets so he would be at least somewhat warm.

Then something happened that really shocked me. One of the clerks came out of the store at that point and started shouting at the man, screaming at him to "go the hell away, you goddamned bum, quit bothering us!" He seemed to kind of shrink back at that, and started walking away. Just a minute, I said. The clerk was walking toward us, and I turned and let her have it. Then she REALLY shocked me by yelling at me that I shouldn't have given him anything, that he was just a bum who should be thrown in jail, that I was stupid for giving him anything and encouraging him, etc., etc. She shouted after the guy that the manager had said that if he came on the store's property again they'd have him arrested and thrown in jail!

I just could not believe it. I started to say something again, but she yelled again that I was stupid for giving him anything and encouraging him. At that, I'd just had enough. Encouraging him to what, I said, try to get something to eat once in awhile so that he doesn't starve and freeze to death under the fucking bridge? God forbid that YOU should ever be in that position, especially living paycheck to paycheck like I know you do (they only make minimum wage there). And God forbid that, if you ever ARE in that position, you are treated with the same compassion and caring you're showing now! Well, that REALLY pissed her off, she spluttered then finally turned around and stalked back into the store.

I then walked back into the store to have a little chat with the manager explaining why I wasn't going to be patronizing their shining example of caring and compassion for fellow human beings again. The manager then said that "we can't have people like that upsetting our customers and bothering them." Well, of course not, I said, we can't have people being upset over the fact that there are fellow human beings living under bridges with a few blankets for a possession and reduced to begging for food, now, can we? I mean, that would just ruin their day wouldn't it, to know that this country allowed people to be in that position and that not only does no one seem to give a shit but that they're actually threatened with jail!

I've been really upset ever since. I was briefly homeless when I was three months pregnant with my son thirteen years ago (my boyfriend had thrown me out of house, and I didn't want to go home for obvious reasons), and I will NEVER NEVER NEVER forget just how horrible and frightening and hopeless those two nights felt like! The night before I finally went home I had to sleep in my car, an experience that, thirteen years later, still makes me shudder at just the thought. But at least I had family to turn to and go home to, and I knew it wouldn't be at all permanent. It only lasted two days, but it felt like a million years and was just utterly, totally exhausting.

And when I lost my job nearly four years ago, and it was almost a year before I landed the one I have now, I had NOTHING, wasn't even getting child support because he'd lost his job, too, and if it hadn't been for living at home my son and I would have been in ocean-deep shit. I had so many bills I just couldn't pay, including automatic debits from my checking account, and just dealing with that every day was utterly exhausting and horribly depressing, it was such a struggle just to get through each day. And I lived at home so it was so much less horrible for me than for many others.

And I see that happening to so many more people nowadays, and they're all terrified. All their hard work seems to mean nothing. And pieces of inhuman shit like that manager and the clerk have to make it so much harder than it should be instead of showing just a little bit of human compassion and caring and concern. It's called BEING A HUMAN BEING FOR CHRIST'S SAKE!!!!!!!! And what is SO disturbing to me is that I'm seeing more and more of that kind of shit nowadays, people don't seem to care at all about anyone in any kind of adverse circumstances and seem to realize even less that that could very well be them at the rate Smirk is gutting our economic system. God in heaven, WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THIS COUNTRY??????????????? I've never seen it quite this bad, everywhere I turn. THAT is why I feel so bad, that this is what my country is coming to, and seeing the increasing total indifference to the suffering of our fellow citizens. It's getting worse and worse, and I just can't take it much longer.

And now Thanksgiving is coming, and what the hell kind of Thanksgiving are that man and his "bridge friends" going to have? Are they going to be arrested just for trying to get a couple bucks for a turkey sandwich or something? GOD HELP US ALL!!!!!!!!!
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anarchy1999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-22-03 11:51 PM
Response to Original message
1. Same thing happened to me in Dallas
The people in the store running and owning the place were Asian. Outside were several homeless down on their luck people. I had just arrived back in Dallas after a harrowing sales trip to San Antonio and Austin and the military bases there. I was just glad and thankful to be almost home.

I gave the guy in the wheelchair a $10 bill and had really nothing left and as I was leaving him the woman (Asian) running the store came out and told him he had to leave. As I got in my car, another guy came up from the Mid-East begging me to help him. His van he had been living in had been towed off by this same group to people owning this strip. Once again the woman came out running him off.

Pretty painful trip home.

Welcome to the New America.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-22-03 11:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. God, that's unbelievable
that those store owners could be like that. And to someone in a wheelchair, too! Good for you for doing what you could, though.
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #1
18. Homeless Shelter workers say 'Never, never, never, ever
give a homeless person cash. More times than not, they will use it to buy alcohol. This admonition comes from people who actually on behalf of the homeless people, who actually care for them. If you really want to help them, buy vouchers for meals at the shelter and give them to the homeless person.
I hate to say it, but the store clerk was correct, though she may be been more tactful.
I find myself wondering if you might not be searching for some self-congratulations with your post a bit, tho. The better way is to, as the Bible says "not let the left hand know what the right is doing" If you broadcast your good acts, you have already had your reward. The preferable thing to do is to do charitable, but sensible things..and do them without making them known to all.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #18
23. I'm not doing that, what
I'm pointing out is that here, in this country, are people who have to live like that in this so-called "land of plenty", and that there seems to be a growing, complete lack of caring and concern for those who need help, no matter what the reason. While there's always been this kind of attitude in this country, I was pointing out that it's getting much worse and people are really suffering because of it.

And as far as giving him cash, I watched him walk into the McDonald's and get the food, and that is a total bullshit myth about never giving homeless people cash because they'll just use it on alcohol. I know some homeless shelter workers, and they say that that is just a bunch of anti-homeless BULLSHIT, said to discourage people from giving. And if someone's hungry and standing next to a fast-food restaurant, I'm sure as hell not gonna bother with getting some fucking vouchers or something like that.

And no, I'm afraid the clerk was NOT correct, and there was no need for her to be so damn hostile to a man who was already feeling humiliated enough. And she was NOT correct to yell at me, because it was none of her goddamn fucking business what I did with MY money and who I gave MY money to, none at all.
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:33 AM
Response to Reply #23
35. It is absolutely NOT a myth that many homeless are addicted
to alcohol and drugs. To deny this is extremely insensitive, naive, or both. The soup kitchens in our city all say you never give a homeless person cash. This is common advice you hear throughout helping community. You wanna get em something at McDonald's while they're there, that's fine, I guess.
Forgive me, though, if I don't hear a lot of charity ringing through your post. Sounds more like anger mixed with self-congratulations. Want to help the homeless? Contribute to the shelters. Donate food to food banks. Volunteer to counsel homeless. Work at a shelter.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:35 AM
Response to Reply #35
36. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:36 AM
Response to Reply #36
39. Deleted message
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:37 AM
Response to Reply #36
40. Obvious about what?
Trying to help the homeless the best way possible, and in the way that social professionals suggest?
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WannaJumpMyScooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:39 AM
Response to Reply #40
41. First off, shelter workers are NOT social professionals
most of them are greedy sadistic bastards, as bad as that clerk.

There are lots of addicted homeless people, but even junkies have to eat, dude.

Get real.
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:44 AM
Response to Reply #41
45. Did I say 'workers' anywhere in a post?
No. I was talking about those who run the shelters and soup kitchens. And you're wrong about the workers anyway. Most of them are extremely giving volunteers. Sorry you have such a cynical attitude. Doubt that it helps the homeless very much.
And when did I say junkies shouldn't eat? Did you you read any of my posts at all? Just wondering.
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WannaJumpMyScooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:50 AM
Response to Reply #45
51. My attitude is fine towards the homeless. I know what I do
and have done for the homeless in my city.
And, I am not wrong about the workers (paid) with whom I have made acquaintance.
Volunteers are different.

You said not to give money to addicts... how do you define junky?

Good day, and good bye.
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:52 AM
Response to Reply #51
53. I said feed them by giving them soup kitchenvouchers
Not by giving them money to buy booze with
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WannaJumpMyScooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:00 AM
Response to Reply #53
60. So, where you live you can only buy booze with money?
huh.
What a sad place.
We have delis and restaurants here.

Would you rather eat at a soup kitchen/homeless shelter and get whatever they have?

Or eat what you want somewhere else?

Come on. You have to have some kind of common sense to separate those in need vs. those on the make. If you don't then you have no business interacting in urban areas.
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:12 AM
Response to Reply #60
66. With all due respect, what a ridiculous comparison
"Would you rather eat at a soup kitchen/homeless shelter and get whatever they have?"

I'm sorry, but I don't consider it a wise use of my resources to take money from my family and spend it on a gourmet meal for a homeless person. By giving vouchers to the homeless, I can feed FAR more people than I can by treating somebody to lunch at a trendy bistro. God almighty!
So to use your comparsion, would you rather sleep in your comfortable home or outside over some grate? By your logic, if you don't offer the homeless person a bed in your house, you are hardhearted.

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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:24 AM
Response to Reply #66
73. Oh for God's sakes, since
when is a hamburger at McDonald's considered a "gourmet meal?" And if you have enough, what in God's name is wrong with treating a needy person to a nicer meal once in a great while? But I guess if you're homeless or needy or fallen on hard times, then you don't deserve to eat anything but slop. Okay, got it now.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:28 AM
Response to Reply #73
75. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:29 AM
Response to Reply #75
76. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:37 AM
Response to Reply #76
81. Oh. So if someone advocates feeding the homeless
in the best way, as homeless advocates advise....you're going to go cry to the moderators? Wow
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YellowRubberDuckie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #81
182. And we're sure that it's the way homeless advocates advise...
because you say so? Sounds like you're one of those people that wants to argue about everything.
Duckie
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 09:59 PM
Response to Reply #182
231. Don't take my word for it. Here's what the professionals say:
Check out my post #205 for a link.
And BTW, I don't argue about everything. Just responding to some people who don't have any idea what they are talking about. It's like my daddy always told me. "If you are right and can prove it, don't take any shit." I listened well.
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YellowRubberDuckie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 09:27 AM
Response to Reply #231
250. Yeah, the point of my post was meant to sarcastically tell you...
I don't believe what you say. Sounds like you're voicing an opinion, and saying "the experts say this." I used to do that too...but I was 19, uneducated and a registered republican.
Duckie
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #250
251. LOL!
Touche!
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #250
256. Who cares if you believe me?
Edited on Tue Nov-25-03 11:45 AM by Devoir
I just provided a link with quotes from people who are authorities on devote their lives to caring for the homeless. If you don't know how to click onto a link to read for yourself, is it my fault?
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YellowRubberDuckie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #256
285. Yeah, I clicked it...
But I've volunteered and had conversation with the homeless. Not all of them are drug addicts and alcoholics.
Duckie
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:33 AM
Response to Reply #73
79. Soup kitchens don't serve 'slop'
Have you really and truly ever been in one? I have. They serve nutritious food. I said if you want to buy them something at McDonald's now and then fine. Tell me something. Do you ever bother to read the past posts?
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:41 AM
Response to Reply #79
83. My God, HELL YES,
I've been in plenty of soup kitchens and hunger centers, and I'm glad I didn't have to eat the food myself. It may have been nutritious, but that's about the only thing you could really say. Brussel sprouts are nutritious, but that doesn't mean you really want to eat them.
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:55 AM
Response to Reply #83
90. Nutritious food is what they need, though
It's not supposed to be a damn bistro. Jesus. There is no reason these people should eat better than the population at large. Give em what they need. Hopefully some will be able to improve their lot and get out. For those who cannot, the food is good for them and will keep them surviving.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 02:06 AM
Response to Reply #90
92. NO ONE SAID ANYTHING ABOUT THEM
"EATING BETTER THAN THE POPULATION AT LARGE." All I was saying was that, while they certainly don't need "gourmet meals", whatever your definition of that is, they also are not inferior beings who deserve a lesser class of food, either. They're homeless, they're not inferior trash.
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 02:10 AM
Response to Reply #92
93. I daresay Soup Kitchen food is better for them than McFries
that most people eat.
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HamstersFromHell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 02:18 AM
Response to Reply #93
94. And likewise...
Having a warm bed is better for them than "McBridge", but that still doesn't create more room at the Inn.

Maybe Quaker Oats was right when they said "Nothing is better for thee than me." but after 14 days of oatmeal and fish sticks, you'd probably kill for a cholesterol filled Big mac.

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HamstersFromHell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:41 AM
Response to Reply #79
84. Funny, they said the same thing about my high school cafeteria.
"nutritious" etc.

There's a reason they call 'em "institutional foods".
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:50 AM
Response to Reply #84
87. LOL!
Good one!
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rustydog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 11:20 AM
Response to Reply #53
168. Take him/her into a restaurant or minimart and whatever
he she wants,pay for it.

Have you ever been so hungry you eat out of a dumpster?
It is 7 degrees outside and you are digging through a garbage can hoping to find something edible. (Of course "normal" people throw out what homeless people are happy to eat.) And people actually say this is a lifestyle CHOICE made by lazy people!

There but for the grace of God go I.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #168
169. Yes, unfortunately
that's true, as we're seeing now since more and more of the homeless are families.
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HamstersFromHell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:03 AM
Response to Reply #40
62. Sometimes you just have those days...
Here in my city, there's over twice the number of homeless than the shelter (new and improved!) can take in on any given night. I come in to work many mornings only to find a homeless person sleeping on our loading dock...at least they're out of the wind's blast and the rain.

I once had a homeless man approach me on the street and asked me for a dollar. He looked me dead in the eye and told me: "I'm not going to lie to you and tell you I'm hungry or this or that, I need a drink." Not only did I give him a dollar, I gave him a few more that I could spare for being honest. Hell, there's been times in my life I'd like to drink and forget as well. I'll leave his "detoxification" to those "social professionals". I may not have done the morally or politically correct thing, but he at least thanked me.

Hammies!
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jsw_81 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #62
108. Good for you
Edited on Sun Nov-23-03 11:07 AM by jsw_81
"I'm not going to lie to you and tell you I'm hungry or this or that, I need a drink." Not only did I give him a dollar, I gave him a few more that I could spare for being honest.

Did you ever consider that drunk homeless people might attack someone on the street? It has happened many, many times thanks to people like you. It even happened to me in downtown Seattle a few months ago. Maybe you were the one that gave him the cash to buy that beer.
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HamstersFromHell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #108
110. And by your logic...
...if he wasn't drunk, he wouldn't have the courage to attack someone?

Sorry, don't buy it. Being drunk has little to do whether you are inclined to violence or crime. Sure, it may lower inhibitions, but it's not going to make a normally placid person become violent. Desparation (IMNSHO)has a lot more to do with it. (I used to drink...a lot...and I never started or got involved in the first fight.)

If you read one of my other posts in this thread, you'd see I work where there's a LOT of homeless. We're about 10 blocks from the shelter, 3 from the free clinic. Homeless people cut across our parking lot all day long. Every employee there has had their car broken into at least once in the 4 years I've been there, myself included. We just know now not to leave *anything* laying out where it might serve as a temptation to smash a window, grab and run.

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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #108
118. Thank God!
Another lonely voice of reason!! I was beginning to think I was all alone here.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #108
120. And did you ever consider that not every
homeless person is a violent addict who's going to mindlessly attack someone because he's had something to drink? Just like not everyone on welfare is a cheat and a "queen" as Rayguns used to deride them, (I, a college graduate, was once on ADC and I will NEVER forget that humiliating experience as long as I live!).
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jsw_81 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #120
135. I never said that they were all violent addicts
But the one that attacked me last summer certainly was. The man should have been locked up, but they never did find him.

I don't know where you live, but here on the west coast many of the homeless people are really quite aggressive. They scream obscenities, get right in your face, don't take no for an answer, and even urinate/defecate on the sidewalks in front of stores. These kinds of people do NOT deserve a single dime. If they really want help they should head for a shelter.
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geniph Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #135
274. You know why the homeless people crap on the street?
Because Seattle has no public toilets for them. I used to work at the Seattle Public Library's downtown branch. My desk was right on the other side of the wall from the ONLY public toilet in that part of downtown. I could always tell when it was 9:00 a.m., because that toilet would start flushing and it would not stop all day. It was the only place they could go. Unfortunately for the homeless, the library closes. They have the choice of holding it for 12-15 hours or going where they may be, or walking maybe 15 blocks to the Union Gospel Mission (and hoping it's open) or hoping one of the local parks still has their porta-potty unlocked (and another homeless person isn't sleeping in it). This city desperately needs to do something about the public toilet situation.

Now that the temporary library is all the way up at the Convention Center, I don't know what on earth the homeless are doing for a toilet or a warm place to sit during the day (our attitude at the library was always that, so long as they weren't causing a disturbance, they were library patrons just like anyone else and deserved a place to sit, no matter how bad they might stink).
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 05:03 PM
Response to Reply #274
281. Our local library pitched a fit when
a couple of homeless guys came in and were sitting reading some of the magazines. A couple of people who had warm beds to go home to and a roof over their head complained because...because....because, well, I don't know why, I guess maybe they were turning the magazine pages too loud or something. But they weren't bothering anyone or causing any trouble and the last time I checked it was a PUBLIC library, for God's sake!
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SemperEadem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #135
277. unfortunately, the human body must rid itself of waste product
Edited on Tue Nov-25-03 04:25 PM by SemperEadem
and if there are no facilities for them to do so, because they're being chased away from everywhere else, then they've got to relieve themselves somewhere. It's inevitable because of the design of the human being. That it is in front of someone's favorite mall store is unfortunate, but so is the fact that homelessness is a problem that people think should evaporate because it offends their tender sensibilities. Since killing them and dumping their bodies in a mass grave is out of the question, what can be done to correct the problem of homelessness, besides attempting to ignore it?
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moroni Donating Member (136 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #120
204. A story, sorry for its length TO MEET SUCH A MAN
I sat, with two friends, in the picture window of a quaint restaurant just off the corner of the town-square. The food and the company were both especially good that day.

As we talked, my attention was drawn outside, across the street.

There, walking into town was a man who appeared to be carrying all his worldly goods on his back. He was carrying, a well-worn sign that read, "I will work for food." My heart sank.

I brought him to the attention of my friends and noticed that others around us had stopped eating to focus on him. Heads moved in a mixture of sadness and disbelief.

We continued with our meal, but his image lingered in my mind.

We finished our meal and went our separate ways. I had errands to do and quickly set out to accomplish them.

I glanced toward the town square, looking somewhat halfheartedly for the strange visitor. I was fearful, knowing that seeing him again would call some response. I drove through town and saw nothing of him. I made some purchases at a store and got back in my car.

Deep within me, the Spirit of God kept speaking to me: "Don't go back to the office until you've at least driven once more around the square."
Then with some hesitancy, I headed back into town. As I turned the square's third corner, I saw him. He was standing on the steps of the storefront church, going through his sack.

I stopped and looked; feeling both compelled to speak to him, yet wanting to drive on. The empty parking space on the corner seemed to be a sign from God: an invitation to park. I pulled in, got out and approached the town's newest visitor.

"Looking for the pastor?" I asked.

"Not really," he replied, "just resting."

"Have you eaten today?"

"Oh, I ate something early this morning."

"Would you like to have lunch with me?"

Do you have some work I could do for you?"

"No work," I replied. "I commute here to work from the city, but I would like to take you to lunch."

"Sure," he replied with a smile.

As he began to gather his things, I asked some surface questions.

"Where you headed?"

"St. Louis."

"Where you from?"

"Oh, all over; mostly Florida."

"How long you been walking?"

"Fourteen years," came the reply.

I knew I had met someone unusual. We sat across from each other in the same restaurant I had left earlier. His face was weathered slightly beyond his 38 years. H is eyes were dark yet clear, and he spoke with an eloquence and articulation that was startling. He removed his jacket to reveal a bright red T-shirt that said, "Jesus is The Never Ending Story."

Then Daniel's story began to unfold. He had seen rough times early in life. He'd made some wrong choices and reaped the consequences.

Fourteen years earlier, while backpacking across the country, he had stopped on the beach in Daytona. He tried to hire on with some men who were putting up a large tent and some equipment. A concert, he thought.

He was hired, but the tent would not house a concert but revival services, and in those services he saw life more clearly. He gave his life over to God.

"Nothing's been the same since," he said, " I felt the Lord telling me to keep walking, and so I did, some 14 years now."

"Ever think of stopping?" I asked.

"Oh, once in a while, when it seems to get the best of me. But God has given me this calling. I give out Bibles. That's what's in my sack.

I work to buy food and Bibles, and I give them out when His Spirit leads."

I sat amazed. My homeless friend was not homeless.

He was on a mission and lived this way by choice. The question burned inside for a moment and then I asked:

"What's it like?"

"What?"

"To walk into a town carrying all your things on your back and to show your sign?"

"Oh, it was humiliating at first. People would stare and make comments. Once someone tossed a piece of half-eaten bread and made a gesture that certainly didn't make me feel welcome. But then it became humbling to realize that God was using me to touch lives and change people's concepts of other folks like me."

My concept was changing, too. We finished our dessert and gathered his things. Just outside the door, he paused. He turned to me and said, "Come Ye blessed of my Father and inherit the kingdom I've prepared for you. For when I was hungry you gave me food, when I was thirsty you gave me drink, a stranger and you took me in."

I felt as if we were on holy ground. "Could you use another Bible?" I asked.

He said he preferred a certain translation. It traveled well and was not too heavy. It was also his personal favorite. "I've read through it 14 times," he said.

"I'm not sure we've got one of those, but let's stop by our church and see." I was able to find my new friend a Bible that would do well, and he seemed very grateful.

"Where are you headed from here?"

"Well, I found this little map on the back of this amusement park coupon."

"Are you hoping to hire on there for awhile?"

"No, I just figure I should go there. I figure someone under that star right there needs a Bible, so that's where I'm going next."

He smiled, and the warmth of his spirit radiated the sincerity of his mission. I drove him back to the town-square where we'd met two hours earlier, and as we drove, it started raining. We parked and unloaded his things.

"Would you sign my autograph book?" he asked. "I like to keep messages from folks I meet."

I wrote in his little book that his commitment to his calling had touched my life. I encouraged him to stay strong. And I left him with a verse of scripture from Jeremiah, "I know the plans I have for you, "declared the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a Future and a hope."
"Thanks, man," he said. "I know we just met and we're really just strangers, but I love you."

"I know," I said, "I love you, too."

The Lord is good!"

Yes, He is. How long has it been since someone hugged you?" I asked.

"A long time," he replied.

And so on the busy street corner in the drizzling rain, my new friend and I embraced, and I felt deep inside that I had been changed. He put his things on his back, smiled his winning smile and said, "See you in the New Jerusalem."

"I'll be there!" was my reply.

He began his journey again. He headed away with his sign dangling from his bedroll and pack of Bibles. He stopped, turned and said, "When you see something that makes you think of me, will you pray for me?"

"You bet," I shouted back, "God bless."

"God bless." And that was the last I saw of him.

Late that evening as I left my office, the wind blew strong. The cold front had settled hard upon the town. I bundled up and hurried to my car. As I sat back and reached for the emergency brake, I saw them... a pair of well-worn brown work gloves neatly laid over the length of the handle. I picked them up and thought of my friend and wondered if his hands would stay warm that night without them.

Then I remembered his words:

"If you see something that makes you think of me, will you pray for me?"

Today his gloves lie on my desk in my office. They help me to see the world and its people in a new way, and they help me remember those two hours with my unique friend and to pray for his ministry.

"See you in the New Jerusalem," he said. Yes, Daniel, I know I will...

"I shall pass this way but once. Therefore, any good that I can do or any kindness that I can show, let me do it now, for I shall not pass this way again."

God bless and have a nice day!
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #204
207. "I shall pass this way but once."
I have that plaque hanging in my house. I'm glad others could see it.
:toast:
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #204
209. WOW!
What a wonderful thing to have happen to you. Kinda puts everything in perspective, doesn't it?
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:44 AM
Response to Reply #35
44. Jesus Christ, maybe I should have
just pushed the man in front of a passing car, since we were right by a busy street, then THAT would have certainly solved the problem right then and there, wouldn't it? And for your information, I have worked and do work with homeless shelters and soup kitchens and the like, and I just don't see this mass addiction to drugs and alcohol you claim is so rampant, frankly that's a manufactured excuse from the repukes who don't give a damn and don't want anyone else to give a damn either. And the fastest-growing number of homeless people are FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN for God's sake, I really don't think THEY are chemically addicted, either. Yeah, I'm sure their babies scream to have whiskey put in their formula, too.

And for Christ's sake, OF COURSE I'M ANGRY! I'm angry that in this so-called land of plenty and "compassionate conservatism" (code word for "we got ours and you ain't got yours so FUCK OFF"!), and in this richest country on earth, indeed, the richest society the world has ever known, that there are hundreds of thousands of homeless, many of them VETERANS (yeah, we sure do "support our troops" all right, don't we?), and millions of economically deprived and impoverished families and individuals, including HOMELESS CHILDREN FOR GOD'S SAKE. SO FUCK YES, I'M ANGRY AND IF YOU DON'T LIKE THAT, THAT'S TOO FUCKING BAD!
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NightTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:03 AM
Response to Reply #44
63. Damn! Give that lady a saucer of milk!

:yourock:
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:08 AM
Response to Reply #63
65. LOL!
BTW, Dean, are you gonna email your book to me?
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NightTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:21 AM
Response to Reply #65
70. Re: e-mailing my book to you

I sent it to you as a Word document a couple of days ago. You saying you didn't get it? Have you recently changed e-mail addresses?
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:26 AM
Response to Reply #70
74. No, I haven't changed my email,
PM me with the address you sent it to and I'll try to figure out what happened.
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NightTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #74
115. All right, I PM'd you. Did you receive it?

n/t
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:22 AM
Response to Reply #44
72. Like I said
"I'M ANGRY AND IF YOU DON'T LIKE THAT, THAT'S TOO FUCKING BAD!"

Like I said. A little more education about what virtually all the homeless service advocates say, a little more humility, a little less of the ugly talk, a little less grandstanding, and a little more common sense....ALL would serve the homeless' plight just a bit better
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:30 AM
Response to Reply #72
78. I don't need more "education"
in that respect since, as I've already said, I've volunteered both in the past and the present, and I do not consider myself to be "grandstanding", whatever your definition of that is, and it appears that you could probably best serve the homeless and poor yoursekf by not working with them at all. And how interesting that you took one single sentence from a lengthy post and used it as your basis for slamming me.
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:52 AM
Response to Reply #78
88. Sorry, but I consider food drives for our local pantry an important
mission for me to continue. So, no, I will not stop working with and for the homeless.
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HamstersFromHell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:59 AM
Response to Reply #88
91. The local pantry !=the local shelter
Our local food pantries do an exceptional job as well, but then again, they mostly deliver food to those who have a physical address. (I know, I've spent many Christmas seasons helping deliver.)

If I may use our local shelter as a "for instance", sure you can get food....provided you aren't drunk or high, and are willing to sit through a sermon to "pay" for it. For some who may be of another faith or <gasp> athiest, maybe that's asking them to "pay" too much...even the homeless person has their pride.

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Cheswick2.0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 05:08 AM
Response to Reply #72
96. stop using imaginary professionals to make your point.
You are giving your opinion. Social service is an art not a science. Other peoples opinions differ. Get over it.
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #96
119. Why do you assume you know more than the people who are in
the trenches day in and day out, and whose life's mission is to assist the homeless? Seems a bit arrogant to dismiss their very consistent tried-and-true view on this subject.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #119
121. There are, however, many, many
different opinions among those in the "trenches", who can, by their own admission, become jaded after awhile and may not always see things the way they are. I've known plenty of social service advocates who work with the homeless and poor, and a good many of them say the very opposite to what you're saying. As another poster put it, it's an art, not a science.
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geniph Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #119
275. Some of us have been in those trenches ourselves
on either side of that table.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #275
283. That's certainly true!
n/t
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shrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 10:00 PM
Response to Reply #35
232. My husband has a wonderful solution to this dilemma
He offers to buy them coffee or Lunch/dinner/breakfast. Usually he'll walk in with them to a fast food place, buy the burger for them, then be on his way. Once a homeless woman asked him if he had any change, and he offered to buy her coffee. "Make that two coffees and I'll share my pie with you," she said. She had just gotten a pie from the local food pantry, for Thanksgiving. So he sat down in the alley beside the coffee shop and had pie with her. I wouldn't recommend this strategy for a woman, of course. But my husband has been around, he knows how to handle himself, and he says, "Hell, they're just people, like you and me. They may have drug or alcohol problems but that doesn't make them any less human."
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NightTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 10:08 PM
Response to Reply #232
233. Your husband sounds like a great guy!

And you can tell him i said that! :thumbsup:
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 10:28 PM
Response to Reply #233
236. I'll second that!
I think that, just as important as eating to people in that situation, is being treated simply as another human being.
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shrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #232
273. Yes, he is. I'll pass along the praise
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Kamika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 09:18 AM
Response to Reply #23
148. **Delete**
Edited on Mon Nov-24-03 09:25 AM by Kamika
If you can, remove this post please
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vetwife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:25 AM
Response to Reply #18
26. To the poster who said store clerk was right.....WRONG
Is that supposed to make the poster feel better? It was her money.
If she chose to give money...that was her option..True many buy alcohol but how much can you get for 2 bucks. She said donuts and happy meal..Quit quoting scripture out of context.
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Terran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #18
141. That is so wrong
I work on a statewide homelessness project here in Missouri, and I can tell you that most homeless people are members of families with children. A lot of homeless people suffer from addictions to alcohol or drugs, but to say that you should *never* give any homeless person cash just because "they'll spend it on alcohol" is complete BS. That's nothing more than a republican talking point on homelessness. And that clerk was not "correct" in any manner, shape or form. That was pure lack of compassion, and nothing less.

This whole thread is so infuriating. If we took that 87 billion dollars and used it to fund housing and homelessness progams, there wouldn't be any homeless people in this country. Repubs love to say you can't fix a problem by throwing money at it, but in this case you can at least give people shelter. Most homeless service providers run out funding by October or November, and have no resources to help anyone by this time of the year. All it would take is more money to help the thousands of homelessness agencies nationwide to keep operatng year round and increase their ability to reach out to these poor people who live under bridges and other places not fit for human habitation.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #141
143. Exactly!
Thanks for pointing that out! I had no idea when I posted this that it would turn into a mini-flame war over whether I should or should not have done anything. I thought that here, of all places, people would understand that the homeless are also human beings who deserve to be treated basic human dignity and whose needs are as important as any other person's.

And I've really been shocked at the stereotyping of the homeless as all drug/alcohol addicted or violent bums, which is total bullshit and is, as you say, nothing more than right-wing talking points.
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smirkymonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #143
184. I agree with you...and Dirk and Cheswick
Edited on Mon Nov-24-03 01:33 PM by smirkymonkey
the greatest outrage is that homelessness should be so rampant in the richest country in the world - most of the "options" they have are inferior at best.

I have volunteered in various social service organization and have seen "professionals" that want to save the world, but treat the individuals they serve with nothing more than contempt. I have also seen kind, caring individuals working in the same organizations who really feel for the homeless and their plight.

There are many professional opinions and strategies on how to deal w/ the issue,and it's easy to treat them as a monolithic group of "problems" instead of human beings. And, as far as drink or drugs go, in some ways I just think they have the choice to do what they want with the money I give them. Try recovering from an addiction when you are in such a plight. Hell, I'd get drunk every day too.

I have a hard time not seeing each person begging on the street as a human being. I give from time to time, but since I live in New York, I can give to everyone or I would be broke. Even so, I acknowlege them by saying "sorry, not today", at least try not to dehumanize them even further. It's very sad and unfortunate, and we don't know their personal histories so it is arrogant to assume they are all just weak willed people who can't get it together.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #184
186. Yes it is, indeed,
an outrage, and it began to get really bad under Raygun's watch (is anyone surprised at that)?
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NightTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #143
222. Something to keep in mind, LH
Edited on Mon Nov-24-03 08:58 PM by NightTrain
When you say:

<<I had no idea when I posted this that it would turn into a mini-flame war over whether I should or should not have done anything. I thought that here, of all places, people would understand that the homeless are also human beings who deserve to be treated basic human dignity and whose needs are as important as any other person's.>>

Try to remember, it's only a few sanctimonious people who've questioned your motives and sneered at your actions. I think it's safe to say, the overwhelming majority of us at DU applaud what you did and might just do the same thing in a similar situation. I know I both do and have!

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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #222
225. Thanks Dean, I hope
you're right!
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #143
226. Nobody said the homeless weren't human beings
And why on earth would you say claim that many who have devoted their lives to help the homeless are spouting 'right wing talking points' by pointing to the truth which is that many homeless are alcohol and drug addicts? It is this kind of blather that keeps these people from getting the help they need because of the enablers that unwittingly keep them addicted.
It takes quite a bit of gall to intimate that you are more compassionate than those who work with and know the plight of the homeless very well. It is indeed insulting that you would essentially brand them as right-wingers. You can intend all the compassion in the world, but if the true effect of your efforts is detrimental, then what the hell good are your intentions?
This whole issue reminds me of divorced parents. One parent feeds the kid cake and candy all the time saying he wants to make the child happy. The other insists that the child eats nutritiously, but comes off as the bad guy. While both may think they're doing the right thing, which parent is truly the most compassionate? Just as the wise parent doesn't fall for the child's wheedling and begging, the wise citizen doesn't fall for the beggar's sob story by giving him cash.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 10:31 PM
Response to Reply #226
237. Blah, blahblahblahblah
blahblahblahblahblahblahblah Whatever. I hope if you're ever in that situation, God forbid, that people believe you and not just think you're pulling their leg with a "sob story."
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 10:58 AM
Response to Reply #237
258. Good comeback. ROFL
"Blahblah." I bet that technique would score you very highly in a debating class.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-26-03 11:17 PM
Response to Reply #258
321. Well, it's certainly
obvious that YOU'VE never taken such a class!
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Kamika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 09:21 AM
Response to Reply #1
149. store owner were right to do it
Edited on Mon Nov-24-03 10:10 AM by Kamika
/mean-asian-daughter-of-restaurant-owner-rant

Unless you run a store or a restaurant, complaining that they told some homeless guy to leave it's silly to complain about it.. it happens alot to store or restaurant owners.. some homeless person stands infront of the restaurant buging ppl for money thus making them not go in. Happens time to time outside our restaurant and I even had to call the police once when one got out of hand.

And to all you hypocrits telling us how mean we store/restaurant owners are..

you guys would NEVER eat at a place where a bunch of smelling homeless persons would be eating.

Oh yeah and instead of giving money to the homeless you might aswell just give it to some guy selling crack.


Mean-asian signing off


Hasta la vista


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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #149
155. Um, are you for real, or are
you just being sarcastic? I sure hope so, 'cause I'd hate to think that there are actually posters on here with your post count who are really inhumane and, dare I say, republican enough to believe that. That's the kind of post I'd expect from someone on Free Republic, not here.
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Kamika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #155
157. is being realistic, inhumane?
Edited on Mon Nov-24-03 10:16 AM by Kamika
I'd like to know exactly what I wrote that isn't true

You honestly think ppl would go into a store where a bunch of homeless people were?

And drop ALL your PC thoughts answering me. you HONESTLY to GOD think a family with 2 kids 5 and 8 would go into a store or restaurant where there were either a bunch of homeless inside or outside?

If being a realist makes me inhumane then I guess I'm inhumane but atleast I know what I'm talking about.

Why don't you get abunch of drug-addicts to wherever you work and see how nice it gets?

And I'll tell you the difference between me and a freeper, if one of these homeless persons would actually come up to me or something and HONESTLY say they want to get rid of their addiction and get a JOB I'd help, whereas they wouldn't
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #157
190. Ok, I'm setting you up
Now, where are those Jobs? Maybe in your store? How about putting one of these homeless to work, huh?

BTW, 3 million jobs are gone since Bush took office, so, again, would you mind telling me where those jobs are at? And could you point the homeless to a shower so they can get those jobs that aren't out there?

I forgot where, but I read of a study where it states that some of the homeless are actually EMPLOYED. Which means they're not making enough money to cover rent and the money has run out to buy food.

How about your employees, do you give them enough to feed themselves and pay rent. Man, small business owners are the worst, they think they know everything.

Well, never judge a man until you have walked a mile in his mocassins-
Old Indian Proverb.
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Kamika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #190
193. there are jobs EVERYWHERE
Edited on Mon Nov-24-03 02:18 PM by Kamika
Just look around and you'll find them.


I'm not sure howmuch Dad pays our other employees but I think it's an adequate sum, they can provide well for their families atleast.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #193
194. ROFLMAO
Edited on Mon Nov-24-03 02:27 PM by camero
Jobs everywhere, my god. Are you ever ignorant. I think you should actually find out how much your dad pays them and what straits they are in before you try to claim to be an expert on homelessness.

Jobs everywhere, try telling that to alot of the IT guys that come here and have been unemployed for a year or more and then you can tell me how they can afford a place with the minimum wage jobs with no insurance that are left.

Fuck, you even need experience for a cashier's job now. How hard is that to learn? What planet do you live on?
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Kamika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #194
197. Maybe they should find something else then IT then
I think alot of people are just too proud to work at certain jobs when they hae better education..

You know McDonalds hires ppl with IT education aswell
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #197
198. You're funny
And then try to live off of that salary. You have definitely been too insulated from life. I know people who have those jobs too, and it takes 3 to 4 people in the same household working to just keep a roof over your head and food in your mouth.

Short posts too. How about addressing every point in my posts? What's the matter? Can't do it? Too much brain work for ya?
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Kamika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #198
201. uhmm
Edited on Mon Nov-24-03 02:59 PM by Kamika
I usually dont bother with ppl that has to use insults when they argue.

So let me address all your points.

I haven't been insulated from life I have worked my butt off I'm just 21 and I have hired and fired people and heard it all.

So are you saying that instead of having these 3-4 ppl working at McDonalds they should just sit and post here how Bush has reduced the jobs? 5 bucks / hour is better then none at all.

How's that for a "long" post.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #201
202. If it wasn't for Daddy, you would be in the same boat.
Not many have that same chance. It's there where you have been "insulated".

And Uhmm, forget about getting married and moving out of the house because since all these people need to run just one house, they have to live with thier parents the rest of thier lives.

I never thought I would ever run into someone so ignorant about life.
You got a long way to maturity, pal. And part of being mature is being able to say, "for there but the grace of god, go I".
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #193
203. UNBELIEVABLE!
You actually BELIEVE all of that? Jesus, do you sound like one of my friends whose father owned a business, she was so insulated and pampered that she had no clue about life in the real world. She thought fast-food jobs paid well enough for people to raise families on (insert laugh here), and that all you had to do to get a job was just walk in somewhere and apply. Boy, did she get a rude awakening when she finally grew up. Oh, and she also labored under the delusion that her father's employees were well-paid and that they were whiny complainers if they claimed they didn't make enough, which they didn't. She just had no fucking clue at all at that time.

I've never been too proud to take a job that wasn't that great, even though I have a B.A. When I was out of work a few years ago after I lost my job and couldn't find another one for almost a year, I took anything I could get, which was hardly anything. That's because if you try to get a retail or service or fast-food job and you have any kind of degree, you're less likely to get it 'cause they think of you as overqualified. I couldn't even get my foot in the door at McDonald's or Target, for God's sake, and I was out job searching EVERY FUCKING DAY! Thank GOD for my parents, or my son and I would have definitely been under that bridge once my savings were gone. I know people that have been desperate for work for months, and who will take anything. That whole bullshit about there being plenty of jobs is just another wingnut talking point to try to sugarcoat the horrendous bleeding of jobs in this country, millions of them, in fact, and the lack of adequate pay of those jobs that do remain.
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Missy Vixen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-26-03 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #193
303. There are jobs everywhere?
>I'm not sure howmuch Dad pays our other employees but I think it's an adequate sum, they can provide well for their families atleast.<

Why don't you try asking him?

In the meantime, I'm sure that you won't mind doing a bit of research. Why don't you find out how much it costs to live in the community you live in? I'm talking rent, utilities, food costs, transportation, etcetera.

Julie
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #157
191. Ok, I'm setting you up
Now, where are those Jobs? Maybe in your store? How about putting one of these homeless to work, huh?

BTW, 3 million jobs are gone since Bush took office, so, again, would you mind telling me where those jobs are at? And could you point the homeless to a shower so they can get those jobs that aren't out there?

I forgot where, but I read of a study where it states that some of the homeless are actually EMPLOYED. Which means they're not making enough money to cover rent and the money has run out to buy food.

How about your employees, do you give them enough to feed themselves and pay rent. Man, small business owners are the worst, they think they know everything.

Well, never judge a man until you have walked a mile in his mocassins-
Old Indian Proverb.
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philosophie_en_rose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #149
171. You are wrong.
Edited on Mon Nov-24-03 11:40 AM by philosophie_en_rose
If you want to be insensitive, go right ahead, but there is a difference between telling someone to move on and being cruel to someone in an unfortunate situation.

~Another Mean Asian signing off.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #171
175. LOL!
Good way of putting it, it just floors me how nasty and hostile the store clerk and manager were.
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WoodrowFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 07:43 AM
Response to Reply #171
248. I had to shoo
I had to shoo a homeless man away from the front door of our museum a couple weeks ago. I'm sure a number of people would have walked on past our front door rather than approach him to go past him into the house. But at least I made sure he had food and some money first, and it wasn't cold or rainy out. I told him he could not sit there past 10 (when we open) because blocking the door was a safety issue and he seemed to accept that.

No, I did not invite him in. He was clearly mentally ill and (may God forgive me please) I was scared of him. I did sit and talk with him awhile on our steps. If I understood his ramblings, he thought HE was Woodrow Wilson.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #248
252. That's understandable that you'd
be scared of him, and I think he understood that. It's too bad, if he is indeed mentally ill, that he isn't somewhere getting the help he needs.
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enough Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-22-03 11:51 PM
Response to Original message
2. The sad consequence
You feel bad -- the sad consequence of having a soul, and a heart.

This scene you have painted could have happened anywhere in this poor sad country. What has happened to us, indeed.

I feel more and more it can't and won't go on this way. It's going to go one way or the other. It's going to depend on each of us asserting our humanity a little more than we are used to, as you did.

You have not let that experience of being robbed rob you of your compassion. That is what we need in the face of all the fear and hatred.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #2
11. I was, indeed, really afraid that the robbery
would change me, make me an insulated, insensitive person, but fortunately it hasn't because I swore I wouldn't let it, as hard as it was at first. It was hard at first, though, I admit.
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Sting Donating Member (403 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-22-03 11:52 PM
Response to Original message
3. I know how you feel....
Our country is now in an everlasting "me generation." Nobody wants to help each other out anymore (except for those few who are willing.) People want to hold on every dollar they have. Makes me sick. :puke: You have every right to be angry at those store clerks. I would've been. :mad:

I give as much as I can. As of late, I've had very little $, thanks to those fucking republicans. I volunteer at the Salvation Army when I can. Trust me, even one person can make an impact on the less fortunate. Keep up the good work, liberalhistorian. :yourock:

Even if the country as a whole could care less about the poor, at least there's those of us who have compassion for the less fortunate.

:thumbsup: :yourock:
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-22-03 11:57 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. What really gets me is that
the very same people who are such uncaring bastards could very easily be in that position themselves a few lack of paychecks down the road, and they don't even see it. They'd rather use the repuke tactic of blaming the person no matter what, and "personal responsibility" for everyone but themselves.
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Sting Donating Member (403 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. I know exactly what you mean...
and when they are in that position, (hopefully) they will realize that they were being assholes and they may regret it when no one is helping them.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:03 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Well, I sure hope they aren't treated the way
they treated someone in need if and when they find themselves in that position.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:06 AM
Response to Reply #6
13. What I would have told that store clerk
I'll do whatever the fuck I want with my money, thank you. So, MYOB.
I have told off quite a few store clerks who came across as uncompassionate. They deserve it, the scumsuckers.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:13 AM
Response to Reply #13
17. Exactly!
That is one thing that totally pissed me off, it was none of their fucking business what I did with my money and who I gave it to and for what, even if it was on their property.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #17
21. When you're right, you're right
I'm very lucky I haven't been thrown out of a store ever because I tend to get very irate with people like that.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:29 AM
Original message
What kinds of things have you witnessed from store
clerks?
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:36 AM
Response to Original message
38. same as you once
I just gave em the bird and moved on.

Another time it was about my situation. My sugar was running around 600 and I didn't know it yet. The clerk asked me how I was today and I said, "well, I might be dead soon."

And the bitch laughed at me. I gave her an earful( I have a notorious temper with people like this.) I said, "Being close to death is no joking matter. what if it was yours?" Let her laugh then.

These people are worse than selfish, they are sick.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:47 AM
Response to Reply #38
48. Indeed, sick is about
the only way you can describe some of them!
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Philostopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:43 AM
Response to Reply #6
43. Sadly, they're often the ones who are the least compassionate.
And I think it has to do with their fear that they're one broken ankle or unpaid credit card bill away from the same thing, themselves. It's as if they think by being mean and uncharitable to the destitute, they can somehow stave off destitution. Or if they touch poverty, they'll catch it like you catch influenza.

It's bizarre, too, that many of the homeless are veterans. I know, or at least used to know, a homeless veteran who now lives under a bridge. How do I know him? He was in a band that my ex, who's a sound guy, used to run sound for a decade ago. How did I find this out? I was reading an article in the free weekly from the city I used to live near, about people who, sometimes, choose not to live in homeless shelters even though they're available -- sometimes it's because they're addicted to drugs or alcohol and have tried to live in the shelters but find themselves unable to prevent a relapse, for which they're kicked out; for others, it's simply a matter of privacy. They'd rather take their chances with random violence and dying of exposure to protect what little humanity they have left by living under an overpass because they feel like their privacy is compromised in a shelter.

This guy was a Vietnam vet who had a coke habit. He was an incredible drummer and had a singing voice that would make you weep. His coke habit brought on a stroke, and he lost his job, his gig and, ultimately, his home. For a long time he was unable to play, and I'm sure he lost his drum kit, so even if he's able to play now, what good would it do him? Who'd hire a guy who lives under an overpass to play gigs?

I don't know how long he's been living under the bridge, but I know it was him they interviewed because when he was performing, a decade ago, he used a very distinctive name -- I'm not sure the reporter who wrote the story had any idea who he was. To the reporter, he was just a more lucid and comprehensible than usual bum living under a highway overpass.

I don't live there anymore, and he's refused the help of the shelters in the city where he lives -- he prefers the company of others in his own situation. He should have had options, but what options are there, really, for a (probably disabled, I don't know for sure) middle-aged former musician who has no pension, who probably was paid in cash for years and didn't contribute much to Social Security, and who refuses to forfeit his privacy to live in a shelter?

I hope he makes it through the winter. Maybe he opts for the shelter then, I don't really know. Just makes me want to scream, knowing he's down there somewhere, in the city, under an overpass.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:00 AM
Response to Reply #43
61. God, that is so sad.
And it's completely and totally unforgivable that ANY veteran at all should be homeless. As far as I'm concerned, all veterans, especially combat vets, should be given free access to what they need for the rest of their lives, whether it's a roof over their head, food on their table, education, what have you.

Reminds me of the homeless WWII vet who froze to death just a few blocks from Raygun's second inaugural ball; here was a president who'd never served a day in the military but whose party seemed to think he'd single-handedly killed every German and Japanese casualty and ended the war himself, and who loved to perpetuate that myth and talk the typical super-macho military bullshit common to chickenhawks, and two blocks from his inaugural ball a man who actually HAD served with honor in WWII freezes to death because he's homeless!!!!!!! I couldn't believe it then and it still infuriates me now just to think of it.
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FDRrocks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-22-03 11:56 PM
Response to Original message
4. You are a beautiful person...
I hope you realize. You made that poor mans day, defended him to 2 belligerant individuals, and related to his situation.

Bless you. Stories like this make me happy.
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WannaJumpMyScooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-22-03 11:56 PM
Response to Original message
5. Good for you. Take them Thanksgiving dinner. Get a table
Get the stuff together and go do it.

I did that once, it was one of the best Thanksgivings I have ever had.

That is, if your weather allows.

Gather up some used coats from people, don't give them to the Salvation Army (the employees rip off everything valuable) or similar charities. Take the coats to the people, hand them the coat and gloves, look them in the eye, and let them know someone cares, someone gives a shit, that their life is still worth something.

That they don't end up like this poor schlub.

Sanit Truck Fatally Crushes Homeless Man

November 21, 2003, 8:03 PM EST

A homeless man in Brooklyn, hidden from view as he tried to keep warm under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, was killed early Friday when sanitation workers removing garbage inadvertently scooped him up and crushed him, police said.

The man, wrapped in blankets and plastic garbage bags, was sleeping among plastic bread crates, said Kathy Dawkins, spokeswoman for the Department of Sanitation.

She said the workers were using a front-end loader to clear debris from under the expressway near Skillman Avenue, a well-known dumping spot, about 3 a.m.

http://www.nynewsday.com/news/local/brooklyn/nyc-sanit1...
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La_Serpiente Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-22-03 11:58 PM
Response to Original message
7. That is the culture I am afraid that America is turning into
we are turning into a culture that doesn't embrace the value of a heart, but the value of the dollar. This is the main reason why I don't like Libertarian thought really -- I feel that it is a philosophy that only follows dollar and doesn't believe in investing in well-intentioned programs. They want to abolish the state department and take an hyper-isolationalist approach toward foreign affairs because "We should not be investing in our allies".
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:31 AM
Response to Reply #7
31. Exactly, that's my
major, major problem with Libertarianism. There's a reason why most Libertarians are fairly well off, and it's easy for them to take the economic positions that they do.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #7
200. It's the "King of the Mountain" culture.
One trying to get over top of the other by any means necaessary while the rich run away with all the goods. Most of the time from stealing it.

Anything they can do to keep us from uniting, they do it. And you know what? It works. It could be class, or race, or any number of issues. As long as we keep letting them divide and hoodwink us, they will keep doing it.
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Mikimouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:01 AM
Response to Original message
9. Blessings to you...
not trying to be maudlin, but I seem to remember a line that goes something like this: "What you do for the least of mine, you do for me" Kudos to you for what you did!
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:12 AM
Response to Reply #9
15. That line is from a wonderful Catholic hymn, which is itself
taken from the New Testament verses where Christ sends those who never helped him to hell, saying he never knew them. He says that he was hungry and they never fed him, he was thirsty and they gave him nothing to drink, he was sick or in prison and they did not visit him, he was naked and they did not clothe him. To make a paraphrase even shorter, they ask him just when did they see him and not do all of that for him, thinking he meant just himself, and he said whatsoever you did for the least of my brothers, you did for me.

THAT is the true essence of Christianity, which is why it makes me almost physically ill that those repuke heartless, ruthless, uncaring, insensitive, hypocritical, hate-filled, hateful, mean-spirited, judgmental, sanctimonious, self-righteous, holier-than-thou, ignorant, arrogant, idiotic right-wing fundie nutballs have hijacked my religion and grossly distorted its meaning, teachings, and doctrine.

They know NOTHING about the real Christ, and certainly have obviously never read the New Testament, and that chapter in particular. According to both the Old and New Testament, he who has contempt and disdain for the poor and needy has contempt and disdain for God himself.
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Mikimouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 10:52 AM
Response to Reply #15
107. We agree, across the board
To profess is not to practice. Many profess, few practice.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #107
122. EXACTLY!
That says it all right there!
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bushh8ter Donating Member (244 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-26-03 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #15
316. What better way to lead sheep astray than to
dress in Shepard's clothing?
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vetwife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:18 AM
Response to Reply #9
20. I can't take much more compassionate conservatives either !
You may not know it yet. It may not seem real...but tonight you were a hero. Maybe not today or tomorrow or the next day but I truly believe that bit of kindness will come back 7 fold. YOU will be rewarded. On the other hand..the compassionate conservative (duh) is going to find themselves or one of their own in a bad situation and they will look for compassion and find out what its like and they WILL remember .....I do believe that. I have witnessed that type of thing more than once. And usually you can put your finger on why something has befallen you. And its Oh, I remember I am being paid back for......I do believe that !

Bless You and your son and I would just about guarantee you that homeless person was a veteran. Since 45 percent of all homeless people are veterans. Man forgets...God doesnt.
Amanda
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JanMichael Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:06 AM
Response to Original message
14. The fact that we have people that have no home...
...in this most perfect of all possible worlds, is why I'm a Socialist.

Thanks you for your kindness but I simply wish that it wasn't necessary...
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NightTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:13 AM
Response to Original message
16. Whoa....

I wish I could offer you some advice or words of comfort, but nothing comes to mind. But that you were even willing to acknowledge that homeless man's presence puts you head and shoulders above far too many of our fellow citizens! :hug:
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:16 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. Thanks, Dean!
What's really hard to understand is that it should be NORMAL to acknowledge homeless or other needy people and help them. Unfortunately, that doesn't appear to be the case. BTW, remember that tour of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum that's ready and waiting whenever you want it!
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acmavm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:21 AM
Original message
You have just pinpointed exactly what the hell is wrong with this country.
There is absolutely no human compassion anymore. Last year my daughter got yelled at by a "security" freak at an Ozko for the very same thing, she gave money to someone who was hungry and had no place to go. It was freezing cold out, I mean wind chills in the double digits below zero. You say that you lost it on the clerk from the convenience store. Well she lost it on that "security" freakshow and the manager of the Ozko. She is not one to cross and she can be devastatingly vicious when she is angry. And she was. I should know, she came right back here. We wrote to a local t.v. station who "prides" themselves in their human interest crap stories. Not one word was ever heard from them. Why would they? Compassion for the homeless and the needy is not a popular trait among Americans anymore. And to make matters worse, two mornings later a guy was found asleep on a bus stop on the corner of the main street in this city. When they found him, he was suffering from sever hypothermia. He lost both legs, and then mercifully for him, he died. FROM SLEEPING ON A BUS BENCH ON THE MAIN STREET IN THIS CITY. So much for our crack police force and their powers of observation.

I think that the human race is due for extinction. If there is a God, and I believe that there is, he has got to be fed up with us. There is very little humanity left in the species. My son is eleven and he can't understand it, and I am having a hard time trying to explain it to him. He can't understand why no one cares about the poor. He has a friend in class who we just gave some clothes and a pair of new tennis shoes to. The poor kid, the sole of one of his shoes was coming off and his toes stuck out of the shoe. Patrick hated that, and he told me about the kid. Luckily we had a new pair of Nikes that Patrick hadn't worn (because he told me when he tried them on in the store that they were okay, but they were actually not). Anyway, thanks to Patrick, the kid has a new pair of shoes. I hope that he doesn't change, but I know that if he stays this way, he's going to be in for a lot of heartache in this world.

And I think that's what you feel now. The sorrow that people are so cold and thoughtless that they no longer care what happens to each other. This is not a new phenomenon. Read Dickens. Read Zola. The best that you can do is to try to help in your own way, which you did. What you did is admirable and decent. And what you feel now is the anger and sadness that people are so cold and opportunistic. For many people, as long as a situation doesn't affect them personally, they can ignore it. This is the richest country on earth. We have no reason to have poor and homeless people in this country. We have no excuse for allowing this situation to exist. The fastest growing population among the homeless in this country is women and children. And what is our government doing with the money is collects? It gives tax rebates to the rich, and gives BILLIONS to Halliburton, etc. We, as a nation, have no moral highground to stand on. We have no right to condemn other nations for anything. And what is sooooo ironic is that the most corrupt, dispicable, greedy, and postively evil actions are coming from people who don't hesitate a heartbeat to tell you that they are "Christians". These people do not behave or think or act like Christ did. They don't have his compassion. They think that they have the right to pass the narrow, bigoted judgements on others, all the while quoting scripture as if they wrote the book. And established religious organizations have all become so self-serving that all they do is look the other way as we all go to hell in a handcart.

I am very sorry about this tantrum. Unfortunately your experience and is one that is very familiar to me, and it just sets me off. I applaud you generousity and I am happy to hear that you gave the clerk and manager an earful. And I truly understand why you feel so badly. You, my friend, are a decent, caring person. But I am afraid that you are outnumbered.
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:21 AM
Response to Original message
22. I wish people were ONLY selfish
...instead of going out of their way, and dedicate time, effort and sometimes money to fsck as many people as possible. This is beyond selfish and well into sociopath territory.

http://www.convenient.com /

I wish this chain existed in Brazil, so I could boycott them.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #22
28. Thanks for the link, I didn't even know Convenient had a website!
Each franchise is independently owned and operated, and not all of them around here would have done that. But this particular one has had problems for awhile, and I understand why. I sure as hell won't be going to that one anymore, and there are several others around so that won't be a problem.
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:48 AM
Response to Reply #28
49. www.companyname.com
...works 99% of the time. :think:
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:24 AM
Response to Original message
24. you will be
rewarded for your good deeds.
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:25 AM
Response to Original message
25. Homeless shelter employees say. Never, never never, never NEVER
give a homeless person cash. More times than not, they will use it to buy alcohol. This admonition comes from people who actually on behalf of the homeless people, who actually care for them. If you really want to help them, buy vouchers for meals at the shelter and give them to the homeless person.
I hate to say it, but the store clerk was correct, though she may be been more tactful.
I find myself wondering if you might not be searching for some self-congratulations with your post a bit, tho. The better way is to, as the Bible says "not let the left hand know what the right is doing" If you broadcast your good acts, you have already had your reward. The preferable thing to do is to do charitable, but sensible things..and do them without making them known to all.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:30 AM
Response to Reply #25
30. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
NightTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:32 AM
Response to Reply #25
34. Terrific. Three posts and you're already pointing fingers.

Not a good way to introduce yourself to DU, just in case you give a shit.
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TacticalPeek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:45 AM
Response to Reply #25
46. Right. Don't feed the hungry, it only encourages them.
Reminds me of Raygun's tax returns revealing his donations to charity were less than some people on minimum wage. All talk, no walk.

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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:53 AM
Response to Reply #46
55. Can people read?
I never said not to feed the hungry. I said give them VOUCHERS to the soup kitchen. Good Lord. Please READ the posts
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Lars39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:55 AM
Response to Reply #55
56. There is not always a soup kitchen right around the corner.
Not all homeless people are addicts. Not all homeless people are alcoholics.
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TacticalPeek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:58 AM
Response to Reply #55
58. I read your . . . posts.
Good Lord, indeed.

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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:59 AM
Response to Reply #55
59. No, you buy them something to eat first.
In my travels as a truck driver, I have seen many street people. What tips me off to thier honesty is if I offer to buy them lunch, and they accept, it is because more than likely they are really hungry.

After we are done eating, then I give them a small amount of money to get thier next meal. (you can eat at Mcd's For $3. I've done it.)

You are looking like an obvious....(I can't say it on this site).
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:17 AM
Response to Reply #59
69. It's not my fault you don't take the advice of professionals
who consider advocating for the homeless their mission, and whose primary interest is in the well-being of the homeless. They say not to give them money. I don't. I feed them. So I don't get the personal attack.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 08:39 AM
Response to Reply #69
100. People who take tha advice of professionals all the time
obviously don't think for themselves. You are proving that. Besides, even if they do drink, $3 is only going to get you one beer.

There is nothing wrong with personal charity. In fact, it's the best form as money goes directly to the person you are helping and not some fat, lazy administrator who is just "volunteering" to enhance his "stature in the community".

And you get to form a bond with the person you are helping, thus putting a human face on homelessness and poverty.

Get your head out of the sand.
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #100
117. People like you are part of the problem
You people continue to ignore the advice of people who know and care for the plight of the homeless the most. You do NOT give cash to the homeless. You do NOT enable them to deepen their addictions. There are ways to help feed the homeless such as the ways I have mentioned here already in previous posts.
What I want to know is why you assume you are smarter than those who deal with and care deeply about these issues every single day from the front lines. You are hurting the very people you think you are helping. Let's be quite blunt. Addicts are extremely skilled in hoodwinking people into giving them cash. The compassionate thing to do is to NOT fall for the act, so you can give them the help they really need. You support your local soup kitchens and homeless shelters. Care enough NOT to feed these peoples' addictions! I HOPE this is the last word on this, but I doubt it will be.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #117
123. But please, can you at least
understand that NOT EVERY HOMELESS PERSON IS AN ADDICT??????????? That is a terrible stereotype that does horrendous damage to them. Yes, undeniably, there are homeless who are addicted, but not the majority. And, like I said, the fastest-growing group of homeless are FAMILIES who were living from paycheck to paycheck and lost their jobs or had some other misfortune, and some of them are even (gasp, shock, horror!) from middle-class backgrounds. So you are not doing the homeless any favors either, by stereotyping ALL of them and lumping them all into one big group stereotype.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #123
127. Thank you
I couldn't have said it better myself.

To Dev: Well, you know, I was homeless myself at one time. I didn't do drugs or drink. I just had an abusive stepfather who was. I defended my family as much as I could but we got caught in the trap for about 3 months.

The shelter seperated us. Me and my brother stayed at one and my mom and younger siblings stayed at another.(How's that for keeping families together, huh?) And yes, I was and still am alot smarter than alot of people who have volunteered for these things. (Some are doing it as community service because they committed CRIMES). Ask some around DU and they will attest to that. (Hopefully, hehe)

I'm grateful that they fed me for that period of time but thank you god i'm a Christian because if I wasn't, the forced Sunday Service would probably have offended me. It did in a way, because I prefer to show my Christianity by my actions and not by my words. And having a curfew was a big humiliation of my dignity. So, I know what these people go through and your ignorance shows.

To liberalhistorian: Thank you for defending us. I thought I would save space by addressing both of you with the same post.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 08:38 AM
Response to Reply #127
144. I had no idea you were once homeless as well!
So I think you know what you're talking about more than most people do. I was homeless for all of two days thirteen years ago, as I said in my post, and that was enough for me, it was just horrible. Worse than the physical deprivation, though, was the emotional aspect of it and just how horribly and totally depressed and exhausted and hopeless you feel.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #144
185. You swallow your pride alot
Edited on Mon Nov-24-03 01:33 PM by camero
Like I said, I am grateful for what they did but it was tremendously humiliating to say the least. They basically treated you as if you were a child. Calling them to check in when you were out, 9PM curfew.

I had to hitchhike almost 20 miles to my job interview which I had no help in finding. Didn't refer me to any gov't programs that were available (Reagan Era, everything was getting cut.)

I did eventually get that job and hitchhiked to work for the rest of my time there until me and my brother could save the money to get an apartment. They also took a part of my check until I could find a place, which made the stay longer.

Oh yeah, the first two nights were like you except I slept with one eye open next to a building because the temps were in the 40s and I could get extra heat from it.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #185
187. I well remember how very humiliating
it was, as was my experience on ADC. That is one of the reasons it really upset me to see how nasty and hostile that store clerk was, he already felt small and humiliated enough and she just made it so much worse than she had to.
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philosophie_en_rose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #69
170. It's not as simple as you seem to think.
Edited on Mon Nov-24-03 11:37 AM by philosophie_en_rose
You seem to have good intentions, but I question your knowledge about homelessness. Homeless people are not necessarily only in the cities. Food banks and soup kitchens do not take vouchers or payment. Giving money to these organizations is great, but resources are very limited. There will always be people who need more help than is available at organized agencies.

As you may have noticed, there are quite a few people on this board who work in social service. I've volunteered in homeless shelters and foodbanks. Let me tell you that the situation is not a simple as repeating the same tired line of never, ever ever giving money. It's usually not a good idea, but services are tight and I think that liberalhistorian is intelligent enough to use her money as she chooses.

Homeless people are all around us. There are just as a many (if not more) homeless people that are not as obviously homeless as men and women sleeping on the sidewalks. Many have mental health concerns and others have addictions. Many don't. An ungodly amount are children. Most have tragic lives and I find it terrible that anyone expects liberalhistorian to suppress her compassion in favor of what you think "experts" really think.

My true objection isn't really just the ignorance insisted to be absolute truth. It's that liberal historian should not be chastised for being compassionate that there are people who have no permanent or safe place to live. She can't feed all of the homeless, but she did what she could. Five dollars and donuts are not enough to buy the drugs some are so certain that he will buy. And just maybe some food and caring human interaction will prevent the criminality that some seem to think is inherent in homelessness.



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TOhioLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 11:16 PM
Response to Reply #170
239. yep
<snip>
Food banks and soup kitchens do not take vouchers or payment. Giving money to these organizations is great, but resources are very limited. There will always be people who need more help than is available at organized agencies.

<snip>

Hello. I can tell you from first hand experience that times are tough at foodbanks. My husband works at one here in Toledo, OH. They are distributing Thanksgiving baskets today and tomorrow. The foodbank director went on the local news to ask for donations because there is not enough for Christmas. My husband told me that they got more calls for help than donations after the piece ran.

Many of the people who were getting baskets were first-timers; people who lost jobs, mostly in the manufacturing sector.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 11:46 PM
Response to Reply #239
241. I'm in Cleveland and most of my family
lives in the Toledo area, and I know that Toledo has, indeed, been hard hit economically. Even the churches are having a hard time keeping up, I know my stepmom's church is trying hard to do so.
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TOhioLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #241
245. Yeah.
And most of the people coming in for help are the newly out of work. Frickin' BushCo's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

P.S. I'll be one of the newly out of work in Feb 2004 ;(
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ellie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 09:45 PM
Response to Reply #239
294. Hey Trekkerlass!
I'm in Whitehouse, Ohio! Just down the street and around the corner (not really, down by the airport).

What food bank was this? My sister and I were just talking about Christmas and she wanted to volunteer to deliver meals, and I would like to do something too. I have worked serving meals at the St. Francis Christmas dinner. It breaks your heart, so many kids.

Please let me know, I would like to help.
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TOhioLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-26-03 07:50 AM
Response to Reply #294
296. Hi ellie!
Its the Toledo Seagate Foodbank. Volunteers are always welcome, and donations too. Thanks a bunch!

If you (or anybody) wants the addy and telephone number PM me, and I'll be gave to give you the info.

Happy Holidays!
Trekkerlass
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ellie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-26-03 08:09 AM
Response to Reply #296
297. I tried to PM you,
but it wouldn't let me. I can look up the info. I think I will volunteer. Thanks!
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-26-03 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #294
304. I know, the thought
and sight of homeless children is especially heartbreaking and infuriating. Makes you wanna just shove Shrub's "No Child Left Behind" bullshit right up his ass!
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:04 AM
Response to Reply #55
64. So if a drowing man is desperate for the
rope you can throw him, you're supposed to first ask why he can't swim, because he really should know how to swim and if he doesn't, then it's his fault. Then, since it's his fault he can't swim, you're gonna just wait for another boat to show up because he'll just break the rope you throw and you'll have ruined a perfectly good rope. Okay, got it now.
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:30 AM
Response to Reply #64
77. I tried to discern the relevance of that diatribe.....
Edited on Sun Nov-23-03 01:30 AM by Devoir
but I just couldn't. I am saying you feel a homeless person in the way those care about them most suggest. Is this so tough?
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:37 AM
Response to Reply #77
82. What I meant was that you say
that people shouldn't give cash to a homeless person, that in order to feed them give them soup kitchen vouchers instead. First off, I have yet to volunteer at or work with ANY soup kitchen that charges ANYTHING at all to eat there or that gives "vouchers." Second, if someone is desperately hungry are you gonna say to them, sorry there aren't any soup kitchens right around here so I gotta go find one, then get you a voucher for it, then you can find your way there, it should only be a fifteen-mile walk or so? Meanwhile, they're so hungry they can hardly stand it. So instead of throwing them the rope (money to get something to eat), you wait for another boat (someone else to tell you where the soup kitchen was and how to get the "vouchers", or whatever), meanwhile the guy drowns.
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:43 AM
Response to Reply #82
85. All the soup kitchens I know of are downtown in cities.
Which is where most of the homeless are. They aren't going to have to walk 'fifteen miles' as you say. Again, buy them a happy meal if you want. Just don't feed a likely addiction by giving them money. PLEASE do what the experts advise! Trust me. They know what they are doing.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:54 AM
Response to Reply #85
89. Well, that's not the case where I am.
I'm in a fairly small town, and we don't even have a soup kitchen, the nearest one is a ways away. Homelessness isn't just in big cities, you know, it's in small cities and towns and rural areas as well, which are usually not set up the same way that big cities are.
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Terran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #89
151. You are exactly right
Homelessness is a problem in rural and small town areas as well as large urban centers. Here in Missouri, the northwest section of the state is sparsely populated, but there is still a need to serve homeless people in those areas, who mostly live in campgrounds in tents. We're lucky, in some counties, to have even a single social service agency, much less any actual shelters. There are many many counties that do not have a single shelter, just one or two agencies that do preventative services. There are huge gaps in filling the needs of homeless people, but if the federal government would only do better at funding these agencies (the HUD funding process is absolutely insane), there would be far far fewer people without a place to live.

Dirk
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #151
156. I know, which
makes all the mega-gazillions going to the Iraqi Occupation all the more infuriating.
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Cheswick2.0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 05:18 AM
Response to Reply #85
97. "the experts, the experts!!!!"
Come on already, there are no "experts" in this field.
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Terran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #85
142. You clearly don't know what you're talking about.
For one thing, not every "soup kitchen" (an outmoded term if I ever heard one) has the resources to feed everyone who might come their way. Why do you think this man was sleeping under a bridge? Most likely because he couldn't find any shelter that could take him. Most homeless services providers are chronically underfunded. People who don't know jack about the homeless always assume that they can all be served by existing free facilities, but that is not true. No large city actually has enough in the way of shelters and other services to care for all its homeless.

And these "experts" and professionals" you keep referring to, they are mostly just ordinary people. They don't have highly paid careers caring for homeless people. A lot of them are volunteers, and a lot of them are religious folk who do these things out of a sense of duty and compassion. And I very much doubt you'll find one who says you should never give cash to any homeless person.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #142
145. "People who don't know jack about the homeless
always assume that they can be served by existing free services, and that is not true."

How very true! I think people are able to make themselves feel better about not doing anything if they believe that.
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #142
205. I clearly do. Here's a link. I got more. I've just won my first debate.
Edited on Mon Nov-24-03 05:10 PM by Devoir
http://projects.is.asu.edu/pipermail/hpn/2002-May/00613...

I feel sort of badly winning a debate this early in my DU career. I honestly don't want to make some of you feel bad by outpointing you, but you are sort of forcing me into it. I have more links if you need further education.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #205
206. Yeah, you've won this debate, like Iraq is
mission accomplished. The link is to this thread. Talk about "bait and switch.

Long time no see. Ya just get off "Free Republic"?
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #206
208. People don't like links that basically make their arguments
look silly. Let's face it. I have made my case over and over about experts' opposition to cash handouts to the homeless beggars. People said I didn't know what I was talking about. So I pull out one of the many links I have to back my case. I tried for a long time to be polite and matter-of-fact. Then someone made the mistake of claiming I didn't know what I was talking about so I pulled out the proof and flat out won the debate. So what's happening, basically, is you can't refute my contention, so now I am a freeper. LOL.

BTW what the fuck does Iraq have to do with anything?
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #208
210. Your link is to this thread and you made
no such case. There have been plenty of others with equal or more experience and knowledge than you who've said the opposite, as well as the fact that a growing number of homeless are families and that you simply cannot lump them all into one stereotypical group the way you insist on doing. If you had bothered to read any other posts but your own you'd understand that. And, btw, there is nothing worse around here than a sanctimonious newbie who won't even read any posts that contradict their arguments.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #208
211. Your "link" is to Dirk's post
Which totally refutes your argument. If you want to post a "link" then do it with one that has hard numbers to go by and not an opinion.

You didn't win Jack shit.
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #211
219. You people must be drunk.
Try the link again.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #219
220. You know, to come on here and call
long-time posters names is not really a good way to get a good start on here!
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NightTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 08:54 PM
Response to Reply #220
221. I mentioned that to him already.

Guess it didn't make an impact, though. :shrug:
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 08:59 PM
Response to Reply #221
223. Unfortunately,
with people like that, you almost never are able to make an impact!
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #221
224. he obviously needs to learn
our civility rules (or get a header.)
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #224
227. That's for sure!
Maybe a night under a bridge in the cold will do the trick (I know, I know, I'm baaaaaaddddddddd!!!
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #227
228. lol
aaaah, he'll just probably get drunk...lol
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #220
229. I just won my first debate. Ask me anything.
What names have I called anyone? I have, however, been called a whole host of derogatory names.
Obviously you've read my link. Pretty well shot to hell all opposing arguments, didn't it? I will be accepting apologies now.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #229
230. Devoir just got knocked off his pedestal, ask him anything.
Won the debate...sheesh.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #229
238. Humility obviously ain't
too high on your list of virtues, is it?
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Kathy in Cambridge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 11:44 PM
Response to Reply #229
240. You've won no debate; right-wing sources do not support
your weak argument.

Go back to Free Republic where you can fool people. We see right through you here.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #240
243. Told ya he was a real
piece of work, didn't I "Rosie", (sorry, couldn't resist it)!
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 11:57 PM
Response to Reply #240
244. ROFL...You can't refute my documentation...
so that makes me a Freeper. Wow. What debating skill you have. Next you'll call me Hitler. And all because I PROVED my assertion that many experts and homeless advocates say giving cash to 'homeless' beggars is detrimental to their well being.
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Garage Queen Donating Member (640 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #244
261. Hmmm...58 posts, 31 of them here.
And: Assertion does NOT equal Proof.

Good night, Gracie.
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #261
263. Yep. I'm passionate about helping the homeless and beggars.
Glad you had the time on your hands to go through and count my posts.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #261
265. LOL!
Good one!
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Garage Queen Donating Member (640 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-26-03 08:56 AM
Response to Reply #265
299. Update: 69 posts, 40 of them in here (!!!!!)
11 more on "not giving money to the crack addict, alcoholic BEGGARS" in two other threads.

That leaves 18 whole posts on other topics as illuminating as "I think Uma Therman is ugly" and "Bush won a big victory with the Medicare bill." <yawn>

Hmmmm ... methinks I see a tombstone in someone's future ....

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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-26-03 09:23 AM
Response to Reply #299
300. Gee, almost as many as Liberalhistorian
ROFL. BTW how long have you had this obsession with me, what I post and where I post?
Why don't you instead, contribute something to the debate. If you don't agree with my posts, you're invited to prove me wrong. So far no one else has. Perhaps that's why your shorts are in a knot right now. Maybe you're right. Getting me tombstoned might be your only way to 'win' this argument. The curious thing is I have sided with the majority of this country's progressives in every thread I've posted in. (except maybe the Uma thread).
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-26-03 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #299
306. Yes, I know, and I wish
that that tombstone would hurry up and knock him down! I sure hope he never actually becomes homeless or falls on hard times, because what goes around, comes around.
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-26-03 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #306
311. Agreed. What goes around DOES come around
Should I have the misfortune of becoming a beggar in search of my next high, I would hope no one would enable me to continue a downward spiral into further addiction, but would do what they could to get me REAL help, such as supporting treatment centers.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 10:26 PM
Response to Reply #205
235. It's a misdirection
The article says that most panhandlers are not homeless. It didn't say most homeless were drug addicts, as you suggest.
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 12:00 AM
Response to Reply #235
246. My contention all along has been
that experts and homeless advocates say it is detrimental to 'homeless' beggars to give them cash because many of them are addicts. This assertion was borne out in my link. Nice try, though.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 12:04 AM
Response to Reply #246
247. You did not say panhandlers
Edited on Tue Nov-25-03 12:06 AM by camero
You said homeless. Anyone here can see your posts. Those were your exact words. You have just changed the term because you didn't have any facts. Nice try. This will probably be 2 threads you have disrupted.
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #247
260. The initiator of the thread was referring to a beggar whom she called
Edited on Tue Nov-25-03 11:06 AM by Devoir
'homeless'. I was just following suit. The people we are obviously talking about are those who come up and ask for money. Jesus. Just because you cannot refute the evidence that I provided, that beggars who call themselves homeless are usually addicts, and that professionals advise not giving them cash.....you have to try to pretend the debate has been about something else.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #260
280. We have all refuted it, you fail to acknowledge it.
You used the word homeless. At no time did you say beggar until you were called on it. And as others have stated including myself, so what? A couple of bucks does not buy much alcohol and they are two seperate issues.

And it's not for me to judge what they do with it. If someone is hungry, you feed them irregardless. I think you are just more intent on disrupting a post with this issue because of your own preconceived notions of people than you are in coming up with ideas to make the situation any better.

Also, don't assume a person's intentions of the meaning of thier words. Ask them.
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #280
287. What was it you refuted?
We now have on the board two sources, one of them Dirk's that says the homeless are disproportionately addicts, and mine that says beggard who say their homeless are almost all addicts. If you want to make that distinction, I suggest you take it up with your pal, Liberalhistorian, who did not seem to separate the two concepts.
So why is it you think it is just fine to contribute to someone's alcohol or drug addiction? Hmmm?
As for the disruptor issue, let's recap. In the other thread, my initial post was to compliment someone for his good intentions while warning him that what he did is probably not the most effective way. The next poster accused me of 'spouting right wing talking points'. Then I produced the link and got attacked repeatedly. Pretty much the same thing in this thread So you might want to reassess who the fuck are the disruptors here.
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #280
288. What was it you refuted?
We now have on the board two sources, one of them Dirk's that says the homeless are disproportionately addicts, and mine that says beggard who say their homeless are almost all addicts. If you want to make that distinction, I suggest you take it up with your pal, Liberalhistorian, who did not seem to separate the two concepts.
So why is it you think it is just fine to contribute to someone's alcohol or drug addiction? Hmmm?
As for the disruptor issue, let's recap. In the other thread, my initial post was to compliment someone for his good intentions while warning him that what he did is probably not the most effective way. The next poster accused me of 'spouting right wing talking points'. Then I produced the link and got attacked repeatedly. Pretty much the same thing in this thread So you might want to reassess who the fuck are the disruptors here.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #280
290. He never will acknowledge it,
not even if, God forbid, he becomes homeless or down and out himself and you never know nowadays.
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-26-03 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #290
301. Acknowledge what?
You want me to acknowledge your view that the homeless aren't addicts any more than the rest of the population? I'm sorry, I can't lie. So far all the links posted by DU Dirk and me say precisely the opposite. I tell you. I'd be happy to acknowledge your view if only you could provide some source..ANY source that supports your claim.
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Terran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #205
254. That piece you linked is *ludicrous*
Edited on Tue Nov-25-03 10:50 AM by dirk
It doesn't prove crap. A few people the article refers to as "experts" citing absurdly high figures. "Oh yeah, we've done all this 'research,' and can you believe it? 99% of the homeless are drunks or drug addicts!" Most of that "authoritative" article is based on a few anecdotal accounts of people getting accosted by drunks on the street. And it just perpetuates the myth that that is the image of ALL homeless people. Well I'm sorry, but that is a big fucking lie.

The largest age group among homeless people nationwide is under 12! The next largest group is working families who can't afford housing. PEOPLE WHO WORK, who hold down jobs, are not drunks sprawling in gutters or getting in the faces of scared urbanites demanding cash.

I cannot believe you would post bullshit like that and expect people to take it as authoritative. 99%! Gee, why not just say 100%? Oh, wait, "99%" sounds better, more believable. We can't even tell if it's really an article from the newspaper cited, it's just a message someone posted to some discussion forum. Want to trot out some more your debate-winning links now?

Here's a link and a website that everyone who is interested in solving this problem should know about:

http://www.nationalhomeless.org/causes.html

The National Coalition for the Homeless. If you want to learn something and not just buy into stupid bullshit sterotypes about the homeless, read this. Educate yourself instead of spouting drivel.

Dirk
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #254
255. I know, I got so tired of him
yammering on and on about how all the homeless are drunks and addicts, blahblahblah, and he cited ONE link, which was bullshit anyway, and ignored ALL of the other evidence to the contrary that people kept trying to tell him.

Such as a growing number of the homeless are families with CHILDREN, and a good percentage are VETERANS, for God's sake, which is inexcusable! But no, he wants his little fantasy to make himself feel better about his contemptous attitude, so just let him have it since no one seems to be able to get through to him.
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Terran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 10:58 AM
Response to Reply #255
257. Whenever I run into Devoir at DU
from now on, I'm going to ask him/her, "So...won any debates lately?"

:eyes:
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #257
266. Good idea, and please let us know
if he actually has anything substantive and factual to contribute.
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #255
264. Let's face it. You got hornswoggled
The guy who shook you down for five bucks and got a box of doughnuts out of the deal probably couldn't believe his luck. Don't you realize this guy probably had this routine down to a tee? The odds are, as evidenced by observations from professionals, this guy was an addict. And the odds are, you fell for the routine. I am not saying your intentions weren't great. I am just saying the reality is..you probably did this person no favors...Now. Go and use your capacity for kindness in an effective and intelligent manner.
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #254
262. Your link provided a neat little snippet. Thanks for that . ROFL
"rates of alcohol and drug abuse are disproportionately high among the homeless population"

I really and truly appreciate your making my case for me with your link. Curiously, too, I never saw in your link anything that refuted by proposition that it is detrimental to give cash to a homeless beggar. Hmmm. So you come on here and say my claims are bullshit, then you provide a link that basically underscores them. I tell you, man, you are some super debator.

"We can't even tell if it's really an article from the newspaper cited, it's just a message someone posted to some discussion forum"

I don't want to appear unkind, but even a moron can read the name of the newspaper and the byline of the article. Jesus. LOLOLOL.
And as for your claim disputing the numbers cited by the professionals in the article, Let's see...do I take the word of people who are devoting their lives to studying and caring for the the homeless?....or should I listen to DU Dirk with probably zilch-o experience in this area?...Hmmm. Let me think. Honest to God, my sides are sore from laughing so hard.



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Terran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #262
268. Nice try, Bucko. No cigar.
I really and truly appreciate your making my case for me with your link.

It hardly bears pointing out that "disproportionately high" doesn't quite equal your "expert" opinion of 99%. Rule #1 is: post the entire part that's relevant without taking bits and pieces out of context:

"Addiction Disorders: The relationship between addiction and homelessness is complex and controversial. While rates of alcohol and drug abuse are disproportionately high among the homeless population, the increase in homelessness over the past two decades cannot be explained by addiction alone. Many people who are addicted to alcohol and drugs never become homeless, but people who are poor and addicted are clearly at increased risk of homelessness. During the 1980s, competition for increasingly scarce low-income housing grew so intense that those with disabilities such as addiction and mental illness were more likely to lose out and find themselves on the streets. The loss of SRO (single room occupancy) housing, a source of stability for many poor people suffering from addiction and/or mental illness, was a major factor in increased homelessness in many communities.

"Addiction does increase the risk of displacement for the precariously housed; in the absence of appropriate treatment, it may doom one's chances of getting housing once on the streets. Homeless people often face insurmountable barriers to obtaining health care, including addictive disorder treatment services and recovery supports. The following are among the obstacles to treatment for homeless persons: lack of health insurance; lack of documentation; waiting lists; scheduling difficulties; daily contact requirements; lack of transportation; ineffective treatment methods; lack of supportive services; and cultural insensitivity. An in-depth study of 13 communities across the nation revealed service gaps in every community in at least one stage of the treatment and recovery continuum for homeless people (National Coalition for the Homeless, 1998)."

The NCH would never address the issue of whether you should or should not give money to a homeless person, because it's a non-issue. No person who actually works against homelessness would consider that a serious question. What it comes down to is, giving aid of any kind to a homeless person is a personal choice, and there is no right or wrong way to go about it. Homeless people are not some monolithic block of behavior and attitudes that you are free to smugly stereotype. They are people like you and me who have been unlucky or who have made unwise decisions in their lives or who are physicially or mentally ill. It is ludicrous to make sweeping generalizations about how to "help the homeless" because there are literally hundreds of different situations that people find themselves in. Nothing in what the NCH has to say backs up your crass and uninformed position. Period.

I don't want to appear unkind, but even a moron can read the name of the newspaper and the byline of the article. Jesus. LOLOLOL.

My apologies, I didn't see the link to the actual newspaper at the bottom of the article.

But do learn something here, Master Debator. Rule #2 is: merely having a by-line and the name of a newspaper does not verify your information. The piece you linked is nothing more than a message at a message board. If you knew what you were doing, you would have linked directly to the article. And by the way, a piece of fluff journalism appearing in a local newspaper doesn't exactly qualify as authoritative in an area as complex as homelessness. Rule #3 is: present credible sources.

And as for your claim disputing the numbers cited by the professionals in the article, Let's see...do I take the word of people who are devoting their lives to studying and caring for the the homeless?....or should I listen to DU Dirk with probably zilch-o experience in this area?...Hmmm. Let me think.

Rule #4 is: don't make insulting assumptions about the people you argue with, you'll just embarrass yourself. I am second in command of a statewide project to develop an online database to serve homeless service providers. When completed, it will gather the first hard data on a statewide basis about homelessness and the services the homeless use, something which has never existed before. In the course of my daily work, I talk to people who operate shelters, transitional housing projects, permanent housing for disabled (i.e., addicted) homeless, and preventative services about what they do and how they do it. I've been in this position for over a year now. I am also the Co-Chair of the Missouri Governor's Committee to End Homelessness. I know what I'm talking about, believe me.

You have succeeded admirably in making yourself look ridiculous in this discussion. I suggest you do some research on this subject before you continue, because it's obvious you have nothing to offer aside from uninformed opinions.

Dirk
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #268
270. THANK YOU!!
But I really doubt he will listen. Maybe if he ever encounters a homeless family scrounging for diapers and scraps of food for kids screaming with hunger, or a homeless veteran who served his country and is repaid with having to live under a bridge, he'll change his tune but I doubt it.
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Terran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #270
276. You're right, LH, unfortunately
I'm not sensing an inclination to listen.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #276
278. Yeah, well,
if he wants to go through life being a brick wall, I guess there's no law against that.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #268
286. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
LSatyl Donating Member (294 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-26-03 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #286
308. He refuted every single point
Too bad you're too daft to get it. So I'll try (as if I can explain it any better than the 50 attempts already made, but anyhoo, here goes).

Point #1. Did the article refute that most 'homeless' beggars are addicts?

1) There is no article. The link you provided points to a web archive of a mailing list, which claims to be a repost from an article in some local newsrag.

2) The title of the post is "EXPERTS SAY MOST PANHANDLERS USE THE MONEY FOR DRUGS"
From the dictionary:
Panhandler:
n : a beggar who approaches strangers asking for money

Not all panhandlers are homeless, not all homeless people are panhandlers. A clue to this is given in your linked "article": qouteth the 8th paragraph: "In Philadelphia, where the number of panhandlers has been rising even as homelessness has been falling, experts point to a growing number of heroin-addicted teen-agers who are setting up shop in the trendy and affluent Old City neighborhood."

3) Not all the "experts" quoted in the "article" are not exactly experts:
Jeff Sanford, president of the Memphis Center City Commission, whose stated mission is to "improve the economy of Memphis and Shelby County by coordinating an aggressive public/private program to promote the redevelopment and economic growth of the Central Business Improvement District", clearly an unbiased source on homeless people.

4) There are plenty of more trustworthy sources for numbers on homelessness and addiction, e.g.:
A Status Report on Hunger and Homelessness in Americas Cities (PDF), by the U.S. conference of Mayors. Warning, this is a *large* document. Look at page 129, I'll only quote the important number:
Substance Abusers in 2002: 32% (of the homeless people in the cities participating in the status report)

There, I think I've now sufficiently refuted your claim number 1. Please counter my arguments if you think I made an error.

Point #2. I may not know what I'm doing, but at least I know how to recognize that a piece is a fucking newspaper article.
Good for you, can you also recognize the words used in the article (panhandler vs. homeless person) and the bias of the speakers in said articles?

Point #3. So DU Dirk is a flunky for the head computer geek who sometimes talks to people in the field of some bumfuck midwestern state. Should we equate that to, say, the credentials of Sister Mary Scullion, who is the head of Project HOME and one of the foremost hands-on experts on the plight of the homeless in the nation's fifth or sixth largest city? Again, I think I'll go with the REAL professional opinion here.
Sure, if you've got no arguments to discuss with, pull out the good old ad hominem. First of, without the actual question/answer it is impossible to know if Sister Mary was quoted in context. And, more importantly, as I have shown above, the article is about panhandlers, not homeless people, so the quote of Sister Mary should be applied to panhandlers, not homeless people. Now combine that insight with the numbers from the report by the U.S. conference of Mayors (or do you doubt their expertise as well), and you may actually come to the same conclusion as the rest of us:

Give money at your own discretion.

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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-26-03 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #308
320. Really? Let's examine, shall we?
1) "There is no article."

Jesus. Even Dirk finally figured this out. This article appeared in the Philadelphia Daily News and was authored by Carla Anderson. But if you can't read 18 pt type, really, how can you be expected to comprehend the contents of the piece?

2)"Not all panhandlers are homeless, not all homeless people are panhandlers"

Uh, OK. An interesting factoid that no one has disputed. But what the hell does it have to do with my propositions?

3)"Substance Abusers in 2002: 32% (of the homeless people in the cities participating in the status report)"

Well THANK YOU for providing evidence supporting my proposition that addiction is rampant among the homeless. And, as it states, these are only the ones who participated in the report. Funny how you haven't really addressed the real topic at hand, that the beggars
such as LiberalHistorian has described are addicts in huge majority. How come? LOLOL.

4)"Not all the "experts" quoted in the "article" are not exactly experts:
Jeff Sanford, president of the Memphis Center City Commission, whose stated mission is to "improve the economy of Memphis and Shelby County by coordinating an aggressive public/private program to promote the redevelopment and economic growth of the Central Business Improvement District", clearly an unbiased source on homeless people."

Why can't someone who might have parallel objectives in ending cash donations to beggars be considered an expert? Why haven't you focused on the other experts quoted in the article whose purity of motive is beyond reproach? Like the good Sister, for example.

5)"There, I think I've now sufficiently refuted your claim number 1. Please counter my arguments if you think I made an error."

I guess the only error you've made is that you have somehow magically convinced yourself that you've refuted jack shit.
I haven't seen anything remotely approaching a refutation. Your quotes do more to support my case in fact. I do appreciate the help!

6)"it is impossible to know if Sister Mary was quoted in context."

How the fuck can you take out of context the direct and bold statement that 99% of panhandlers are addicts? If this ain't calling a spade a spade, I don't know what is. You're trying your best to say black is white here. My seven year old tries this as well.

7)"And, more importantly, as I have shown above, the article is about panhandlers, not homeless people, so the quote of Sister Mary should be applied to panhandlers, not homeless people."

Uh, I realize you have a tendency to miss things, but I have addressed this in a previous post. But for you, allow me to reiterate it. The author of this thread, LiberalHistorian was clearly talking about a panhandler, which she referred to as a homeless person. I was responding in suit with her imprecise language. But after a few here who, like you, could in no way challenge any of my assertions, tried to switch the issue to semantic hair-splitting: the distinction between 'homeless' and 'panhandlers'...I sharpened my statements accordingly. But in either instance, I am correct. When I used homeless in accordance with the way LiberalHistorian used it, I was STILL correct to say that they have a high percentage of addiction, even though, like her, I was referring to panhandlers who are addicts in HUGE percentage.

So I guess I'm still waiting on someone to document a rebuttal to my assertion since the large majority of panhandlers are addicts, it is irresponsible to give them cash, and that a number of experts concur with this assertion. Waiting. LOLOL. (I have a feeling I'll be waiting for a long time),




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Terran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-26-03 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #286
309. I am humbled by your technique, Master Debater
1. I never asserted or said that "there really isn't much of an addiction problem among the homeless". In fact, the NCH link I posted asserts that there is such a problem; it simply states that drug and alcohol addiction is not the primary cause of homelessness, as you and most uninformed members of the public seem to think.

2. You apparently didn't actually bother to read anything at the NCH site. I would say that what I posted *does* refute the idea that most homeless people are not addicts, because it explains in detail (at the site) the numerous other causes of homelessness. Obviously you didn't bother to read any of that. The reality is that right now, nobody has hard numbers on homelessness because of the fluid and complex nature of the problem. But you won't find anyone who provides homeless services, including Sister Mary, who will tell you that most homeless people are addicts. As I said, THE LARGEST GROUP OF HOMELESS ARE CHILDREN UNDER 12. That is a fact. Got that? They are not addicts.

3. Pure ad hominem attack, on all fronts: me, my job, my boss, my employers, my state. Real good. That's an automatic lose-the-debate penalty, buddy. Not like I care what you think of me or where I live. You seem to care more about whther you "win" this "debate" than the actual topic we're discussing. Pathetic.

Dirk

Oh, and PS: your use of the term "beggar" really shows where you're coming from, at last. I'm not allowed to say here what I think you are, but I think we all now know.
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-26-03 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #309
318. Finally you admit my point. Thank you!
"I never asserted or said that "there really isn't much of an addiction problem among the homeless". In fact, the NCH link I posted asserts that there is such a problem;"

So...basically you agree with MY assertion, then, that there IS an addiction problem among the homeless and have provided evidence supporting my claim. Excellent. Welcome aboard!

"..it simply states that drug and alcohol addiction is not the primary cause of homelessness, as you and most uninformed members of the public seem to think."

Gee as far as I recall, (and you can review all my posts) I don't remember the causes of homelessness ever entering the discussion. That addiction may not be the cause of homeless is an interesting fact which I would have no reason to dispute, but what does it have to do with either of my propositions?

"Pure ad hominem attack, on all fronts: me, my job, my boss, my employers, my state. Real good. That's an automatic lose-the-debate penalty, buddy. Not like I care what you think of me or where I live. You seem to care more about whther you "win" this "debate" than the actual topic we're discussing. Pathetic."

OK. OK. So I was a little hard on the circumstances of your work. I just took a little umbrage at your comparison of your self to a genuine major-leauge authority like the good Sister quoted in the article.

"Oh, and PS: your use of the term "beggar" really shows where you're coming from, at last. I'm not allowed to say here what I think you are, but I think we all now know."

What's wrong with the word 'beggar'? Anyway, I had to use it to differentiate between a homeless person and one who solicits monetary donations since so many posters were whining about referring to the two interchangeably as LiberalHistorian did. What word should I use instead? Panhandler?


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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 08:45 AM
Response to Reply #82
101. To improve your analogy
Edited on Sun Nov-23-03 08:46 AM by camero
or better yet, wait for someone who says they can swim better than me to keep this person from drowning when I am fully capable of swimming myself.

Why should I wait for an "expert" when I could very well be a better swimmmer. I just didn't get the "credentials".
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #101
124. Very well put,
I should have thought of that myself!
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:36 AM
Response to Reply #25
80. "Virtue is its own reward."
Welcome to DU, Devoir!

As you may have noticed, we're a diverse (and sometimes rowdy) community and I hope you have a positive experience here. :hi:
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Spirochete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 08:36 AM
Response to Reply #25
99. It's her money
Edited on Sun Nov-23-03 08:38 AM by VancSouthpaw
if she wants to be kind, and give it to a homeless person, that's her right. When she gives it to him, it's his money, and if he wants to use it to buy alcohol to drink himself to death, again that's nobody's concern but his own. I think it's a stereotype that they all spend it on alcohol, anyway. What makes you believe that only what you do is charitable, and what she does is foolish? In my opinion, if everyone was like her, there would be a lot less need for homeless shelter employees to advise people not to give any money to the poor people in the first place. Isn't a spontaneous act of kindness better than doing nothing?

And no, that store clerk was not right, just mean and heartless.

On edit: I guess the spelling lessons haven't finished kicking in yet...
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smirkymonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #25
189. Funny, I find myself wondering if
you are disguising your contempt for the homeless and addicted behind a mask of self-righteousness.
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Missy Vixen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-26-03 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #25
305. Let's cut to the chase, shall we?
>I find myself wondering if you might not be searching for some self-congratulations with your post a bit, tho. The better way is to, as the Bible says "not let the left hand know what the right is doing" If you broadcast your good acts, you have already had your reward. The preferable thing to do is to do charitable, but sensible things..and do them without making them known to all.<

You've been broadcasting your view of the "truth" during this entire thread. Evidently, you missed the many verses about pride, didn't you?

Maybe you need to remove the board from your own eye before you take the sliver out of liberalhistorian's.

Julie


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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-26-03 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #305
312. He broadcasts what he insists
is the "truth", an anecdotal article from a right-wing newspaper, then refuses to listen to any refutation or contradictory points at all, insisting that WE are the ones who are wrong because we refuse to bow down to his wisdom and superiority!
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Avis Donating Member (113 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:27 AM
Response to Original message
27. Kentucky
My daughter manages a large grocery store in the south (she grew up in MN). She is seeing women come in and open formula right in the store to feed babies that are screaming and hungry. One mom came in with a few children and asked her if she could please help her feed her children.
She told the kids to pick out what they wanted -- they chose cheese and cereal and the mom cried. Things are terrible, and no one cares. She
paid for things out of her own pocket, and the store has threatened to fire her. She said people are getting bolder and bolder about taking food as they are so desperate.

You sound like a wonderful woman and mom with a great heart.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:35 AM
Response to Reply #27
37. Good for your daughter!
She's absolutely doing the right thing, and if they dare to fire her, I hope she makes them pay for it big time! You've obviously raised a very caring, compassionate young woman.
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TacticalPeek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:29 AM
Response to Original message
29. Because you feel.
"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread."

Anatole France


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vetwife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:31 AM
Response to Original message
32. That was supposed to make her feel better? Saying the clerk was right !
Edited on Sun Nov-23-03 12:35 AM by vetwife
Maybe he was going to buy alcohol but she said she bought donuts and a happy meal. How much booze can you get for 2 bucks? It was her money...Quit quoting scripture out of context. And you probably made her feel worse. Taking up for the clerk is not what the poster wants to hear........This was directed to Devoir or poster 25......
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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:31 AM
Response to Original message
33. You have a good heart liberalhistorian.
Glad you're on our side.
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vetwife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:42 AM
Response to Reply #33
42. Glad to be here
I usually hang out at S/C, in fact I recognize some posters names here. I must say I am really proud of what this poster did tonight. By the way I'm the one who took Katherine Harris down on CNN and I am pretty vocal about how much we didn't elect Monkeyboy, the rich and greedy, wanting to debate Ann Coulter and say what I think ...Hope I'm welcome.
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TacticalPeek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:16 AM
Response to Reply #42
68. Welcome to DU, vetwife!
Got one of those myself.

And any hurt put on Cruella Mascara is pleasure to me!

:toast:

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Liberator_Rev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #42
104. Welcome?, Of course you're welcome!
We know a good Liberal when we see one. We've got tons of wonderful people already, but we can always make room for more.
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caledesi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:45 AM
Response to Original message
47. Hey, that pales in comparison to what I have done.
I met a guy w/ a bandage on his knee and said he needed to get a prescription pain killer (hell, I not naive) but I drove him to the nearest Walgreens and PAID for his prescription.

I even drove him to our home to wait for the prescription. Yeah, he may have wanted to just "get high," but I don't care. He was a nice man and after we got the prescription, he said "You are such a nice lady." I dropped him off and said "Please don't drink and take the meds."

What can I say? There are people that are in emotional/physical pain and yes, I am a sucker in many ways, but you know what? I felt good...because he was a Vietnam Vet and obviously a little screwed up.

What can I say?
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vetwife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:50 AM
Response to Reply #47
52. Good for you
I bet this guy was a vet too. What you did does not make you naive..it makes you a real compassionate person not a phony republican wantabe ! Oh I forgot the Republican phony wantabe (CHICKENAWK)
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:53 AM
Response to Reply #47
54. GOOD FOR YOU!
That was a WONDERFUL thing you did, paying for the prescription, because I doubt that homeless shelters have health insurance programs and they need medicine just like everyone else. And what they also need, maybe even more than the medicine, is to know that there are people like you who DO see them as human beings and who do try to give them some dignity and compassion.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:48 AM
Response to Original message
50. There was a time in our country when we fed the homeless kindly.
I am not sure what I would do now as there was not the violence back then. I remember there were not many, but it was just expected that they would be fed.

If one came to the door, my mom would fix a sandwich, take it to them on the porch, and the neighborhood kids would sit and visit. It is hard to believe a time like that existed.

It never occurred to us to be rude or ugly. In the winter, my dad made sure they had jackets and sent a blanket with them. They never bothered us. Just came for a sandwich a couple of times a month.

We never knew where they stayed. It was not near our neighborhood I know. They would tell us stories about their travels around, but they were respectful to us.

I was writing a friend in Boston, and she remembers the same thing there. Her parents were business owners, pretty well off. They would feed them and even house them at times. She has written stories of some of those encounters. They tear at your heartstrings. She is one who is very well-off now, but that time in her life is special to her like it was to me.

I know that would not make sense to this generation. There is often no compassion anymore. I really commend liberalhistorian for caring so much. It is sad it was so hard to just be kind, that you had to fight those around you.

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teryang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:56 AM
Response to Original message
57. Sometimes you don't know
I gave the homeless who came into my humble restaurant a fair shake. I wouldn't treat them any differently than anyone else unless they were a health problem, a safety problem or a thief. If they were a health problem, I'd ask them to leave. I'd give them something to eat to go, no charge after they went outside. When an altercation erupted because they were taking someone elses food or drink or stole money off their table I'd ask them politely to go and not come back. If I saw them panhandling outside or somewhere else, I'd give them something and have a friendly conversation with them. I generally got along with the neighborhood homeless people, mentally ill and drug addicts. I tried to be non-judgemental and pragmatic. I didn't need a feud with the local homeless. Many of these people were very interesting and I liked them. Some were dangerous.

Sometimes a homeless person with a history of violence or theft would return and I'd have to play the bad guy and force them to leave. I'd get rude because they would get rude. People observing from the outside would criticize me when they heard the unpleasant dialogue. Some of these homeless people were literally killers. Some killed, some got killed. The customers often had no idea. Some people complained when I was polite. Some complained when I got mean. I always had a reason. That's the best you can do.

Once, I pushed a guy who was about my age (over the hill) who was taking things off other customers tables. I asked him to leave. When he went out he started kicking the glass door and the plate glass window. I pushed him off the window ledge because I thought the window was going to break from his antics. He fell on the sidewalk because he was drunk. He was always drunk. His elbow was injured and bled some. I felt pretty bad about it.

About three days later, I found out from one of my customers that he had been murdered by another homeless guy, previously convicted of manslaughter, who had threatened to kill me two weeks earlier when I threw him out. I felt worse after this. Another homeless person I threw out after striking another one with glass and cutting him pretty bad was shot seven times by a drug dealer a few days later elsewhere in the neighborhood. Unbelievably, he survived. He had just finished a five year prison term. He had been out of prison for about five weeks. Another hapless elderly guy who used to drink behind the restaurant and sleep under a trailer up the street was murdered by two young men because he wouldn't turn his portable radio down.

I've been distressed lately by the increased numbers of homeless people and prostitutes I see in my new community. Some of these new people have a wholesome look that is change from the homeless people I grew accustomed to seeing and dealing with. The desperation of their condition is something new to them and me. I imagine if things don't get better, they will take on a more hardened look, if they survive. I'm older now and a lot more cautious when encountering the homeless. I wish I could do something about it.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:21 AM
Response to Reply #57
71. You did the best you could, and you did
what you could. Hell, you did better than most people in your situation would have done. No one could fault you for how you handled things.

And I know exactly what you mean when you say the desperation of their condition is new to them, a lot of people who are homeless now, or in bad economic shape, are families and they are absolutely terrified. And social workers think nothing of taking their children away from them simply because they've fallen on hard times, and not because they're at all abusive or unfit.
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gmoney Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:16 AM
Response to Original message
67. It's a Catch-22...
Warning: Insensitive comments may follow, with muddied waters and no offered solutions.

Store owners don't want their location to be the place where the homeless (or professional panhandlers) hang out because the customers are generous. Soon enough, it'll drive away the customers if they know they must pass through a gauntlet of beggars on the way into and out of the store. Just a few "off" weeks can drive a struggling business to shut down, and everyone loses. The customers move on, the panhandlers move on, and maybe one or two employees joins the ranks of the panhandlers.

But compassion makes it very tough to treat the beggars as if they don't exist. "Damn that could be me" crosses your mind, and you think of the stories of the ones who freeze to death and the children going hungry.

Another data point to consider is the "professional panhandler" -- folks who just stand on the sidewalk looking pathetic with their tin cup during the morning rush, the lunch rush, and the afternoon rush, and can pick up a couple hundred bucks a day, tax free, a quarter at a time. Not the most glamorous job, but at least you're working outside and meeting people. I'm sure the high pressure operators make even more.

I'm not one who usually assigns much validity to the "welfare cheats live like kings" mentality that Rush & Co. might put forth, and I feel that just because there are a few cheats, a social safety net is a good thing. But with a lot of the panhandlers I see where I live, I gotta say that there's a high likelihood that they're scammers, probably taking home more than I do.

Its another contributing factor in the death of "downtown" in most cities. Who wants to be hassled every 20 feet trying to walk to your job, or to a store, or to a restaurant? Who needs the liberal guilt trip of trying to figure out which of these people really needs your buck? That woman I said "no" to, did she really have three kids to feed and nowhere to sleep?

I know it's not just a case of "buckle down and get a job" for most of them. Without a place, you can't clean up to go on a job interview or get to a job every day. Even if you manage to get a job, you need first and last month's rent to get a place, etc. It sucks.

I realize it probably WILL be me someday, but until there's a social safety net, trying to save one of them will likely end up drowning us both. And with that thought, I'm going to try to sleep in my cozy bed in my warm house. Mine for the time being anyway.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 01:48 AM
Response to Reply #67
86. Well, okay, let me ask you this:
Since you seem so sure that it WILL be you one day, what if everyone thought the way you did? What if, then, there was no one around to assist YOU? I really do believe that people reap what they sow. It may take awhile, but they really do. And as for waiting for the social saftey net-HA! Good luck. Maybe heaven has it (well, they wouldn't need it then!), but this country most likely never will. So that sounds kinda like a cop-out to me.

And I'm not at all saying you don't have a point about the panhandlers. But there are certain ways to tell them apart from the honestly desperate and truly needy.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 04:39 AM
Response to Reply #86
95. thoughts
Edited on Sun Nov-23-03 04:40 AM by grasswire
Your experience, LH, is identical to one I had with a guy named Wendell. I was heading into a grocery store and saw him just sitting outside, completely dejected. I went back out and asked him if he needed something to eat. He said yes, and I bought a big sandwich and fruit and milk and nutrition bar and hard candy and a cup of hot coffee and took it back outside. We talked. He told me that he had been sitting there quietly for two hours and no one had even spoken to him. He was invisible. He turned out to be an amazingly funny and insightful person who probably would have been institutionalized in an earlier time, for his own protection. He lived under the bridge, yes.

This happened when I had little money and was staying in a cheap motel with my daughter waiting for a new job to kick in so we could take an apartment. I began to wonder if "angels" are sent to test us mortals. (Did you feed the hungry? Yes? No? Did you do to Wendell what you would like done to yourself? Yes? No?)

I ran into Wendell again, in another part of town, and fed him again. He was better company than most of the people I run across -- who aren't living under bridges.

Now I'm remembering another time, in Washington DC. My daughter and nephew and I were walking along Pennsylvania Avenue to our car, and it was dusk and a bit chilly. As we passed the National Gallery, a man stepped forward from a knot of people to hail me. He asked me if I had anything to drink. I looked at the people and saw an extended large Latino family. Grandmothers and young people and children and babies -- about a dozen altogether.

I fished in my bag and found two juice boxes and handed them over, and we walked on. But something drew us back.

The spokesperson told me that they had traveled to D.C. for the day in their van and had parked in an underground garage that had closed up at 5 pm, something they didn't know would happen. They couldn't get into the garage. They were stuck until morning. Obviously, no money for a hotel.

Well. I realized that just a few blocks away was Union Station. They would be warm there and I could see if I could find some help for them. So we loaded the grandmothers and babies into my little car and ferried them to the station. And the adults and older children walked there. I had fifty bucks to my name and spent it on McDonalds meals.

Then I started calling to see if I could find some help for them. I called the pastors of two well-to-do churches whose names I happened to know. No, sorry. No help. (One of these churches is the home church of Kenneth Starr, incidentally.) Nothing they could do.

I had to get my own family home; my daughter needed her medications, etc. Well, at least the family could stay in the station overnight, in the train departures area. Better that than the street.

I had to ask Ramon something though, as they all smothered me with thanks and goodbyes.

"Why did you stop me?" I asked. Why me, out of the passersby.

I'm still stunned by his answer. "God told me he would send an angel" he said. "I kept telling my family we would be okay. God would send an angel."

And so I think this is my responsibility. To give sacrificially, without reservation, to any who ask. Let God sort them out and deal with them if they're scamming. To anticipate needs. To give them something worthy of my own self, not something dirty or dingy or spoiled or stingy. To elevate in whatever modest way I can.

Let the so-called "Christians" witness real generosity. Let them be publicly shamed, while their henchmen cut taxes for the wealthy on the backs of poor children and hungry grandmothers.

(Sorry for the rant. One of my pet issues.)
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FireHeart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 07:50 AM
Response to Reply #95
98. Blessed are the merciful...
for they shall be shown mercy.

I think, also it implies...Cursed are the merciless, for they shall be shown none.

Your story brought tears to my eyes. If a Diety does exist I pray blessings will be showered upon you.

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Nay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 08:52 AM
Response to Reply #95
102. Excellent, grasswire.
As an atheist who does not believe in gods or angels, I feel exactly as you do. We are not here to determine who will"drink up" the money we give, or who will use it for food. We should give according to our ability to do so, and with a generous heart, without fear, and while rebuking anyone who tells us not to.

I agree that all these fake Christians need to be publicly shamed for their greediness and blackheartedness.
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Liberator_Rev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #102
105. Amen, Nay
If there IS a God, and Jesus was right about him, then a multitude of Christians will be shocked to find out that the "Good Samaritan" could just as well have been an atheist. And Jesus instructed his followers to use that non-believer, rather than the priest, as their model.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #105
126. Ray, I think a lot of these right-wing
fundie so-called "Christians" are going to be very surprised when they hear, on judgment day, the words "get thee away from me, I tell you I do not know you."
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #95
125. WONDERFUL!
Many, many more people like you are so badly needed nowadays, especially with the idiot Boy King Impostor in the WH!!!! And you're right, your story reminds me of the old saying "Leave the decisions to man, the judgment to God."
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gmoney Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #86
139. Knew I'd get flamed...
"If we both think the same on all the issues, one of us isn't necessary."

I was just trying to show that depending on your point-of-view, everyone involved deserves compassion for being put in a bad situation. The original poster, the homeless guy, as well as the store clerk. You think the clerk enjoys being a hardliner about this stuff? It's their livelihood at stake, too. Nobody wins in this situation. Hence the original heading "Catch-22" -- damned if you do, damned if you don't.

It's like entropy: "To get something clean you have to get something else dirty. However, it's possible to get everything dirty without getting anything clean." It's possible that everyone in this situation suffers, while nobody is helped.

Yes, homelessness could very likely happen to me someday. However, if I've exhausted ALL my options as far as turning to family and friends and even aquaintances, and there is nobody there to lend a hand, mabye I'll try to get a high-paying panhandling gig. But if that doesn't work, I'm outta here. If the situation appears to be long-term, I'll throw myself in front of the truck, drink the kool-aid, lick the third rail, and get the hell out of dodge, because there sure as shootin' won't be anything left to live for. (As if there is now.) Or maybe just go to the nearest hospital, and tell them to use me for parts. (Yes, I know, my cold little black heart wouldn't do anyone any good.)

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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #139
140. well about the store clerk
I can't speak for her, but some people actually do enjoy seeing others suffer and have to put other people down to make themselves feel better. Her calling the homeless guy a "bum" kind of gives it away.

It was inhumane treatment and should be told as such.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 08:45 AM
Response to Reply #140
146. That's for sure.
She wasn't apologetic at all, and neither was the manager. She was a total bitch, screaming at him to "go the hell away, you goddamned bum", and yelling and screaming at me, when it was MY MONEY to do with as I wanted, and none of her business.
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Liberator_Rev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 10:10 AM
Response to Original message
103. "never, never, never" misrepresent Jesus' views !
I'm sorry to may missed this discussion earlier, but delighted to see that so many good Liberals put Devoir in his/her place for impugning LH's motives for relating her story.
Just for the record, Conservatives love to quote a few passages of Jesus, such as the one Devoir quotes, out of the context of his whole teaching. Another of their favorites "the poor you will always have among you", which he DID NOT SAY APPROVINGLY. (Republicans are so devoted to Jesus teaching, you know, that they want to make sure that Jesus is never proven wrong on this point!)

At any rate, IMHO, the following is more typical of Jesus:
{Matthew 5:14...20} "You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid.
No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. . . For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

People are virtually anonymous on forums, so if they want to boast, this is a lousy place to do it. What L H actually did was relate in just a few words an outstanding parable of the poor, the compassionate LIBERAL, and the "compassionate CONSERVATIVE" (LOL) in America today.

IMHO, I think Jesus will some day thank LiberalHistorian for "letting (her) light shine before others, so that they may see (her) good works and give glory to (our) Father in heaven."

http://www.LiberalsLikeChrist.Org/Christlike


See why Christians who are serious about following Christ
ought to be Liberal Democrats.
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The Lone Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 10:32 AM
Response to Original message
106. God Bless You! Keep Caring.
Through caring we maintain humanity. That is what differentiates us from the other political philosophy. We care and they do not; we care because we can truly feel the hurt, the disappointment, the helplessness of those who are less fortunate than we. That is what makes us what we are and that is why we are reviled by the those who subscribe to the philosophy of better the world perish than I suffer a hangnail.
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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
109. Dont feel bad
I make our bridge dwelling homeless man hold up political signs for his five bucks. Worse, I know he will buy wine with it. He is 45 and has been drunk since he was 14. Learn, live. What else can you do?
Don't let the clerk bother you. Pain is the best educator - and no one is void of it. Some day she will need help. and karma will force her to remember your encounter.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #109
128. And when the day comes when she does
need help, and unfortunately, in this economy I'm sure it will, I sure hope she gets the caring and assistance she needs and that her actions don't come back to haunt her.
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amazona Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
111. been on both sides of this
Bless your heart for being such a caring individual. I think maybe you over-reacted toward the store employees, though. The trouble is if there are a lot of people looking for hand-outs in front of a store, casino, etc. then a lot of customers with cash won't patronize that store. I've been homeless and with my huge income in the high four figures, I can't sit here and criticize someone for begging for money when they have no other way. There is damn little aid out there for homeless men in particularly. Yet there is something terrifying about being approached by an unknown individual, especially a man, who is asking for money. On a few occasions, the "requests" were more like demands or threats.

I guess what I'm saying is, by giving the man a few dollars, in the store manager's eyes, you may have been perceived as actually costing the store many more dollars -- because if that man returns looking for you (and they often do return) then other customers will not feel comfortable shopping there.

No easy answer. You don't want to walk on by and let someone starve, and it is not safe to take strangers away from the store before taking out money, so I have no real helpful suggestions. Everyone involved was put on the spot by circumstance.

Store managers have the right in almost every state to 86 "undesirables" from their property. They have to tell the undesirable on at least one occasion that he cannot return to the property. Then, when he does return, in theory, they can call the police and have him arrested. In reality, the police have better things to do with their time. I have a homeless friend who lived in the computer lab of a large university for many months before he was successfully arrested for trespass. He got a $50 ticket which was then thrown out by the judge. He has had many other adventures I could share, but suffice it to say you don't have to worry about the man being arrested for being homeless. It can take a lot of work to actually get arrested for trespassing even if you want to be arrested to get a bed and a meal or to get away from someone. I was threatened with arrest for trespass many times, and it was always a bluff.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #111
129. I think it wasn't just
what the clerk did, it was the WAY she did it, getting nasty and hostile and yelling, calling him a "goddamned bum", then yelling at me for doing what I want with MY MONEY, NOT HERS! And while you may have a point about managers not wanting stores to be seen as gathering places for "bums" as they call them, this particular store has never had that problem in the many years I've been going there.
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amazona Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #129
214. the way they handled it was definitely out of line
I've never understood the need to be rude about trespassing someone or about telling someone a store policy. I've got no explanation for that. I think some people get off on having a chance to exercise a petty little bit of power. Sometimes after repeatedly trespassing a certain person, or a number of people, they get a little more heated because they're tired of dealing with it, I guess. But to yell at someone the first time they're being informed of a policy or the first time they're being trespassed...I've never seen the point of that.

The point about it being your money is not really a strong point, unfortunately. Many stores have a policy against money changing hands except for store business. Of course it is not always enforced or it is selectively enforced but in general, it would not be store policy to allow people to buy or give money to other people on the store property. You see it violated so often though that it's a surprise when it is enforced. And I would have expected the clerk to be courteous and maybe a bit apologetic about having to tell you anything...

...but some people are just plain rude. What can you do? I wish I had better answers for you. You are really supposed to handle non-store money transactions off store property but I could not in good conscience advise you to off with a strange man to give him money. All you can do is your best and shrug off the jerks of the world, I suppose.

I'm guessing with the decline in the economy, the store is seeing more panhandling and getting more complaints about it...hence the change in their formerly tolerant attitude. Just a guess. Business policies come and go in regard to their handling of "undesirables," and a once-tolerant place can become hostile overnight.

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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #214
216. You may have a point about the store,
but in my years of going there almost once a day, that's the first time I've had that happen and the first time I've seen anyone do that. So I'm not sure if that was their policy all along, or if it just started. And I'm afraid that, given how weak the economy is starting to get around here and how even menial and retail/service/fast food jobs are getting harder to find, it's just going to get worse.
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Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
112. My personal ministry
My personal 'ministry' is food and clothing for those without either or both. I volunteer for the East Central IL Food bank, Second Harvest and my own parish's food and clothing programs. It is so heartbreaking, in a country such as this, to see how abjectly grateful people are to receive a few boxes of groceries or some used clothing; I am reminded several times each week why I am not now, nor will I ever be a Republican.

"In as much as ye have done unto the least of these my children, ye have done it unto me."

Good on you, liberalhistorian! :hug:
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MissMillie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:31 PM
Response to Original message
113. This gives me an idea
Thanksgiving night, I'll heat up a few dinner plates and pack up some of the blankets we're not using and take them somewhere where these homeless gather. I'm not sure how I'll find out where, but there has to be a way. Maybe the police can help, or one of the shelters.

It doesn't begin to address the problem, but it will keep someone fed for one night, and maybe a little warmer for a few more.
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HamstersFromHell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #113
114. The real warmth will be the feeling you get in your own heart.
Note that I'm not advocating doing it for that reason, nor would I accuse anyone of doing for such, but it does feel good.

If everyone did one little something for someone else each day, this world would be a lot better place to live in.

Hammies!

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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #113
131. I'm going to try to do the same this week,
I'll be out of town on Thanksgiving and the day after, but I'm going to try to get some hot food and blankets or whatever else I can get and try to see that he and whoever's down under the bridge with him have at least SOMETHING for Thanksgiving.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 12:51 PM
Response to Original message
116. When you do a compassionate deed, it's not written in
stone that you will get a warm fuzzy feeling. The fact that you did that though shows that you are a good person. That's good enough for anyone. :hugs:
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #116
130. Indeed, what's depressing is that people think that
it's such a big deal when you do even trivial things for those who need help. It should be NORMAL. Unless you're a republican, of course!!!!!
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #130
132. Keep doing it.
It becomes automatic after awhile. You never notice how much good you are doing. It becomes, like you said, normal, as it should. Way to go.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #132
133. It will indeed become normal,
won't it? And that's the way it should be. It has never failed to amaze me how so many people come up with so many excuses not to do the simplest thing for people in need. Maybe it's because I've been on the other side, and people have helped me, and I remember how that made me feel that someone would take the time to help me like that.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #133
134. I hear ya
I've been there myself, and you're right. And you never forget it either.

The man you helped probably won't forget either. Personal charity is always better than private charity ( by which I mean corporate, when government does it, it's all of us being nice to others) because it comes from the heart and not because of a tax break.
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solinvictus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 05:38 PM
Response to Original message
136. Last night
I had a similar experience here last night. There was a girl, about 19-22 years old, in front of one of the larger convenience stores here in the artsy-fartsy part of town. I'd bought gas and went in to pay, but she didn't say anything as I walked by her. I honestly thought that she may have been working outdoors and was just sitting for a smoke and resting. Anyway, I paid for my gas and on the way out, she asked for any change I had left. I use a debit card and additionally, I don't get paid until Wednesday, so I had no cash. I ran my wife and child home and went back out to a local market and bought a pint of milk, some fruit, 3 bottles of water, and 3 cans of spaghetti. I went back to look for her and she was there with a friend, another young woman about the same age. I gave her the bag of food and told her that I did not carry cash, but I wanted to help. She and her friend were more than greatful for the food. These were two well spoken young women and it made me wonder what circumstances led them to the street. There were no track marks, no burns from crack pipes; nothing. I see this more here (Chattanooga, TN) among young people.
As an aside, Food not Bombs tried to feed people here on the weekends in the local park. The city made them stop because it brought out the homeless in large numbers. Imagine, homeless people coming for a warm meal. The audacity of those bums.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 06:28 PM
Response to Reply #136
137. and...
...to put my story about the little family in Washington in perspective, at the time I was working for a mega-Christian (whose name most Americans would recognize as a public Washington figure) in his non-profit organization. The episode with Ramon and some other incongruities and inconsistencies that I saw in organized Christianity threw me for a real loop. I finally had to quit that good job as a matter of conscience; the hypocrisy of pretending to address social issues while worshiping conservatism and partisan politics and raising money that went to those ends was too much for me to understand or bear. For a couple of years I was bitter and angry against Christians. The model of Christ was so brilliant, so pure. And the evangelical fundamentalists had twisted it for money and power. It is still hard for me to be anything but angry at "them."
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Liberator_Rev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #137
181. Whom are you protecting, grasswire?
Is this " mega-Christian (whose name most Americans would recognize as a public Washington figure) in his non-profit organization" somebody you have to fear? You certainly don't owe him/her any protection.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 05:18 PM
Response to Reply #181
212. I'm really curious to know that, too,
and some names immediately came to mind!
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Spock_is_Skeptical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-23-03 06:32 PM
Response to Original message
138. You did the right thing.
Sure, there are homeless folks who will take the cash to buy alcohol. But then again so what? These people need to eat as well, and shouldn't all be judged on the basis of the ones who are addicts.

There's nothing wrong with helping out our fellow human beings.
I refuse to become that jaded.
It just chaps my ass to witness the hateful attitude reflected by that store clerk, who is literally a paycheck away from homelessness herself.

Our local foodshelf is patronized by the homeless in the area, along with thousands of others who are probably not far from being homeless. Every month, it seems, there are more and more new faces, people who are down on their luck.

I would urge anyone who is concerned to volunteer at your own local foodshelf, or at least donate food, clothing or whatever you can. The foodshelves here have been facing a shortage, and from what I hear, it is the same across the country.

We never know when we may be down on our luck, and have to rely on the 'kindness of strangers.'
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 08:50 AM
Response to Reply #138
147. That's for sure!
And it's really infuriating and depressing to see so many people and families who would normally never be in this situation have to suddenly find themselves so down and out. Thanks again, Smirkie!
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Kamika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 09:23 AM
Response to Original message
150. I'll tell you why
Edited on Mon Nov-24-03 09:50 AM by Kamika
Because you most likely just did it to ease your conscience for the next time you won't give money to a homeless person.

Anyway , don't give money to homeless ppl they will most likely buy booze.. it was a cool thing to actually buy him food.


And to all you ppl complaining about that store owner that told him to get lost.. Unless you own a store/restaurant and have some homeless person outside bugging ppl for money you really shouldn't comment on it.
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Terran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #150
152. here we go again
Have you actually read this thread?
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Kamika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 09:45 AM
Response to Reply #152
153. no not really
Edited on Mon Nov-24-03 09:49 AM by Kamika
I spent the weekend at some friends house.. and this thread is too large to read.

Fill me in willya



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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #153
159. Well, at least you're lucky to have friends
houses to go to, unlike a lot of others who don't even have a home.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #150
158. EXCUSE ME?
The NEXT time I won't give money to a homeless person? I don't encounter homeless people myself very often, except for volunteering at shelters and, unless I had no cash myself, would not turn someone down who so obviously needed help.

Newsflash: I'm going to say this ONE MORE FUCKING TIME, SO LISTEN UP GOOD THIS TIME: NOT ALL HOMELESS PEOPLE ARE ADDICTED BUMS WHO WILL ONLY USE HELP THEY RECEIVE TO PERPETUATE THEIR ADDICTION! A lot of them nowadays happen to be families with young children, the mentally ill, and even older couples. The stereotype of the homeless all being drug-addicted, alcoholic violent bums is nothing more than a right-wing talking point to justify their inhumanity and lack of caring and compassion and action, and I'm more than surprised and terribly upset and dismayed to see that kind of attitude on DU, of all places. I'd expect it from Freak Republic, but definitely not from here.

And as for the store clerk, while they may technically have the right to determine who they do and do not want on their property, they have NO right to determine for me and tell me how to spend my money and whether or not to help a fellow human being, and they sure as hell didn't have to be that nasty and hostile about it. And maybe if they helped out people once in awhile instead of only caring about the almight buck, they wouldn't have to worry about people bothering their customers.

And you now have the distinct honor of being the first person that I have EVER put on Ignore in the eight months I've been on here. I didn't even believe in the Ignore function until now. I get enough of this RW wingnut insensitive, uncaring, heartless, inhumane, ignorant bullshit everywhere I turn in my life, from the media to my workplace to my friends and family, and I'm sure as hell not going to deal with it on my one escape that keeps me sane, DU.
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Kamika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 10:32 AM
Response to Reply #158
161. well thats nice
Edited on Mon Nov-24-03 10:33 AM by Kamika
"I don't encounter homeless people myself very often"

and then

"Newsflash: I'm going to say this ONE MORE FUCKING TIME, SO LISTEN UP GOOD THIS TIME: NOT ALL HOMELESS PEOPLE ARE ADDICTED BUMS WHO WILL ONLY USE HELP THEY RECEIVE TO PERPETUATE THEIR ADDICTION!"


See I encounter homeless people VERY often unlike you. You might try to actually "encounter" (as you put it so nicely) more homeless people before you lecture me on how wrong I am.

Anyway go ahead and ignore me, lol.. and you call ME a freeper
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #161
164. See the next post down,
154, SiobhanClancy. I think that says it a lot better than I can. But what's the point, since you obviously don't listen? I sure as hell hope YOU'RE never in that position one day and that, if you are, there will be people around you a lot more helpful, understanding and compassionate toward their fellow human beings than you appear to be.
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Kamika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #164
165. Jesus I give up
Edited on Mon Nov-24-03 10:45 AM by Kamika
Congratulations! you gave food to a homeless person!

/applauds /gives medal /congratulate you on being so humane unlike me.


I salute you!
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #165
166. Oh, for God's sake,
that is NOT AT ALL WHAT I MEANT AND YOU KNOW IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now excuse me, I have to go get my sleeping blanket and pick out my spot under the bridge.
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kmla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #158
167. liberalhistorian, thanks for not pre-judging.
Reading through the posts above reinforces the fact to me that a few people actually still look for the good in people, and still take people at their word, regardless of their station in life. Compassion is a trait that is very scarce in this society, sadly. I'm glad to see that you still show some. Bless you. And thank you.

Are poor or homeless people any less trustworthy than those in the general population? Who are we to question their motives? Passing out 'vouchers', IMHO, pre-supposes that you actually know what is better for the person than they do. But do you, really? Honestly? Or does it just make you feel like you have done a 'good thing', while in actuality, you have stereotyped that individual before they even spoke their first word.

Trusting your fellow man. A practive that is enacted way too little these days. Kudos to you, liberalhistorian.

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philosophie_en_rose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #150
172. Once is better than never, Kamika.
I'll tell you why you insist on interjecting. You just want to never have to give a homeless person anything.

For the non-Asians in the audience, not all of us own stores. :) However, I happen to be related to about five different store owners. None are as terrible as the clerk at liberalhistorian's former store. That isn't to say that they particularly desire their stores blocked by homeless families (or groups of loitering teenagers, etc). But there is a way to politely ask people to move on without being an absolute jerk.
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Kamika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #172
173. Well thats true
Edited on Mon Nov-24-03 11:54 AM by Kamika
I dont want to "have" to give anyone anything.

But I think you meant I dont "want" go give anything to someone homeless.


And see you're wrong.. I'd LOVE to help someone who REALLY wanted to get help. But I know from my own encounters with dozens of homeless how they are drug addicts.

And then some person who talked to a homeless for the first time in life and gave money, expects the nobel peace-price and tells me how inhumane I am..


please..
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #173
177. THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME I HAVE GIVEN
ANYTHING TO, ENCOUNTERED, OR WORKED WITH A HOMELESS PERSON. IT'S JUST THE FIRST TIME IN A LONG TIME. AND I KNOW THE NUMBER OF HOMELESS FAMILIES ARE INCREASING JUST IN MY COMMUNITY.

There, NOW did you at least understand that?
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #172
176. What do you mean not all Asians
own stores? But-but-but-but I thought that that was ONE stereotype I could actually count on! I mean, every fiftieth store I go into is owned by Asians, so doesn't that mean that all stores are owned by Asians?

End of sarcastic rant
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SiobhanClancy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 09:55 AM
Response to Original message
154. I've done a lot of volunteer work at a homeless shelter..
here in Boston. I can attest to the fact that homeless people are a very diverse group. Within the last month I have met two women who were laid off and unable to pay their rent,several battered women who were unable to find any other housing, a man who is supporting his children but unable to afford a room for himself,as well as a number of people working in low-paying jobs who are trying to find housing. Yes,there are also a number of alcholics/addicts,too and quite a few who are mentally ill. Regardless of the circumstances,they are sent out early in the morning and must return by 6 PM or they will lose their beds. If the temperature drops below 18 degrees,they are allowed to stay in. If they violate any of a number of rules,they can be evicted immediately. This could be something as simple as disagreeing with a staff member. The staff are a diverse group,too. Some are compassionate and able,many others are quite poorly qualified for their positions. One of the evening supervisors was recently fired for misconduct with female "guests"..which is what they are called. "Guests" who are on perscription drugs,which must be locked up in the office,often have the medicine stolen by the staff. This is considered one of the better shelters in the city,and yet it is a very degrading and dehumanizing place.
I give what I can to the homeless when I am asked...granted,some will buy alcohol/drugs with it. Many others may just buy a cup of coffee or a sandwich,which enables them to have a place to sit for a while and feel like part of the human race. I'm not so sure that I wouldn't turn to the drink if I found myself in such circumstances. Even more than giving money,simply speaking to people and recognizing them as fellow humans is the least we all can do.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #154
160. And that's what everyone deserves,
to be treated with simple human dignity and recognized as members of the human race, not just those with a lot of money.
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smirkymonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #160
195. And, really, what you just stated
is the bottom line - Too often, people in this society equate a person's value with their net worth. Everyone deserves to be treated humanely. What is the quote? "Don't judge a person until you have walked a mile in his/her shoes?" I'm paraphrasing, but you get the message.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 10:34 AM
Response to Original message
162. Applause for you for your compassion and courage facing down the mgmt.
Edited on Mon Nov-24-03 10:34 AM by BurtWorm
:applause:
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #162
163. Thanks!
n/t
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foo_bar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 12:11 PM
Response to Original message
174. tzedakah
Maimonides once detailed a hierarchy of charity, in order of descending selfishness:

1) Giving a present, lending money, taking as a partner or finding work for someone before he needs to ask for charity.
2) Giving charity to the poor when both the donor and the recipient are unaware of each other's identity.
3) The donor knows the recipient's identity, but the recipient does not know the donor.
4) The recipient knows the donor's identity, but the donor does not know the recipient.
5) The donor gives charity even before he is asked.
6) The donor gives to the poor person after being asked for charity.
7) The donor gives less than he should, but gives in a pleasant manner.
8) The donor gives charity grudgingly (he feels displeasure, but doesn't show it).

I'd add a ninth category:
9) The donor gives charity, then heralds it in a public forum, while disparaging people who perform anonymous charity with pithy slogans like "IF YOU DON'T LIKE THAT, THAT'S TOO FUCKING BAD!"
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #174
178. Oh, for God's sake,
what I was trying to show through my account of the store clerk and the store manager, and the fact that increasing numbers of the homeless are families, was the real problem I'm seeing more and more of and that is a total lack of any understanding and caring of those who need help, and the fact that there is no excuse for ANYONE to be in that situation in this, the richest country in the world and the richest country the world has ever known. THAT'S what I meant by that "slogan" as you call it, that you took out of context in the first place, I was responding to someone who was saying I was showing too much "anger" in my post, and that, fuck yes, I was angry at the situations like this happening in this country. And my experience has been that people like that don't do "anonymous" acts, hell they don't do anything at all.

You know what, people, next time I'll just push him in front of a damn car and leave him to die, and put him out of his misery. And I'll quit volunteering in shelters, etc., etc. And I'll no longer express any anger or frustration at the desperate situations so many people find themselves in now and the fact that a lot of people don't seem to give a shit. There, is that better?

And, btw, few people on here know my real name or identity, so if I was going to toot my horn, you'd think I'd do that in a place where everyone knows me and knows who I really am. Sheesh!
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foo_bar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #178
192. you asked "why do I feel so bad?"
I assumed it wasn't a rhetorical question, so I gave my opinion: you weren't heaped enough praise at the time. You felt bad because your generosity wasn't reciprocated with instant gratification, so you sought to rectify the shortage. Of course sacrifice is by nature one-sided, so your charity comes across as a bit uncharitable.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #192
196. That is totally wrong and out-of-line,
the reason I was upset, again for the umpteenth time, is the way he was treated by the store clerk and management, the fact that there are people living under bridges and hungry, in what's supposed to be the richest nation on earth. Not only are you out-of-line, but you're way off base. I try to do my share without it even being known, and what I was angry about was what I explained above. And some of the responses on this thread from people who don't seem to give a damn about others in need proves my point.
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foo_bar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #196
199. I missed the line
I assumed your question was sincere.
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #196
234. You just can't help yourself, can you?
"And some of the responses on this thread from people who don't seem to give a damn about others in need proves my point."

You can't hardly make a post without disparaging others' moral intent, can you? Every poster on here appears to 'give a damn' about the poor in some way. It's just that a few of us understand that your method of showing 'compassion' is recongized by many professionals as doing more harm than good. The worst part, though, is that comments like the quote above make us believe your whole intent with this post was to draw attention and congratulations to yourself. "Look how good I am while you are an uncaring bastard". Foo bar has it exactly right. Do good deeds anonymously. Don't draw attention to yourself.
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moroni Donating Member (136 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 01:08 PM
Response to Original message
179. It seems to me that you don't feel bad, you may feel inadequate.
There is always more we can do, but you can't do it all yourself.

You should also feel compassion (you did). I am sorry, but I think you did a Christ-like thing. Don't ever let that happen again. Why who knows what you may have started. Why if EVERYONE started to be caring and compassionate then, who knows where it might end. World peace? No crime? World hunger defeated? Peace on Earth?

What would we have to complain about?


Blessings to you!
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #179
180. LOL!
What would we have to complain about, indeed!
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LeftPeopleFinishFirst Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
183. When I was in DC
I gave a few bucks to a couple different homeless people. It wasn't much but they were grateful. You did a good thing, there should be more compassionate people in this world. Don't doubt your actions, there was obviously your heart at work in that situation and it is good that you trusted it.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #183
188. Good for you, Maggie!
Depressing to see that "sight" in the capital of the richest nation in the world, isn't it?
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pdx_prog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 05:21 PM
Response to Original message
213. Marianne Williamson
Tells a story about her and a girlfriend being in New York. They had just finished a nice meal and were heading to a broadway show when someone asked her for a handout. She gave the man some money and was criticized for it by her girlfriend. She told her that all he was going to do was buy alcohol or drugs with it.

Marianne told her that "she" was the one that was going to get the good Kharma from God for giving unselfishly. The universe doesn't care what they spend the money on....I am the better for giving it to them. Her friend told her that she didn't condone giving money to people to buy drugs and alcohol. Marianne then asked her how many movie stars and entertainers she knew of that were admittedely drug and alcohol users and how many times that had stopped her from seeing their movies or buying their records.

As John Denver said in "It's About Time", There's a man who is my brother, I just don't know his name. But I know his home and family because I know we feel the same. And it hurts me when he's hungry, and when his children cry, I too am a father, that little one is mine."
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #213
218. What a wonderful John Denver
quote, I'd never even heard that and I thought I was a fan, lol! And you're right, it never fails to amaze me that people have so much tolerance and sympathy for the actions and habits of those who have money, but if they don't have any money or a name, then they might as well not exist to many people.
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 05:30 PM
Response to Original message
215. Nobody said Life was fair...
But that doesn't mean that kind, caring people like you don't feel bad when proof of Life's cruelty is screaming in your face.

LiberalHistorian, I wish you'd send this story around to the op ed pages of different newspapers...maybe to a few "Dear Abby" columns, or to someone like Oprah Winfrey as well. What you've experienced needs to be told loudly.

Most of us don't understand homelessness since we haven't experienced it. We tend to view ourselves as "better" than those without shelter, rather than "luckier". We view alcohol & drug addiction and weakness of character as the culprits of homeless people's plight, rather than symptoms of any number of psychological problems which require treatment.

I'm thankful there are people like you, to make this world seem less cruel. :hug:
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #215
217. That's a good idea to send the story out,
anonymously of course, because I don't want people to think the way some people on here do, that I'd just be doing it for me. But people really do need to know what a problem this really is and that it's only getting worse. And they also need to know that, for many of them, they're only a few paychecks away from it happening to them.
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maxanne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-03 11:52 PM
Response to Original message
242. some facts on the homeless population
from the real professionals - not some right wing newspaper article

http://www.nationalhomeless.org/who.html

In 2001, the U.S. Conference of Mayors' survey of homelessness in 27 cities found that children under the age of 18 accounted for 25.3% of the urban homeless population.

Funny, how children were left out of the 99% mentally ill drug addict story Devoir is so high on.

In its 2001 survey of 27 American cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors found that families comprised 40% of the homeless population

Approximately 22% of the single adult homeless population suffers from some form of severe and persistent mental illness

Not exactly the same information our new friend has been spouting. You'll see the numbers on addiction don't match either. Addiction specialists don't advise sudden, non-medical detox. Giving a drunk a drink could save his/her life.
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Loonman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 07:46 AM
Response to Original message
249. Cough up!
Holding back money because a homeless person might buy booze or drugs is candy-ass bullshit.

Who the fuck are we to judge?

The problem I have with some liberals is their "superior moral" attitude.

Give me a fucking break!!!! Where the fuck do you get off?


What if booze and drugs are the only happines that person has left? What if it is the only way someone can cope when they're in the gutter?

Stop thinking you're Jesus fucking Christ and cough up, skinflint!!!!!!!!!!!!!



That's all I have to say about that.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 10:05 AM
Response to Reply #249
253. And that's pretty much all there is
to say, lol!!!
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bloom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 11:01 AM
Response to Original message
259. I don't get
Devior saying to give the homeless "vouchers" to the soup kitchen. Our local one is free, anyway - you just go.

If a person wanted someone to be able to eat at McDonalds and didn't want to give out cash - it would be easy enough to have a supply of gift certificates to hand out.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #259
267. He kept saying "vouchers" because he
obviously doesn't know what the hell he's talking about. Soup kitchens and homeless shelters don't have "vouchers", at least none that I've ever worked with or heard of do. Your suggestion about fast-food gift certificates is a good one.
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Terran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #267
269. vouchers are often used
to provide some services to homeless people, but service at a shelter isn't one of them. Your right LH, just another indication Devoir is spouting ignorant assumptions, not facts. Vouchers are given for such things as motel stays; or sometimes to get a meal at a restaurant that has such an arrangement with a local social service agency; or for transportation. Vouchers are a legitimate way of ensuring that the services intended to be provided are actually used. It's simpler and more reliable, in general, than handing out cash; but that is in no way support for the idea that you should never give cash to a homeless person.

Dirk
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 12:45 PM
Response to Reply #269
271. Well, for my own sanity
I finally put him on ignore, so I wouldn't be bothered with his babble, lol!
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #269
295. A little honesty, please?
"Vouchers are a legitimate way of ensuring that the services intended to be provided are actually used... but that is in no way support for the idea that you should never give cash to a homeless person."

Now why would anyone need a way of 'ensuring that the services intended to be provided are actually used' ? Are you saying these people can't be counted on to spend cash for those needed services? Gee. What do you think they might buy instead? Could it be BOOZE, smokes, or DRUGS? Look, why the fuck can't you just be honest and admit what we all know? Please stop the charade.
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SiobhanClancy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-26-03 09:43 AM
Response to Reply #295
302. So what?
Some of them might indeed buy something you don't approve of. Many of the homeless people I know are not addicts or alcoholics,and even if some are,it's not my place in life to make judgements about them. If you don't want to give money to the homeless,then don't. Obviously,you have many preconceived ideas about them. We don't "all know" what you claim we do....I've spent many hours in a homeless shelter as a volunteer and I met people in many different circumstances. The commone denominator is of course lack of housing. I hope you never find yourself in such straitened circumstances(and it can happen to nearly anyone),but if you do,I hope there are people like Liberalhistorian around to help you out :)
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Terran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-26-03 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #295
310. Oh please...think before you spout
There are any number of reasons why homeless service providers might not want to keep wads of cash sitting around. Ya think? Do you actually think I'm here to deny human nature? Of course some homeless people would be tempted to use such cash for purposes other than that intended. But you assume that's what I was implying when I wrote "Vouchers are a legitimate way of ensuring that the services intended to be provided are actually used." There's is also a major issue for homeless people (one that your thoughtless self has not considered) that they are easy prey for real criminals. If social service agencies gave away cash to help the homeless, violent criminals would be all over them within minutes of leaving the facility. One purpose of vouchers is to give a person who needs it a cash equivalent that is of no particular value to anyone other than the recipient.

A little honesty? How about a little thinking be fore you make yourself look like a ... mmmph, must not flame...
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BrokenSegue Donating Member (78 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 12:51 PM
Response to Original message
272. Interesting.
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geniph Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 04:29 PM
Response to Original message
279. I do hope that everyone that says you shouldn't have given the $5
isn't listening to Rush Limbaugh, and thus contributing to his drug problem...
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #279
282. well
he's not homeless. I guess if he was, we would be enabling him...lol
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #282
289. No, I would imagine that
Lush LIEbaugh will NEVER be faced with the situation of homelessness. And, if he was, his dittohead fuckstick followers would turn on him, and probably wouldn't even recognize him on the street. They'd just turn away, saying he was probably some drunken bum who deserved his situation and who shouldn't be given a second though. And then they'd say, "oh, yeah, remember whats-his-name, didn't he say something about all these bums just being worthless addicts, or something like that?"
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #279
284. That's for sure, and I hope
that they never find themselves in that position and there's no one around to help them because everyone thinks they're just an alcoholic or a drug addict.
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NightTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 07:58 PM
Response to Original message
291. Historian, a question for you

Last night, I sent out your original posting to my e-mail list of several dozen people, and have gotten some replies, none of them negative. And before you ask: no, I did *not* give out your screen name!

Anyway, my question is this: would you like me to send you the replies by e-mail, or should I post them here? It's your call!

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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #291
292. Why don't you just send them by email, that
would probably be best. And I'm sorry about what happened to your thread last night, I finally put that idiot on ignore. I couldn't believe how he just came in and hijacked the thread and got everyone all riled up. Granted, we shouldn't have "fed" him, but he was just so infuriating! And you did the right thing, btw, and I'm glad you shared it!
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Devoir Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-25-03 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #292
293. Who hijacked the thread?
Let's recap. I complimented NightTrain for having a good heart, then suggested there might be more effective ways of helping a beggar. Rosie then blasted me for 'spouting right-wing points'. Then I posted a link to prove my position. Then the insults came flying. So I'd say you need to look at some other folks if you're looking to blame somebody for hijacking the thread.
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ellie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-26-03 08:20 AM
Response to Original message
298. Hey LH!
I thought about your post all night, and I think that I have two reasons why you feel bad.

First, the reaction of the store clerk and the manager was uncalled for. I am always shocked when people demonstrate their rudeness and cruelty. I felt the same way reading some of these posts. We MUST have compassion for, and help, those less fortunate than us. It is what makes us human. It is not our place to judge them, ever.

The second reason may be the helplessness you feel at the situation. I always want to fix every problem and feel helpless that I can't. Will giving a homeless person food or money fix the homeless problem? No, but I think some people expect that it should.

Now for the background story:
After my father got out of the Army in the late 40s, he didn't have any money for food and didn't have any clothes. He relied on the kindness of strangers and the Salvation Army and he never forget them. Throughout my entire life he told me that we MUST help those who are less fortunate. There is no MAYBE about it. Ever. The mark of a civilized society is one that takes care of its citizens. That we are the richest country in the world, and indeed, the country that feeds the rest of the world and we CHOOSE NOT TO, is unbelievable.

So, don't listen to people who tell you that you were wrong or you did it to tell everyone about it. Remember what Jesus said, "Whatever you do to the least of my brothers, you do unto me."
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-26-03 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #298
307. Thanks, and you're right,
I did, and still, feel helpless and I just couldn't believe the reaction of the store clerk and managers. I still can't get the image of people living under bridges with a few blankets for possessions in the richest country in the world!!!!!
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VOX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-26-03 01:47 PM
Response to Original message
313. Not to be too new-agey, but there is an interconnectedness...
between all living things. The homeless people we see every day are, in fact, our brothers and sisters. What happens to them, happens to us.

We can be embarrassed, humiliated and frightened by them, or we can extend a bit of kindness -- some change, some food, a blanket.

In your heart, lh, you obviously feel this, and thus your almost instinctive need to help out.

On the day the first bombs dropped in the Iraq invasion, I drove home from work and, pulling into an alley to park, saw a sad, filthy, ragged homeless man -- who was obviously schizophrenic -- trying to eat some crumbs from a trash can.

I actually wept, thinking that America was able to drop tons of explosives on a defenseless country in another part of the world, but it could not, or would not, do anything to help the plight of its own unfortunate souls.

Our country's priorities are just *so* out of whack!


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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-26-03 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #313
314. Yes, they are, and getting
more so, and it really makes me sick to my stomach.
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Gemini Cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-26-03 03:35 PM
Response to Original message
315. Bloody hell!
If I have a bit of extra money, I'll give to the homeless. I don't give a bloody hell what they do with it either. If they decide to buy a pint, it's none of my business. It's their choice to do what they will with the money and most will buy food.

If I were homeless, I might be a rollicking drunk, because it's not an easy life living in the streets and all. Being homeless is hardly a life style choice. Who the bloody fuck would choose a life that renders one invisible to most people and visible to those who find it a lark to cause you harm? I'd drink just to keep the depression away for as long as I could, but that's me...not the vast majority of homeless some of which are children!

Things can happen which in turn, can make a person homeless... like the economy for one... thanks wankerbush! "Get a job." What jobs? Where?

I am so bloody sorry that a homeless person might offend the gentle sensibilities of a customer. Gee, my ass bleeds for those who are easily offened by the sight of the homeless. However, I am offened by the fact that too many people care little about the plight of the homeless and those that do care, are told they are wrong for caring or wrong for sharing what they have!

Homelessness is rising, so get used to seeing the homeless fouling up your beauitiful world.

-------------------------------------------------------

LiberalHistorian: thank-you for sharing what you had that day. You made a difference and I am glad there are people like you in this world.
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Undemcided Donating Member (225 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-26-03 03:59 PM
Response to Original message
317. Good for you.
Compassion is contagious. :hi:
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-26-03 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #317
319. Too bad that store clerk and her idiot
manager didn't catch it somewhere!
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ronzo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-27-03 12:48 AM
Response to Original message
322. Locking - Excess inflammation
Edited on Thu Nov-27-03 12:49 AM by ronzoNOLA
Perhaps our concern for the plight of people who are homeless might be best directed towards helping them obtain food and/or shelter, especially during the holiday season?

Perhaps the energies expended in this thread would be helpful in that regard? With this in mind ... and perhaps to offer some something else to be thankful for ... I'm locking this thread.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Share it with others!
ronzoNola
DU moderator
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