The Homeless

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I tend to agree more with the article from John Derbyshire called “Throw the the bums out: But Do So With Compassion-Coolidge-Style Compassion. Right off the the bat he tells a personal story about going to a library in San Fransico. It hit home with me because I, like probably most people have encountered similar situations. It is extremely uncomfortable especially when I get asked for money for the simple fact that I don’t EVER carry any cash on my person. If I had some cash on me, then I would probably not have a problem with giving.

I can recall on one occasion in Austin, TX. I was at a stop light when a homeless person came to my window. He asked me for some change to spare. I didn’t have any on me or in my car, but I did have my lunch that I packed for myself. I pulled out an apple and a bag of chips and tried handing it to the man. He angrily refused the food and yelled, “I asked for money not food.” “I don’t want your damn Apple!” Now, I understand that not all homeless are this way. I like how John Derbyshire puts it at the end of his article. “As you cross Civic Center Plaza they leer at you, yell at you, sometimes harass you. If you are a woman, they make lewd remarks at you. All this we are supposed to put up with in the name of “compassion” and “rights.” And put up with it we do! Why?”

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7 thoughts on “The Homeless

  1. I would never put up with a rude remake from anybody wheither they are homeless or not. I also know there is a ever growing population of homless people in our country. But, I would never give money to a homless person either. It is like the saying goes “give a man a fish he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish he eats for a lifetime.” One of my friends started an organization called hoodies or hoodie and what we do is collect any type of suplies that one might need on the street and we wrap it in a hoodie to hand out to the homless. Right now the operation is being run in the trunck of my car, but every member has a hoodie so if they see a homless person they can give it to them.

    • Wow! I really like your idea with the hoodies. Thanks for the comment. I also think the saying about teaching a man to fish rather than just giving him 1 fish is perfect in this situation.

  2. Jacob, thanks for your post. I tend to sympathize with the grim reality of homelessness. Apart of this stems from the fact that I am a second-generation Eritrean. My parents were forced to escape Eritrea during its civil war with Ethiopia, and eventually they were able to refuge in America. After the war, tens of thousands of lowland Eritreans became homeless. As you know, across the continent of Africa, millions of people are displaced and without dwelling. This is due to many factors including civil war, oppressive governments, unemployment rates, and natural disasters to name a few. The circumstances of homeless people in America are different from those in Africa. Here they have the opportunity and the access to people who are willing to help, and so if ever I am confronted by a homeless person here, I make the attempt to find the root cause for their hardships before deciding if I will help them financially.

  3. Jacob, I have also been faced with an interesting interaction with a homeless man. We were walking back to the Dart Station after a concert in Fair Park, and we were approached by a homeless man who was asking for some sort of monetary donation. With us all just being at a concert, we did have cash on us, but we had also just spent quite a bit of money. So we were reluctant to give. Luckily one of the girls we were with had a granola bar in her purse and offered it to the man, he looked at her, spat on the ground and said, “Don’t offer me your pity bird food.” Now I am not real sure, but if I was homeless, I would take what I can get. I liked what Laura said above with the “teach a man to fish” quote. A perfect fit for these kinds of situations. Now I’m not saying all homeless people are like this but there seems to be a pattern here.

  4. Your experience with the homeless man hints at the true problem. A lot of the homeless people are not interested in using the money people give them in order to get back on their feet. Now, I’m not saying that all homeless people are like this, but there are those who would rather spend that money on alcohol or drugs, rather than use it to start trying to advance their situation. And this could be for many reasons. They may have lost hope on ever having a better life and may have accepted the situation they are in. I can definitely see this happening to many people if they became homeless. Once they believe that they will always be homeless, it is much more unlikely that they will ever live off of the streets. In order to fix this problem, we need to give the homeless reasons to believe that they can move out of where they are. Once they have that hope, I believe that they will be much more likely to make something of themselves.

  5. Thanks for the comments everyone. I liked your input eaanderson93 about how some homeless people may have just given up hope. I guess I hadn’t really thought of it that way. Adonels1, I agree with you in the fact that there tends to be a pattern with the way the homeless are acting. I imagine that there are many reasons for their behavior. However, if we just keep giving them free stuff or are accepting their behavior as normal, I don’t think that is helping them get any better either.

  6. Marsha Dawkins

    Gazing into distant shore, my mind wondered as I look upon the image of someone “who I will call Jim”. Jim is obviously in need of some help. Is it possible that this person could be related to me in some way? But then again he looks to be of a different race and possibly a different culture. Although, it really doesn’t matter who he is or where he is from. Lying on the ground I can hear a desperate cry for help, I need help! Seeing the picture of Jim makes me think of so many things, such as: why is he in the situation that he is in? Why aren’t people offering him help? These are just a few of the questions that came to mind.
    My thoughts changed as I read the bloggers post about the cry for help for Jim. Jim seems to be in need of help and was asking for help, which I am sure that many other people offered to him. Jim didn’t want help in the form of food. No, Jim wanted help in the form of money so that he could spend it on his own terms. He wanted to be free to support his own habits. What the blogger did was very kind and compassionate.

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