Homeless

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Gloria Mitchell, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
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    Never been homeless myself, but have dealt with many who are. Homeless families with young children are the saddest. Many are homeless due to drug or alcohol problems, and some, believe it or not, choose to be homeless. Here we have a problem with "stranding" in which people from rural areas have to come to Anchorage or Fairbanks for some reason, usually medical care, and then do not have the resources to return home. They are left in the city with no home and little support network to rely upon. There are non-profit that try to get them home, but many slip through the cracks and are left homeless. I don't know if the stranding problem exists in other states or not, as most places have roads and buses that go everywhere. Here we have to fly,and flying is expensive here.
     
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  2. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    I can't bear the thought of what children go through today, bad enough in years gone by but today is far worse
     
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  3. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    I’ve never really thought about the problems of travel in Alaska because believe it or not Don, [and most people do not know it], but in the lower 48 a person with a vehicle, no warrants and a valid driver’s license can travel just about anywhere and not have a penny on them.
    A stop at a local police station will either garner a voucher for gas or directions to a church (or other foundation) who hands out vouchers.
    Sometimes, the vouchers will also include food if the approved gas station has a convenience store attached to it. Towns all over Route 66 are famous for vouchers that also include a stop at a local restaurant for food and sometimes even a motel room for an overnight stay and rest.

    Another outlet is an almost defunct foundation called “Traveler’s Aid”. They are generally located near a bus station but again, the police department is the best way to find out where it is. They arrange for bus tickets to whatever destination if a person Is stranded and the foundation is especially helpful for runaways who wish to return home.

    Now, if one thinks that all the cities with police departments handing out gas vouchers is indeed a wonderfully charitable thing to do, it really isn’t.
    The fact is, they simply do not want any homeless people on the streets and in cars so they have a polite way of ushering them out.
    Portland, Or. hates the homeless so badly that they closed up 6 missions a few years ago just to make sure they had no place to stay and would possibly move on.
    I think they have found out since then that it wasn’t the best way to handle the problem but they’re still adamantly against allowing good mission ministries to come in and help out unless there’s a lot of money attached to it.
     
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  4. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    I do not pity the Homeless...they are of their own making.

    Hal
     
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  5. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    If your house burned down and someone hacked your bank account, would your homelessness be of your own making?

    Hurricane Katrina produced thousands of homeless people. The tornado’s that ran through Alabama a few years ago had people living in tents and in their cars, in the ruins of their homes and on the streets.
    The coal mines that the Obama administration closed down produced whole towns of people losing their mortgages, living with relatives and on the streets and in tents.
    How many divorces end up with men, women and children in shelters?

    You have apparently lived such a cushy life that you have absolutely no idea what real life is all about Hal and although I really hope that nothing happens to you, if it does, it might teach you a little more humility.
     
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  6. Gloria Mitchell

    Gloria Mitchell Veteran Member
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    @Bobby Cole @Hal Pollner
    True Bobby, however Hal is probably refering to the small percentage of those who are druggies, or homeless by choice.
    My work at the SA has taught much already. While there a woman came that I knew I had seen before somewhere.She was clearly homeless and very weather beaten. A bicycle is gold for these folks and hers had been hit that morning at the SA center. She needed to get somewhere and now she couldn't. She was very stressed out and on the verge of passing out.I got her water and had her sit down.
    Sunday morning I was up at 4:30am and had an Awe Ha momement! I knew of her and her mother and her four kids!
    She and family use to shop where I worked. They all checked out in my dept about once or twice a month. I know a bit about her past so I am hoping to find out what happened for her to be homeless.
    Many are dealing with mental disorders and can complicate things at times.
    Then there are the homeless Vets, and there are several reasons they to are on the streets. Salvation Army helps all regardless of whatever label they have.We have councilor, social worker, interpreter, the list goes on of those there to help.
    SA also helps with aid and assistance during disasters which requires even more people. With the exception of a few, we all are volunteers- and it takes many people to run just this one place. So far a very rewarding feeling
    in being of some help to them all.
     
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  7. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    Yep - you can include many soldiers in your list too
     
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  8. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    Are you for real?... what a blanket statement to make!!!:rolleyes:
     
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  9. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    Yes indeed Patsy but to tell the truth, I really didn’t want to go there yesterday because that subject is my pet part of the mission ministry and I might have written something akin to War and Peace by the time I was finished.

    @Hal Pollner should have known better than to make a statement like that.
    After WWII, the Korean [War] and the Vietnam [War], the U.S. was flooded with men who were still so young that they had no specific career training other than wrecking things and killing people. Yeah, that’s blunt but that’s the chief job in the military and there’s no call for civilians who have that expertise. What does a soldier do when he or (now) she can’t get a job and frankly, some of their own families do not want them? They get used to it, adapt to it and do whatever it takes to survive with many of them getting hooked on drugs and alcohol just to kill a few memory cells in their brain.
    A lot of them build small tent cities in the mountains and forests and one was even started in a field of Kudzu in Atlanta.
    They do whatever they have to do to survive until homelessness is a lifestyle all by itself.
    One very famous group was spawned by homeless veterans coming back from war and is known as the Hell’s Angels. (Which might be an interesting thread)

    It’s only been in the last few years that a push to hire veterans is so openly advertised. There’s actually a tax break for companies to hire veterans but very few employers know about it and those who do use it to the hilt.
    There are veterans homes springing up like the Alston Wilkes Home in Greenville, S.Carolina which gives a vet a place to stay for 90 days whilst he is being treated for whatever medical problems he may have, introduced to AA and NA and helped to find a job. If a veteran is chronically homeless, he or she qualifies for a HUD / VASH home or apartment whereby the government picks up the majority of the tab for a place to live. That said, he still has to have a job or money coming in via a veterans health claim.
    Prior to this latest push, it’s been every man for himself or if he gets lucky, find a group of likeminded people who will accept him and let him pitch his tent or build his camp with them.

    I mentioned it before but what most people do not understand nor have the capability to understand is that for some, homelessness is NOT just a condition, it’s a LIFESTYLE.
    When people get kicked around enough, they learn that the only person they can trust is themselves and they also learn how to make the most out of their surroundings. They learn how to hold on to what they know just as anyone who has a career does.
    It’s been written here in this very forum by a couple of our members that a lot of homeless people prefer to stay homeless which is a little ignorant of the facts but it does have some small merits.
    People who live in the mountains will NOT normally move to the city nor vice versa nor will we find a farmer or a rancher on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
    The lifestyle we learn to trust is the lifestyle we will inherently live in and if that includes being “homeless” then so be it.
    Most people do not WANT to be poor but people learn to live with it and make the best of it until it simply becomes a part of life.

    Heck, it seems that everyone understands all the racial problems we have. Black and Caucasian people mistrusting each other because of a skin color difference but how is it that no one understands that the chronically homeless person mistrusts EVERYONE and beyond getting a handout here and there, really doesn’t want to associate with anyone who will kick him in the teeth again.
    For the chronically homeless person, sometimes even checking into a mission is a no-no. It means that they will be out of their element of expertise, out of their own environment and will have no control.
    I knew one previously homeless vet who got an apartment with another vet and he reportedly slept under the kitchen table at night because he was used to sleeping in his small and hidden “cat hole” and not in an open room.

    Lastly for now, isn’t a person mentally ill to live in a homeless environment? By all social standards, sure. Some but not all chronically homeless people have severe mental problems but for most, it’s a social issue.
    Are there mentally ill people in all walks of life? Yup to that too. Just because some things are socially acceptable doesn’t mean that there aren’t some mental problems going on for a person who can financially afford to have a problem doesn’t make it any less a problem.
     
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  10. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    Your post above is so true, seen similar cases many times. Fortunately we have the British Legion over here and
    you probably have similar - who manage to save some of these blessed souls from suicide.
     
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  11. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    I think that everyone on the forum who read his post was shocked and horrified that @Hal Pollner would say such a cruel and thoughtless remark to you after what you shared with us, Holly.
    I can remove it, but didn’t do it before because I believed that he was not directing his lack of concern for other humans at you personally; but I will be glad to do so if it will help you at all ?

    As we all have discussed here, being homeless is not always something that a person decides to do; but usually because outside circumstances have forced them to endure, as in your case.
    No matter WHY someone is homeless, we (as a caring human being) should have compassion for them, because no one should be living that kind of an awful life, no matter the reason.
    As Bobby mentioned, many were casualties of being in one of the wars, and are either physically or mentally unable to function in society, through no fault of their own, but a result of them doing their best to protect and serve our country.
     
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  12. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    There will be no such studies because studies are funded and conducted by people with an agenda, but I believe that an objective study would find that most homeless people (in America, anyhow) are homeless because of choices that they have made.

    This doesn't mean that they chose to be homeless but that they are homeless because of bad choices that they have made in their life, many of them relating to the use of drugs and alcohol.

    This is not a blanket statement, however. It can't be assumed that homelessness is always the fault of the homeless. Certainly, the children of parents who have made such decisions are not themselves at fault, yet homelessness is likely to be the norm for them.

    Of those who have not necessarily made bad decisions, I suspect that many of them don't know of the options they do have. This is particularly true of people with families. There are options available for these families, but they aren't necessarily made aware that these options exist. I know for a fact that there are people who are not paying one cent of their own way in life who are living more comfortably than I am.

    This is what makes people resentful of the homeless.

    Unfortunately, people often tend to make blanket statements. Whether they express them openly or not, we tend to think that way. We see radical leftist illegal immigrants flaunting our laws and literally giving us the finger while we pay their way through life, and we think that Mexicans are scum. For one thing, many of these people aren't Mexican and, for another, they are not representative of everyone with Mexican heritage, many of whom also think these people are scum.

    If our only exposure to someone of another race, religion, or lifestyle is negative, we tend to think in blanket statements. That's normal. It's not an accurate perception, but it's a human one.

    Because recidivism is common among alcoholics and drug addicts, there is pressure to throw the book at them, lock them up somewhere, and forget them. This ignores the fact that, while recidivism is common, many of them do eventually succeed in quitting, and become productive members of society. But these aren't the ones we read about in the newspaper or see on television.

    Yes, many homeless people are homeless because they chose not to live as the rest of us do. They may not have pictured themselves sleeping under a bridge or in a cardboard box somewhere, but they chose not to finish school, not to work in jobs that they hated, or not to seek help for whatever it was that was preventing them from succeeding.

    After high school, I spent about a year and a half hitchhiking around the country, living in shelters, sleeping outdoors, or in parks. I could leave home without a penny in my pockets and travel from one side of the country to the other without starving to death or dying of exposure. I remember it as one of the more interesting parts of my life. I suppose you could say that I was homeless, or I could have simply returned home anytime that I wanted to.

    Not everyone chooses to be homeless, yet I can't help but wonder why they are homeless. We have homeless people in Maine, yet we have a large number of people who would be homeless if they had to provide for themselves.

    As I suggested earlier, single people probably have a tougher time of it because there is a greater tendency to assume that a single person, particularly male, is homeless because he is too lazy to work. So, when it comes to available housing, they are moved to the back of the line. That's why so many veterans are homeless.
     
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  13. Gloria Mitchell

    Gloria Mitchell Veteran Member
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    Yes-No-Kinda and maybe...;)
     
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  14. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
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    I would also point out that those who drive around in RVs and have no permanent address are also classed as homeless by the Federal government. I don't know haw many people are covered by that description, it does show that all homeless are not equal in status. We had a protest here in support of homeless programs--a tent city--but many of the tents at the tent city were large, expensive wall tents and many by REI, Eddie Bauer, and others.
     
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  15. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    Thanks for the consideration Yvonne.. very kind of you , but it's fine, I'm a big girl, I can cope with it... I don't think hal was being personal towards me , rather he was making an ill informed generalised statement about all homeless, he just needs educating!!
     
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