Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Homelessness


"You can spend the money on new housing for poor people and the homeless or you can spend it on a football stadium or a golf course."
Jello Biafra
 Today I met a homeless man who had his toes recently amputated due to frostbite. We don't believe these things can happen until we witness them in our communities.
 I can't get over my shock.

34 comments:

  1. All too often the money is spent on a football stadium or a golf course. I couldn't believe the amount of discussion and negativism when the idea for additional housing for the homeless was presented in our town just a few years ago. The project did come to completion, thankfully.

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    1. Thank you for your thought-provoking comment, Nellie.

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  2. It's very sad. Some people tend to blame the poor for being lazy or ignorant or somehow deserving being homeless. It's just not fair.

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    1. Thank you, John. I agree with you.
      People have biased patterns of thoughts that are unfair. If they don't know each person's individual circumstances they should stay silent. Generalizations are unfair and absurd.

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  3. Mental illness is such a huge issue in the homeless community. At this point, kindness, giving, and making contact is what we all can do.

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    1. Not every homeless person has a mental illness.
      Kindness. I always remember Mahatma's Gandhi's quote:
      "My religion is kindness."

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  4. Hello Julia:

    Very, very sadly the plight of the homeless here in Budapest is a cause, as it must be everywhere, for serious concern. Although recent government legislation was passed to make it illegal to sleep on the streets [can one believe this?], as the gap between rich and poor widens there is more and more evidence of destitution on every street corner.

    Recently friends from Germany commented that they had never expected to see queues for government food handouts [and these not to the homeless] within the European Union. Alas, such sights are all too commonplace here.

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    1. Yes. This happened in Wisconsin.
      It has awakened my interest in the matter and made me find ways of being more proactive.
      Thank you for your support.

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  5. Hi Julia - the poverty is apparent and definitely at its worst when people have no fixed abode as such, ie are homeless. We do spend money on ridiculous things and the food banks are thankfully available ... what gets me is that everyone has to have everything .. whereas after the war we saved for things and didn't expect it in our plate immediately ... It's a strange world - but I am very glad I'm not homeless ... and toes being amputated due to frostbite .. I guess that at least was better than the gangrene spreading further ..

    Thanks for another pointer at life ... for us to consider. Cheers Hilary

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    1. Thank you, Hilary.
      Your comment about saving made me think... good point. I think kids and teenagers should be more aware of these things and parents should not spoil their children by buying them so much stuff.

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  6. That is horrifying. >_<

    I agree with that quote, though. Sometimes humanity seems to have their priorities wrong.

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  7. Hi Julia,

    My human worked for a charity that worked with the homeless, the rough sleepers. He has witnessed the plight of the vulnerable. Many a human who had their lives become a nightmare in the blink of an eye.

    Of course, the plight of such poor souls does not get the attention it warrants. Football stadiums get the publicity and those who really need help, go without.

    Thank you for this thought provoking story, dear Julia.

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!

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    1. Exactly. Anybody can end up in that situation.
      You are right, Penny. These people are forgotten. Does the media pay attention to their plight? Perhaps sports are more popular?

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  8. Toes amputated due to frost bite is so sad and tragic. Feel very sad for the plight of the homeless.

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  9. There's plenty of money about it seems - but most of it tends to go to those who already have enough, not those who have nothing.

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    1. Yes. Hopefully raising awareness will help...

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  10. One of the very cause of homelessness is, in my opinion, the lack of housing. Sometimes, it is considered as a part of the system as a whole. But the challenge to all of us is how do we use our capabilities and resources in helping to support the things that are important to us and homelessness is one of those.

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    1. Wise words, Napoleon. I agree with you.
      Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog.

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  11. We, as a planet, have strange priorities don't we?

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    1. As a planet. Very interesting thought. I agree.

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  12. Of course, it is hard not to feel for the homeless. I agree with most of what has been said, and I specifically agree with Napoleon. Housing is a huge problem. The difficulty I have is laying the blame on golf courses. Most of the entities blamed for the plight of the homeless are private institutions. The waste that prevents building the adequate housing for the poor comes from government. The money wasted on Solyndra alone could probably house all of America's homeless. Let's use our taxpayer dollars to help these people, not further political ends, while using the homeless as pawns. It is very easy to be for good and against evil, but it takes money to build adequate housing. Maybe we shouldn't give it to our enemies.

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    1. State wise we are not doing any better. Local politicians talk about the "budget" but say nothing about the homeless...
      If every citizen witnessed what I did they would be more honest about priorities.

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  13. Love your inspiring blog :) Invite you to leave comment on http://agro-turisme-fishpond.blogspot.com/2014/04/simple-tutorial-to-3d-drawing-of-fruit.html .Really appreciate your comment.

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  14. Love your inspiring blog :) Invite you to leave comment on http://agro-turisme-fishpond.blogspot.com/2014/04/simple-tutorial-to-3d-drawing-of-fruit.html .Really appreciate your comment.

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  15. I believe most of the street people are mentally ill. That is the sad part. When I see or hear of govrernment waste, I boil because the homeless people should be taken off the street and properly cared for. Perhaps there is is hope for many of them to become usefull citizens again with some proper care and good nutrition. I was a psychiatric nurse in my early years and i could name many cases.

    Sorry I almost missed this post. I got 5 baby chicks in the house and they keep me busy. I love chickens .

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    1. That's why Medicaid and Medicare are lifesaving to many people.

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  16. Julia, that’s so sad, so tragic, my heart breaks for that man. No one in a country as rich as the U.S. should lose toes due to frostbite for lack of a warm place to shelter from the cold! A true caring society takes care of those less fortunate. Well, that’s how it should be but not how it is. The quote by Jello Biafra says it all. I am afraid things like this happen all too often. Those of us with a warm home and food in our bellies are so fortunate. But for the grace of God or good fortune, it could be any one of us.

    Whenever I see homeless on the street, I always reach into my purse and give whatever I can. I live in a suburb on the East Coast now so I don’t see homeless on the streets on a regular basis the way I did when I lived in cities years ago. For nine years, my husband and I lived in San Francisco and I passed many homeless on the way to work. Sometimes rather than just giving money, I’d go to the local deli and buy extra sandwiches. One winter, I went down to Woolworth’s (a great five and dime store not in business anymore), bought tons of socks and passed them around to homeless I passed on the street. Sometimes I’d bring them coffee. I’ve known many hard times in my life, never homeless but hard times, and so I really feel for those on the street. There was a homeless mother and young daughter I often passed on my way to work. I always handed the mother what I could, even if all I had was just an extra dollar or change. One Easter, I brought the little girl a chocolate bunny. Her eyes just lit up and it’s my best Easter memory ever. I also gave the mother money to buy dinner. It’s just felt like the right thing to do.

    Since this is a topic close to my heart, I need to add that although many people have the impression most homeless are mentally ill or drug addicts, that is not at all the case. Some are but not everyone. Sometimes people lose jobs and they have no financial means and have no family to go to for help (especially true for those who have been in foster care, a subject I also know about). Any number of events can happen causing someone to be homeless even temporarily. Shelters are overcrowded and often not even safe. It’s all a very sad state of affairs.

    Julia, you are very kind and caring to post about the homeless man you met. I wish you and your family a Happy Easter!

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    1. Thank you, my friend, for such an insightful, thought-provoking comment. You are a kind, sensitive soul and I always learn a lot from you.
      I find your words very inspiring. Indeed, even actions that may appear to be small are not small to those in need. They can help to make a world of difference in their lives. I appreciate every word you wrote here.
      As you said, not every homeless person has a mental illness. Not too long ago, I wrote about a homeless man in Chicago who became homeless because he lost his job and could not pay his mortgage and he did his best to get out of that situation but he was still homeless. It can happen to anybody. I will find the blog post and will post the link here later...
      Your message is very inspiring.
      Happy Easter, my friend!

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    2. Here's the link I mentioned:
      http://juliahoneswritinglife.blogspot.com/2012/08/a-different-kind-of-magazine.html

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  17. I think governments who allow poverty and homelessnes in their conutry is aboslutely mad! But yes, it is not only the government's responsibility, but the repsonsibilty of all, to take care of each other! In Norway where I come from, if you are suffering from some kind of disease, if you have lost your job, or if you just for some reason cannot provide for yourself and you family, the government takes care of you until you are on your feet again. This is what I grew up with it. I had never seen poverty until I left Norway. When I saw it for the firs time, I was schocked to see how little people cared about these people who who struggled to make a life for themselves. It is a shame, not to help when help is needed!

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    1. Thank you for your thought-provoking comment.
      It is wonderful to be able to read the opinion of somebody who was raised in Norway. I have read about Sweden and Norway, so it was nice to read your opinion.
      Thank you!

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I appreciate each and every comment. Thank you.