The Homeless

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The Homeless

Post by Countess on Mon Nov 30, 2015 1:23 pm

We run into homeless people who sleep under bridges, continually moving from place to place, and generally live no sort of pleasant life, all the time. How are we supposed to help them? How far do we go? Do you go simple and give them a blanket to help with the cold, or do you offer some sort of shelter, including your home? Food or money? Is it unwise to hand a total stranger money? What would Jesus want us to do for these people?
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Re: The Homeless

Post by Blitz on Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:47 pm

I think we should mainly work through homeless shelters and missionaries, being one. I am very against just handing out money on the street that can fuel bad habits and abuse. Reformation should be attempted as part of giving, or it nearly useless.
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Re: The Homeless

Post by Countess on Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:41 pm

Suppose you can't ensure that reformation happens and the encounter you have with a homeless person is the only time? What should you do then?
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Re: The Homeless

Post by Blitz on Wed Dec 02, 2015 2:02 pm

Then you give, preferably food or a material item and move on.
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Re: The Homeless

Post by kait on Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:59 pm

I always give cash or food if I have it on hand. The problem is I don't always have it on hand. 

It isn't my place to judge how or why that person is homeless, my job is to extend compassion and resources to them as a fellow human being regardless of how they got into their present circumstances. The truth is addictions, poverty, abuse, mental illnesses and homelessness are all one giant cluster of a cycle. The issue isn't as cut and dry as saying "oh they must be an alcoholic and if I give them money they'll buy more booze therefore I won't give them anything." Like ... they might buy booze. And maybe that booze is how they self-medicate for their mental illness because they don't have access to a house and a job and the money to be able to pay for mental health services. Or maybe that booze is how they deal with rape, abuse and other trauma that again they don't have the resources to pay for. Or maybe they will use that money to get themselves another hot meal or to buy tampons because the homeless lady is close to her period. 

To me it's really crappy to NOT extend whatever help you can (including a few bucks if you have it on you) because you are being judgy mcjudgerson over how you IMAGINE they might use it. 

However, I also think we need to do a heck of a lot more to address homelessness through other means. Like providing housing and better services and free resources so people can get off the streets. But that doesn't mean I can just walk by someone shivering on the street corner without throwing them the $5 I have in my wallet. I feel like literally the worst person ever every time I do. So I don't anymore. 

I'm not rich. But I have more than they do and I feel morally obligated to help however I can.
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Re: The Homeless

Post by Blitz on Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:12 am

Ah, but what if you are perpetuating abuse by giving them money? Often the abused turn around abuse more people.
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Re: The Homeless

Post by War Doctor on Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:16 am

You can't know that though and is it worse to maybe perpetuate abuse or for sure to let people suffer?
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Re: The Homeless

Post by Blitz on Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:35 am

I said even earlier if I only had money I would give them money. I simply prefer working with food and giving to organizations which I might add are usually underfunded.
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Re: The Homeless

Post by Countess on Thu Dec 03, 2015 6:18 pm

Your point of view was good, kait. I had never thought of it in that way before. 

As for rehabilitation, is it really possible to get them off the street, get a job and able to provide for themselves? Does this happen? Or do they just live in shelters for the rest of their days?
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Re: The Homeless

Post by kait on Thu Dec 03, 2015 6:47 pm

It does happen. More recent research has shown that some of the most effective programs involve providing homeless people with the one thing they need most: a home. A person cannot hold down a job, effectively treat addictions or otherwise move toward stability without permanent housing. And because most of our resources have been, up to this point, primarily focused on temporary solutions like shelter for one night or one meal, it isn't very effective. Recently, there has been a bigger push in more urban areas to actually move away from the temporary shelters and toward permanent housing for homeless people -- and it works. It's called the "housing first model." 


I would link to an article I found but apparently I'm too new and can't link to outside things for 7 days.  Neutral  Anyway. If you google "housing first Washington Post" the first article that comes up titled -- “Housing first” approach works for homeless, study says -- is the article. 

*link added by admin*
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Re: The Homeless

Post by Blitz on Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:59 pm

Most shelters provide some kind of program to get people back on their feet, take the GED, and find a job. Unfortunately there are so many homeless and more pile on the street.
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