Reaching out to the homeless.

Nov 21, 2016
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In the UK there is a magazine called 'The Big Issue'. Homeless people who want to make a start in getting out of there current situation can buy it and sell it on for a profit. They have to be 'badged' in order to sell it, and are given a place to sell it. Anyone curious can google 'The Big Issue' and find out more about it. I also know this idea is not just local to my country, and may be given different names.

There is a guy who sells this paper outside my local shop. Initially I felt very uncomfortable about talking with him. Who was he? What was he doing there? However, over the course of time I have stopped to chat, and have found out that he was seriously involved with drugs at one point in his life. Now he is clean, has a place to stay and is a keen biker. And now we have a good chat everyday.

Recently there was a huge biker meet in a nearby town, and I went with a friend for a stroll around and hopefully to buy my youngest son a gift, as he is now a keen biker (much against my wishes, it's unsafe and he is my baby! ). To my surprise I was called over and there was the 'Big Issue' seller. He looked quite embarrassed to have called me over, as though I would be embarrassed to speak to him or something. But I wasn't, and we had a lovely chat and met some lovely people (one guy looked like Gene Simmons from Kiss which really freaked me out lol).

Anyhow, I think my point is, don't walk past homeless people. Sometimes you're in a rush, but if you aren't, stop and say hello.

No-one asks to be homeless. No-one asks to be an addict. No small child when asked what they want to be when they grow up, says "I want to be a homeless drug addict" and then strives to achieve that . Stuff happens. People find themselves in terrible situations.

Say hello, give someone a sandwich or a coffee. Buy an extra burger and give it to them.

Be kind.
 

rtm3039

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In the UK there is a magazine called 'The Big Issue'. Homeless people who want to make a start in getting out of there current situation can buy it and sell it on for a profit. They have to be 'badged' in order to sell it, and are given a place to sell it. Anyone curious can google 'The Big Issue' and find out more about it. I also know this idea is not just local to my country, and may be given different names.

There is a guy who sells this paper outside my local shop. Initially I felt very uncomfortable about talking with him. Who was he? What was he doing there? However, over the course of time I have stopped to chat, and have found out that he was seriously involved with drugs at one point in his life. Now he is clean, has a place to stay and is a keen biker. And now we have a good chat everyday.

Recently there was a huge biker meet in a nearby town, and I went with a friend for a stroll around and hopefully to buy my youngest son a gift, as he is now a keen biker (much against my wishes, it's unsafe and he is my baby! ). To my surprise I was called over and there was the 'Big Issue' seller. He looked quite embarrassed to have called me over, as though I would be embarrassed to speak to him or something. But I wasn't, and we had a lovely chat and met some lovely people (one guy looked like Gene Simmons from Kiss which really freaked me out lol).

Anyhow, I think my point is, don't walk past homeless people. Sometimes you're in a rush, but if you aren't, stop and say hello.

No-one asks to be homeless. No-one asks to be an addict. No small child when asked what they want to be when they grow up, says "I want to be a homeless drug addict" and then strives to achieve that . Stuff happens. People find themselves in terrible situations.

Say hello, give someone a sandwich or a coffee. Buy an extra burger and give it to them.

Be kind.
Interesting. We have a similar paper, which they call the Homeless Voice (https://www.homelessvoice.org/about/). It is sold on street corners and by the homeless. The funds are used to feed and otherwise help those homeless among us.

Here in Miami, FL, the homeless situation is really bad. At one point, the city contracted out for a special program that resulted in what they called the “poop map" (https://money.cnn.com/2015/05/15/news/miami-poop-map/). They actually surveyed the city to determine where our homeless spend the night. This was done, based on how much “poop” was deposited in various locations. To be honest with you, there are some streets where you literally have to walk through them while holding your breath (https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/downtown-miami/article236262158.html

I know that these are human beings and I too have a couple that, when I see them, I say high and talk to. Unfortunately, most hang out at intersections that merge from major highways and conversations are limited to the brief time before the lights turn green and you have to move on.

In our area, we have several types of people on the streets. We have those that sell water and churros (a Cuban pastry) and they are licensed. We have those that sell flowers and they are not licensed. Then we have those that just stand on the street asking for money. We also have groups that hustle by making believe they are legitimate. We have a group that dress in sporting uniforms and claim they are high school kids collecting money to pay for a trip to play some sporting event away from the city (our school systems does not allow students to ask for financial support on the streets). Due mostly to the nice weather in South Florida, our homeless situation is pretty severe and it’s almost impossible to know who is legitimate and who is just hustling.

rtm3039
 
Sep 22, 2016
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Mines a cup of tea. No sugar please.


i will be officially homeless at the end of feb if no one one wants me😬who knows, The Lord might have something in store for me😬
AA5C0405-CAF9-43B5-AFC1-4B8F5AA8FE2C.jpeg
 
Dec 19, 2014
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I heard of a place in Portland they call Tent City where the homeless gather because it is safe there.
It is run by volunteers.

My church has community meals and a lot of homeless come for a hot meal. I volunterered for a while, I didnt do it last year as was busy but might do it again this year. I was mostly in the kitchen but did try and talk with people. Sometimes I would give them a ride 'home' after it finished and it was dark. I'm not really too nosy about peoples circumstances but some told me was the first time theyd eaten in days.

I think anyone can be homeless these days becausing housing is so expensive, and rents are high. New affordable homes arent being built. And of course those that are tend to be quite shoddy. I think the nz govt didnt think far enough ahead in terms of state housing, we used to have a good welfare system and equality, but after deregulation and lots of jobs going off shore it ruined many people. Then all the immigration from 'investors' and no infrastructure to handle it all. Rich overseas People would buy properties as an investment, wait till the land value rose, and then sell it, not even bothering to rent it out. so you would have perfectly good houses sitting empty. And homeless people. Its ridiculous.
 

rtm3039

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I heard of a place in Portland they call Tent City where the homeless gather because it is safe there.
It is run by volunteers.

My church has community meals and a lot of homeless come for a hot meal. I volunterered for a while, I didnt do it last year as was busy but might do it again this year. I was mostly in the kitchen but did try and talk with people. Sometimes I would give them a ride 'home' after it finished and it was dark. I'm not really too nosy about peoples circumstances but some told me was the first time theyd eaten in days.

I think anyone can be homeless these days becausing housing is so expensive, and rents are high. New affordable homes arent being built. And of course those that are tend to be quite shoddy. I think the nz govt didnt think far enough ahead in terms of state housing, we used to have a good welfare system and equality, but after deregulation and lots of jobs going off shore it ruined many people. Then all the immigration from 'investors' and no infrastructure to handle it all. Rich overseas People would buy properties as an investment, wait till the land value rose, and then sell it, not even bothering to rent it out. so you would have perfectly good houses sitting empty. And homeless people. Its ridiculous.
Personally, I do not believe it is wise for you to be begiving people rides. Were you in the US, that would have probably been the last ride you ever gave.

Here in the US, it is estimated that, on any given day, we have a little over 500,000 homeless people. Of these people, over 45% suffer from mental illness that are described as minor to serious. It has been my experience, confirmed from most times when I engage a homeless person on the streets, that mental issues are part of the problem. Most do not need money, as much as they need medical attention.

Don't get me wrong, I have come across homeless people that were mentally fine, but were just going through a hard time. On the other hand, I also come across way too many "homeless" people in their 30th, cell phone in pocket, and appearing very healthy.

It does, and always has, bothered me that we have a homeless person issue in this country and this city. Granted, if you are going to be homeless, Miami is a good place as the weather is user friendly. I've seen it all. I have seen couples, families, and otherwise "normal" people living n the streets.

Here in Miami, we are getting better, but it just takes time and resources:

homeless.JPG
 
Dec 19, 2014
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I only gave rides to certain people, certainly wouldn't want them walking round alone in the dark. I had a friend gone missing because she wasn't able to get a ride home.

Also I think you cannot judge on appearances. People have cellphones these days because they have no landline! Their phones have been cut off, they can't afford one. It is actually cheaper to have a cellphone.

As someone who's actually suffered from mental illness, (and recovered) I would say don't judge these people. You don't know what families they come from or what their situation is. Drugs and mentall illness are only symptoms of a breakdown in family relations. yes be wise serpents but harmless as doves.

Don't be part of the problem be part of the solution. I had homeless people want to actually live in the library. They would never borrow a book because to have a library card you kind of need a fixed permanent address. But they came in to read and also to be warm. They won't tell you if they living somewhere or where but you would see the same people wearing the same clothes all the time and maybe carting a trolley around. People of all ages can be homeless. So everyone's different.

There are also huge numbers of people on drugs, who have homes, but they are on class A drugs like cocaine or ecstasy etc so certainly drug abuse isn't restricted to homeless people.
 
Dec 19, 2014
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In the UK there is a magazine called 'The Big Issue'. Homeless people who want to make a start in getting out of there current situation can buy it and sell it on for a profit. They have to be 'badged' in order to sell it, and are given a place to sell it. Anyone curious can google 'The Big Issue' and find out more about it. I also know this idea is not just local to my country, and may be given different names.

There is a guy who sells this paper outside my local shop. Initially I felt very uncomfortable about talking with him. Who was he? What was he doing there? However, over the course of time I have stopped to chat, and have found out that he was seriously involved with drugs at one point in his life. Now he is clean, has a place to stay and is a keen biker. And now we have a good chat everyday.

Recently there was a huge biker meet in a nearby town, and I went with a friend for a stroll around and hopefully to buy my youngest son a gift, as he is now a keen biker (much against my wishes, it's unsafe and he is my baby! ). To my surprise I was called over and there was the 'Big Issue' seller. He looked quite embarrassed to have called me over, as though I would be embarrassed to speak to him or something. But I wasn't, and we had a lovely chat and met some lovely people (one guy looked like Gene Simmons from Kiss which really freaked me out lol).

Anyhow, I think my point is, don't walk past homeless people. Sometimes you're in a rush, but if you aren't, stop and say hello.

No-one asks to be homeless. No-one asks to be an addict. No small child when asked what they want to be when they grow up, says "I want to be a homeless drug addict" and then strives to achieve that . Stuff happens. People find themselves in terrible situations.

Say hello, give someone a sandwich or a coffee. Buy an extra burger and give it to them.

Be kind.
Annie have you read 'A streetcat named Bob'? Also was made into a movie. My sister actually met Bob (and his owner) in London and got his pawtograph.
 
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Difference between homeless and hustlers.
Well if they are walking round the red light district, and asking for money, and maybe wearing flashy clothes and asking everyone they meet they would be hustling.

Many homeless people don't actually blatantly ask people for money. Some even have small jobs (not enough to cover any rent) its just they are homeless. It is hard to tell during the daytime sometimes but at night they would be sleeping in their car or under a bridge or at a friends place. You just need to make sure they are safe, those that know better won't actually be hanging round the streets, although some streetkids maybe because they have runaway from home or got kicked out, you don't really know. or they lost their job, got evicted cos they couldn't pay their rent.
 
Dec 19, 2014
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In NZ a charity called Lifewise organise a big sleepout to raise awareness of homelessness. People that are homeless are called 'rough sleepers' because that's basically what it is.


I haven't participated, but I know it takes your wits to survive without a home. I would love a home of my own one day but it is becoming impossible to buy one now. That's why many younger generation are living in tiny homes or caravans.

________________________________________________________________________________________________


Staff Note: The link in this post goes to a website which sells goods or services or solicits donations. Members are advised to be wary of ANY such donation requests or sales and to research the group or individual making the request or sales and to PRAY before sending ANY donation or before purchasing any goods or services.
 
Nov 21, 2016
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Hi Lanolin, yes I have read 'A street cat named Bob'. I think it's awesome that your sister got his pawtograph! In the UK, Bob is quite famous now, and that's a good thing. It's just a shame that it takes a cat, not a person, to highlight the homeless issue.
 
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For those who haven't read or seen 'A Streetcat named Bob' ---
James story was sad because his parents split up, his Dad lived in the UK and his mum in Australia, he got into drugs and then his Dad remarried and he felt he couldn't go live with his new family. And he couldn't afford to go to Australia. Anyway, thats not the whole story but its not that his family wasn't well off, actually his Dad was quite wealthy. So anyone can fall through the cracks.

Because he was young and there are few opportunties for youth to be gainfully employed (to actually cover rent etc) he just hung out with friends who were into drugs and that's how he got addicted. He was actually going to train to be a musician or get into the music industry but its very hard to make a living if you don't have a recording contract or regular gig to keep going. So he ended up busking on the streets as the only way to make some cash. And I think that is ok to do that at least he wasn't not doing anything and just asking people for money outright.

Anyway he tried to get off drugs and was on a methadone program, and a kind social worker got him into a flat to himself and then one day this cat came along...
 
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One of my local churches also accepts stuff for the homeless, and this includes alot of things that I hadn't previously considered:

Toothpaste/brushes
Tampons/sanitary towels
Underwear???

Basically, anything you don't want, or feel can be recycled, take it to the church first.
 
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Um yes underwear.
The thing is homeless people don't have laundry facilities that those who have homes take for granted. Don't have running water even.

So, unless they got money to go to laundromat where are they going to wash their clothes? The river?

A lot of women who are homeless will find a place in a women's refuge. They may have had to leave where they are staying in a hurry because of abuse/violence, might even have had to leave with just the clothes on their backs. So all those little things are appreciated.
 
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I don't often go downtown, but yesterday saw many people just sitting on footpath, because it's sheltered and its safe on street with busy people. I don't always assume people that do that are actually homeless, although stands to reason if you were going to sit somewhere, you'd either sit on a park bench or in your own home on a chair or sofa, or in a cafe not on the footpath right where people are walking!

Now there are some big name fancy as luxury stores downtown, like Louis Vuitton and Gucci, where people line up to go in. I had never seen this in my town but years ago I saw it in Singapore and I thought what? People line up to go inside a shop? That's nuts. Most shops you can just walk right in. Anyway, it seems the down on their luck people like best to sit outside these luxury stores too. I don't think they are wanting to go in, but its like how when people are waiting to go into the theatre, in the West End and all dressed up to the nines and queuing, so the buskers see the opportunity to make a few bucks while they are waiting. I don't think any are so obvious that they will wait outside an ATM for people queuing up, but I'm sure people see it as a chance that those people waiting in line will have money to spare if they are getting cash out.

If I was homeless and desperate I would go bother WINZ and maybe sleep outside their offices, or an MP's office. I don't think I could bring myself to bother people going about their shopping, even if it was luxury good shopping. When people are out shopping the majority want to save money and are on a budget they are not actually out to give money away.
Also if I was really homeless, I'd go to the nearest church and hang out at their doorstep, or the op shop. Maybe those hanging out Louis Vuitton or Gucci aren't aware they are not exactly charities, and the people who frequent them, can only spare cash and not prayers or a couch.
 
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I found this blog by Francine Rivers (a christian fiction author) about homeless..but I think her answers are a bit pat and the reality needs far more addressing than satisfying immediate needs.

She of course comes from a place where she is actually able to afford her own place. She might own her own home or is married to someone who is. She might have land.

Many people DO NOT have any land. They don't own it. So they can't even live on or off it. It's not just a case they have no house. Although houses are crazy expensive and anyone knowing just how hard it is to actually pay a mortgage and find a steady job to keep afloat knows this.

I am also rather shocked that people are giving drug addicts CLEAN needles! And think that's helping. You should not give addicts anything to keep them going with their addictions. Its like giving alcoholics a drink from a clean glass rather than a dirty one.

Homelessness did not instantly arise because of some people being too lazy to work. There's always been gypsy and nomads and people don't really like them either. There's refugees, but there's also greedy landlords.

'Spending money on something other than housing' is right because housing is actually so expensive that most people cannot afford it on one income. And if they can on a low wage job and can only afford the bare minimum, some living conditions are so bad and shoddy that its not even worth paying the exorbitant rent to live there.
 
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rtm3039

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I found this blog by Francine Rivers (a christian fiction author) about homeless..but I think her answers are a bit pat and the reality needs far more addressing than satisfying immediate needs.

She of course comes from a place where she is actually able to afford her own place. She might own her own home or is married to someone who is. She might have land.

Many people DO NOT have any land. They don't own it. So they can't even live on or off it. It's not just a case they have no house. Although houses are crazy expensive and anyone knowing just how hard it is to actually pay a mortgage and find a steady job to keep afloat knows this.

I am also rather shocked that people are giving drug addicts CLEAN needles! And think that's helping. You should not give addicts anything to keep them going with their addictions. Its like giving alcoholics a drink from a clean glass rather than a dirty one.

Homelessness did not instantly arise because of some people being too lazy to work. There's always been gypsy and nomads and people don't really like them either. There's refugees, but there's also greedy landlords.

'Spending money on something other than housing' is right because housing is actually so expensive that most people cannot afford it on one income. And if they can on a low wage job and can only afford the bare minimum, some living conditions are so bad and shoddy that its not even worth paying the exorbitant rent to live there.
"I am also rather shocked that people are giving drug addicts CLEAN needles! And think that's helping. You should not give addicts anything to keep them going with their addictions. Its like giving alcoholics a drink from a clean glass rather than a dirty one."

This ends up being a public health issue. 1 in 10 people become infected with HIV through using dirty needles. Don't get me wring, I don't like it, but I get it.

rtm3039
 
Dec 19, 2014
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The public health issue is that people need affordable housing. Not a choice between, well I gotta eat or have a roof over my head. Given the choice, many people would rather eat first. If your rent is so high that you just can't afford to buy food then..you'd forgo any house and live in a tent.