A great line from the cartoon Yogi Bear comes to mind. “DON’T FEED THE BEARS!” You feed them, they won’t forage for themselves.
I don’t like to get political, mostly because I’m a horrible debater. I can’t come up with quick, witty, “smart” comebacks, so I avoid confrontation like a plague. So what comes next is not intended to spark ire or dissent from any of my followers. I am one of those that is registered non partisan. I WANT to vote for the person not their party. That’s not always easy, because parties have “leanings”.
What got me going on the homelessness issue is that we have a lot of them in our area and it has become a major problem. So much so that a FB Web page was created to vent and possibly find solutions to the problem. Mostly to point out problem areas and…. vent. Then, a friend of mine asked me to help her film a video featuring the homeless issues in our area. Our goal is to find out who these people are and what is being done to alleviate their problem. I skimmed on some of these points in my blog, Senseless deaths. And, here’s the teaser… “in interviewing some of these folks, I made an interesting discovery …” but, I’d be giving away too much if I say more. I won’t spill the beans.
In all this, my curiosity was peaked. I wanted to know more. So, I began my research. What follows is based on that and my own conclusions.
My research took me to website after website with statistics. (I’m only sharing the one) What was interesting to me is that the majority of states with the highest number of homelessness are also states, with the exception of one, who vote primarily Democrat and are majorly “liberal”. Yup! It’s true.
Keep in mind, they did not break it down as such. It was just something that caught my attention. Is it political?
Since liberals tend to dominate these states and are big into their causes, they are also states that offer the most services. In other words “HANDOUTS”.
This is how I feel about handouts.
2 Thessalonians 3:10 “For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.”
Proverbs 13:4 : “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.”
The Bible is not the only place this is found.
Qur’an 13:11 Allah spoke that Allah would not change the destiny of a tribe(anyone) if they do not try hard to change it themselves. (This was the best I could find)
Do these folks, passionate about their causes, know exactly what they are doing? Possibly. Maybe not. I’m sure the government does. Notice, I said “government”, not any one political entity.
PONDER THIS: If they (the powers that be) keep the people poor and dependent then they become more pliable to whatever future purpose and they remain controllable. Nothing new here. It has been that way since time immemorial. Isn’t that how it is in third world countries? Yet… Why is it some of the people from those countries are breaking free of that cycle? We, in this country used to have a very comfortable middle class, but that is disappearing. Why?
So how does this work?
Liberals are by and large educated people who can eloquently dictate to the poor people how to think. They make a lot of noise to push their way of thinking out in the forefront and they are very good at it. One message constantly being force fed to the public is that Rich American’s are getting “rich” on the backs of the poor. Rich Americans are why they are where they are. So they create this divide and festering angst against the rich or really anyone who is the power figure. What few people realize or take into account is that many of these same folks are also very rich. Those in the entertainment field are the best examples. They make their money dissing “corporate America” and playing up “the little guy” who has to go head to head with the “big guy”. They create dramas all around the poor and the oppressed and victories over the “bosses, the power hungry billionaire tycoon of big corporations, who are evil and nasty.” Some are, but I’ve met many an evil, oppressive “little guy/gal” in the work place as well.
Please know this, I am not wealthy. I did not retire on a fat pension. I am 70 plus and guess what I still work. Heck, I drive for Uber and Lyft, (and I write) but that’s another story.
What people don’t realize is that, all this help and those wonderful programs is the equivalent of nothing more than “horse hobbling“. The end goal is to keep people subservient. Horse hobbling limits their forward locomotion. Yes, let’s feed the children and do everything else for them, kill their drive, so they never rise above doing what’s best for themselves. Yes, it is our Christian duty to help those needing help. I’m sure other faiths have an equal thought on this as well. This country, no this world was founded on survivors. You do or you die.
I’m not saying we don’t want to help people. Heavens no. The Bible has countless verses that tell us to feed our widows and orphans.
James 2:14-17 states: “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
Psalms 82:3 : Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
Despite the tendency to believe Islam violent, the Qur’an and especially the hadith highlight how helping another human being is a fundamental aspect of Islam.
So do we help? YES! Absolutely. But we must consider to what end or to what extent.
Notice the Bible constantly refers to the “widows and orphans” and in some places the “elderly” . We have a responsibility to help those who cannot, not will not help themselves.
So, my point is to get people to rise above their situations. Life can get us all down. I’ve been down enough to want to find a remote place and disappear to. When I watch the news sometimes, I get so discouraged at how people treat each other, the crazy things they do to one another, that I’ll shout out “Stop the world, I want to get off!”.
Without disclosing what some of my interviewees have said, but based on that, giving up is not the answer.
BUT, for all I said about the liberals, the one thing we can all agree on, is that we have to find ways of showing them love and getting them the help they need without enlarging the problem and that is the hard part.
Do’s and Don’ts –
If you have time, talk to them, if only to say hello. They are not invisible. This lady on the right was fascinating.
No two people’s story is the same.
If you know where the nearest outreach program is or if your church has one, let them know where that is. Carrying a list or card with that information on it to hand out, gives you something to share. Doing this lets them know you care.
Warning: Be smart. Don’t go into places to find them, some are hardened criminals, ex-cons or drug dealers and could be dangerous.
Don’t give them unopened bags of food for their dog – it could be a sympathy ploy. They’ll return it to the store for cash for drugs. Seen it happen.
Don’t give money- I know it’s hard to resist sometimes, but one guy told my husband how much he made panhandling and it was more than hubby makes in a day doing legitimate work. Don’t think that wasn’t discouraging.
Money goes to booze and drugs. If they need medication or health care, there are state programs that give that to them for free, if they will go and get it. I know, I know nothing is truly free, but at the taxpayers expense free.
If they truly want help, they know where all these services are anyway.
Many of these folks already collect food stamps and social security or financial assistance of some sort. Many have phones, courtesy of family and friends that want them to stay connected but have given up on rehabilitating them. Some even have computers they can use at pretty much any coffee shop, library or restaurant.
There are college students and young people who are homeless. Yes, that’s true. I don’t have documentation or interviews on them… yet. When I do, it will be posted.
For some it’s a temporary situation.
All in all, if nothing else, I hope I’ve given you some pondering fodder.
P.S. This is some of the garbage the homeless have left behind my home, which was one of the things, the above lady talks about in our interview. The main thing, is be kind.
Matthew chapter 25, 34-46
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply,
Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’