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Thread: The Homeless and Our Response

  1. #11
    tWebber
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    Did I ever tell you guys the story of me getting almost panhandle in Dublin? I was called a yuppie. It is so messed up. They prey on sympathy.

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    Dept. of Redundancy Dept. Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    Yeah the crooks rely on your guilt to just give them money and walk away. The poor will generally appreciate getting your attention and talking to you. I once met a nice homeless guy who called himself Super Dave. He even told me he was an alcoholic and would probably spend the money on booze. So I said, 'let me buy you lunch instead' and we went to Wendy's and talked a bit while we ate. After that I gave him a few dollars and said, "I hope you don't spend this on booze, but that is up to you" - I also talked to him about Jesus a little while we ate and told him of a nearby shelter, which he said he knew about and went to on occasion (it was run by a Catholic church)
    Several years ago, I pulled out of a local business driveway just as an old guy was crossing the driveway on the sidewalk on his bike. The sun was low on the horizon, and I didn't see him til he was right in front of me, and I bumped him with the front of my truck just enough to startle him, and knock him off balance, but not knock him over. We talked, he assured me he was OK, and he told me he stopped by the mission for the evening meal, but was too late.

    I have him $20 to buy some supper, realizing full well he MIGHT spend it on booze or cigs, but I was really needing to be somewhere else.

    A couple days later I saw him sitting in front of Kroger on one of the benches to the side of the main doors. I parked, got out, and sat next to him. He looked at me funny, and said, "hey, you're the guy who almost ran over me". I said, "yeah, that's me -- and I saw you here and I want to hear your story".

    He asked, "my story"? I said, "yeah, you're not the usual down-and-outer - you seem like a really sharp guy, and I have to believe there's a story here, and I want to hear it". He got a little misty-eyed, and said "nobody has ever asked me that before". I didn't say anything - just waited.

    He told me he got back from Desert Storm, found out his wife had shacked up with an old boyfriend, he started drinking, couldn't find work, found out he had a daughter by her that he didn't even know she was pregnant... I don't recall all the details, but he just "gave up". I asked him what his MOS was in the Army (or whatever they call it these days) and he said he had been the accountant for the base commander. He laughed and said "I was a horrible soldier, but I was great with numbers - they just come naturally to me - I see them in my head and they all make sense".

    Long story short, since I was the HR guy at my company, I asked him to stop by to talk to our accounting people, and I'd introduce him. I knew of a Church that ran a jobs ministry, and part of their ministry was that they collected used business clothing for men and women, so we got him a suit. They also helped him with shaving stuff and toiletries, and he showed up for the interview. He actually cleaned up pretty nice!

    We had a "field house" in Refugio, Texas that needed some accounting help, and they had a bunkhouse on the property for 'security', because there was a lot of vandalism in the area due to illegals running through, breaking in, stealing food, and causing messes. It was a great fit for him, cause he didn't need transportation once he got there - he lived right behind the office where he would work, and they always kept the fridge stocked for the technicians.

    He worked there for about 4 years, and really cleaned up his life, bought a truck, and one day when I was visiting that field office, he asked if he could talk to me. We walked out into the field - kind of a rocky desert environment - and he said "they tell me you're the chaplain". I said, yeah, and he said, "then you can tell me about Jesus?" I just smiled and said, "that's the plan". We talked for a couple hours, and he said he came close to giving his life to Christ in Kuwait, but he needed to think about it some more. Then he said, "I thought about it, and I want to do it".

    So, we prayed, he received Jesus as his Lord, then told me he had a real problem. He explained that a competitor has been talking to him, and he got a job offer for almost twice what we were paying him, and they'd help him finish his CPA. I asked what the problem was, and he said "well you got me this job, and I don't wanna make you mad or hurt our relationship". I told him "I think the Lord brought us together to allow me to get to know you, encourage you a little, and get you back to Him - what you do for work is entirely up to you, and we'll still be friends".

    I wish we had had an opening in our company for an accountant at the time, but this was great - the competitor was a good company, great benefits (not as good as ours, but great ) and I knew the woman who would be his manager.

    So, every once in a while, these things work out really great!
    Last edited by Cow Poke; 11-23-2016 at 02:15 AM.

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

  3. Amen rogue06, Sparko, Cerebrum123 amen'd this post.
  4. #13
    Dept. of Redundancy Dept. Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue06 View Post
    That was the case with a small group of panhandlers that stationed themselves at the exists off of Highway 75 in the county that I live in. One of the local stations discovered that they would get dropped off and picked up by a late model Mercedes.
    That's the story LOTS of places - and they play to your sympathies.

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

  5. #14
    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue06 View Post
    Offer them a job doing things like mowing the lawn, raking leaves ... (okay, not exactly "big city" things but I'm sure you can come up with stuff) which you'll pay them generously for. This helps separate those wanting help from those looking for a hand out.

    Another thing you can do is buy them some food and the like that way there is much less of a chance that they'll take what you give them and get drugs or alcohol if they are predisposed to do that.
    In DC, they've been known to throw away food handed to them - they have shelter at night, and they get fed there morning/evening, but get kicked out to wander the streets all day.

    On the other hand, there's a woman who's been coming after church with her grandson for a free meal and help with bills off and on for quite a while now. About three weeks ago, she started actually attending the service, brought her mother, and is interested in becoming a member.
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  6. #15
    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    That's the story LOTS of places - and they play to your sympathies.
    That's why it is best to offer them a job doing light yard work or chores. It quickly winnows out the fakers from those legitimately wanting to "work for food" etc.

    I'm always still in trouble again

  7. #16
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paula View Post
    I have a question for my fellow Christians:

    What do you see as the appropriate response to the homeless?
    Sheep and goats parable gives a very broad hint.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paula View Post
    I occasionally, mostly when I go to a nearby big city but sometimes I run into it in my hometown, encounter homeless people begging for money (or sleeping out in the open).
    That happens.

    I try when begging to offer sth - like blog URL's - and to sleep sheltered in staircases and so forth as much as possible. Week days library opening hours, I am alimenting my blogs and staying warm in that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paula View Post
    I sometimes give them money.
    Good. There are still people who do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paula View Post
    When talking with my family about the homeless, I heard safety concerns
    How close do you need to go and how open are the spaces?

    If a man sits down and people pass by, you should be safe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paula View Post
    and a bit of skepticism about what they would do with my money (i.e. might spend it on drugs or alcohol). That is very true.
    Alcohol is a carbohydrate. That means it is nutrition. It is also usually packaged as a liquid, which means elimination can go by urine.

    In other words, as far as health is concerned, it is not totally just for ill.

    Some homeless who stay out way more hours than I keep warm on it.

    I try to get a more balanced meal sometimes by drinking beer to less solid than not drinking or just water to more solids. Otherwise I risk constipation.

    BUT the tactic fails if people seeing me do that get concerned that I am getting drunk, and then start giving me sugary things or much food.

    As Muslims sometimes do in such cases. Instead of a light and balanced meal I get a top heavy meal even further overweighed by the alcohol.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paula View Post
    It is also true that bad things can happen to anyone. So I am a little reluctant to judge people I've never met.
    Good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paula View Post
    At the same time, I am a little hesitant to talk to people I don't know and there is a bit of a safety concern (especially in the big city).
    Are you sure you need to talk to them the first time you meet and help them?

    A coin or bill and a smile is appreciated. And having to tell your story over and over again, because that is what people "talking to" a homeless often ask, is a chore.

    Since I make publicity for my blogs (which I have been told very distinctly I must not do here, except in signature or when citing a piece of appropriate information from them), I try to be in some different places, often meet people the first time, and people wanting to know what has happened instead of asking what the URL is about is somewhat of a non-winner.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheWall View Post
    I try to help them. Give them some money maybe get them some coffee. That is what My grandma did when she encountered the homeless in Ireland. I was not a christian then but I knew her faith motivated her.
    Good.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheWall View Post
    I was also called a yuppie by a panhandler. I forgave that guy after I came to faith.
    Is yuppie that bad in your ears?

    Quote Originally Posted by rogue06 View Post
    Offer them a job doing things like mowing the lawn, raking leaves ... (okay, not exactly "big city" things but I'm sure you can come up with stuff) which you'll pay them generously for. This helps separate those wanting help from those looking for a hand out.
    Apart from helping with chairs of cafés, when they open and libraries aren't open anyway, I would not take that.

    Consider (those reading this closer to me than you are) that my cardboard offers you reading, if you aren't interested, I hope in the first place for other and more interested benefactors who are also readers.

    But generally speaking, the practise is good.

    Quote Originally Posted by rogue06 View Post
    Another thing you can do is buy them some food and the like that way there is much less of a chance that they'll take what you give them and get drugs or alcohol if they are predisposed to do that.
    That depends.

    If first thing I get when starting to beg when hungry is food, I am thankful.

    But if food continues coming in, this is a health hazard. I am more likely to develop NASH than Alcohol related Fat Liver or Cirrhosis.

    Also, if I need to wash clothes due to wanting to be clean in libraries (my smell having more to do with how recently clothes were washed than with last shower), if people band up on that policy, it is like stealing my clothes - it is making them useless.

    When I still used to wear underwear, I regularly washed, could not dry and had to throw away when it became moldy, due to that kind of sentiment.
    Last edited by hansgeorg; 11-23-2016 at 11:01 AM. Reason: added considerations + space

  8. #17
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWall View Post
    Did I ever tell you guys the story of me getting almost panhandle in Dublin? I was called a yuppie. It is so messed up. They prey on sympathy.
    Some here would not give (or not give unless a job offered was taken) due to consideration that they should be responsible for their needs.

    Does your having sympathy make you a helpless victim?

    Have you considered eternity? Sheep and goats?

  9. #18
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    but I was really needing to be somewhere else.

    A couple days later I saw him sitting in front of Kroger on one of the benches to the side of the main doors. I parked, got out, and sat next to him. He looked at me funny, and said, "hey, you're the guy who almost ran over me". I said, "yeah, that's me -- and I saw you here and I want to hear your story".

    He asked, "my story"? I said, "yeah, you're not the usual down-and-outer - you seem like a really sharp guy, and I have to believe there's a story here, and I want to hear it". He got a little misty-eyed, and said "nobody has ever asked me that before". I didn't say anything - just waited.
    I have on the other hand heard people wanting to hear my story a bit too often.

    Some are not interested in anything else I could say on my blogs, which at least I consider more interesting than a temporal misfortune.

    I quote the end of paragraph, "somewhere else", because that is the title of an Apologetics blog where I defend credibility of Resurrection, Biblical History (except start of Genesis, which I also defend but on another blog, which I started earlier) and Existence of God.

    Wonder if googling "somewhere else" and "Hans Georg Lundahl" will get you to my blog.

  10. #19
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hansgeorg View Post
    I have on the other hand heard people wanting to hear my story a bit too often.

    Some are not interested in anything else I could say on my blogs, which at least I consider more interesting than a temporal misfortune.

    I quote the end of paragraph, "somewhere else", because that is the title of an Apologetics blog where I defend credibility of Resurrection, Biblical History (except start of Genesis, which I also defend but on another blog, which I started earlier) and Existence of God.

    Wonder if googling "somewhere else" and "Hans Georg Lundahl" will get you to my blog.
    So you are homeless, beg for a living, and run blogs? How the heck does that work? Why not get a job?

  11. Amen mossrose, Cerebrum123 amen'd this post.
  12. #20
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    So you are homeless, beg for a living, and run blogs?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    How the heck does that work?
    Library cards mainly for the blogging. Tend to do at least one article per day.

    Beg mornings and evenings, and sometimes do homeless shelters in mornings for meals.

    Try to get a dry and calm place each night, including MILD trespassing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    Why not get a job?
    I like writing. I have also made it juridically and also I hope administrationally possible to republish material from my blogs or shorter ones in entirety as this or that or sundry book. With voluntary royalties. Now you might realise why I prefer being about people willing to look at my blogs, and why my look at stats are a bit like your looks at the stock market.

    FAQ on follow up:

    "couldn't you blog AND work?"
    not same quality, since not same quantity;
    "would it not be better getting some experience from work before writing, first?"
    not if the thematics are other than what I could learn about by work experience;
    "is anyone reading you?"
    see discussion on stats and what they mean on my intro thread.
    (My usual answer : "here are my stats" which I gave before the discussion)

    And from those who have really checked out what my offer means:
    "if anyone can print your blogs without asking and sending you money is optional, why would they send you money?"
    because some are honest and some are less honest (with optional, not sending money is not positively dishonest from a small startup) and I would be living off sum of those who are honest, not off medium or off those not sending anything back. A l s o, my problem right now does not seem to be the amount printing me and sending me no money, but the amount discouraged by various wizeacres from even trying to print my blogs or play my music.

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