The first concern is that the Homeless are in crisis. It’s Obvious they have no lasting place to live. People assume they are homeless because they are stupid Lazy people. News flash, they know exactly what a house looks like! Some had better jobs than you. ‘Those people’ have varied pasts. Many have children, some owned homes, some owned businesses. I know of a guy who was getting help from a church. They let him shower and such in their basement. Shortly before he died, he bequeath them all his money. It was hundreds of thousands. Don’t judge a book by its cover or their issues.
Unfortunately I have heard to often, I worked hard all my life, Why don’t they just get a job. Saying such things tells me you have a mental deficit, not them. Clearly you are uneducated about life. Everyone has a goal of having a good job and the white picket fence. But on the other hand, It might surprise you that lots of people have not worked outside of their home. We are not talking about the homeless. Lots of people have only held the very basic of Jobs. Lets not throw stones, specially at the vulnerable.
One of the key factors for financial health is getting paid a good wage. Many people cant find that better paying job. They have a job. Its serious, but it doesn’t pay well. A guy I know works at Walmart. I said, why not try at Costco, they pay better. But He is afraid too.. Costco some times keeps you just for the season, then lets you go. I he quits Walmart and works for Costco they could let him go and then he is out of a job entirely. So thats why he wont switch. You blame him. So the job He has right now is significant and trustworthy, but it doesn’t pay well. I make over double he has but I don’t find it enough. I don’t know how he does it.
On another point, Its amazing how someone will look down on someone renting. The person renting might have a full time job but they make half of what another person makes. So how can they get a mortgage? Seriously, Don’t knock them. Its no surprise that a large portion of the public, specially the single people, who live on one income, don’t own a home. This is a huge problem in society! Its not surprising that people with small pay cheques are a pay cheque away from falling behind or being homeless.
Let me ask: Who pays for the rental house, does the landlord? Nope. The guy struggling pays for the house. So really, he can afford the mortgage, he just cant get one. In the end all his wealth, goes to the landlord. That has to change. Home ownership is the basis for stability. We can make rules and we can under pay and its nothing more than slavery. (lets not just look away.)
So its no surprise to me, being self employed, myself with no benefits, that some don’t make it. Winter months are very hard on the emotions too. There are more barriers to wealth in the winter. Things slow down. Everything costs more and if you have trouble, you have the cold and weather to deal with. The hassle of dealing with people can debilitate you, specially if you make half the wage and have miscalculated or hurt your back.
For the most part, Homelessness comes after Joblessness. Who knew! Some of the working poor transition in and out of homelessness and they would never tell you. Rent is high and they get behind. Housing is scarce so couch surfing might work for a while. Couch surfing is the first option if you have friends.
Another issue that upsets the apple cart is a death in the family or a rough marriage break up. What if your wife won’t let you see the kids bringing some vendetta against you. Oh the joy. That might make you quit your job and protest. yes that is stupid, but it happens. Ops. So, now what? You might have a an addiction or mental health issues brewing, What next! Life just broke in your face.
You might be that guy just getting out of Jail or Rehab. Where do you go? no cash? no place? no Job? There are no pretty answers for those who are on the street sleeping in a stair well and in despair. Get a Job lazy boy! In fact, Your criticism might get you stabbed. With no money and everything crumbling around you, depression is washing over you, There are no options just despair. I am surprised that the extremely poor are not more violent. Its only a matter of time till you are two dirty and distraught to seek work. If you had a car, you have to sell it, you cant afford plates and you have to abandon everything you ever bought just to survive.
If you met homelessness people many are very polite. You just dont know whats behind those eyes. Yes, I would think they are still broken up over their losses and defensive, but thats expected. Yet, Still, some how, some way, they found some security in knowing there is a bridge they can sleep under. Yep! Today is a good day, they got an extra big coat at the back door mission. It was hard to let it all go, But if you are evicted, where do you put your TV. So its not unusual for people to abandon thousands of dollars of things. Everyone Homeless person has had too. Don’t think they wandered on to the street.
Stress is potent for them as it is for anyone. You think Oh, just get a job. To get themselves up and out of the problem is a huge leap. Their stress level goes up to 100% The main goal today has been to learn the system so they can find help for today for what is directly in front of them. The future is pie in the sky.
The Homeless have found a way to survive on almost nothing; now thats creative. Its no surprise some steal. Its more surprising that most Homelessness people don’t steal!! Most don’t break into homes. Coke Addicts do that, not the homeless generally.. But I do know a guy who’s Dog wouldn’t stop barking. He went out in to the back yard and there he found a guy sleeping in his little green house. He wanted to be out of the weather. If there is breaking and entering, its not to harm, but to survive. Human nature says that, if there is a fridge of food all of us would take what we needed. Its basic survival. Still, this almost never happens.
Getting back into the work force, getting money is a tough road. Do you remember putting out resumes. Well imagine if you are homeless how that would go. Your parents supported you when you looked for work. You are not going to pull a printer and laptop out of your nap-sack under a bridge. Lets face it: you had everything at home. So literally everything is harder for homeless people. Unless you have a toothbrush and a place to shower and some clean clothes, not to mention a hair cut, you feel ashamed and youre not getting hired. Just that shame will stop most people from doing an interview. What are the chances they will get a job looking like that! There are huge barriers stopping them from getting up and out. Now what a Joy getting a kick from you! that helps!
Being homeless is like some boy wanting to date a girl but all he has is a pink dress to wear to the date. You wonder why he shows resistance. You say, Go, call, go see her. You suggest to the homeless person he is wrong for not waning a job; but he does what a job. Its like suggesting the boy doesn’t want the girl. He does want the Job. He does want the girl. But he is wearing a pink dress. He cant go in like that! Homeless people are people too. They have shame, they have obstacles in their way. One obstacle is like what they look like. Or, They might not have an education. They are people like you. Who knew! They have an embarrassing truth that is an arrow to their heart. The Arrow is, they are Homeless with a list of complications. Its far easier for them to consolidate what they have and live under a bridge.
Unfortunately, if all they have is a bottle of booze, they will hold on to it for dear life. This is their only valuable. Their possessions are valuables. They will forgo a shelter and warm bed just to keep them. Shelters will not let them bring the bottle inside. They bought that bottle today. They cant waste it. Its all they got! They cant throw it. You know how hard it was, how rewarding it was to pay for something. Now you want them to toss it! Thats not going to happen! (there is a whole complication of people keeping carts of Junk but thats another big thing. ) Don’t point fingers, I checked your garage. You’re a hoarder! I looked!
So what is the solution? Its pretty simple actually. Care for the hurting person first. Treat them as valuable. Get a basic roof over their heads. Don’t threaten them to kick them onto the street. Don’t treat them like a lazy bum. Don’t harass them and punish them for their tragedy. Don’t threaten to kick them out adding to the Anxiety and panic. Give them emergency care. Help them with meals, clothes and emotional help. Give them security. THEN, Remove barriers to employment. Actually care rather than Rush. Don’t look for a way to kick them down!. Then, when they are on their feet, work with them to restore what was lost. Help them gain self respect by respecting them. Give them Hope, some dignity, and restore some of what they lost inside. Help them with the basics, A resume, A hair cut, some job opportunity. They might need some Mental health support, some basic Education. The the cool thing is 80% of these people will take off running when helped up. And the help is just temporary. Usually less than 2 years.
This approach has been done with an 80% success rate.
I was listening to a Ted talk recently that confirmed what I had learned through other research and experience. So, I think I have a practical solution and a viable vision that is not new. With some zoning changes a comprehensive solution can happen. I call it. Transitional Housing with supports. This could replace the the majority of hostel system and remove most of the barriers and rescue hundreds from exposure and death.
The reason that I have a vision is because of my own personal failure to help. Not to beat myself up too much, I did had someone living in my home for about 2.5 years, and have helped people in some way all my life. But the guy I had living with me had to go. He was elderly and stubborn, urinating on the floor and he got cranky. I am no boy scout. I know the issues pretty well first hand. Still, it was time for him to go and after, in 3 months he found a place.
One of my recent failures was happened one night, I was driving a guy home from coffee house. I attend this Music night and coffee every Saturday night. I gave a guy a ride home. This time he was he was going to stay at a friend in Oshawa. The guy normally stays with his sister, but he was not talking with his sister. He has mental health issues and his sister has helped him on and off, for many years.
I drove him to his buddies, but his buddy wasn’t home. I asked where can I drop you. He said I could drop him off at the coffee shop; It was just a few blocks from my home. So I did. Problem is, I drove away and there he was, in my rear view mirror, Looking at my car driving away as he held his two bags, one in each hand. He just stood there. I drove away.
Earlier that night I had saw some of what was in those bags. He was sitting right by me. I saw the toothbrush and toothpaste. It was Obvious he was homeless. I asked and he said he was on the outs with his sister. So it was clear his whole life was in those two bags. He was going to stay with a friend.
I wanted to turn around and try and sort something out, but he is Schizophrenic, He’s not easy. Nothing is easy with him.. Just a conversation would take more than an hour. Still, He’s a good guy. He is generally fine but he is loud, he makes bird sounds and never stops talking.
I have known him for years. I help when I can, but, If I showed him kindness by taking him in, he wouldn’t sleep all night. I have to work. He would be so excited he would pace the floor and no one in the house would sleep; not Me, nor the tenant in the basement. So, I couldn’t take him home. (this is the problem and why we need bigger solutions.) We can be a part of the solution but most of us cant take people into our homes. We have kids, we have valuables, we don’t have bugs we want peace.
A week later when I saw him, I asked, Where did you stay? When you pass a homeless person ask yourself. Where do they stay? Do you stay in the hostel when you cant find a place? He said the Hostel is to dangerous and the staff pick through your stuff. Not only that, He said, you can get bugs. He said, He would rather lay in the bushes behind Tim Hortons. Than go to the Hostel.
I have a mirror. You might ask me in a moment, if I have one.
Its pretty obvious what pure religion is. James???
James 1:27 King James Version (KJV)
27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
I just don’t know anyone who has any pure religion? Do you? Let me spell it out. There are consequences for the people that pass the hurting people. We ourselves are beggars. Jesus found us and we are stinky and filthy compared to Jesus Christ himself. Jesus came into a manger to make a point, to try and lower himself. We are worms compared to Him. Jesus Made the world and it is He who spans the heavens. When we avoid others, we are hypocrites. Did Jesus avoid you? You ain’t that pretty. Still Jesus gave you the time of day. He died on a cross for your redemption. What will Jesus will say on that day; On Judgment day. He will ask, Who are you?
Jesus was asked how to enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus answered the question with the Good Samaritan story. Jesus was putting a condition on salvation. You have to help the hurting or you are disqualified. What would Jesus know about grace vs. Works anyways?. He must have his theology wrong. What does he know about Salvation anyways? We teach grace without works!
The tragedy is, there are lots of people who have lost their jobs, lost families, dove deep into a bottle of booze or drugs and have depression, mental illness or a physical disability; and no one cares. 300 die of exposure each year in Canada.
Matthew 25:40 King James Version (KJV)
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Hey, lets run the wounded over! Rev up the bus and yell out the window; take some responsibility, you lazy homeless person !. Get a job slacker! Is that YOU ? People who do not see the poor are the same people who won’t take their elderly parents in. Oh, the inconvenience. Funny though, these Social Slackers actually give a buck to the beggar jar so they can avoid actually doing something meaningful. They don’t want to do something that actually costs time and aggravation. (what? cant the judgment flow both ways?)
IF God Judges, and he will; How will he judge you on this matter? For most of us including me, we can kiss our fat rear ends good-bye. Jesus will be taking people to a desk to process them. The place will be quiet. You could hear a pin drop. Many at the pearly gates have a sombre look. And, Jesus will be doing all the talking.
The Panic will have set in, gripping people as they listen… Jesus will be saying: Nope, don’t know you. Nope, Don’t know you. Nope, well, I thought I knew you, but, Nope, Don’t know you. Oh, I remember you, you were, Mr. luke warm. or Mr. wishy washy. Wow. Nope. Don’t know you. And the line will get shorter and shorter and Shorter. Hey! Are you in the line.
The Op has almost reached you, but then you ignored it. shucks, sorry, Nope Not You either. And, Nope, cant really remember you either. Jesus made a blanket prediction; and it goes like this.
Matthew 25:30-46 King James Version (KJV)
30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Jesus gave his life for others. We cant skip that part, that is, the part of taking up your cross and following his example. If we do we will be skipped over. Phil 2, James 1, 2 , Luke 10:25, Matthew 7, Acts 2, prov19:17 1 John 4. Don’t worry, You’re Baptist. You think your fake theology will help you? You cant skip what Jesus said. Nope. Will your view of theology matter at the pearly gates? Only His will. Its the view of Jesus that matters.
Heaven is not a Airplane and God doesn’t have to fill every seat to pay for the Jet fuel. Jesus did not say what he said just for you to cancel it out by your theology. His theology trumps your high mined Ideas. Argue with Him, not me. Eph 2:8-10 , Gal:5:13-26, Romans 2:13-29, Romans 13:8-14 Galatians 2
A post about the Homelessness and taking ownership is difficult. I will leave it there for today and discuss next steps and the fuller vision to fix things. For sure this is a group effort and we all must take part. We can do this together. Before you go, take a look at the above scriptures. Blessings on you. Thanks for reading.
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