I was just reading an article about a man nearby in Ft. Lauderdale who was arrested for feeding the homeless. Ok. You can read the article here, if you want more info, but I want to get a little closer to something that burned me when I read the comments on the article. You can look at the logistics and legalities and all of that in your own manner of thinking, but it was THE COMMENTS that set me to writing this post.
“the law is not cruel at all. Just sets some regulation of where you can feed these bums.”
“you can quit your job, eat better than most working people, see any specialist in the healthcare field you need, have dental work done, talk on your free cell phone, put your child in day care while you “look for a job” with the gas card they gave you to fill up your car, lay down at night in the home they pay the rent for that I could not even afford and remain nice and warm with the heating assistance they provide.”
“either put them on a work program or in a mental institution or run them out of town”
So that’s what people tend to think. He’s an alcoholic. He’s mentally ill. He’s lazy. Let’s get something perfectly clear before we embark any further on anything I have to say. It can happen to any of you, any one of you at any time without hesitation. And it can happen quickly. If you’re financially not prepared for upset, then watch out. You’re next. What’s worse? Once you’re in that situation these are the views that people think of you. “Get a job!” you hear it thrown at you all the time. You hear it biting at you often, and sometimes you just want to scream, “THEN GIVE ME ONE!” And another bit of warning, it can take a second in life to make it happen…..and years, I tell you, YEARS to recover from it. It’s taken me four years now, and I’m just barely getting by. The world looks at you with distrust, distaste and a sense of blind acknowledgement. “God, why are these guys always ASKING me for something? Why are they always BOTHERING me???? GET A JOB!”
At some point in that life, you do give up. You just want to go from one day to the next. One meal, to the next. You forget anything at all about wanting anything more. Security? That’s luxury.
Sorry this post is so…disjointed. I’m not in my right mind. I was SO PISSED by what people thought of the homeless MAN that I just started getting angry and I had to let it out. The homeless in your city are as unique as the people who view them. Some of them want out, some of them want to live from one day to the next, and some of them don’t care anymore and slip into whatever intoxicant helps them forget what’s happened.
It’s easier if you’re a woman. Easier if you’re a woman with a child. But, if you’re a man? Forget it. You’re just another placard photo for someone to snicker at when get off the highway. You’re just another nuisance that bothers people. You’re another road side attraction to roll your eyes at with boredom.
I was once in Walgreens and a woman came rushing in loud and wild asking for a manager. “Some homeless guy outside YOUR store just asked me for change!!!!!”
I, being who I am, piped up and said, “OH MY GOD!!! Did you give him any????”
She replied, “NO! OF COURSE NOT!”
I asked, “DID HE ATTACK YOU????”
“NO!” She said, “I RAN IN HERE!!!”
And I just whimsically asked, “Then what’s the problem?”
“HE was bothering ME.”
So maybe that’s what my question should really be…..is there a problem with the homeless in America? Or are you just BOTHERED by the homeless? Is that what the issue is? I mean, we can find a gazillion ways to help them, but it seems, in turn, what people REALLY want to do with the homeless is to no longer have to be BOTHERED by them. Not help them, not find ways to get the ones WHO WANT out some help, but just no longer have to BOTHER with them. (And don’t mention shelters. You’re better off in jail than in a shelter. In jail, you have protection. Shelters are anarchy and fair game.) I was lucky. I found a way out. And dammit, if it didn’t take every ounce of fighting I had.
We don’t want you feeding the homeless because we don’t want to have to LOOK at them. Push them to the edge of town. Just….do something with them somewhere else. Our pretty views can’t be burdened by something so filthy.
Sorry. I’m just…..PISSED!
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