I can remember as a kid, when I rode with Grandpa in the coal truck when he got to Louisville to deliver the load, he had to hire a couple of helpers. Back then, there were places in downtown where you could find day workers. You just rolled through, picked a couple up and took them to the job unloaded the truck. Later, when I lived in downtown Knoxville, I lived around a lot of so called homeless people. In all honesty, most of them looked like the same guys we used to pick up for day labor. This time, I was in the contracting business and would have days I had a job for them. Every day, they would pass by and ask for money, so one day I said, "I have this pile of junk behind the garage I need carried to the curb so the garbage truck can pick it up. This was an hour job if you worked at it. I offered him $20 to get it done because I was in a hurry as I'd already donated my case of beer to the garbage truck driver to stop by that morning and get that stuff.
The guy said, "It's too hot to work like that." I said, It's too hot for me to climb off this roof and give you a dollar.
Around Knoxville you always saw panhandlers on certain corners and intersections. One night on the news, they did a story on some guy who had a van and dropped the panhandlers off on the corners, then picked them up in a few hours. He got a cut of their take. They had the whole kit. Duffle bag, Work for Food sign, collection bucket. According to the report, this guy was making several thousand a week off of these guys working "prime" corners in town.
Then I suppose there are legitimately homeless people. My question is how do they get to that point? We have Hud that pays for housing for those who can't afford it. Food Stamps that pays for food, Medicaid that pays health care bills, Unemployment Insurance, AFDC to pay for the children, Food stamp office will buy them a car, pay a mechanic to fix it, and buy insurance on it. They will also pay their home insurance, and about every other bill you can think of.
What else can we provide to eliminate the problem? I personally can't think of anything.
Yea im an idiot people like you is why so many people live free off of all the honest hard working people in this country welfare is for the people that need it not a way of life ive had people work for me before that said they can make more stayin at home living off of welfare so my friend look in the mirror before you call someone an idiot unless you know what you are talking about there are thousands and thousands taking this country for a ride and as long as we let them they will continue so why dont you start a fund for them and donate half of your check each week to them if you are so much for this so unless you know me and what ive done id keep my smart remarks to myself ive sent many of needy kids to church camp and helped people on the street but thats beside the point lets live what we preach or keep our comments to our self. this will be the last comment i make about this topic.
Perhaps you would do well to read other scripture passages relative to slanderous remarks, not to mention the rules of this board.
Simply because someone does not share your opinion does not make one an idiot.
Ga Spur poignantly pointed out there are at leeast two different types of people when it comes to the homeless. Unfortunately, we cannot differentiate one from the other based on their covers, and they all share the same roof when it comes to shelters.
I have not read anywhere in this thread where anyone would deny help to anyone truly trying to help themselves.
BTW, there are passages about the lazy and how we should work as well.
There are those that are homeless by choice. There are those that are homeless because life has thrown them a curve ball. There are those that are homeless because, for lack of better terms, they no longer have the mental capacity to function in society.
Having said that, a few thoughts.
60 minutes did a segment a few years ago on some homeless guys in NYC. Now, these were not you typical "homeless." They knew how to feed off the emotions of the citizens. They would intentionally setup in influential disctricts, put on their "homeless" closthes and get handouts. They showed 5 guys all making 500k+ a year working as "homeless."
Many of the homeless I feel no remorse for. Oftentimes I have offered many some day labor and every time I have been turned down. Now, when I need some day labor done I go to the Home Depot on Sydney Marcus and pick up some immigrant workers. Just about every McDonalds and gas station in any city are looking for workers. There are jobs out there, go get one.
Our Federal Government currently does more for the homeless than the Constitution allows. Nowhere in the Constitution does the Fed have the responsibility, or mandate to provide for the poor and needy of society. If anything, it is a state and local problem, not a federal problem.
John Mac, we can debate the Scriptures you posted if you so desire, but your foundation in the argument is weak at best.
I do not hand out cash to the homeless, and I never will. I have offered on more than one occassion to take them to get something to eat, yet I am typically turned down. There is a homeless guy that is typically stationed every afternoon at the intersection of Buford HWY and Lennox road. His sign reads "I am a Vet. Homeless and Hungry Pleae Help. God Bless." Just yesterday I offered to take the individual to McDonalds and get him a hot meal. He turned me down. There was an man in my church that was the manager of the Chick Fil-A on Peachtree in midtown. He told me often of the homeless that would come into his store looking for handouts. He always offered the same deal. If they were willing to work for an hour he would feed them and personally take them to a shelter. Only about 15% ever accepted his offer. He had 2 empolyees that got their jobs by accepting his offer and now have appartments and full time jobs.
The level of misinformation and callous disregard for the plight of others expressed in this thread is disheartening.
"Homelessness can be caused by a variety of problems. The main cause is unaffordable housing for the poor. Secondary causes include mental illness, physical illnesses, substance abuse, lack of incentives to work, poor work ethics, and, like most social issues Grassroots.org seeks to address, lack of decent education. The National Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty reports that over 3 million men, women, and children were homeless over the past year – about 30% of them chronically and the others temporarily. In many cases people are in and out of the homeless system, which includes shelters, hospitals, the streets, and prisons. It is these chronic users of the system that utilize up to 90% of the nations resources devoted to the problem.
On top of the 3 million who were homeless or marginally homeless there are an additional 5 million poor people that spend over half of their incomes on housing, leaving them on the verge of homelessness. A missed paycheck, a health crisis, or an unpaid bill can easily push poor families over the edge into homelessness.
It has been reported that the types of assistance homeless adults felt they needed most were help finding a job, help finding affordable housing, and help paying for housing. However, the main types of assistance they usually received were clothing, transportation and help with public benefits. Few homeless actually receive help finding housing, likely because caregivers know its unaffordable or otherwise unattainable for people of their social status.
A minority of the homeless population is capable but unwilling to work – they may resent the minimal wages they would receive if they could find work. It would be irresponsible if we did not consider that a minority of the homeless may be inherently "lazy", or substance abuse has made them so. In these cases the there is little help the system can offer that will bring about positive social results. In general, we recommend a “tough love” approach wherein able people must work in some capacity to receive the benefits they seek. There is often a gray line between those who are mentally ill, substance abusers, and other disabled homeless. Therefore it is not easy to classify them in to benefit categories or to understand their labor capabilities.
Moreover, there is no one comprehensive system to manage the myriad of services for the homeless, their benefits, and their reintegration in to society. We recommend the US and states move towards a fully integrated computerized system which would make delivering benefits and getting people off the streets more cost effective. Eventhough documenting people's’ lives in detail verges on an invasion of privacy, we feel if the US taxpayers need to foot the bill, which they ultimately do, there is no alternative but to build an efficient system with subjective inputs, in order to provide benefits and opportunities based on need.
Most people, including the homeless, are not inherrently lazy. But the US economic system does not adequately support those at the lowest skill levels, even if they are willing to work – leading to unemployment and millions of “working poor”. Incomes for the poorest Americans have not nearly kept pace with rising housing costs. Therefore, millions of hard workers are shut out of the private housing market. Job training, education, trade schools, and other systemic economic incentives and welfare disincentives should be applied with whatever funds are available from foundation or government sources. This will raise income levels overall and make housing more affordable. This, coupled with the benefits poor and homeless receive like Supplemental Security Income (SSI), food stamps, and TANF (welfare), should lower the overall future level of homelessness.
For mayors, city councils, and even homeless providers it may seem that placing homeless people in shelters is the most inexpensive way of meeting basic needs. This is deceptive. The cost of homelessness can be quite high, particularly for those with chronic illnesses. Because they have no regular place to stay, people who are homeless use a variety of public systems in an inefficient and costly way. Preventing a homeless episode, or ensuring a speedy transition in to stable permanent housing can result in a significant overall cost savings. Hospitals, prisons, lost opportunity, and emergency shelter are all very inneficient.
According to a U.S. Conference of Mayors the homeless population is diverse:
22% are mentally disabled.
11% are veterans.
34% are drug or alcohol dependent.
Most people become homeless specifically because they are having a housing crisis, eventhough they may have other needs for services and increased incomes. Its important to realize that their needs are best met once the family is in permanent housing - not while they are in transitional housing or shelters. Housing must be first if they are expected to develop a sustainable, healthy lifestyle.
Homelessness can often cause or be caused by serious health problems. Illnesses that are closely associated with homelessness and poverty include tuberculosis, AIDS, malnutrition, and severe dental problems. Other health problems in society such alcoholism, mental illnesses, and physical disabilities are even more debilitating for the homeless, since they may have no shelter or money to manage the problem. People without shelter could easily get frostbite, get infections, or be victims of violence, even in public shelters. They are also more likely to cohabitate with drug addicts, alcoholics, and/or others with disease.
Each year millions of homeless people in the United States need important health care services but most do not have health insurance or cash to pay for medical care. Finding health care is an enormous challenge for the homeless."