What the homeless need most
Most of us need a little help now and then. Help painting, doing the dishes, with homework, looking after a pet, changing a tire, or maybe with a financial problem. Very seldom do we fall into a situation that requires help to survive. You read about people that are stranded on mountains, lost in a wilderness, stuck in a cave, or more commonly, involved in near deadly accidents and need help getting out or getting well. Thankfully they are still rare occurances.
When it comes to the homeless, needing help is an every day occurrence. Yet the most often heard phrase is “Get a Job!”. Some help that is. This country will spend millions to get someone off a mountain that had been warned of the danger. We will send dozens of men with heavy equipment to get a horse out of a mud hole and every news outlet will feature it. We will organize fleets of ships and planes to hunt for a stricken boat with a missing man on the high seas.
Yet, when it comes to the homeless, other than those who engage in the homeless service industry and the homeless activists among us, there is little or no help when a homeless person is found laying in a doorway near death from freezing, or beaten half to death in an alley where he had been trying to sleep. Hospitals are even being accused of “dumping” homeless patients on streets near shelters. I can point you to many notable cases.
(Picture by Oldtimer.) Can you tell which one was not homeless?
Homeless people need help. They need our help and they need it almost continuously. Consider this: If you have lost a job recently and as a result lost your home, you probably have friends and family to fall back on for much needed help. You probably have a cell phone and a relationship with a doctor for medical care and probably still have a car. You are probably not homeless long.
Most homeless have none of those things. Without a car they are stuck walking and that in turn reduces the range of where they can get help or a job. Without a phone, they have to rely on stores and the goodness of a clerk to make a call. When was the last time you saw a payphone? Many times the homeless can’t even pay to use one if they could find one.
Without a phone and a fixed address, most people could not get a job as those things are at the top of any application. No way to get a callback for another appointment – opportunity lost. No fixed address – no job. Some libraries deny a card to anyone without a fixed address. No library card, no Internet access. No clean clothes, poorly nourished, unshaven. How does that work – get a job indeed!
Tell me friend, when you say “Get a job” how do you do that?
I have a need to work…
But I have no ID,
No clean clothes,
No place to wash or shave.
And if I do find work,
I can’t cash my check
More on this later. I have a poem that I want to illustrate this with. I call it a poem but maybe it doesn’t fit the framework. It really doesn’t rhyme but I think it at least tells the story. I call it My Rights – coming next.
If you were looking for a list of supplies I have it right here – Try the link blow!
(photo credit: Oldtimer taken near MUST in Marietta, GA.
(“I’m Homeless” written by Oldtimer)