Helping the homeless

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otseng
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Helping the homeless

Post #1

Post by otseng »

Here in Atlanta, there is talk about having a law against panhandling in certain tourist areas. I don't want to debate about panhandling, but I would like to discuss the underlying problem, which is homelessness and poverty.

What can be done to address homelessness and poverty?
What should be the role of government, corporations, and individuals?
What are some of the underlying issues behind homelessness and poverty?

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MikeH
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Post #11

Post by MikeH »

I have. I go out every Wednesday with a group to bring food/supplies to the homeless. We also get to know them and see if there's any way we can help them get off of the streets (if they want that, some truly don't).

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Re: Helping the homeless

Post #12

Post by I AM ALL I AM »

McCulloch wrote:
otseng wrote:[...]I would like to discuss [...] homelessness and poverty.
What are some of the underlying issues behind homelessness and poverty?
This question must be addressed first. If it is not then well meaning but uninformed people will attempt to find solutions to the wrong problem.
  • First off, the problem is not welfare bums too lazy to work to make a living. No one chooses to live in homelessness and poverty.
  • It has been shown that a larger number of homeless have mental illnesses than the general population. Cause or effect?
  • Many of the services provided for the homeless are, in fact, dangerous to them. You are more likely to be raped or assaulted in a homeless shelter than sleeping under a bridge.
  • Homelessness presents a danger to the rest of us. There is a form of antibiotic resistant tuberculosis spreading among the homeless population in my city, Toronto.
  • Large affordable housing projects are not the answer to poverty any more than bigger jails are an answer to crime. The poor will not be helped by being shut into a corner, out of the way, where the rest of us can pretend that they don't exist. NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) syndrome has to be defeated if people in poverty can be brought back into society.
G'day McCulloch.

Please accept this as a correction of some of your points and not as a criticism of yourself.

To your first point: a friend and I both chose to live homeless and in what would be considered poverty by others. We also met others that chose to live without accommodation for various reasons for periods of time. So no, there are people that choose, for whatever reasons, to live homeless.

To your second point: while I definitely met a lot of people that abused alcohol whilst living on the street, which could be considered a mental illness, this was in no way disproportional to the many that abuse alcohol within society. Considering that I also spent two years as a police officer at a station that had a couple of mental health hospitals in the district, I also feel qualified to state that in no way do I consider that homeless people have more mental health issues than others within society.

To your third point: being unaware of where you are getting your statistics from, I'll merely say that in two years as a police officer, at no point did I hear of anyone being raped in a homeless shelter. Not to say that this does not happen, as many rapes go unreported, but the homeless shelters in the area where I was a police officer, while being limited in their ability to help everyone (finances, size, etc), where very helpful to those that, as police, we passed on to them.

To your fourth point: homeless people are no more or less a danger than anyone else. To say that they are a danger based upon some apparent virulent disease is equivalent to saying that the gay community is a danger to us all because of AIDS.

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Re: Helping the homeless

Post #13

Post by I AM ALL I AM »

otseng wrote:Here in Atlanta, there is talk about having a law against panhandling in certain tourist areas. I don't want to debate about panhandling, but I would like to discuss the underlying problem, which is homelessness and poverty.

What can be done to address homelessness and poverty?
What should be the role of government, corporations, and individuals?
What are some of the underlying issues behind homelessness and poverty?
G'day Otseng.

Have you seen the movie 'Pay It Forward' ???

As individuals that own homes usually have a garage, then there is an instant solution to the homeless situation without involving governments or corporations.

Some of the underlying issues of homelessness are, the unequal distribution of wealth, unequal opportunities for education that is usually dependent upon where you live, minimum wages, along with many personal issues.

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catalyst
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Post #14

Post by catalyst »

MikeH wrote:I have. I go out every Wednesday with a group to bring food/supplies to the homeless. We also get to know them and see if there's any way we can help them get off of the streets (if they want that, some truly don't).
Hi MikeH,

Nice to meet you BTW. :D

What you are doing is commendable. Is it something you do with your church group, or just something "a group of you", do? (a group of you meaning just a group of friends doing it off your own bat)

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Post #15

Post by catalyst »

To your first point: a friend and I both chose to live homeless and in what would be considered poverty by others. We also met others that chose to live without accommodation for various reasons for periods of time. So no, there are people that choose, for whatever reasons, to live homeless.
You are right there I AM ALL I AM. The first instance of this I came across was when I lived in Sydney and used to help out at Sydney Hospital Kiosk. There was one old homeless fellow who used to come every day to get a cheap cup of tea and some bickies and to sit and have a natter. I felt sorry for the old bugger and one day mentioned this to one of the other ladies, and she quickly said "NO DON'T", it is the last thing he would want and would laugh if he knew you thought that way". Obviously intrigued, I questioned further and found out he was an ex Judge of the Supreme Court, had money to burn, and was happy as a clam, homeless.

He chose to live that way. He wanted out of the "rat race' and to live life on his own terms.


As you can appreciate I AM ALL I AM, being on the Coast, we also get our fair share of "choosers" as well. It is EASY for people choosing to, be "comfortably" homeless up here so I get where you are coming from.

Many of the people I deal with these days however are not there for the same reasons and invariably the reason they are homeless is due to relationship breakdown(divorce or domestic violence) or low ebb situations -ie berevement, loss of work, illness (loss of work and illness being huge underlying reasons for eviction in the first place), some addiction and/or substance abuse. All of these things result in a lack of self esteem and unfortunately it is very difficult for people to come out of that kind of funk, when they are constantly being looked down on and treated like dirt, or worse..just ignored.

My husband and I for some years now have been addressing, first and foremost, the big issue of segregation - the "them" vs "us" mentality. Rather than pushing the differences, we like to bring together and celebrate the "likes". We started out doing monthly and then bi-monthly free lunch in the park. Anyone, no matter who - whether families up here on hols staying at Versace, or a homeless family living out of their car were welcome. I suppose it is different in Surfers because standard dress code is pretty much stubbies and thongs anyway, no matter how much or how little you've got, :lol: but these lunches brought people from ALL walks of life together as equals. It was amazing just how much this human interactionhelped break down barriers and the many homeless people there for lunch, with just this little thing, started feeling better about themselves.

To make it as short as possible, we have moved onward and upward since and now have a Cafe facility, taking pretty much the same approach. OPEN TO EVERYONE with open arms, no one knows who is there for what reason, whether just to get a nice lunch, brekkie or dinner and then move on to work or play, or whether someone is getting their first decent meal in weeks. Our "thing" is Come As You Are (and just pay what you can...and if that is NOTHING..doesn't matter) - everyone is treated as equal and that is again SO important. I suppose we are a glorified "soup kitchen" of sorts, however it is again amazing to notice the self dignity that comes from being able to choose ANYTHING from a menu in a normal Cafe setting, as opposed to lining up with a cafeteria tray.... again something so small, but psychologically HUGE.

We have 4 "key words" as our statement:- Respect, Relieve, Retrain, Regain.

Hunger, poverty and homelessness are three major issues that are consuming our society. Millions of people are unable to find sufficient food, water nor money to live, let alone survive. Breaking this cycle often becomes impossible and unbearable, leading to more problems such as crime, addiction and suicide. We had the vision and understanding to drive humanity to address these problems in a caring and dignified manner, providing help to those who need it, who will then go on to help others. We are a non-profit organisation. Any funds raised in the running are returned to fund further projects.

As mentioned before, in order to tackle hunger, we have our cafe and will soon have more, where all are welcome with open arms. Respect.

Cost is not an problem to those who visit the café as is a customer is asked to pay only what they can afford. In these times where the simplest need, food, is harder to afford, we are there to help. Relieve.

Attached is a network of resources aimed at addressing poverty. We provide the services required to improve the chances of employment. There is a service that helps with resumes, applications and interview techniques . It provides a change of clothes should that be required for an interview or for work. Employment and training is also available through the us as well, giving the opportunity to gain experience in hospitality, customer service, administration, marketing and more. We also now have budgeting, money-management and financial experts donating their time. Retrain.

We also address homelessness by providing low cost housing. This creates stability and increasing the chances of breaking the cycle. Regain.

By addressing these issues, those who are helped improve their lives so that they are able to help others. Humanity benefits when we work together and we believe we are the catalyst for this to happen.

We are not about addressing one singular problem. We addresses several problems such as hunger, homelessness and unemployment. In doing so, we have moved forth and tackled other community issues. By providing employment, people will be able to put back into local communities, improving local economies, which in turn helps build more local employment. By ensuring that people have food, it helps kids at school as they are able to concentrate better and improve their attendance. This will begin to address other issues, e.g. literacy and numeracy. Petty crime rates decrease as the next meal is taken care of. In providing housing, we help create a much more stable home environment, reducing stress and improving health taking pressure off public health systems.
As these effects take place, it becomes a snowball, as those who have been helped go on to help others and themselves further, reducing reliance on welfare and charity.


Many people benefit. The homeless benefit from housing and food. The unemployed benefit from education and training. Children benefit as they are not hungry at school and are more able to concentrate. Families benefit as there is much less stress.

Beyond the direct benefits there are also indirect benefits. Local communities benefit as the people have more money to spend in local shops. We employ locals to the area. Local businesses supply the cafés. Local governments benefits as more taxes are paid. The welfare and charities benefit as people become more self-reliant, putting less pressure on them. The health systems also benefit as people are healthier due to peoples fundamental needs at the very least being met.

That pretty much sums up what we are doing these days. ;)
Last edited by catalyst on Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MikeH
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Post #16

Post by MikeH »

catalyst wrote:Nice to meet you BTW. :D

What you are doing is commendable. Is it something you do with your church group, or just something "a group of you", do? (a group of you meaning just a group of friends doing it off your own bat)
Nice to meet you too,

It's just a group of friends, not affiliated or funded by any church.

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Post #17

Post by catalyst »

MikeH wrote:
catalyst wrote:Nice to meet you BTW. :D

What you are doing is commendable. Is it something you do with your church group, or just something "a group of you", do? (a group of you meaning just a group of friends doing it off your own bat)
Nice to meet you too,

It's just a group of friends, not affiliated or funded by any church.
That is just so cool, MikeH. AWESOME! Keep on keeping on MikeH! :)

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Post #18

Post by I AM ALL I AM »

G'day Catalyst.

WOW !!!

You truly are a LEGEND.

Below is a cookbook that some friends that I live with have put together. We have had some printed up for sale (the cheapest deal was $6.60) and will be selling them for $10 (quite a few pre-orders already actually ;) , which is the main reason that we had it printed up initially). The text is the introduction page.

Anyway, the reason that I post it here is for the free use of yourself to utilise as a way to make money. Having run a direct sales company, I know that they can be easily sold and would be willing to explain in detail how this can be achieved.

For those that are unemployed, this could be a way to generate an income until they are able to find full time work. The marketing system that I learned and taught (daily over a five and a half year period and in three countries) is very easy to implement and only takes a day or two in 'training'.

Any help that I could be towards assisting you would be rewarding for me, so it would actually be you giving to me. If you have any difficulty downloading the pdf, please PM me and I will email it to you.

Here's another story that I heard about in Sydney in regards to a homeless person. A woman used to share her lunch daily with a homeless man in Hyde park. This went on for a long period until one day he didn't show up ever again. A few of weeks later she was contacted by a legal representative of the man who had left millions of dollars to her in his will.


EATING SIMPLY TO SIMPLY LIVE

Eating simply to simply live,
To my body I do give,
Nature’s bounty, a loving gift,
A source of nourishment to uplift.

For a truth that I have found,
Is that food grown in the ground,
Gives everything the body does need,
To perform each and every deed.

CONTENTS
Dips and Snacks
Meals
Salads
Sauces
Desserts
Breads

This is a book of recipes that started out for personal use and as a way of
sharing recipes with friends. Each of us that have added recipes to this
compilation have come from variant backgrounds in regards to cooking and the
way in which we ate. Ultimately, we have come to a decision for the physical
benefit that being healthy gives, that of ability. Ability to continue to enjoy life.

When we feed the body naturally - nature...ally - , nature becomes our ally. It
is now becoming a 'trend' to eat 'power' or 'super' foods for the amazing
benefits that each plant product gives the body. Well, here's something that
they won't say to you because they are selling their 'brand product' - ALL OF
NATURE IS YOUR ALLY. Each and every food is utilised by the body for a
purpose. Nature is our ally because nature provides us with everything that the
body requires to continue the ABILITY to enjoy life.

Whole Food Signatures: "Every whole food has a pattern that resembles a body
organ or physiological function and that this pattern acts as a signal or sign as
to the benefit the food provides the eater."

http://www.dontolmaninternational.com/p ... iew/24/95/
http://fedupwithfoodadditives.info/
http://coconutresearchcenter.org/
http://notmilk.com/
http://madcowboy.com/

The above internet links are provided for your benefit to research this
information further yourself.

There are canned products that we utilise, like tomatoes and coconut cream. If
you are unable to gain the fresh ingredients, then using organic canned
products might be an alternative because they can be easily found in most
supermarkets. Locally grown food is recommended, which means growing
your own could also be an option for you. Having no 'numbers', preservatives,
artificial colourings, artificial flavourings, or any other additive, such as
vitamins, pesticides, etc, means you are eating naturally and the body can
utilise the energy that was being taken up with dealing with all of the 'man
made extras' and the problems that they create within the physicality.

Love the experience of creating a meal. There's truth in the sayings, "It tastes
better when it's cooked with love", and, "There's nothing like a home cooked
meal". Ask a chef if they love cooking.

Eating Simply To Simply Live gives you the opportunity to see what we have
created with the natural products that we have available where we live. Some
of you may have access to a lot of various natural foods, others may have little
access, either way, these recipes are merely ideas of one way that food can be
combined for a meal. These recipes aren't the only way, they are merely one
way, and we encourage you to experiment with your own ideas to benefit by
Eating Simply To Simply Live. :D Enjoy :D


Eating_Simply_To_Simply_Live.pdf
File size : 827 KB

Code: Select all

http://www.badongo.com/file/11945548

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catalyst
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Post #19

Post by catalyst »

Hi I AM ALL I AM,

LEGEND? nah! Perhaps the little toe on the left foot! lol :lol:

Thank you though for the recipes, however the link does not work. Something about it being inactive for 30 days. :?

I AM ALL I AM
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Post #20

Post by I AM ALL I AM »

G'day Catalyst.

I've uploaded it again. The new link is below. ;)


Eating_Simply_To_Simply_Live.pdf
Uploaded : 2008-12-07 | Size: 827 KB

Code: Select all

http://www.badongo.com/file/12389322

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