Homelessness. - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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No matter where one goes in the world homeless human beings can be found. For whatever reason these people have no place to be. No shelter, no protection from the weather.

There have a been a few threads lately pertaining to homeless folk. Some nice things have been said, some not so nice things have been said.

A lot of folks proffer that a lot or even most of the homeless chose to live that way. I have no idea what the actual percentage is myself, and don't really care.

I've been there myself. I've spent time in hobo camps. I've hung out under bridges and in tunnels. And while you will see all sorts of people, the mentally ill, the drug controlled, the criminal, the lazy, the unfortunate, the drunk, the angry, the sad, the rebellious, the abandoned. You'll see folks just trying to figure out who they are, folks trying to figure out where they are. You'll see people who don't care about either one.

Now I'm not talking about the folks like me who simply hit an awful time in their life through some form of misfortune. I'm talking about the folks for whom homelessness is a lifestyle. For whom homelessness is perpetual.

You'll see sick people, tired people, crippled, injured, young old, dying, retarded, crazy. There are as many calamities as there are individuals. Every story is in some way or another unique.

But they all live in filth. They all live with a rat chewing their belly from the inside out. For some the gnawing rodent is named hunger. From one morsel of food to the next the gnawing teeth never stop. For others it's name is thirst, either for water or for booze. Their life given only to the pursuit of the next drink.

The belly rat for others is hate. A hate that may or may not have a tangible source. Hatred of family, community, government. Hatred even of themselves.

For others still the rat may be mental illness.

But that rat, lives in every one of them. Ever been bitten by a rat? They don't just bite and let go like a dog. They don't bit and hang on like a pit bull. They chew. They chew like electricity. They chew. They do all they can in inflict the most possible damage.

Ever been able to think of anything else while a rat chewed on you? Distracting as hell ain't it? When a rat has it's teeth in you nothing else in the world exists.

Just like the bite from a real rat, the belly rat of the homeless is distracting. It steals all their attention, their focus. For whatever reason, for what ever addiction, affliction or malady these people have nothing but that gnawing in their gut. The rest of the world is at best an obscure haze that comes and goes without consequence.

Their lives are centered focused around and encompassed by that one element. It leaves no room for vision, for goals, for self worth, for improvement. It's all consuming. Just like drug addiction, alcoholism, insanity. In fact many homeless people are homeless because of those things.

Even poverty. Their literally isn't enough to go around. And when that is the case someone has to go without.

In homeless people there is plenty to see, their history, their life story, where they have been, the things they have experienced and endured. The meager possessions they may have scrounged.

You would be amazed at some of the things you'll see in the world of the homeless. We've all heard stories of homeless folk found dead either starved or frozen to death but in their clothes or bags their will be thousands of dollars in cash even millions.

Homeless people who are phenomenal artists, they have talents like singing or dancing or even telling stories.

Some will own things that are extremely valuable. Like I said you'd be amazed at what you could see in them or with them.

But I'll tell you, you won't see many smiles. Happiness is a very rare thing with the homeless regardless of why they are homeless.

Everyone deserves some happiness in their life. Now some will hear that and say "Hang on a minute Broke Ole Boy. Those evil people who kill, rape, or harm children don't deserve any happiness." I guess they'd be entitled to that opinion and may even be right.

But those aren't the people I'm talking about. I'm talking about the guy who makes you curl your lip and frown with his matted hair and bad smell. I'm talking about the woman who makes you shake your head in disgust when you see her eat from a dumpster. or the ten year old you click your tongue at when you see him sleeping under a bush at the park.

I'm talking about the family you are shocked to discover living in back of a stripped station wagon down by the abandoned factories.

I'm talking about the people that most folks are quick to ignore, quick to dismiss as lazy, quick to discredit because they "chose to live that way" or are "content with that life".

I'm talking about people who have very little if any happiness in their life.

Are you going to help them by buying them a meal? Are you going to help them better themselves by giving them a blanket? Are you going to rescue them with those few coins in your pocket?

Well no. You aren't. But you can bring just a little slice of happiness into their otherwise joyless world.

Give them just 90 seconds of your time. The next time you decide that guy in the dumpster is there because he's lazy. The next time you assume the woman on the off ramp wants drug money. The next time you figure the guy with the sign just wants you to make the next payment on his Mercedes.

Stop, talk to them for just 90 seconds. Offer them a kind word and a smile. No one ever smiles at the homeless. Just a smile.

Talk to them, let them tell you a story, let them tell you their name, for some of them it's all they have left. Give them ninety seconds of your time before you write them off. In that ninety seconds, you are likely to learn something not just about them but maybe about yourself. I know I did.

And in that ninety seconds, actually pay attention to them, and you will be able to see if they are truly homeless, truly living that lifestyle or if they are just trying to make an easy buck off the unsuspecting.

Certain things will be apparent if you pay attention. If they stink to high hell I mean really stink, that lived in stink you know damn well they aren't driving away in anything let alone a high end car. Look at their hands, they may or may not be dirty, but are they scarred? Are they quick and cautious?

Make eye contact, are their eyes impatient? Or are they distant? Or maybe surprised?

Even if you give them nothing more than that ninety seconds. You have given them something most of the world won't. If you simply take a little time to talk to them like human beings. Give them a smile, and wish them well. You will have given them just a little happiness, a little pleasantness int heir day.

Now I'm not stupid, nor am I gullible. So yeah I know not all of them will appreciate it. Some will be downright nasty. But even with them, since when is being nice a bad thing?

90 Seconds, a minute and a half. Don't give them money, don't buy them food, don't hand them a blanket. Give them a smile. Give them a moment to feel like part of the world instead of an embarrassing piece of garbage.

Whether it truly does them any good or not doesn't matter. Good will spreads. Good will is like malice, given a little room it will grow. Malice is everywhere. it has all the room it needs to grow. Good will though, is obviously in short supply.

Not just the homeless either now that I think about it. Any of your fellow man could use 90 seconds of good will.


No this isn't some homeless advocacy ploy, or anything like that. It's just Broke Winger running off at the lip.

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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 02:39 PM
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There is no way i can add to your post except to say well done my friend

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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 02:45 PM
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Ive read a lot of your stuff over the years Broke,but thats way out your bestit,ll remind me the next time i go into town and see some of ours,just to spare a thought ,,,,nice one mate,,,,pp

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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 03:02 PM
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As long as the perpetually homeless stay of my property and away from my kids, I won't feed their gnawing belly-rats a slice of pie with some 90-second homemade whip-ass on top of it. That, ...I will have time for.

Sending the average Joe on here out to talk to the average homeless Ratis liable to get the average Joe jacked.

Don't buy into all this "Joy to the World" stuff to heavily.

Did some chick get you all twisted 'round BW?

...
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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CaptainMidnight85 wrote:
Quote:
As long as the perpetually homeless stay of my property and away from my kids, I won't feed their gnawing belly-rats a slice of pie with some 90-second homemade whip-ass on top of it. That, ...I will have time for.

Sending the average Joe on here out to talk to the average homeless RatÂ*is liable to get the average Joe jacked.

Don't buy into all this "Joy to the World" stuff to heavily.

Did some chick get you all twisted 'round BW?

...
Nope.

What you say, well it has a bit of merit. But I'm not trying to encourage Joe Evryman to go out and wander into camp. I'm talking about the chance encounter on the street.

Sure bad things happen, sometimes bad people do bad things to good people.

I chose not to live in fear.

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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 05:03 PM
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Broke,

That is the best thought out dissertation that you have written to date. I commend you and well done.


~ John


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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 05:43 PM
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[align=center][/align]
[align=center][/align]
[align=center]Over many long years I have spent much timehelping people who are homeless through no fault of their own I did this in my own quiet littleway. [/align]
[align=center]What Broke Winger has said is true but their are a number of dangerous homelesspeople out there and one has to be very careful when dealing with them [/align]


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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 06:42 PM
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I'm already beginning to re-think you too Broke. Very nicely done.

In a few weeks I'll be moving into an area where this is very common and street people pass by regularly.

A couple of weeks ago, one of the neighbors who is not of my race (in an area where races keep to themselves, mostly) was walking down the street and saw me and the Mrs sitting on the front porch while work was going on inside the house. He was talking to himself when he saw us. He smiled and came up the driveway and on to the porch and introduced himself as James. He sat down on the cement railing and we had a nice conversation. We could tell during his discussion that he was missing a few spark plugs but the engine was still running fine.

After about 20 minutes he went on down the road and we invited him to come by anytime. Two nights later my step son emailed and said that ambulance and police had come next door the other night and he was told that one of the two living in the house next door to him had died. We knew it had to either be James or his father who cared for him.

Turns out it was James, who had died in his sleep.

We were saddened but I was very glad we had met and talked and that I made a point to remember his name.

You never know whose life you affect.

James is the only person in the neighborhood whom we have met so far.







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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 08:03 PM
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very well written Broke


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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 08:27 PM
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Brokewinger- I commend you for your candor and honesty.Most men would not admit to being in those kinds of circumstances. I know this because i worked at the biggest mens homeless shelter in iowa. For almost four years i saw every kind of addiction and excuse in the same day every day. You can only help the ones that are willing,ready and able to help themselves. Some people think homeless people are vagrant and will not give them the time of day.That includes some of the people above obviously. I can honestly say i met men who i would trust with all my wordly belongings in a heartbeat while working there. They have more integrity in living what they believe in than most people i know.

Thanks again for posting this. I honestly did not expect to see anything like this on this site and i commend you for it.

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