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Switch to Forum Live View Our Homeless On Christmas And New Year's
7 years ago  ::  Nov 28, 2007 - 11:15PM #11
katy66
Posts: 216
There are only about 2000 people in our town and we are a ways from the next town so of course we don't have a homeless shelter. We just have to find any one who is in difficulty a place to stay.  An apartment (low cost housing) or some one's home.

I don't think any one ever said that homeless people can't read and write or that there is something wrong with them that is any different than the general population.  People who are not homeless have mental illnesses too.

Katy66
Blessings,  Katy66
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 29, 2007 - 1:38AM #12
Stardove
Posts: 15,237
God bless you BirdTattoo for the work you do.

I am in agreement that many homeless people have mental illnesses and do not adhere to taking their medicines or have never been diagnosed. The other issue is alcohol and or drug abuse. The substances are more important than food, shelter or clothing for a addict. IMO. Although additions is not classified as a mental illness I believe they should be.

In the town I live in I'm pretty sure there are no homeless. That is not to say that the larger cities of Dallas, Fort Worth and other towns in the Metroplex don't have more than there fair share. I live in a very wealthy community, but we've been here for 30 years. Only 2016 people lived here when my home was purchased. That is no longer the case. I've mentioned the houses across the road are selling for two million dollars. I have never seen a homeless person in my home town. Can't say that about Fort Worth or Dallas.

Looked up my town on Wikipedia.......... Southlake is a very affluent suburb in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex[SIZE=2] and is one of the wealthiest communities in the entire nation. [/SIZE]
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 29, 2007 - 2:45AM #13
CarpathianPeasant
Posts: 78
[QUOTE=BirdTattoo;101664]In my experience, the majority of homeless people are mentally ill and/or addicted, and/or in abusive relationships.  (Except, of course, the homeless children, who simply have parents with the above issues.)  Poor education is an issue for many.  To me, this does NOT mean that a homeless person is not like me.  In fact, if I couldn't relate to people with these problems, then I'd have no business working in a homeless shelter.

Please don't assume that homeless shelters don't have excellent caseworkers who work tirelessly with clients who often have a difficult time believing in themselves and following through.  IMO, the single biggest cause of homelessness is mental illness.  Mentally ill people who do not take their medication, or who never had medication to begin with, tend to make poor life choices, and poor life choices, when one lacks a supportive family and adequate finances, often result in homelessness.

In my shelter, everyone is given a warm bed, a shower, laundry services, delicious food, and an opportunity to work with a caseworker and  a counselor.  We have a small library, and a variety of games and videos.  Each shelter guest is given a complete set of clothes (of their choice) every week.  Kindness and respect are the order of the day.  We don't attempt to "solve the homeless problem"--we simply do what we can to offer individuals a safe and pleasant environment and support to address their individual problems.

Politics come into the picture mainly through lack of funding.[/QUOTE] 


Umm.... 

My little ol' hometown of less than 200,000 (not really big) once was home to a place called (at one time) The Southwest Ohio Lunatic Asylum.  Like everyone else, I was well aware of the place -- every once in a while news reports would announce, "Be on the lookout for a walk-away from Dayton State."  Indeed, one of my uncles worked there for a while; but, we never discussed it.  And, when the mentally ill were de-institutionalized, the lovely fenced in grounds, etc., were turned into senior citizen apartments. 

I know previously institutionalized "mentally ill" have been de-institutionalized.  And, the local police can't simply pick up people and haul them off to the likes of Dayton State (it IS a hospital, your know, blah, blah....) rather than jail.   Okay, see, I know that.  And, I'm not saying that there aren't many now homeless on the street. Furthermore, I have to agree with the premise that if it's possible to get better, no one is going to get better while institutionaized (and stigmatized).  In addition, we must remember that there are plenty of people who should have been in there and weren't.... 

If you have an actual bed for everyone (not a mat on the floor), laundry services (not, ye gods, this place even has a washer stuck back in the corner there), delicious food (not bean soup, which incidentally is a protein, or spaghetti with a dash of tomato sauce) an opportunity (not requirement) of seeing a competent caseworker, tireless and honor society Greek-lettered or otherwise (as opposed to counselor) and a new suit for everyone once a week (strange that they would need a new set of threads every week), then I would say you are well-funded and a credit to the National Coalition for the Homeless.  ....Have you told them how you manage to do all that?  There are plenty of places that need to know....  Yeah....  Where can you get a new suit of clothes for 100 or so people every week....  Wool?  Cleveland needs wool.  I image Boston and Seattle and a few other places do, too. 

Now, if we have that cleared out of the way, getting back to my point..... 

Until proven otherwise, Mr./Ms Homeless is normal and firstly needs a place to bed down, not a determination of whether they fall in the catagory of "veterans," "mentally-ill," "victims of spouse abuse," "drunken bums and unemployed prostitutes," "runaways" or maybe a "mentally ill veteran who ran away from home and joined the army and became an alcoholic because he/she is AWOL"  Until proven otherwise, Mr./Ms Homeless is perfectly normal and hit a string of bad luck like a broken ankle....  Given that starting point, anyone who knows how to get online can help deminish the homeless problem on the computers at the library....  And, if there comes a day when all the employable are permanently employed....
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 29, 2007 - 3:02PM #14
BirdTattoo
Posts: 69
[QUOTE=stardove;102209]God bless you BirdTattoo for the work you do.

I am in agreement that many homeless people have mental illnesses and do not adhere to taking their medicines or have never been diagnosed. The other issue is alcohol and or drug abuse. The substances are more important than food, shelter or clothing for a addict. IMO. Although additions is not classified as a mental illness I believe they should be.

In the town I live in I'm pretty sure there are no homeless. That is not to say that the larger cities of Dallas, Fort Worth and other towns in the Metroplex don't have more than there fair share. I live in a very wealthy community, but we've been here for 30 years. Only 2016 people lived here when my home was purchased. That is no longer the case. I've mentioned the houses across the road are selling for two million dollars. I have never seen a homeless person in my home town. Can't say that about Fort Worth or Dallas.

Looked up my town on Wikipedia.......... Southlake is a very affluent suburb in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex[SIZE=2] and is one of the wealthiest communities in the entire nation. [/SIZE][/QUOTE]

Thanks, Stardove.  I really love my work.

Actually,  drug and alcohol abuse are listed in the DSM IV as mental disorders, and many, many homeless people have a dual diagnosis.  What challenges me most is those who are clearly ill--talking back to voices only they can hear, feeling paranoid, acting hostile, etc.--and in denial that there's anything wrong.  We're a twenty-four bed shelter in a small church basement, and just don't have the capability of dealing with people who can't get along with others.  It's easy to enforce rules against drug and alcohol use in the shelter, and far more difficult to deal with the delusional and antagonistic.
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 29, 2007 - 3:22PM #15
Stardove
Posts: 15,237
Thanks BirdTattoo, Maybe there is a fine line between a mental disorders and an mental illnesses. Dual diagnosis is a huge issue too, having a mental illness and being addicted to alcohol and or drugs.
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 29, 2007 - 4:00PM #16
BirdTattoo
Posts: 69
[QUOTE=stardove;103399]Thanks BirdTattoo, Maybe there is a fine line between a mental disorders and an mental illnesses. Dual diagnosis is a huge issue too, having a mental illness and being addicted to alcohol and or drugs.[/QUOTE]

I'm not a mental health professonal, and I've been using the terms "disorder" and "illness" interchangeably.  Like everybody else, I do my best, but maybe in this case I'm just plain wrong?
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 29, 2007 - 11:18PM #17
aws720k
Posts: 1,900
Hi BirdTattoo! It's good to see you here on the new site.

I admire you for the work you're doing in the homeless shelters. I'm sure it's never an easy task under the best of circumstances, but those who're willing to be there for those in such dire straits are truly angels in my book.

Today my hairdresser told me she and her 18-year-old son plan to spend Christmas volunteering their service in the Soup Kitchen this year. Her mother died several months ago and her son-in-law is in Iraq, so she feels serving others is where she should be this year. Plus...her son has a distorted view of "who" the homeless are. She wants him to have what she hopes will be an enlightening experience. God bless them!

Annie
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 30, 2007 - 7:41AM #18
BirdTattoo
Posts: 69
[QUOTE=llittlebit;104585]Bird,
I, too, am happy to read you again.  I hope that you will find time to viisit you again
I extend my thanks to you and all others who do this difficult and most necessary work.  You certainly deserve our love and support.[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=aws720k;104484]Hi BirdTattoo! It's good to see you here on the new site.

I admire you for the work you're doing in the homeless shelters. I'm sure it's never an easy task under the best of circumstances, but those who're willing to be there for those in such dire straits are truly angels in my book.

Today my hairdresser told me she and her 18-year-old son plan to spend Christmas volunteering their service in the Soup Kitchen this year. Her mother died several months ago and her son-in-law is in Iraq, so she feels serving others is where she should be this year. Plus...her son has a distorted view of "who" the homeless are. She wants him to have what she hopes will be an enlightening experience. God bless them!

Annie[/QUOTE]


Many thanks to you both for your support.  I certainly don't think of myself as an angel.  It's only been in the last few years--and especially in the three years that I've been working with the homeless--that I've felt that I've finally come into my life's purpose.  Being "in the zone" doing what I love to do is the most wonderful feeling, and it's nothing but a blessing to me, absolutely no sacrifice!

I've always identified with society's misfits, with the downtrodden, and with people in emotional pain.  Only after a nervous breakdown and some excellent therapy did I begin to understand why: Underneath our surface personality defenses, all people are far more alike than different.  I believe that we're all connected, and I've come to see that I have nothing to fear from anyone who's suffering.  What we all want, I believe, more than anything else, is not to feel alone in our pain, not to feel alone in our lives. When I can drop all my judgements, and meet others on tthe level of friendship, respect and helping with their basic physical needs, no matter who they are or what they've done,  then I feel immersed in humanity, in life itself. When I can meet another person in their loneliest place, then I am not lonely.  There's absolutely nothing good and loving that anyone of us can do for another that doesn't come back to us manyfold.

"Who" the homeless are is "who" we are with a different background, different brain chemistry, having learned different ways of coping with life's challenges. And in reality, that's true of every single person we know.  When we stop trying to justify our own less than perfect lives by objectifying and demonizing others, then we find that love feels a hell of a lot better than fear.
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 30, 2007 - 1:04PM #19
CarpathianPeasant
Posts: 78
PS:  I know ridiculous is spelled wrong.  I saw it too late.
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 30, 2007 - 1:07PM #20
elisa9511
Posts: 760
Not all homeless people are mentally ill..many people in life are one paycheck away from homelessness..

I have also met people who at one time lived in million dollar homes..lost their jobs..lost their homes through foreclosure..and these people just never got back on their feet...it happens..and to say that drugs..mental illness is part of homelessness is not telling the whole story..

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