Going to bums on the street and talking with them and helping them

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    Sep 21, 2014 9:31 PM GMT
    Today I walked pass a homeless person and saw an unusual picture, there where 2 people girl and a boy talking to him, he looked like an alcoholic or drug addict in his 50's or 60's

    They offered him water and asked if he needs more

    And I got these kind of mixed feelings, you can judge me for having them, but on one hand I was thinking ouh miss saviour of the world now she thinks she is next Mother Teresa, on the other hand I though that if the the society as a whole would spend no more than 1 minute of their time with people who are lost and in degradation, it might change the world and world would be a better place.


    Do you think as a society we are responsible for those people and would you spend time and effort helping them?

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    Sep 21, 2014 9:45 PM GMT
    I cannot steer you on this. This is your choice you have to make. But honestly I do think you are beautiful person and will come to the conclusion that will someday meet up with you again when you need it most.

    Some people do give and feel immediately gratified by it and they take in such ways that from the outside look selfish but on the inside is the beginning of their journey in giving. They are the ones to grasp the potential of being like the beautiful people in society that people can really relate to. It's a message of growth. This woman is probably identifying with the tremendous heart of giving and is still disillusioned by self sacrifice being something that doesn't come back to you someday. No harm in that.

    Peace brother. You are on the right path.
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    Sep 22, 2014 3:18 AM GMT
    I reward bad behavior. Call me an enabler.

    Seriously, it's a judgement call but if you don't want to give out handouts because you think they'd go straight to booze or drugs get creative. Case in point:

    At one point in the east sixties of Manhattan I became a late night park regular, exercising my dogs off leash around midnight when it was near empty and always gave a passing nod or a few words to the local drug dealers, vagrants and tranny hookers, who not only loved them but often had my back by giving me a head's up when there was someone else in the park who would object. One winter night when the temperature dipped to around ten degrees I chatted with a couple of guys under the overpass and one said he'd get out of the cold if he could only afford a bus ticket to get to his sister in Philly for the holidays. After I got back to my apartment at 1am I bought a roundtrip bus ticket online in his name, went back and told him all he had to do was show up at Penn Station and give his name at the counter to receive the ticket. Turns out he had to work for that ticket after all - he had NO identification and had to stand in line at a government office to get new ID so he could pick up the bus ticket. By the next afternoon he was out of the icy cold and en route to Philly, where he stayed with his sister for a week. Let me tell ya, if I was safe before in that park I was GOLDEN afterwards.
  • ASHDOD

    Posts: 1057

    Sep 22, 2014 9:29 PM GMT
    i find it personaly very difficult to do such things,i live in a welfare state society and i expect the state to take care of the less fortunate.nevertheless i admire people who help personaly, they are wonderfull human beings .
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    Sep 22, 2014 9:40 PM GMT
    I think it depends on the reason that bum is on the streets: If hes got a mental problem then yes, he needs all the help as possible, being in the streets is basically not his fault. However there are many that just gave up on life, they're in the streets because they want. They could go to shelters and most of them could rehabilitate, get a job, etc. or find an activity to do other than choose to lay on the floor all day.

    I'm sorry if this sounds harsh but it's hard for me to respect people that don't respect themselves.

    If you have a problem try to work it out, if you need help then ask for help, but if you gave up on everything and chose to waste away don't expect my pity.
  • BloodFlame

    Posts: 1768

    Sep 22, 2014 10:10 PM GMT
    Hmm this is quite a controversial area for sure. When it comes to money, since I don't drive and usually bus/walk to where I need to go and don't really carry any money on me, I'm not really able to give money to bums unless I have extra change.

    However, I remember one time last year, I did give some money to a woman who looked homeless. She said she was down on her luck and wanted to start new and wanted to take the transit to go see her relative for help. Now, I don't know if her story was true but at the time, I wanted to be helpful and gave her 2 dollars for the bus fair. It felt nice to help someone.

    But yeah, I can understand why some people would be hesitant to give money to someone homeless but if I had the money to spend and I felt the person was sincere, I don't see the harm in giving them a dollar or spare change but that's just me.
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    Sep 22, 2014 10:24 PM GMT
    A man is truly ethical only when he obeys the compulsion to help all life which he is able to assist, and shrinks from injuring anything that lives.~~Albert Schweitzer

    The measure of a society is found in how they treat their weakest and most helpless citizens.~~Jimmy Carter

    I have always held firmly to the thought that each one of us can do a little to bring some portion of misery to an end.~~Albert Schweitzer

    If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion~~Dalai Lama

    Wherever a man turns he can find someone who needs him.~~Albert Schweitzer
  • vhotti26

    Posts: 287

    Sep 22, 2014 10:40 PM GMT
    Bonapart said


    Do you think as a society we are responsible for those people and would you spend time and effort helping them?



    I don't do anything to help homeless people on the streets, I have been disappointed too often (stuff like me wanting to give one my sandwich and he declined asking for my ice cream instead, I mean wtf? or giving away money and seeing them buy booze with it a minute later). You are not helping them much with small deeds.

    a) they need help to get out of that situation permanently
    b) more action to avoid people getting into that kind of situation

    Look at San Diego, there are thousands of homeless people on the streets, a huge number of which are veterans. This is how we treat people who have served their country. Back after WW2, they were sent to college, today they are sent to live on the streets. After WW2 it was the greatest economic stimulus ever, now we are complaining the economy isn't getting going. This is all interrelated.
    Homeless count in NYC grew 25% since 2011 (so you can imagine how much since 2007 before the dip) because living costs rise madly while people on the lower end are denied a higher minimum wage.

    I think if people in DC got a lecture on simple supply and demand dynamics, they would see this isn't working out, but they don't seem to see such simple connections. It's really sad. Especially since you can see what higher minimum wages do in the country: Seattle and San Francisco have the highest ones and are also the fastest growing local economies in the US, because a higher minimum wage leaves more money in peoples pockets. More money means they spend more, especially things they couldn't afford before, like eating out, going to the movies, all that stuff that also employs minimum wagers. And 123, you have a self sustaining cirlce because that additional money is also put back in where it's from while people are raised out of poverty.
    This is a bit oversimplistic because it has to be matched carefully against inflation so the value of the money doesn't detoriate, but it's the right approach and the numbers prove it.
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    Sep 22, 2014 11:58 PM GMT
    I saw a young kid today, late 20s (which is a kid to me). I knew he only has a bicycle, no car, and was worried about theft when he parked it. In fact, I watched him chase off a bike snatcher one day.

    So today I told him to let me know what kind of bike lock he would prefer, because he doesn't have one. I will give it to him. I think it's gonna be a Kryptonite U-Lock.

    Then he showed me these photos on his smartphone, of miniatures he builds. (aka dollhouses) Really very good. I used to make them myself, and I shared my own tips about constructing them. He was kinda surprised that some old fart like me knew all about this.

    I asked him if he ever used an electric Dremel tool in his work (a small precision drill with many attachments, does all kinds of tasks perfect for working with miniatures). "No, I'd like to, but I can't afford one."

    Tomorrow he will have one. An elaborate kit worth many hundreds, in a great big case. I'm no longer using it, no reason for me to keep it when this talented kid will have a better use for it. Just like when I gave an iPad to a young gay pianist a couple of weeks ago, who uses it in his performances instead of traditional sheet music. He had dropped & broken the iPad he had.

    Our obligation as seniors, those of us who are, is to sponsor & mentor young gays. I take that roll very, very seriously. Not with any prurient motives, I have a husband and don't have an inappropriate interest in children. (Meaning anyone below about 30)

    But I really think we need to sponsor young gays, because if we don't not many others in our society will. And I want gays to thrive, do well, have happy lives. Insofar as I may be able to help a little bit, I will.
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    Sep 23, 2014 12:26 AM GMT
    pazzy said
    i'm NOT superman so i can't help everybody that i run into or see. shit makes you realize how fortunate i am or that life ain't so bad.

    Nor are my husband & I Superman. Our resources are very limited. We have to selective, based on what we can do.

    A gay guy we know had his laptop computer stolen out of his car. Then he dropped his smartphone and it was inop. He was about to be evicted from his apartment.

    So I gave him a MacBook Pro we had, not being used. And an iPhone 4s, likewise just lying around idle. Easy to do, they were just collecting dust. And arranged for him to move into a gorgeous place for half of what the rent would be for anyone else. Otherwise his next step was living under a bridge.

    He's doing pretty well now. Got him back on his feet. Yah know, in life sometimes we need a jump start. And the tools to make us successful. That's why I give tools, not toys. I did the toy thing once here on RJ and got burned.
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    Sep 23, 2014 2:20 AM GMT
    Actually, I forgot the time in London during my first cold winter. One freezing night passed homeless trying to sleep in cardboard boxes. I bout and distributed lots of cups of hot tea even though I was a student backpacker.
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    Sep 23, 2014 2:28 AM GMT
    pazzy saidwell, anybody can be homeless, become dirt poor or have a drop of bad luck where they could end up in a really bad situation so just keep that in mind... folks act like they can see the future or it can't happen to them. it's easy to look down on somebody when you're not in that position but when the shoe is on the other foot, then it's like "what would you do in that situation?" i try to help someone out when i could you know... i'm NOT superman so i can't help everybody that i run into or see. shit makes you realize how fortunate i am or that life ain't so bad.


    Yeah, totally see that a lot. When you get to meet them and find out their story, you get to know where they came from, that they had dreams (maybe even still do), and had some family and just had misfortune happen to them. Met a lot of veterans on the street, unfortunately. Makes me feel like our country didn't do enough for them, for the sacrifices they made.
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    Sep 23, 2014 4:36 AM GMT
    Yes

    I view homelessness as a litmus test for a community's overall condition.


    I see ghost towns in middle America but, not so much homelessness - :S maybe I'm blind to it ? I dunno.
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    Sep 23, 2014 5:27 AM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    pazzy said
    i'm NOT superman so i can't help everybody that i run into or see. shit makes you realize how fortunate i am or that life ain't so bad.

    Nor are my husband & I Superman. Our resources are very limited. We have to selective, based on what we can do.

    A gay guy we know had his laptop computer stolen out of his car. Then he dropped his smartphone and it was inop. He was about to be evicted from his apartment.

    So I gave him a MacBook Pro we had, not being used. And an iPhone 4s, likewise just lying around idle. Easy to do, they were just collecting dust. And arranged for him to move into a gorgeous place for half of what the rent would be for anyone else. Otherwise his next step was living under a bridge.

    He's doing pretty well now. Got him back on his feet. Yah know, in life sometimes we need a jump start. And the tools to make us successful. That's why I give tools, not toys. I did the toy thing once here on RJ and got burned.

    Continuing on this theme, today I told a young kid (late 20s is young to me) I would give him a "Kryptonite" brand U-lock for his bicycle. He doesn't have a car, the bike is how he gets around. And last week his bike was almost stolen, since he doesn't have a lock.

    Then he showed me pics of the miniatures he builds (aka dollhouses). I used to make them myself. Very impressive work.

    I asked him if he could use a Dremel tool. It's a miniature drill with attachments, that you use for this kind of work. He said he'd love one, but can't afford it.

    Tomorrow he'll have one. Along with the bike lock. Yah know, we seniors have a responsibility to help young gays. I don't know exactly WHY, but I just think we do. And no sexual strings attached. I have my husband, I have no romantic interest in children.

    I never give them money, but I do give things that will move them forward in life. Like I gave a young gay pianist an iPad a couple of weeks ago, because he uses it on the piano in place of sheet music. And he had dropped and shattered his previous iPad. OK, he gets a new one. For him it's a professional tool, not a toy.

    I think we should all consider this kind of helping hand to young gay kids. Nobody else does. Sometimes in life we need a bump start. A lot of these kids do. I've got the money, YOU'VE got the money. I know, because I read your profiles and your posts. Hell, most of you have more money that I do.

    So do consider taking some gay kids under your wing. They really need that boost. And as I said, the rest of the world bypasses them.

    Your good deed for the day. icon_biggrin.gif