Blessing Bags

  • metta

    Posts: 39143

    Nov 30, 2014 4:59 AM GMT
    "Blessing Bags" to keep in the car (or backpack, purse) when you encounter visibly homeless persons.



    10386737_974093049286766_592831022143270

    Suggested Contents:
    Gallon size storage bag
    lip balm
    wet wipes
    tissues
    chemical handwarmer packets
    toothbrush and toothpaste
    comb
    soap
    hotel size shampoos
    trail mix
    granola bars
    crackers
    bandages
    mouthwash
    socks, gloves
    rain poncho
    tampons/pads (for women)
    pre-paid bus tokens or passes
    gift card for a grocery store
    a note of encouragement.
    Perhaps also include a sheet of paper that lists various social and community services they might benefit from - locations of soup kitchens, food pantries, etc.
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    Nov 30, 2014 5:03 AM GMT
    Just hope they don't throw it back at you. icon_confused.gif
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    Nov 30, 2014 5:03 AM GMT
    All those hygiene products... Seems as if it is more for us than for them...
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    Nov 30, 2014 10:56 AM GMT
    bon_pan saidAll those hygiene products... Seems as if it is more for us than for them...

    No---if you actually talk to a homeless person (I have), their biggest struggle is keeping clean
    The "public restroom" is a thing of the past in most places
    Forget about pooping and peeing---they lack places just to wash their hands or their hair, a lot of the time
    I think the hygiene products would matter more to them than the food, honestly
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    Nov 30, 2014 4:00 PM GMT
    I am ashamed to admit that I never have thought of doing this. I think I will start.
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    Nov 30, 2014 4:03 PM GMT
    And maybe a plastic spoon to eat that applesauce and fruit cup with.
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    Nov 30, 2014 9:10 PM GMT
    Sharkspeare said
    bon_pan saidAll those hygiene products... Seems as if it is more for us than for them...

    No---if you actually talk to a homeless person (I have), their biggest struggle is keeping clean
    The "public restroom" is a thing of the past in most places
    Forget about pooping and peeing---they lack places just to wash their hands or their hair, a lot of the time
    I think the hygiene products would matter more to them than the food, honestly

    Hygiene and clean clothes.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/31/homeless-laundry-australia_n_6083412.html
    http://blogs.kqed.org/stateofhealth/2014/08/15/old-muni-buses-reborn-as-mobile-showers-for-homeless/
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    Nov 30, 2014 10:00 PM GMT
    jpopenb said I am ashamed to admit that I never have thought of doing this. I think I will start.


    Yeah, I'm disappointed in myself for not thinking of this too.
    THANKS, metta8, FOR A GREAT REMINDER!


    jpopenb..and others here,

    LET'S CHALLENGE EACH OTHER TO DO THIS.

    Make at least one of these bags and give it to someone who can use it.

    Let's report back here, IN THIS SAME THREAD, to share any responses or how it felt...or whatever comes to mind.

    We probably all give to charity in some way but this act of directly giving something we know is useful is worth promoting.

    metta8, THANKS AGAIN!
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    Dec 01, 2014 1:10 AM GMT
    Determinate said
    jpopenb said I am ashamed to admit that I never have thought of doing this. I think I will start.


    Yeah, I'm disappointed in myself for not thinking of this too.
    THANKS, metta8, FOR A GREAT REMINDER!


    jpopenb..and others here,

    LET'S CHALLENGE EACH OTHER TO DO THIS.

    Make at least one of these bags and give it to someone who can use it.

    Let's report back here, IN THIS SAME THREAD, to share any responses or how it felt...or whatever comes to mind.

    We probably all give to charity in some way but this act of directly giving something we know is useful is worth promoting.

    metta8, THANKS AGAIN!


    I really like that! It will take me a few days but I will definitely do it and report back .
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    Dec 01, 2014 3:27 AM GMT
    A mere Band Aid on a problem requiring major surgery.

    If you REALLY cared about the homeless you would invite one to live with you until they got on their feet.
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    Dec 01, 2014 4:08 AM GMT
    UndercoverMan saidA mere Band Aid on a problem requiring major surgery.

    If you REALLY cared about the homeless you would invite one to live with you until they got on their feet.


    You are a true saint. I am not.

    But I am eager to help in this one practical way.

    Please allow others to help as they wish.
  • muscleboundfe...

    Posts: 392

    Dec 01, 2014 4:43 AM GMT
    UndercoverMan saidA mere Band Aid on a problem requiring major surgery.

    If you REALLY cared about the homeless you would invite one to live with you until they got on their feet.


    I did that with an acquaintance who was living in his car after his family kicked him out. Lets say the scar on my arm is a good reminder of why his own family kicked him out.
  • metta

    Posts: 39143

    Dec 01, 2014 4:51 AM GMT
    UndercoverMan saidA mere Band Aid on a problem requiring major surgery.

    If you REALLY cared about the homeless you would invite one to live with you until they got on their feet.


    As someone that lives next to a forest that has homeless people living in it, people should need to be careful with how they deal with the homeless. Some are mentally ill. Some have warrants and are hiding from the law. Some of them have drug problems. And then there are others that are just down on their luck.

    The blessing bags are a good idea. Whatever their circumstances, people deserve to be treated humanely. Inviting them to move in could be dangerous unless you really know the person.
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    Dec 01, 2014 7:00 AM GMT
    muscleboundfem said
    UndercoverMan saidA mere Band Aid on a problem requiring major surgery.

    If you REALLY cared about the homeless you would invite one to live with you until they got on their feet.


    I did that with an acquaintance who was living in his car after his family kicked him out. Lets say the scar on my arm is a good reminder of why his own family kicked him out.


    Exactly! People are homeless for a reason and it's usually because of some personal problem like drug addiction or alcoholism that even their own kin will have nothing to do with them.

    Leave the charitable work to the professionals and make your donations directly to charitable institutions or homeless shelters. DO NOT MAKE IT EASY FOR THEM TO LIVE ON THE STREETS!

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: The do gooders would have a shit hemorrhage if the homeless invaded their pristeen suburban neighborhoods and I came along handing out goodie bags making it easier for the homeless to live in their neighborhood, piss on their petunias, vomit on their sidewalks, and dig through their garbage.
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    Dec 01, 2014 7:07 AM GMT
    Determinate said
    UndercoverMan saidA mere Band Aid on a problem requiring major surgery.

    If you REALLY cared about the homeless you would invite one to live with you until they got on their feet.


    You are a true saint. I am not.

    But I am eager to help in this one practical way.

    Please allow others to help as they wish.


    I am far from sainthood. However, I do live in the inner city and "helping" the homeless in this way only exacerbates the problem it does NOTHING to alleviate it.

    Donate your money to organizations that deal with the underlying issues that result in people becoming homeless in the first place.

    And bring your goodie bags directly to homeless shelters.

    Oh, and I'm in no position to prevent anyone from "helping as they wish." I only hope to show there are better ways to "help."
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    Dec 01, 2014 2:58 PM GMT
    "Donate your money to organizations that deal with the underlying issues that result in people becoming homeless in the first place.

    And bring your goodie bags directly to homeless shelters."



    Agreed, Your Approach is Best.

    I give to United Way and donate money, clothing etc to a local charity for homeless gay youth. I trust these organizations to provide real help.

    But I can still think of a couple of homeless guys I see regularly who would appreciate this Blessing Bag.
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    Dec 01, 2014 4:00 PM GMT
    Determinate said...

    But I can still think of a couple of homeless guys I see regularly who would appreciate this Blessing Bag.


    Reminds me of a poor soul I have been seeing in a wheel chair around my home lately. He definitely has mental problems, and he is obviously handicapped as one leg is bent and twisted. He lives on the street. His hair is matted and he is encrusted with grime. The first time I saw him I didn't realize his mental state and was going to ask him if would like to come to my home for a hot shower and a meal. After seeing him a couple of times since I realize he probably would not have understood what I was saying.

    It is absolutely appalling that in the USA we allow this to happen. We treat dogs better.
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    Dec 01, 2014 4:41 PM GMT
    The bags look like a great idea for someone who wants to help, who loves to shop and who wants to control a homeless person from buying whatever they think they need out of that 20 dollar bill you refused to hand them.

    After all, if you hand them a 20, they might buy something to numb the pain for a few hours. Can't have that.

    Also, to give cash you have to get up close to the homeless because you can't just throw a 20 dollar bill out the window at an intersection. The wind might catch it.

    But with these blessing bags you don't even have to stop to hold up traffic. Just open your window and throw it at a homeless person. So convenient.

    And, if the guy at the corner was just scamming, this way he won't get your 20 but maybe he'll leave the bag for someone who can actually use it. It's a win win.

    http://www.naeh.org/
    ...The Alliance is asking homeless advocates to join our letter-writing campaign to encourage Congress to include a $301 million increase in homeless funding when it finalizes a Fiscal Year 2015 funding bill....


    http://www.endhomelessness.org/pages/snapshot_of_homelessness
    Chronic homelessness is often the public face of homelessness. "Chronic" has a specific definition, involving either long-term and/or repeated bouts of homelessness coupled with disability (physical or mental). People experiencing chronic homelessness often end up living in shelters and consume a plurality of the homeless assistance system’s resources.

    It’s a common misconception that this group represents the majority of the homelessness population. Rather, they account for just fewer than 16 percent of the entire homeless population.


    Homeless-Population.png
    http://www.povertyliving.com/2013/03/homeless-statistics-in-the-united-states/
    Statistics have demonstrated that there are anywhere from 600,000 to 1.1 million people homeless in the United States at any given time.


    loss_of_job_pie.gif
    http://www.homelesshouston.org/homelessness-101/

    1323781800-homeless-veteran-sign1.jpg
    http://cltampa.com/dailyloaf/archives/2011/12/13/stamping-out-veteran-homelessness-before-2015#.VHyYmo10w5s
    The Obama administration works on stamping out veteran homelessness before 2015
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    Dec 01, 2014 4:42 PM GMT
    Some of the HIV/AIDS agencies with whom I work prepare these kits. They are gender-specific, and are alternately called "Comfort Kits" or "Comfort Bags" and similar. They have the same kinds of toiletry contents, along with gender-appropriate underwear, but usually omit the food.

    I do not carry them around with me. If I do encounter a person in distress I try to encourage them to visit one of these facilities, where much more assistance is available besides a comfort kit, including food, medical care, free bus passes, and sometimes housing or housing leads.

    I have cards with me, and I've even taken a few persons to these places myself, and put them in direct contact with the key people they need. I know, risky, I have to do a quick assessment of the danger. My husband is usually with me, so we outnumber him!

    But more typically we have the agencies make the contact, their people are better trained than we are, most with degrees in social work. The problem is that some homeless are afraid to approach any official or even private organization, like I represent. They may have some unresolved legal issue in their past they're afraid will be uncovered (especially true of the juvenile runaways), or they're simply a bit paranoid about all authority.
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    Dec 01, 2014 6:53 PM GMT
    metta8 said"Blessing Bags" to keep in the car (or backpack, purse) when you encounter visibly homeless persons.



    10386737_974093049286766_592831022143270

    Suggested Contents:
    Gallon size storage bag
    lip balm
    wet wipes
    tissues
    chemical handwarmer packets
    toothbrush and toothpaste
    comb
    soap
    hotel size shampoos
    trail mix
    granola bars
    crackers
    bandages
    mouthwash
    socks, gloves
    rain poncho
    tampons/pads (for women)
    pre-paid bus tokens or passes
    gift card for a grocery store
    a note of encouragement.
    Perhaps also include a sheet of paper that lists various social and community services they might benefit from - locations of soup kitchens, food pantries, etc.


    Great idea!
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    Dec 01, 2014 7:42 PM GMT
    I apologize for being so callous and crass.

    Blame it on the cold medicine.

    I think Sharkie's statement above is very poignant

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    Dec 01, 2014 8:15 PM GMT
    "People are homeless for a reason"

    How easy it is to deform this neutral statement into

    "People are homeless because it's their fault"
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    Dec 02, 2014 12:14 AM GMT
    Sometimes it's their fault they're homeless and other times it's not. My psychology professor in college told me that upwards of 90% of homeless individuals have schizophrenia or some other mental illness. For that I cannot fault them. I see nothing wrong with providing them with what they need whether it be personal goods or food. I would never give them money but I give food often. These blessing bags are a really thoughtful idea.
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    Dec 02, 2014 1:13 AM GMT
    ^ If they are mentally ill, what does that say about us as a society that we abandon them to the streets?
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    Dec 02, 2014 1:44 AM GMT
    UndercoverMan said^ If they are mentally ill, what does that say about us as a society that we abandon them to the streets?


    That we have a lot of work to do...