Sunday, July 5, 2009

Homeless in America.... and ... Breaking away from the cycle.....

What inspire's this post is some small chat I was having with a fella in the neighborhood the other day that run's a small store. During our conversation... something came up about some homeless folk's in the neighborhood that panhandle at the intersection's and such... he of coarse commenting that they dont want to work or do anything. I didnt think too much about the comment because the man is still fairly young (30-ish) and never been on the spot much in life. But I did enlighten him a little on the reality of homelessness. I have also posted a little on this previously in a post for instance back May 30th,2008 called "Poverty and Despair". And I have heard this popular response from many over the year's as to the homeless... for instance when in downtown Los Angeles one saturday morning back in April 2007... a couple utility worker's who were asked by a homeless man who was asking just passerby's for change, while he sat against a building on the sidewalk was told by the utility worker's... "Go find a f'n job Nigger"... they were white males... the panhandler was black male... and yes... they were in uniform.. on the job...and this let me add is in liberated California... you know... one of them state's where they are supposedly compassionate to black's as far as using word's like "Nigger" and such.

New law's were set in place in Dallas proper inspired by former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller a few year's back... as far as panhandling in busy intersection's, and in front of outdoor cafe's and store's,etc... they can write you a ticket now for doing so....$25 or $50 buck's I think. And it was enforced for about a year or so pretty much.. by bicycle cop's who ride around writing citation's... but most of the homeless threw away the ticket's, never pay or even show in court, and a warrant is pointless, because the jail's doesnt even want to house them... so Dallas' intersection's are pretty much back to normal...with plenty holding sign's wanting money, and I guess the cop's gave up writing ticket's as well. I even give when I can...the other day... a fella was in that hot sun at LBJ Frwy and Webb Chapel Rd. who is there daily here in the neighborhood... I decided to give him all the one dollar bill's in my wallet that day which were 9, for instance. But those who walk around with hand held gas can's at station's saying they ran out of gas down the street and so on... I'm hip to their game... and dont give jack.. or those who hang at bus and rail stop's saying that they need bus or train fare... I'm hip to that one too. Just be square with me in other word's and truthful... if I have it I'll give it... I dont care if you want a drink or a bump of rock/crack or whatever. But DONT BS me.

But what I was explaining to this fella that said they dont want to work is my point here.It's NOT that they DONT want to work...who will hire them?, beside's local middle income homeowner's to clean out the garage or sewage overflow or similar... cause they can give them $10/$20 buck's and a couple buck burger's, and even some of them cheapskates take advantage of them... and after they do the work, drive them by a store or similar...tell them to go in and pick up a newspaper or whatever and drive off without paying them or feeding them. You go apply for a basic low pay job these day's even.... they want a home address,a phone,and cell number, and email address, even now a credit check.... not just a background check...the names of friend's, family, and anyone who knew you,reference's, etc,etc. Now ask yourself, who that is homeless would qualify, when even non-homeless people have a hard enough time meeting all requirement's? When I worked street security in Uptown for instance during the night... I knew all the homeless people and they knew me... and we worked together in a way... I'd help them... and get them thing's and gig's... they would be an eye's and ear's for me as well. I knew all the dope fiend's too... and all the crack ho's(hooker's)... Why? Because it is best to know those who know the street's you work.And no matter how much they all look to have in common.... they all have a different story... of how they got where they are.Some of the crack gal's used to actually be exotic dancer's for instance... until they got older and dumped after they already got addicted and supplied... then tossed out after their used up still carrying the addiction... but now homeless... and having to use cheap perfume to cover the B.O. since they now dont even have a place to shower.Most at one time had family, friend's, job's, went to school, church, and all that most do.

It sure as hell is much easier to get into the homeless cycle than to get out of it. Once your in the cycle and the decline start's... it is rapid, and the deeper you get, the harder it get's. Many just give up, and face the reality that they are just in a rut... and most wont help them or give them a shot at anything to begin with. Even the Christian Crusader Salvation Army I found was charging homeless folk's as well as those who are veteran's $7+ plus a nite for a bunk, yes... a tax exempt christain,compassionate,widely respected, Christ following Group doing this to not just homeless... but former troop's who fought for our country. I have learned alot from homeless about the reality of our so called loving and charitable society, believe me... and a few survival tip's as well... on cheap self defense, the importance of plastic's and newsprint for insulation from the cold, the importance of black pepper perimeter's while sleeping on cardboard under an overpass or elsewhere's... so the ant's dont feast on you... and the list goes on. Many informed me... so that I was able to do my job better and keep the peace in a night life enviroment swarming with drunk's, car burglar's,thug's,and other element's who can make a night on the town... let's just say... unpleasant for some folk's who have money and a place to sleep when they get ready to crash. They also knew me as straight up... never BS them... and a man of my word.

I remember getting a little choked up emotionally when I quit that job. All the patron's and club/business owner's who greeted me nightly with big expensive smiles, and flashy car's and gal's... could really care less if I quit or not, most were two faced anywayz.... but when these crack-ho's,and homeless, and other undesireables came to me... and hugged me... saying that they will miss me... it meant something to me... I knew they were sincere, and to this day... I still stop by when I can to visit the area and see some of those.


Prash said...

you are a gentle soul ~

Ranch Chimp said...

Thank You Mr.Prash! It's just second nature to me ... I have alway's tried to excercise, compassion, fairness and gentleness. So many of us are vulnerable to the same situation's and hardship's ourselve's, no matter how safe and secure we think we are... I never let myself feel too secure.

Hope thing's are well for you guy, talk to ya later.... :)

Prash said...

insecurity is any man's weakness !

His Royal Highness Prash


concerned citizen said...

We dont't see many homeless where I live. A few camp out down by the river. & I see them hitch-hike on the highway.
But, Portland & Salem! OMG, I certainly have seen my share there.

I know a little about that sort of life when I was a homeless teen, a long, long time ago.
I try not to be too judgmental about people in those dire situations. Many of us are only a few paychecks away from homelessness anyway. I don't have a problem giving money to the homeless. When I make a decision to give a homeless person money, I don't worry about how they choose to spend it. I've already let it go.

My values & ethics are centered in my secular humanist belief system. Treating other human beings as I would like to be treated in the same situation. I'll leave the harsh judgment for the so called righteous to dole out.

Ranch Chimp said...

Understood CC, I actually think similar on some of these issues myself.Especially on what one does with money I give's there's,which is reason that I dont support agencies controlling the intake of the homeless people's money as I posted in "Poverty and Despair" about the meter programme San Francisco has and such.

Late response due to access... am out of town on personal business.

Thank's for your comment's.. take care.....