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PUBLIC VIEWPOINT: Don't Make Assumptions About Homeless

Posted: November 18, 2012 at 6 a.m.

This writer has worked with the homeless in one capacity or another for almost 17 years, and the one thing I gleamed most important from my sojourn with the homeless is you can’t make generalized statements about the homeless any more than you can about any segment of society. Good and bad exist in every man and woman and it would be a shame to miss out on the opportunity of getting to know and understand a fellow human being because of a generalized assumption.

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Many of the homeless are veterans.
What does that say about us?

Posted by: Coralie

November 20, 2012 at 3:23 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

It don't say anything about me, I don't run a homeless shelter and I pay taxes for the government to take care of these urban outdoorsmen. I'm not one of those because I work. They could work too, but the choose not to. What do they do with their government checks? How come they have money to buy cigarettes, I can't even afford them. What does it say about our government?

Posted by: Moneymyst

November 20, 2012 at 4:44 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

"I'm not one of those because I work. They could work too, but they choose not to."
1. There is a high unemployment rate and veterans have a higher than average rate of unemployment. Discrimination?
2. Many homeless, including vets, have psychological problems. Do you blame vets that suffer from PTSD?
3. Some homeless people do have jobs but can't afford rent or deposits.
+
When I was visiting my folks in Callifornia some years ago, the LATimes had an in-depth story about homeless people who rented storage spaces to keep their belongings safe. One of them was a retired professional woman in her 70s who just couldn't afford LA rents on her social security.

Posted by: Coralie

November 25, 2012 at 4:10 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

How come they have the money to pay $5 a pack for cigarettes? How do they find the finances to buy a tatoo or two or three or more. Two simple questions, one simple answer.

Posted by: Moneymyst

November 25, 2012 at 5:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

RE "How come they have the money to pay $5 a pack for cigarettes?"
Because smoking tobacco is a terrible addiction, and addicts do what they must do. Unfortunately for many veterans-- even homeless ones-- the military is still a subculture that encourages smoking. Veteran or not, though, that five or ten (or fifteen) dollars a day isn't making them homeless-- it's making them foodless.

RE "How do they find the finances to buy a tatoo or two or three or more."
They probably got their tattoos before they became homeless. (Tattoos are popular among military personnel.) Do you really think a homeless person is able to scrape together a hundred dollars or more for a tattoo, without ending up spending it on cigarettes, drugs, or whatever other vice conspired with their other character failings to make them homeless?

Posted by: AlphaCat

November 25, 2012 at 7:53 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

AlphaCat,

RE-

"the military is still a subculture that encourages smoking."

That is changing quickly and drastically. I know that doesn't do prior service vets much good. I'm not sure if VA covers cessation methods, but I will ask next time I'm down at the clinic.

As far as the homless subject goes, I think a CCC like under the New Deal would have benifits. No work, no pay. We can put the disabled behind desks. Let's put people to work and get some tangible results. We can pay for it by cutting off subsidies to private industry.

http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h158...

Posted by: Tankersley101

November 25, 2012 at 8:37 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

"The effects of service in the CCC were felt for years, even decades, afterwards. Following the depression, when the job market picked up, businessmen indicated a preference for hiring a man who had been in the CCC, and the reason was simple. Employers believed that anyone who had been in the CCC would know what a full day's work meant, and how to carry out orders in a disciplined way. "

http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h158...

Posted by: Tankersley101

November 25, 2012 at 8:39 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Tankersley101--

RE "I think a CCC like under the New Deal would have benifits."
You and I are in agreement on this; unfortunately, a majority of conservatives are of the opinion that the government cannot create jobs, but wealthy people who have paid historically-low taxes for over ten years will suddenly create jobs if those tax breaks are extended.

Posted by: AlphaCat

November 25, 2012 at 9:15 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

I also agree that we need a

I also agree that we need a new CCC, and it would help more than homeless people, as many young people lilving at home are unemployed (higher rate than average).
But that still wouldn't help some of the homeless who are psychologically disturbed or elderlly.

Posted by: Coralie

November 26, 2012 at 1:10 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Is there a difference between creating jobs and handing out checks for work, opposed to just handing out checks; seems to me the end result is the same?

Posted by: Moneymyst

November 26, 2012 at 3:51 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Moneymyst, don't know why you're talking about "creating jobs" when this country's infrastructure is in such terrible shape. We need plenty of work rebuilding bridges, schools, and firebreaks like the old WPA and CCC did.
Why do you call that "creating jobs" whereas making saphire-studded dog collars is great productive work as long as there are chumps to buy them?

Posted by: Coralie

November 26, 2012 at 4:37 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Government is giving out plenty of checks now, just require work to get one. I've seen plenty of 300 lb EBT card users at Wal-Mart that would make great bridge pillars.

Posted by: Moneymyst

November 26, 2012 at 5:09 p.m. ( | suggest removal )