View Full Version : Homeless


acdc01
08-28-16, 09:03 AM
I treasure handwritten notes. In today's hurried electronic world, they're so refreshing.

I'd like to see cities plant fruit trees and other edible plants in all the parks and such so hungry folks could have access each season. Instead of the labor intensive and expensive landscaping that's currently done just for looks. Grrrrrr

Why do you think the trees they use now are more labor intensive than fruit trees? Fruits dropping on the floor seem like a big tripping hazard to me so someone would have to clean it up constantly if you wanted to avoid the hazard. Otherwise seniors might trip and fall if the trees are close to sidewalk areas. Really, seems impossible to keep trip hazards away.

To be honest, the homeless population has grow substantially where I live due to rising population and as my city is particularly generous to homeless. They are urinating in our parks even when the parks have free bathrooms. They are turning a once beautiful and fairly clean city into a smelly garbage pile. I'd rather spend money on homeless shelters and things that help them become not homeless than make homelessness attractive.

Sorry, off topic and not friendly opinion here but I feel the degradation of our city more as I live in the downtown area.

Unmanagable
08-28-16, 11:03 AM
Why do you think the trees they use now are more labor intensive than fruit trees? Fruits dropping on the floor seem like a big tripping hazard to me so someone would have to clean it up constantly if you wanted to avoid the hazard. Otherwise seniors might trip and fall if the trees are close to sidewalk areas. Really, seems impossible to keep trip hazards away.

To be honest, the homeless population has grow substantially where I live due to rising population and as my city is particularly generous to homeless. They are urinating in our parks even when the parks have free bathrooms. They are turning a once beautiful and fairly clean city into a smelly garbage pile. I'd rather spend money on homeless shelters and things that help them become not homeless than make homelessness attractive.

Sorry, off topic and not friendly opinion here but I feel the degradation of our city more as I live in the downtown area.

How is planting edible landscaping making homelessness attractive??!! Have you ever been homeless? I don't think it would have seemed any more attractive to me, nor prompted me to want to be homeless, during the time I was had there been edible trees and plants growing in my town. My belly wouldn't have growled as much, but the rest of it would have still sucked.

I feel the labor and money that goes into landscaping meant to be strictly decorative and appealing to the eye is asinine in today's world where very few have access to fresh fruit and vegetables. Food deserts surround us and grocery stores will eventually run out of stock if/when s*** really hits the fan.

Public works employees already get paid to maintain and clean up plant debris, why not some edible debris that could then go to the local farmers who still wish to raise livestock to feed the animals. Many living things could benefit.

Also, having known many people who've tried to go through the shelter systems, and having volunteered at length in several different ones, makes me realize they aren't always as helpful as they claim to be, no matter how much money or supplies we share with them. I've witnessed how they tend to make things worse in the long run, especially for many folks who suffer from mental illness.

We'll just have to agree to disagree on this one, it seems.

acdc01
08-28-16, 12:13 PM
You've convinced me fruit trees wouldn't make homelessness more attractive Unmanageable. No, I've never been homeless so I can't really see things from the perspective of someone who has so I very much appreciate your point of view.

Thinking about it, it was a ridiculous thought. I'm still against fruit trees though cause I still think maintenance wise, it'd be very expensive. And you can't pick up everh single apple the moment it falls so they will ultimately still be a tripping hazard (big liability for government) or you'll be encouraging people to walk in areas that they shouldn't be walking in. Landscaping in my area isn't just used for aesthetics, though that's definitely part of it. It's used to help the environment by providing habitat for wildlife and to clean water runoff. Also to reduce pollution damage.


I debated using the word "attractive" cause I knew it was a harsh word but at the same time, I do believe my own city's very generous policies toward homeless has attracted more homeless and I wanted to be honest about how I felt. We have a disproportionately large number of homeless youth in our city. Not only compared to other cities in my state but in the adjacent states as well. So more youth are choosing to be homeless who would be much better off staying at home and finishing school. Also, the largest demographic of homeless from my understanding are single males. I doubt single males actually experience more difficulties in finding jobs or have more mental illnesses than other folks so it is in part a choice to be homeless for some of them even if I know there are many that don't have a choice.

I don't want anyone to be homeless and do want to help those in need but I'd just rather support programs that help them help themselves when they can. And provide shelters for them when they can't help themselves.

I don't know. What do you think we should do to help homeless not be homeless? Totally off topic so if you don't want me to talk about it, I'll stop. It's an interesting subject to me though as I encounter so many homeless and I think about this question every time I see them.

Unmanagable
08-28-16, 12:41 PM
Have you ever asked them the same question? Have you had a chance to listen to their stories?

Feel free to start another thread to discuss it further. I think we need to start by re-defining what we mean by "helping others help themselves".

It's really hard to explain and try to paint a clear picture for folks who've never been there. I'm off to enjoy the day with mom soon, so I'm done discussing it for the time being. But please, carry on.

acdc01
08-28-16, 07:25 PM
This is a shoot off from a conversation from one of Unmanageable's threads.

Homeless. What are your thoughts? How can we best help those in need? If you have personal experiences and are willing to share them, please do.

I have a feeling I'm going to say something wrong on this thread so I'll apologize in advance. If I say something that offends, it's out of ignorance or because it's just how I feel and I can't change that (it isn't anything personal).

Oh, and to answer your questions unsy:

Have you ever asked them the same question? Have you had a chance to listen to their stories? ... I think we need to start by re-defining what we mean by "helping others help themselves".

I have not asked them the same questions or listened to their stories (at least about how they ended up homeless or what it was like). I'm too afraid to ask such things as I'm afraid I'll offend them and I'm not sure how they would react. I know someone who was beaten by a bunch of homeless while he was cycling the very path I walk every week. I know that's rare but it's just not worth the risk, no matter how small the risk is. Most I've done is minor chit chat and I've played the piano and sang with some (city leaves pianos in public spots) - nothing that might be a touchy subject.

When I said "helping others help themselves" I meant help them become not homeless and help them be able to stay that way. Is that what you think it should mean?

spamspambacon
08-28-16, 07:49 PM
I've played the piano and sang with some (city leaves pianos in public spots)

Pray, tell...
what city is this that has no rain?


(I'm envisioning pianos randomly dotting the sidewalks and parks...LMAO)

Hermus
08-28-16, 08:21 PM
Yesterday I gave quite generous to two homeless people, who to be honest looked like they were drug users. They asked for 50 cents and I decided to give them 2 Euro instead. Didn't really expect much of it, since I've met some homeless people who easily take any gift for granted. However, the woman was really happy and called the other guy, who came to give me a handshake. It looked like they were happy that someone finally treated them in a kind way.

Big chance they are going to buy drugs and alcohol from the money I gave them. That's often the excuse I hear from people in order not to give to homeless. Actually I feel that it's none of my business what they spend their money on. Just as it's none of their business what I do with my money. I made some people happy by being generous and treating them like decent human beings, that's the most important to me.

About helping them help themselves: In general I don't believe that it is possible to really help people, unless they come to you for help. Only if they want help and reach out for it is it useful to offer help.

acdc01
08-28-16, 08:38 PM
Pray, tell...
what city is this that has no rain?


(I'm envisioning pianos randomly dotting the sidewalks and parks...LMAO)

We have rain. They are only available in the summer and they either put them under covered areas or only when forecast is for sun. Artists paint on the pianos so they are pretty. Some of them are on sidewalks in parks so your vision isn't that far off except it's like maybe 12 pianos or so in the whole city.

There's actually a whole ton of cities that have a piano program like this throughout the world, maybe even yours.

Little Missy
08-28-16, 09:28 PM
There is a piano outside the theatre here where I live. But there are not homeless people anywhere and I have never seen any in my life.

They go to Fort McKenzie and live there on the VA grounds and are well taken care of.

Unmanagable
08-28-16, 11:19 PM
This is a shoot off from a conversation from one of Unmanageable's threads.

Homeless. What are your thoughts? How can we best help those in need? If you have personal experiences and are willing to share them, please do.

I have a feeling I'm going to say something wrong on this thread so I'll apologize in advance. If I say something that offends, it's out of ignorance or because it's just how I feel and I can't change that (it isn't anything personal).

Oh, and to answer your questions unsy:



I have not asked them the same questions or listened to their stories (at least about how they ended up homeless or what it was like). I'm too afraid to ask such things as I'm afraid I'll offend them and I'm not sure how they would react. I know someone who was beaten by a bunch of homeless while he was cycling the very path I walk every week. I know that's rare but it's just not worth the risk, no matter how small the risk is. Most I've done is minor chit chat and I've played the piano and sang with some (city leaves pianos in public spots) - nothing that might be a touchy subject.

When I said "helping others help themselves" I meant help them become not homeless and help them be able to stay that way. Is that what you think it should mean?

But tell me what that looks like to you. That's what I was getting at. Each person has their own definition of what helping others help themselves means.

The typical "pull yourself up by the bootstraps and just get a job" type of responses from afar are what I'm used to hearing the most of in the area I live in, while they're dropping off donations, but never really immersing themselves in the environment to offer hands on help of some sort or making time to get to know the people and what led them to their circumstances.

I used to take different dvd music documentaries to our local shelter and would do a movie night bi-weekly, helped kids with homework after school at the shelter, would go in and help cook and serve dinner, help plant a garden, take a birthday cake and ice cream to celebrate born days that month, etc.

I didn't come right out and ask anyone, "Hey, why are you homeless?" I just struck up conversations from one human to another and some would feel comfortable enough to share their story.

Your reaction to planting edible landscaping went straight to all the reasons why you thought it wouldn't work and was immediately dismissed. The problems are growing, but the food isn't, nor are the confidence levels of those struggling.

Imagine losing everything and having to start over with nothing, or not having anything to begin with and trying to keep your head above water, regardless of the reason why you got where you are.

Eventually, the number of people needing food will outnumber the food available. There's plenty food to go around now, but many places throw it away and then douse it with bleach once in the dumpsters to render it inedible. WTF

Why aren't these foodstuffs being shared with local churches, shelters, food banks, etc., instead? Why not do all we can to even out those odds? It could create work, teach skills, create opportunity in ways the system doesn't do.

I don't have the answers, I just have ideas and a heart that has been there and lived it to a certain extent. It grates my nerves when people assume the worst all the time of all the homeless and therefore ignore their existence and paint them all with the same addict/alcoholic brush.

Hermus was right. What they choose to do with money given to them is their fate, not the givers. Acting out of kindness and generosity is never a bad thing. All the while, many homed people are out drinking and doing drugs and doing stupid s*** 24-7, yet get treated with the utmost respect. It feels really hypocritical to me.

Many people are just a paycheck or two, or losing family members who support them, away from being homeless and will likely be thought of as a worthless and hopeless addict of some sort in their struggle to regain threads of dignity while trying to find support through a hellish system not designed to be very user friendly. Yes, it helps many, too, and that's a wonderful thing, but there's still much room for improvement, as with all systems.

psychopathetic
08-28-16, 11:25 PM
I've been purposely trying to avoid this thread for the last several hours because I thought maybe you'd gone homeless and I felt so bad for you and had no idea how to respond :(.

(((ACDC)))

BellaVita
08-29-16, 03:30 AM
This thread has hit a sore spot for me...I was homeless for a while. (Hard to have a home when you escape an abusive situation and the abusers are "family")

What I wish people would've done differently: didn't judge me, and treated me with kindness

I wish they would've been respectful of me and didn't assume I was lazy and rude simply because I was struggling with intense PTSD and couldn't leave my room and couldn't sleep. I was judged harshly and treated poorly and I got treated like I should already be healed from the years of abuse - that I should have had a job almost as soon as I got out of the situation!

Actually, one of the ladies I stayed with literally told me I should be fine by now (at that time it had only been a couple months after the escape) because she was once in an abusive relationship and bounced back fast after. This lady had no right to say that (very insensitive!) and her situation was MUCH different than mine and everyone heals at their own pace.

Anyway...dang those were some hard times...the issue was, I was getting "help" (staying with people) who were in a close circle of a certain type of people....who were all quite judgmental and not understanding/hypocritical. I'm glad I got away from that group. Even if that meant they didn't want me around and I had to live in a hotel for a while.

My husband quite literally saved my life. He actually spoke with me every night even when I was still with my father - to provide a sense of safety over the phone in case he needed to call the police.

He was not judgmental like the other people who tried to "help" me after the abuse....he was a true friend to me and validated my feelings about how all those people were treating me poorly. He was selfless and giving - he has given me more than I could ever give back.

Sorry that got so deep for chit-chat, I'm all choked up now and emotional because I'm just in awe that I got through all of that and how much better things are - all because one person cared. For real.

midnightstar
08-29-16, 03:54 AM
If I see a homeless person I normally put a bit of change down for them, only what I can afford though and cause there's a lot of homeless people in the city I have to stretch out what I have spare, which means in real terms they don't get very much (otherwise I'd be giving one person a reasonable amount and other homeless people nothing)

sarahsweets
08-29-16, 04:48 AM
I have not asked them the same questions or listened to their stories (at least about how they ended up homeless or what it was like). I'm too afraid to ask such things as I'm afraid I'll offend them and I'm not sure how they would react. I know someone who was beaten by a bunch of homeless while he was cycling the very path I walk every week. I know that's rare but it's just not worth the risk, no matter how small the risk is.
Even if you friend was beaten by homeless people, I still would never ever tell anyone because I wouldnt want people to think this was typical. There is already enough stigma there that I wouldnt want to perpetuate it,.
Did they interview the attackers and they identified themselves as a homeless pack of criminals? I am not trying to be a jerk, but I just dont know if thats just a guess or assumption based on appearances or something 100% true.

In the recovery circles I roll in there are often indigent people who need help and yes some are homeless and no, they dont often " look " homeless. The picture most people get in their head is a dirty skinny guy with track marks on his arm and a card board sign. Their are actually "working' homeless people out there.

sarahsweets
08-29-16, 04:53 AM
Yesterday I gave quite generous to two homeless people, who to be honest looked like they were drug users.
And what do drug users and alcoholics look like?

Big chance they are going to buy drugs and alcohol from the money I gave them. That's often the excuse I hear from people in order not to give to homeless. Actually I feel that it's none of my business what they spend their money on. Just as it's none of their business what I do with my money. I made some people happy by being generous and treating them like decent human beings, that's the most important to me.

This is an amazing paragraph. You are right, its none of our business because looks are deceiving. We dont know if the man we think looks like and addict it in fact one. We dont know if the person who stands outside with a sign is a perfectly fine pan handler or desperate.
I usually buy people food. I ask them when the last time they ate was and try to go from there. And if I cant afford it, which has happened I'll tell them "sorry, I really dont have it now."
I am in recovery and have had the blessing to meet all kinds of people and had the judgemental barrier that I too had, knocked down. I dont look like an alcoholic, even when I was actively drinking but I can tell you that if I ran out of $, I might have considered asking for some somewhere too.
No one chooses addiction. All people deserve dignity.

Joker_Girl
08-29-16, 10:25 AM
If I see someone who is homeless or looks to be, I go and get them some food.
You rarely see it around here, but sometimes when we go to the city, there will be someone standing with a sign needing help, so we go and buy a meal and take to them.
You just never know what will happen, someday it could be me or my kid.
I've never had to go through trash looking for food, but I bet I could if I got hungry enough.
They have enough trouble without people looking at them like they're trash.
They're still human beings, I'm not sure how people forget that, but they do.
:(

Unmanagable
08-29-16, 10:41 AM
Other helpful things in addition to food and money are:

gift cards for restaurants (if you wish to clear your mind of the preconceived notions of cash being used for drugs/alcohol) so they can at least go inside somewhere out of the weather for a bit - most shelters make residents leave the building during the day to find a job, regardless of the weather or availability of public transportation

clean socks

baby wipes

lip balm

travel size hygiene items - most especially female monthly needs and dry shampoo

non-perishable easily opened packaged foods

a back pack to carry their life possessions in

or one of those suitcases on wheels

So many possibilities. Imagine what you would most want/need if you had no roof or no one to turn to, especially if you'd already tried a shelter scene and had been abused in some way, by either another resident or the system itself, for the very basics of comfort and safety, and then share that.

acdc01
08-29-16, 02:59 PM
Little Missy - That's wonderful about your home town, sounds like a great place to live. There's definitely advantages to less populated areas (which I'm guessing your area is given your home state). I wonder if it just gets more complicated in bigger cities so harder to help people well.

Bellavita - thank you so much for sharing. I'm so glad you and unmanageable are in a better place now.

Sarahsweets - I don't know about not telling that story about my coworker. I'm usually for telling the truth, the whole truth which is that type of situation is extremely rare but it did happen to him. I don't usually mention the story unless something prompts it which is rare. I'll have to think about this.

Psychopathetic- I'm sorry I made you feel that way. I really didn't think my topic name through and I think it's too late to change.

Unmanageable - thanks for that list of things you can give. I think it's very helpful.

Little Missy
08-29-16, 03:28 PM
Thanks acdc, it is a wonderful place for anyone that is homeless to go to and they don't have to be a veteran either. There is a mens home and a womens home there and Fort McKenzie is just amazing!

It is the original grounds and buildings with a lot of improvements and a hospital added and it was one of the original Forts from the Indian wars in the 1800's on the highest hill as a lookout vantage point.

Not only do they shelter and feed them, but they also are able to put them to work right there on the grounds which are acres and acres of beautiful grass and trees.

If I was homeless, I would love to be there.

acdc01
08-29-16, 03:34 PM
Thanks acdc, it is a wonderful place for anyone that is homeless to go to and they don't have to be a veteran either. There is a mens home and a womens home there and Fort McKenzie is just amazing!

It is the original grounds and buildings with a lot of improvements and a hospital added and it was one of the original Forts from the Indian wars in the 1800's on the highest hill as a lookout vantage point.

Not only do they shelter and feed them, but they also are able to put them to work right there on the grounds which are acres and acres of beautiful grass and trees.

If I was homeless, I would love to be there.

Wow, that's amazing. I wish my area could do something like that. But there are so many homeless here, I just don't think they could afford multiple places (which it would have to be multiple) like this.

Unmanageable - I plan to come back and answer some more of your questions but I'm busy at the moment and will have to come back later.

acdc01
08-30-16, 05:41 PM
But tell me what that looks like to you. That's what I was getting at. The typical "pull yourself up by the bootstraps and just get a job" type of responses from afar are what I'm used to hearing the most

That sounds like the "try harder" mentality. I'd never believe in that. "Help" to me means giving people what it is they need to sustain themselves (which is different for every person). I think many can never be self-sustaining so help would mean giving permanent housing and food they need. For some, it would mean giving them what they need to survive at this very moment but also what they need in order to be able to become self-sustaining someday. I don't really know the details on what that might entail and it would be different for each person.

Eventually, the number of people needing food will outnumber the food available. There's plenty food to go around now, but many places throw it away and then douse it with bleach once in the dumpsters to render it inedible. WTF

I'm shocked the bleaching happens. Doesn't your city have a food recycling program for restaurants? In mine, there are programs where unused food is given to the homeless. Leftovers and food scraps are composted or given to farm animals. I guess some might still bleach but it wouldn't make sense financially for them to do so as the garbage company doesn't charge for taking the recycle items yet they charge for anything thrown into the garbage bin.

The below might be triggers for some so if you think you're one of them, I recommend not reading further.

I'm appalled by the use of poison, but I can imagine why the restaurants would want to keep the homeless from digging through their dumpsters. The homeless may scare away customers. Most restaurants already end up bankrupt. They need to do whatever it takes to keep their businesses thriving.

I can imagine this cause I've been put in similar circumstances. Homeless had been digging through the dumpster at my family's rental property. When they dig, they don't throw the garbage they don't keep back into the dumpster. They leave it all spread on the floor. Our tenants were complaining and I was having to go back to clean the mess over and over again (and still it wasn't enough). I ended up having to lock the dumpster. So I'm keeping the homeless from getting the cans and other stuff they were recycling/selling to make some cash. Part of me feels guilty about this but the rational side of me knows that it's just what needs to be done. I can't let our tenants live in a garbage pile. It's not fair to them and they will end up moving out if I don't take care of the place.

My city is ranked among the top in the country in terms of how many homeless we have per capita and it is getting rapidly worse. The neighborhood my family's property is in is pushing back now and doing whatever they can to push the homeless out of the neighborhood. Eventually, the homeless will be pushed out into another neighborhood and that neighborhood will try to push them out to another one after that once the homeless has done enough damage to their neighborhood that they can't stand them any longer.

I imagine I'm sounding like a heartless jerk but I'm really not. I just see both sides of the coin. It's why I want to help the homeless cause I want everyone to be happy and live a good life. But I also don't want them destroying our City. It's probably wishful thinking on my part though. I probably can't do anything.

aeon
08-30-16, 06:14 PM
There's plenty food to go around now, but many places throw it away and then douse it with bleach once in the dumpsters to render it inedible. WTF

WTF, indeed. http://www.sympato.ch/smileys/Veryangry.gif

Seriously, when I hear something like that, a part of me begins thinking all hope is lost. :doh:

From the movie Aliens.

You donít see them ******* each other over for a ******* percentage.

or wait, maybe better yet:

https://img0.etsystatic.com/064/0/5178310/il_570xN.765821046_2du7.jpg

and

https://emprerdedorglish.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/supermarket-waste.png

and

http://elderabuseexposed.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/mahatma-gandhi-quote-nations-greatness-measured-by-how-it-treats-weakest-members.png

The Homeless are Human. Love One Another.


May Fire, Locusts, and Flood cleanse the Earth of this vile scum and start over,
Ian

BellaVita
08-30-16, 06:22 PM
By the way, in my post - I wasn't homeless in the "traditional" way someone would think of as a homeless person - but I was kicked out of each place I stayed and treated poorly and didn't have family or a home. Oh, and in someone's words I was "a burden."

I was grateful to be able to spend nights in a hotel after that, thanks to a kind heart.

And I'm so glad I was able to finally meet the love of my life in person - after he'd been there for me all that time - and now I have a home, a family who loves me, people who aren't family but consider me as such, and an abuse-free life. Oh, and batdog.

acdc01
08-30-16, 06:52 PM
If you know of a restaurant that bleaches. Film them doing it and send it into the local television companies. I think they'll want to put it on tv and I think it might help make the practice stop. Start a food recycling program in your city if there isn't one already. I'll send you info on the ones in mine if you want.

Poison is absolutely appalling. I don't see why they don't just put locks on the garbage bins.

Unmanagable
08-30-16, 07:12 PM
It's done, but none specifically in our area, that I'm aware of. I've read about it in other US cities.

I've spoken to our local groceries and many eateries and discovered many do share leftovers, but many still throw perfectly good food away in their locked dumpsters instead of offering it to anyone needing it or attempting to make it accessible in any way.

I saw another story where a restaurant owner somewhere put a big double door cooler in front of their place to offer up their daily leftovers to anyone needing them. What a great idea.

Another neighborhood installed small covered shelving units (similar to the little free library huts) where folks could put canned and non-perishable goods for people who needed it.

People set up tables in various places with leftover garden goodies and "free food" signs to share their bounty. It's catching on everywhere except within the systems set up to help, it seems. That's the part that trips my trigger.

I tend to the garden, forage, and share food with family and friends that I know struggle with access to fresh fruit and veggies, the local food banks, churches, and spend time with them. I don't do well with processes of starting or heading up programs and such. I'm more of a direct and sporadic do-er than a planner or organizer, in all aspects of my life.

I (hopefully in a loving and kind way) plant seeds of knowledge, intuition, and experience, as it applies, along the way and hope they grow in the hearts of other do-ers, planners, organizers, and such.

It takes a village, for sure, but it has to start and grow within before it can be extended healthily and effectively to others, it seems.

acdc01
08-30-16, 11:36 PM
People set up tables in various places with leftover garden goodies and "free food" signs to share their bounty. It's catching on everywhere except within the systems set up to help, it seems. .

That sounds really nice. What type of cities is this spreading in?

Have to day, I'm pretty happy with the food recycling systems in my city. For a larger city, I think it's by far the most effective system you can set up. There are some food scraps that just aren't consumable by humans so even that's used up with the composting and feeding animals recycling. And it's so much easier to get restaurants to participate. All you have to say is you'll save money and boom, sold. Where I live, the businesses are located close together so there are business associations for each neighborhood. If one business decides to put food out and attracts homeless, well they are probably going to get an earful from their business association as more homeless in the area affects the other businesses as well. The majority of businesses in the neighborhood would have to be ok with the restaurant sharing free food which makes it much less likely for the restaurant owner to be able to do this. My cities current recycling program wastes less food, has a very easy time attracting restaurants to participate, and saves businesses money. It's a win win.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to knock the restaurant owners giving out free food directly idea. In fact, I like it. It doesn't just spread food, it spreads compassion and community.

But just wanted to say that sometimes in places or with people where charity is a hard sell, it becomes much easier when you make that charity profitable for them too.

Unmanagable
08-31-16, 12:13 AM
That sounds really nice. What type of cities is this spreading in?

Have to day, I'm pretty happy with the food recycling systems in my city. For a larger city, I think it's by far the most effective system you can set up. There are some food scraps that just aren't consumable by humans so even that's used up with the composting and feeding animals recycling. And it's so much easier to get restaurants to participate. All you have to say is you'll save money and boom, sold. Where I live, the businesses are located close together so there are business associations for each neighborhood. If one business decides to put food out and attracts homeless, well they are probably going to get an earful from their business association as more homeless in the area affects the other businesses as well. The majority of businesses in the neighborhood would have to be ok with the restaurant sharing free food which makes it much less likely for the restaurant owner to be able to do this. My cities current recycling program wastes less food, has a very easy time attracting restaurants to participate, and saves businesses money. It's a win win.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to knock the restaurant owners giving out free food directly idea. In fact, I like it. It doesn't just spread food, it spreads compassion and community.

But just wanted to say that sometimes in places or with people where charity is a hard sell, it becomes much easier when you make that charity profitable for them too.

The food is free project originated in Austin, Texas and has spread to many different states/cities. Their website is foodisfreeproject.org to read more. Here's a quick vid to explain a little more:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlC-4MgfICU

Making charity profitable for businesses isn't where the focus should lie, ever, in my opinion, but unfortunately, it's the name of all the games as of late. Which appears to be a large part of why things are so incredibly out of hand and the culture of dependence and lack continues to be fostered.

Hermus
08-31-16, 03:28 AM
And what do drug users and alcoholics look like?

Not all drug users are easily recognizable by physical signs, but if people are long time users of heroin or meth, two of the more popular street drugs, it leaves physical traces. Sometimes looks can tell a whole lot about people.

This is an amazing paragraph. You are right, its none of our business because looks are deceiving. We dont know if the man we think looks like and addict it in fact one. We dont know if the person who stands outside with a sign is a perfectly fine pan handler or desperate.
I usually buy people food. I ask them when the last time they ate was and try to go from there. And if I cant afford it, which has happened I'll tell them "sorry, I really dont have it now."

Once in a while I give something, but I always find it difficult what to do if I don't intend to give. They mostly start with 'Can is ask you something?'. Most people recognize them as homeless and ignore. However, I can see that that is very demeaning. On the other hand if I give them the chance to ask for something, they might get hope they'll be getting anything. I can also imagine that it sucks if they get a no in that case. When I still smoked I always asked if they smoked and if they did offered them a cigarette if there was nothing else I had to offer.

I am in recovery and have had the blessing to meet all kinds of people and had the judgemental barrier that I too had, knocked down. I dont look like an alcoholic, even when I was actively drinking but I can tell you that if I ran out of $, I might have considered asking for some somewhere too.
No one chooses addiction. All people deserve dignity.

True words.

acdc01
08-31-16, 06:55 AM
Making charity profitable for businesses isn't where the focus should lie, ever, in my opinion, but unfortunately, it's the name of all the games as of late. Which appears to be a large part of why things are so incredibly out of hand and the culture of dependence and lack continues to be fostered.

I love the foodisfreeproject. Thanks for video. Seems like a great idea. I support both it and the mass recycle program my city has.

You know, my city is known as a place where it's pretty easy to get 3 square meals a day for homeless. It's mostly cause we are a very socially liberal city (the too large influx of homeless due to our generosity and reputation is starting to strain that liberal attitude though). But it's also because of how much food we can collect with the recycling program.

There was rapid and wide adoption of the program because of how simple and affordable to the businesses it was.

The free food project seems to advertise itself as more a way to build community, not feed mass homeless. And that makes sense. Cause your not going to generate mass food as quickly and easily nor can you distribute or prepare the food for consumption as easily as with the recycle program.

So having both programs, one that generates a feeling of charity and community like the freefoodproject. And one that effectively feeds the masses and provides food for farm animals and composting like my city's recycle program, would seem most ideal.

That's my opinion anyway. Hope I'm not driving you mad. I'm just very pragmatic.

Unmanagable
08-31-16, 08:09 AM
No worries. Driving me mad is a short trip in most directions. lol You aren't. I enjoy discussing things that matter in hopes of raising awareness and to see how others feel, and this is one that's close to my heart. I hope my responses have felt kind and informative vs. simply feeling like I've been offended/triggered. I still have some work to do in that arena.

Joker_Girl
08-31-16, 09:51 AM
When we owned our meat/butcher shop, we were required by the USA and FSIS to pour something over our trash called "denaturant ", which rendered everything in the barrels inedible. Required to, if we didn't we were in trouble. So that may be what the bleach is about.

Of course, for us, that stuff really WAS inedible, I can't imagine anyone trying to eat the butchering leftovers.

If we knew ahead of time someone wanted something like bones for their dogs, or (yes, really) blood to make fish bait, we would save it for them.

I would have hoped anyone needing food would have just came in, I would rather give someone a bag of food than have them digging in the smelly trash like they aren't even human or something.

We were, however, allowed to donate food to the food bank, which we did.

I have read of cities fining people for feeding the homeless, not sure if that is true or not, if so, it's messed up.

The thing is to try to HELP people who are having a hard time. When did we stop wanting to do that? Help people find food, a place to stay, clothing, medicines, safety, counseling, whatever. Treating others with LOVE and compassion.

Joker_Girl
08-31-16, 10:02 AM
Of course, I'm such an idiot, when I try to help people I end up really getting fd without a kiss.

Here are couple months ago, we let a friend move in because his wife left him, he lost his house, then his folks kicked him out, etc.

Within a week, he was having all these shady folks over, and I'm pretty sure I had stuff stolen. All kind of people here at all hours, cops driving by, and he is screwing a girl half his age who has all kind of people after her because she is a meth dealer and she ripped people off. So she is looking to get a beat down.

Not here! We had to put him out, and forget about the $500+ he owes us, just don't want anything else took or any drama.

So we are A holes now, but I think he is getting over it, because he knows it was crappy.

julialouise
08-31-16, 01:36 PM
should this be in chit chat or should it be in the debate forum? its highly offensive to homeless people and we shouldnt be talking about their worth and humanity on what should be a light-hearted forum.

julialouise
08-31-16, 01:38 PM
Also, fruit trees aren't impractical. It's called a community garden.

sarahsweets
08-31-16, 01:59 PM
should this be in chit chat or should it be in the debate forum? its highly offensive to homeless people and we shouldnt be talking about their worth and humanity on what should be a light-hearted forum.

I dont think anyone is necessarily being offensive. It just sounds like a good dialogue.

acdc01
08-31-16, 04:53 PM
Also, fruit trees aren't impractical. It's called a community garden.

I saw the below article so I guess some placed are installing them now.

I also saw a post by someone who worked for the government and they said the reason why thier city didnt do it was because of liability issues and because the trees make a mess (aka more maintenance cost).


http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/07/09/public-fruit-trees

Edit: perhaps volunteer groups in some cities could maintain the trees if they installed them.

acdc01
08-31-16, 06:05 PM
http://fallingfruit.org/

So that website shows where public fruits/nut trees are available all over the world that anyone can pick. I realize there's already a crapload of fruit trees all over my city.

Will have to see if the map is right and find some fruit myself. Ok, maybe my liability concerns are a little too conservative (though still a little hesitant).

I'm getting too into this thread. Starting to search for things on the internet. Not good.

Joker_Girl
08-31-16, 11:05 PM
I think it's great.
We actually have more fruit than we can possibly use once it sets on. We have an apple tree, a pear tree, and a peach tree. Evidently they are self pollinating. I wish we had an apricot tree.
I should put it on the Facebook group for our town that I would be happy to share our fruit. There is no need for it to go to waste, and I'm too lazy to can it all.
I'm too lazy or I'd have a vegetable garden, too.

acdc01
08-31-16, 11:40 PM
I hope my responses have felt kind and informative vs. simply feeling like I've been offended/triggered. I still have some work to do in that arena.

Your responses have been fine. It's me that's just overcautious cause I know it can be a sensitive topic.

Yeah, I guess the trees are nice. As long as they aren't close to sidewalk areas or areas where people might be running like at the edge of an open field of something. And if volunteers maintain them so fallen fruit doesn't attract insects. I wouldn't want them at all parks though as that would require too many volunteers. I think I'm thinking too much.

TurtleBrain
09-01-16, 04:42 AM
I like the fruit tree idea, but instead of having them out in the city streets, have them in greenhouses or in parks. Botanical gardens could also be filled with them.

Unmanagable
09-01-16, 09:23 AM
I saw the below article so I guess some placed are installing them now.

I also saw a post by someone who worked for the government and they said the reason why thier city didnt do it was because of liability issues and because the trees make a mess (aka more maintenance cost).


http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/07/09/public-fruit-trees

Edit: perhaps volunteer groups in some cities could maintain the trees if they installed them.


I've seen in some of the stories I've come across in the past that in a lot of these areas, once people are given open access to gardens/orchards/or whatever is growing in a particular area, they often take much pride in it and freely maintain it.

They get some of their dignity back in seeing how they can play such a huge part in helping themselves and others, unlike the feelings they get trying to jump through all the procedural hoops in whichever system they get tangled up in.

There will be people who don't value things in ALL arenas and cause damage of some sort, so it will never be foolproof, but that's no reason to not at least try it and create opportunity where there currently is none.

Sadly, many people look at building another grocery store to be considered more progress than planting edible landscapes. Without the jobs and the money, the grocery store still does nothing to feed those who have neither.

And those with no residence, no transportation, not well enough to work, etc. can't simply get a job there to support themselves, like I so often hear around the area I live,"Well just let them get a job like everyone else and pay their way." You can't fill out all those forms and applications without a physical address to begin with. The depth of the issue tends to be lost on many.

acdc01
09-01-16, 06:59 PM
And those with no residence, no transportation, not well enough to work, etc. can't simply get a job there to support themselves, like I so often hear around the area I live,"Well just let them get a job like everyone else and pay their way." You can't fill out all those forms and applications without a physical address to begin with. The depth of the issue tends to be lost on many.

I never really understood the physical address issue. Aren't there places that let people use their address for mailing stuff? If not, it seems like that could be fixed.

Did you see that link I put up that shows a map of all the fruit trees around the world? I realized for my city, there's already plenty of fruit trees within walking distance to the areas where most homeless are. Quite a variety of fruit/nuts/berries too. Is it the same for yours?

If so, you could just print out a map of where the trees are and hand it out to the homeless. No need for a new park which would take a long time to make happen. Another thing that could be done is that volunteers could pick the public fruit that are spread all over the city and bring them to the shelters - that's more work though than printing a map out and perhaps bringing it to a shelter to distribute or just hand it out yourself.

EDIT: Just did a quick google. My city already has a volunteer group that picks these public fruit trees and brings them to shelters. Not surprising I guess - we've always been a socially liberal city. It's why I don't think there is a food/supplies issue for homeless here. It's housing that there is a dire shortage of to the point where the mayor has issued a state of emergency. I'm not sure why they don't use schools or something to house the homeless. There's tons of empty schools.

BellaVita
09-01-16, 07:59 PM
And those with no residence, no transportation, not well enough to work, etc. can't simply get a job there to support themselves, like I so often hear around the area I live,"Well just let them get a job like everyone else and pay their way." You can't fill out all those forms and applications without a physical address to begin with. The depth of the issue tends to be lost on many.

That is one major phrase that really irks me. People who say it are so ignorant and seem not to have empathy capabilities. Often, people are homeless BECAUSE they are sick/physically disabled and have trouble getting work. And I also know that some people are on the streets because they were getting abused by whoever they had been living with before ending up on the streets, so they are probably suffering from emotional trauma too. It's so sad. I hate the stigma that they are lazy and should "just get a job like everyone else."

And yeah - the physical address is important for applying.

People need to start seeing the homeless as people and not lazy people who just are being defiant and not wanting to work. Who the hell wants to be homeless and in danger?

Anyway, thanks for listening.

Unmanagable
09-01-16, 09:11 PM
I never really understood the physical address issue. Aren't there places that let people use their address for mailing stuff? If not, it seems like that could be fixed.

Did you see that link I put up that shows a map of all the fruit trees around the world? I realized for my city, there's already plenty of fruit trees within walking distance to the areas where most homeless are. Quite a variety of fruit/nuts/berries too. Is it the same for yours?

If so, you could just print out a map of where the trees are and hand it out to the homeless. No need for a new park which would take a long time to make happen. Another thing that could be done is that volunteers could pick the public fruit that are spread all over the city and bring them to the shelters - that's more work though than printing a map out and perhaps bringing it to a shelter to distribute or just hand it out yourself.

EDIT: Just did a quick google. My city already has a volunteer group that picks these public fruit trees and brings them to shelters. Not surprising I guess - we've always been a socially liberal city. It's why I don't think there is a food/supplies issue for homeless here. It's housing that there is a dire shortage of to the point where the mayor has issued a state of emergency. I'm not sure why they don't use schools or something to house the homeless. There's tons of empty schools.

Shelters are very temporary. Many places seeking employees that recognize a shelter's address may not hire you based on knowing you can't stay there long term and may not be the most reliable in being able to get there and stay there.

They can't come right out and tell you that's the reason, of course, but it becomes pretty clear after many failed attempts to get the jobs you desperately spend all day applying for.

People without homes aren't the only ones struggling to feed themselves and their families. My ideas about planting edible landscaping is to benefit all the residents as a whole, not just the ones also seeking shelter.

The whole person, the whole community, the picture of whole health, is the whole reason I exist, it seems. But I couldn't see it clearly myself until I faced each one of the issues by being immersed directly in them, trying to find/fight my way out.

I only know what works(ed) for me for certain, but if I can't manage to do much of anything else, I can at least extend an understanding hand of experience in hopes of helping another feel like a valued individual, if only briefly and if only in passing.


Edited to add: Shelters have set meal times and curfew times, too. Not many of them (if any) will hold a bed for you or reserve you a meal if you aren't there at the time it's served. That puts a whole new wrench in the system of finding a job with hours that mesh well with the schedule the shelters have very strictly put in place. Choosing to pick up an extra shift could mean losing placement in the only place you have to call home.

Joker_Girl
09-02-16, 04:20 AM
There should be a program of some sort.
Since shelters become overwhelmed (and would be especially difficult if you have a family), where you can volunteer to host a person...
Of course, you would have to be quite selective in the process, so you don't get stuff torn up or stolen.
But for the right person, it could be great.....stability, privacy, a place to feel safe....schools.....being able to keep whole families together (saving pets, too)!
A way to help, a way to form lifelong friendships...

Twiggy
09-02-16, 06:59 PM
I see a lot of young adults freshly graduated out of high school that do go "homeless" as a form of adventure. They usually bring a dog or cat along.

They are the ones that take advantage of being "homeless" the most. They bring their cell phones and cash from home...but also ask for money from strangers.

I've personally lived (long ago) in a town that was wealthy as in there was very little homeless at one point.
BUT now, it's teeming with homeless because they know that the wealthy folks will give to the homeless out of pity.

I've seen a young woman and man asking for money to buy food in front of a store.
I said "Ok, let's all go and I will buy you some food at this store".
They totally rejected my offer and only wanted money.

These young fake "homeless" are spoiling everything. They just want money handed out to them...to the point of entitlement.

sarahsweets
09-03-16, 09:59 AM
I see a lot of young adults freshly graduated out of high school that do go "homeless" as a form of adventure. They usually bring a dog or cat along.

They are the ones that take advantage of being "homeless" the most. They bring their cell phones and cash from home...but also ask for money from strangers.

I've personally lived (long ago) in a town that was wealthy as in there was very little homeless at one point.
BUT now, it's teeming with homeless because they know that the wealthy folks will give to the homeless out of pity.

I've seen a young woman and man asking for money to buy food in front of a store.
I said "Ok, let's all go and I will buy you some food at this store".
They totally rejected my offer and only wanted money.

These young fake "homeless" are spoiling everything. They just want money handed out to them...to the point of entitlement.

Are you sure they are saying they are homeless? I know a lot of drug addicts that will ask for money and are not homeless at all.

acdc01
09-03-16, 11:05 AM
Are you sure they are saying they are homeless? I know a lot of drug addicts that will ask for money and are not homeless at all.

Twiggys right. It's become a cool thing for some youth/young adults to go homeless by choice. They talk about it in our newspapers and I see a ton of them cause they like to congregate in the park in my neighborhood.

You see them camping with their sleeping bags and tarps altogether in the park. Playing on their cell phones and smoking pot. Many litter all over the place even when the park has tons of garbage cans.

Where I live, some only choose to be homeless during the summer and then they decide to go home to the parents place during the other months. Others migrate to warmer areas during the cooler months then come back again during the warmer ones. Its a free adventure for them. And They've found a community and like it.

I looked at statistics and though homeless by choice is still a small percentage, it's definitely growing where I live. We are a very liberal city so the homeless can get enough meals and daily supplies (though housing is short) and it does attract these new types of homeless by choice and immigrants from other less generous areas.

acdc01
09-05-16, 12:04 AM
So you got me interested in the public fruit idea unmanageable so I volunteered this weekend with the nonprofit that collects public fruit in my area. Seemed like a very good program.

If your city doesn't have one of these programs already, I wouldn't be surprised if you could start one yourself if you had the interest . It seems like most of these programs are started by volunteers with the interest and then the City gives them some land to plant their trees.

I think this is probably the smart way to do things. There were only 3 staff and 4 volunteers this weekend and they only do the fruit picking once a week. I'll say this was labor day weekend so probably less volunteers than usual but you need lacross like sticks to reach the high fruit and most fruit are high up. And they didn't even have enough sticks for all of us so it tells me there really aren't that many volunteers (at least not in my city which has a fairly large population). If the City just planted fruit in every single park they had without first making sure there was enough community interest in volunteering, you'd just have a fruit dropping everywhere attracting insects.

The fruit picking nonprofit in my city is smart. They let the volunteers keep half the fruit while they give half of it to the homeless. They prioritize low income volunteers by reserving half the volunteer spots to low income (doesn't really mean much though since it doesn't seem like they get that many volunteers to being with but good idea). So since they share fruit with the volunteers, it helps the non-homeless but low income too. They also suggest to the volunteers to donate a small amount of money so they get cash donations as well.

Even if your neighborhood doesn't have trees on public land, if you wanted, you could start with going to church groups and asking people to donate fruit to the homeless from their trees. You can round up some volunteers to help pick the fruit if needed.

One thing I didn't like was that there were worms in most of the fruit cause it's all organic. So I realized I was a fruit snob and I didn't keep any of it for myself which is probably better anyway that way more went to those in need.

Anyway, I imagine you've checked out these programs already yourself but thought I'd share my experiences anyway in case your area doesn't have them.