Jump to content

Mentally ill


yabadabapal

Recommended Posts

Ive been working 12 hour days for about the last 2 months and will continue for another few weeks until my work here is done.

Coming home from work often after 2 or 3 in the morning is pretty normal for me. Lately Ive been noticing a lot of homeless and mentally ill people all over town. Especially at the hours I work.

One guy today came up to me in mid afternoon after I had lunch. He had a sleeping bag around him, no shoes and no shirt and filthy dirty. He asked me if I would buy him some food. Of course I said I would and I did. A big fresh turkey sandwich and a bottle of water.

Then last night after dinner at a restaurant a guy was crawling on the sidewalk and came up to me and asked if I would buy him some food. And I did buy him a nice dinner from a very nice restaurant.

And tonight as I was leaving a hotel in downtown, an old woman in her 70s approached me and looked at me and just started crying.

I could not move. I stood there waiting for some resolution.

She asked me if I had any spare change. As I was digging into my pockets shes started crying and saying she couldnt understand how her life has ended up this way. She smiled a bit and as she did I could see she didnt have but a few teeth. she explained that she use to be a prostitute and that now she is to old for that and cant seem to make it in this world. She asked me if I ever thought about jumping off a bridge. Of course Ive thought about it I said. Everyone has at one time or another. But we don't do it and neither will you I said. So I pulled out some money that I had and gave her enough to have a good meal and maybe get a room in one of the flop houses. I just cant bare to see people so distraught and alone and often mentally incapable of taking care of themselves. Often I type things in the forums and then delete it rather than post them as they often seem silly. but this time Im posting this because I think I need to. i dont have enough information on this problem to offer any type of solution, But it became very clear to me late this evening as I was working, that I will always strive for success because at least that way, I can afford to help others who cant help themselves.

Link to comment

There are times I wonder how some folks have gotten this way. While some folks take advantage of "the system" I don't think any human in a modern society deserves to live this way. I also don't think anyone deserves or are entitled to multimillion dollar salaries, when there are people living like this.

 

I salute you for your contributions and not choosing to walk-on-by and ignore the problem.

 

Those in the top 1% or higher that complain about their taxes returning to 39.5% from 35% should be forced to work soup kitchens a few hours a week.

Link to comment

I have mixed feelings about this.

 

I'm torn between concern for enabling, and concern for charity. I used to give a few dollars without thinking much about it. Then, you know, living and working downtown for many years in Denver and SLC, after watching too much Listerine being drunk, and seeing too many cigarettes being bought, I started having second thoughts. My growing cynicism was fueled by scenes which seemed to be staged to present the most heart wrenching picture. There are stories of people making hundreds of dollars a day panhandling.

 

I'm pretty sure I would still buy someone food without much question, although I no longer live in a downtown area and seldom encounter this sort of thing anymore. I'd have a lot of question about giving money. Generally, if the request is for money, I say "No" these days.

 

I understand that mentally ill encompasses a number of behaviors that are self-defeating - self-injurious and that somewhere there is a line between one who could work but would rather scam for handouts, and one who really is so dysfunctional as to have little other choice. Unfortunately, I don't always seem to know which is which, or at least I don't seem to encounter many of the ones that strike me as real.

 

Of course shelters suggest giving only through them, but I've known those that are too far gone for the shelters to be of any use to them. And I've slept in shelters - not fun. Not sure giving the shelters all my charity is the solution here.

 

We have discussed on this board before the social policies that result in the truly mentally ill being homeless in this country. They range from things like changes in family structure - extended giving way to nuclear; policies that have ended institutionalization, a growing concern for the civil liberties and rights of the mentally ill, lack of the right support for ex-military, etc.

 

I think though, at this time, as we approach Thanksgiving, and weather in our northern cities worsens, it is good to take your example to heart and loosen up a bit.

 

Thank you for the reminder.

Link to comment

We have an excellent non-profit facility, The Shelter, for those in need.

We also have many makeshift "camps" in the area.

People are attracted by the warmer weather and transient populations present many challenges, particualarly when they opt to reside on a permanent basis.

Beth adn I prepared meals for The Shelter, for decades.

We cooked those at home, took them to the facility for dinner.

We stopped counting at 20,000 meals.

I relate this, not for recognition, but to point out that it is relatively easy to become involved, if you choose to do so.

Every act of kndness is its own reward.

Best wishes.

Link to comment

Commendable Bobby. Not everyone would have taken that opportunity to help.

 

I think that some of Jan's comments resonate for many. Observing the homeless and then using our value system to judge them can be defeating in some ways. For example, I no longer 'blame' a mentally ill vagrant for taking money that he or she has collected and using that money for alcohol. Some here may say that they are weak or ignoring the important things, i.e., nutrition, in order to place their drug habits first. The reality is that many of these individuals are self-medicating. With no hope, no support, no treatment, and no security, they drift into a dark world - one that surely places an enormous psychological strain on a mind that is likely already diseased. Many fragment into psychosis. Drugs can 'help', at least in the short term when there is no apparent way out for them (and usually there is not). If I were in such a situation, I too would strive to find numbness to the pain that the surrounding world brings to the mind.

 

Could that money be used for something more productive? Perhaps. But for them, it provides a valuable, albeit brief mental vacation from the inevitable trajectory that their lives have taken. There is little way out once you reach that point - they die young and usually with severe mental disease, in great anguish. Not drinking that pint of vodka will not save them.

 

Of course, there are plenty of mentally ill who have a stronger socioeconomic and social support network. They are not homeless but they also may have health insurance. The difference is that they too get drugs - drugs that help for longer periods of time and don't carry the stigma of a brown paper bag.

Link to comment

I have worked/help three homeless people directly in my life time. Each one is different with different problems and reasons for their situation. I won't go into the details, but one of them has turned his life around. The others, either I didn't do the right thing or they didn't like what I was doin or.....somethin......it didn't work out. I would not hesitate to do it again.

 

 

IMHO....The most important thing about helping people that are down is trying to figure out what got them there and if your help is really help.

 

I'm gonna send this discussion to a friend that has studied homeless people and how to help them to see if he wants to add anything. He stayed at our house recently and rides an old school GS.

 

Whip

Link to comment
skinny_tom (aka boney)

My job has a small aspect of dealing with the homeless/addicted on a regular basis. I see the people who call 911 and fake chest pain becuase it got too cold and they need a warm place, the addicts who fake siezures when they can't score/ran out of money so the medics will give them valium , and the one's who've taken too much of their drug of choice and wind up incontinent on the edge of dying while laying on the sidewalk.

 

Also then, there's the Haight Street rats from all across the US who run away from home and end up here selling themsleves for drugs and begging food. Sleeping in the park at night they run the risk of all sorts of nasty interactions.

 

Most of the people I encounter have made a choice that has brought them down this path. Most of them also, at least in the city where I work, have the choice to get out of it. The help is there. The programs are in place. Massive amounts of money is being spent to provide shelters, detox, half-way houses, councelling, medical services, medication and jobs.

 

Most of them aren't interested in any of it. They don't want to live by someone else's rules to reap the benefits. The same choices that brought them to their current place in society, are the same ones that keep them there.

 

It's good that there's people in this world like you yabadabapal, I've seen too much to have sympathy any more. For your yin, there's my yang.

Link to comment
Dave McReynolds

The same choices that brought them to their current place in society, are the same ones that keep them there.

 

When people make self-destructive choices, isn't that an indication that they are mentally ill? When people are mentally ill, are they responsible for the consequences of their choices?

 

Which group is more deserving of a bail-out by society: mentally ill people who are living in the park at night who risk all sorts of nasty interactions, or financial institutions who risked our money in all sorts of ill conceived schemes?

 

One group might reject a bailout, while the other group might welcome it. What does that say about the mental health of each group?

Link to comment

Confession time. I've emerged from a somewhat calloused youth, ignoring the homeless I've encountered who have taken refuge in the urban areas of placed I've lived. I've provided some money and food to panhandlers over time, and have (always politely) declined others. I guess it has all depended on my mood, situation, and company I was with. I'm sure many of us would rather not contribute to what we believe would be a furtherance of their near hopeless destitution. Always insulated.

 

I'm reminded of that scene in Groundhog day, where Bill Murray's character could not save the old man from dying, despite his increased attempts to assist each day.

 

My brother passed away last year at the age of 49, largely due to alcoholism complicated by throat cancer. He had a tough road in his adult life - on top of the world for a few years, then a catalyst event, then years of decline, with a near scrape with homelessness. I'm sure this is a common story. It has taught me that we simply don't know what we don't know about people and their situations. Mental illness to some degree is a bedfellow with alcoholism, and certainly runs rampant with the homeless. What we see externally with many of the afflicted, is largely a symptom, and not a root cause.

 

I'm very proud of my liberal bra burning, rebellious-in-the-60's older sister, who now is a director of a Statewide Psychiatric Society - where the front line battle is being waged to combat mental illness. She is elated that part of the congessional bail-out bill provides for medical coverage eligibility for those with mental illness. This is a real problem, and it needs real money, and real solutions. Important, meaningful work. She does more for the world in a week than I will do in a lifetime, from a certain perspective.

 

I am executing on a plan to put myself and my family in a position to be more helpful to others in need. It is being "selfish" in the most flattering use of the word, for I know I will feel personally better for doing so. I won't change the orbit of the Earth in doing so, but I'll certainly sleep better now.

 

My admiration goes out to those of you taking a stance, and making a contribution to the betterment of others. Someone needs the help each of us is capable of providing.

 

Nice post.

 

 

Link to comment
I have mixed feelings about this.

 

I'm torn between concern for enabling, and concern for charity. I used to give a few dollars without thinking much about it. Then, you know, living and working downtown for many years in Denver and SLC, after watching too much Listerine being drunk, and seeing too many cigarettes being bought, I started having second thoughts. My growing cynicism was fueled by scenes which seemed to be staged to present the most heart wrenching picture. There are stories of people making hundreds of dollars a day panhandling.

 

I'm pretty sure I would still buy someone food without much question, although I no longer live in a downtown area and seldom encounter this sort of thing anymore. I'd have a lot of question about giving money. Generally, if the request is for money, I say "No" these days.

 

I understand that mentally ill encompasses a number of behaviors that are self-defeating - self-injurious and that somewhere there is a line between one who could work but would rather scam for handouts, and one who really is so dysfunctional as to have little other choice. Unfortunately, I don't always seem to know which is which, or at least I don't seem to encounter many of the ones that strike me as real.

 

Of course shelters suggest giving only through them, but I've known those that are too far gone for the shelters to be of any use to them. And I've slept in shelters - not fun. Not sure giving the shelters all my charity is the solution here.

 

We have discussed on this board before the social policies that result in the truly mentally ill being homeless in this country. They range from things like changes in family structure - extended giving way to nuclear; policies that have ended institutionalization, a growing concern for the civil liberties and rights of the mentally ill, lack of the right support for ex-military, etc.

 

I think though, at this time, as we approach Thanksgiving, and weather in our northern cities worsens, it is good to take your example to heart and loosen up a bit.

 

Thank you for the reminder.

 

This has torn at me as well over the years. I see many homeless people here in Phx who are healthy, young and maybe just lazy? They stand on the corner begging and people fill their cups with $$. A local radio station sent an employee to a corner in Phx and the week long average for standing there was nearly 80.00 $$ per day. Now not bad $$ for no overhead and the like.

 

I give to United Way and Cancer charities throughout the year. What I have a problem with is the amount of $ that goes to administrative funding and not to the charity itself.

 

And drugs and alcohol are common factors among the homeless in Phx, many are only out for the booze and drugs. Phx Fire runs on homeless OD's all the time.

 

On the other hand there are the true victims of misfortune. Poor planning, bad luck, you name it sometimes life throws you a small bone in a world of fine dining so, viola! You are among the many unfortunate ones w/o a place to live. I for one have no issues with the government helping these people. But then again....we are talking about the people who truly need the help and are usually the ones that don't get help from welfare and the like.

 

When my father was ill my mom asked a couple drug companies for a reduced rate for meds. All refused citing the money factor. My dad was paying 1200.00 a month for meds to keep him alive. Now we can throw $$ all over the world but not help the Americans in need. I have HUGE issue with that...If I were King things would change.

All of this isn't hard to figure out. What is surprising to me though that everyone is supposed to be altruistic and giving to the point it hurts in terms of donations and the like in time of need like disasters and helping the homeless and even medical research. There is something wrong with a country that helps the rest of the world but can't even help in its own back yard.

 

Sheeesh!

Link to comment

I live way up in the mountains so I don't see much of this, but when we go down anywhere to the city, I always give money to whomever asks. I don't ask what they are going to do with it, and if presented with the same cases as you, I would have done the same. If they buy booze with it, ok, as my oldest brother was a street person for years and drank whatever money he ever got, and never lived to see our Mom die and leave him a small fortune which went then to his kids. If they ask me for food, I will gladly comply. Yes I do feel guilty about how wonderful I have it, and strive even harder to make sure MY family never has to go through this. Our Country is screwed up right now, giving money to whatever country they can and not doing enough for our own folks.

Link to comment
John Ranalletta

A couple of years ago, Ruth and I were in a Nashville club. The couple with whom we shared a table said they were calling a cab to return to their downtown hotel. We offered to give them a ride.

 

On the way, we were stopped at exit/underpass near downtown Nashville when we were approached by a woman, obviously pregnant, strung out, malnurished and in tattered, unwashed clothing. She begged us for money. I did not offer but our passengers dug deep and gave her money. Afterward, there was no question that they made a value judgment about me and that I had not offered help.

 

We all have our reasons for what we do and this isn't to defend mine in that instance; for, in other cases, I have acted differently. Most of us construct our lives in ways that let us avoid confronting these ethical dilemma; but the dilemma, if it exists at all, is deeply personal.

 

Link to comment

That was a very thought provoking post.

 

In our city we are actively discouraged from giving cash to the homeless for the obvious reasons. At the same time we are encouraged to give to those agencies and organizations that can offer help, like the United Way and the Salvation Army. As well, around here, the homeless and mentally ill can avail themselves of medical help without cost. By the very nature of the illness, many choose not to. There's no question that in previous years many of these people would have been institutionalized, but no longer are. We seem to go from one extreme to the other without finding that middle ground.

 

Thanks for helping out.

Link to comment

A lot of homeless avoid the shelters because they're afraid of getting mugged and having their belongins stolen. Strange that would happen, but I've heard it from several people.

 

We've got a colony of beggers in the woods behind the Kroger store. It's within walking distance of the freeway exit ramps. There seems to be some turnover of people at that location, but they can re-surface at other intersections ten or more miles away. About all I give them is a chick-fil-A coupon. My feeling is that they've been offered services and help but didn't take them.

 

 

Link to comment
skinny_tom (aka boney)
A lot of homeless avoid the shelters because they're afraid of getting mugged and having their belongins stolen.

 

Yes, and another reason is that you have to be sober, cannot drink or do drugs and have to get up and get out at a certain time.

Link to comment
I have worked/help three homeless people directly in my life time. Each one is different with different problems and reasons for their situation. I won't go into the details, but one of them has turned his life around. The others, either I didn't do the right thing or they didn't like what I was doin or.....somethin......it didn't work out. I would not hesitate to do it again.

 

Holy Cow, Whip... you have a 33% success rate. I worked in a shelter for years, and the truth is (in our situation at least) that about 99.9% of those "needing help" were professional indigents. Over a period of 5 years that I can clearly remember, I think there may have been two individuals (out of thousands) who returned to any sort of main stream existence due to our help.

 

I know less about the why's and wherefore's after my first hand eperience, than I did before hand. I've learned the truth of "the poor you will always have with you" but I sure don't have any better insight into "why" this is true. It almost seems as though there isn't "a reason" or even a specific "set of reasons." I don't think there is "A solution."

 

Remaining compassionate, willing to help, and guarding against becoming jaded is about the best I've been able to muster.

 

Link to comment

I have a hard time getting my heart AND mind around vagrancy. Partly because I have some family experience with it, but mostly because I don't see a viable solution which would actually make a difference for these people.

 

Here's my primary pet peeve. Someone pulls up to a red light, and a vagrant asks for money. The driver pops a five dollar bill through the window and after a brief exchange happily motors on with the warm glow of having done such a kind thing. Seriously, how can anyone expect that the simple act of giving a relatively small amount of money to someone will somehow make a meaningful and permanent difference in that persons life? Is it helping them live, or just keeping them alive?

 

I have always felt that if I were really concerned about somebody, I would take them under my wing, make them my friend and make them a part of my life. Wouldn't it be more meaningful to invite them into your home, enjoy dinner together and learn what it is that they really need instead of just flipping them a couple of bucks and disappearing into the night?

Link to comment
Wouldn't it be more meaningful to invite them into your home, enjoy dinner together and learn what it is that they really need instead of just flipping them a couple of bucks and disappearing into the night?

Absolutely. You go first.

 

But seriously, not being able to help someone 'permanently' (not really sure what that even means) certainly should not preclude one from helping in the short term. In medicine we call that symptomatic relief and it is what happens 95% of the time when you go to your physician.

 

There are few cures out there, vagrancy included.

Link to comment

I'm really conflicted about what to do. Most of them I ignore, feeling like I'm not helping; some of them I help with a meal; one attacked me at 1:00a in San Francisco and I got the bad end of that deal because I wasn't expecting it.

 

It's not that I don't care, but rather that I don't know what to do, as many of you have stated. I feel tremendous sadness and compassion when I see it, though, maybe because I think any of us are just a few steps away from that type of existence.

 

I do enjoy sitting and talking with folks in these situations, learning what I can about them. Some of you may have heard of the homeless blogger, who happens to live here in Nashville:

 

http://dir.salon.com/story/tech/feature/2002/10/14/homeless/index.html

 

Nathan, our youngest, has a real heart for homeless folks and he's gotten very involved, most recently spending many hours putting a proposal together to raise $10,000 for their assistance. I'm not sure if it's a good idea or not, but I admire his enthusiasm and efforts:

 

http://ideablob.com/ideas/3476-Support-Homeless-Bloggers?tab=advice

Link to comment
I don't think any human in a modern society deserves to live this way. I also don't think anyone deserves or are entitled to multimillion dollar salaries, when there are people living like this.

 

Those in the top 1% or higher that complain about their taxes returning to 39.5% from 35% should be forced to work soup kitchens a few hours a week.

 

I agree. We should take away all the money from the rich people who work hard and give it to the poor crazy people. And the really, really rich ones, the 1%ers? Force those SOBs to dish out some soup.

 

That's change we can believe in.

 

 

 

Link to comment

Working downtown and parking in a garage next to the greyhound station I am often treated to a stream of interesting humanity. As I pass there twice a day, I get to see the 2 shifts of panhandlers. Morning and night... The same ones, at the same times, in the same places. I don't give them cash, and I usually give something annually to the agencies. I have offered to buy one a hot dog from the cart across the street.

 

Mostly, I take a pretty jaded view of this from the experiences in my life. Most of these people I would place in the "lazy to professionally indigent" category. A few have done some jail time as related by the security agents and police I see during my walk. Personally, I would rather have them off the street. Institutionalized or not, is a question of legality I cannot address. I'm not averse to putting them to work as trustees in the local prison farm to earn a wage and productive habits to work them into society. Maybe provide them w/a detox opportunity and counseling.

 

Yeah, I know, it's a pretty cold view. I've already raised a few hundred thousands of dollars for charity, and seen it gone wrong or to waste and I don't care to sacrifice my time to do it any longer.

 

Although I applaud your efforts to starfish the homeless, and am glad that someone else is willing to do so, I am pretty much over it all.

Link to comment

Pilgrim State Hospital in NY used to be the largest mental hospital in the U.S. At its peak it held over 50,000 patients. About 25 miles away was Kings Park State Hospital which held another 20,000. Then drugs for treating certain types of mental illness, especially schizophrenia, were developed. In the 1970s and 80s, the bean-counters figured that it was much cheaper to medicate these people than house them. So the patients got prescriptions, social security disability payments (sometimes) and their release papers.

The same thing happened throughout the country--release the mentally ill and give them pills.

What we have discovered is that it requires diligent oversight to make certain that the mentally ill take their medication. Most do not for many reasons. The schizophrenia medications, for example, have many side-effects including excessive weight gain (obesity.)

Pilgrim and Kings Park State Hospitals now have fewer than 1000 patients. And we have the unmedicated mentally ill living in our parks and asking for handouts, not just in NY but throughout the country.

They deserve our sympathy.

Link to comment

You can't stregnthen the weak...by weakening the strong" to para-phrase Lincon and we are most likely going to toy with a socialistic direction that will fall flat.

Link to comment
I know less about the why's and wherefore's after my first hand eperience, than I did before hand. I've learned the truth of "the poor you will always have with you" but I sure don't have any better insight into "why" this is true. It almost seems as though there isn't "a reason" or even a specific "set of reasons." I don't think there is "A solution."

 

That closely matches my experience.

 

However, having had my helping hand bitten badly, and not just by disappointment in the outcome, I haven't found it in me to match you on this:

 

Remaining compassionate, willing to help, and guarding against becoming jaded is about the best I've been able to muster.

 

I mean no harm to anyone afflicted, but I'm not sure I'll ever be willing to help again. Perhaps I can do more good elsehwhere.

Link to comment

This is how my life was impacted by mental illness.

 

In January of 1983 I married a very beautiful girl and we began an extremely fun life together, but she also had a troubled relationship with her mother. Around 1990 her parents told her she was no longer part of their family. The loss of her father resulted in a serious psychological reaction, and I tried hard to keep her connected to him without success. She began to deteriorate mentally and went from a nurse and a straight A college student to an unemployed drop out. A highly abusive childhood began to emerge as the stress opened the shell surrounding disassociate disorder DD (multiple personality disorder MPD), and she shattered into pieces. Her main personality was still her, but she was unable to fully function as an independent adult.

 

I pushed her hard to get treatment, but she refused due to the shame she felt over the sexual abuse and torture that she had experienced. If I told her I was going to force her into treatment, she told me that I wouldn't be believed and that she would kill herself after the three day hold for observation had passed, or hit the road and hitchhike away (one pretty young blond at the truck stop, gone in a minute is what I feared.) if I hid the car keys. As a nurse that spent time in the mental health hospital, she was well aware of the law. To complicate this further, the DSM 3 didn't have much support for MPD being an actual mental healh disease, and in the DSM 4 it was actually changed to DD. I was convinced that she would kill herself or take off into the world. Mentally ill and unable to care for herself and possibly very dangerous if threatened with harm, I feared what would happen.

 

When a tumor that I suspected to be breast cancer appeared, I tried to get her to seek treatment but she refused. I had to call the sheriff and an ambulance forcing her to the hospital. She physically and verbally resisted this and the ER doctor told me that if she refused treatment then I must get her out of his ER now.

 

The deputy called the County social worker and was told that if she wasn't in the act of killing herself. then she must be freed. I then took the doctor to the side and pleaded with him to treat her, and assured him that I had insurance coverage. He was able to convince her to let him just look at the tumor, and used that as consent. Psych drugs were given immediately (the weight of the world lifted from my shoulders) and she lived for almost three more years fighting the cancer, most of that time in her main personality.

 

 

 

Link to comment

I went to the homeless guy's blog and read down quite a ways.

 

It left me with no feelings at all. Probably not the result he would have wanted.

 

I did like the "starfish" story on another post however.

 

I'll keep on giving to Charity and doing what little I can on a personal level, but most of my resources will go to my own family.

Link to comment

My salute to your gracious attitude and actions.

 

 

 

While there will always be certain people who abuse something, no matter what that something may be, even charity, by-and-large I’m sure the majority of these people would much rather be in a different place and situation. We need to not be so callous as to condemn a whole class of people for the actions of a few IMHO.

Link to comment
Dave McReynolds

I sense a lot of disappointment in dealing with the homeless: "Here's a sandwich, or $10, or a place to live, or an opportunity to do honest work for some pay." Now show your appreciation by doing something useful with it!

 

If you gave a sandwich, or $10, or a place to live, or an opportunity to do honest work for some pay to a terminal cancer patient, you wouldn't expect the same reaction as if you gave the same thing to a healthy person. Because we know innately how to deal with terminal cancer patients, and we don't know innately how to deal with the terminally mentally ill.

 

I wonder if this is because we are all terminally mentally ill to some degree? If one of the traits of a mentally ill person is to act self-destructively, don't we all do that? Not just the ones who ride without helmets, but those of us who ride with ATGATT? We would like to distinguish between the homeless that are really just living the lifestyle they choose, and those who can't do any better. Are any of them really capable of doing any better, or are some of them just putting on a better show?

 

There are no doubt those who we would consider mentally competent, who have fallen on hard times, and will pull themselves up out of homelessness. But to me that is just an example of the shades of gray that start with someone far to the saner side of me, and end up with the guy in the padded room smearing shit on himself. Too bad it isn't as simple as deciding whether someone has cancer or not.

Link to comment

Many times when I am approached by seemingly healthy fit people who think much like many of our financial instirutions that collapsed, that its appropriate and proper to ask for spare change and help. i do a quick profile. I usually ask them if they have any idea how hard I have to work to make a living. Then I instruct them to get off their lazy ass and go get a job. Go clean toilets. I did it and so can you I tell them. I dont give the capable one dime. I give em free advise.

But the mentally ill. Thats another story. I look into their eyes and I dont so much listen to what they are saying, I listen to what I am hearing which is often different than whats being said.

Of the three encounters in the last few days, they all had one thing in common that each of them asked after I gave them what little help I did. They each asked if they could give me a hug.

 

Link to comment

Walking down Michigan Avenue yesterday with my 8 year old grand daughters, I stopped and gave a man some money. One of my grand daughters asked why. I explained how we were "rich" and he needed help. She said we weren't "rich". We then had a discussion about how we had money to drive to Chicago, get a motel for two nights and explore the city. Also that Nancy and I have 5 healthy grand children with a 6th on the way. Have food, shelter, clothing and a lot of other stuff and consider ourselves very "rich".

 

Glad to have the chance to let them learn a lesson.

 

What goes round, comes round.

Link to comment
I don't think any human in a modern society deserves to live this way. I also don't think anyone deserves or are entitled to multimillion dollar salaries, when there are people living like this.

 

Those in the top 1% or higher that complain about their taxes returning to 39.5% from 35% should be forced to work soup kitchens a few hours a week.

 

I agree. We should take away all the money from the rich people who work hard and give it to the poor crazy people. And the really, really rich ones, the 1%ers? Force those SOBs to dish out some soup.

 

That's change we can believe in.

 

 

 

People that honestly think that a CEO of any corporation really works 100 times harder or is 100 times more valuable than the average professional is dilusional. The market may allow those kinds of salaries...but then again, the market is controlled and manipulated by those very people that benefit the most from it. As though the privledge, self satisfaction and repsect that comes from being at the top isn't good enough.

 

I think trickle down economics and deregulation has benn protty well porven ot be a myth and in general a bad idea as as a whole, thsoe that benefit form them are too greedy to make it work as intended.

 

Of course... this has little to do with homeless or their issues.

Link to comment
Joe Frickin' Friday
Of course... this has little to do with homeless or their issues.

 

I agree, and I'm not sure why you brought it up in the first place.

 

I don't see many truly down-and-out homeless folks around Ann Arbor. I did spot one guy last year who was asleep/passed out in a snowbank. I called 911 and said they needed to come check on him; soon the cops showed up, patted him down, and helped him into an ambulance. In nearly ten years here, that's the only guy I've spotted who was truly a mess.

 

Far more common around here is seeing someone at a major intersection or highway off-ramp, decently dressed/groomed, holding a cardboard sign asking for money. No doubt, chronically homeless people can be placed on a spectrum that ranges from "lazy/undisciplined slacker" to "hopelessly mentally ill and resource-free;" and while it can occasionally be hard to tell in certain individual cases, the folks I see around here tend to fall in the former category.

Link to comment
I agree. We should take away all the money from the rich people who work hard and give it to the poor crazy people. And the really, really rich ones, the 1%ers? Force those SOBs to dish out some soup.

 

That's change we can believe in.

 

Sounds like wealth envy and BS to me... Perhaps you also believe that in all the places that been tried before where it failed it just wasn't done by the right people?

 

Again though, that's a crock and I'm hopeful that you're not serious in that belief structure...

 

People that honestly think that a CEO of any corporation really works 100 times harder or is 100 times more valuable than the average professional is dilusional...

 

Maybe you've not learned the big lesson yet that business does not get what it deserves, but gets what it negotiates? Nobody but the market should be able to place the value on a service or product. If people need it or really want it, it's value to them may not be what it is to those who don't have the same desire or need. Look at iPhones or Wii systems. Look back at Cabbage Patch dolls back in the 80s...

 

Executives may not work 100 times harder in the physical sense compared to the guy on the factory floor, but he MAY work 100 time SMARTER and also bear the responsibility of providing jobs for our everyman and his 100 friends sitting at the water cooler bitching about how much the CEO makes. Until you own a business of your own and worry about payroll and expenses and markets and market shares, you'll never totally grasp that.

 

I think trickle down economics and deregulation has benn protty well porven ot be a myth and in general a bad idea as as a whole, thsoe that benefit form them are too greedy to make it work as intended.

 

Yep, and a rising tide only lifts the "fortunate" boats, right?

 

Of course... this has little to do with homeless or their issues.

 

Like Mitch, I don't know why you brought it up, but, that's the trutch

Link to comment
John Ranalletta

People that honestly think that a CEO of any corporation really works 100 times harder or is 100 times more valuable than the average professional is dilusional.
Blanket statements aren't helpful. Some execs deserve very little of what they're paid as are some day laborers; but execs should be compensated for the value they create, not the hours they work.

 

What gets lost in this argument is the "risk premium". Risk takers tend to fail at greater rates, but when they win, they win big. The risk avoiders fail less often, but rarely enjoy big wins. Risk avoider tend to think that the world is "unfair" and something needs to be done to level the playing field. They are heard to say, "It's not fair that someone else should have more than me because I'm working my ass off." One never hears them say, "Even though I won't take the risks they take."

 

Disconnect risk from reward by transferring all wealth to those who have none and the wealth will recirculate to its place of origin in a heartbeat. Increasingly "progressive" tax rates designed to "level the playing field" simply speed up the velocity of wealth transference cycle, minus government overhead. Now, that's change we can live without.

 

What's this to do with street people and mental illness? Maybe not much, but I'd offer there are many who suffer from depression aggravated by a sense of "life's not fair" and they give up trying. As a benevolent society, we cannot abandon our mentally ill brothers and sisters but, that said, I doubt a public policy based on class or wealth envy is the right approach.

Link to comment
John Ranalletta
Ah yes Matt, the pure capitalistic model. And we can see lately how well THAT’S working.

 

Not.

...and, here's a list of all countries who have rejected a capitalist-oriented model who have solved homeless, mental illness, alcoholism, etc.

  • 1.
  • 2.
  • 3.
  • 4.

At least, in a capitalist-oriented scheme, there exist excess profits to fund the effort.

Link to comment
Ah yes Matt, the pure capitalistic model. And we can see lately how well THAT’S working.

 

Not.

 

Well, it seems to have stopped Global Warming cold in it's tracks.

Link to comment
Dave McReynolds

The homeless and mentally ill are so far removed from being involved in the capitalist system that it's a bad joke to even mention the two in the same sentence.

 

I'm not aware of any particularly effective treatment for homelessness or mental illness. For years, people who were deemed severly mentally ill were institutionalized. Then, in the late '60's, they were turned out into the streets. Neither method seems to have been particularly effective in preventing their being abused. Being abused while powerless in an institutional setting is particularly repugnant, but being abused in a public park or under a railway trestle in the middle of the night is no more palatable. Many of the mentally ill who were turned out of mental institutions soon ended up right back in penal instutions.

 

Of the three alternatives, my preference would be for their confinement in a mental institution, with proper safeguards against abuse (which might be wishful thinking). What was the prime motivating factor for closing them down? Was it economic, a reluctance to fund the institutions? Was it social, a reluctance to confine someone who had not committd a crime? Or was it something else? Do you think there would be any support for bringing them back?

Link to comment

Having lived through the feeling of helplessness with respect to my aunt who is a non-compliant paranoid schizophrenic (I hope that's the correct medical description), I would certainly feel better if she were involuntarily institutionalized. On the other hand, we have seen regimes use such institutions as political tools, and there are the other abuses you mention Dave.

 

I guess I just have to say that I don't know. It's just so tragic no matter how we deal with it.

 

Jan

Link to comment
Ah yes Matt, the pure capitalistic model. And we can see lately how well THAT’S working.

 

Not.

 

It works pretty well for a bit better than 200 years Ken. It is at about that time, when those who would rather use the liberties they have to invest their industry in taking from others instead of creating their own that the problem begins.

 

Sometimes regrettably, people that have ideas decide to leave the country instead of trying to resolve the issues at hand. :/

 

George Bernard Shaw once said "Liberty demands responsibility, that's why most men dread it."

 

Take off, eh? :wave:

Link to comment

If I give a money to a person less fortunate than I, it may serve him well or it may not. But doing so (esp. w/o knowing for certain it will help him) I accept that I do so to serve my ego, to feel better about myself for having "helped". From reading this post I can see that others share this selfish view of selflessness. If it were otherwise, I would not have had the opportunity to read anything such. The contribution would have been made without discussion. (BTW: I am not mocking, I am defining an axiom. I personally applaud these voluntary acts of rationally-selfish contributions! :thumbsup:)

 

If I give money to a non-profit organization, I most certainly increase my chances of assisting those in need by many, many times than me simply handing a few bucks to a person on the street. There is, of course, there is a chance of giving to an unscrupulous charity, and that little (or perhaps none) of my contribution will make it to those in need. But I can do some research and find out who is doing what - and there is government oversight and laws about reporting percentages of contribution that actually goes toward those in need. If I can trust the government's oversight (to be on the lookout for such fraud) and my own research, I can trust that the majority of those organizations not only funded by but also staffed by those who have done well enough to be able to give money, time, or both. That to me is a super-Wow! Complete win-win.

 

But when I am forced to give to a government organization through taxation, I know that I don't get to choose which organization I give to, and worse yet that the vast overwhelming majority of the money I give does not go to those in need. I mostly pay for the huge beauracracy involved in tracking of funding, paying for salaries of numerous support staffers all along the way, paying for federal/state facilities and office supplies, paying for pork-barrel items along the way, and eventually paying for the salaries of those who provide care and/or or give out checks ... checks that are too often to those who are/or should be found to be inelligible despite the massive government oversight. :dopeslap:

 

I strive to give to the first two and have no choice but to support the third. So, my question is, why do we not support and pass laws to require government social services to list the percentage of contribution that actually makes it to the recipients? :lurk:

Link to comment

Craig, You need to consider that the government beaurocrats are also being paid by you and they therefore have jobs. Otherwise, they might be homeless also.

 

Years ago, I figured out that I was paying for a GS-10 with my tax money. I wanted to write someone and ask them to send the guy over to cut my grass.

 

 

Link to comment

I strive to give to the first two and have no choice but to support the third. So, my question is, why do we not support and pass laws to require government social services to list the percentage of contribution that actually makes it to the recipients? :lurk:

 

Yes Sir! Thats one of the great changes that needs to happen in this government. I want to know what percentage of my tax dollars are helping those in real need and while we are at it, Id like to know where the rest of my money is going. Theoretically everyone who works in the government is an Employee of mine because I pay their salary so I think Im entitled to know what the hell my employees are doing. Hours worked, vacations, expenses etc.

Are we generally paying for our government employees to live a certain lifestyle or are we paying them because they are doing an exceptional job.

Link to comment
skinny_tom (aka boney)

This thread reminds me of the saying "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime."

 

The problem is those that refuse to fish and don't have the capacity to learn. What to do with them?

Link to comment
This thread reminds me of the saying "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime."

 

The problem is those that refuse to fish and don't have the capacity to learn. What to do with them?

 

 

Let them drive the boat........

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...