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wolfsoul
07-25-2003, 02:22 AM
There is a homeless problem in Kelowna. The number of homeless people is rising dramatically each year. We now have 5 times as many homeless people as Calgary! Literally!

The government is going to try and make some shelters --- But some feel it's a waste of money for our city. Some of my friends say that it's their own fault that they're homeless and that they should face the consequences of the choices they made, and stay out on the street to fend for themselves. Dog eat dog, the strongest survive.

But some of my friends feel very sorry for them and think that they deserve to have shelter and food instead of being out in the heat and with drug and sexual influences all around them.

What do you think?

binka_nugget
07-25-2003, 02:42 AM
I think everyone deserves shelter, food and water. Even if the city provides shelter, food and water, it's not like they'd be living in paradise. I think that's the least they should have if the city can provide it.

I use to feel so bad coming home from work that I'd give a random homeless person my untouched lunch. It made me feel a whole lot better that one person wouldn't be hungry that night.

Kfamr
07-25-2003, 03:11 AM
I think it's the right thing to do.


It may be their fault sometimes, but not ALL of the time.

primabella
07-25-2003, 10:55 AM
I don't think people should say all homeless people are to blame for the situation they're in. It's not always their fault. If they quit school to run away from home and sell drugs, then yeah, it is their fault. But if someone got kicked out of their apartment, lost their job and so on, then I say it isn't. I say we should set up more shelters to help them out. Why not? Why do some people get to have 3 high-priced cars and live in their huge house and some have to sleep in a box? Ahhh...just a rant :rolleyes:

The people that get me mad are the ones abusing the welfare. I think only those who CANNOT work should be on welfare, not those who are too darn lazy to get up and get a job. Stupid people :mad:

Logan
07-25-2003, 11:08 AM
I am all for supporting the homeless as long as they are working equally as hard to get out of this situation using all resources necessary. I just don't want to see government facilitate their situation by feeding and giving them places to sleep and bathe, only to have them on the streets all day, everyday, waiting for that door to open again for their dinner and bed. I guess what I'm saying is that I do understand that this happens at times to the best of people, but when services are offered, then those accepting those services need to do everything possible to remedy their situation.

I hope that doesn't sound harsh because it wasn't mean that way at all.

Logan

catland
07-25-2003, 11:12 AM
True Story - My brother told me of a recent incident in his city where there was someone begging for money for food. My brother went into a restaurant and got some food and brought it back to the man. The man said "I don't want food - I want the money":mad:

The sad reality is that a lot of the people want money for drugs and alcohol. The other sad truth, at least here in the states, is that a large number of these people are mentally ill, and should be in a hospital but they are not.

Also, some people have learned that they can make more money by panhandling than by holding down an honest job. Its so sad because there are innocent people out there who are genuinely down on their luck and they are overshadowed by these others.

:(

Karen
07-25-2003, 11:35 AM
People are homeless for a variety of reasons and situations. Many are families - mothers with children. People forget that. Many are people who are mentally ill. People forget that.

Everyone tends to picture homeless people as adult men with drug and alcohol problems. That is not the majority of the homeless.

I believe people should be helped as much as we can, given food and a warm place to sleep, but just as important, given counseling to figure out WHY they are homeless, and to try to find a solution to get them off the street permanently.

I have had a person nominate her pet from a computer at a public library - she had been kicked out of her apartment because the landlord changed his mind about her having a dog and gave her an ultimatum. She had lost her job, did not have money to pay "first,last and security" on a new apartment, and was living, when she wrote me, with her dog, in her car somehwere in Colorado.

I never heard from her again after that initial email.

I "know" a young man in CA who is homeless, having beem kicked out of the house by an angry and addicted step-parent. He has family members in jail, and others who are alcoholic. He is 19, living in a tent under a bridge, where he promises he is safe from public eyes, trying to figure out what to do to find food, and figuring out the rest of his future is secondary right now. He also accesses the Internet from library computer.

Some women are on the streets to escape abusive spouses. Children are with their mothers.

wolfsoul
07-25-2003, 02:44 PM
Here are the statistics -

16% of the homeless in Kelowna are teens
75% are women invloved in the sex and drug trade
60% have addiction problems
23% are aboriginal

I also agree that they should be helped...

Twisterdog
07-26-2003, 01:17 AM
I think this is a tough one.

In a city I used to live in, a local news station sent people out undercover, pretending to be homeless people, to see how much the "average" homeless person made in a weekend of panhandling. (All the proceeds were later donated to homeless shelters.) The amount was shocking ... I can't remember the exact amount now, but the average was over $1,000 per person in a weekend. Ummmm ... that's $52,000 per year ... and that's more than I make working full-time! Perhaps this isn't the norm in every city, all the time ... but I think it was a wake-up call of sorts.

I think it depends quite a bit on demographics as well. In the town I live in now, there are a few homeless people. However, we have a very low unemployment rate and very high per-capita public spending. Every organization in town, from the police to the churches to AA to counselors, has tried to help and work with these homeless people ... to no avail. They live the way they live by choice, they don't want to be "helped" or "changed" or "cured." If they wanted to get off the streets, they could have an apartment and a job tomorrow, literally. I'm not saying this is the norm eveywhere, though. I know that in the San Francisco bay area, the cost of living is so high and affordable housing so scarce that the majority of homeless people are working parents with kids. (My friend works for an outreach program there.) So, I think it varies a lot from area to area.

I think cities need to make an effort to help people and provide a means for them to get off the streets. For some of them, this works well. Realistically, however, it has been shown time and time again that the best efforts of governments for the most part fail to make a meaningful reduction in the number of homeless people.

carole
07-26-2003, 02:41 AM
I try hard not to judge, as really one never know's when you might yourself be in this situation through circumstances beyond your control

Yes some are homeless by choice, but I think that is the minority of people.

Regardless of the situation they are still HUMAN BEINGS, and that is what I try to tell myself, so yes I do think we need to help these people, turning our back's on the problem is not the answer or humane thing to do IMO, thanks.

tikeyas_mom
08-01-2003, 03:40 AM
Originally posted by Kfamr
I think it's the right thing to do.


It may be their fault sometimes, but not ALL of the time.

that is correct most of the homless people here are skitso frenic or mentilly challenged by fetal Alchol Syndrom or drug abuse at birth. it isnt always their faul as most think. has anyone actully talked to a homless person, I havent but they try to talk to me, I feel bad because I am unconfertable, but they are kind hearted people, they need help somtimes. like all of us.

Kfamr
08-01-2003, 04:54 AM
I talked to a homeless person once, gave him some money as well for him and his rottie dog. :)

binka_nugget
08-01-2003, 05:03 AM
I talked to one once also. He was asking for food or money while people were passing him. Many of the people gave money to the guy who was break dancing 20 feet away but gave nothing more than a glimpse to him. Me and my friend stopped and talked to him. He was really nice and so sweet. His shoes were dirty and torn, his clothes were the same. I gave him my lunch (plus side for working at subway :P) and she gave him some money.

Sara luvs her Tinky
08-01-2003, 06:33 AM
My family sat around and talked about this a while back....

first I wanna tell a funny story..;)

My brother-in-law works in Atlanta... and there are a lot of homeless people in Atlanta. He said he walked somewhere one morning and got some lunch and a big cookie and was walking back to work with the big cookie in a bag.. he said a homeless guy came running up to him and tried to take the big cookie away from him... he said he was kinda shocked and held on real tight to the bag and didn't really realize how tight.. and the homeless guy just ran off... It was sooooo funny...

anyway... I don't really think I have any real thoughts about homeless people but from what my family was saying about the statistics they have heard and news reports they hear... a lot of homeless people don't want to be helped. They want to be homeless... and take advantage of the government help. I just figure if they can get away from the responsabilities of real life and working and paying bills while everyone else feeds them ... why not... maybe they are just scared of real life and being a mature adult.

IttyBittyKitty
08-04-2003, 08:22 AM
A true story...

My partner's parents were instrumental in setting up the Eating Disorder's Association of Queensland. The EDA did a fundraiser whoopdidoo in the Botanical Gardens here in Brisbane. The homeless in the park were very friendly and helped them set up all the tents, displays etc. There as a bunch of food served at this event, and the board members thought that it would be decent to donate the left overs to the homeless who had helped out.

So they offered the food ... and every one of the homeless turned down very nice food (it would have been very nice to encourage people to eat if you get my drift) because they get "better food from the Salvos."

I have thought about this problem extensively as it is a rather tricky conundrum. The suburb that I work in is hugely populated with homeless persons of all ages and both genders.

In Australia, the social security system is VERY generous. You can basically claim benefits for your ENTIRE LIFE with no problems (except having stuff all money!). As a result, the minority of "genuine" homeless is minor indeed. This minority includes the mentally ill, dads paying ridiculous amounts of child support, etc etc.

I am sorry to say, from my experience, that most of them are druggoes and winos who became what they became because of irresponsible decisions. With that said, I'd never turn my back on them or advocate turning society's back on them because it is so difficult to tell who is genuine and who is not.

CathyBogart
08-04-2003, 12:34 PM
I've stopped to talk with a few people I've seen in my neighborhood. There aren't many to be seen around here though. One man in particular I liked to see, because him and Brian always had a lot to talk about. More than once we saw him there and asked him to wait while we went and bought him a big dinner somewhere. That was my favorite part about seeing him: He was more than happy to recieve food, not just money.

San Francisco is entirely another matter though. I hate that place for many reasons, but one of the main ones is that you can't go ten feet without getting panhandled. It makes me crazy! Last time I was there the only person who got anything from me was a woman with her cat...The kitty looked plump and well-fed at least.

Tonya
08-05-2003, 02:26 AM
I think that food, water, and shelter is essential for everyone; that is what welfare and section 8 is for. If someone is on the streets begging, they are

A) already receiving welfare money and are trying to earn an extra buck. (I'd like to say for drugs, but that's judgemental.)
or
B) Not mentally stable enough to use the welfare resources.

Either way, I think we need to work more on getting to the source of the problem. Rather if is is mental care, drug and alcohol addiction treatment, leading them to a dr. to care for their disability, leading them to the welfare office to get help, job training, school, etc...