She held her composure as she told me about her four-year degree in accounting and the good job she had for years, but as I gently probed further, with only the privacy of thin curtains around us, tears gradually filled her eyes. Alcohol use had gradually consumed her life and she had been disowned by her children. The tears finally overflowed when she told me she had heard that her daughter had just married, and she hadn’t even received an invitation. Now she was homeless in Phoenix, thankful for the air mattress she had just found, with barely enough blankets to protect her against the cold nights. It was clearly not a time to lecture on the dangers of alcohol use or the virtues of good nutrition and exercise. This was life on the edge — the delicate balance between survival and death, the constant search for food and shelter, the plight of too many Americans today.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/article/2018/01/09/homeless-holidays
The homeless population in our rich country has to be one of our most shameful appalling aspects.
It is one thing to be homeless in Phoenix.
Quite another to be homeless in Portland Oregon, where I own a home in the heart of downtown. The wet miserable winters require the homeless to sleep under bridges, but the damp chill has to be calamitous.
A twenty year old homeless man from New York State stabbed my step son right in front of Portland City Hall, two blocks from my home, four years ago— one stab in the heart and my son was dead!
The murderer is in jail for ten years, but we are bereft.
We applaud Trump for limiting the influx of poorly qualified immigrants.
When we cannot adequately deal with our own population of AMERICAN homeless, why would we even remotely think that allowing unlimited influx of foreign homeless would be beneficial for our country?
Much of homelessness is drug/addiction related. Obama’s open border policy and a blind eye to drug smuggling, has created an opioid crisis of monumental proportions.
Hopefully Trump’s stronger border will stem the flow of heroin and other drugs into our land.
Finally, alcoholism is a huge issue, creating homelessness.
After observing. friends/colleagues / family members tackle this problem, life long abstinence via ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS is the only workable solution. Trump as a life long tee totaller is an inspiring role model.
Kudos to Loma Linda Medical School for addressing this problem in Phoenix, but it is rampant in their own back yard —San Bernadino !!
the issue of Homelessness is a complicated reason.
Each homeless person has different issues that relate to why “Homeless”.
- Mental and Emotional problems.
- Developmental problems.
- Limited reading and writing skills, possibly number computation skills.
- Many declared “Disabled” for physical, mental, emotional problems.
- “Disabled” receive gov’t checks each month $400 to $750 [at least
friends I know]. That makes them eligible for Food Stamps, Obama
phone, many other services.
- Even poor housing – one room, shared bath, shared kitchen with
questionable house mates go for $450 to $500 a month here.
- If you are OK with living in a tent, doorway, alleyway, under a bridge,
then you have Cash Money for alcohol, drugs, cigarettes. If one gets
$180 in food stamps, then one CAN trade for cash [is illegal but do it],
or actually trade the whole $180 for drugs [there are a whole gamut of
drugs available on the streets, or convenience store parking lots].
- There ARE those who WANT to work, but unable to find a job. Biggest
hurdle to JOBS are transportation to the location so can be there on time,
and get home easily. I see this ALL THE TIME.
- On the other hand, there are those who have been homeless long enough
to have learned how to survive on community services that they have decided
to drop out of the work force.
- One does see homeless men and women with they boyfriends–girlfriends.
I know one young man [mid 30’s, homeless] has 3-4 children by different women.
And not involved with any of the children. this is extreme, but it is out there. And
so a child of the mother is at risk for either being homeless or prison when gets older.
the Problem is Communities need to Look At ALL the Issues. And there is a need
to CONFRONT ALL THE ISSUES AT THE SAME TIME. NOT piecemeal.
I haven’t heard of ANY community willing to do that. Not even mine.