Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: The Houseless & the Homeless

  1. #1
    EmeraldsAndLime

    Default The Houseless & the Homeless

    I can assure you that despite the title, this thread is not about a new daytime soap opera.

    This is a subject a friend and I were discussing quite recently and it seems that we had slightly differing views on all the points that were brought up during the conversation. I was actually pleasantly surprised at how this issue actually sparked a good discussion, despite it not affecting our lives at all, so I thought I'd bring it onto the forum.

    First and foremost an explanation of the thread title. Back in school in my religion class (Yes, I'm a private catholic schoolboy. Don't ask.) we did a unit of work on this topic. I found it interesting how my teacher defined a clear difference between being "houseless" and being "homeless". She said the former was merely someone who was without a shelter, a place to stay, yet had everything else that could constitute a "home", thus separating them from truly homeless people. That further sparked the question of what turns a house into a home, and what is the dividing factor between the houseless and the homeless.

    The best answer I've ever received is that your family, friends and those whom you share your life with on a personal level are what make a place "home". As long as you have loved ones who'll welcome and accept you no matter what, you'll always have a home. You may one day be houseless, but that certainly doesn't make you homeless. You can live in any house/apartment, but that is just your residence - what really makes it your home is when you come back from a long day to someone who genuinely cares about how your day went. Much in the same way, those who are displaced by natural disasters, war or governmental tyranny may indefinitely lose their house, but they don't lose their home.

    ---

    You have to really wonder how people get to the stage where they are completely homeless. How did they lose their friends, their family, everyone in their life that loved them or cared for them? It's quite a disturbing fact that there are some people out there who quite literally have no one else that cares for them. Without that sort of support in their life, it's amazing to think they continue to live on, taking each day as it comes. Perhaps some of them are mentally handicapped, whilst other have just become numb to the whole situation. Maybe it's just me, but if I lost my family and friends, I would seriously bring into question why I was still living. But for these folks who are living in this manner, I can only sit and ponder how they see each day through and the reasons why they press on in life.

    Just like any other person, you won't ever know them personally unless you spend the time with them which is something not many people are willing to do. I know I don't and I don't have much empathy or compassion for them, but I try not to judge as I have no idea as to the reasons why they are in that position in life. When you look at people on the street, what are your initial thoughts of them? I sometimes wonder why they don't get up and do something about their predicament, but I usually retract any thoughts like that as I realise that I shouldn't judge them since I don't know them at all. I don't know their history or why they are in that position, for all I know it could be a very legitimate reason.

    In saying that, another friend of mine propositioned me with a hypothetical scenario. Let's say I were dropped into a country where I didn't speak the language, didn't know anyone, only had the clothes on my back, no passport or ID, couldn't contact anyone back home and only had just enough money to last me a week at most. If my friend left me there and came back a year later, what would he find? The point of this question was to place me in a similar position to a homeless person. I must admit, it was actually quite a difficult hypothetical to answer as I had to evaluate my own self and determine just how I would react to such a situation. But it also showed me that it may not necessarily be my fault that I'm in that position, much in the same way a homeless person is not at fault for their predicament.

    ---

    Beggars I am tolerable of, provided they aren't in my face about it, but I never give them anything. However, I do recognise them as another human being and if they do ask me for something, I at the very least acknowledge their humanity and politely tell them "No, sorry". I'm just the type of person who if someone says "Hi" to me, no matter my opinion of them, how much I loath them nor how much I am disgusted by them, I will always say "Hello" back. However, the point that was brought up was adding in the "Sorry" part when telling a beggar to go away.

    Should you say "Sorry" to a beggar when you reject their request for some money? My argument is that I'm insincere enough that the "Sorry" is a superfluous comment. Like I mentioned above, I acknowledge a person's humanity, but I reserve no room for them emotionally. However, the counter-point I was presented with is, "Does a person have the right to an apology when asking a complete stranger for something he/she didn't earn?"

    Following on the hypothetical scenario I was propositioned with before, that same friend asked me another question. If you gave a homeless person a large sum of money, what do you believe they would do with it. I felt they would blow it all on useless material wealth and not to get themselves established in life again. Why? Because I don't believe people should just be handed things like that on a silver platter. It's too much of a temptation and by accepting something like that you don't learn anything and eventually you'll find yourself back where you started.

    That point alone really ties back into what my friend was saying about not giving money to homeless people because they haven't earned it. They don't learn anything when you just give them stuff. But conversely, how can you prove that they haven't tried to work their way out of their predicament? It's a really thought-provoking issue when you think about it, as there are two completely opposite, but both legitimate sides to the problem.

  2. #2
    Butterfly Mage

    Default

    Most of the homeless I run into in the course of my job fall into two categories: mentally ill and junkies. I have a lot of empathy for those who are mentally ill and have fallen through the cracks. That's one of the phenomenon that really shame our nation. You can thank Ronald Reagan for making policy changes that basically emptied the mental hospitals and dumped people who are unable to care for themselves right onto the street.

    Now the junkies... I have zero compassion for. My experience is that once someone starts shooting heroin they will never, EVER stop. They will lie, cheat, steal, rob, and kill for their heroin. The drug treatment programs are a joke. The junkies that enroll only get cleaned up enough to lower their resistance so they can immediately go out and get stoned (using less heroin because their resistance is now reduced). These folk I can spot a mile away. They are missing most of their teeth, they look like ragged scarecrows. Their eyes are sunk into their skulls and their skin is pulled nearly as tight as rigor mortis. They'll beg just long enough to get money for their heroin and their cigarettes. It beats me when they ever eat, since by sundown you see these folk sleeping on the streets looking like dead birds. Disgusting.

  3. #3

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Lukie View Post
    Let's say I were dropped into a country where I didn't speak the language, didn't know anyone, only had the clothes on my back, no passport or ID, couldn't contact anyone back home and only had just enough money to last me a week at most.
    almost like being born, isn't it?
    i liked much of your ponderings, probably because i fear that i will end up as one of those 'dregs' of society when my mum dies.

  4. #4

    Default

    Here i am trying to become Homeless & Homeless.

    My plan is to buy a motor home and roam where ever i please.

    That is homeless and the government discriminates against people who have no fixed address. by calling them homeless or transients.

    I am disabled and see no reason to pay astronomical rents to live in a fixed "home" when i can travel and live rent free.

    I will take a small motor home and add solar panels and a two twin blade folding Windspire type wind turbines for power.

    I was a vol firefighter/EMT in a small town in the sierras of Calif for years and am welcome to park there in the summer and i can live in the desert outside quartzsite AZ or Slab City CA in the winter.

    The only problem i have found is trying to receive mail as a traveler.
    the government tries to force you to stay in one place by making it imposable to get important bills like vehicle renewals when you are a traveler.
    they also require you to have a fixed address for your drivers licence.

  5. #5

    Default

    I might get some bad responses for this, but it is how I truely feel so I'm going to try and voice this as respectfully as I can. I do feel for the people that don't have anywhere to live, but not that bad. You can get a job if you want over here, even if it is working at McDonalds. You have to start somewhere. And if they are living on the streets A: they either made a really, really bad choice in life or most likely they have a bad drug additction. Both of which are there faults.

    There are also many shelters out there that will help these people and will work with them to get a job lined up. There is no reason that anyone should be homeless.

    ~Johnathon~

  6. #6

    Default

    I was homeless once. For about three months. It was kind of interesting.

    Your basic family drama scenario - I was living with my brother and my mom had told him if I had any issues making rent she'd cover me - she just wanted me to have more experience in "the real world."

    So lo and behold I lose my decent job and take a low-end job working in food service, not unlike what someone else said. The problem was, with my bills I was not making enough to pay rent. My brother called my mom to collect and she essentially told him to kick me out so that I'd come back home.
    My brother tried to resolve the situation, but we ended up fighting (we ARE brothers, after all) and he kicked me out anyway. Haha.

    So I had a choice of going home to live with my mom who'd orchestrated my departure from the apartment or living on the streets. I chose the streets.

    It was all fun and games at first and honestly not as bad as I thought it would be to live out of my car. I had a few friends who, even though they couldn't board me, provided me with showers.
    I picked up a better job, but the winter was fast approaching and it was about that time that I reunited with a friend from high school and we ended up being room mates for a good while. Eventually, she lost her lease and by that point my mom was being cool again, so that story resolved itself neatly.

    Anyway, I'm just saying, homelessness can happen to anyone. Especially in today's economy. Being homeless doesn't mean you are a heroin junkie or mentally insane or even mentally lacking. Sometimes bad luck is just bad luck and you have to pick your feet off the ground and get to walking.


    And, since my rambling story didn't really have a plot, I'll end with this quaint "dumb blonde" styled joke my dad once told me.

    There was this woman who was down on her luck, so she prayed to God. She prayed, "Dear God, I'm really down on my luck - If I don't win the lottery I'll lose my house and have to live in my car with my two children which would mean I'd also lose my job, and then I wouldn't even have a car."
    The next week, she prayed to God again, she said, "Dear God, please let me win the lottery. I lost my house and I'm living in my car with my two children and if things don't change soon I'll lose my job soon and won't be able to feed anyone."
    The next week, she prayed in tears. "Dear God, I really have to win the lottery now, oh please! I've lost my house and I've lost my job and I'm living in my car which I'm about to lose and I won't have any money to feed my two children. Just, please let me win the lottery!"
    Suddenly, a voice came booming down from the heavens. God said, "Look lady, I'm doing everything I can, so BUY A FREAKING TICKET!"

  7. #7

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Johnathon View Post
    I might get some bad responses for this, but it is how I truely feel so I'm going to try and voice this as respectfully as I can. I do feel for the people that don't have anywhere to live, but not that bad. You can get a job if you want over here, even if it is working at McDonalds. You have to start somewhere. And if they are living on the streets A: they either made a really, really bad choice in life or most likely they have a bad drug additction. Both of which are there faults.

    There are also many shelters out there that will help these people and will work with them to get a job lined up. There is no reason that anyone should be homeless.

    ~Johnathon~
    Johnathon, I agree with you %100!

  8. #8

    Default

    I'm a bit behind the times because I'm not able to get on much at the moment but I thought this was an interesting topic so you shall have to forgive me being a week late.


    Quote Originally Posted by Johnathon View Post
    I do feel for the people that don't have anywhere to live, but not that bad. You can get a job if you want over here, even if it is working at McDonalds. You have to start somewhere. And if they are living on the streets A: they either made a really, really bad choice in life or most likely they have a bad drug additction. Both of which are there faults
    In an economic climate where skilled and educated workers are loosing their jobs, unemployment is rising and more and more people are trying for the same, limited opportunities that are available I wouldn't say it's as simple as anyone who wants a job being able to get one. You try turning up to a prospective employer without a fixed address, with little or nothing on your CV if you even have one and lacking the facilities, amenities or money to present yourself smartly and see how you get on. Even if it is only McDonald's I don't think you would have much luck. It is extremely difficult for people who have been homeless for some time to get a foot back in the door.

    Personally I would question how salient an individual's responsibility for their situation really is; they may very well have only themselves to blame for slipping through the cracks and messing their life up but that doesn't mean a civilised society should turn their back or be unsympathetic if they ask for help in trying to get out of their mess. It is in everyone's interest that they do, after all and people being shut out of organsied life, the economy and civil society helps no one. Very significant proportions of homeless people have got a history of mental illness, abuse or other personal turmoil as well as addiction and illness and many of these are certainly deserving of sympathy and support in my mind, others still are guilty only of not being able to find work rather than deliberate sloth or irresponsibility and I would also feel for them, but even if they have been simply lazy, reckless or foolish in the past I would still be receptive to someone who wanted to turn things around.

    In terms of my personal mantra, I don't give cash to beggars because the unfortunate likelihood is that it will often go to dink or drugs but I will give food and I buy the Big Issue regularly. I'm generally supportive of anything that supports the attempts of the homeless to help themselves - projects like Emmaus communities and such. These things sidestep the dilemma of giving people money that has not been earned by engaging the homeless and helping them to become productive and proactive and that's a cause that I have every sympathy with.

  9. #9

    Default

    There are many homeless people in Canada that have good jobs making over $100,000/year. In the oil boom towns, housing is so expensive and rare many very rich workers have no choice but to live out of a car, even if it is a Mercedes S class. Just saying, not is all as it seems.

    Also, a great many people who are genuinely homeless have mental illnesses, and for them it's the health care system that's failed.

  10. #10

    Default

    I asked my Religion teacher about this a while back, when I first saw the title. I asked if there was a difference in the bible about homeless and houseless. He basically said that humans are entitled to basic needs which include shelter (house) but they are also entitled to community, which would kiinda be like a home. Some place you were welcome and accepted. So I asked what about a bitter man who was houseless because he didn't want anything to do with anyone, and made his family resent him? Well then - it's kinda like the prusuit of happiness. You're entitled to the right, that doesn't mean you will have it.

    As for homeless people - I do have compassion for them. I don't know their situation, and I hate to group them, even though sometimes I can't help but think what lazy jerks they are. Johnathan mentioned that it's as easy as getting a job, but it's not. To get a job you need a home, to have a home you need money, so you could get welfare, to pay rent, but to get welfare, you need a place to send the check. It's a circle that's hard to get in, but too easy to get out.

    There are also those, like IDude mentioned, that have a job, but still can't have the basics. The cost of living is high. There was recently an article in the paper about a fmaily. It was 2 children, a mom and a dad. The mom isn't at work becuase the money she was making would only pay for daycare, so she stays home to take care of her children, which just leaves the father working. Well with what he makes he can barely afford to support them. They are living in a run-down house, they have one car, and they can't even afford shoes for the eldest son. They can also barely afford food. So the mother went to the food bank and got turned down, why? Because the family makes too much. There is a grey area, they make too much to get assistance, but make too little to make ends meet.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
ADISC.org - the Adult Baby / Diaper Lover / Incontinence Support Community.
ADISC.org is designed to be viewed in Firefox, with a resolution of at least 1280 x 1024.