It’s No Fun Being Homeless And Green!

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Last night the shared meals for the homeless and those in need in Bucks County, PA was packed. There were more than 100 guests. The homeless/needy population in Bucks is growing. Bucks County has a solution to the problem: A Soylent Green plant, where the homeless are churned into green wafers, may open soon at the spot behind the Levittown Library where Stand Down, the three-day program to help homeless and needy veterans, held on unused land was held.  

When Stand Down was banned on public land in Bucks County, authorities were tight lipped about this ban on veterans. I uncovered the Green initiative after grilling The Minister of Silly Walks in Bucks County, R.I. Diculous. 

The plan:  Create a Soylent Green Plant/Homeless Funhouse at the site of the annual Stand Down. This is why Stand Down will no longer be held at the site; there’s a bigger and better plan to usher Bucks County into a Brave New World.  http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/soylent-green-1973 

The Soylent Green Plant/Homeless Funhouse: At the old Stand Down site, homeless people will be lured into the funhouse, where they will be carried along conveyor belts, past a diorama of pristine forests, a homeless paradise, then through the rotating knives, where the homeless will be churned into green Soylent Green wafers. Just before they get to the rotating knives, a giant neon sign will flash “THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO KEEP BUCKS COUNTY GREEN.” 

Disclaimer: The Soylent Green Plant disguised as a Homeless Funhouse is a made up story, in the tradition of Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal, a satire to criticize the heartless, utilitarian attitude towards the poor. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Modest_Proposal 

People should not be made into Soylent Green. We should be just a shocked at the attitude towards the homeless in places like Bucks County as was Detective Thorn (Charlton Heston) in Soylent Green: “SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!” In the Levittown public library, which I criticized for harassing the homeless, the homeless who come there have been treated more fairly.  

In There Are Homeless in Bucks County; A Journey With the Homeless I explore the problem, based on first-hand knowledge of the local homeless. I critique both the establishment’s and the homelessness part in the problem and explore options. Available: https://www.amazon.com/There-Are-Homeless-Buck-County/dp/172865209X/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=there%20are%20homeless%20in%20bucks%20county&qid=1555953133&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull&fbclid=IwAR0Lio69gDSNACg9uQPyv4SRwV2vu6fhARMz5-pzwMs_LEJe6GXwcSwwWTA 

We All Have Baggage

There Are Homeless in Bucks County; A Journey with The Homeless, a self-evident title and an exploration of the homeless, which focuses on Bucks County, PA, has made its journey from publication to the local authors section of the Bristol Branch of the Bucks County Free Library system (Grundy). There are two copies, placed alongside one another at Grundy. I found them there on Saturday.  

People who are homeless have been visiting Grundy. The book is about them and reflects the realism about society as does John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.  

The interlibrary electronic catalogue in Bucks shows that there are two copies available, in display, in Bristol.  

There Are Homeless in Bucks County puts the reader in the shoes of the homeless – you walk along with them, as me as your guide, on the journey. You see how they live and experience the good and the bad as you walk with them.  The book looks soberly at the individual homeless and at the establishment, telling it like it is. 

About five years ago I started hanging out with the homeless, including going to the shared meals for the homeless and those in need. Early on I found they are really no different than me. 

“We all have baggage”, a formerly homeless guy told me a few years back. I know I do. I’m struggling to show a good, Godly, constructive, gracious anger towards wrongdoers. I’m almost finished reading David Powlison’s book Good & Angry, to learn how to attack the problem constructively. Reading is one thing, but doing is another.  

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
James 1:22-24 

Accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior is just that. Christ not only saves you, but continues to work in you throughout your life in a process called progressive sanctification.  My girlfriend, who was sitting next to me at the shared meal, where I lambasted Birdman for stealing something from someone who was sitting next to me, said I took my confrontation too far. I was right to say something about Birdman’s predatorial, intrusive behavior, which creates a negative atmosphere at the meal, but got carried away. I need to have God work on me in that matter. 

My girlfriend, a Christian, was like my Sandi in the book, who would call me out, gently admonish me when I was wrong. This is one reason we may have a future together. 

There Are Homeless in Bucks County is available online:  https://www.amazon.com/There-Are-Homeless-Buck-County/dp/172865209X/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=there+are+homeless+in+bucks+county&qid=1555953133&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull 

I just saw a mental health hustler doing some business with some new people who have been attending the shared meals. I talk about the hustlers in the book.

Everybody Get Together

“Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee” — John Donne 

The bell tolls in lower Bucks County, PA for a homeless man who recently passed after being hit by two cars on New Falls road in Levittown, PA. The homeless community has been mourning since, and have made a point to get together more often with one another. 

One of the places the homeless in Bucks County meet is at the shared meals for the homeless and those in need, where they can nourish the body and get together to edify one another.  

Except for a few problem people, who by the way are not homeless, the meals have been a peaceful place for friends to gather.  Reflecting on the man’s passing, I think of how we, especially those of us who are in a similar situation, should value the people around us, and not bicker over things but treasure each other’s company. And we should not allow the problem people to disrupt our peace.  

Shakespeare writes of making the most of our time here on earth, treasuring what we have, as we are just sojourners: 

That time of year thou mayst in me behold (Sonnet 73) 

William Shakespeare, 1564 – 1616  

“That time of year thou mayst in me behold  

When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang  

Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,  

Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.

In me thou see’st the twilight of such day 

As after sunset fadeth in the west;  

Which by and by black night doth take away,  

Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.  

In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire,  

That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,  

As the deathbed whereon it must expire,  

Consumed with that which it was nourished by.  

  This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,  

   To love that well which thou must leave ere long.” 

Competent To Counsel?

A letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs I just got reminded me that psychobabble is alive and well today in our secular society. I was let in on a research program I may qualify for: “The role of Effort Discounting in the Link Between Insomnia and Depression.”  What?  “The study is looking for people who are currently experience low mood and or sleep problems”, the letter reads.  I thought that when you are depressed you sleep a lot.  The explanation: 
    • We are looking at how sleep and mood impact the ways in which we pursue rewards in our lives 
    • Participants experiencing significant sleep problems may receive 6 weeks of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, a well-established treatment for sleep disturbance. Cognitive behavioral therapy seems to be the crème De La crème for secular psychology. With this therapy, the client starts with an idea, implements it, evaluates the behavioral outcomes, then if needed, makes a new plan, Stan. As one of Sir Arthur’s men says in Monty Python and The Holy Grail, “it’s only a model!” https://youtu.be/dduI-F_ZnQs 
  • Participants will be asked to wear a device on your wrist that tracks your sleep for 7 nights, answer some questions about mood, sleep, and motivation, and participate in some computer games.  
Sounds like another government boondoggle!  When I was on a downward spiral, about to lose my house in Levittown, PA, the local Salvation Army palmed me off to Penndel Mental Health Center, where I was given legal dope and fed psychobabble. A therapist employed cognitive behavioral therapy. I was on my own, with no direction home. It didn’t help. The Bible based 12 Steps Program did help, and did other such counsel and reading.   I discuss this in my book “There Are Homeless in Bucks County; A Journey with The Homeless”, available on Amazon.com:  https://www.amazon.com/There-Are-Homeless-Buck-County/dp/172865209X/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=there+are+homeless+in+bucks+county&qid=1555953133&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull  I also argue that Biblical counsel helps people struggling with the voluntary slavery of drug addiction in the book I am finishing up.  “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…”  -2 Timothy 3:16 

Feed The Birds!

As the number of homeless and needy who visit the shared meals continues to grow, it’s a challenge sometimes to feed everyone who attends the meals.  Weekday evening meals run from 6 until 7 p.m.  We who attend the meals appreciate them. At a recent meal, however, a couple who came in at 6:15 were told they got the last of the food. 

Before 6:15, someone had already requested seconds. And the host catered to the request from someone who did not have the courtesy to wait for stragglers. Not everyone can make the meal right at 6 p.m., often for legitimate reasons.  For this reason, I suggest that the hosts hold off serving seconds until about 6:30 so that everyone can be fed, and not give in to itchy pants gluttons. 

Not all of the guests need seconds. In fact, the one who made the request is quite rotund, which is a polite word for fat. 

By indulging the homeless in meals that have, to some, become a Roman banquet, the meals provide more than subsistence. Gorging yourself does not give you much motivation to leave the nest.  

Parks in Bucks County have posted rules not to feed the waterfowl, a tradition almost as dumb as smoking. Migrating waterfowl, instead of continuing on their journey south, may stop in route where they can get welfare. Here they grow so fat that they can’t fly south! They have trouble even getting off the ground!  

http://wildlifecenter.org/sites/default/files/Consequences-of-feeding-wild-ducks-in-public-parks.pdf 

For the past several months, the meals have become peaceful, a place where friends can get together to edify one another. Recently, I had a conversation triggered by a question another guest had about the Bible. 

Aside from a few brief altercations, there was a character known as Lying Larry who caused trouble at the meals, yelling at people, usually those who cannot defend themselves, and actually attacking someone, for which he was banned from the shared meal permanently. 

Last night, Lying Larry made a cameo appearance, after having given us a break for some time. He did not, however, cause any trouble last night. My girlfriend, who was sitting next to me, advised me it would be best if I did not turn around. I didn’t but I was curious. I was right about the reason, as my nemesis walked past my table. Without incident, fortunately.  

Romans 12:18  “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” 

Awhile back Lying Larry gave his seal of approval to “Caveman Club.”   

Here’s the sales pitch:   

Are women you are trying to pick up at homeless meals getting too difficult to catch? Did another guy take your gal you used to take there? Is the gang of girls you are trying to collect, like Charles Manson, nothing more than a dream? 

Well, do as Lying Larry does. He uses Caveman Club to catch his prey.   

As Lying Larry says, women don’t have any sense in choosing the guy they want to hang with. Women are incapable of making decisions on their own. They need guidance and persuasion.   

Caveman Club also serves to keep the competition away; to keep the gals from making the wrong choice.  

Caveman Club.  Don’t go to a homeless meal without one!  

Caveman Club, by Sancho Panza.  Caveman Club has the Lying Larry Seal of Approval. 

Getting To Know You

As of this morning, “There Are Homeless in Bucks County; A Journey with the Homeless” is in the display area in the Grundy Library, Bristol, PA in the Bucks County Free Library system. 

The Bucks library system lists no publisher for the book, which was written after I hung out with the homeless in lower Bucks County, PA for about three years, getting to know them getting to know all about…   After I started hanging with the homeless, I got the idea to write a book, but did now know how. Nevertheless, I worked on it off and on for a few years, including in the nursing home where my dear departed Sandi spend her last days before going home to the Lord. 

Sandi is a particular in the book for the homeless, just as the Joad family is in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and reflects the realism of Steinbeck.  I teamed up with Sandi almost a year after I started associating with the homeless and shortly before I became homeless. We became homeless together.   

As I was working on my book, the Lord, in His mysterious ways, put me in touch with author, publisher and speaker Vernita (Neat) Simmons.  Neat commented on an article I had written for FaithWriters.com about the homeless. She asked if I was an author. No, I wasn’t then. Neat edited my material, gave me tips and showed me how to do the mechanics of independently publishing a book, including registering it with the Library of Congress. 

This is my first book. I have a draft for my next book, which argues that people can conquer their voluntary slavery of addiction by turning to God and working through Biblical counsel. I expect to publish this book sometime in the future. The role of the church with the homeless is explored in the current book. 

In my last blog, I listed a few reasons for homelessness. One reason I did not mention is all the costly and time-consuming red tape you have to go through to find a place in areas such as Bucks County. It’s harder to get into an apartment today in Bucks than it was to buy a home in 50s Levittown. 

There Are Homeless in Bucks County; A Journey with the Homeless is available on Amazon.com:  

https://www.amazon.com/There-Are-Homeless-Buck-County/dp/172865209X/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=there+are+homeless+in+bucks+county&qid=1555953133&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull 

Gimmee Shelter!

“Bucks County appears to have a decreasing number of homeless residents, according to preliminary numbers released from the January 29 point-in-time count”, reads the headline in the March 4, 2019 edition of Levittownnow.com.     

Interesting, while it’s alleged the homeless population is dropping in Bucks County, requests for housing has increased. According to the same report: “Although the number of homeless people tallied during the point-in-time count dropped, Bucks County officials said the number of people who connected with the housing hotline has grown. In 2018, Bucks County Housing Link completed 5,882 screenings, a 19 percent increase from 2017.”  http://levittownnow.com/2019/03/04/point-in-time-count-shows-drop-in-homeless-population/ 

Why is the homeless population increasing? 

Many reasons.  

  • In Pennsylvania, Governor “Big Bad” Wolf banned new drilling for natural gas on state lands, which hurts the economy and robs the state of royalties for drilling permits for a clean energy source. Also excessive taxes on gasoline, which raises the cost of other products because energy costs increase. 
  • Some of the homeless spend money on cigarettes, booze, drugs, and other addictions, and blow their money on lots of CDs and other items not essential. 
  • Prejudice against the homeless, where it’s hard to get housing. The homeless are not always given a chance. 
  • Wasteful government spending. 
  • The entitlement state/mentality, where people are given handouts rather than hand ups.   
  • The mental health hustling industry, although some hustle programs have been defunded, part of draining the swamp in Bucks County. 

To learn more about the homeless, based on first-hand accounts, read: https://www.amazon.com/There-Are-Homeless-Buck-County/dp/172865209X/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=there%20are%20homeless%20in%20bucks%20county&qid=1555953133&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull&fbclid=IwAR3KMT_b2s7u96qJE0ec3g_WURAyYRrsQci2e8MYwD9OqikmPtt6S5V8FOM 

Getting The Word Out About The Homeless

About five years ago, I started hanging out with the homeless in Bucks County. In November, 2018, I published a book about them. The book illustrates who the homeless really are and explains their challenges. I wanted to, as the 60s expression goes, tell it like it is. 

With the help of the librarian at the Levittown branch of the Bucks County Free Library, I made an online request to get my book in circulation in the library system. Recently, I was told that my request was rejected because there were no reviews, no promotion about it or something, etc. My book is registered in the Library of Congress. It is available on Amazon.com and other places. There are no really “official” promotions, just on Facebook and on a not too well-known listing. I got help publishing the book through an independent publisher Vernita (Neat) Simmons. I don’t have the funds to advertise the book through Amazon.com and other “official” sources.  

Update:  The book “There Are Homeless in Bucks County; A Journey with The Homeless” is available in the Bucks County Free Library System.

Before I made the online request to have my book in the Bucks collection so the homeless and others with limited resources could read the book (what libraries do), I gave a copy to a librarian at the Bristol branch of the Bucks library system (Grundy). I left my name and number. I checked in a couple times to check on the status of my book put into the library and was told someone would call me. One librarian said something about putting books in archives or something. 

I suspect the real reason for my book not being accepted into the Bucks library system is that the Bucks establishment doesn’t want anyone to tell it like it is, but follow the mainstream suburban fantasy mantra. 

This is my first book. I’m just a regular guy, who became homeless myself for a season and who has been associating with the local homeless.  My goal of the book is not only to show who the homeless really are, but to let people realize they don’t have to be stuck in their situation, that through hard work, perseverance, and God’s intervention, you can be delivered and can contribute to society, no matter where your talents lie. 

Who Are The Homeless? 

The homeless are a microcosm of society. They are not a homogeneous group. People in the same circumstances deal with being homeless differently, with some being successful, finding their way out of homelessness.  The book is replete with examples. 

There are different paradigms with organizations and individuals who help the homeless. There is a silent war between institutions that use secular psychology to help the homeless and churches and individual Christians. The book shows the value of the shared meals churches offer the homeless and those in need. There are more than meals. 

By spring, 2015, I became homeless with a homeless woman who soon was diagnosed with stage IV cancer. We teamed upshe joined me on my journey. She is a particular in the story of the homeless in Bucks county. 

Before I became homeless, I partnered with a friend in a quest to create a non-profit organization to find shelter for the homeless. The initiative floundered. Realizing the main problem with creating shelter for the homeless is prejudice against them, my partner set me up on a WordPress site to write blogs about the homeless.  The idea occurred early on to write a book about the homeless, but I needed someone to help me with the mechanics of publishing. Sometime later, a publishing consultant commented on my article on Faithwriters.com on the homeless. She asked me if I was an author. I replied I was not but wanted to publish a book on homelessness. The rest is history. 

There Are Homeless in Bucks County; A Journey With The Homeless is available on Amazon.com. 

https://www.amazon.com/There-Are-Homeless-Buck-County/dp/172865209X/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=there+are+homeless+in+bucks+county&qid=1555953133&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull 

Are The Homeless Movin’ On Up?

As the number of guests who attend the shared meals for the homeless and those in need continues to grow in Bucks County, PA, the food to feed them is stretched. Sometimes, the gracious hosts are unable to offer seconds. 

Actually, this is a good thing, as some of the guests have been overeating and continue to get fatter.  A few years ago, a homeless friend (now no longer homeless) told me he doesn’t want to be made too comfortable in his homeless situation because it will not give him incentive to move forward, out of being homeless (which he did).  This is analogous to people continually leaving bread for birds, who then can’t fly south for the winter. 

Some people who go to the meals have become quite rotund, which is a polite word for “fat.” Some of them are proud of their big bellies.  

By indulging the homeless in meals that have, to some, become a Roman banquet, the meals provide more than subsistence. Gorging yourself does not give you much motivation to leave the nest. 

Parks in Bucks County have posted rules not to feed the waterfowl, a tradition almost as dumb as smoking. Migrating waterfowl, instead of continuing on their journey south, may stop in route where they can get welfare. Here they grow so fat that they can’t fly south! They have trouble even getting off the ground! 

http://wildlifecenter.org/sites/default/files/Consequences-of-feeding-wild-ducks-in-public-parks.pdf 

Like the waterfowl, needy people need to stick to basics, and continue their journey, and not get stuck in a rut, like the characters in John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress. In the story, the characters, who were just supposed to take a nap on their way to the Celestial City, lingered, and had to suffer the consequences. God, of course, guided them along The King’s Highway, home. 

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/pilgrims/summary.html 

We are all homeless, in a sense. For the Christian, heaven is home. We are just sojourners on this earth and we shouldn’t get too caught up in the things of this world. Easter is a reminder that Jesus rose from the grave to overcome death to save us from our sins and to follow his ways in life to advance His kingdom. God restores us to the way he created us. 

Easter is not about the bunny; it’s about the lamb! 

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33 

Who the homeless really are and their challenges is the subject of my recently published book: “There Are Homeless in Bucks County; A Journey With The Homeless”, which focuses on the homeless in lower Bucks County, based on first-hand experience:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/172865209X/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_U_.iX9BbZXM6842?fbclid=IwAR14Y8jAxc462oqzltCCdZGq4BCLQg-HW8VEoAdpkGjog9Q78PqGh6zTTIA