Our late sister, Martha Dayman, a baby boomer, survived homelessness. She was an excellent example of someone being homeless who still maintained her dignity. I don’t remember her lashing out at anyone; she kept the interests of others in the local homeless population in Levittown, PA at heart and helped make sure they were alright.
“She was like a grandmother to me”, said a member of her adopted family in the homeless community, when he learned he wasn’t able to get a ride to her burial. Although donations to the family went to the Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need, AHTN did not provide transportation for any of Martha’s local homeless family to go to the viewing/funeral or to her burial. Some members of “The Memorial Mob”, as many of the friends in her circle were affectionately called, missed paying their respects to their beloved friend.
AHTN doesn’t care about these matters, but only about their own self-aggrandizement. AHTN didn’t even mention Martha’s passing after a bout with cancer on their website or Facebook page, let alone not showing their respects by attending any of the events to honor her. AHTN likes publicity that trumpets how wonderful they are.
All I found on AHTN’s Facebook page shortly after Martha’s passing were links with psychobabble: “The number (of homeless people) will never get down to zero since people have the right to live outdoors, one advocate said” and “Bucks County’s homeless population continues to climb six years after the federal government declared an end to the recession”. Liberal spin
I am considering writing and book about the homeless and donating some of the proceeds to help the homeless. I would not donate a penny to AHTN!
There was, however, a former member of AHTN, who ministered to “the library people” and was always there for Martha. On one occasion, when Martha was in the Levittown library crying about something bad that happened to her, Donna went right over to her to console her. Donna also resolved Martha’s problem.
Donna, who has moved with her family to Arizona, like some other caring people in the community, has ministered to others in the homeless and needy community.
It’s cold outside and the homeless do what they can to survive. When it’s very cold — and Code Blue has been open to shelter the homeless overnight — the homeless at least have a place to stay warm at night. But places to go during the day are limited to the hours they are open. And some public places limit the time the homeless can stay at their establishments.
Staying dry is perhaps a bigger problem than just staying warm. Some homeless people only have sneakers, mainly the new ones. Gracious churches and benevolent organizations such as No More Pain Inc. has helped out with footwear, clothing, and food. After I lost my job and couldn’t find regular work, someone from a local church gave out gift cards at a Christmas party for the homeless. I used the card to get a pair of warm, waterproof boots.
People in the community have pursued using vacant property to house the homeless. I’m a publicist for a nascent organization which has been trying to make this a reality. This idea has been stonewalled by the Bucks County establishment, which only offers lame excuses as to why this can’t happen.
When the homeless get wet, they can’t just go home, remove their wet clothes, shower, and change into something warm. This is something people with homes take for granted.
Martha was an excellent example of the way many homeless people are. Some people in the homeless community continue her tradition of caring for others and bonding together, like the characters in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.
Some people and the government of Bucks County are indifferent to the plight of the homeless. They say that they care about the homeless and want to help them, but talk is cheap.
“If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?…” -James 2: 15,16
Except for some friends, all the homeless have is each other.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”
–Philippians 2:3 New International Version (NIV)
This is the motto the homeless community needs to take to heart. Martha did.