Grace for The Homeless

In previous blogs, I have challenged attitudes in Bucks County, PA regarding the homeless, being hard on some in the Christian community.

Christians are sinners saved by grace. Grace is God’s unmerited favor. That is, grace is God doing good for us that we do not deserve. In response for God showing us grace, Christians are to grow in grace and be more like Christ, and show grace towards others.

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, [so let him give]; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” –2nd Corinthians 9:7″.

Many churches in lower Bucks County have opened their doors to the homeless. They feed the homeless and needy, talk with them and make them feel at home. They treat their guests as friends. One church in particular, Saint Mark AME Zion Church in Newtown, refers to them as “friends without walls.” To make guests at the meals as well as visitors to the church feel welcome, they sing “So glad you’re here, so glad you’re here, so glad you’re here in Jesus name…”

And they mean it.

Saint Mark hosts early Sunday afternoon meals once a month for their friends without walls. Officially, the meals start at 2 p.m., but some friends drift in as early as an hour before serving time. The church is open, and  people in the church are down where the meals are served, setting up. They chat with the early birds as they drift in.

Throughout the history of the church, some congregations have followed the Word of God more than others. An exemplary early church was The Church at Ephesus, which Jesus Himself praised for its patience. Patience is translated as “endurance under trial.”    This church got a lot of flack from the false religions in the city, but they kept the faith.

Other early churches allowed worldly views to pollute them.

Today the world tries to bring the church down to it’s level. Some “churches” just take on a worldly, judgmental view.

The Salvation Army was established with a mission to help the downtrodden, the poor, the homeless, even the seedy people of the street to give them a hand up to restore them through God’s Word. Today in Levittown, PA, however, the local Salvation Army Community Center helps the homeless grudgingly, not exactly a cheerful giver. They put on a show, much like the Pharisee in the parable in Luke 18 who bragged that he was not like the tax collector who also came to the temple but  faithfully followed the letter of the law.

The meals for the homeless at the Salvation Army start at 6 p.m., sharp. They are not welcomed in until then. And when they enter, social services director Queen Latifah prods them about like cattle and warns them about not running around the building and tells them generally to behave, as if they are children or criminals. There have been countless complaints about the queen, but the boss, Captain Caspar Milquetoast, doesn’t lay down the law. He once told me that he was going to keep her in the kitchen, but he didn’t follow through on it.

Particularly prevalent today is the politically correct, which dictates beliefs contrary to God’s Word. Captain Caspar evidently does not want to take a stand against the queen, for fear of the politically correct. He also didn’t take a stand against community relations and development director The Countess of Carlisle after she, in Stalinist style, punished me for disagreeing with her about the way the homeless are treated by thwarting my offer by an official from division headquarters as a writer for the Salvation Army.

On one occasion, a man who had recently become homeless came to the Salvation Army Levittown Corps (and it’s starting to be rotten at the core) for food. It was hot and he was flushed. I offered him a ride to the Levittown public library, where he could get the bus to the community meal and where an advocate may be able to help him, after I finished my volunteer work at the food pantry. As he was waiting in the uncrowded lobby, the Countess sternly told me he couldn’t hang around. After I explained he was waiting for a ride from me, she reluctantly acquiesced.

In criticizing churches I try to be as gracious as possible. Peace is not necessarily the absence of conflict. As Romans 12:18 says “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” But sometimes things must be said and action taken, for example, Jesus driving the money changers out of the church.

As was the case with the early churches, where the apostle Paul encouraged the churches to follow the Word of God, I encourage the churches to show grace towards the homeless, who were made in God’s image. The world, the Bucks County establishment, is cutting the homeless very little slack – they are mostly graceless. Christians must show God’s unconditional love to others.

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” — Matthew 5:16

Money, Homelessness and Behavior

“Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well- warmed, and well-fed.”

–Herman Melville

A report in the Philadelphia Daily News about a recent murder of a woman by her boyfriend at the Lincoln Motel in Trevose, PA, where he flung gasoline on her as she was smoking, became a judgmental piece about class, where money was equated with behavior. “The blaze gutted the building – and was just the latest in years of occurrences that have made notorious a cluster of inns along Route 1 in Bensalem township…”

The reporter said that the inns in the vicinity of the Lincoln Motel have a much higher rate of crime than motels just up the road where Route 1 crosses Street Road which are “higher rate establishments”.  The implication is that people are better behaved because they shell out more money for a motel. This is judgmental, offensive.

This opinion about people with less money reflects an attitude that has infested Bucks County, PA and has become an epidemic. This attitude is apparent in the way the homeless in Bucks County are judged — that because they are not living in a nice suburban house, they are bad people, a menace to society, collectively a persona non grata.

In the mid 1800s, William Booth, a preacher, broke from his church and established the Salvation Army and was on a mission to reach out to the poor, the homeless, the hungry, and the destitute, going against the conventional wisdom at the time. The people he reached out to did not have black iron fences, the equivalent of today’s white picket fences. Mr. Booth evidently saw these people as having the same needs as the upper classes in Victorian society; they are sinners in need of grace and made in the image of God.

Throughout the history of the church, congregations have strayed from Biblical truths and have become polluted with worldly views. This is the case with the Salvation Army Community center in Levittown, PA, run by Captain Caspar Milquetoast. Instead of standing up for the homeless, officials at the center have taken a worldly view about them, thinking just like the rest of Bucks County.

On one occasion, I engaged in a discussion with The Countess of Carlisle, Salvation Army Levittown Community Relations and Development Director about the way the homeless are treated at the Levittown public library. She Augustly stated that people in the community don’t like the homeless there, and that they are dirty, smell, are unkempt, and eat food at the tables. I told her that the homeless there don’t smell, are not dirty and unkempt, and as far as some of them eating snacks at the table, just tell them not to, as you would anyone else. I said they have a right to be there and the rules should be enforced as they would for everybody. I also asked if she visited the library to get firsthand information. She didn’t respond to this but belittled me.

An official from  Salvation Army division headquarters offered me a job writing for the Salvation Army. I had to go through the Countess, who stonewalled me. At one point she snapped “I don’t have time for that.” It had nothing to do with our conversation. If you believe that, you probably believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny!

At that time I had just started hanging out with the local homeless.

Another judgmental elitist, Queen Latifah, Social Services Director at the Levittown Corps, told me I should not continue to hang out with them because they will just use me and are disreputable characters. When I challenged her one-size-fits-all pronouncement, she went ballistic!

When the queen hosts the community meals for the homeless, she treats them like criminals and children.

“Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.”

–Leviticus 19:15

Down But Not Out

Rick Proudfoot was an electrician. Because of the economy, he couldn’t find work and became homeless. He ended up sleeping in city parks; the penalty for which is $300 or 30 days in jail.

But this was only for a season. Somehow he found his way to Dignity Village, an official homeless community in Portland, Oregon. For two years now, he’s been CEO of the self-funded, self managed, and self governed community.

Lisa Larson was on the street for two years, camping on sidewalks and sleeping in abandoned buildings. While serving time in jail with her husband for chronically violating the ban against homeless camping in Milwaukie, Oregon, another homeless person told her about Dignity Village. Today she’s the village’s chief executive officer and the official spokesperson for Dignity Village.

Unlike Curly of The Three Stooges, you don’t have to be a victim of circumstances. You can get out of that place, if it’s the last thing you ever do and make a better life.

The moral of the story is not to write off people who are down and out. Homeless people have the potential to improve their lot.

People in Bucks County, PA should learn a lesson from these success stories. Here in Bucks, the homeless are often written off a never-do-wells, and the establishment just wants to keep them down. The conventional wisdom is that the average homeless person is a mental case, druggie or drunk. People who frequent the library want them removed without cause. On one occasion a county official said that people were not comfortable visiting the nearby Veterans Memorial when the homeless are there.

There certainly are some mental cases in the group. I’ve gathered that at least two of them who attend the community meals are complete nutcases. And there are a few drunks and druggies. The druggies are generally refugees from the local recovery houses that the feds have pushed on the community in lower Bucks County. There are about 100 of them just in Levittown, PA. The biggest thing the homeless are hooked on is tobacco.

The homeless in Bucks County are fair game for the mental health industry, whose hustlers aggressively canvas the homeless community to sign them up for their services and use taxpayer funds. When I was on a quest for housing, Alan Johnson, now with Bucks County Family Services, said he’d find housing for me if I was willing to write myself off as being so messed up mentally I could not work the rest of my life. He’s made that offer to others.

Alan once told me that he doesn’t subscribe to housing first. He said that people have to get straight before they move into a residence. This presupposes that all homeless people are dysfunctional. I vehemently disagree!

Many of the homeless in lower Bucks County work, some sporadically, some somewhat regularly. One guy, for example, one of the “library people” is a professional homeless person. He quit jobs because he doesn’t want to work but just wants handouts and to play video games in the library all day. Many of the homeless, however, are serious about working. At one of the community meals I overheard a conversation between two homeless guys who have been working sporadically. They agreed that they want to get into a work routine.

Some homeless people have gotten good jobs and are living like everyone else.

If they are willing, homeless people can change their circumstances, given the opportunity. Even those who abuse drugs and alcohol can change. It’s good that churches in the area are reaching out to the homeless and not just helping them with physical needs; they help them with their problems. At one community meal, one of the hosts ministered to a guy with a drug problem, one on one. Sometime after that, I saw him at a temporary treatment center. He realized the seriousness of the problem and told me he is determined to persevere with treatment. I believe he moved on to a longer term treatment center.

Another guy recently returned to the community and got clean. At one of the community meals a host announced that he was going to give his testimony.

Ultimately, it’s God who can deliver people, no matter what the problem, if you let Him.

“The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.”

–Nahum 1:7

What is a Homeless Advocate?

To resolve problems, you need a strategy. And persistence. Dignity Village, a community for the homeless was created by facing the problem and persistently using tools to find a solution for the homeless in Portland, Oregon. Our alleged advocates for the homeless in Bucks County, PA could learn from homeless activists in Portland.

Homeless activist Jack Tafari, who had become homeless himself, led the campaign to create Dignity Village. He became a voice for the homeless.

To deal with confrontations between the homeless and the Portland police, Jack combined Internet communications with traditional public relations techniques. He capitalized on the rule that the police had to give 24 hours notice before sweeping out a homeless camp. Jack wrote press releases about the event and homeless advocates set up a homeless parades and made sure they were well publicized.

As the homeless moved to a new place, handicapped people in wheelchairs led the parade, followed by a cavalcade of shopping carts filled with all the refugees stuff.

Jack started promoting his cause in the local media and, as did Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s movement, his campaign got national media coverage.  One event that got national coverage was the shopping cart parade held on Martin Luther King Day 2001. Two disabled people in wheelchairs led 35 shopping carts. The spectacle of armed policemen herding indigent people like cattle caused people to wake up.

As a negotiating tactic, Jack sent a press release that threatened another shopping cart parade. This caught the attention of Portland authorities. Consequently, they extended the stay at the homeless camp under the Fremont Bridge site. After further negotiations, Portland arranged for the homeless to set up at the Sunderland Recycling Yard.

Jack advanced his “Out of the Doorways” campaign as a staff writer and submissions editor for the Portland newspaper Street Roots.

The campaign was successful. Dignity Village was incorporated in Portland as a membership based non- profit organization and set up as a self governing entity where residents must sign a membership agreement as to rules of behavior.

In Bucks County, PA, the closest we got to a media event like the Portland shopping cart parades was a chance meeting between the homeless, along with advocate Morris Derry, President of No More Pain, the Bucks County Information Officer, and the Delaware Valley Vietnam Veterans at the Veterans Memorial in Levittown, PA. The Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need’s (AHTN) silence on the issue was deafening. They didn’t want to get involved in legal issues, they said.

Some time ago I approached AHTN to ask them to work we me and another friend of the homeless to create more much needed shelter. AHTN’s president told me that doing this was not possible because 24/7 security was needed.

Also at the memorial was a P.T. Barnum like public relations official from the county. As reported in LevittownNow.com, “County Public Information Director Chris Edwards said rangers were not actively removing homeless residents but would be working to reduce the population at the county center, including the Vietnam War Memorial by the Levittown Library.”  What?

Reducing the homeless population, to pierce the veil, is just a start. Bucks County considers the homeless an eyesore and its goal is to get rid of all of them, as if they were lepers.

Edwards also said that the county would continue to work with the homeless population at the property going forward. Really? Bucks County has a poor track record of helping the homeless. During the eviction in the woods of Queen Anne Park the rangers left pamphlets with phone numbers for housing assistance. The county also put up a sign for housing help by the memorial before the homeless were evicted.

I called the phone number on the signs and there is no more room in the shelter,”  explained Morris. He also stated “I understand what their (the county) concerns are, but I really don’t think their dealing with it the right way.” Well said! People need to hear the truth.

Another homeless advocate pointed out that the homeless have been taking care of the grounds at the memorial.

A veteran who was at the pow-wow at the memorial suggested finding a building for those without permanent homes. That’s a noble idea, but implementing it is another thing. If the vets get involved, they will be hamstrung by a callous county that has been playing games, stonewalling efforts to find suitable shelter for the homeless, the same way that President LBJ hamstrung the military in Vietnam,  stifling the efforts of the brave fighting soldiers.

Homelessness is a problem that won’t go away on its own. Bucks County reminds me of a family cat who thought she was hiding from our dog when they played chase by hiding under the bed with his rear end sticking out.

I’m that little boy who, when the emperor appeared before his subjects naked, told him he needed to put some clothes on. Likewise, I will expose the establishment in Buck County, not just the government but other Pharisees who say they stand for truth and justice  to show people who they really are!

We shall overcome!

Run For The Shadows

“We came out of the doorways of Portland’s streets, out from under the bridges, from under the bushes of public parks, we came openly with nothing and no longer a need to hide as Portland’s inhumane and Draconian camping ban had just been overturned on two constitutional grounds. We came armed with a vision of a better future for ourselves and for all of Portland, a vision of a green, sustainable urban village where we can live in peace and improve not only the condition of our own lives but the quality of life in Portland in general. We came in from the cold of a December day and we refuse to go back to the way things were.”

–Statement on the Dignity Village website

This is the story of Dignity Village in Portland, Oregon — how advocates and the homeless people got together and created a safe, healthy community where people without walls can find a place to live.

It all started when the homeless, aided by activists, tired of living in the shadows (not exactly David Bowie’s Golden Years), protested against the public camping ban. As is the case in Bucks County, PA, homeless people were chased from camps and had to move from place to place.  Whenever they were kicked out, they packed up their stuff in their shopping carts and pushed the carts in a parade to the next location. High profile standoffs with officials ensued.

Advocates got involved legally and used the media to champion the homeless cause in Portland to help the homeless.

Dignity Camp registered as a non profit in December, 2001. After being removed from a site under a bridge, Dignity camp spread up into three groups and moved to three different locations, two of them outside the city. The camp within the city limits was swept. One of the camps that moved outside the city survived. Initially the residents thought it was too far from various services, but they worked things out and after surviving temporary status for three years, it was sanctioned as an official tiny house village in 2004 by the Portland City Council.

Dignity Village became legit after the city council designated a portion of Sunderland Yard as a designated campground.

Amenities at Dignity Village include:

  • Showers
  • Sanitary facilities
  • Private and communal food and flower gardens
  • Communal cooking and refrigeration facilities
  • Emergency transportation
  • Access to education
  • Access to counseling
  • Access to television (limited)
  • Distribution of donated food, personal items and construction material
  • Internet access
  • Weekly community meetings
  • On-site veterinary and medical care on a scheduled basis by volunteer doctors and nurses
  • Access to prescription medication assistance
  • Rudimentary first aid
  • Access to telephone

To prevent Dignity Village from becoming a Lord of the flies like the alleged emergency shelter in Levittown, PA, the village requires residents to sign a membership agreement with rules of behavior:

  1. No violence toward yourself or others.No illegal substances or alcohol or paraphernalia on the premises or within a one-block radius.
  2. No stealing.
  3. Everyone contributes to the upkeep and welfare of the village and works to become a productive member of the community.
  4. No disruptive behavior of any kind that disturbs the general peace and welfare of the village.

The homeless in Bucks County, PA are still living in the shadows, and continually have to run from them. When the homeless in lower Bucks County were in a jam, unlike the advocates in Portland who got the public camping ban lifted on legal grounds, the Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) whined that they cannot get involved in legal issues.

We need more people who will buck the system in Bucks County and persuade the public and advocate for the homeless in any way they can, including legally so the homeless in lower Bucks County don’t have to run from the shadows and give them more golden years.

Gold whop whop whop…

 

At Ease It’s Not a Disease!

Common parlance talks about drug and alcohol abuse as a disease, and labels these problems as “addictions” and “alcoholism”. This relatively modern lingo has entered our vocabulary in the 1930s, with the infestation of psychobabble.

Drug addiction has become an epidemic in our country, especially in Bucks County, PA. Drug counseling advocates have been calling for increasing places for treating this problem. The problem with calling it a disease is that it absolves the doper of  responsibility for his behavior. It’s to say it’s not his fault.

“Alcoholism” and “addictions” are simply sin. Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.” — I Corinthians 15:34.  “The primary problem is moral and spiritual, not medical, and cannot be addressed without that perspective,” wrote Franklin E. Payne, Jr., M.D. ,Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia, in Augusta, Georgia.

The first step in the local 12 Steps Journey I participate in calls for people with drug, alcohol and other problems to own up to them:

“Step One- We admitted we were powerless over the effects of our separation from GOD-that our lives had become unmanageable.

I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. (Rom. 7:18)”

When we realize we have to admit our character flaws and seek God’s help, we are on the path to recovery.

Modern psychology doesn’t understand the real cause of behavioral problems and doesn’t know the right way to treat them. Dr. Payne explains “I have yet to see any patient’s chart with the diagnosis of ‘depression’ with reference to criteria that would fit any formal definition, such as the DSM-III-R. Yet, millions of patients carry this label and receive potent medications based upon this slipshod approach. Both the label and the medications have great potential for harm, as well as good. Further, such imprecision applies to virtually every area of medicine, not just psychiatric diagnoses. (A discussion of this ‘mal-practice,’ however, would require another paper in itself.)” 

All the King’s horses and all the King’s men, can’t put broken people back together again.

God can.

Defining drunkenness, drug abuse and other problems as a disease holds back recovery. If you have a true disease, such a sinusitis, you can take antibiotics. You can’t cure negative behaviors with dope.

The lyrics “Everything you think, do and say
Is in the pill you took today” in the 60’s song In the Year 2525 is not where it’s at, man!

Nor is Penndel Mental Health Center, which I’ve surmised apes the culture indicted in the song. Don’t go there or else you’ll wind up with PMS (Penndel Mentalhealth Syndrome).

Jesus is the great healer. There is hope when you confess your sins and seek His counsel.

Christian Socialism?

There is a school of thought that socialism could work if it were driven by Christian principles. I disagree.

Christian socialism started becoming a major movement in England in the 1960s. The movement ties capitalism with idolatry and greed. Many years ago, a pastor told me that Karl Marx, author of the Communist Manifesto, believed that capitalism was the source of greed. He said that Marx was wrong; sinful human nature is what causes greed.

The terms “Christian” and “Socialism” are mutually exclusive. The legal term “Expressio Unius Est Exclusio Alterius” (the expression of one thing is the exclusion of the other) applies here.

God tells Christians to feed the poor (and clothe and shelter them). But this isn’t best done through socialism, even when society has a Christian consensus. Taxing citizens, the government controlling the means of production and redistributing wealth – the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan, doesn’t create as many goods and services as does free market capitalism.

Bill Gates, not a government program, was able to lower the price of computers, improve them, and make them so user friendly that someone as technically retarded as I can use them.

A problem with central planning (socialism) is that this system is out of touch with consumer needs. A corollary problem is that, as the government controls the means of production under socialism, it can control what you believe – it’s inimical to religious freedom. It could also hold up, or even stop, material it doesn’t like, under the influence of special interests, such as Christian movies.

I’m reading John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, an allegory of the soul, the Christian walk. Mr. Bunyan was thrown in jail because he was a non conformist – he didn’t fall in lock step with the official government church of England. Not allowing religious freedom is why, to use an Archie Bunker quip, we kicked England out of this country.

With more wealth to go around, there is more for the poor. There is a greater harvest, and as was the case in Leviticus, there was sufficient grain on the margins of the fields for the poor. “And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.”  — Leviticus 23:22

Today in Bucks County, PA, churches and individuals have been feeding and clothing the poor. Caring Christians not only feed and clothe the homeless, but they minister them, addressing their spiritual/emotional needs.

Shortly after BO was elected, Pastor Rick Warren said that private funds for the needy has dwindled because of all the taxes. After the government extorts citizens’ money, they don’t have as great a harvest to share. Sure, you might say, under a Christian consensus politicians won’t squander tax money like the Skinny Socialist did with Solyndra.

But, as John Calvin believed, because of the total depravity of man, government and churches shouldn’t put their power centrally.  That is,  you shouldn’t put all your eggheads in one basket. Our government’s separation of powers is based on the Presbyterian model of forming presbyteries, where if a church is straying from God’s Word, an independent presbytery can call the wayward church out.

Likewise, Martin Luther started a practice where anybody, from any walk of life, can challenge the clergy by pointing to scripture. The pastor at the church I attend encourages churchgoers to study the Bible and be accountable.   By the way, a Lutheran is just an unfinished Presbyterian.

Free market capitalism allows for free choice. School choice is so called because it lets parents, rather than school districts, choose what’s best for your children. It’s your money. Under school choice, the money that’s put into the pot lets you use your taxes as you best see fit.

The economic free market and the free market of ideas, for example, that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”, gives us the freedom to engage in the unfettered exchange of ideas in the search for the truth.

To bad a John Bunyan didn’t have those rights. Instead, a judge, whom he fictionalized in Pilgrims Progress as Judge Hategood, and his kangaroo court abridged this godly man’s rights.

Giving socialism a Christian name and endorsement does not change the outcome of a system that has historically brought misery on society. Woodrow Wilson, for example, a progressive (progressing to complete socialism) whose father was a pastor, was a dictator who threw anybody In jail who protested against WWI. He was as bad for society as was progressive President LBJ.

In the 70’s, evangelist Francis Schaeffer said that freedom in this country has been abused. To keep order in society, Dr. Schaeffer said, one of two things will have to happen. Either we will have to have a police state to control people from the outside, or we will have to have a Reformed Christian consensus to govern people from the inside.

I prefer the latter. It’s not big government that makes a society great; it’s personal responsibility and achievement.

The Damage Undone

“I’ve seen the needle
and the damage done
A little part of it in everyone
But every junkie’s
like a settin’ sun.”

–lyrics from Neil Young’s The Needle and the Damage Done

Neil wrote this song about two close friends who had heroin addictions. They died after the song was recorded. The sun went down on his friends. Heroin addiction, like other addictions, left unchecked, is a death sentence.

This ballad is a warning for those who engage in destructive behavior such as using heroin. There is a little part of destructive behavior in everyone.

A drug addict once told me that he wished he hadn’t engaged in the behavior that put him in the sorry state he was in.  Although life is not a video game, where you can erase everything you’ve done and start over, you can, with God’s help, start fresh.

The book of Lamentations records the story of Jerusalem ravaged by war. The Israelites were run out of  town and were oppressed after having turned away from God. “Those who pursue us are at our heals; we are weary and find no rest.” Sounds like the state of the homeless in Bucks County, PA.

The prophet Jeremiah reluctantly called on God to intervene. “Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may return; renew our days as of old. Unless you have utterly rejected us and are angry with us beyond measure,” he lamented. But despite the Israelites messing up, God answered prayer and returned the exiles to Jerusalem.

No matter how much we mess up, if we come to God and trust in Him he will have mercy on us and will restore our ruined lives. After turning away from God, my life spun out of control and I was in a downward spiral. I suffered greatly, hurting myself and loved ones. The anxiety and depression I had suffered from but kept under control got out of control.

God restored me, pulled me up out of the pit after I returned to God.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, about 18 percent of adults in America suffer from some form of anxiety related disorder. For the Christian, there should be an inverse relationship between such afflictions and their faith. The more you have faith, the less you are afflicted with such ailments. One Christian sister told me that if you pray, you don’t worry. If you worry, then you don’t pray.

“[Thou], which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.”

–Psalms 71:20

All The King’s Horses

I look around and see people destroying themselves with drugs and booze, fighting with one another, trying to get over on one another, stealing from others, especially the weak. I’ve witnessed the callous treatment of the homeless in Bucks County PA. To quote Bob Dylan “Because something is happening here but you don’t know what it is

Do you, Mr. Jones?”

The government of Bucks County, PA has been creating imperious rules in order to coral the homeless and fence them out. In the complex in Levittown that houses the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the public library and the municipal building, draconian visiting restrictions were posted because some people were not being discreet about using the area. They were putting up more and more tents and leaving them up during the day, were not disposing of trash property, were drinking and using drugs and doing other things to attract attention.

And as I pointed out in previous blogs, most of the problems in lower Bucks County is a result of the mushroom cloud of recovery houses, from which Frankenstein monsters are unleashed on the public.

Some of the homeless who camped out simply because they had nowhere else to go respected the area and were discreet, yet they were pushed out.

A law was recently passed in Indianapolis, Indiana that prohibits authorities from evicting the homeless from public places until they have an alternative place for the homeless to go. In Bucks County, officials put up a smoke screen – a phone number for housing assistance. Call that number and you’ll find there’s no room in the Inn.

There is a possibility – if you are willing to be Shanghaied by the opportunistic mental health hustlers – the Werewolves of Penndel (howl-ewe, howl-ewe…).

I saw Alan Johnson with a clipboard in his hand

Howl-ewe, howl-ewe

Going to the Veteran’s Memorial being a pain

Howl-ewe Werewolves of Penndel

Better not be taken in

By his welcome grin

You don’t want to be shanghaied by that sailor

Howl-ewe Werewolves of Penndel

I saw Chris Cramp at a homeless and needy meal

His lair trap was perfect

Howl-ewe

I talked with Alan Johnson at the library

He played let’s make a deal – lie for me

Howl-ewe, howl-ewe…

People keep telling me that Penndel Mental Health Center does not help them. In fact, the legal dope pushers make people worse. This has been my experience when I, out of desperation, and after listening to the bad advice from the local Salvation Army, went there for anxiety and depression.

All the King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t put broken people back together again.

Only God can.

What drives the establishment’s policy towards the homeless is the culture – a godless culture, a culture of death, where judgmentalism and other non-Christian values reign and compassion and other Christian values are lacking. The church, Christians need to influence the culture by stepping up and putting their faith into action.

When the culture changes, policy will follow.

The church has been reaching out to the homeless and has been showing compassion. They’ve help with their physical needs and have accepted the homeless unconditionally and have shown they care. The problem in our country is that the government, with it’s welfare and other programs, driven by self interest and worldly motives, has usurped the church’s mission. We need to push the government aside, the way Bucks County is pushing out the homeless, and become that beacon on the hill, shining the light of truth on the world.

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

-2nd Corinthians 5:20

No More Back of The Bus

In Montgomery, Alabama in 1955, it was a crime for a black person not to give up her seat in the back of a bus for a white person. In Bucks County, PA in 2016, it’s a crime for a homeless person who has nowhere to go to sleep on public property.

Both cases are an example of discrimination. Like blacks under Jim Crow, the homeless are treated like second class citizens.

Today’s homeless should learn a lesson on how to best handle hate driven discrimination from Rosa Parks, et al.  Mrs. Parks didn’t burn the bus, but just refused to comply with an outrageous rule. Consequently, she was arrested.

As a result of the arrest, blacks boycotted the buses until the bus company got rid of this discriminatory rule. It was tough; blacks had to walk very far to get where they were going. But it was worth it. It gave the black community hope that they could change the way things were.

And they did!

The homeless in Bucks County have to give up their freedom of choice if they want a place to live. They are constantly driven off of public land, with no place to go. There is a waiting list for the alleged emergency shelters and for housing assistance.

The best chance to get housing is through Bucks County’s Mental Health Hustlers. In exchange for signing up for mental health services and signing off their freedom of choice, like scalpers at a baseball game, the homeless are sold tickets for the Disoriented Express, vouchers paid for by the taxpayers. The cost, at first hidden, is high.

Like the Kanamits in the Twilight Zone episode To Serve Man, who offered earthlings peace and prosperity, only to use them for food, the mental health hustlers offer the homeless a solution to their problem only to exploit them for their own purposes, destroying them with dope and psychobabble. It’s all about the health hustlers.

The massive evictions of homeless people, only to be Shanghaied and taken aboard The Ship of Fools must stop.  The homeless should boycott the mental health industry in Bucks County. Maybe then the county will stop falsely labeling the homeless as nutcases and addicts and will offer them housing first.

Another way to fight discrimination is to behave in an exemplary manner. Much of the discrimination against the homeless is driven by hobophobia, the irrational fear of the homeless. Drunken brawls and evidence of drug use and other erratic behavior at the Veteran’s Memorial in Levittown, PA, for example, draws negative attention to the homeless. Much of the problem is created by dopers from the local recovery houses, but the homeless are considered guilty by association, even when the drunks and the dopers visit the memorial at different times than do civil people, who happen to be homeless.

Rather than have narrow minded people from the nearby municipal building and vicinity stereotype the homeless when a few individuals act up, the homeless need to show them who they really are. This happened recently when the Delaware Valley Vietnam Veterans met with the homeless and got a better understanding of who they are.

Instead of telling the authorities they are uncomfortable in coming to the memorial because the homeless are there and want the homeless chased away, people should talk with the homeless and decide for themselves who they really are. As a homeless saying goes, “don’t talk about us; talk with us.”

Take a lesson from Rosa Parks. Don’t lash out in anger, act civilly but stand up for your rights and let the world know who you really are.

“She sat down in order that we all might stand up.”