Don’t Talk About Us – Talk With Us!

Up until about three years ago, the only real life image I had of the homeless was when my daughter and I were walking in Philadelphia and had to navigate around several homeless people who were sleeping on heated grates.  As Neil Young sang “There’s more to the picture than meets the eye. Hey, hey, my, my…”

I keep hearing stories where caring people plan to provide housing for the homeless but are thwarted by the establishment, even when the projects will be privately funded. I’ve found this to be the case in Bucks County, PA and in Burlington County, New Jersey, an area infested with liberal Democrats, if you will excuse the redundancy.  The biggest obstacle to creating housing for the homeless is hobophobia, the irrational fear of the homeless.  Many people are prejudice against the homeless, driven my homeless myths: http://citizensservingthehomeless.org/myths.html

Discrimination against the homeless is much like racial prejudice in the Jim Crow south. Although there are not blatant segregationist bans against the homeless, like separate bathrooms, motels, laundry mats and seating on buses, there is a de facto segregationist mentality against the homeless. Some fast food restaurants find excuses to keep the homeless from staying long. In one case, in Bristol, PA the general manager of the Burger King at Beaver Dam Road and Bristol Pike has a policy to ban the homeless because she assumes that they all panhandle.

Just as during Jim Crow people were judged by the color of their skin rather than the content of their character, today the homeless are judged by their housing status. Society has blacklisted communities for the homeless. Although there are anti-discrimination laws, the homeless are nonetheless discriminated against; the same laws that apply to others don’t apply to the homeless.

In her piece on the NYU Review of Law and Social Change, Joanna Laine explains why the homeless are treated like criminals:

“To truly address the criminalization of homelessness, however, it is necessary to challenge not only laws but also biases that pervade our society. Fear and discomfort around homeless people is the driving force behind anti-homeless laws, and such fears are irrational and unnecessary. As the homeless-run organization Picture the Homeless proclaims, ‘Don’t Talk About Us—Talk With Us’. The homeless must be recognized as people worthy of empathy and respect. To end the criminalization of homelessness, we must begin the humanization of homelessness.”

https://socialchangenyu.com/the-harbinger/from-criminalization-to-humanization-ending-discrimination-against-the-homeless/

In the three years I’ve hung out with the homeless, I’ve learned that they are not just a bunch of people who sleep on heated grates. As I discovered doing a research project on the Anasazi Indians of the American Southwest, the ancient ones, the ancestors of modern tribes, that they are not a homogeneous group, I found in real life that the homeless are not all the same, just as is the case with people who are not homeless.

It’s about time that our society treats the homeless as human beings, as Americans who deserve equal standing.  As was the case with the civil rights movement, we need to treat the homeless by the content of their character and stop the discrimination that keeps them from being treated like the rest of us.

Deliver the poor and needy; free them from the hand of the wicked.” -Psalm 82:4

Give Peace a Chance?

When he met with neighbors to address their concerns about plans to provide housing for the homeless, the pastor of the Church of The Nazarene in Burlington Township New Jersey said that he expected trouble from the community. He explained that he, his church and The Citizens to Help the Homeless, with whom he said the church has a covenant to build a homeless community, didn’t conceive the project because they wanted to start a fight, but to follow God’s mandate to help people in need.

But a fight is what they got!

The local homeless they talked with and videotaped  don’t have a home as a result of job loss, sickness, and other circumstances. Candidates for the housing will be screened, there will be a manager on duty for the community, and various services will be offered.

http://citizensservingthehomeless.org/theirstories.html

Yet, the recent meeting was full of popinjays, hostile to the plan to help the homeless. For those of you in Doylestown, a popinjay is “a person given to vain, pretentious displays and empty chatter.”  -Bill O’ Reilly

Image result for popinjay

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

Peace is not just the absence of conflict. It’s not just a feel good thought. In a yoga class I used to attend, the instructor lead a class mantra:

May the long time sun
Shine upon you,
All love surround you,
And the pure light within you
Guide your way on.”

Lofty feelings, but there’s no basis for finding fulfillment, true peace through the mantra. That is unless you find it by worshipping the sun. Sun worshippers often end up with wrinkly, scaly skin. Seriously, these thoughts, though lovely, are empty. As a recovering Romantic, I see the vanity in wishful thinking and following a hot, but inanimate, object.

The popinjays rudely squawked at the meeting as the panel tried to honestly and candidly address the concerns of neighbors having homeless people moving into their neighborhood.  Peace is not achieved by just writing them off  as being “just the way they are.” They are wrong! They claim the homeless are druggies – despite the fact that they will be screened – and that the homeless are going to endanger their community, lower property values, and tie up ambulance services. They say the homeless are going to rummage through dumpsters and panhandle, to mention a few phobias.

Lions and Tigers and Bears, OH MY! http://citizensservingthehomeless.org/myths.html

In Burlington Township, New Jersey, the community doesn’t want the homeless to move into their neighborhood. Well, judging by the behavior of the concerned citizens who spoke at the meeting, for them I can’t echo Mr. Rogers’ sediments and cheerfully say “I’d like to have a neighbor – just like you so…”

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.”  -Luke 6:31

If the people who selfishly demand the homeless not move into housing in their neighborhood were homeless themselves, I would think that they would have a different attitude if they were in their shoes!

The uproar, discord with the neighbors of the planned homeless community is just something those who want to help the homeless have to deal with. Your circumstances, your personal peace and prosperity needs to take a back seat to serving God and our fellow human beings.

God is the source of peace.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” -Galatians 5:22-23

 

 

 

Here They Come To Save The Day!

Like Mighty Mouse, HERE THEY COME TO SAVE THE DAY. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdIev12fCPs  After being homeless for only three years, with bouts of sickness and anxiety (surprising for a homeless person to have), “Bristol Organizations Help Homeless Man Find Permanent Housing” reads the headline on LevittownNow.com.  http://levittownnow.com/2017/02/19/bristol-organizations-help-homeless-man-find-permanent-shelter/

When I saw the headline, I thought maybe Bucks County started taking the homeless problem seriously; maybe people on this side of the Delaware River read reports about the Citizens Serving the Homeless in Burlington County New Jersey. CSH is working on creating a homeless community to house people who simply need a home because of job loss, sickness, or other reasons that are not a threat to the community, unlike the druggie refugees from the inordinate amount of recovery houses in the vicinity of Levittown, PA.

Brian, the homeless man, who drove trucks and said he can do any work with heavy equipment, trucks and forklifts, was helped in part by the Bucks County Homeless Prevention and Rapid Rehousing Program and by helping him get social security, section 8 housing, and disability income. Alan Johnson, a Bucks County Mental Health Hustler, reports the article, helped Brian, saying “I helped keep his name and face alive.” Awhile back, Alan offered me disability with the promise of housing if I agreed to be labeled as being so messed up mentally that I could no longer work. As I told him, that would be fraud. It’s also a quid pro quo. For those of you in Doylestown, a quid pro quo is “a favor or advantage granted or expected in return for something.”

Going through a job loss and losing my house, etc., I was experiencing problems, but I certainly wasn’t ready to be put out to pasture. Likewise, Brian is not disabled! He has some good skills and didn’t suffer any permanent injuries or illnesses,

The rapid response team got Brian permanent housing after three years!

Brian was in the spotlight in an article on LevittownNow.com dated November 11, 2014. Yet just now he’s getting housing? Rapid rehousing? I wonder what their definition of “is” is?

Brian’s ailments are reported to have been a result of homelessness. Do you think?

http://levittownnow.com/2014/11/11/homeless-getting-evicted-from-woods-in-bristol-levittown/

There are people out there, like Brian,  who have been homeless for long periods. The woman quoted in the article almost died in the streets. About two years ago, I took her to the ER for a brain tumor. Doctors have told me that she got there in the nick of time. And no thanks to Bucks County, she is off the street. I also now have shelter and didn’t have to sell out and take advantage of the Mental Health Hustler’s offer to get housing by fraudulently claiming a mental disability, so the hustlers can get public funds for their programs.

Recently I became the woman’s official caregiver. She has lung cancer. If I had fallen for the Mental Health Hustler’s scam, I would not have been able to be her caregiver.

Homeless people are not hopeless. In many cases, they just need a hand up – a home. They don’t need no stinkin’ mental health or drug rehabs. Certainly not most of them! The church, Christian counsel, prayer and God’s Word does much better.

Once I looked closer at the article about Bristol organizations helping a homeless man find permanent shelter, I realized my initial reaction was a pure leap of unfounded optimism.

Bucks County is still in the dark ages with helping the homeless find homes. I thought maybe the county would be inspired by the Citizens Serving the Homeless, who, unlike Bucks County, is willing to suffer the slings and arrows shot at them by hobophobic ignoramuses and press on towards the goal of serving their fellow man who needs a hand up.

As I’ve said before, homeless people have intrinsic value, made in the image of God.

I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands,
organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same
food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases,
heal’d by the same means, warm’d and cool’d by the same winter
and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If
you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?
And if you wrong us, do we not revenge? If we are like you in the
rest, we will resemble you in that.” -from Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice

Substitute “homeless” for “Jew” in the Shakespeare passage.

This is how we should serve our fellow humans:

http://citizensservingthehomeless.org/

 

And I Won’t Back Down!

In both Bucks County, PA and Burlington Township New Jersey, the homeless are collectively a persona non grata. The difference is that the non-profits in Bucks County kowtow to the hatred of the homeless and don’t want to fight for housing for the homeless but a New Jersey non-profit is taking a stance against those who want to keep the homeless from getting shelter like everyone else in their community.

Citizens Serving The Homeless, the New Jersey non-profit is facing members of the community who came out en masse to a meeting to talk candidly about their plans and allay the community’s fears. Instead, people came, figuratively, with torches and pitch forks. Unlike the non-profits in Bucks County, CSH not caving in to these hobophobic ignoramuses.  Their stance echoes the refrain in a Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers song: “AND I WON’T BACK DOWN.”

In Bucks County, The Advocates for The Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) doesn’t lift a finger to find long term shelter for the homeless. In fact, when I emailed the AHTN president to ask if AHTN would help the nascent non-profit a friend and I created to provide more shelter for the homeless, she responded that the project was impossible – that, for one thing, they’d have to provide security 24/7.

AHTN is not a true friend of the homeless. Just as liberals use blacks, “the children”, women, the poor, etc., the non-profit uses the homeless. At the video shoot for the so-called public service announcement for the homeless, actors were used. There was an attempt to keep the homeless away from where the video was shot that day. The pizza was purposely kept at another location for the crew, where the homeless could not have any, on a day there was no community meal.

CSH, by contrast, interviewed real homeless people in their community, interviewing all the homeless people they could for their video.

Unlike AHTN, CSH looks at the homeless as individuals and screens the homeless candidates for the homeless community it is building. For them, one size doesn’t fit all! AHTN views the homeless as all being morally bankrupt. They gave a pass to a homeless person who regularly came to a community meal drunk and disorderly, usually just slapping him on the wrist and on one occasion let him completely off the hook. He’s now in the Bucks County jail after knocking down another guest at a community meal, cutting the back of his head. Another guest called the police, but the culprit ran off, and was on the lamb for weeks until someone else called the police when he spotted him at the free laundry day, and the cops picked him up.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. - Edmund Burke

 

AHTN just pretended to help the homeless on one occasion when the head Levittown librarian ordered the security guy to cut the locks of bicycles parked in the bicycle rack because the librarian alleged that bikes were abandoned there. So even people who legally parked their bikes during library hours had their locks cut. The homeless complained to AHTN, who sent Christine to talk to the librarian about it. Christine reported back to the homeless and told them that the librarian said she made an announcement to have those who had their bikes parked legally to come out so their locks would not be cut. A reliable source told me that the librarian never made such an announcement, and he was there the whole time!

But when Christine’s pet and his girlfriend got caught having sex in the homeless bus stop one morning, she got them off the hook, but the rest of the group were punished by having the bus shelter removed and the stop moved to an unsheltered location in the middle of the parking lot.

Christine was the AHTN member I believe was instrumental in getting the homeless drunk off the hook when he loudly cursed out another guest and physically threatened him, where it took three men to pull him away. Christine and Dave (AHTN) went out of hearing range to the other corner of the room at the Redeemer Lutheran Church, Penndel, PA. The victim and I believe she lied about the victim, demonizing him with her false witness. The police came and told the victim the host said he had to leave. AHTN banned the victim, who was not homeless but needy, from the bus but not the homeless aggressor. The victim was banned from the meals but not the homeless perpetrator. The victim filed a law suit against AHTN and Redeemer Lutheran Church, which is going through the system.

The conventional wisdom of about the homeless is a caste system, where the homeless are trapped in their situation. For those of you in Doylestown, “A caste system is a class structure that is determined by birth. Loosely, it means that in some societies, if your parents are poor, you’re going to be poor, too.” -Vocabulary.com

Like the rabid community members who attended the meeting with the Citizens Serving the Homeless in Burlington Township, Bucks County see the homeless as monsters. They expressed their distaste for the homeless moving into their neighborhood. Well, after witnessing their behavior, I would not say to them, in the words of Mr. Rogers, “Won’t you be my neighbor?”

The Salvation Army Levittown Community Center also sees the homeless as monsters. On one occasion, when I volunteered there in the food pantry, I guy who had been wandering a day or two on a hot day came into the pantry. We got him some food and drink. I told him I would take him to the library, where he can get the bus to the homeless meal and also have a more dedicated AHTN volunteer help him out when I finished for the day. As he was waiting, tired, frightened and flushed in the lobby, a Salvation Army staffer frantically confronted me and stammered “he can’t stay here!” I explained the situation and I took the homeless guy to the library.

At the Salvation Army Community meals, the hostess, Queen Latifah, treats the homeless like children and criminals.

The Citizens Serving the Homeless don’t see the homeless as being in a caste system, that they are always going to be homeless. They don’t subscribe to the mid Victorian attitude that as wealth grows so does good character, and that people with little money are immoral. They see homelessness as a season, and believe if given the chance, a homeless person will move forward. The goal of CSH is to give the homeless an opportunity by giving them a hand up and they may eventually move into traditional rental housing, like everybody else. The only difference with the homeless with the rest of society is they don’t have a dwelling.

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable. Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself. ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men – robbers, evildoers, adulterers – or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a day and give a tenth of all I get.’

But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said ‘God have mercy on me, a sinner’.  

I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

-Luke 18: 9-14

Here are the stories the Citizens Serving the Homeless videotaped:

http://citizensservingthehomeless.org/theirstories.html

 

A City Set On A Hill?

In his letter from Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King Jr beseeched the “moderate”, lukewarm white southern churches to join him in his campaign to secure equality for blacks. Dr. King’s argument was that discrimination against blacks is contrary to what America and the Bible is about.

Except for groups such as Black Lives Matter, racial prejudice today is on the ash heap of history. The homeless have become the new group to be discriminated against.  Over nearly three years I’ve witnessed discrimination against the homeless in Bucks County, PA. Recently, I saw discrimination in Burlington Township, New Jersey when I attended a meeting to address the concerns of neighbors of the proposed homeless housing site.

The neighbors weren’t there for a dialog but expressed anger about bringing people who need a place to stay, who will be screened and will live in a managed complex, into their community. In essence, they want to zone out homeless people, segregating them, as was the case during the Jim Crow south.

Begging the question, one opponent of the homeless housing plan asked what the Citizens Serving the Homeless, who orchestrated the plan,  is going to do when most of the people use drugs and some of them will either revert to drugs or go back out on the street. There is no evidence that the people slated for the housing are druggies.

Unless you’ve been living on Mars, you known that our country has a drug epidemic. A short while ago, President Trump mentioned this, saying that people are taking drugs “like candy.” In fact, Levittownnow.com just reported on a panel addressing this: http://levittownnow.com/2017/02/16/local-experts-hold-panel-drug-addiction-lower-bucks-county/

The opponents of the homeless housing plan in New Jersey accused the architects of cherry picking the people they showed on the video – the kind who will be moving into their neighborhood. One of the three people who shot the footage messaged me on Facebook: “I can personally attest to the fact that the neighbors shown in the CSH video were not cherry picked. As a matter of fact, Andrew, Pastor Tom & I drove to several motels & the woods where we knew there were some homeless people living & simply interviewed everyone willing to speak with us. The video shows every single person we interviewed in two days, no one was left out.”

http://citizensservingthehomeless.org/theirstories.html

One opponent of the plan said that the people portrayed in the video – decent neighbors who need a place to stay, will not use the housing. Really?

Evidently, opponents of the plan to help the homeless start with a foregone conclusion and create a false narrative to win the argument and to camouflage their prejudice against the homeless.

Fortunately, the Church of the Nazarene, who, as the church’s head pastor explained at the meeting, has a “covenant” with Citizens Serving the Homeless to fulfill her Biblical mandate to serve others in need. The pastor said he expected flak from neighbors, but is adamant on doing God’s will, pressing on full steam with the plan to help the homeless.

Churches in Bucks County have also been ministering to the homeless, offering them food and clothing as well as spiritual guidance. At last night’s community meal, the pastor preached a mini-sermon, saying that God can help anybody, no matter your situation or what you have done. The hosts at the church made their guests feel welcome, greeting them and seeing them off, shaking hands. This is what the church should do.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 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 5:14-16

The Sky is Raining Homeless

Monday night,  I found out first hand that Bucks County, PA is not the only place that reeks with prejudice against the homeless. I left a meeting of the Citizens Serving the Homeless, held at the Church of The Nazarene in Burlington Township, NJ early after hearing a flood of judgmental, callous and bogus remarks about the homeless from neighbors near the site where the organization plans to house 60 homeless people.

The pastor of the Church of the Nazarene opened (after a prayer) with an explanation of the relationship between the church and the non-profit. He explained it as a “covenant” between two separate entities with the plan to help the homeless. In addition to helping the homeless with physical needs, the church will offer spiritual guidance, the pastor said.

The pastor explained that the property designated for the non-profit was vacant for more than 1 ½ years. After much prayer, fasting, and consulting with people inside and outside the church, the church decided it was God’s will and their Christian mission to help the homeless as the opportunity arose.

The goal of the plan is to help the homeless become self-sufficient.

The Citizens for the Homeless put on a presentation to show the kind of people who will be living in the housing, with testimonies from homeless people about why they became homeless. Some had had a major illness, suffered job loss, death of spouse, and other things that don’t make them career criminals, drunks or druggies. The opponents of the plan to help the homeless accused the homeless helpers of cherry picking the kind of people they showed they will be helping.

In their infinite wisdom – and they must be clairvoyant – the opponents assumed the people who would use the homeless housing were druggies. One presumptive twit said that the innocuous people who are out on the street only because they had nowhere else to go will not use the housing.

The consensus of the cacophonous crowd was that the people coming to the housing will endanger the community. One opponent asked what the CSH is going to do when most of the people use drugs and some of them will either revert to drugs or go back out on the street, as if this is a fact. So, like magic, the homeless shelter is now a drug rehab place. The underlying assumption is that the homeless are druggies, at least. These hobophobic (the irrational fear of the homeless) Chicken Little opponents were tone deaf to the statement that people will be screened before moving in and that there will be a manager on site 24/7.

The sky is falling! Raining homeless!

The homeless housing plan opponents arguments were specious. For those of you in Doylestown, “specious” means “superficially plausible, but actually wrong:

‘a specious argument’

 

It was evident that the opponents of the plan weren’t there to have an honest conversation but to just push their will on those who plan to help the homeless.  Many of the opponents were loud, interrupting the hosts, not even allowing them to fully answer questions they asked. Early on, when the pastor spoke, one particularly rude individual constantly tried to shout down the pastor.  The pastor explained that the meeting needs to have order and that the loud mouth (my words)  needed to be respectful, and told him to shut up and that he’ll have his turn to address the issue. At one point, the guy sitting next to me stood up and dressed the loud mouth down, telling him, in so many words, that he was out of order and that we needed to have a civil meeting.  When he sat down, the guy remarked to his wife “this isn’t a Republican meeting.” I quietly said “yes” and nodded in agreement.

It was typical Democrat debate. It was like watching the hearings for the folks that President Trump picked to serve us.

What was ironic is that the barbaric opponents of the plan labeled the homeless as miscreants, as they showed almost zero civility, respect for others. They didn’t see the homeless as human beings, after you cut through the smoke screen, but as a pestilence that they don’t want invading their back yard. Figuratively, they were carrying torches and pitch forks! They were rabid!

Tonight’s meeting reminded me of the contrast between a Christian world view and the wicked ways of the world. The church in this case sees the homeless as having intrinsic value, made in the image of God. The worldly views that they are not was abundantly evident tonight!

“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. “

-Isaiah 58:6-8

For more information about The Citizens Serving the Homeless: http://citizensservingthehomeless.org/

Users Loosers and Winners

You are the only one who can do something about where you live, said Ben Carson after being appointed to head HUD. Growing up in a poor household, his mother took Ben along with her when she cleaned an expensive home and told him someday he could live in a home like that. She pushed her kids to read and study and instilled in them values of hard work, integrity and determination. It paid off, as Dr. Carson became one of the world’s top neurosurgeons.

Even if you are homeless, there are still opportunities to better your lot.

“Success is determined not by whether or not you face obstacles, but by your reaction to them. And if you look at these obstacles as a containing fence, they become your excuse for failure. If you look at them as a hurdle, each one strengthens you for the next.”   -One of Ben Carson’s many quotes.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/11100.Ben_Carson?page=1

In the homeless community in Bucks County, PA, there are those who look at obstacles as a hurdle and they jump over them and move forward. Others make excuses for staying where they are, aided and abetted by the Bucks County Mental Health Hustlers, who offer a quid pro quo, housing for signing up for mental health services and for giving up and saying you can no longer work because of mental problems. It’s like Aladdin in reverse, where you get old minds for new. One “professional homeless” couple made such as deal where they got on the public dole for the unofficial but de facto reason that they are lazy and irresponsible. The guy had arbitrarily quit two jobs someone had gotten him.

One of the mental health hustlers told me he doesn’t believe in housing first. He said that people have to get straight, through the programs he was hustling, before they get housing. This presupposes everybody needs special programs, such as for substance abuse . I disagree, except that just being homeless is a strain and you need to get your head straight, but that can be done through informal or formal counseling, and people showing you they care and give you a hand up, not a hand out.

One homeless friend  trying to improve his lot didn’t let obstacles fence him in but saw them as something to hurdle. He once told me that he doesn’t want to be made “too comfortable” in his situation so he’d have incentive to move forward. He worked for a temp agency and ended up getting some long term jobs. Still, there were gaps, and he got low on money. One employer wouldn’t hire him until he got his ID up to date. Another friend gave him tips and made a phone call for him. I was very happy for the guy when he told me that two jobs came through, which showed promise.

He had also overcome substance abuse problems. When some other homeless guys were harassing a guy in a home but needy at a homeless bus stop, who had become a scapegoat as a result of the lying tongue of a formerly homeless woman, he just shook his head and had no part of it. This is why he is not a user-looser but a winner!

At the community meal last night, a homeless guy walked over to formerly homeless guy and thanked him for his help in some manner. They guy offered continued help. He and others have been helping homeless people with their physical as well as emotional, spiritual needs, as have the hosts at the churches that provide the meals. Man does not live by bread alone.

It was wonderful to see hosts ministering to the guests and the guest with each other. The regular guests have developed relationship with hosts. At last night’s dinner, a host encouraged a friend who has been battling the bottle to continue to resolve the problem. The Bible says to admonish one another in love.

Churches have increasingly offered Bible based, 12 Step programs to help people with their besetting sins, including substance abuse. Here’s an example: http://www.celebraterecovery.com/index.php/about-us/twelve-steps

There was a spirit and sense of belonging at last night’s meal. I come a little distance to go there not just for the excellent food, but for the fellowship.

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” -Colossians 3: 12-17

And Now for Something Completely Different

In a Monty Python’s Flying Circus skit, executives talked about sports while labor guys talked about things like Shakespeare, art, and classical music. They reversed the stereotypes. In real life, homeless people sat around the Veterans Memorial in Levittown, PA discussing Shakespeare.

So much for stereotypes!

When I once mentioned the homeless discussing Shakespeare, someone thought, as says the Monty Python logo, it was something completely different.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGK8IC-bGnU

Stereotypes for the homeless say that they are drunks, violent, thieves, and generally criminals, panhandlers, lazy, druggies, and generally mentally disturbed. When the general manager of the Burger King at Beaver Dam Road and Bristol Pike in Bristol, PA discovered a woman who frequented this Burger King was homeless, she was told she was banned from the establishment, although she hadn’t caused any problems, as some of the other patrons did, who were not homeless. The general manager’s rationale was that homeless people panhandle, so she wanted to nip the problem in the bud.

Out of about 50 homeless people, I only knew firsthand of one, from the tribe I hung around with, known as The Memorial Mob, who actively panhandled. On one occasion he bragged “I’m the King of the Panhandlers!” This druggie used to make signs and ran around the McDonald’s in Fairless Hills advertising his panhandling. He once asked me if he could take the sickly looking woman I was with to the TD Bank to help him panhandle. A while ago the druggie left the neighborhood.

I’ve appreciated the guy’s truth in advertising. He used to run around wearing a shirt that conspicuously displayed the warning “Monster.” Not all homeless people are like that and not all homeless are druggies or drunks. The druggies have infiltrated the homeless population the past few years as a result of the inordinate number of recovery houses in lower Bucks County.

If you went to a community meal for the homeless and needy in lower Bucks County, PA, if you didn’t know it was a homeless meal you would not know the people were homeless. The guests act civilly and engage in friendly, intelligent conversation. Your station in life doesn’t define you.

Like the rest of society, one or more miscreants can spoil things for everyone else. This is  the problem in the inner city public schools, where a few problem kids can ruin education for the rest of the class.

Image result for bible verse dead flies ruin perfume

This used to be the problem at the homeless and needy community meals. On numerous occasions, a guy came to the meals drunk and verbally abused and physically threatened other guests, and on one occasion, knocked someone down. He’s now in jail awaiting justice. Consequently, the meals have been more peaceful and enjoyable for everyone. Potential trouble makers now think twice, as they know there are consequences for bad behavior.

You can’t always count on official organizations to do the right thing, especially in Bucks County, PA. The Advocates for The Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) mollycoddle problem homeless people. They don’t do anything about harassment, particularly of women on the homeless bus. They just slapped the chronic problem drunk on the wrists, occasionally just banning him from the bus for two weeks. On one occasion, at the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Penndel, PA, they let him off Scot free after he came to the meal drunk and screamed obscenities at people and physically threatened one guest.

The Pax Romana https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pax_Romana  at the meals is a result of individual quests taking action – calling the police, beseeching individual AHTN members to take action, writing blogs (which resulted in the drunk cursing at the blogger at a meal and causing AHTN to take the problem more seriously, although just a little.) The problem man is in jail as a result of someone calling the police when he knocked someone down and someone else calling the police when he spotted him when he was on the lamb.

The message is out there that if anybody causes problems, like the fly in the ointment, there will be consequences for bad behavior.

Some people in the homeless world have been showing concern and compassion for one another, encouraging others when they are down and with their faith, helping one another to find jobs and housing…  The only way people can deal with their problems is to face them, lean on their brothers and sisters, and ultimately, God.

Contrary to the liberal rhetoric, the government and even some non-profits are not going to help you. As was the case in The Wizard of Oz, individuals must take responsibility to make things better. Oz gave nothing to the Tin Man, that he didn’t, didn’t already have… But God can! Actually, God made us in his image; he just restores us from our sinful nature. We just have to submit to Him and do the right things.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.

-Psalm 40:2

 

 

Homeless Gone Wild

In my last blog I wrote about Bucks County feeding the homeless to the alligators in Florida and using the Stand Down site, where each year homeless and needy veterans get free care and referrals, as a Soylent Green factory, where the homeless are churned into green wafers. This, for those of you in Doylestown, is satire, so don’t take it literally.

Why satire?

Satire defined: the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

synonyms: mockery · ridicule · derision · scorn · caricature · irony · sarcasm

  • a play, novel, film, or other work that uses satire:
  • “a stinging satire on American politics”
  • synonyms: parody · burlesque · caricature · lampoon · skit · spoof · takeoff ·
  • sendup
  • a genre of literature characterized by the use of satire.
  • (in Latin literature) a literary miscellany, especially a poem ridiculing prevalent vices or follies.
  • a way of using humor to show that someone or something is foolish, weak, bad, etc. : humor that shows the…

I use satire to ridicule the attitude and policy towards the homeless, as I’ve witnessed in Bucks County, PA.

Examples:

  • A campaign to constructively remove the homeless from the Levittown public library because, as The Countess of Carlisle, public relations gal from the Salvation Army Levittown Community Center told me, people who visit the library don’t like the homeless being there.
  • The homeless are chased off the Veterans’ Memorial near the Levittown library because government hacks from the nearby WIC office don’t feel comfortable visiting the memorial when the homeless are there.
  • No longer allowing Stand Down, where homeless and needy vets get help, to set up each year for a few days on Bucks County public land behind the library, with no explanation why from the county.
  • The Advocates for The Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) and some churches that host community meals for the homeless and needy not holding individual homeless people accountable for their behavior but instead treating the individual homeless as representing the whole group, and acting not for what’s best for them, but for their own self interests.

Warning – Satire!

So as not to hinder stereotypes of the homeless – that they are irresponsible, violent, lack self-control, are drunks, mental cases…  AHTN and churches who have joined the initiative have created HOMELESS GONE WILD.

The plan:

Instead of putting juice or ice tea in the coolers where the homeless get their drinks at the meals, fill them with booze. Once intoxicated, the homeless will start jumping up and down and dancing on tables, curse each other and the hosts out, and generally behave badly.

One special feature one of the hosts, The Redeemer Lutheran Church in Penndel, PA, has added is the game “fine a scapegoat”, where a member of AHTN makes something up about someone they want to use as a scapegoat to see if the host will believe it. After an innocent party is accused of wrongdoing, AHTN and Redeemer plays “See if we can get the court to rig the proceedings in our favor when a victim of our lies sues us.”

AHTN will have a film crew at the meals and will record it. They will sell the tapes for entertainment and will hold a viewing for the Bucks County Commissioners and Penndel Mental Health Center, to build a case to commit the homeless and to secure more tax dollars.

A Parody:

Don’t Think Freely (parody of Buck Owen’s Act Naturally)

Well, they’re going to put me in the nuthouse

They want to make a monkey out of me

They’re going to put me in the nuthouse

And all they have to do

Is round up me

 

Well, they are going have to chase me real far

They’re going to hunt me and they can’t really tell

If I really need to be in the nuthouse

They expect me to play the part for them real well

 

I hope you’ll come and see me in the nuthouse

Maybe you can slip me a file in some cake

I hope you’ll come and see me in the nuthouse

Where I’m all doped up and can’t think freely

 

They want to put me in the nuthouse

That’s because they don’t think I am OK

Well, the only reason that I’m in the nuthouse

Is that  I’m homeless in Bucks County PA

 

Well, they are going have to chase me real far

They’re going to hunt me and they can’t really tell

If I really need to be in the nuthouse

They expect me to play the part for them real well

 

I’ll be a homeless collection in the nuthouse

From the state they want to collect their precious bounty

I’ll be a monkey caged there in the nuthouse

Where I’m all doped up and can’t think freely

 

Well, the only reason that I’m in the nuthouse

Is that  I’m homeless in Bucks County PA

The only reason that I’m in the nuthouse

Is that  I’m homeless in Bucks County PA

 

Dupe-dupe a looney Dupe-dup a looney Dupe-dupe a looney…

They’re coming to take me away ah-hah he-he ah-hah ah-hah he-he ah-hah he-he…

 

Here’s another parody hit by the They’re Coming to Take Me Away! Band:

Upcoming Funding Time (parody of Fats Domino’s Finger Popping Time)

It’s upcoming

Funding Time

It’s upcoming

Funding Ty-ime

I feel so good

I’m on the public dime

Hey now Hey now Hey now Hey now

 

They lost Alan but here come Keith

Here comes Chris and he’s talking sweet

But Alan’s still with the county

And helps get the bounty

It’s upcoming

Funding Time

It’s upcoming

Funding Ty-ime

I feel so good

I’m on the public dime

Hey now Hey now Hey now Hey now…

Do The Homeless Count?

According to the Bucks County website, the “point in time” homeless count “serves as a key source of data locally and nationally to understand homelessness trends and to track progress on efforts to prevent and end homelessness for all communities.”  In reality, like the ad where thugs break into a bank and people on the floor look at him, puzzled why he’s not doing anything and he says “I’m not a security guard; I’m a security monitor”, Bucks County just wants to monitor the homeless, but not help them find shelter.

http://buckscounty.org/news/2015News/2015/01/15/PointInTimeHomelessCount

Clandestinely, the way the authorities in Bucks County, PA want to end the homeless problem is to just get them out of the way. One way is to Shanghai them and get them aboard The Disoriented Express. They could end up anywhere.

I think the conventional wisdom in Bucks County that equates homelessness with mental “illness” is a guise to artificially prop up the mental health industry. There certainly are a few nuts in the homeless community. I’m glad a recent article on LevittownNow.com  about what appears to be homeless guy who was busted for trespassing at the Marina at Neshaminy State Park didn’t trumpet that he was homeless.

“Kabibo Foster, whose age and address were not listed on official documents, was wandering around the marina Tuesday when a Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources ranger made contact with him.” This was not the lead but in the second paragraph. The guy told the ranger that he was looking for a boat he had slept in the previous night and that God gave him permission to enter the Marina and sleep in the boat. Sometimes you act like a nut; sometimes you don’t.

http://levittownnow.com/2017/02/02/cops-man-spends-night-lounge-lizard-boat/

If you’ve watched the news lately, you’ll find that nuts can be found in any population. I just saw on Fox News a professor flipping out, incoherently spewing out vitriol. And there’s the rabid Holly Weird leftists… Not to mention crazy politicians, aka Democrats.

One destination the Disoriented Express can take the homeless is Seven Seas Lagoon at Disneyworld, Florida, where an alligator ate a two-year old.

Disneyworld could put signs up “Reserved For The Homeless” at the lagoon and feed the homeless. After alligators chomp down on the homeless, notifications would flash throughout the park “IT’S NOW SAFE TO VISIT THE LAGOON. THE ALLIGATORS WERE FED; THEY ARE FULL.” This project is known as To Serve Man.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_Serve_Man_%28The_Twilight_Zone%29

There’s another plan to resolve the homeless problem. I know now why the annual Stand Down for homeless and needy veterans will no longer be held in the field behind the Levittown library. I learned from Bucks County official R.I. Diculous that the Keep Bucks County Green initiative will use the area used for Stand Down. A fun house like attraction will lure the homeless into a fun tunnel, where they will ride conveyor belts, past virtual pristine forests – a happy homeless campground. They will be carried past the rotating knives, where they are churned up and bathed in a green solution and turned into Soylent Green, as they did in the movie. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_Green

Both the To Serve Man and the Keep Bucks County Green initiatives would be an efficient way to cut down on the homeless population in Bucks.

Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees, and the writers who keep writing oppression, to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be their spoil, and that they may make the fatherless their prey! What will you do on the day of punishment, in the ruin that will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help, and where will you leave your wealth? Nothing remains but to crouch among the prisoners or fall among the slain. For all this his anger has not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still. Ah, Assyria, the rod of my anger; the staff in their hands is my fury! … “

-Isaiah 10:1-34