Feed The Birds!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s the sales pitch:   

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

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

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

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

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

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

Getting To Know You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gimmee Shelter!

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

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

Why is the homeless population increasing? 

Many reasons.  

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

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

Getting The Word Out About The Homeless

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who Are The Homeless? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are The Homeless Movin’ On Up?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Day in The Life of The Homeless

When his mother was being evicted, the son was in jail, charged with reckless driving and driving without a license, which resulted in homelessness, reports an article on philly.com, about the problems of people living in the woods in Croydon.  https://www.philly.com/philly/news/pennsylvania/homeless-shelter-bucks-county-pennsylvania-camps-20181007.html 

Not getting along at a family friend’s place was a reason the mother ended up in the woods. She couldn’t get into the temporary shelter in Levittown.  

People become homeless for various reasons. Drug, alcohol, cigarette, and other addictions is one reason. Some people lose their jobs, sometimes through no fault of their own. 

Public housing is tough to get into. It often takes years to get a place through the government. And the availability and price of private housing is another obstacle to finding a place in Bucks County. Irresponsible roommates, deadbeats is yet another. Because of the excessive red tape from government regulations that have strangled society since the days Levittown, PA was built, people must often go through timely and expensive hoops to get a place.      

To overcome obstacles the homeless have to hurdle, the homeless need to know first that they matter and that people have faith that they can move forward.  The mainstream mantra, which by the way voted for Shrillery Clinton, subtly views the homeless as being in a caste system, where they are stuck in their situation. A few years ago, I emailed a Bucks County commissioner to propose an initiative to dedicate county land to build a homeless village, where there are rules, supervision, management – where the homeless help build and manage the community the way any other place would be run – like Dignity Village in Oregon.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dignity_Village 

To help people better understand the homeless and to shed light on the homeless, focusing on Bucks County, PA, I published a book “There Are Homeless in Bucks County; A Journey With The Homeless,” based on my interaction with the local homeless and on research: 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/172865209X/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_U_.iX9BbZXM6842?fbclid=IwAR14Y8jAxc462oqzltCCdZGq4BCLQg-HW8VEoAdpkGjog9Q78PqGh6zTTIA 

Homeless Population Increasing in Bucks County?

Homeless people are to be seen and not heard.  I mean the saying is “children are to be seen and not heard.”  Actually, according to a source in the October 7, 2018 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the homeless population in Bucks County, PA is shrinking, but many are not seen. The question arises about the official homeless count. Do the homeless count? Evidently, they don’t, as many out there are MIA! 

Another source in the article said that the homeless population in Bucks is growing. “I see a lot of new faces”, the source said.  

I’ve been hanging out with the homeless in Bucks County and going to the shared meals, off and on, since early spring, 2014. Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of new faces as well as some of the old. The homeless population in Bucks is growing! Churches that host the shared meals have been just keeping up with all the guests that attend the meals. Although the meals are often packed, the churches have been able to provide food for their guests, for which I am grateful and I give them credit. 

The churches also offer spiritual food for their guests. And guests meet friends at the meal and offer one another comfort and spiritual food, as iron sharpens iron. 

There are many reasons people become homeless. One is the excessive regulations – the hoops those seeking an apartment or a house need to go through. This is a symptom of progressive policies, which started with President FDR, who, along with President Herbert Hoover, fostered massive homelessness with their progressive, big government, tax and spend socialist policies.  As the late, great radio talk show host Tom Marr said, “where there is liberal rule, there is more crime and poverty.” 

Today, in Pennsylvania, tax and spend progressives hurt the economy, and increase homelessness. After bamboozling the public to vote him into office, Pennsylvania Governor “Big Bad” Tom Wolf banned new drilling for natural gas, which is clean, on state land, allegedly to protect the environment. In reality, it was just an initiative to kowtow to the pseudo environmentalists’ special interests. This hurts industry, jobs but also robs the state of royalties that would go into state coffers. 

Instead of getting state funds through land use leases, Big Bad is raising taxes on gasoline, which hurts the overall economy and individual economies, as people have to pay more for gas!  In fact, as a headline on LevittownNow.com reads: PA Ranks The Highest For State Imposed Gas Taxes.   

http://levittownnow.com/2019/04/08/pa-ranks-the-highest-for-state-imposed-gas-taxes/?fbclid=IwAR1lAcP4Gun_mH-fUneyoLf43wvob4Q4mUbmhNhmTJNsMinw6gBbWn-YKi8 

How, liberal, progressive policies exacerbate homelessness is one subject I get into in my recently published book: “There Are Homeless in Bucks County; A Journey with The Homeless.”   

https://www.amazon.com/dp/172865209X/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_U_.iX9BbZXM6842?fbclid=IwAR14Y8jAxc462oqzltCCdZGq4BCLQg-HW8VEoAdpkGjog9Q78PqGh6zTTIA 

No Excuse For Selfishness!

One of the guests, known as Piglet, at the meals for the homeless and needy Tuesday night in Bucks County, PA took up three chairs – one for her and two for her stuff. It was crowded, as is the case with the growing homeless population in Bucks, and seating was tight. When a woman confronted Piglet about taking up extra spaces, she explained she needed to because she is 59 years old.  “I am 89 years old,” the woman retorted, and told her to move her baggage off the two chairs. 

Piglet is one of a few rogue guests who frequent to homeless/needy meals who have been competing for the Noble Savage of 2019 award. These rogues, by the way, are not homeless. They have been hogging space and purloining items that the homeless need more than they do. One thing Piglet is famous for is jumping in line, making sure she is first in line, telling people she has to catch a bus (as though nobody else has places they have to go).   

Another competitor for the Noble Savage award is Morticia Addams, who is famous for pulling tricks to abscond with great amounts of items such as sodas. On Tuesday, when I went to get sodas for myself and folks at my table early in the meal, none were left!  Morticia’s husband Gomer is said to be her accomplice. At Tuesday’s meal, one of the host told her to limit what she took of certain items. Gomer demanded the host apologize to his wife! Really? The perpetrator owes the homeless and other folks who attend the meals an apology! Morticia adams origional.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Morticia_adams_origional.jpg

One competitor for the Noble Savage award, who came under serious competition from other savages was said to really go over the top late in the week prior to Tuesday’s meal. The meal runs from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m.   Birdman arrived at the meal at 6:55. One soda was left. But he demanded the host bring him another soda. To top that, he demanded the host make a fresh pot of coffee, five minutes before the meal was over!   

The majority of people who frequent the meals act civilized.  It’s some of the non-homeless but needy that have been acting selfishly, rudely, at the meals, callous in regards to the needs of others.  In contrast, on one occasion recently, one guest gave some cereal the host gave her and her boyfriend to someone with children, who needed the food more than they did. This is how we should treat others! We should practice acts of kindness and selflessness! 

People who attend the meals, who are in similar circumstances, don’t act the same. Your circumstances don’t define who you are. I address this in regards to the homeless in my book: 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/172865209X/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_U_.iX9BbZXM6842?fbclid=IwAR14Y8jAxc462oqzltCCdZGq4BCLQg-HW8VEoAdpkGjog9Q78PqGh6zTTIA 

Philippians 2:2-8 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death- even death on a cross! 

Psyched About Drug Abuse

Within the war on drug abuse there is a war about how to fight the war. On one side drug abuse is considered a disease, something one just catches and not a moral failing, a character flaw. On the other side drug abuse is considered a choice, a moral failing, a character flaw, a result of selfishness and idolatry. 

The world view of the former is that drug abuse is not the user’s fault and that the problem is treated the way you would treat the flu – with medicine. Or with Psychobabble, which is human centric.  

The Greek root of psychology is psyche, which means “soul”.    So, the term “psychology” is essentially Christian, Biblical. The problem in our culture is the influence of Darwin with the origin of species – that we are just a higher form of animal and are driven by instincts, and therefore cannot make moral decisions.  The lack of Biblical absolutes is another problem with the disease model world view of drug abuse. This moral failing is often called “substance abuse disorder.”  In a word, the term “psychology” has been bastardized by secular psychology.  

https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/469-modern-psychology-and-the-bible?fbclid=IwAR2PLdGZyjt65kBVwOKugEbI4U3OT35DFXN9LyJMcL_tzSs00CtdQlrAiyg 

A relatively recent trend in psychology is cognitive behavioral therapy. It’s basically a model, where the client experiments with ideas he/she has.  In a given situation, thoughts are acted out, outcomes are examined, and making a new plan, Stan is considered.  There are no absolutes, no a priori principles, which are found in the Bible. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy is one tool used by the mental health hustlers at the Penndel Mental Health Center in Bucks County, PA.  I’m told that the center doesn’t have enough counselors to satisfy the demand of “clients.”  A program in Bucks County, where recruiters shanghai homeless people into mental health treatment, with the guise that homeless people need their services, before even talking to them, was defunded. Nevertheless, the homeless bounty flooded the market.   

What the homeless (and those who are not homeless) need is counsel from pastors and other Christians. This past Saturday at a homeless meal someone noticed that someone I’ve been getting close to needed to talk with someone, as did I.  This Christian host called the pastor in. We talked and we prayed together.  Later that day the immediate problem was resolved, with some food for thought (the hosts feed the body and the soul at the meals.) 

In my recently published book on homelessness, which focuses on Bucks County, I illustrate how the faith community helps the homeless – better than does the worldly “mental health” programs. People should have a choice about their source of help. The best help comes from God and His ambassadors, as we look up unto the hills, from whence comes our help! 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/172865209X/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_U_.iX9BbZXM6842?fbclid=IwAR14Y8jAxc462oqzltCCdZGq4BCLQg-HW8VEoAdpkGjog9Q78PqGh6zTTIA 

You Have to Have at Least One Vice?

A mental health charlatan from Penndel Mental Health Center in Bucks County brought gobs of junk food to her grossly overweight client who was staying in a nursing home. Because, the client told me, the home put her on a healthy diet, she went from 300 pounds to 275 pounds.  

But then along came the mental health hack, who cavalierly remarked that her client doesn’t eat her meals because she pigs out on junk food and added “you have to have at least one vice.”  According to Wikipedia.com, “Vice is a practice, behavior, or habit generally considered immoral, sinful, criminal, rude, taboo, depraved, or degrading in the associated society. In more minor usage, vice can refer to a fault, a negative character trait, a defect, an infirmity, or a bad or unhealthy habit. Vices are usually associated with a transgression in a person’s character or temperament rather than their morality. Synonyms for vice include fault, sin, depravity, iniquity, wickedness, and corruption.” 

So we have to have a least one vice?  Really? 

Gluttony is a form of addiction, a besetting sin. It harms the person and others around you. Instead of helping others overcome bad habits, vices, the hack is not only not helping the person, but enabling bad behavior, encouraging, exacerbating the excesses, the addiction. 

This is the case with the mainstream mantra parroted by politicians and the rest of all the king’s men, who don’t have a clue on how to put broken people back together again.  Calling drug addiction “substance abuse disorder” is counterproductive.   

As is the case of housing, the free market helps. People should have a choice to see for themselves what works best. One organization I see as very helpful is Conquering Life Prison And Recovery Ministries (CLPRM) http://www.clprm.org/ 

To address the solution to the opioid crisis, I’ve been working on a book that argues that the faith community is the key to resolving the problem, which ultimately is a spiritual epidemic.  

Driving past the Levittown-Fairless Hills rescue squad on New Falls Road in Levittown, PA recently, I noticed the latest drug overdose statistics:   Image may contain: outdoor

“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” -2 Chronicles 7:14