One size does not fit all. Two people in a similar situation will not always act the same way. Take the homeless.
Although contributions to homeless stereotypes are not tax deductible, some homeless people, for example, in Bucks County, PA, are great contributors to the stereotype that the homeless are lazy, are nut cases, have no goals, are drunks and druggies, have no borders and just want handouts.
Just yesterday, at the community meal, a guy known as “Birdman” grabbed for all the gusto he could. He went to a beverage container, which was for all the guests, and filled a large container he had, without asking. He asked one of the hosts if there was any more of the beverage as he approached the large container again. The host said “no”, but Birdman checked anyway.
At this meal I didn’t notice him doing his usual rounds to each table to grab bread and other items that were on each table, which for designated for the guests at that table, maybe because other guests had confronted him about this rude behavior.
Birdman is not officially homeless, but in the category of the needy.
After the meal, Birdman and a homeless woman, known as The Queen of England, purposely missed the homeless bus, and counted on bumming rides from people who have cars. They tried to get rides from several people, who turned them down, knowing that they are users. As I walked briskly to my car to try to avoid the two, Birdman suddenly drew close to me and asked for a ride, which I declined.
“Why not?”, he demanded.
“Because I said no,” I answered, and got into my car and drove off.
These two (sh**)birds of a feather are an excellent example of the entitlement mentality in our country today. I’ve divined that they believe that because they don’t have a car, those who do are obligated to chauffeur them anywhere they want to go – that their wish is other’s command.
Other homeless people, by contrast, don’t impose on others but apply themselves in order to get out of this place, if it’s the last thing they ever do. One formerly homeless friend told me that he doesn’t want to become too comfortable in his homeless situation so that he has incentive to move forward. He applied himself and got on call work. He had saved some money and bought a truck, but could not afford to keep it running. So he got a bike, and sometimes rode an hour to work!
On a few occasions when I saw him at a community meal when he had no transportation, I learned he had a very long walk to the job, so I gave him a ride.
My former homeless friend had substance abuse problems, and through a twelve step program and by going to God, he put the problem at bay. Unlike the sh**birds, he never demanded a ride, especially when there were other options available and not just for recreation.
This guy, like others I’ve noticed in the homeless community, have moved forward. Instead of developing PMS (poor me syndrome) or an entitlement mentality and giving up, he worked his way out of his situation and is becoming a productive member of society.
By giving into the users, you are not helping them or society. As former first Lady Nancy Reagan said about drugs, “just say no.”
One of the first homeless people I met when I started hanging out with the homeless almost 2 ½ years ago is a professional homeless person, although, I believe through county housing assistance, is staying in government assisted housing. He quit two jobs someone had gotten for him; he just wanted handouts and to stay in the Land of The Lotus Eaters. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus-eaters
I believe he, like his girlfriend, is getting disability. Not the official reason, but the government is taking care of them because they are lazy and not responsible for their actions. Awhile back, the guard at the Levittown library caught them having sex at the homeless bus stop. One member of the Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) lobbied for them and got them off the hook, although the county punished the rest of the homeless community by removing the bus shelter. Other homeless people were singled out and individually punished for fighting at the bus stop.
There is hope for the homeless. Given the opportunity, a hand up, some members of this community can move forward and not contribute to homeless stereotypes and flee from the Land of The Lotus Eaters.
“Deliver the poor and needy; free them from the hand of the wicked.” -Psalm 82:4