Blending The Homeless In

Blending in with the neighborhood is one of the nice things about Kenton Woman’s Village, a well designed community for the homeless set in an established residential community. The village doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb. Unlike many places who don’t want the homeless in their neighborhood, most of the neighbors welcome the residents of the village. In fact, they helped build it.  

http://www.kgw.com/news/the-path-from-dignity-village-to-the-new-kenton-womens-village/448100699 

The village consists of clean lined tiny homes, designed by local architectural firms. Catholic Charities operate the village under contract with the county. Residents have to pass a background check and have a case worker through Catholic Charities. 

The goal of the community is to work towards permanent housing. There is security 24/7 and a full-time manager. Funny, one of the reasons the president of The Advocates for The Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) in Bucks County, PA poo-pooed my proposal to join the non-profit another guy and I were trying to launch in our effort to provide more housing for the homeless was that 24/7 security would be needed. 

Across the river in Burlington Township, New Jersey, homeless advocates, Citizens Serving The Homeless, have drawn up a plan, made a drawing of the proposed community.  The neighbors were very hostile at the meeting the homeless advocates held this past February. This did not deter the advocates. They are pressing on and even hired a lawyer to help pave the way for the homeless community.  

Like the Kenton Women’s Village, the Burlington project’s goal is to give the homeless a hand up and help them become self-sufficient and will provide mentoring. 

The biggest hurdle to jump to create housing for the homeless is accepting the homeless, welcoming them into the community. People should get to know the homeless, and not base their attitudes on stereotypes. Maybe if they get to know them, know all about them, they may like them. Picture the homeless, an association of homeless people, have a slogan: “Don’t talk about us; talk with us.” 

I’ve talked with and hung out with the homeless in Bucks County, PA. I’ve read books, searched stories and opinions about the homeless on the Internet and have divined that they are not the walking dead, they are not all panhandlers, druggies, thieves, drunks, violent. Certainly some are. One reason people are prejudice against the homeless is that, although they may be spread out like tribes, they are a group that have in common just being homeless.  

Some of the tribes are hostile, mainly with each other and on some occasions, most often driven by booze, with non-homeless people who come to community meals. Some tribes act like the schoolboys in The Lord of The Flies, where they attack others in the group. Recently in Bucks county two women ganged up on another woman. Reminds me of what Ann Coulter wrote about the barbaric Celts in her book Mugged, that the women were more brutal than the men. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_of_the_Flies 

When homeless people ape the characters in the novel, the community, which in many cases already have some deep-seated stereotypes of the homeless, will not warm up to them. 

The Women’s Kenton homeless village does background checks as will the Citizens Serving The Homeless for their homeless community. As is the case with any complex, people need to be screened to ensure peace and civility in the community.  Civilized, not anti-social behavior is the key to helping the homeless as is understanding them and getting to know people as individuals. We can overcome homelessness. 

“If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you. Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God, that your brother may live beside you.”   -Leviticus 25:35-36 

Homeless Housing Plan Moves Forward

To move forward with plans to create 60 units to house the homeless in Burlington Township, NJ, Citizens Serving The Homeless have hired an attorney to negotiate with officials.  This is the first step to getting the project approved at the local level.

Back in February, the Citizens Serving The Homeless held a public meeting at the Church of the Nazarene in Burlington Township to discuss the plans for the homeless community with neighbors. They were met with hostility from the crowd in the over packed auditorium.

Begging the question, one opponent of the homeless housing plan asked what the Citizens Serving The Homeless 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. Candidates for the housing will be screened.

Unless you’ve been living on Mars, you know that drug abuse is an epidemic, and to make drug abuse synonymous with homelessness is silly.

Who are the local homeless in the area where Citizens Serving The Homeless plan to build the housing community?  http://citizensservingthehomeless.org/theirstories.html

Despite the hostility, the hobophobia (the irrational fear of the homeless), the Citizens Serving The Homeless are pressing on with their plans.  This is not the case across the river in Bucks County, PA with the Advocates for The Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN). When I asked the president of AHTN if the non profit could team up with a friend and I who planned to start a non profit to provide housing for the homeless, she said it was “impossible” and added that this would require security 24/7.

In Bucks County, there are more vacant buildings and properties than there are homeless people.

The property where Citizens Serving The Homeless wants to build has been vacant for about two years. In Bucks County, there’s a building that was purchased a year ago, and was vacant for a few years, that just sits on a hill overlooking the Neshaminy Creek in Newportville, just taking up space. Nothing is being done with it. As is the case in Burlington Township and many other places, the main obstacle to providing shelter for the homeless in Bucks County is hobophobia.

Unlike AHTN, the Citizens Serving The Homeless are working to overcome obstacles, mainly hobophobia. Getting the truth out about who the homeless really are is a campaign I have taken on, as has others. More people should educate the public about the homeless.

AHTN doesn’t strive to get to fully understand the homeless or to enlighten the public about who they really are. Awhile back, AHTN made a video that attempted to show who the homeless are. Unlike the Citizens Serving The Homeless, who interviewed all the homeless in the community who were willing to talk to them, AHTN used actors to portray the homeless! Not only did AHTN not use real homeless people, there was an attempt to keep the homeless away from the area during taping! And AHTN applied to same principle to keep the homeless out as you would for wild animals. Don’t feed them. They kept the pizza in an area where the homeless were not. This was on a day where there was no community meal for the homeless.

The homeless showed up where the homeless video was being shot none-the-less.  The actors ignored the genuine homeless; they walked by them as if they were mannequins.

Evidently, AHTN, like the rest of the Bucks County establishment, wishes to portray the homeless on how they imagine them rather than try to learn who they really are, much like the Fractured Fairy Tales on the old Bullwinkle and Rocky Show.

“Don’t talk about us, talk with us.” -phrase coined by a group of homeless people.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Fractured+Fairy+Tales&view=detail&mid=EC9DCDB244F3D106C09CEC9DCDB244F3D106C09C&FORM=VIRE 

Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. …”

-Luke 10:30-37

Homeless Pit Bulls

As I was walking my dog in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, a hiker walking towards me frantically warned me that a pit bull was running loose in the woods. As we entered a landing by the “river”, there it was. The pit bull! We approached the much feared dog, who didn’t attack us, but was playful. I admit I was a little scared.

I threw a stick for the pit bull, to my dog’s vexation. The three of us found a spot to hang out. The pit bull, although a puppy, was twice the size of my dog, who got nervous when she got on top of her. I told the pit bull to sit away from us, take a time out. The dog obeyed as if she were my own dog, and waited for my permission to come back out and visit with my dog.

Like pit bulls, the homeless have gotten a bad rap.

My experience with the pit bull in the Pine Barrens wasn’t the only time I found that all the talk about pit bulls being vicious dogs was unfounded.

“Don’t talk about us – talk with us” – slogan coined by the homeless-run organization Picture The Homeless.

Just as pit bulls are judged by a few bad dogs (the result of the owner/trainer), the government hacks in the WIC office near the Veterans Memorial in Levittown, PA where the homeless hang out judged all the homeless by a few isolated incidents by individuals who happened to be homeless (or perhaps they were from one of the numerous recovery houses).  The Bucks County officer from the building where WIC is housed told some homeless people at the memorial that people are afraid to come to the memorial with them there.

As was the case with the pit bull, people should find out for themselves the truth of an assertion.

For the past nearly three years, I’ve been getting to know the local homeless. Like pit bulls, they don’t bite. When I visited the Levittown public library, I recognized some homeless people I had seen at a local community meal. I got to know them there and at the nearby vets memorial. At the time, after having lost my job and being low on funds, I struggled to find enough to eat. One of the homeless people told me about other meals for the homeless and the free bus that takes them there. It was a Godsend!

I learned some of the homeless’ stories and engaged in intelligent conversation with them. On a few occasions, we discussed Shakespeare. I found that many of them worked, sometimes intermittently and sometimes full time. Some homeless folks have found regular jobs and have found a place to live.

Unlike the druggies, people become homeless for different reasons. One of them is simply job loss, sometimes a layoff or sometimes because of sickness.  During the Great Depression/Progressive era of the late 1920s and 30s, many working men became hobos after they couldn’t find work, which was a result of the bad economy ushered in by progressives such as Presidents Herbert Hoover and FDR, with his New Raw Deal. Likewise, recent progressives have fostered homelessness.

http://waynedupree.com/democrats-uncovered-how-fdrs-new-deal-hurt-the-middle-class-and-the-poor/

In an attempt to alert the public about the homeless in Bucks County, PA, The Advocates for The Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) made a video, where actors talked about them rather than talking with the homeless. They tried to keep the homeless away from the shoot that day, but the homeless came anyway. The homeless were ignored; treated like mannequins!

Unlike AHTN, The Citizens Serving the Homeless on the other side of the Delaware River talked with real homeless people when they made their video. http://citizensservingthehomeless.org/theirstories.html

The truth about the homeless: http://citizensservingthehomeless.org/myths.html

Don’t jump to conclusions – there may be a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw.” – Proverbs 25:8

The Homeless Are Not The Problem

Dems and their comrades in the fake news media think letting unvetted refugees and illegal immigrants into our country is noble, while they work to keep our own homeless people out of the neighborhood, as if they were lepers.

The problem is not the homeless; the homeless are a symptom of a cultural problem.

For the past several decades, the US has been engaged in a cultural war. It’s a war about God – about what’s right against the godless, who think wrong is right. For the left in this country, there are no moral taboos. It will do anything to accomplish its goals; the ends justifies the means.

For the left, homosexuality isn’t just OK, but they praise it – so much that they go to great lengths to punish people who don’t embrace this sin. But reading the Bible and prayer in school isn’t cool.

The 50s were a time of stability, low crime, a crime when families stayed and prayed together, people weren’t wacked out on drugs the way they are today. People respected their neighbor and their kin. They would not show up on court TV to fight their sisters, their brothers, their mothers… You didn’t need DNA tests to find out who your father was.

My granduncle ran a wholesale toy store in Philadelphia through the 50s and into the 60s where, when he made a business deal, all that was needed to seal the deal was a handshake, which was a businessman’s bond. Not so today.

What happened?

One thing is the failure of the church in America. Many churches stopped teaching the Word of God as gospel, but subject to the whims of human desire. Anything in the Bible that they thought would cramp their style was ignored. Some churches even conduct same sex marriages!

Along came Woodstock in 1969, where the Noble Savage was celebrated. For those of you in Doylestown, the Noble Savage is someone who throws off the restraints of civilization and  lets loose his base, savage nature. In other words, is borderless. “Generation X” is so named to denote a generation that has lost its moral compass – that anything goes.

Following close behind came the 70’s, which author Tom Wolfe coined “The Me Decade.” One of his examples was feminists, who talk about “my” baby, which is only hers and can consequently do anything she wants with it, “my career”, etc.

Enter  Roe v. Wade in 1973, where murdering babies just because it cramped a woman’s style became legal. Today, Planned Parenthood not only cuts a child’s life short, but, like the “noble savages” they are, harvests body parts.

Human life is no longer sacred. People no longer have intrinsic value, made in the image of God who breathed life into them.  Their value is determined by who they are and what they can do. So it should be no surprise, although disgusting, that the homeless are devalued in our society. Just as people who, when asked, say they support traditional marriage are attacked, caring people who reach out to help the homeless are met, figuratively, with torches and pitchforks.

The principle that humans have intrinsic value, by some, is not considered a self evident truth. People who should speak out for the homeless having value just go along to get along and view the homeless as a threat to their personal peace and prosperity. The Salvation Army Levittown PA Community center is an example. During a conversation I had with another volunteer there, The Countess of Carlisle (not her real name), in public relations butted into the conversation and defended the campaign to constructively rid the public library of the homeless.  Her argument? The Countess declared that some people who visit the library don’t like the homeless being there. And this is from an official who represents a Christian organization that had historically reached out and showed God’s love to give the down and out a loving hand up to help restore them to the way God originally made them.

Lines about the Salvation Army’s PR gal’s namesake: “In 1838, Lady Carlisle articulated a negative opinion of Charles Dickens, who was then emerging as a successful author. ‘I know there are such unfortunate beings as pickpockets and streetwalkers. I am very sorry for it and am very much shocked at their mode of life, but I own I do not much wish to hear what they say to one another’, she said.”

At the February 13 meeting held at the Church of The Nazarene in Burlington Township, New Jersey to address the concerns of neighbors to a proposed housing complex for the homeless, the neighbors went on the attack, charging the Citizens Serving the Homeless of endangering the community. Members of the audience ranted that the druggies (they were begging the question) would cause problems in their neighborhood, threaten and harass people, and cause drug related problems, such as tying up emergency services.

It’s funny that people think the homeless have a monopoly on drug abuse. Headline on Levittownnow.com: “Judge Calls Family Man Turned Robber A ‘Pill-Popping Junkie’ “.  The guy isn’t homeless, and in fact was doing fairly well financially. He only resorted to robbery because he wanted to hide his besetting sin from his family. http://levittownnow.com/2017/03/01/judge-calls-family-man-turned-robber-pill-popping-junkie/

The Citizens Serving the Homeless will screen those who would be living in the community. https://burlingtontownshipsun.com/nonprofit-seeks-to-build-homeless-housing-in-burlington-township-c1881e031a3d#.n5ntx4nhb

They are on the right side of the cultural war, which, with God’s help and guidance, we are starting to win.

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 7:14

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/

 

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/