We’re All The Same

Two Burger Kings, a McDonalds and a Subway in lower Bucks County, PA doesn’t like the homeless in their establishment, and try to get rid of them ASAP. So does the Levittown public library and surrounding area.

Yet, we read all the time about people who are not homeless committing crimes. The latest was from a 19 year old druggie, who pawned his girlfriend’s watch and laptop. He also pawned a Playstation 4 from his parent’s house! This, he told police, was to support his drug habit. http://levittownnow.com/2016/12/27/cops-man-pawns-girlfriends-property/

Unlike Burger King, McDonalds and Subway, Denny’s in Penndel and Wendy’s in Levittown welcomes everybody – treats them the same. Their policy is based on the content of the character and not their living arrangements.

Denny’s manager told me that my friend and I, homeless at the time, were welcome to stay as long as we like as long as it isn’t crowded. Likewise did a manager at Wendy’s. This manager told me a story about a time someone invited a homeless man in for a meal into a Burger King where he worked. A customer nervously approached the counter and frantically told the staff that a homeless guy came in.

“So?”, the storyteller remarked. The Wendy’s manager said that he thought this was silly – to get worked up about the homeless entering the establishment.

The rundown on Burger King, McDonald’s and Subway:

  • Burger King: At the one in Bristol @Beaverdam Road and Bristol Pike, one morning a homeless woman went to the counter for her free refill. The general manager snapped that she wasn’t allowed to hang out there all day. One night, after this rude behavior, when we entered, the shift manager told us my sick homeless friend was not allowed there. When I pressed her for a reason, she said the manager doesn’t want homeless people there because they panhandle.
  • Burger King: Near the Oxford Valley Mall: One day, as my friend was getting more food, the general manager demanded my friend leave immediately before he calls the police. My sick friend was able to stay at the next door Boston Market, who graciously allowed her to stay until I picked her up.
  • McDonald’s Fairless Hills, in the Giant Parking Lot: The manager, whom I call “Twenty Minutes”, booted my friend because she was there 20 minutes, tossed the sick woman out into cold, rainy windy weather. When I came to pick her up, I asked Ms. Minutes where my friend was. She said she was waiting for the bus. When I told her my friend was not there, she sarcastically said my friend was not her responsibility. I reminded Ms. Minutes that she threw my sick friend out into the inclement weather. I called her a low life and said I would no longer spend a penny there and would tell everyone not to patronize McDonalds.
  • Subway near the old Walmart: After staying a short while, my friend was booted. The rationale: She was smoking in the ladies room. I doubt that. It was about 70 degrees out with little to no wind. When I spoke with the manager and just said some homeless just need a place to linger after they eat, he Augustly said that the restaurant is not for the homeless. At night, some homeless friends and I used to hang out and had friendly conversations with the hostess on duty.

The homeless are simply people, whom for one reason or another, don’t have a dwelling. Other than that, they are simply a microcosm of society.

At a recent homeless and needy community meal, a friend who had been working couldn’t move into a room because he got laid off. But he told me he would keep trying and had faith that he’d find a place in time. I have faith in general but in particular after the recent election that businesses will again flourish. By cutting taxes and asinine, onerous regulations, the economy improves and there are more jobs and less homelessness. I believe that under progressive rule (progressing to socialism), there is more homelessness. I entitled a blog about this “Fight Homelessness; Don’t Vote for Progressives.”

Another homeless friend recently told me that she had been saving money by working, and thought she’d have a place by September. Consequently, she gave the hand and foot warmers I gave her ages ago to another homeless person. She expects to find a place soon.

There are other former homeless people who “have made it.”

As is the case with other populations, there are problem people. One homeless man who came to a dinner drunk on several occasions, the last time knocking a man down, cutting the back of his head, is now in the Bucks County jail.

Because caring people stepped up and did something about this wrongdoing, the community meals are now peaceful – a joyful place to go where people can go to find solace among friends and the hosts. Being homeless doesn’t excuse bad behavior. Contributions to homeless stereotypes are not tax deductible!

US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas once said on C-Span that blacks should not be excused for bad behavior because of past wrongs against them. Doing this, the judge said, would lower them to being animals, where they can’t make moral choices of right and wrong. Ditto for the homeless.

Reporting a homeless man committing a crime shows that there are people who treat the homeless like human beings and not animals, expecting civil behavior. This has sent a message through the homeless community that bad behavior will not be tolerated and will have consequences. This is the way to give peace a chance.

“Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism.”

Acts 10:34

Walking the Path of the Homeless

“Just spending one night on the street” a homeless woman told me,  “does not  give you the experience of being homeless.”  She made this comment after I had spent a night sleeping in the street with a homeless guy and two others after he challenged me to do this because “you’re writing about us, Jeff.”

The woman was right.  Since then I have become homeless, living in my car with a friend who has lung cancer.  I am now walking the path of the homeless, and am experiencing the same struggles.  My goal is to use my God given writing talent to call attention to the homeless and help them overcome.

On my first sample of life on the street, I had no foam padding and improvised by fishing some cardboard out of a dumpster, which added to the blankets I used cushioning. It took awhile to get used the street noises, such as car engines, radios, and occasional shouts of passersby. I slept just a little that night.

It’s no wonder homeless people occasionally nod off in the public library in Levittown, PA, where I’ve gotten to know many of the homeless folks in the area.

SLEEPING CAN BE DIFFICULT in a car. One thing I do to help me sleep is drink Kava tea, which relaxes not only my mind, but my muscles.

I’ve been sleeping in a car for more than four months. There are people who have been doing this much longer than I have. There are people who have been in tents for years, and have had to move several times over periods of time.  People who set up in walkways have to pack up everyday!

Things you take for granted, such as having cabinets for food and clothes, a chair of sofa to relax in, a nearby shower, a bookshelf, and other amenities are missing.  A big problem with living out of your car is the lack of space for things.  Organization is much harder than in normal life.  There is little room for storing food so you end up eating out a lot.  There are free community meals hosted by local churches, which help a lot.  There are free showers at the local YMCA.  The homeless are allowed to take showers during certain times.

There is a stigma attached to being homeless.  Some places, including the Levittown Public Library, are hostile to the homeless.  They consider a homeless person a persona non grata.  Some of the fast food restaurants also don’t like the homeless.  Some of subtly, others openly hostile to the homeless, even arbitrarily kicking them out.  Two Burger Kings in lower Bucks County, PA have discriminated against the homeless, booting my homeless friend when I left her there a couple hours, even though it wasn’t crowded.

Burger King I found to be the most hostile to the homeless.  The McDonald’s in Fairless Hills also made my homeless friend leave when it wasn’t crowded, because she was there 20 minutes.  As was the case with Burger King, she was not allowed to wait for a ride, but was thrown out to meet nasty weather, even though she is sickly.  A Subway near this McDonald’s also booted my friend.  The manager said he doesn’t want the homeless hanging out there, even to get warm a short while, even if they nurse a cup of coffee.

Denny’s in Langhorne, PA and Wendy’s in Levittown, PA has been hospitable to the homeless.  They judge them by the content of their character.

There are other people out there who are gracious.  The hosts at the community meals for the homeless and those in need have been reaching out to the homeless and have been getting to known them and try to help them.  The former Advocate for “The Library People”, the homeless that frequent the Levittown Public Library, help meet the needs of the homeless, both materially and morally, whom she considers her friends.  She ministered, and still ministers through Facebook and phone, to her friends.

Since associating with the homeless, I’ve gotten a different perspective of them.  As is the case with the general population, there are some who don’t want to help themselves and continue destructive behavior.

I can understand the anger, disappointment, frustration, defeatism, even nihilism of the homeless.  I’ve experienced, and still experience this.  Although I’m in rebellion, I realize that God has put me in this place to walk in the homeless shoes and be his ambassador and lead by example, which I’m finding is easier said than done.  Still, in the tradition of Snuffy Smith, I keep on truckin’.

To help meet the great need for shelter for the homeless, Gimmee Shelter, a nascent non profit, was created.  http://www.timespub.com/2015/04/30/working-for-a-place-to-stay/

A Homeless Guide to Dining in Lower Bucks County PA

This guide to homeless dining in Lower Bucks County, PA is based on first hand reports from homeless people who visited several eating establishments in lower Bucks County.  There were different results from different establishments to the same homeless people who dressed and acted the same way.

The homeless who visited various places in this review came unannounced and visited these establishments the way anyone else would.  The main person in the study, a homeless woman with lung cancer who has been undergoing chemotherapy, appears weak and thin, but relatively clean and dressed not much different than those in casual attire who visited the same places.  We’ve also included some commentary from restaurant staff.

So here is an account of the good, the bad and the ugly at different restaurants in lower Bucks County we visited.

The Good

Denny’s in Langhorne, PA:  Very homeless friendly.  At Denny’s, everybody is made to feel at home, regardless of their status in society and what they look like.  In fact, instead of being turned off by my friend looking tired and sick, they showed compassion.  The know my friend and I by name and ask how my friend is doing, sincerely.  Because of the chemo, my friend gets tired often and she’s allowed to curl up and sleep.  On one occasion, when our waitress noticed my friend nodding off, she told her she could lay down in an unoccupied, large lounge seat.

When the Denny’s staff sees us coming, they automatically pour our coffee and put creamer out for us.  We have a special area in the back (we love it; it’s not a Rosa Parks deal) which, when not crowded, automatically head back to and sit down, plug in my laptop and charge cell phones.  Senior waiters and waitresses told us we can stay as long as we want, as long as we occasionally buy something to eat.  The exception is weekends.  The manager took me aside and apologetically asked that on weekends, when it’s crowded, we not hang out “all day,” and explained that waitresses and waiters would lose money if we tied up a table too long.

Waitresses and waiters told me that they don’t understand why other places would boot the homeless when it’s not crowded.

Wendy’s in Levittown, PA.  Also very homeless friendly.  We’ve gone to this Wendy’s, ordered food and have hung out for hours. We’ve gone over the dinner hour and have stayed until closing.  On one occasion, when we left an hour before closing, one of the workers remarked that we were leaving early that night.

On one occasion, a customer talked to a guy there whom I think is the manager.  They both knew the score.  I overheard the manager say “you might embarrass him.”  The customer, however, approached me and offered me money.  I thanked him and declined the offer and explained that we had some funds and weren’t that bad off.

On another occasion the manager officially told me he doesn’t have a problem with us hanging out for long periods at this Wendy’s.  He mentioned that we sit quietly in a corner, don’t bother anybody, clean up after ourselves, I’m on my laptop and my friend occupies herself with various quiet activities.  The guy told me a story about and incident when he worked at another fast food place.  Someone had invited an homeless man out of the cold and bought him a meal.  One of the customers panicked and alerted the staff that “a homeless person came in.”

“So,” the guy relating the story said, as he shrugged his shoulders, and said that they explained to the frantic customer that the homeless person was invited in for a meal.  He also doesn’t understand why people have a problem with the homeless when they visit an establishment and are following the rules.

The Bad and the Ugly

Two Burger Kings in the area booted my friend from the restaurant.  One of them booted her permanently, just because she was homeless.

The Burger King in Bristol, PA, the day after when I left my friend there for part of the afternoon, snapped at her and said that she can’t hang out there all day as she was getting her free coffee refill.  One evening, as I was talking to a guy I befriended at the restaurant, the shift manager approached me and informed me that my friend wasn’t allowed at this Burger King.  When I pressed her for an answer, she said the general manager said my friend couldn’t come to this Burger King simply because she was homeless, because the homeless panhandle (although my friend did not ever do this).

The Burger King near the Oxford Valley Mall in Langhorne, PA threw my cancer stricken friend out arbitrarily after I dropped her off, with severe weather threatening!  She had just finished her lunch, and as she went to get her free coffee refill, the manager swooped down on her and demanded she leave or else he’d call the police.  There was no discussion even.  To get out of the elements, she walked over to the Boston Market, where the people there were much more hospitable to her, and I picked her up.

When I confronted this Burger King Manager about him arbitrarily throwing my friend out, he said that after someone eats and is alone, there is nobody to talk to so he/she should leave.  When I mentioned she had cancer, as if he couldn’t at least tell she was non contagious sickly (and that’s why he booted her out), he made the excuse “I didn’t know she had cancer.”  It wasn’t until after I showed him how irrational and wrong he was did he hint at the restaurant being crowded.  It wasn’t.

We had visited this Burger King a few times.  On one occasion this manager started staring at us after we had spent most of the day there, having had ordered breakfast and lunch.  “Are you waiting for a ride?”, he asked.  When we said “no”, he mentioned us being there awhile.  “Is that a problem?”, my friend replied.

“You’ve been here since this morning”, the manager quipped.  “So…”, I replied, and he walked away.

On another occasion, the manager at this Burger King told us, about 10:35 p.m., “you better start packing up, we’re closing in ten minutes.”

I mentioned that the restaurant closes at 11 p.m.

“We have to clean up…”

We packed up and left

The McDonald’s in Fairless Hills is another eating establishment hostile to the homeless.   The manager, whom I refer to as “Twenty Minutes” kicked my homeless friend out.  She told the manager that she was waiting for a ride as she nursed her coffee, but that didn’t matter to Ms. Minutes.  I couldn’t find my friend when I went to pick her up.  The manager was cryptic and snippety when I asked about my friend.  It was cold and raining, and my friend found the shelter of a nearby office building, where I picked her up.

This was the second time Ms. Minutes booted my friend.  The first time Ms. Minutes made my friend leave, my friend called me and I picked her up, as she got in touch with me before the 20 minute warning was up.    After this first McDonald’s booting, as I was eating with my friend, this manager did a California stop, turned and quickly glanced at my friend, as if she were a dog, and uttered “remember, 20 minutes”, and walked away.

The Subway in Fairless Hills kicked my friend out shortly after I dropped her off.  They falsely accused her of smoking in the restroom.  It was about 70 degrees out, with a light wind, and sunny.  There would be no reason not to smoke outside anyway.

When I pressed the manager over the phone about why my friend was booted, and explained the homeless sometimes just want to find a place to hang out awhile to take a load off and questioned why that would be a problem when it wasn’t crowded, he responded flatly that the Subway wasn’t a place for the homeless.

You’ve read about the good, bad and the ugly in regards to homeless dining in lower Bucks County.  I hope this gives you a heads up about how these establishments treat people.

Who Are You?

“Who are you?
Who, who, who, who?…

–Lyrics from Who Are You, by The Who

Some people think they know who the homeless are, but often fall short of reality.

I’ve been hanging out with the homeless in Levittown, PA for a little more than a year.  I soon became part of the group in spirit, but now I am homeless, literally now one of them.  During this time, I’ve gotten first hand experience about who the homeless really are.

They are people like you and I who have had the misfortune of losing their homes, through job loss, fire (in an uninsured house) or for other reasons — in some cases a result of their own irresponsibility and sometimes as a result of a combination of causes beyond their control and irresponsibility.

In the public library, in Levittown, PA, where many of them go to exchange information, they read books and use the resources to look for jobs.  Some, however, just play all day.

A hangout for the homeless, the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial just outside the library, is where many of the homeless who frequently congregate.  They have discussed Shakespeare and have other intelligent conversations.  Sometimes not.

Sometimes at the memorial, the homeless discuss their situations and problems. On one occasion, a guy exclaimed “this is a therapy session” and walked away.

Some of the homeless people have found jobs, some regular and some intermittent.  At one of the community meals for the homeless and needy, two homeless guys talked about their recent jobs.  These guys, who want to work, longed for having a routine.  One of them now has a routine, substituting as a bus driver, with the possibility of a full time job.

Although some of the people are not in tent cities but scattered in various places, they band together in their challenging situation, like the characters in John Steinbeck’s THE GRAPES OF WRATH.

People in the homeless community pass information by word of mouth — they have an oral tradition like the ancient Greeks, who passed along the epic poem The Odyssey this way.  And to many people outside the homeless community, the life of the homeless is Greek to them.    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odyssey

Back at the memorial, there have been problems, such as brawls fueled by alcohol.  Recently, the perpetrators have been punished, so far banned from the memorial and the library, where they have also been creating problems.  Law and order is the norm now at the memorial, and it continues to be a special place where the homeless can peaceably assemble and talk politics, literature, science –  whatever suits their fancy.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, the memorial is a special place where they can go, as reflected in the old Beatles song There’s a Place.  http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/beatles/theresaplace.html

Things we take for granted, such as being able to bathe and go to the bathroom (the homeless don’t have their own bathrooms), having a refrigerator, being able to take a nap in your own castle, cooking your own food, etc., is not an integral part of the life of the homeless.

It’s 6 a.m., and time to start packing up their sleeping gear in front of a government building.  The office will start it’s business day and the homeless have to skedaddle.

This is one example of what people who don’t have a home to go home to have to do.

As far as personal hygiene, in the cold weather they find restrooms or other places where they can discreetly brush their teeth and generally clean up.  The public library in Levittown PA put signs up “no brushing teeth, no shaving…” in the rest rooms.

The homeless have a haven at the local YMCA, where they can shower and clean up.  The Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) set them up for this.  There is limited transportation to get there.  Many of the homeless in Levittown walk to the Y.  That is, those who can walk.

Another way the homeless in lower Bucks County spend the night is in cars.  There are a few places in the area that are homeless friendly.  A major retailer allows people to sleep in their cars in their parking lot.  The local police not only know about it, but they get to know who the homeless are who spend the night in their cars and look after them, especially the homeless females.  They have even approached homeless women to make sure they are OK.

ATTITUDES TOWARDS THE HOMELESS

Not every business is homeless friendly.  McDonalds regularly kicks the homeless out of their restaurant, even when it isn’t crowded and when they are obeying the rules.  A local Subway also kicks out the homeless.  I talked with the manager of this Subway who said that people have complained about certain people hanging around (although they weren’t panhandling or pestering anyone in anyway) and that his establishment doesn’t want the homeless to find a temporary refuge there.

Burger King is the most hostile to the homeless in lower Bucks County.  The shift manager relayed as message to a homeless woman when she entered a Burger King in Bristol that she was not allowed there, and when pressed for the reason, she said the general manager doesn’t want homeless people in the restaurant, because they panhandle.  Holy you’re innocent until proven guilty, Batman!  At the Burger King just below the Oxford Valley Mall in Langhorne, this same woman was ordered out of the Burger King when she was getting her free coffee refill.  Without even a conversation, the manager threatened to call the police if she didn’t leave immediately.

By contrast, Denny’s in Langhorne has been very hospitable to the homeless.  When it’s not crowded, homeless people can spend hours after eating reading a book and can even take a nap!  Unlike other establishments, the folks at Denny’s don’t judge people by their appearances.

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.”  Hebrews 13:2

HOW DID THEY GET THIS WAY?

In some cases, homeless people became that way as a result of addictions.  Some of them have turned to drugs or alcohol as an escape from their situation.  Like the rest of us, they are imperfect creatures with character defects.  I’m a great believer in restoring people.  Of course they have to want to be restored.

Who are the homeless?  They are people who don’t have a home. This is why Gimmee Shelter for the Homeless was created.  http://www.timespub.com/2015/04/30/working-for-a-place-to-stay/#more-45529

 

The Root of The Problem

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My homeless friend and were parked at Silver Lake Park in Bristol, PA, shuffling stuff that was overflowing inside my car around, when a  man who had just walked his dog approached and asked “can I help with anything”?

I explained that my friend, who has no place to sleep, has been sleeping in my car.  Brian told us about a food mission for the homeless his church has.  I explained that we have sufficient food, between food stamps, food pantries, and community meals, but told him there may be some homeless people who may on occasion be able to use this food, which doesn’t need cooking.  I added that I know a trustworthy homeless, seasoned leader who knows who would be in need and would make sure the food is distributed fairly.

I told Brian that the problem we have, like many other homeless folks, is shelter, which is a scarce resource in lower Bucks County.

Churches and church affiliated groups have stepped up to the plate in lower Bucks County, Pennsylvania to help the homeless.  This is one recent example.

After having been booted from many eating establishments, as I’ve related in my blog No Dogs Allowed, we have found a haven: Denny’s Restaurant on Business Route 1, near the Langhorne-Penndel border.  We and other homeless people feel almost like family here.  One worker here told us we can stay here as long as we want in this 24 hour restaurant, and we have.

My friend has cancer, and looks sickly and portrays a sort of homeless look.  Instead of making excuses to remove my friend from their presence, people here have been gracious.  Customers have anonymously bought meals for us.  One customer gave us a discount coupon on her way out, and made a remark that indicated that she was someone of faith, which was the motivation for what she did.  The staff here also has been gracious to us.  They have been giving us discounts and even gave me a discount card.

On one occasion, we talked with other customers where God was brought into the conversation.  We felt at home with them.  I’ve overheard parties discussing the Lord.

Back to the Shelter Problem,  the only shelter in lower Bucks County, run by Family Services of Bucks County, is not only overflowing, with demand greatly exceeding supply, it is not exactly a refuge from the storm.

A window, who has been having financial and other problems, had something valuable stolen from her at the shelter.  She is not only upset at this, but at the attitude of the shelter staff about the theft and other matters.  A volunteer from the Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) comforted her and helped her out with her material needs.   Other homeless people have comforted her.

Although the government helps out somewhat, with food stamps for example, it really doesn’t deal with the problem, and certainly doesn’t get to the root of it.  In many cases, as former President Ronald Reagan said, “government can’t solve problems; government is the problem”.

I’ve been struggling with Pennsylvania Welfare for months to get the right coverage to continue my friend’s chemotherapy.  Even a staff member from a local state legislator’s office is having a problem dealing with welfare on this matter.  It is a life or death situation, and that’s no hyperbole!

One of the basic reasons for homelessness is the economy.  Yet the Governor of Pennsylvania,  a Wolf in Wolf’s clothes (and this little boy is pointing out his wardrobe),  is interfering with the production of natural resources.  Rather than serve we the people, he made this move to placate the pseudo environmentalist special interests, who have money and influence.

Decades ago, the late Francis Schaeffer, a Christian college professor who has worked with the Counter Culture, who wanted to best be known as an evangelist, wrote that freedom in this country has been abused and one of two things is going to happen.  Either we will have a big government, police state to control people from the outside, or we will have a Christian consensus, where people are changed from the inside and they will do the right thing.

Arguing the point of big government versus individual initiatives is beyond the scope of this blog.  I would refer readers to Glenn Beck’s Arguing with Idiots; How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government.

It is up to us as American’s to step up to the plate and help our fellow American’s, our neighbors, in the tradition of President Grover Cleveland, which Glenn discusses in the book I just referenced.

To help the homeless find much needed shelter, please click on this link.   http://www.gofundme.com/lq6sfc

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No Dogs Allowed

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There’s a Charlie Brown episode in the Charles Schultz series where everywhere a dog wandered, he was not wanted.  Each time, the sign “No Dogs Allowed” appeared.

In Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the homeless find there are not wanted in many establishments, just because they are homeless.   If the ones who clandestinely are prejudice against the homeless were honest, they would post signs “No Homeless Allowed.”  The way things are going, this may be the case soon.

First it was the McDonald’s in Fairless Hills, PA, where a manager, whom I refer to as “Twenty Minutes” kicked my homeless friend out.  She told the manager that she was waiting for a ride as she nursed her coffee, but that didn’t matter to Ms. Minutes.  I couldn’t find my friend when I went to pick her up.  This manager was cryptic and snippety with me when I asked about my friend.

This was the second time Ms. Minutes booted my friend.  The first time Ms. Minutes made my friend leave, my friend called me and I picked her up, as she got in touch with me before the 20 minute warning was up.    After this first McDonald’s booting, as I was eating with my friend, this manager did a California stop, turned and quickly glanced at my friend, as if she were a Dog, and uttered “remember, 20 minutes”, and walked away.  McDonald’s never addressed my complaints; they just sent a form reply.

Next it was Subway in Fairless Hills, who threw my friend out.  She had to call me for a ride.

Burger King was the next “no dogs allowed”.  On one occasion, a shift manager at the Burger King in Bristol, PA relayed a message from the general manager that she’s no longer allowed in the restaurant.  When I pressed for an answer why, the shift manager admitted that the general manager doesn’t want homeless people at this particular Burger King because they have the potential of panhandling.

Hummm…  I guess with that kind of reasoning, because some black people have committed crimes, they should be kept out of restaurants because they may rob somebody.  Imagine the outcry if that happened?  Well, it’s happening with the homeless.

A cook in Houston, Texas was cited and fined for feeding the homeless.  Fortunately, she’s fighting it.

Why stop with arbitrarily booting the homeless out of establishments?  Why not have a separate water fountain for the homeless?  Why not make them sit in the back of the bus?

We need a Rosa Parks for the homeless.  Through my blogs, I try to emulate her.  The laptop is mightier than the sword!  I don’t accept the homeless being told to take a back seat — to be treated as second class citizens.

Not all establishments virtually post “No Dogs Allowed” signs for the homeless.  Denny’s, on Business Route 1 between Langhorne and Penndel, PA,  knows some of their patrons are homeless, and treats them like other customers.  They allow them to hang out and linger (some establishments call this loitering) after buying a meal.

The Burger King near the Oxford Valley Mall started out somewhat homeless friendly, except for two occasions when two different managers were out of line.  My friend and I have lingered there a few times.  On one occasion, one rude manager started staring at us after we had spent most of the day there, having had ordered breakfast and lunch.  “Are you waiting for a ride?”, he asked.  When we said “no”, he mentioned us being there awhile.  “Is that a problem?”, my friend replied.

“You’ve been here since this morning”, the manager quipped.  “So…”, I replied, and he walked away.

Another manager at this Burger King told us, about 10:35 p.m., “you better start packing up, we’re closing in ten minutes.”

I mentioned that the restaurant closes at 11 p.m.

“We have to clean up…”

We packed up and left.

But today, while I was taking two handicapped people to their doctor’s appointments, my friend called me and said the manager demanded she leave.  She told him she was waiting for a ride, but he got nasty and threatened to call the police.  We had breakfast together and I gave her money for lunch, shortly after which she was booted.

Before I picked my homeless friend up, who had to stand, which was hard for her in her ill health, in the lobby at Boston Market across the parking lot, I had some words with this manager.  He said someone alone is not supposed to stay by oneself after eating.  When I questioned why, he said it was crowded and implied that’s why my homeless friend had to leave.  I looked him in the eye and said “you’re a bold faced liar!”

After I picked my friend up, I returned to this Burger King to tell some friends I know from the community meals for the homeless and those in need that I found my friend, whom they know.  As I was leaving, the manager scooted quickly towards his hole.  “You better run, you little weasel”, I said.

Consequently, I am not only boycotting this Burger King, but I am starting a campaign against Burger King, starting with Facebook.  I posted on the Burger King Oxford Valley’s own FB page, which goes to the general Burger King FB page.

There are a few establishments, when a time comes when they are required to post their homeless policy, like the ingredients in their food, will not post “No Dogs Allowed” signs.  It’s my dream that “No Dogs Allowed” — I mean “No Homeless Allowed” signs will not be posted anywhere.

We shall overcome!

One immediate problem with homelessness is the lack of shelter for the homeless.  One way you can help is by donating to Gimmee Shelter for the Homeless, which aims to provide shelter for the homeless by acquiring land and empowering the homeless by supplying them with the tools to homestead land they can call their castle.

If you want to supply the homeless with tools to help themselves, please go to  http://www.gofundme.com/lq6sfc   You may skip the ad after a short wait.