A young man, whom people invited into their home to get him out of the cold, turned their home into a horror movie, threatening the dog with a knife and smashing windows, as reported on Levittownnow.com. http://levittownnow.com/2017/01/12/cops-man-threatens-dog-knife-smashes-windows/ After showing the guy kindness, and hospitality, this is how he shows his appreciation. They cast their pearls before swine!
What struck me was the lead of the story. In fact the first three words read: “A homeless man…” was the perpetrator. Highlighting the ungrateful guest, whom police say may have going through drug withdraw or just having “a mental health episode” as being homeless was unnecessary. There is a lot of prejudice against the homeless in places like Bucks County, PA, and this is an unfair typecasting of the homeless, which fosters stereotypes and hobophobia, the irrational fear and distain of the homeless.
Unless you’ve been living on Mars, you should realize that we have a drug abuse epidemic, especially here in Bucks County.
Not all druggies, or people who are prone to “mental health episodes”, whatever that means, are not homeless. Some of the residents of the recovery houses join the homeless population, where most of the members do not have these issues. Their issue is being homeless. Unfortunately, people lump them together simply because they are somewhat grouped in the same area.
The news is choked with stories of drug abusers and criminal activity, as well as mental problems. The homeless are simply a microcosm of society.
A 19 year old druggie who was living in an apartment with his girlfriend pawned her laptop and expensive watch. He also stole a Playstation 4 from his parent’s house, which he also pawned. All this was to support his drug habit. http://levittownnow.com/2016/12/27/cops-man-pawns-girlfriends-property/
A 59 year-old man, not homeless, fell into a “rapid descent into a major mental health problem” after coming home at four in the morning and he attacked his girlfriend with a knife. http://levittownnow.com/2016/10/15/mental-health-crisis-led-to-fatal-birthday-stabbing/
So you don’t have to be homeless to steal, fall into a rapid descent into a mental health problem and become violent and break windows.
In my nearly three years hanging out with the homeless in lower Bucks County, PA, I’ve found only a small percentage of them who engage in bizarre behavior, enough to say they have mental problems. We all have problems, it’s just a matter of and degree. Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung related a story about visiting a mental asylum with “an intelligent layman”, who remarked that the inmates there were like everyday people, only that their problems were greatly magnified.
There is one nut among the few, who goes to the community meals for the homeless, I’ve nicknamed “Janis Joplin”. She doesn’t like anyone walking behind her; they have to keep a safe distance. At one particular dinner, after the Advocates for The Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) had dropped off one load of people and they were finishing up, and as the hosts were rolling around the desert carts table to table, the second AHTN bus came.
People starting filing into the meal. Janis had just finished her meal, and asked the hosts, who were wheeling cupcakes a distance away to “give me my cupcake.” Nobody responded. She repeated the request, then shouted “does anyone speak English?” Still no response, as the hosts continued delivering the deserts table to table. “Give me my cupcake and I’ll go. Give me my cupcake!”, she beseeched, as she shook her open hand in front of her, emphatically.
Another nut, Queen Nora, was being served at the table at a community meal when she asked “do you have anything with beef?”, as if she were at a restaurant. Shortly thereafter, she walked over to a table where a cake sat, which the hosts would bring to each table. She started carrying the whole cake off herself! The hosts had to graciously as possible get the cake and put it back on the table.
Some of the homeless talk about Shakespeare. This was the topic of conversation one evening at the Veterans Memorial near the Levittown public library. In the library, many of the homeless read books and use the resources to look for jobs. One in particular worked doggedly and found a job. She went from living in her car, to the shelter, and then into an apartment.
At tonight’s community meal, a guy who had a job pending because he needed to update his ID, now has two jobs. Soon he may have a place. Several months back, another homeless friend got regular work, got his act together, found a place to live, and is self sufficient.
The woman I had mentioned in an earlier blog, who had given the hand warmers I gave her quite some time ago to another homeless person, has continued to work regularly, but she’s waiting for someone in housing to help her secure a place.
People are homeless for different reasons, and some deal with being homeless different ways. Some think the answer is in the bottle, and others do drugs. Many of the druggies are refugees from the local recovery houses, where there are an inordinate amount – some 100 just in Levittown, PA!
Others don’t, as Curly from The Three Stooges says, become a victim of soy cum stances, but apply themselves. Many of the homeless work sporadically and some find permanent work. Some of them read and educate themselves. One guy not only could intelligently discuss Shakespeare, but he knows horticulture and landscaping.
Your station in life does not define you. Don’t judge someone by their housing status but by the content of their character!