Playing The Homeless Card

In a recent blog I addressed how, when you call out individuals who happen to be homeless, some folks in the group act like you are attacking all of them. People were accused, through blogs and verbally, of badmouthing the homeless after they just called out certain individuals for bad behavior, which effects other homeless people and “those in need” who interact with the homeless.

In past blogs I have said that in places such as Bucks County, PA, the homeless are treated the way blacks were treated during the Jim Crow South. Largely due to Martin Luther King’s campaign for equality, blacks in America are equal and are free from oppression.  Today people are on a campaign to do the same for the homeless, preaching to judge people not by the place where they live but by the quality of their character.

Although today blacks have won their freedom, there are race hustlers who say, when you hold accountable a thug, a punk like Big Bad Michael Brown, the meanest man in the whole Ferguson town, badder than old King Kong, meaner than a junkyard dog, you are attacking all blacks. Black Lives Matter (backed up by the media) lied and people died as a result.  https://www.bing.com/search?q=big+bad+leroy+brown+youtube&form=EDGTCT&qs=AS&cvid=5e5ebde7960c434bae6ef3f7c5fecdb0&cc=US&setlang=en-US

Likewise, some homeless people, and some homeless advocates (particularly in Dover Delaware) play the homeless card. All for one and one for all works for the Three Musketeers, for people doing good, but people shouldn’t unite, circle the wagons to protect someone who does wrong. This has become the hallmark of the Democratic party, except when ratting someone out benefits someone in the party.

As is the case with the race hustlers, playing the homeless card is counterproductive. That card will eventually ware out. It certainly is getting old with me! So all for one and one for all when someone comes to the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial in Levittown, PA drunk and trashes the place out, then, with this logic, you kick everyone who happens to be homeless out!

In his concurring opinion in a U.S. Supreme Court case that ruled affirmative action, the program started by Tricky Dick Nixon (have to bash both sides of the aisle), where employers and colleges are required to hire a certain quota of “minorities” unconstitutional, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that using race as a basis to hurt or even benefit someone is racist.

Likewise, using homelessness as a basis to hurt or give a free pass to (like coming to a community meal drunk, cursing loudly and attacking people or ganging up on a homeless woman because you have a problem with her) is equally hobophobic (for those of you in Doylestown, the irrational fear and distain of homeless people).

So, just as you shouldn’t be afraid of the reaper, you shouldn’t be afraid of the blog. Don’t confuse blog with the blob that has appeared in old science fiction movies.

Don’t Fear The Blog

Your time may come

A blog about you is here but now it’s gone

Seasons pass after you were a drunk or a hog

So don’t fear the blog

Seasons don’t fear the blog

Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain

We can be like they are

Come on baby…Don’t fear the blog

If the charge is true

Make things right please do!

When we confess our sins

Like King David in the Psalms

There is healing

God will give you his gracious alms

And shine his light upon your path

If you don’t like the blog

Suck it up, Snowflake!

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

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

And I Won’t Back Down!

In both Bucks County, PA and Burlington Township New Jersey, the homeless are collectively a persona non grata. The difference is that the non-profits in Bucks County kowtow to the hatred of the homeless and don’t want to fight for housing for the homeless but a New Jersey non-profit is taking a stance against those who want to keep the homeless from getting shelter like everyone else in their community.

Citizens Serving The Homeless, the New Jersey non-profit is facing members of the community who came out en masse to a meeting to talk candidly about their plans and allay the community’s fears. Instead, people came, figuratively, with torches and pitch forks. Unlike the non-profits in Bucks County, CSH not caving in to these hobophobic ignoramuses.  Their stance echoes the refrain in a Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers song: “AND I WON’T BACK DOWN.”

In Bucks County, The Advocates for The Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) doesn’t lift a finger to find long term shelter for the homeless. In fact, when I emailed the AHTN president to ask if AHTN would help the nascent non-profit a friend and I created to provide more shelter for the homeless, she responded that the project was impossible – that, for one thing, they’d have to provide security 24/7.

AHTN is not a true friend of the homeless. Just as liberals use blacks, “the children”, women, the poor, etc., the non-profit uses the homeless. At the video shoot for the so-called public service announcement for the homeless, actors were used. There was an attempt to keep the homeless away from where the video was shot that day. The pizza was purposely kept at another location for the crew, where the homeless could not have any, on a day there was no community meal.

CSH, by contrast, interviewed real homeless people in their community, interviewing all the homeless people they could for their video.

Unlike AHTN, CSH looks at the homeless as individuals and screens the homeless candidates for the homeless community it is building. For them, one size doesn’t fit all! AHTN views the homeless as all being morally bankrupt. They gave a pass to a homeless person who regularly came to a community meal drunk and disorderly, usually just slapping him on the wrist and on one occasion let him completely off the hook. He’s now in the Bucks County jail after knocking down another guest at a community meal, cutting the back of his head. Another guest called the police, but the culprit ran off, and was on the lamb for weeks until someone else called the police when he spotted him at the free laundry day, and the cops picked him up.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. - Edmund Burke

 

AHTN just pretended to help the homeless on one occasion when the head Levittown librarian ordered the security guy to cut the locks of bicycles parked in the bicycle rack because the librarian alleged that bikes were abandoned there. So even people who legally parked their bikes during library hours had their locks cut. The homeless complained to AHTN, who sent Christine to talk to the librarian about it. Christine reported back to the homeless and told them that the librarian said she made an announcement to have those who had their bikes parked legally to come out so their locks would not be cut. A reliable source told me that the librarian never made such an announcement, and he was there the whole time!

But when Christine’s pet and his girlfriend got caught having sex in the homeless bus stop one morning, she got them off the hook, but the rest of the group were punished by having the bus shelter removed and the stop moved to an unsheltered location in the middle of the parking lot.

Christine was the AHTN member I believe was instrumental in getting the homeless drunk off the hook when he loudly cursed out another guest and physically threatened him, where it took three men to pull him away. Christine and Dave (AHTN) went out of hearing range to the other corner of the room at the Redeemer Lutheran Church, Penndel, PA. The victim and I believe she lied about the victim, demonizing him with her false witness. The police came and told the victim the host said he had to leave. AHTN banned the victim, who was not homeless but needy, from the bus but not the homeless aggressor. The victim was banned from the meals but not the homeless perpetrator. The victim filed a law suit against AHTN and Redeemer Lutheran Church, which is going through the system.

The conventional wisdom of about the homeless is a caste system, where the homeless are trapped in their situation. For those of you in Doylestown, “A caste system is a class structure that is determined by birth. Loosely, it means that in some societies, if your parents are poor, you’re going to be poor, too.” -Vocabulary.com

Like the rabid community members who attended the meeting with the Citizens Serving the Homeless in Burlington Township, Bucks County see the homeless as monsters. They expressed their distaste for the homeless moving into their neighborhood. Well, after witnessing their behavior, I would not say to them, in the words of Mr. Rogers, “Won’t you be my neighbor?”

The Salvation Army Levittown Community Center also sees the homeless as monsters. On one occasion, when I volunteered there in the food pantry, I guy who had been wandering a day or two on a hot day came into the pantry. We got him some food and drink. I told him I would take him to the library, where he can get the bus to the homeless meal and also have a more dedicated AHTN volunteer help him out when I finished for the day. As he was waiting, tired, frightened and flushed in the lobby, a Salvation Army staffer frantically confronted me and stammered “he can’t stay here!” I explained the situation and I took the homeless guy to the library.

At the Salvation Army Community meals, the hostess, Queen Latifah, treats the homeless like children and criminals.

The Citizens Serving the Homeless don’t see the homeless as being in a caste system, that they are always going to be homeless. They don’t subscribe to the mid Victorian attitude that as wealth grows so does good character, and that people with little money are immoral. They see homelessness as a season, and believe if given the chance, a homeless person will move forward. The goal of CSH is to give the homeless an opportunity by giving them a hand up and they may eventually move into traditional rental housing, like everybody else. The only difference with the homeless with the rest of society is they don’t have a dwelling.

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable. Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself. ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men – robbers, evildoers, adulterers – or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a day and give a tenth of all I get.’

But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said ‘God have mercy on me, a sinner’.  

I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

-Luke 18: 9-14

Here are the stories the Citizens Serving the Homeless videotaped:

http://citizensservingthehomeless.org/theirstories.html

 

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/

Thou Shalt Not Snitch

“Thou shalt not snitch” seems to be a commandment in the homeless community in Bucks County, PA.  The 11th commandment, which I learned as a patient monitor at a methadone clinic, is “thou shalt not hassle.” So “thou shalt not snitch” would be the 12th commandment.

I certainly can understand someone not ratting out someone’s homeless campsite, a place someone set up because there was nowhere else to go. But not for criminal activity.

Someone who frequents the community meals for the homeless and those in need was falsely accused by a formerly homeless woman for ratting out homeless camps. Truth is, the raids on homeless camps in many cases were caused by some problem individuals at the camps.

A drunk and disorderly homeless man, known as Tyrannosaurus Rex attacked the falsely accused man at a community meal. He attacked him and others on more than one occasion. The last time, another guest at the meal called the police. A homeless person told her not to call. So nobody is supposed to do anything about this egregious, violent behavior? This is like the ad where some thugs break into a bank and people lying on the ground ask the guard why he isn’t doing anything about the robbery. “I’m just a security monitor; I just report when there’s a robbery. There’s a robbery,” he explained.

Tyrannosaurus Rex is at large; there’s a warrant for his arrest. This reptilian with a record has been spotted at the veteran’s memorial in Levittown, yet those who know that he’s on the run will not report (snitch on) him.

Permissiveness fosters problems. Peace is not necessarily the absence of conflict. As Edmund Burke said, the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. And this is what’s happening in the homeless community.

When individuals act up, it affects those around them, especially in the homeless community. One of the hosts at one of the meals where T-Rex created a problem cancelled the meal for this month. It’s possible it may be cancelled permanently because of the actions of T-Rex and that some people don’t think he should be held accountable. No man is an island! And being homeless is not a valid excuse for such behavior.

This is not simply the way homeless people are supposed to act.

Barbaric behavior from individuals in the homeless community fosters hobophobia, the irrational fear of the homeless. If you were in a restaurant and someone creates a problem, a particular individual, and perhaps people at the same table, will be blamed. But when people from the outside hear about a ruckus at a homeless meal, they just judge the homeless, exacerbating stereotypes.

There have been other problems at the community meals. A character known as “Birdman” has a habit of going from table to table and grabbing stuff – bread, drinks, butter – that are for each particular table, while people are still eating. He preys on the table with a bag, and sometimes a large pitcher in hand. I was glad to hear that one of the hosts chastised Birdman recently when he started swooping down on the tables, as people were trying to enjoy their meal.

Recently, with Tyrannosaurus Rex and other miscreants either absent or conducting themselves properly, the community meals have been more enjoyable – a place where friends can get together and enjoy one another’s company, interacting, edifying each other. If people can’t behave themselves civilly at the community meals, they shouldn’t go there. It’s an insult to the host to come to a meal drunk and disorderly or behave poorly in other ways. One host has it right. Come to their meal once drunk, and you are not allowed back, ever! T-Rex went after me at that meal so he was permanently banned. This is the way it should be!

As the professor on Jurassic Park said, dinosaurs and people can’t peacefully live together.

The do not snitch mentality is also a problem in the druggie community. Instead of reporting drug users and getting them off the street and into the appropriate facility, some people aid and abet them, enable them by supplying them with drugs with the rationale that they are going through withdrawal. A former drug abuser just told me that it’s common for guys in the drug community to get drugs for gals who are craving it. He said they do it because they think they will like them, which is generally not the case. The drugs are what they like.

Druggies affect the whole community. Some of them are kicked out of local recovery houses and, like T-Rex, plunder the neighborhood and take beds away in the alleged emergency shelter in Levittown from people who are homeless for other reasons.

I told a guy in recovery that I like the Roman version of the Odyssey better than the Greek version. In the Roman version, the hero is in a cave with a woman, but must continue his journey. In the Greek version, the hero is in a field with a bunch of old guys. I’d rather be in a cave romancing a woman than in a field inhaling dope with a bunch of old farts. He said that a druggie would rather be doing the dope than be with a woman.

Latest News in Bucks County: Three overdoses and one death on account of drugs.  http://levittownnow.com/2016/11/18/one-death-three-non-fatal-overdoses-friday-in-bristol-twp/

Dead flies make a perfumer’s oil stink, so a little foolishness is weightier than wisdom and honor.

-Ecclesiastes 10:1

Don’t Give Up!

“When you got an all-out prizefight, you wait until the fight is over, one guy is left standing. ‘N’ that’s how you know who won.” -Al Capone in the 1987 movie The Untouchables

We all have our fights, often with ourselves, our situations, our addictions…  The key is to not give up, no matter how impossible it may seem to overcome life’s obstacles.

At the end of the movie, after Capone was convicted for tax evasion, Elliott Ness approached Capone and mocked him  saying “you wait until the fight is over, one guy is left standing…”

Homelessness is something many people are fighting, in places such as Bucks County, PA.  People are homeless for different reasons, but no matter the reason, it’s a fight not to give into the temptation of giving up.

In my associations with the homeless in lower Bucks County, I’ve seen people overcome obstacles, including substance abuse as well as economic.

One of the obstacles is the nattering nabobs of negativism, who write off the homeless as without hope. Bucks County will not only not create additional shelter for the homeless, but will thwart private efforts to do so. All it offers is housing assistance, which generally takes one to two years to get. Getting aboard the mental health train, The Disoriented Express, is a ticket for more timely housing, possibly.

When I was looking for housing, one of the Bucks County Mental Health Hustlers tried to sell me a ticket on The Disoriented Express. In exchange for more immediate housing, he asked me to allow myself to be labeled as being so messed up mentally that I could no longer work. I didn’t participate in this fraud. For sure, I had problems – I had lost my job, my house, and started losing my mind – but I wasn’t going to write myself off this way.

Through the fight, I had people cheering me on. My mental state improved, noticeably to people who had known me when I was almost down for the count.  I’ve had sporadic work, and I’m now a home healthcare aid, taking care of and cheering on someone with lung cancer. Early on, I volunteered in a food pantry, and when short staffed, ran the pantry myself.

Two people I know evidently bought a disability ticket. Their unofficial problem: Lazy and irresponsible. One of them quit one job, where he showed up for training and didn’t come back, and later another. He doesn’t want to work. Just wants to play video games, etc., and get handouts. He and his girlfriend  live in the Land of the Lotus Eaters.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus-eaters

There are others who just keep swinging, like Odysseus and his men whom Odysseus drug away from the Land of the Lotus Eaters and faced responsibility as they continued on their journey.

One of them is a guy I befriended several months ago. He overcame substance abuse and is now working regularly and taking care of family as well as business. The guy once told me that he doesn’t want to be made too comfortable in his homeless situation because he would become complacent and not want to improve himself. He gets along well with everybody and doesn’t buy into the gossip, lies largely started by a former homeless woman to use a guy who goes to the community meals as a scapegoat. Instead of, like others, making someone a scapegoat, he concentrates on getting his own life in order.

The false witness fostered contention at the homeless community meals. At one community meal, The Redeemer Lutheran Church in Penndel, PA, a drunken homeless man verbally assaulted another man and started to attack him physically. Some of the hosts had to physically restrain the maniac. The police came.

Instead of blaming the attacker for the outrage, which disrupted the meal for other people, the victim was blamed.  I believe that Christine, from the Advocates for The Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) twisted what happened and somehow convinced the hosts that the attack was the fault of the victim, who did nothing but a rope-a-dope. Consequently, the victim had to leave immediately and was banned from the bus, while the raving maniac who attacked him was not. This incident, as well as other assaults from “Tyrannosaurus Rex” on this man is now in court. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrannosaurus

At a later meal at another church, T-Rex went after me because I had called out his behavior at Redeemer Lutheran on my blog. In front of some AHTN members and hosts at the church, he cursed loudly at me. An AHTN member, who before didn’t listen to the victim or me about holding T-Rex accountable, sternly said that T-Rex needs to be banned from the bus. Later during that meal, he started yelling at me. Someone started escorting him away, but he got loose and started poking me, as someone from AHTN started pulling him away, the way Al Capone was pulled away after he went ballistic after being convicted. I put up my fists and told him that we have free speech in this country and to “go ahead, punk, make my day!” I was verbally restrained.

T-Rex was banned from the bus for two weeks. After this time out, he started acting civilly at the meals. But not for long. He was banned again from the bus, and the first day back, he attacked the same man, sending him to the ground, causing him a cut in the back of his head. Another guest called the police. Another guest told her not to.

Tyrannosaurus Rex, now on the run, has fomented trouble with other people at community meals. Awhile back, when I took the AHTN bus to a meal, he kept telling me to shut up when I was talking quietly with someone else on the bus. Once T-Rex staggered inside, he started making veiled threats. At one point, he followed me as I headed towards the restroom and threatened me. I spun around and put up my guard, waiting for him to throw the first punch. A host got between us and ushered T-Rex away from me.  The host thanked me for “being calm” This was not the attitude of the hosts at Redeemer Lutheran. T-Rex was banned from this meal permanently.

As the false witness spread like a cancer, it created a lynch mob mentality. On one occasion, one homeless man started making snide comments about the victim of lies and distortions. He sneered that it’s good he no longer rides the bus and that he should be banned from the community meals and added that someone should beat him up! Others at the table aped him.

For some time, the community meals have been drama free. This is because some people stood up for what is right. The drama reflects poorly on the whole homeless community, exacerbating hobophobia.

The main problem in creating more housing for the homeless is hobophobia, the irrational fear of the homeless.

There is hope for the homeless, as there is for the rest of us. Don’t give up, but keep punching until the fight is won.

I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.  – Philippians 4: 12-13

A Change is Gonna Come

Although a private charity organized and got funds for the project, most of the funds to convert the Santa Rosa Motel to homeless housing came from federal and state housing money and from the Department of Veterans Affairs. This is a noble project, but taxpayer funds eventually run dry.

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/5221888-181/first-tenants-of-santa-rosa

In my research about the causes of homelessness, I found that some sources say it is the lack of public funding. This is not the root of the problem.

People are homeless for various reasons, such as substance abuse and other issues that take them out of the job market. Another problem is the economy.

The economy seemed to be the biggest contributor to homelessness when it became rampant in the late 20’s, when Herbert Hoover was president, and during President FDR’s New Raw Deal. Because of progressive policies, where we were about as close to socialism (which we were progressing to) as our country ever was, a lot of people were out of work. Those who did work, had trouble making ends meet with the government confiscating much of their paychecks and because the government interfered with the marketplace, making things more expensive.

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/how-fdrs-new-deal-harmed-millions-poor-people

A free market solution to energy is the sine qua non to a robust economy. Plentiful, low cost energy reduces energy costs and takes less money out of people’s pockets. The Marcellus gas pipeline, for example, will accomplish this.  http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/proposed-marcellus-gas-pipeline-would-run-through-lancaster/article_5ea6ca90-9b47-11e3-b0b1-0017a43b2370.html

There are a lot of homeless in Bucks County, PA.  Although the Bimbo of Bucks County, aka PA State Representative Tina Davis touted how much she has helped the homeless, and said she’ll continue to do so, she praised PA Governor Big Bad Wolf for signing an executive order to ban drilling on state lands. The bimbo admitted that, as former governor Tom Corbett argued, this drilling would help the economy and would raise $75 million to balance the budget. Yet, she cavalierly said that “protecting the environment” trumps this. http://www.wgal.com/article/gov-wolf-signs-executive-order-to-stop-drilling-under-state-lands-1/6235430

This kind of wonton behavior by out of touch elites fosters homelessness. By kowtowing to the pseudo environmentalist special interests, these progressives show callous disregard for the citizenry. When they campaign, Wolf and Davis may as well go door to door and hand out pink slips and eviction notices, as the Big Bad Wolf is in the business of blowing houses down.

As Ray Charles sang, “a change is gonna come.” Changes to this country are in the works. The former Witch of the West Wing won’t continue her war on coal and other viable energy sources in favor of the so-called alternate, unworkable energy initiatives. The Witch, the Bimbo and the Wolf are all sh**birds of a feather. Like FDR’s New Raw Deal, they harm the average person.

Substance abuse and other personal problems also contribute to the homeless problem. For these problems there is also a free market solution.

Between 1920 and 1933, the government established prohibition, banning booze for everyone. Then, instead of forcing abstinence on everyone because ten percent of the population had a drinking problem, a voluntary, free market, Christian solution to help drunks overcome their problem was used. The Oxford Group, modeled after 1st century Christianity, was established in 1921. Later, Alcoholics Anonymous.

Today there are programs on the market to help people overcome substance abuse and other human failings, such as Celebrate Recovery, which applies Biblical principles to the 12 Steps Program.

The economy, the environment, and our morals all work together. A healthy economy, driven by good stewardship of the environment, and a country’s good morals work together for good. Dysfunctional people, such as substance abusers, can’t be responsible on a job or run a business responsibly.  AA co-founder Bill Wilson ruined a promising career on Wall Street because of his chronic drunkenness. In the 50’s, when my grand uncle ran a wholesale toy company, there were ethics, honor. When you made a business deal, a man’s handshake was his bond. No need for lawyers and long, expensive litigation or even negotiations.

Finding shelter for Bucks County’s homeless is stifled by hobophobia, the irrational fear of the homeless. Because of some problem people, which you’ll find today in any population, even private efforts to create shelter for the homeless is stonewalled by the judgmental establishment. Like the progressives in the early part of the 20th century, Bucks County won’t facilitate shelter for the homeless. Even the so-called emergency shelter in Levittown has a waiting list, thanks to the revolving door of druggies from nearby recovery houses and drunks and druggies who are return customers to the flop house.

Now that we’re throwing the bums out of public office, which is a positive reflection of our culture, we can start winning the war on poverty, substance abuse and other dysfunctions, and find a solution for homelessness.

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

-2nd Chronicles 7:14

Go Your Own Way Not!

To resolve problems, people need to compromise. This is what a pastor and a homeless advocate is not doing in the saga of the conflict with neighbors and authorities over the homeless in Dover Delaware who have been staying on church grounds and want to build tiny houses there.

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Delaware-Dover-Church-Tiny-House-Neighbors-Controversy–392662151.html

Unlike the authorities in Bucks County, PA,, Kent County Delaware has offered the homeless a viable option. When a Kent County zoning official told the church pastor and an advocate about a site that had utilities set up and, unlike the church property, would be a legal homeless site, the pastor and the advocate cursed the woman out and insisted the homeless build the tiny houses on the church property.

http://delawarestatenews.net/opinion/letter-editor-not-fast-dovers-tiny-houses/

The homeless at the Delaware church don’t know how good they have it. When the authorities in Bucks County boot the homeless from an encampment, other than working to get a few of them in the so-called emergency homeless shelter in Levittown, PA, as was the case with a recent homeless eviction, Bucks County offers the evicted homeless nothing. Nothing! Alleged advocates from The Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) in Bucks also did nothing. When the press came and the homeless met with veterans from a local vets group on the eve of the “Veteran’s Memorial” eviction, AHTN didn’t get involved. At all!

In Portland, Oregon, after exposing the get-out-of-Dodge; we don’t care if you have nowhere to go policy (a term I just made up), through shopping cart parade protests, the authorities offered the homeless a compromise. Unlike the rabid pastor (probably a leftist) and the homeless advocate in Delaware, the Oregon homeless went with the offer. What was a relatively small group of homeless people sleeping under bridges, etc., became a homeless community with Tiny Houses. And the formerly homeless manage the place. Some of them have administrative positions in Dignity Village. The whole time they were moving on up from Dignity Camp, and now had the housing like the rest of us.

https://dignityvillage.org/

In Kent County, the homeless advocates give the homeless a free pass and do not hold them accountable for their behavior. In the summer, the police had to come to the church more than once because of noise, fighting, and other problems. As I said in my last blog, the pastor should evict the problem homeless from the property.

Likewise, homeless “advocates” in Bucks County have been lax in dealing with homeless people who act up, such as coming the community meals drunk and creating problems on the AHTN bus. It’s only because one of the guests who attends the community meals took action and at least one other advised the advocates to stop minimizing the problems, and also circumstance, that the problem is starting to be taken more seriously.

Bucks County has the get-out-of-Dodge; we don’t care if you have nowhere to go policy towards homeless encampments when they evict them.

A problem contributing to homeless housing is hobophobia, the irrational fear and distain for the homeless. Unfortunately, the Bucks County establishment doesn’t get to know, nor wants to know, the homeless as individuals. Consequently, they take a “one-size-fits-all” approach. People in the municipal building in the government complex in Levittown, PA bullied a county officer to rid the nearby veterans’ Memorial of the homeless because they feel uncomfortable visiting the memorial with homeless present.

The hobophobia carries over to getting housing for the homeless. A local businessman, for example, tried to acquire property to house the homeless. When the establishment discovered this was for the homeless, it stonewalled the project.

Some of the homeless likewise contribute to hobophobia, which, incidentally, is not tax deductible.

The Delaware pastor and the advocate, as well as some people here in Bucks County, are not helping the homeless by giving certain individuals a pass for bad behavior. For sure, some people have weaknesses and flaws, but the resulting behavior should not be overlooked.

We all have baggage. Those of us without sin should throw the first stone. None of us are, in Jesus’s day or today. Doing what’s right does not come naturally. We need God’s help to do what’s right. I realize I have a few things to work on in my life.

People need to want to be helped, as is the case with the homeless at the Delaware church. Not only do helpers need to set a good example and expect the same good behavior from the homeless as they do from everyone else, not writing them off as hopeless, but show God’s love towards them and gently, like an atomizer, get them on the right track, the Godly track, the train bound for glory.

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” -2nd Corinthians 5:20

Michael Row The Boat Ashore

Michael row the boat ashore, hallelujah
Michael row the boat ashore, hallelujah…

Jordan’s river is chilly and cold, hallelujah
Chills the body but not the soul, hallelujah…

The river is deep and the river is wide, hallelujah
Milk and honey on the other side, hallelujah…

–lyrics from Michael Row the Boat Ashore

Originally a negro spiritual, the uplifting song was popularized in the early 60’s by groups such as The Highwaymen, Peter Paul & Mary, and Johnny Rivers. Former slaves sung this song on their way to freedom. Over the years, the lyrics changed and were used in different venues, such as the civil rights movement. The River Jordan, where Jesus was baptized, is a metaphor for deliverance and salvation, a trip to the promised land, and the journey to heaven, like John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, the allegory of the soul.

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

Life is not a dream (sha-boom sha-boom). It’s not always sunshine lollipops and…rainbows every time you are near the one you love. But life has value, and if you are on the right path, you will find meaning and true peace.

Hardships and trials happen for a reason. For the Christian, the journey across the Jordan leads to hope, to a land of milk and honey.

In the book of Peter, the apostle writes to encourage God’s people during a time when Christians are being fed to lions for sport, made human torches, and generally treated horribly. It was about the time when Rome burned while Nero fiddled. Peter passed on God’s message to look at the big picture, the Kingdom of God, and not get caught up in the things of this world.

About two years ago, after having lived in a house for about 20 years, I lost my job and then my house. I barely had one penny to rub against the other. I got in with some homeless people I met at the public library in Levittown, PA. They told me about community meals and a free bus to get there. I didn’t have my car.  I was running low on food, and didn’t have enough food from a local food bank to sustain me. The Lord provided.

In time, I lost my house. The day after I had to be out of the house, I got temporary housing with a family. But soon I was living in my car with a friend.

I now have a roof over my head.

Through this experience, I learned what was really important in life. After awhile, things I took for granted were gone. Having lost my job, my house, my dog and having suffered other problems, I was a wreck!

People and circumstances came that helped me to get better mentally and spiritually. I grew closer to God and continue to grow, although like characters in The Pilgrim’s Progress, I sometimes lose my way.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pilgrim%27s_Progress

The Bucks County establishment, which is hung up on personal peace (an artificial peace) and prosperity can learn from such an experience. It’s been said that hobophobia, the irrational fear and disdain of the homeless, can be cured by taking a dose of homelessness, experiencing what homeless people go through. Maybe this way people will learn to do unto others as they would have them do unto them.

The homeless themselves should realize that their brothers and sisters are going through the same thing they are, like the characters in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and should help and encourage one another.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Grapes_of_Wrath

Instead, some of the homeless and needy in lower Bucks County act like the rabid, jealous, greedy characters in Frank Norris’ McTeague. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McTeague

“What causes fights and quarrels among you?  Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” -James 4: 1-3