Das Boot

In the movie, Das Boot, to avoid an encounter with a destroyer, a German U-boat had to dive dive dive, so far they were beyond the submarine’s rated limit. Like the homeless in Bucks County, PA, they were under great pressure, so much so that the sub’s chief engineer freaked out and had to be restrained.

Wherever the homeless in Bucks County go, they are under pressure. The biggest pressure is a place to lay their head at night.  Evictions are a way of life for the homeless. Even in my case, where I found a motel that gives weekly discounts that will allow my cancer stricken friend and I a place to survive for a time, we got evicted!

My friend fell when walking past the office at the Neshaminy Inn in Trevose one Monday. About 1 ½ hours before our paid week ended, we were told we had to move. Immediately! I told the Inn I couldn’t do that, with nowhere to go and high heat and humidity, and said the police would have to pull us out, and they wouldn’t like that kind of publicity. We were given a week, reluctantly.

A pastor and a social worker called the Neshaminy Inn to ask them to at least give us time until we find a place to stay, but like a prevailing mentality in Bucks, they didn’t care. What’s more, they acted like they were concerned for our welfare. To quote Pat Paulsen “Bull feathers!”

To quote from the official eviction letter from the Neshaminy Inn’s owner, Matthew Etzrodt:

“We are concerned for *** safety and believe she would be better relocating to a different location. We are not a healthcare facility and are unable to provide a safe environment for her. We feel the alcohol consumption combined with the drugs she is taking pose an immediate risk.”  

This is a lie and a gross distortion. She doesn’t take drugs, even prescription. Just seizure medicine. My friend even stopped taking sleeping pills weeks before this incident. And when she did, this, as is the case with the seizure medicine, it was never taken anywhere near the time she consumed alcohol. And she only drank in the room and quietly slept. She fell because it was hot and humid and she didn’t use her head.

Two officials on different occasions said that the living conditions and my help were suitable for my friend’s welfare. The only time the Neshaminy Inn was put out at all was when they called me when she fell.

Das Boot has become a trend in Bucks County, PA. For some people, the only solution to solve problems that occur where people stay is to boot them out! It’s like The Gong Show, where if the host doesn’t like the way people are performing, they get gonged off the stage. Booting people in Bucks is often just a matter of personal preference, as is the campaign to boot all homeless people from the public library in Levittown just because people don’t like them.

It’s sometimes arbitrary and even vindictive, as was the case with the queen in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Off with their head!

Lewis Carroll’s story could easily be set in Bucks County, with all the mad hatters and queens.

At a meeting the press covered at the Veteran’s Memorial in Levittown, where homeless advocates, the homeless, veterans and a Bucks County official met the day when the homeless were evicted from the government complex in Levittown, one advocate said “I understand what their (the county) concerns are, but I really don’t think their dealing with it the right way.,” and added “I called the phone number on the signs and there is no more room in the shelters.”

Instead of booting people from their “homes” when there’s a problem, people need to reason together and work out a solution to the problem other than das boot.

This applies to other problems as well. Shooting cops because you don’t think what a cop did was right is the wrong way to go about it. Dr. Martin Luther King preached and did the right thing through peaceful protest and well thought out persuasive arguments. The homeless problem in Bucks County PA is much like racial problems MLK resolved.

I feel like the chief engineer in Das Boot who freaked out under pressure and had to be restrained. The only thing that’s calming me down (a bit) is my faith in God and counsel and help from my Christian brothers and sisters.

The homeless are under pressure. It’s good that Christians have been reaching out to help. Besides helping with physical needs, the friends without walls, as one church that hosts community meals refers to the homeless, are loved by them unconditionally. For those of you in Doylestown, this means to care for people without expecting anything in return.

“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.

The answer, my friend, isn’t blowing in the wind, the bottle, or the pill you took today. It’s faith in God. Mine is really being tested right now.

Do The Hustle, Not!

While places for the homeless to sleep in Bucks County, PA is shrinking, Bucks County is recharging it’s efforts to shanghai homeless people to bring them into the taxpayer funded nuthouse. Code Blue, the overnight shelter for the homeless during cold weather started, and so did the hustling. At least two of the mental health hustlers showed up there.

Since the first exploratory visit to a homeless colony, agents have been trying to lure homeless people to places such as Penndel Mental Health Center. Like manure, they are all over the place — at the Levittown public library, Code Blues, tent city evictions, tent city visitations. I even noticed one of the hustlers at Stand Down for Veterans!

The mental health clinic has a monopoly, a captive clientele so to speak, just as environmentalists have agreeable constituents, rocks and trees. One of the clinic’s modus operandi, and what is pushed at the door, is medication.

“If I did drugs, I could find a place. If I was an alcoholic, I could find a place. If you’re just on hard times, there’s nowhere to go.” said a homeless man about to be evicted from an encampment, as reported in philly.com in May 2012.  And one mental health hustler was reported there.

http://articles.philly.com/2012-05-02/news/31519830_1_homeless-tent-city-homeless-count-homeless-enclave 

In my last blog, I wrote about a 27 acre village in Austin, Texas created to house 250 chronic homeless. It has what people need, including a garden, a link to jobs, a movie theatre, and a chapel. Very important is the chapel, which does a better job with helping people with mental, spiritual problems than secular mental health centers.

Starting in 1970, a revolution started with pastor and counselor Jay Adam’s book Competent to Counsel where Dr. Adams argued that the church is better equipped to handle personal problems that is secular psychology. A blog on Worldview addresses this subject: “Modern secular psychologists often speak of mental illness. Yet many Christian psychologists deny the existence of a large proportion of mental illnesses. Jay Adams writes, ‘Organic malfunctions affecting the brain that are caused by brain damage, tumors, gene inheritance, glandular or chemical disorders validly may be termed mental illnesses. But at the same time a vast number of other human problems have been classified as mental illnesses for which there is no evidence that they have been engendered by disease or illness at all.’ “

According to Dr. Adams, “apart from organically generated difficulties, the ‘mentally ill’ are really people with unsolved personal problems.”

http://www.allaboutworldview.org/christian-psychology-and-mental-illness-faq.htm

So what is it? A place created by concerned Christians who help people become self reliant and are presented the gospel or the secular mental health folks doing the hustle. http://www.songlyrics.com/van-mccoy/the-hustle-lyrics/

“Do it, do it, do it

Do the hustle…”

http://www.songlyrics.com/van-mccoy/the-hustle-lyrics/

The Hustle should be played whenever a mental health agent enters a place.

Get Them Homeless Moving

Get Them Homeless Moving (parody of the western series Rawhide theme song)

 

Moving moving moving

Get them homeless moving

Get them homeless moving

Rawhide

Why are they hesitating?

Why are they excogitating?

Public funding is the ends for our drive

 

Moving moving moving

Get them homeless moving

‘though they are disapproving

Rawhide

No need to understand them

Just rope and dope and brand them

Take them to the clinic bye and bye

 

Moving moving moving

Get them homeless moving

Get them homeless moving

Rawhide

A head shrinker is awaiting

with drugs to placate them

Public funding is the ends for our drive

 

Move ’em out

Shove ’em out

Lure ’em out

To the Penndel Mental Health Center

Rawhide

YA!

 

There has been some progress with the challenge to move the homeless out of the woods, where some of them, mainly refugees from the recovery houses, caused problem near the public library in Levittown, PA.  Although a few of them have been able to work out a deal through Penndel Mental Health Center to get medical treatment and a least temporary housing, there remains the quid pro quo for these people to use the services, through public funding, with the center.

This is somewhat like those people who hawk timeshares by inviting you to a free meal. After the free meal, the hosts, unlike the community meals for the homeless, expect something in return. At the very least, to sit through a high pressure sales pitch.

Nobody canvasses the homeless neighborhood like the salesmen from the Penndel Mental Health Center. From early meet and greets at tent cities, at tent city evictions, at the Levittown Public Library, Code Blues, ad infinitum ad nauseam, they are there. To adapt lyrics from an old Beatles song:

You don’t even have to call

And I’ll be there

People need choice and should decide for themselves (although advice and solid analysis is OK) whether it be where they send their kids to school, if they need treatment and if so, where to go, etc.

I don’t understand why housing and mental health treatment are linked together, in pork barrel style.

In Bucks County, we need place for people to live who have just fallen on hard times.

Holy synthetic demand, Batman!

What’s twisted, is the recovery houses, which are run like the asylum in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, are protected by the federal government. Yet because of hobophobia, it’s hard to develop vacant buildings in neighborhoods for the homeless because people don’t want them there. The recovery houses bring problems. Here live people who choose to be slaves to their addictions, and are often a public plague. Different kinds of people are homeless; they are a less homogenous group than are people in the recovery houses.

Recovery houses are more of a threat to public order than are shelters for people who just need a place to live.

With all the access to the homeless Penndel has, with help from the government, it’s easy to think that that this August institution is the only game in town.  It’s not. Representatives from Penndel Mental Health Center showed up at the Salvation Army where I volunteered. I was going through a rough time  and people from the Army referred me to and encouraged me to go to the center for help.

At some point, I found a free counseling group that helps with a host of problems, not just addictions.

http://12stepjourney.com/

Fraudulently recruiting people, for a mental health center like Penndel Mental Health doesn’t just occur just in Bucks County, PA.

Pastor and counselor Jay Adams cites a case where it was discovered that people sent for evaluation for mental illness were falsely diagnosed. In an experiment, six people, who were as sane as you or I, were labeled schizophrenic and one was classified as manic depressive. The experimenter found that no one was turned away as a malingerer or faker. After the person who conducted the experiment announced to the institution that he would check the intake records again, many people were turned away from the institution as malingerers.  http://www.nouthetic.org/the-physician-the-pastor-psychotherapy-and-counseling

As is the case with the much of the mental health industry, medication tends to be a quick fix for problems at Penndel Mental Health.

The problem with modern psychiatry and psychology is they treat as “mental problems”, as though it is a medical problem, using medication. There are physical problems and spiritual (moral) problems. The psyche community came up with a third category, a non-organic, non-moral category. To quote Jay Adams:

“But it (the psychiatric community) knows nothing about a ‘mental illness’ category, in which a non-organic bug of some sort creates a non-organic problem which has to be treated non-organically under a medical aegis, though there is nothing medical about it. What is peculiarly medical about someone telling how to live with grandmother? ”

Dr. Adams further indicts the mental health community.  “There is a mess out there in psychiatry. Zilboorg, in his two volume history of psychiatry, concluded: ‘The field is in disarray, just as it was at the beginning.’  I agree with him that the field is in disarray, but I disagree that it is just as bad as it was at the beginning.”

Counseling people is a mission, not a business. In some cases, such as found in Bucks County, PA, it becomes monkey business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where will All the Homeless Go?

“That does it, I’m leaving,” said W.C. Fields in one of his movies as he was being physically removed from a bar. For about a week now, authorities in Bucks County PA have been trying to roust the homeless out of the woods near the public library in Levittown PA.

The homeless are having a tough time in lower Bucks County, PA; the sword of Damocles is hanging over their heads, facing eviction daily. Many homeless have been evicted from their areas over the past few years. During moving time, they have to carry out all their possessions and scramble for a place to stay.

Bucks County needs to find a better way of handling the homeless problem than by continually pushing the homeless away.

August, 2014, I emailed Bucks County Commissioner Diane M Ellis-Marseglia and offered some ideas about how to resolve the homeless problem, which has plagued the county  since the late 80s. One idea is to set aside county land that is trucked away and use it for official homeless camping areas, the same way you would open land for tent and cabin camping.

The commissioner’s response: “That will not happen because there is too much liability. I also do not think that is helpful to the homeless. It just creates more space for them to avoid going to Housing Link and getting the referral,. they need, to start getting sober/clean, on medication, in therapy, signed up for assistance or some type of work, and a solid roof over their head…”

Too much liability? Why? People camp in public parks all the time. So what’s different here? Because we’re talking about the homeless? Sounds like hobophobia!

Create more space for them to avoid going to the housing link for a referral? Holy non-sequitur, Batman!  Like the temporary homeless shelter, there is a long wait through the housing link, up to two years!  As I said in my last blog, authorities in Bucks County must think that like Dorothy, the homeless can just click their heels three times and chant “there’s no place like home” and problem solved!

Like many people in Bucks County, the commissioner is looking at the problem from an Ivory Tower, completely removed from reality — to quote Mick Jagger, 1,000 light years from home. These people have no idea what it’s like to be homeless. Many of them I doubt even talked with the homeless.

I lived in my car for a few months, and got a taste of homelessness. Finding a place to stay is difficult, even if you have a little money. There is always someone with more money and other assets a landlord may like, and you are completing with other potential renters in a market where there are more people who need a place to stay then there are places.

Renters can afford to be picky, even anal.

Of course some of the problem is the asinine housing laws that were passed. For instance, a landlord has to go through hoops to evict somebody who causes problems. So there is at least some grounds for landlords to be anal.

The law is also the problem for allowing the homeless to camp in public parks. This is the liability argument — that, as Bucks County Chief Ranger Steve Long told me, if someone camping on their own on county land gets hurt, attacked, the county is culpable.

As Charles Dickens wrote “the law is an ass.”

I’m in a motel, renting weekly, as at least a temporary solution to housing. And I’m still on the waiting list for the shelter and I’m on the housing list — that “link” the commissioner touts.

It wasn’t the government agencies that have helped me with this situation, but tips and counseling through people of faith. State Representative Tina Davis said at Stand Down said “you need the government, you need me” to resolve the homeless problem.

Talk is cheap!

Addiction problems certainly exist among the homeless, as it does in any population. Not all homeless people have an addiction problem. Assuming homeless people need to “get straight” before they can get a place is the “one size fits all” mentality.

Bucks County, evidently, does not have the answers. Actually very little to none when it comes to the long standing homeless problem.

But the county at least needs to get out of the way and at least accommodate caring individuals who could find ways to house the homeless, the way it allowed volunteers to serve needy veterans during the Stand Downs.

If the Bucks County government isn’t going to have a solution to the problem, it should at least get out of the way.  But, as governments often don’t, people with the wherewith all need to challenge the government, the way homeless advocates challenged, and overturned, the public land camping ban in Portland, Oregon, on constitutional grounds.

People of Bucks County: the ball is in your court. Please help these unfortunate people help themselves!

We’re Not in Kansas Anymore

We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto! As is the case in the Wizard of Oz, many people’s lives have taken them to the Kafkaesque world of being homeless in Bucks County, PA. The way the authorities act in Bucks County, the homeless can click their heals three times and find a home.

It doesn’t work that way, where normally someone out in the street has to wait months even to get into the temporary shelter and often years to get into a permanent place. Of course, there are exceptions.

Agents of Penndel Mental Health Center are willing to provide the magic shoes, however, but you have to sell your soul to the devil, so to speak. You have to sign up, cooperate with these agents, who have ways to make you cooperate.

Unlike the human homeless, for the homeless (feral) cats there are no strings attached to get into the cat condominium, the gated community across from the homeless shelter in Levittown, PA. Maybe folks from the Penndel Mental Health Center dropped them off in the woods, like they would humans, while they are waiting to go into the shelter.

I’m surprised the cats are not in the shelter now, as they seem to have priority over humans. There’s talk that there is a reward for cats who rat out the locations where humans are camping so they can get into the shelter even faster.

You’re out of the woods your out of the woods you’re in the nuthouse. You’re out of the woods…

Maybe that’s why they are cuddling up to the cats.

On one occasion, an agent from Penndel Mental Health let one of the subjects from the nuthouse loose in the library area, who ran rampant like a mild form of the Frankenstein monster, accosting people as he ran wild. Security from the Levittown library and the nearby municipal building and the police were called, only to find it was a case of the doctor releasing his monster.

I don’t believe people are helped at the health clinic but become worse. It seems like they are become worse after being “medicated” (doped up) there. I heard through the grapevine that some secular mental health facilities are worse than others. Penndel Mental Health is a candidate for the booby prize.

As I’ve said in previous blogs, I’m convinced that faith based places can better help to those who need help than secular institutions.

All people are flawed to some degree. Some just have a higher dose or have a different kind of baggage. Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist Carl Jung wrote about visiting an insane asylum with whom he called “an intelligent layman.” The guy told the doc that the people in the asylum were just like everyday people with problems, only that their problems were greatly magnified.

On their journey along the yellow brick road, Dorothy and her homeless friends meet the good witch and the bad witch. One was a Bucks County Ranger who was nice and had their interests at heart. He told them what they needed to hear — tough love — and encouraged them. The other was harsh. Like the bad which, who sicked flying monkeys on Dorothy, he threatened to bulldoze the homeless camps if they did not cooperate. Sounds like an episode in Star Wars.

Don’t pay any attention to the man behind the curtain. When Toto pulls the curtain open, what we thought was our hope, was only a man hustling a solution to our problem, a snake oil salesman whose been running around the woods and visiting the Levittown Library. Remember, “Oz gave nothing to the tin man; that he didn’t, didn’t already have…”

“I am the great Oz!” Really?

You’re just a drug pusher masquerading as a mental health professional.