One Size Fits All?

The one size fits all mentality is what I’ve been fighting against, particularly when it applies to the homeless community. Judging by the content of one’s character, I look at the homeless as individuals who happen to have the common need for a home.

But it seems that in some cases, when you judge particular individuals in the homeless and needy community, people circle the wagons and act as if you are attacking all of them.  In one case, at a community meal in Bucks County, PA,  a drunken homeless guy loudly cursed out another guest and physically threatened him. It was an unprovoked attack; T-Rex was drunk and disorderly. Yet, the Advocates for The Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) gave him a free pass and punished the guy he attacked, as did the host. Although I was told the decision came “from the top”, I believe it was a result of an AHTN member on the scene lying about and demonizing the victim.

T-Rex finally met his Waterloo. After he ambushed the same guy at a homeless meal, someone called the police, but, aided and abetted by “friends”, he eluded police for weeks until he was arrested at the free laundry. When someone called the police about the attack, a homeless guy told the caller not to call the police. After T-Rex was arrested and in jail, as I was waiting in line at a community luncheon, a homeless guy ranted that someone calling the police to apprehend the fugitive was “terrible, terrible!”

One thing I’m sure of. The one armed man did not do it!

On another occasion, two AHTN volunteers said nothing when guests walked away with an inordinate amount of take homes when they were sitting right next to them. Although they had homes, I think they became honorary homeless people and became members of a clique. Members of their small exclusive group defended their indefensible behavior.

Two members of the clique confronted me in the parking lot last night after the community meal about calling  out two individuals on my blog. One was very hostile and tried to intimidate me into not calling out particular individuals from the clique. Yet The Adams Family was held up to public scrutiny for doing the same thing. Consequently, they changed their evil ways, baby. And people in the wagon circle don’t have a problem with me calling out Birdman for his anti-social, predatory behavior.

We all need to be held to the same standards.

What people may not realize, is that by circling the wagons to protect someone in their clique reinforces the one size fits all mentality that the Bucks County establishment subscribes to. This mentality was evident at the public library in Levittown, at the Veterans’ memorial near the library, and at the Salvation Army Levittown Community Center. What’s terrible is that some individuals are not held accountable for their behavior and, consequently, everyone in the group is punished.

There’s been a campaign at the library to constructively keep the homeless out of the library. It’s not because of their behavior, but just because they are homeless. The Bucks County officer stationed at the municipal  building, pressured by some of the government hacks in the WIC building, told homeless people who were just hanging out at the memorial, not breaking any rules, that some people are afraid to come to the memorial because they feel uncomfortable when the homeless people are there. Consequently, he tried to shoo them from the memorial. With my egging them on and my remarks to the officer, they did not comply and he eased off. The same rules need to apply to everyone.

The Countess of Carlisle, public relations gal at the Levittown Salvation Army, agreed with the campaign to keep the homeless out of the library, arguing that some people who visit the library don’t like them there.  The Salvation Army official is so named because, like her namesake, she claims to help the disadvantaged, but doesn’t really want to know or understand them: “In 1838, Lady Carlisle articulated a negative opinion of Charles Dickens, who was then emerging as a successful author. ‘I know there are such unfortunate beings as pickpockets and streetwalkers. I am very sorry for it and am very much shocked at their mode of life, but I own I do not much wish to hear what they say to one another’, she said.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgiana_Howard,_Countess_of_Carlisle

Freedom of Speech is a wonderful right Americans have. It doesn’t just protect popular speech, but speech some people don’t like. It should not be abridged. “Sit down and shut up,” was a phrase the last resident of the White House has been known to say about people with whom he disagrees. Well, I refuse to sit down and shut up even though some people don’t approve of my calling out people whom they believe have immunity or the way I do it.

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” -John 8:32

 

Think For Yourself

Each year, in Shirley Jackson’s short story The Lottery, heads of household draw slips to see who will be stoned, and I’m not talking about pot, by the town. The argument for doing this is simply that this has always been done. No rhyme or reason.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lottery

It’s no surprise that Hillary Clinton won in Bucks County and that the Bimbo of Bucks County, aka State Representative Tina Davis, kept her seat, given The Lottery nature of the culture in Bucks County, PA.  http://levittownnow.com/2016/11/09/clinton-wins-majority-levittown-area-vote/

A remake of the TV/film adaptation of The Lottery could readily be done in Bucks County. All the populace here need to do is act naturally, to quote Buck Owens.

Rather than try to understand the homeless in Bucks County, people here throw that first stone. In the public library and at the Veteran’s Memorial in Levittown, for example, the homeless are considered miscreants, and, like cockroaches, are shooed away.

Some of the homeless, however, create problems, such as drunkenness and drug use.

Because of the inordinate number of recovery houses in lower Bucks County, some 100 of them, druggies have become part of the homeless population. As a result, a security guard and cameras were put in the public library in Levittown. Being liberal, all homeless are treated like the ones who steal, shoot up, and con people. The people who voted for Clinton and Davis believe one size fits all.

Another judgment against the homeless as a group is that they all have mental problems. So the Bucks County mental health hustlers hunt down the homeless. Unlike the folks in The Lottery, the hustlers don’t have to draw straws. For them, any homeless person is fair game.

The beat goes on… Drugs, especially heroin, has plagued lower Bucks County for years. The people here keep getting sucked into drugs just as they vote for politicians like Tina Davis year after year. At Stand Down, an annual event for needy veterans, the Bimbo of Bucks County spoke. She touted how much she cares about the homeless, said she had done a lot for them, although she gave no examples, and said she would continue to help the homeless. Mere words with no action, the quintessential liberal.

Another movie that could be filmed in Bucks County: The Walking Brain Dead. Zombies could wander the highways and byways saying things like “hope and change” and “I’m with Hillary.”

In Bucks County, there is more vacant property than homeless people, yet the two were never put together. Talk is cheap.

Just as the folks in The Lottery were used as scapegoats, the homeless are a means of funding the mental health industry in Bucks County.

Psychotropic medications is the Raison d’ e^tre for the Penndel Mental Health Center, a favorite place where the Bucks County mental health hustlers book the homeless.

By using psychotropic medications, the shrinks think they can deal with what they believe is a patient’s chemical imbalance by giving them an elixir to balance them.  The effectiveness of these drugs are unproven scientific theory. The concept of chemical imbalance is also unproven.

There is some hope now that the American people have chosen a President who will not usher, coerce us into her Brave New World. Enough people have carried the day. These are people who think for themselves and are not taken in by the former Wicked Witch of the West Wing’s welcome grin.

Speaking of thinking for yourself, read this blog from pastor and Christian counselor Jay Adams’ website that challenges conventional thinking:  http://www.nouthetic.org/blog/?p=5751

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.

What is an Advocate? What is “is”?

Words mean something.  Although the Advocates for The Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) in Bucks County, PA  transports the homeless to meals and helps them with various services, they are not advocates.

Merriam-Webster defines “advocate”:

  • A person who argues for or supports a cause or policy
  • A person who works for a cause or group
  • A person who argues for the cause of another person in a court of law

Back in April, when Bucks County conducted a search and destroy mission to completely evict the homeless from the whole government center complex and surrounding woods in Levittown, there was a chance meeting between veterans, homeless residents, and volunteers at the Veterans Memorial in the complex. http://levittownnow.com/2016/04/30/county-officials-begin-to-clear-homeless-camps/

The only ones who spoke up for the homeless were the homeless themselves, volunteers, and Morris Derry, President of No More Pain Inc. AHTN had nothing to say during the homeless evictions there, or anywhere. Awhile ago, I asked the president of AHTN to help a friend and I with our quest to provide more shelter for the homeless, but she blew it off, saying that 24/7 security would be needed.

Getting past the demagoguery of the homeless, one of the veterans suggested finding a building to help those without permanent homes.  There is a lack of shelter for the homeless; there’s nowhere to go, nowhere to hide, baby!

Speaking as an advocate for the homeless, Morris said “I understand what their (the county) concerns are, but I really don’t think their dealing with it the right way.” A notice was posted for the homeless to vacate the area with an alleged solution to the homeless housing problem, a phone number promising, like the promise to the Okies in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath of a better life in California, for housing assistance.

“I called the phone number on the signs and there is no more room in the shelters,” Morris said.

Leaders in the homeless community, have been exploring options for shelter, as has been individual homeless people, who have limited resources.

With all its resources, Bucks County wastes its efforts by striving to get the homeless out of site, out of mind, instead of working on adequate solutions.

One solution, perhaps the final one, is to get the homeless off the streets by signing them up with taxpayer funded Bucks County mental health services. Like manure, Bucks County nuthouse representatives are all over the place, at code blues, tent city evictions, the library… As the Sword of Damocles was hanging over the heads of the homeless before the memorial eviction, predators from the Bucks County health industry flocked to the memorial, clipboards in hand and badges hung around their necks, trying to shanghai the homeless into their programs by baiting them with housing opportunities.

In concert with Bucks County’s view of the homeless, the mental health hustlers scheme to put them into a program, where the homeless become wards of they state, where they not only don’t get better – they get worse. They don’t strive to give the homeless a hand up so they can be productive members of society, but just want to sedate them with drugs and psychobabble. They have written the homeless off.

One ploy these charlatans use is to con homeless people to go on social security disability by saying they are mentally disabled. Bucks County official Alan Johnson, who has made frequent appearances wherever he can find his homeless prey, offered me housing in exchange for me submitting to being labeled as being so mentally messed up that I could never work.

In contrast to the Bucks County establishment’s view of the homeless, local churches have been accepting the homeless unconditionally, as created in the image of God. The status as being homeless does not define them.

Instead, like Evangelist in John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, they point the homeless to Jesus, who is the ultimate advocate for everyone.

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:” -1st John 2:1.

Here on earth, the homeless need an advocate. This is where Christians come in. They need to advocate for the homeless. Instead of sucking up to the Bucks County establishment, like some officials from the  Salvation Army Levittown Community center do, for example The Countess of Carlisle who thinks it’s OK to rid the library of the homeless just because people don’t like them, Christians need to stand up for the homeless.

“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.

Inmates Running The Asylum

There’s a maniac running around Levittown, PA. It’s not a escapee from a mental institution but, believe it or not, someone who wears a badge. His name is Joe, last name unknown, and is a substitute guard at the municipal building in Levittown. Recently, a sign was posted by the nearby Veterans Memorial to warn the homeless people to remove their property by April 29.

Joe took it upon himself to launch a vendetta against the homeless at the memorial. He told these people, who have nowhere else to go, that they, not just their belongs as the sign says, have to go — that they can’t sleep at the memorial after April 29. He produced no documentation and said that someone forgot to write that the homeless, not just their stuff, has to be out of the memorial by the 29th.

He said this was by order of the Bucks County Commissioners.

Originally, this rogue guard told homeless people that he was going to “remind them” about this starting Monday. But this nutcase couldn’t wait and woke people up at 5 a.m. this morning. One homeless person told me that Joe called him by name and said he was there to remind him and others about vacating on April 29. Joe even brought two Bucks County Rangers with him.

Joe is just a substitute guard at the municipal building, yet, evidently on his own time, he’s been venturing out on his Quixotic mission. The difference between Joe and Don Quixote is that Joe is not attacking windmills, but people.

I think that Joe, who is short, has a Napoleon complex. For those of you in Doylestown, a “Napoleon complex” is a term describing a theoretical condition occurring in people of short stature. It is characterized by overly-aggressive or domineering social behavior, and carries the implication that such behavior is compensatory for the subject’s stature.

This is also known as “little man syndrome” ,a popular term for the inferiority complex that short men (under 5’9′) in society are commonly assumed to possess, which causes them—at least per theory—to overcompensate by trying harder than men of average height (5’10′) in life’s activities

For years the authorities, driven by intolerant, judgmental special interests have been marginalizing the homeless and have constructively been scheming to keep them out of public places, such as the library and the memorial. But this is the most egregious attack on the homeless I’ve learned of in the two years I’ve been associating with the homeless in lower Bucks County, PA. This is harassment, plain and simple.

It’s ironic, hypocritical, that authorities would harass the homeless at the Veterans Memorial, a memorial to those who sacrificed for our freedoms.

The problem with the way homelessness is addressed on nationalhomeless.org: http://nationalhomeless.org/issues/civil-rights/  (WordPress link not working; copy and paste if interested).

Judgmentalism against the homeless is immoral. People who harass the homeless have rationalized their behavior.

“All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the LORD weighs the motives.”

–Proverbs 16:2

 

Wossamotta U Versus Church

In the last blog I praised the churches in lower Bucks County, PA for countering judgmentalism and apathy towards the homeless taught at Wossamotta U. and showing respect and empathy for them.

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

“Don’t talk about us; talk with us” the slogan some homeless people created is a reality in lower Bucks County.  A large part of hobophobia, the irrational fear of the homeless, is a result of just not knowing them.  So people talk about them without knowing who they really are.

Intermittently, the homeless have been harassed at the Veteran’s Memorial in Levittown, but now, except for a rare rogue, their rights have been respected and the harassment has eased off.

Initially, the new guard at the nearby municipal building, fed by misinformation, tried to shoo the homeless from the Veteran’s Memorial. But once he got to know them he lightened up. Just today one of the homeless guys who was at the memorial said the guard has been “cool”.  When I first met the new guard I told him “we have to break you in.” Taken aback he spouted “I don’t need to be broken in” — and informed me that he was a trained law enforcement officer…  After he mentioned enforcing rules, we realized we were on the same page, but that my concern was that the rules be enforced even handedly.

The harassment at the memorial was driven by false witness by those who hate the homeless, including the WIC office in the municipal building, which faces towards the memorial. A woman with COPD who went into the WIC office to get warm one winter during business hours was booted just because she was homeless.

Harassment against the homeless has been the case at the Levittown public library for the past two years. Lately, it got so out of hand that I filed a complaint with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The problem is Pat, the head librarian and her sidekick. The other librarians, however, have been not been only respectful of the homeless but have gotten friendly with them. They even gave me a card to bring with me when I visited a homeless person in the hospital.

In an attempt to shoo the homeless from the library, they have been hassled various ways, in some cases thrown out for the day or longer for minor problems. In one case, the homeless woman who was  thrown out of WIC was reading when the librarian told her she needed to do something to stay in the library. The latest case was when the head librarian, Pat, out of the blue, told a homeless man he had been talking loud all week and threw him out, although other people, especially bratty kids, consistently talk much louder.

Many of the churches and individual Christians have reached out to the homeless in lower Bucks County, showing them respect, understanding and empathy.

There are some, however, who must have taken night classes at Wossamatta U.

“The Countess of Carlisle”,  the community relations and development director at the Salvation Army Levittown Community Center told me that people don’t like the homeless in the library when they visit because they are dirty, spread food out all over the tables, etc. I asked her if she witnessed that (she didn’t)  and told her that I do go there and found this isn’t the case. I added that if someone breaks a rule about eating in the library, simply tell them to stop. This Salvation Army official didn’t want to know the truth, and just kowtows to the worldly, judgmental views of the community.

“Queen Latifah”, another elitist at the Salvation Army, treats the homeless like criminals and children when she hosts the community meals.

In the homeless community itself, false witness has created problems. Rumors were spread about someone I didn’t know in this community, but once I got to know him, I found that I was told lies.

Lies were also told about a guy who visits the community meals, but was not homeless, but in need. This fostered fights, which sometimes started to get physical. There was an incident at the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Penndel, PA where someone came to the meal drunk and screamed at the victim of false witness, physically threatened him, and had to be restrained.

Yet the perpetrator was let off the hook. One of the advocates from the Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) twisted what happened  and the victim, who did a rope-a-dope, was blamed. The next time  the victim went to Redeemer Lutheran for the meal, he was told he was banned, because, a church representative said, he was saying negative things about the homeless.

I respect the homeless, and don’t take the stance that, because they are homeless, they are not responsible for their behavior. The victim and I pushed the issue and got the perpetrator temporarily banned from the bus. After this time out, he didn’t cause any more problems.

Recently, another homeless man, on more than one occasion, caused a ruckus at a community meal. Since the last ruckus, he hasn’t been at the meals. We must have set a precedent.

A  non-homeless person who visits the meals said she was told to use caution when going to the meals. She was afraid someone might come at her with a weapon and that someone told her not even to look at the homeless people there. I allayed her fears and explained that my experience is that the worst thing that happens is occasional quarrels, usually alcohol driven. Normally the meals are a pleasant experience, where there is great fellowship.

Most churches have been gracious towards the homeless. They not only feed them, but sit at their tables at community meals and have developed relationships with them and mentored them.

This is the way it should be.

“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.”

–2 Corinthians 5:20

Bad Moon Arising

“I see the bad moon arising. I see trouble on the way. I see earthquakes and lightnin’. I see those bad times today.

Don’t go around tonight, Well it’s bound to take your life, There’s a bad moon on the rise.

I hear hurricanes a blowing. I know the end is coming soon. I fear rivers over flowing. I hear the voice of rage and ruin.”

Bad Moon Arising, Credence Clearwater Revival

“We all have baggage,” said a former homeless guy in lower Bucks County, PA. Recognizing you have a problem is the first step in getting your act together. When he was homeless, he learned how to deal with his baggage, and as a result was able to improve conditions for himself and fellow homeless.

If left unchecked, our “baggage”, our addictions, anti-social behavior and other problems, can lead to destruction. I know, I’ve been there. I also know that it isn’t too late. It wasn’t in my case.

And Carol King’s thesis “it’s too late, baby it’s too late…” doesn’t apply to my homeless friend who is getting treatment for alcoholism. He fell down, but he is not out. People who have been there before are helping him help himself.

He was one of the clowns who caused the homeless to be banned for a time from the Levittown Veteran’s Memorial when they were drunk and disorderly. The others involved have continued their destructive behavior.

The homeless don’t have to be that way, just because they are homeless. People have choices.

My friend is starting to fully realize that he can’t make it on his own. I occasionally remind him that there’s no such thing as the Lone Ranger Christian. He is on the right path and has made the right choice. Some of us have been encouraging him, despite his occasional urge to think he’s strong enough to leave the nest, to stay on the right track.

This time of year, with all the crass materialism static from the money grubbers who hijacked Christmas (they are the real Grinch who stole Christmas) to use it as a means to their ends, it’s important to know the real reason for the season.

What’s it’s all about, Alfie, is taking to heart God’s sacrifice for sinners and showing concern, compassion for others, especially the less fortunate. And it’s just not about material things. Some people are down spirited, especially this time of year.

It’s been said that depression is high during the Christmas season. A lot of it has to do with the emptiness of materialism and people feeling like nobody cares. The Christmas hype just doesn’t cut it!

Instead of envy, pettiness and fighting, people need to help and edify one another. At a community meal for the homeless and those in need, someone at my table questioned why the homeless are bickering with one another when they could be working together. I agree.

Greed, which runs rampant this time of year, alienates people and causes problems.

Compare Frank Norris’s McTeaque, about the social problems that resulted from the greed of the Gold Rush era, with John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, the novel about how a homeless family worked with others in their plight. In McTeaque, greed caused contention between individuals, just as does some of today’s homeless people who want all the booze or cigarettes.

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

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

Gluttony is a form of greed that causes problems. After I lost my house, I was invited to live rent free in a house in exchange for taking handicapped people to their doctor’s appointments and shopping and doing various chores around the property. One of them incessantly demanded I pick up monster drinks and other small items for her, in addition to weekly shopping.

A showdown came two days after our weekly shopping, which included picking up a few pounds of lunch meat for two people. The glutton wanted me to take them shopping again because they pigged out and finished the lunch meat in two days! I put my foot down and said “no.” There was other food in the house, but they demanded their lunch meat.

The glutton told me her father-in-law, who owns the house, would pick up the lunch meat. Shortly thereafter, after I schlepped many bags of food into the house after weekly shopping, the old man, a retired Brown Shirt with the United Auto Workers Union, told me I wasn’t shopping for his son and daughter-in-law as agreed and demanded I “get out and take your stuff, before I throw it out!” This guy is Jeff Dunham’s Walter on steroids!

In the Steinbeck novel, people worked together as a team in order to survive their ordeal.

When I first started hanging around the homeless about 1 1/2 years ago, they helped one another — with food and shelter, and schooled them where they could go for assistance and were there for moral support.

One free walk in program I’d recommend, which has helped me get rid of my baggage that weighs me down is the 12 steps journey, held Tuesday evenings in Levittown and Saturday nights in Newtown. http://www.12stepjourney.com/ See schedule on link.

All people matter, including the homeless. When the bad moon rises over the homeless, don’t moon them but encourage them to improve themselves. I’d encourage everyone to dump bad baggage.

T-Rex is Back!

Tyrannosaurus Rex is back, running around Levittown, PA, bullying anyone who does something he doesn’t like, or just for sport. The root of his first name translates “tyrant.”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrannosaurus

Lately, T-Rex has been temporarily contained in cages but, once free, in some public places he has been docile, on pain of not being fed. At a community meal, I almost accidentally sat down across from him. When I noticed him, he elicited a menacing warning, a look that could kill, and I kept away.

The most recent episode occurred at the Veteran’s Memorial in Levittown. When I arrived, just missing the Christmas party there, T-Rex had a smirk on his face. Initially I took this as a friendly greeting but then realized that he was drunk. And disorderly. Yet he orders me, a veteran, to leave the memorial because he doesn’t like my blogs.

Talk about tough critics!

I missed the Christmas party because I was visiting a friend who is getting treatment for alcohol addiction. He was vacated from the same neighborhood where T-Rex used to live. In his case, he finally came to his senses after being convinced by a Bucks County Ranger to get the help he needs.

At the memorial, the inebriated T-Rex started closing in on what he thought would be his prey, uttering inane grunts and groans. It sounded like he was saying that this grunting and groaning was the content of my blogs. An ex Marine got between us, trying to keep him at bay. I didn’t want to fight — just to be left alone. But I don’t like bullies and I was tempted to knock him out! I guarantee you, he won’t find overpowering me as easy a task as when he attacked mentally and physically weak prey.

People at the memorial also tried to convince him to stop his irrational rage — that I am not the enemy.

Not only was T-Rex bullying me, he was hurting his fellow homeless who visit the memorial. He was one of the ones who had gotten everybody banned from the memorial after the authorities came because some individuals were drunk and disorderly. It took some persuading the authorities to convince them to let thing go back to the way they were.

The woods by the library have been cleared of overnight campers, but the “all clear” sign is not out. In fact, the rangers are aggressively patrolling the woods for campers camping in a no camp zone. It was the mainly druggie homeless who triggered the raids on the homeless. Warrants for people also precipitated the raids.

A ranger asked me that if I see a certain individual who has a warrant against him to ask him to turn himself in. It will go easier for him, the ranger said, if he turns himself in than when they catch him.

Places for the homeless to go keep shrinking. Caring people have been trying to create shelter for the homeless but have been hitting roadblocks. Part of the problem is a result of hobophobia. For those of you in Doylestown, “hobophobia” means, according to the Urban Dictionary “The extreme and utter fear of hobos, or the homeless. This is usually caused by the lack of exposure to the homeless throughout the world. A dose of homelessness is an easy cure to hobophobia”

Whether T-Rex realizes it or not (he probably doesn’t), he is contributing to hobophobia.

Most people don’t know the homeless like I do. Bystanders witness a rucus among a group of people they perceive as being homeless. Not knowing the people in the group, or any homeless people for that manner, they tend to judge all homeless by the actions of certain members of the group.

There are people scattered out there who genuinely want to help the homeless find shelter. They have had some success in piecemeal fashion.

A guy who works for Bucks County who used to be a fixture at the Levittown Public Library — maybe my dangerous blogs scared him away (holy the pen is mightier than the sword, Batman) — told me he doesn’t buy the “housing first” stragedy. He said that people need to get themselves straight before they move into housing.

Assuming someone needing shelter needs help with serious problems, this would be a good strategy. But many homeless simply need a place to stay; they are not all addicts or nutcases. But as concerns the public perception of the homeless, the homeless need to get their act together, and hold problem people accountable for their behavior.

Homeless people at the memorial when T-Rex started acting up handled the problem the right way. But if the problem people don’t want to shape up, throw the bums out!

In Jurassic Park, a scientist argued that dinosaurs can’t co-exist with people. In the case of T-Rex, I think he may be right.

Politics and the Homeless

I’m convinced that the best way to help those in need, particularly the homeless, is through private charity.

Bucks County, PA knew about its homeless problem since 1988.  The county doesn’t have the funds, nor the will, to provide much needed shelter for the homeless.  It’s 2015, and the homeless problem hasn’t been resolved.

One problem is Bucks County’s strategy.  At the Levittown Public Library, officials are more interested in addressing the problem, as my partner in our nascent non-profit Gimmee Shelter for the Homeless related, by answering the question people have about not letting the homeless turn the library into their hangout than solving the problem.  He overheard comments to this effect at a meeting at the library.

Likewise, officials are trying to shoo the homeless from the Veteran’s Memorial next to the library, even when they are not doing anything wrong.

We at Gimmee Shelter have been considering property to develop for the homeless, with the homeless working on the property in the spirit of the Homestead Act of 1862.  There’s a guy who is with another organization to help the homeless who showed me the Head Start site, which has been abandoned for 1 ½ years.  With all the homeless people in Bucks County, the government hasn’t even dreamed of the idea of using this property for the homeless.

Individual people have.

In a prosperous economy, which free market capitalism fosters, there are more resources people have to share with those in need.  Shortly after the election of Barry Obama, Pastor Rick Warren, who works with philanthropists, and who practices what he preaches, said that with greater taxes, people don’t have as much money to give to charity.  Good point, Rick.

http://rickwarren.org/about/rick-warren

As I pointed out in previous blogs, socialism, as found in FDRs New Raw Deal, creates more poverty.  During the Great Depression, FDRs socialist policies exacerbated and prolonged the depression and there was rampant homelessness.

We overcame the sour grapes of The New Raw Deal after we cut taxes, kept government’s nose out of our business, and people became more personally responsible.  The power of the people was unleashed!

Homelessness is the canary in the mine, which indicates the health of the economy.  Today, there is more homelessness in states under liberal rule than there is in conservative states, such as Texas.

We need to help the poor and needy.

This can be best done by unshackling people from a government under the influence of socialist principles and letting them use their initiative and outside-the-box entrepreneurism to create a prosperous society by letting them produce more for everybody.  The custom of allowing the poor to follow the reapers in the field and glean the fallen spears of grain, as illustrated in Ruth 2: 2-23, can be done today.  In a prosperous economy, private charity can help those in need.

Ephesians 4:28

“Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.”

Emergency Assembly Area

At the public library in Levittown, PA, the spot where the bus shelter where the homeless waited for a ride to go to community meals and other places was removed.  Now just a concrete slab, a sign “emergency assembly area” was erected.

There are different kinds of emergencies.  I’m not sure what kind of emergency this concrete slap is for.  I think a tornado, hurricane, flood, volcano, cyclone, tsunami, and brush fires can be ruled out off the bat.

It was in this area where there was an altercation between homeless people.  It was caught on camera at that spot, so maybe the emergency could be the homeless people getting restless and attacking, maybe the people outside their circle who visit the library.  They have been too preoccupied fighting among themselves, but should there be a detente, they could easily conspire against us, and we need to be prepared.

There’s been a grave concern about the homeless people lurking at the Veteran’s memorial.  The security guy from the nearby municipal building, perhaps under pressure from people in that building  or from visitors to the area who don’t know the folks who socialize at the memorial who are homeless phobic, has been periodically discouraging them from staying very long there during business hours.   He has told them that people feel uncomfortable about visiting the memorial with them there.

For public safety, and the public’s welfare, the emergency assembly area is a place where people can go if the homeless suddenly go on the attack.  Like aliens from outer space, we don’t know much about their kind, and a contingency plan is in order.  For all we know, the former bus stop may have been the place where these people, possibly aliens from space, were beamed aboard.  If more of them come, we’ll be ready for them!

Someone may have forgotten to add the “51” to Emergency Assembly Area 51.

Maybe we’re supposed to assemble the homeless in this area and figure a way to send them back to their planet.

There is a story found in the Levittown library archives about how the homeless came to the library.  An alien spaceship on its way to Roswell, New Mexico got off course and landed on the roof of the library.  It deposited liquid eggs that oozed through the cracks in the roof and seeped into books lying on the shelves.

The eggs hatched and the bookworms found their way out of the library into the surrounding area.  They became the homeless, for whom the library is their nesting place, their home.

From the emergency assembly area, we can watch the homeless at the memorial from a distance.  The librarian will sound the emergency alarm when she senses an emergency.  She’s already had at least one false alarm.  On one occasion when two homeless people were briefly  talking quietly just outside her office, the librarian burst out of her office and stammered “this conversation is getting heated; you better read a book or something!”

Holy Don Quixote, batman!

The emergency assembly area is there for any contingencies, whether real or imagined.

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,  Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Hamlet Act 1, scene 5, 159–167

Remember, the Bookworm was one of Batman’s enemies!  Now there are scads of them!