The Homeless And Needy

At the shared meal for the homeless and needy in southern Bucks County, PA last night, the host passed out tickets to their guests as they entered in order to make sure nobody misses out on the goods they graciously give them. There have been some people who, like wild animals, go and grab all the gusto they can and could care less if others miss out. 

The shared meals are for the homeless and needy, not the homeless and greedy. “The Homeless And Greedy” would make a good soap opera, wouldn’t it? 

The homeless and needy 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. 

Instead, some of the homeless and needy in southern Bucks County act like the rabid, jealous, greedy characters in Frank Norris’ McTeague. 

It’s unfortunate that hosts at the shared meals have to regulate adult guests. The guests should be mindful of the interests of others, and not just look out for themselves. “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” -Philippians 2:4 

Overall, the shared meals are a venue for friends to get together and talk about shoes and ships and sailing things and ask whether pigs have wings. Seriously though, it’s a place where people can talk about dealing with life, especially when things get rough.  Not only the guests among themselves, but many of the hosts fellowship with their guests, not only making them feel at home and show that they matter, but are there to address their concerns and feed them spiritual as well as physical food.  

How the shared meals in Bucks County are an important ministry is one thing I address in my book: 

Copies of There Are Homeless in Bucks County; A Journey With The Homeless are available in the Bucks County Free Library system.

Push Out The Christmas Pushers

Don’t push Christmas! Let us eat our turkey and stuffing first, said a DJ recently on K-Love. It’s not even Thanksgiving, and the obsessed are revving up the Christmas hoopla! On TV, especially, shows are banging out the Christmas clichés. The worst station is Hallmark, incessantly cranking out their Christmas arsenals, bombarding the public, evidently to saturate the audience to get them to buy more Christmas cards. They act like they are possessed! 

What’s it all about, Alfie? It’s about getting material things in order to find satisfaction in life. The trite Hallmark movies reflect the shallowness found in the world, where people say things they probably don’t really mean. I ask where are your priorities? Earlier today someone said the dramatizations in the Hallmark Christmas movies ”really don’t happen that way.” 

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Christmas comes once a year” 

“And every man must have his share”  

 “Only poor Willy in the jail, drinking sour ginger beer”  

-Famous limerick that plays on the radio in Guyana, South America at Christmastime 

Beam me up Scotty! 

People on this planet are running around like the White Rabbit and acting like the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland, getting caught up in the hype and the materialism of worldly Christmas. I think I’d rather be in a jail in Guyana hanging out with Poor Willy rather than being accosted by the incessant ads and other claptrap during the commercial Christmas season. That is, if the jail does not subject its inmates to Christmas hype. That would be cruel and unusual punishment!   

I’d gladly swap sour ginger beer with phony Christmas cheer! 

It’s all about greed! One definition of greed I recently heard: “excessively striving for material things, even at the expense of others.” So worldly Christmas fosters selfishness, rather than selflessness. It’s not about sacrificing for the good of others. Sacrificing for the good of others is the model Jesus, the reason for the season, gave us. 

In Bucks County, PA, there is one outstanding example of the true spirit of Christmas that comes to mind. On Christmas day, in Penndel, the Marrazzo family will serve the homeless. People who have nowhere to go for Christmas will have a place to go where they can get a good Christmas meal and fellowship with others. Last year, a friend of mine said that Dan Marrazzo had heard about a book about the homeless in Bucks County. My friend prompted me to give Dan a complimentary copy of my book and write Merry Christmas, from Jeff to Dan. I walked over to Dan, gave him the book and talked with him. 

To learn more about the homeless in Bucks County, PA, the meals and a closer look into who the homeless really are, read “There Are Homeless in Bucks County; A Journey With The Homeless”, by yours truly. Free shipping through until Christmas. 

I wrote much of the book when I visited my late Sandi, to whom I dedicated the book, in a nursing home. I was there during the Christmas season, where her roommate’s TVs incessantly poured out worldly Christmas claptrap. By her positive attitude, where Sandi illustrated Jesus to the aides and nurses, she showed the true meaning of Christmas. 



The Homeless Population in Bucks County Is Growing!

Warren Says Homeless Problem Is Also In Bucks, reads a headline in the January 27, 1988 edition of The Morning Call. Bucks County Commissioner Andrew L Warren told members of the Pennridge Chamber of Commerce that the homeless problem is not just found in major cities like Philadelphia, but right here in Bucks County. -Excerpt from my soon to be published book “There Are Homeless In Bucks County; A Journey With The Homeless”.

Today, just before Halloween, 2018, there are those trying to trick you into thinking the homeless population is shrinking. It is not! I believe much of the homeless population in lower Bucks County, PA is being pushed back into hideaways, where the Bucks establishment wants them. One reason they don’t want to come out, as one source said in the October 7, 2018 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer, is that they want to be left alone.

The February 19 edition of reported that The Rapid Rehousing Program helped get a homeless man, who was suffering from physical and mental problems, including a nervous breakdown, out of the woods in three years!

According to the article, the guy “was on a downward spiral until staff from the Center for Independent Living of Bucks County, as well as the Host Program Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania stepped in to advocate for him.

Both organizations fought for the last few years to help Tanner qualify for disability income, social security, apply for Section 8 housing (a 18-24 month process) and to support him through an ongoing custody battle.”

When I proposed the idea to a Bucks County Commissioner to have the homeless build and manage an official homeless camp or village on Bucks County public land, like that of Dignity Village in Oregon, she replied “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.”

So while they wait for government assisted housing, they are left stranded in the woods! This kind of treatment of the poor is par for the course in a system where Tina Davis, who is running for political office, and her husband, got off scot free after pocketing taxpayer funds intended for the poor, struggling people in the house they rented. And all they have to do is pay the money back! Original story:

The Demagogue’s Deal:

Some folks say that the party of the people need to protect us from those, as Elmer Fudd would say “Waskally Republicans.”  Image result for elmer fudd

It’s private efforts, not the government that in the end will help the homeless. The homeless, of course, have to help themselves. They are not all alike. At a homeless shared meal on Sunday, the host, unlike many homeless shared meal hosts, let the homeless come in extra early. The meal started at 2 p.m., and a little before 1 p.m., a few homeless people sat down. They wanted soda. The host graciously offered the two whining people water and said that when they start to serve the meal they will bring them soda. After a while they got up and left the lunch room. When they came back, the homeless bus had come and they carried on like children that they lost their seats. Not all homeless and needy people are like this, which my book gets into. But the liberal establishment likes irresponsible bums, who have an entitlement mentality, like them. I talk about the Bucks Builds Bums/Build-A-Bum initiative in my book.

I haven’t been to Walmart for awhile. Maybe when I visit the store again I’ll find a new sign to warn shoplifters, based on the Davis/Dems precedent:  “Walmart takes shoplifting seriously. If you get caught shoplifting, you will be required to pay Walmart back for what you stole!”

No Direction Home?

You can take people by the hand, but you can’t pull them. It’s noble to reach out to people who need a helping hand. But in some cases, they don’t want to listen to advice or follow the right path.

After people visited him in the hospital, worked hard to get him in a nursing home, moved his worldly  possessions  from his sold home into storage, counseled and encouraged him to straighten out and tried to get him into more programs to help him overcome his besetting sin of chronic drunkenness, he walked away from the nursing home. When he was distraught around the public library in Levittown, PA our friend in the homeless and needy community in Bucks County, PA, a police officer encouraged him to return to the nursing home. He didn’t.

At Tuesday night’s community meal for the homeless and those in need, our friend was greeted by his friends. He thanked those who have been helping him.

The reason for bolting from the nursing home? He described it as being quite filthy. I find that dubious, as do others.

He told me he planned to find a hotel and drove away from the dinner. The social worker he was working with, he said, was looking for a room for him.

Now, he’s on his own, with no direction home, as Bob Dylan sang.

The man needs to be sequestered in a home, where he can get the treatment, mostly counseling, that he badly needs, as well as a place where he has to stay away from the bottle and cigarettes, which he craves.

A few years back, I kept company with a homeless woman who had just walked away from her husband, a well-paying job, fancy cars and a great house in an upscale neighborhood. She was well educated. The woman was leery of going to the homeless meals, as she thought people didn’t like her being there. I encouraged her to go, and we often went to the meals together. I also brought food to her tent, as she was quite thin and may have gotten thinner.

For awhile, we did positive things such as discuss books we got out of the local library, would reference books we’ve read, talked about art…  She got a job but was fired, accused of being involved in a stealing ring. She had a problem with the bottle, and soon returned to heavy drinking, and habitually stole things. She sometimes broke down crying, lamenting to me that she was homeless.

Drunkenness, like other crutches to escape life, leads nowhere. A problem drinker’s girlfriend and I used to say that he thinks the answer to problems is in the bottle. He may think that a genie will pop out and say “your wish is my command.”

Actually, the bottle abused is a tyrant! It’s an example of pursuing something that entices you but brings you to despair, as Bob Dylan sang about the youth who left their comfortable homes in search of something better. The grass was no only not greener – it was brown!

People who engage in destructive behavior such as drunkenness can lose their jobs, their houses, family and other relations with people. They are so enamored with the bottle that it become more important than anything else.

As a result of his heavy drinking, Dr. Robert Smith, aka Dr. Bob, one of the Alcoholics Anonymous founders, almost didn’t finish medical school and put his business and family life jeopardy. But with God’s help and through AA programs, after staying with the program, Dr. Bob was able to put this destructive behavior at bay. The 12 Step program grew out of Alcoholics Anonymous, which continues to be a successful program.

Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who tarry long over wine; those who go to try mixed wine. Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart utter perverse things. …” – Proverbs 23:39-35

For Whom The Bell Tolls

Shocking news hit the homeless and needy community this past week in lower Bucks County, PA, as a beloved member passed away on Saturday, June 17. Just the Wednesday before last I talked with Crystal, who passed, at a community meal. She had been suffering from medical problems for some time, but I didn’t see it at that meal. Instead of dwelling on her problems, Crystal asked me how Sandi, whom I am taking care of, who was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer about 2 ½ years ago, was doing.

Crystal was with her husband, Angel at the dinner. They seemed to be always together, and were a committed loving couple.

I got to know Crystal and Angel about three years ago. They were struggling and at first were quiet. A local advocate for the homeless and needy reached out and ministered to them, as she did others. They socialized with others in their situation.  The group formed bonds and helped each other in various ways, like the characters in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath

After a year or so, the couple left the “Memorial Mob” neighborhood and I lost contact with them. The past several months I started seeing them at the community meals. The community meals for the homeless and those in need are not just about getting fed, but a place where friends meet and form bonds, edifying one another and where, in the group’s oral tradition, news is passed along.

Friends of Crystal and Angel, some of whom have seen them regularly at the community meals, have come together to lend moral, financial and other support to Angel.

I just shared a Facebook post about selfies – how silly and vain they are.

“Don’t you mean taking a lonely? #NationalSelfieDay

Posted by Sebastian Maniscalco on Wednesday, June 21, 2017

No man is an island.

“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were.
Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”  -John Donne
Just as Crystal and Angel were a team, we all in this circle need to love and care for one another, coming together the way God would want us to.

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  -Matthew 22:37-40

The Midnight Special

“Let the Midnight Special shine her light on me
Let the Midnight Special shine her ever-loving light on me”

-Lyrics from The Midnight Special, a traditional folk song believed to have originated from prisoners in the American south.

Throughout the years, several artists have recorded the song, including blues singer Huddie William Ledbetter, aka Lead Belly, Johnny Rivers and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

One interpretation of The Midnight Special is that it was a song about a train from Houston shining its light into a cell in the Sugar Land Prison. The light of the train is a metaphor for salvation; the train could take the inmate away from the prison walls if it shines on him.

The Bible also uses light as an image for salvation and freedom. John Chapter 1, verses four and five: “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. “

When you come into God’s light you start acting more like Christ and let your light shine for others to see.

In the opening of the book, John relates that God made all things, including humans. God breathed life into man, creating him in his image. Humans are a special creation and therefore have intrinsic value – that is, the have value just for being a creature made by God. When people don’t believe this, humans are only valued for what they have or can do. This is the case for the homeless in Bucks County, PA, where just because people don’t have jobs, a position in society, or homes, they are considered useless, collectively a persona non grata.

In the Levittown public library, the head librarian has been on a campaign to constructively remove the homeless from the library.  You would think the local Salvation Army, as they did back in the day, would value the down and out as creatures created by God, but the Countess of Carlisle, public relations person for the Salvation Army, told me that some people who visit the library don’t like the homeless there, and that the librarian has the right to shew them just because people don’t like them. As was the case with the early churches being polluted by pagan thought, the Levittown branch of the Salvation army evidently has been contaminated by secular liberalism.

For those of you in Doylestown, the Countess of Carlisle was an historical figure for whom was said “Though she worked hard to improve the working-class people’s living conditions, she was an elitist who resented their role in democracy.”,_Countess_of_Carlisle#Views_and_causes

Bucks County may as well round the homeless up, usher them through corridors past a visual montage of pristine forests filled with homeless camps, past the rotating knives, where the homeless are churned into green wafers as was done in the movie Soylent Green.

This way the homeless become useful; they would be helping to keep Bucks County Green.

Without giving any reason, Bucks County said that Stand Down, the annual event that sets up on county administered land behind the Levittown public library for homeless and needy veterans, will no longer be.  This would not enhance Bucks County’s desire for personal peace and prosperity.

Meanwhile, as Christmas approaches, people are trying to find peace through drugs. In Bristol Township, cops found 445 bundles of what they believe is heroin after they stopped a guy who was chasing a woman, driving through neighborhoods shooting at her. The dope pusher must have believed there were a lot of customers in the area. It certainly wasn’t Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood!

Maybe the dealer was filling an order to help people deal with the calamity of the recent election. They must have heard that Calamity Donald was in town and need something to calm them down. Maybe the 445 bundles were heading to the Penndel Mental Health Center.

This is what happens when people run away from the light and live in darkness. They don’t want to take David Bowie’s advice and run from the shadows!

Remember this season that there is hope. Let the Midnight Special shine its ever loving  light on you!

“The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.” -Matthew 4:16

Wossamatta U Homeless?

“Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.  See how great a forest a little fire kindles!  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity.  The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.”

–James 3:5,6.

Like other communities today, there are problems in the homeless community. Although in places such as Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the homeless are considered undesirable by some people, unfortunately by some who have influence, and they have gotten an unfair shake, some problems are caused by members of the homeless community themselves.

Bucks County tends to use the one-size-fits-all approach to the homeless and stereotypes them. One stereotype is that all homeless have mental problems. One dubious report stated that 95 percent of the homeless are mental.

The county has been capitalizing of this myth by actively seeking homeless people to sign them up for their taxpayer funded mental health centers, often offering them housing if the climb aboard the Disoriented Express, using their public funds.

Fraud by the county is not the only problem. The problem is that, like all of us, we have fallen away from God’s ways and as a result have unresolved conflicts. According to pastor and Christian counselor Dr. Jay Adams, except for “organic malfunctions affecting the brain that are caused by brain damage, tumors, gene inheritance, glandular or chemical disorders” most cases of people labeled “mentally ill” are wrong.

Because of false witness, which the Bible clearly speaks against — “A false witness [that] speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”– there has been altercations, some physical in the homeless community in lower Bucks County. A spark of lies has created a wildfire across this community.

Last night I, and others who were eating at a community meal for the homeless and those in need were sickened by the gossip spewed out by a members at the table where I was sitting.   Someone lamented that a guy, who was falsely accused of “ratting out” the locations of homeless camps, being a pervert, exploiting women, etc. was still going to the community meals. Because she, and others who fell in lockstep said so, he should not still be going to the meals.

One of the Kool-aide drinkers said that it’s good the guy hasn’t been riding the free bus run by the Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) to the meals because he “ran his mouth”. Another judgmental person reveled in the memory of the guy getting “tuned up” in the parking lot. One idiot quipped that he should have been tuned up more and that the job should have been finished.

So much anger! Such much hate! So little evidence!

To discover the truth, I did some research. I looked on Megan’s List, which included photos of perpetrators, and did not find him. As to the “ratting out” of where the homeless were staying, I learned that after the group Warming Hearts visited two camps bearing gifts, like The Trojan Horse, the next day or so these camps were raided. I had also heard from a credible source that this group didn’t deliver on a promise to bring gifts to members of “The Memorial Mob”, who hung out in the vicinity of the public library in Levittown.

There were articles in about one camp, where it was reported the occupants were given a camper, which could be seen from Route 13. A representative from Warming Hearts was quoted in the article. The article mentioned that, although the landowner let the homeless camp on his property, there were complaints from neighbors. About a year after this article was published, a local district justice ordered the homeless to leave the property. The case was appealed and they were given a stay, but eventually the homeless had to leave.

The homeless who camped in Queen Anne Woods, starting behind the Levittown public library, were ordered to leave. Bucks County Rangers collapsed tents, told the homeless in person and left eviction notices. In an email, Steve Long, Chief Bucks County Ranger told me that the raid was a result of drug use and people with warrants living in the Queen Anne Woods. Steve told me there were complaints about syringes in the woods. I learned that the Rangers had to go into the woods to take someone who overdosed to the ER.

In some cases certain irresponsible individuals in the homeless community  cause everybody the whole encampment to have to leave.  I believe that the guy who has been the object of scorn in the homeless community was overheard offering constructive criticism to this affect.

It’s mostly the druggies, most if not all refugees from the local recovery houses the feds have been pushing down our throats, who have been causing problems for all the homeless.

A close homeless friend told me that everyone was booted from a homeless camp where she stayed because some people abused the privilege the property owner gave them. They were allowed to charge cell phones, but some of them started plugging in TVs and using more electricity than they were allowed.  My friend also said that people (probably druggies) were stealing copper.

I understand that homelessness is tough, and that people are angry and frustrated at their situation. I lived in my car for a few months. My feet and my legs swelled up. The problem is that in this case the anger in the homeless community is misdirected and they made someone a scapegoat.

There have been small victories. A guy who was misinformed that I had ratted him out and who was after me and the scapegoat ended up sitting with us at a community meal, because there was nowhere else to sit. We reasoned together and made peace, all three of us.

Even when there are legitimate gripes, where the homeless are harassed at the Levittown public library, the Veteran’s Memorial, the WIC building, and at fast food restaurants such as Subway, McDonalds, and especially at Burger Kings, they still need to be as cool as possible. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr told blacks, who were harassed during the Jim Crow South, to keep their cool under pressure and act responsibly. They did, and they overcame.

The lower Bucks County homeless community needs to heed the eighth commandment: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor,” as well the other commandments.

The homeless community, like the rest of us, especially myself, needs to listen to God and trust and obey Him. This is the way to peace.

Churches Ready for Homeless Families

The first homeless families are expected to arrive in their safe haven on April 10 when they come for food and shelter at the United Methodist Church in Newtown, where they will spend the week. This will kick off Family Promise of Lower Bucks’ mission where churches take turns housing families with children each week.

This is a 30 day program where churches provide food and overnight shelter for their guests. In the morning, Family Promise will transport them to its Day Center in Tullytown. Here parents take care of their young children while older children go to school.  Parents are offered job training and can look for work and the center offers social services. Families can do laundry and take care of personal hygiene.

Some of the families are drawn from public housing lists, which should lessen the backlog for other homeless people.

Any homeless families interested in this program may contact me, Jeff. I attend most of the community meals for the homeless and those in need in Lower Bucks County and often visit the Levittown Public Library and the nearby Veterans’ Memorial. Just ask around the homeless community or some of the library staff for me.

Or you can contact Family Promise of Lower Bucks directly 

The mission of Family Promise in lower Bucks is a step in the right direction to help our fellow American’s without walls.

“And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: [yea, though he be] a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee. Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee.”  — Leviticus 25:35-36