As I was walking my dog in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, a hiker walking towards me frantically warned me that a pit bull was running loose in the woods. As we entered a landing by the “river”, there it was. The pit bull! We approached the much feared dog, who didn’t attack us, but was playful. I admit I was a little scared.
I threw a stick for the pit bull, to my dog’s vexation. The three of us found a spot to hang out. The pit bull, although a puppy, was twice the size of my dog, who got nervous when she got on top of her. I told the pit bull to sit away from us, take a time out. The dog obeyed as if she were my own dog, and waited for my permission to come back out and visit with my dog.
Like pit bulls, the homeless have gotten a bad rap.
My experience with the pit bull in the Pine Barrens wasn’t the only time I found that all the talk about pit bulls being vicious dogs was unfounded.
“Don’t talk about us – talk with us” – slogan coined by the homeless-run organization Picture The Homeless.
Just as pit bulls are judged by a few bad dogs (the result of the owner/trainer), the government hacks in the WIC office near the Veterans Memorial in Levittown, PA where the homeless hang out judged all the homeless by a few isolated incidents by individuals who happened to be homeless (or perhaps they were from one of the numerous recovery houses). The Bucks County officer from the building where WIC is housed told some homeless people at the memorial that people are afraid to come to the memorial with them there.
As was the case with the pit bull, people should find out for themselves the truth of an assertion.
For the past nearly three years, I’ve been getting to know the local homeless. Like pit bulls, they don’t bite. When I visited the Levittown public library, I recognized some homeless people I had seen at a local community meal. I got to know them there and at the nearby vets memorial. At the time, after having lost my job and being low on funds, I struggled to find enough to eat. One of the homeless people told me about other meals for the homeless and the free bus that takes them there. It was a Godsend!
I learned some of the homeless’ stories and engaged in intelligent conversation with them. On a few occasions, we discussed Shakespeare. I found that many of them worked, sometimes intermittently and sometimes full time. Some homeless folks have found regular jobs and have found a place to live.
Unlike the druggies, people become homeless for different reasons. One of them is simply job loss, sometimes a layoff or sometimes because of sickness. During the Great Depression/Progressive era of the late 1920s and 30s, many working men became hobos after they couldn’t find work, which was a result of the bad economy ushered in by progressives such as Presidents Herbert Hoover and FDR, with his New Raw Deal. Likewise, recent progressives have fostered homelessness.
In an attempt to alert the public about the homeless in Bucks County, PA, The Advocates for The Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) made a video, where actors talked about them rather than talking with the homeless. They tried to keep the homeless away from the shoot that day, but the homeless came anyway. The homeless were ignored; treated like mannequins!
Unlike AHTN, The Citizens Serving the Homeless on the other side of the Delaware River talked with real homeless people when they made their video. http://citizensservingthehomeless.org/theirstories.html
The truth about the homeless: http://citizensservingthehomeless.org/myths.html
“Don’t jump to conclusions – there may be a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw.” – Proverbs 25:8