Off to See The Wizard

Another young heroin addict in Bucks County, PA bites the dust. Now his kin are on a quest to get the Pennsbury School District to “take the issue of addiction more seriously within the walls of the schools.”  http://levittownnow.com/2017/06/10/family-who-lost-22-year-old-to-heroin-implores-school-district-to-do-more/

This incident does evoke pathos, and I agree this wholesale tragic waste of life needs to end, but the war on drug abuse is being run the wrong way, much like the  way the “war” in Vietnam was conducted by President LBJ.

A problem with the war on drug abuse is making users victims. Taking drugs is something willfully done; a dumb bass doing dope.  Back in February, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said “prosecutors have to be ‘merciless’ in going after drug dealers and compassionate to those who are addicted.”  http://levittownnow.com/2017/02/01/governor-plans-to-budget-10-million-for-narcan/

A drug dealer is not someone about whom I would say, to echo Mr. Rogers, “Won’t you be my neighbor?” But without drug customers, dopes, you wouldn’t have dope pushers. Druggies are ruining neighborhoods in Levittown, PA, where crime has increased. They have gathered like yellow jackets on soda in the 100 or so recovery houses in Levittown, a magnet for druggies who come from all over the country! Consequently, after they leave the recovery houses one way or another they end up in the emergency shelter, which is simply supposed to be for people who just need a place to stay. The genuinely homeless people who happen to make it in the shelter lodge with gypsies, tramps and thieves.

The recovery home refugees also end up in the woods with the regular homeless people. The ambulance squad dragging druggies who overdosed out of the woods on more than one occasion, complaints from neighbors, who found syringes and other drug paraphernalia, etc., resulted in all the homeless being kicked out. A woman who was once living in the woods complained to me about a druggie bringing all his druggie friends into the woods but didn’t tell the authorities. After the woods were raided, she used someone else as a scapegoat.

I wouldn’t like a druggie to be my neighbor. 

Why should we taxpayers shell out 10 million for narcan, last minute first aid to save someone who willfully continued in their destructive habit? Just as we wasted too much money and lives on the Vietnam War – not because of our original motives – but because of the way LBJ purposely drug it out and handicapped the military, the way we are fighting the war on drugs is wasteful. Are there any plans to widely distribute medication to be available for someone who has an epileptic attack the way we are for “substance abuse disorder”?

Bucks County can go to great lengths to help wayward kids who do dope, but it plans to shut down the annual Stand Down for homeless and needy veterans, who have put their lives on the line and have sacrificed for their country. All the county does is permit the Stand Down people, many of them volunteers, who do the work, to use land behind the Levittown library, which isn’t used for anything. In their arrogance and dysfunctionality, Bucks County didn’t say why they won’t let others help our veterans.

The kin of the recent drug overdose fatality are off to the Emerald City to see what the Wizard can do for them that they couldn’t do themselves. Remember, Oz didn’t give anything to the Tin Man, that he didn’t, didn’t already have…   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wizard_of_Oz_(1939_film)

The Content of Character

A young man, whom people invited into their home to get him out of the cold, turned their home into a horror movie, threatening the dog with a knife and smashing windows, as reported on Levittownnow.com. http://levittownnow.com/2017/01/12/cops-man-threatens-dog-knife-smashes-windows/   After showing the guy kindness, and hospitality, this is how he shows his appreciation. They cast their pearls before swine!

What struck me was the lead of the story. In fact the first three words read: “A homeless man…” was the perpetrator. Highlighting the ungrateful guest, whom police say may have going through drug withdraw or just having “a mental health episode” as being homeless was unnecessary. There is a lot of prejudice against the homeless in places like Bucks County, PA, and this is an unfair typecasting of the homeless, which fosters stereotypes and hobophobia, the irrational fear and distain of the homeless.

Unless you’ve been living on Mars, you should realize that we have a drug abuse epidemic, especially here in Bucks County.

Not all druggies, or people who are prone to “mental health episodes”, whatever that means, are not homeless. Some of the residents of the recovery houses join the homeless population, where most of the members do not have these issues. Their issue is being homeless. Unfortunately, people lump them together simply because they are somewhat grouped in the same area.

The news is choked with stories of drug abusers and criminal activity, as well as mental problems. The homeless are simply a microcosm of society.

A 19 year old druggie who was living in an apartment with his girlfriend pawned her laptop and expensive watch. He also stole a Playstation 4 from his parent’s house, which he also pawned. All this was to support his drug habit. http://levittownnow.com/2016/12/27/cops-man-pawns-girlfriends-property/

A 59 year-old man, not homeless, fell into a “rapid descent into a major mental health problem” after coming home at four in the morning and he attacked his girlfriend with a knife. http://levittownnow.com/2016/10/15/mental-health-crisis-led-to-fatal-birthday-stabbing/

So you don’t have to be homeless to steal, fall into a rapid descent into a mental health problem and become violent and break windows.

In my nearly three years hanging out with the homeless in lower Bucks County, PA, I’ve found only a small percentage of them who engage in bizarre behavior, enough to say they have mental problems. We all have problems, it’s just a matter of and degree. Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung related a story about visiting a mental asylum with “an intelligent layman”, who remarked that the inmates there were like everyday people, only that their problems were greatly magnified.

There is one nut among the few, who goes to the community meals for the homeless, I’ve nicknamed “Janis Joplin”. She doesn’t like anyone walking behind her; they have to keep a safe distance. At one particular dinner, after the Advocates for The Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) had dropped off one load of people and they were finishing up, and as the hosts were rolling around the desert carts table to table, the second AHTN bus came.

People starting filing into the meal. Janis had just finished her meal, and asked the hosts, who were wheeling cupcakes a distance away to “give me my cupcake.” Nobody responded. She repeated the request, then shouted “does anyone speak English?” Still no response, as the hosts continued delivering the deserts table to table. “Give me my cupcake and I’ll go. Give me my cupcake!”, she beseeched, as she shook her open hand in front of her, emphatically.

Another nut, Queen Nora, was being served at the table at a community meal when she asked “do you have anything with beef?”, as if she were at a restaurant. Shortly thereafter, she walked over to a table where a cake sat, which the hosts would bring to each table. She started carrying the whole cake off herself! The hosts had to graciously as possible get the cake and put it back on the table.

Some of the homeless talk about Shakespeare. This was the topic of conversation one evening at the Veterans Memorial near the Levittown public library. In the library, many of the homeless read books and use the resources to look for jobs. One in particular worked doggedly and found a job. She went from living in her car, to the shelter, and then into an apartment.

At tonight’s community meal, a guy who had a job pending because he needed to update his ID, now has two jobs. Soon he may have a place. Several months back, another homeless friend got regular work, got his act together, found a place to live, and is self sufficient.

The woman I had mentioned in an earlier blog, who had given the hand warmers I gave her quite some time ago to another homeless person, has continued to work regularly, but she’s waiting for someone in housing to help her secure a place.

People are homeless for different reasons, and some deal with being homeless different ways. Some think the answer is in the bottle, and others do drugs. Many of the druggies are refugees from the local recovery houses, where there are an inordinate amount – some 100 just in Levittown, PA!

Others don’t, as Curly from The Three Stooges says, become a victim of soy cum stances, but apply themselves. Many of the homeless work sporadically and some find permanent work. Some of them read and educate themselves.  One guy not only could intelligently discuss Shakespeare, but he knows horticulture and landscaping.

Your station in life does not define you. Don’t judge someone by their housing status but by the content of their character!

Gimmee Shelter

Oh, a storm is threatening
My very life today
If I don’t get some shelter
Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away

War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away

-Lyrics from the Rolling Stone’s Gimmee Shelter

Today in places such as Bucks County, PA, people are saying “Gimmee shelter!”

Life for the homeless in Bucks County is stormy. There seems to be a war against the homeless. Despite the county having more vacant property than homeless people, nobody’s been able to put the two together.

Even if you have some money, it’s hard to get housing in lower Bucks County. It’s completely impossible if you have hardly two pennies to rub together.

Unofficial places for the homeless to go is steadily shrinking. In some cases, certain problem individuals have caused their places to be raided. In some cases, the good people could have done more to keep the problem people out. But this can be difficult, as the Bucks establishment subscribes to the one-size-fits all mentality, so in many cases even if problem people are reported, everyone is punished.

The homeless in lower Bucks often end up at the Bucks County Homeless Shelter in Levittown, where they may have to wait for months to get in, thanks largely to the Feds which has imposed an inordinate number of recovery houses on the lower Bucks community – some 100 of them. Instead of moving on up, the druggies continue their bad habits and end up in the so-called emergency shelter. The shelter is also a revolving door for drunks and other miscreants.

Consequently, relatively normal people are put at risk. One problem is theft. Also crazies disturbing them. Just last night some psycho was keeping people up well past midnight. The staff did nothing to stop this, yet a rogue ranger, Tom Booze, who volunteers at the shelter, is on a witch hunt, doing criminal checks, possibly illegally, and harasses the homeless at the shelter. One resident told me that when he walked past the rogue ranger, he noticed he had pulled up a birth certificate on the shelter’s computer screen.

In one case, Booze put his hands on one of the shelter residents for no reason, evidently to provoke him so he could call the police. He also accused a resident of being drunk without using a breathalyzer or a swab test.

This place is not a shelter from the storm. In fact, it is the storm!

The Bucks County Homeless Shelter is becoming a Lord of The Flieshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_of_the_Flies

A formerly homeless guy I met about 2 ½ years ago has become responsible, self sufficient. He has a job and can pay his own bills. He is getting his act together. There were some caring people who have helped him help himself.

We need to give all the homeless an opportunity to help themselves. Some succeed, some don’t. One size does not fit all. The homeless need a hand up, not a hand out.

The key to helping the homeless is caring people in the community, not the government. Unlike people who voluntarily come out to help the homeless with their physical and spiritual needs, the government isn’t very personable. The homeless, at least here in Bucks County, are written off as lost causes and treated as a commodity. For example, Alan Johnson, who works for the county, told me he doesn’t believe in housing first and added that people have to get straight first. He presupposes that they all need mental health services in order to get housing. In fact, he offered housing to me and others if we are willing to be labeled that we are so messed up that we cannot be a productive member of society.

Very few people in the homeless community need to be put away. The county health industry doesn’t really help people. I can think of two people who go to the community meals who need to be tucked away somewhere. Druggies and chronic drunks also need to be sequestered the way people in insane asylums centers are.  Their habits are a form of insanity. The 12 Steps program helps restore sanity.Step Two- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.  http://www.12stepjourney.com/

Contrast the way caring people reach out to the homeless to the government’s modus operandi. First of all, private parties show unconditional love. Yesterday at the afternoon community meal, the guys at my table said they really appreciate the trouble that church goes to prepare good meals, and that they particularly appreciate the way the hosts treat them. Yesterday one of the hosts asked the guests what God did for them. One chirped that he got his job back. The host also talked about forgiveness, to which I noticed some guests were very attentive.

Awhile back, a host ministered, one on one to a guy who was nearly at the end of his rope with his drug problem. The guy ended up in a faith based short term drug treatment program. When I talked with him while visiting someone else at the treatment center, he told me he realizes the gravity of his problem and that he’s determined to take the program seriously.

These caring people are examples of the way we should care for people who need a hand up. Oh, did I say these were church people? The church needs to take back the mission that she relegated to the secular world, especially to a machine like government.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.”

-Proverbs 31:8

What is “is” ?

What is “is”?, quipped a previous progressive President when he wanted to evade a probing question. This is not unique. The government does not have an absolute definition on other matters, such as “what is marriage?”

To the church, marriage is a union of a man and a woman, which is designed to create children, whom the parents teach to further the faith. Recently, instead of defining marriage as strictly a union that started with Adam and Eve, the government has co-opted it and said that marriage could also be a union between Adam and Steve. What’s next? Because there are no absolutes, why not call marriage a union between Adam and Fido, or between Adam and Betsy the cow?

During the 50’s, traditional marriage was the societal norm. Then came the turbulent, flower power sixties, where everyone called each other “brother” or “sister”, particularly among the children, as they couldn’t for sure determine their fathers.

Then came the Femi-Nazis, during the “me decade” of the 70’s. Sociology Professor Marlene Dixon of the University of Chicago sociology said “The institution of marriage is the chief vehicle for the perpetuation of the oppression of women.” Frederick Engels, Karl Marx’s Communist sidekick, wrote that “marriage is legalized prostitution; in a capitalistic marriage.”

The ancient Greeks also had a negative view of marriage. Greek gods, who were mad at Prometheus for giving men fire, sent men a psycho b-itch named Pandora, who is rumored to be an ancestor of Hillary Clinton. Gangsta’ rappers depict women as a Pandora.

Because the state has gone beyond treating “marriage” as a civil union, which delineates obligations concerning guardianship of children, property ownership, responsibilities for debts, etc., and redefined marriage, some Christians think that some leaders of the Reformation were right about thinking church and state should be separate.

The problem, as I see it, is that the church needs to be a good influence on the government. During the Eisenhower 50’s, it did. Our country had a Christian consensus. Our culture was a result of the healthy, nuclear family influencing society. Families stayed together, parents disciplined their children, people lived within their means and they worked hard and acted responsibly.

Our country prospered as we operated as a free market society, where there’s a free choice between sellers and buyers and there was peace and prosperity.

But all that changed. In the mid 60’s, with President LBJ’s so-called Great Society, and his alleged War on Poverty, the family unit, especially among black families, was destroyed. As a result, there was more crime and poverty. I explored this in detail in my blog What’s so Great About the Great Society.

In the 70’s, Christian theologian and philosopher Francis Schaeffer. who founded L’Abri Fellowship, wrote that crime and law enforcement is increasing and that freedom has been abused. One of two things will happen, Dr. Schaeffer wrote: either we will have to have a police state to control behavior, or we’ll have to have a Christian revival, and we change people from the inside.

http://www.labri.org/ 

The destruction of the free market, and the use of the government to be a thug, through eminent domain for a bully such as Presidential candidate Donald Trump, is creating a tyrannical society. Fortunately, Trump did not succeed in using the government for a land grab in the case where he wanted a window’s property for his gambling business and in another matter.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/265171/donald-trump-and-eminent-domain-robert-verbruggen

In Levittown, PA is an example of a tyrannical government. As I noted in earlier blogs, the feds are forcing recovery houses on the community against its wishes, and escaped druggies run amok in the community like Frankenstein monsters. Because of these monsters, a security guard was placed in the Levittown public library and has given the head librarian an excuse to create a police state.

It seems that anyone who doesn’t fit the librarian’s arbitrary  criteria is treated like a mindless drug addict, especially the homeless. Earlier today I left my laptop in a far corner of the library and ran a scan while I used the library computer, periodically checking on it. The last time I checked it was gone.

Big Brother Librarian snatched my private property and took it to the office. When I complained about them seizing my private property while it was running a scan, one of the stormtroopers said that someone may need the space, although there were about ½ dozen tables open.

Of course one can’t reason with someone who struggles to define what “is” is.

This must be the government rulers definition of what a public servant is. Evidently, it isn’t how Webster defines it or what a public servant was during the Eisenhower 50’s!

And the mental health hustlers continue to try to shanghai homeless people. I recently said one of them with a clipboard at a community meal. He saw me and escaped. Before long, Penndel Mental Health Center will start putting large advertisements on the Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) busses that take the homeless to community meals. After all, Big Brother knows best!

Sams Taking Down Levittown

Surface to air missiles, known as SAMS, were a problem for fighter planes in Vietnam. It was a SAM that took down then Commander John McCain’s fighter jet in Vietnam.

During the reign of President LBJ, when he ran the so-called war from the Whitehouse in an asinine manner, our GIs, including pilots, were unnecessarily put at risk. The idea that the war would be more winnable if the military, rather than the politicians, ran it is the subject of the movie Flight of the Intruder. Tired of having guys killed on useless missions, a fighter pilot and his navigator go on an unauthorized bombing raid on Hanoi to bomb a SAM base.

The flyers are court martialed but, after the policy changes, they are let off the hook. The Navy prosecutor who tries them, played by Fred Thompson, told them “it would be silly” to convict them for doing what the military is now doing, bombing Hanoi with everything they got.

http://www.movies.com/flight-intruder/details/m31986

Just as the politicians screwed up the war in Vietnam, the federal government is creating problems in Levittown PA by allowing the SAMS to endanger the community. “SAM” is a synonym for a druggie in lower Bucks County, just as “Krout” was a by-word for Germans during WWII.

SAMs have been bombarding lower Bucks County. Their base is the recovery houses, promoted and protected by the federal government. Like LBJ’s policy in Vietnam, these houses continue to grow like weeds, releasing SAMs on neighborhoods, the Levittown Public Library, and the rest of the community.

Crime has greatly increased in neighborhoods that recovery houses invaded. A couple years ago, the Levittown public library added a security guy, mainly as result of the druggies, mostly from the recovery houses.

At the very least, lower Bucks County needs to put a moratorium on recovery houses. They are revolving doors, where druggies often get kicked out and join the ranks of the homeless. Unfortunately, people associate non-druggie homeless with the druggies who have become homeless. This contributes to hobophobia. For those of you in Doylestown, PA, “hobophobia” is the unreasonable fear of the homeless.

Profiling druggies is legitimate. They  lie cheat and steal and will lower themselves to any level to satiate their expensive addiction. One SAM went as low as to steal a favorite purple coat and cell phone charger from a cancer stricken woman while she was sleeping.

To illustrate how low SAMS will go, here is an adaptation from Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham:

“Sam I am, would you steal from someone on a plane?”

“Yes I would steal from someone on a plane,” said Sam I am.

“Sam I am, would you steal from someone on a train?”

“Yes I would steal from someone on a train,” said Sam I am.

“Sam I am, would you steal from someone in the rain?”

“Yes I would steal from someone in the rain,” said Sam I am.

“Sam I am, would you keeping doing drugs until it makes you insane?”

“Yes I would keep doing drugs until it makes me insane,” said Sam I am.

“Sam I am, would you steal from someone walking with a cane?”

“Yes I would steal from someone walking with a cane,” said Sam I am.

“Sam I am, would you sell your daughter to a pimp?”

“Yes I would sell my daughter to a pimp,” said Sam I am.

“Sam I am, would you sell yourself until you limp?”

“Yes I’d sell myself until I limp,” said Sam I am.

“Sam I am, will you steal from a sick old lady sleeping in bed?”

“Yes I would steal from a sick old lady sleeping in bed,” said Sam I am.

“Sam I am, would you pretend to be in love with a guy not to be in the red?”

“Yes I would pretend to be in love with a guy not to be in the red,” said Sam I am.

“Sam I am, is there anything you not do to satisfy your addiction?”

“I can’t think of anything I would not do to satisfy my addiction,” said Sam I am.

“Except I would not eat green eggs and ham,” said Sam I am.

They’re Coming to Take Me Away!

Recently, a homeless person told me she is offended at the idea that all homeless people have mental problems. I suspect one reason for that is the stereotype people have of homeless people, an element of Hobophobia. (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.)  Another reason is business, public funding, especially for Penndel Mental Health Center, Penndel, PA whose snake oil salesmen canvas more aggressively than Jehovah’s Witnesses.

One particular snake oil salesman from Bucks County, PA, who has been known to show up at tent cities and is almost a fixture at the public library in Levittown, PA, offered me housing if I would submit to being labeled a mental patient — that I was so messed up that I could never work.

This, as I told the man, would be fraud. This is also economic protectionism, by giving an institution an unfair advantage.

For sure, I’ve had problems with anxiety, depression, pent up anger, etc., but I’m no lost cause. I’ve taken this to God and have had help from my Christian brothers and sisters. One place I’ve found help, as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, is the peer-to-peer 12 steps program held Tuesday nights in Levittown and Saturday nights in Newtown.  http://www.12stepjourney.com/ 

If you need help to work out problems, I’d highly recommend this program.  It’s free and all that is needed is your time and attention.

What is wrong with the mentally ill? The term “mentally ill” has become part of the way we talk about people with major problems. Some experts, however, don’t think this is an accurate term. They don’t think that people with mental problems should be labeled as being ill.  For them, “illness”, such as the flu, is caused by a virus. They ask what is the source that causes mental illness.

Is mental illness an implant from a space invader?  Hummmmm…

Some experts think that addictions are a disease. In a sense, they are right. Some people may have genes that cause them to crave more of something, such as alcohol. Problems can result from giving in to urges such as these.

The problem is controlling your addictions. This is where a program such as 12 Steps can help.

The first step is to admit you have a problem. A recovering addict recently told me that the inability to overcome an addiction is a result of weak mindedness. He also said that the only way to have the strength to overcome the problem is to have God intervene.

Mental problems stem from sin. Sometimes we have mental problems because of our actions; other times it’s just a result of original sin. In either case, God can help.

We all have flaws. Consider the “T” in the Calvinists’ TULIP:

T – Total Depravity

“Humanity is stained by sin in every aspect: heart, emotions, will, mind and body. This means people cannot independently choose God. God must intervene to save people.”

Sin has affected people in different ways and degrees. Many people with problems with are not taken away on the disoriented express, although, as I mentioned, some mental institutions will lure people into their roles who don’t need their services.

As I’ve mentioned before, psychiatrist and psychotherapist Carl Jung related a story where, when “an intelligent layman” visited an insane asylum with him, the layperson remarked that the people he saw were like everyday people, only with problems that were greatly magnified.

People have problems when their thoughts and actions are not in sync with God’s precepts.

Some people have trouble handling problems on their own, but they don’t necessarily need to be institutionalized. Pastor and Counselor Jay Adams found that most people in nuthouses don’t need to be there.  http://www.nouthetic.org/about-ins/our-faculty/8-about-ins/6-jay-adams-biography 

Overcoming problems such as addictions can be a lengthy process. It often requires lifetime maintenance, the same way I need to apply medication to my feet to fight fungus for the rest of my life.  Accepting Christ as Savior is a good start, but being molded more like Him is a lifelong process, known as sanctification.

Being human, we still will mess up, but God will help us get on the right path again, if we submit to his will.

What’s important to help people with problems, including addictions, if finding the right place — where they have the best opportunity to recovery.

I started to fall into the same trap as those who stereotype the homeless, by not distinguishing the quality of different recovery houses in Levittown. Like the homeless, they are not all bad.

Some neighbors near the Levittown recovery houses have complained about problems from the houses, such as the clients running around the neighborhood raising a ruckus. Some of them have become a virtual Lord of the Flies.

I recently met someone who runs a recovery house who pointed out that he runs an orderly house, where there are rules and borders. Unlike some institutions, it’s not just a business but a mission. The guy told me the neighbors don’t even know it’s a recovery house.

We need to find the best ways to help people using the free market concept. A good example of this is school choice, where the parents, not bureaucrats, choose the school. Contrary to the public school teacher’s union’s spin, school choice does not aim to put public education out of business.

According to a pro school choice website, public schools improved in areas where parents had a choice where they can send their kids.

The county government should just accommodate  institutions  where people get help, not run them. Like parents of school children, people should have a choice.

The homeless are not all mental cases. One size does not fit all.

It should not be “all aboard” the disoriented express for the homeless. They and people who genuinely care about them should have some say about what train they ride. I for one prefer the train that’s bound for glory.

One of the things we learn in the 12 Step Journey program is that a power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity (step 2).

They’re coming to take me away ho ho he he ha ha
to the funny farm where life is beautiful all the time, and I’ll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats
and they’re coming to take me away ha ha

You thought it was joke and so you laughed, you laughed when I had said that losing you would make me flip my lid, right? You know you laughed, I heard you laugh, you laughed, you laughed and laughed and then you left, but now you know I’m utterly mad…”

They’re coming to take me away. Not!

http://www.metrolyrics.com/theyre-coming-to-take-me-away-lyrics-lard.html

Give Me That Old Time Religion

“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.

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

In the words of W.C. Fields “Ah yes, seems we’ve been here before.”

I’ve heard this lament more than once since I started hanging out with the homeless in lower Bucks County, PA about 1 and ½ years ago. Here, it’s getting harder for people who lost their jobs and became homeless  to find a place to stay. For various reasons, homeless people have to pack up and leave places they call home.

The mental health industry is capitalizing on the homeless problem.

Interestingly, Allen Johnston from the Bucks County Department of Mental Health was nosing around the tent city, soon to have no vacancies, trying to see how much business for the local mental health centers he can drum up.

“I want to see how many people are interested”, he said. Allen mentioned Penndel and Lenape Valley Mental Health Centers. There was no mention of places for these poor people to go, as the man said, “if you’re just on hard times…”

Since the early meet and greet expeditions to homeless camps in Bucks County, at least one representative from Penndel Mental Health Center tagged along. People from this organization frequently hawk their business at Code Blue, the overnight emergency shelters during cold nights and at other venues.

Recently, I talked with Allen  about finding much needed shelter for the homeless in Bucks County. As was the case in 2012, there is a long waiting list for the local shelter. When I started to discuss this need, he said that there is a problem with housing first, and he explained that people need to solve their addiction problems first. Allen completely evaded discussing the problem of people who simply need a place to stay, who have no need of mental health or similar assistance.

I understand that Allen is working for an industry that has a government monopoly in Bucks County, and he must follow its agenda and be the industry’s conduit, unlike myself. As an independent blogger, I’m free to speak my mind. I have called out politicians, a librarian, some homeless advocates, the Salvation Army, the mental health industry, and even individual homeless people and try to expose problems and offer constructive criticism. I also praise things I see as good.

I try to tell it like it is.

And my call in this blog is the local health industry’s tactics smacks of crony capitalism. For those of you in Doylestown, this means that politicians give their friends an unfair advantage over any competition by using their office. This is also an example of economic protectionism.

In Germany, Kava, often drunk as Kava tea, was banned based on a study which was later found to be flawed. Here the government protected the pharmaceutical industry from competition. Kava is an herbal, natural relaxer of the mind and muscles.  I’ve found that it works well.

If you’re a regular reader of my blogs, you’ll know that I’m a free market guy, who believes that individuals, not bureaucracies, should make choices for people.

I’m all for school choice, where, instead of our tax money going straight to the school district which assigns a school, parents get to pick the best school for their children. This works much like food stamps.

For the homeless in Bucks County, Penndel Mental Health Center is just about the only game around. They try to attract customers by offering housing.

I was bamboozled into using the services of Penndel Mental Health after I was devastated and fell into an emotional pit, suffering from chronic anxiety and depression after I lost my job and my dog and having engaged in destructive behavior. I was about to lose my house.

After intake at Penndel, a doctor prescribed Paxil to help calm me down. Instead of being my deliverance, it had a strange resemblance to a cat named Frankenstein (to adapt some lines from Sam Cook’s old popular song).  My hands started shaking a lot. The doctor told and another so-called mental health care professional told me there’s a break in period. This went on for months. I had the doctor cut the dose in half, but there were still problems. I decided to stop using Paxil and not try any other drugs.

I did some research and found that dark chocolate has the same stuff as Paxil, serotonin, that fights anxiety and depression and other maladies. There is no withdraw from dark chocolate, although it can be addicting. I actually suffered withdraw from Paxil when I decided to go cold turkey and ended up in the emergency ward.

I started seeing a therapist at Penndel Mental Health Center. He used cognitive therapy, where the patient learns to control his thoughts in order to control behavior. I wasn’t told what to believe, but found the cognitive therapy was just a methodology to resolve problems.

Shortly before I understood the cognitive therapy techniques and didn’t need to continue “therapy”, I stopped seeing the doctor, who mainly prescribed drugs. When I told the therapist I wished to end the sessions, he told me that I wasn’t supposed to do therapy unless I was on drugs — that is drugs legally prescribed by the doctor.

I moved on after my experience with Penndel Mental Health Center.  Actually, I continued my relationship with God, fellowshipping with other believers, reading the Bible, praying, etc.  In the free market of ideas, I found that, as others have shared, my ultimate hope for healing is the Lord.

The homeless community has problems, other than not finding a “permanent” home. Some of the people, like people outside the homeless community, need someone to talk to. A homeless advocate, who recently moved to Arizona with her family, tirelessly ministered to the homeless. She relentless counseled those with alcohol and other problems. On one occasion, a woman was crying in the Levittown library. The advocate counseled her and helped her resolve her problem.

This advocate still helps the homeless in lower Bucks County from afar.

Other caring people have talked with the homeless, in the Levittown library area and at the community meals that local churches graciously host. The hosts have been sitting down at the dinners with troubled people and have been informally counseling them. On one occasion, one of the volunteer hosts sat and talked one on one with a homeless person.

Counseling people is a mission, not a business. 

About 1970, pastor and counselor Jay Adams started a revolution in the church.  Dr. Adams championed the idea that the church should not relegate it’s mission to help people with problems to the secular mental health industry. If the problems are deep, he explained, it’s all the more reason for the church to handle them.  http://www.nouthetic.org/about-ins/our-faculty/8-about-ins/6-jay-adams-biography

The only basic difference between homeless people and people who have a dwelling is that they don’t have a home.  Period.

There are, however, some practical problems for people without walls. People are evicted because the property owner builds something on that space, sometimes because neighbors get nervous, and on some occasions because the homeless create problems and attract attention.

Recently, a guy who is getting to know the homeless recommended that the community clean up its act, including cleaning up all the trash some people left. In areas of lower Bucks County, most of the problems are created by druggies, many who have been thrown out of recovery houses.

Like other members of the homeless community, these people need help.

Some friends and I are trying to find more shelter for the homeless in Bucks County. One of them suggested that we create an office and direct homeless people where they need to go. This is an excellent idea.

One place I’d recommend for people with any addiction problem, who don’t need immediate detox, is the 12 Steps Journey Program I’ve been attending. Attendance waxes and wanes, but yesterday we could barely fit everyone at the table. Praise the Lord!

If more people start coming to the meetings, we’ll just add another table to the circle we sit around. We will make sure the circle is unbroken.

http://www.12stepjourney.com/

Given the choice between secular psychology and Christian faith, I pick Jesus.