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.

We Can Work It Out

Pride leads to conflict.

Like the Okies in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, the homeless in places such as lower Bucks County PA are in a challenging situation. They need to work together and look out for one another, like the characters in Steinbeck’s classic novel.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Grapes_of_Wrath

Like Steinbeck’s characters, people in the homeless community, as one former homeless guy used to say “(we) all have baggage.”

Nonetheless, the homeless need to get along on their journey. People have to realize that their are limits to their own understanding and they need to listen to one another and try to resolve problems through the marketplace of ideas in their community. It’s not about who’s right but about truth and absolute principles that are best for a society.

Absolutes come from God.

Some parties, including myself, interested in creating much needed shelter for the homeless have different ideas about how to go about it. It’s not about the ego of who has the best idea but how the ongoing problem of shelter for the homeless is best resolved. The more ideas tossed into the ring and honestly and civilly discussed the better.

I for one realize that I don’t have all the answers, and seek the wisdom, expertise and ideas of others in addressing problems.

The shelter problem in Bucks County is hard enough to deal with, without the static of vile rumors and gossip, driven by pride. This is counterproductive.

Seek the truth and it will set you free.

The gossip running rampant is that someone who has been going to the community meals is causing some homeless people to be evicted from the woods. The truth is that someone had dragged a camper with expired tags into the area, which precipitated complaints from businesses and neighbors in the area. Consequently, the case was brought to court and the outcome was that people have to leave the area.

This same someone is rumored to be a pedophile. I checked on Megan’s Law, which has photos of offenders as well as names, and I did not find this individual on the list.

Finding a place for the homeless to live is the biggest problem in lower Bucks County.

Infighting is making it harder for the homeless to deal with their problems. And altercations, drunk and disorderly conduct and other problems that become public creates a negative public perception of the homeless– that they are lazy no goods, drunks, druggies, violent, irresponsible miscreants whom judgmental people have written off.

Unfortunately, Bucks County is infested with the group think, liberal world view, like President FDR, who rounded up Japanese Americans like they were cattle and corralled them in internment camps, without a shred of evidence that they were aiding and abetting the enemy, the Empire of Japan.

So when one homeless person acts like a jackass, the liberal establishment blames and punishes the whole homeless community. This stems from a subtle Marxist point of view that believes that everyone in the same situation will behave the same way and, as Joseph Stalin believed, that the average person is a miscreant.

The best solution is not always through external means, like putting up “no loitering” and “no overnight parking” signs, or by moving a bus stop, but to change people from the inside and hold people individually accountable for their behavior.

A friend of mine in the homeless community who has struggled with addictions seems to be coming around. He realizes he has a problem and how it’s affecting people he cares for and wants to do something about it. This is an important step. (There are 12 steps in all).

A former advocate and other friends have tirelessly ministered to,  encouraged and stuck by him.

People need to humble themselves and let God be the Captain of their ship, who will change them from the inside.

“Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.”

-Proverbs 13:10

Put a Little Love in Your Heart

Think of your fellow man  Lend him a helping hand  Put a little love in your heart

You see it’s getting late  Oh, please don’t hesitate  Put a little love in your heart

And the world will be a better place  And the world will be a better place  For you and me, you just wait and see

Another day goes by still the children cry  Put a little love in your heart  If you want the world to know  We won’t let hatred grow  Put a little love in your heart

And the world will be a better place  (And the world)  All the world will be a better place  (All the world)  For you and me  (For you and me)  You just wait and see, wait and see  (Just wait)

Take a good look around  And if you’re feeling down  Put a little love in your heart  I hope when you decide  Kindness will be your guide  Put a little love in your heart… Jackie Deshannon – Put A Little Love In Your Heart Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Officials in Bucks County, Pennsylvania recognized in the late 80’s that there was a homeless problem in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Today, especially in Lower Bucks County, the homeless problem has mushroomed. So much so that the only shelter, in Levittown, PA, has a long waiting list.

Take a good look around and you’ll find that many people end up sleeping on sidewalks, their cars, and in tents.

Recently, a guy who put a little love in his heart joined the growing group of people who are lending a helping hand to the homeless and needy.  Morris is the latest one to reach out to try to meet the needs of those people, who for but the grace of God, who would be us.  Last night he met with some homeless people in lower Bucks County to talk with them about their concerns and how he and his organization, No More Pain Inc. can help them.

The needs are many.  Besides material needs, Morris’ organization addresses addiction and mental health issues. In association with Pro-Act, ambassadors for recovery, No more Pain will present “Love for an Addict”, an informal get together with live entertainment and recovery speakers on Friday, November 13th from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. at 1286 Veteran’s Highway, Suite D-6, Bristol, PA.  Admission is $3.00.  Refreshments will be served.

Life is challenging out in the streets, and it’s good to know, as Carol King sang, you’ve got a friend.

Caring people can really help needy people not by must meeting their material needs, but by getting to know them and understanding their situations.  For Morris, and many others, it’s not just about academics where one studies something in the classroom.  Helping the homeless is not a business or a government program but a mission of love and caring about one’s neighbor.

It’s about giving people a hand up so they can help themselves.  Although Morris is not actively  developing shelters, he offered to help us who are trying to create much needed shelter for the homeless in Bucks County.

It’s good to know that there are people out there who give a damn.