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 LevittownNow.com 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.

One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show

After a season of drama free community meals for the homeless and needy in Bucks County, PA, lately, one particular guest at the meals has been acting up. At one meal he was asked to leave and at last night’s meal, the monkey was told to settle down after snapping out, yelling at two different people.

Up until recently, the meals have been peaceful, mainly because some guests insisted that the perpetrators be disciplined, and they were. As the saying goes, evil triumphs because good people do nothing.

The community meals have not been just a place where needy people don’t just get a free meal, but a place where friends get together and socialize, sometimes having intelligent discussions on various topics and a way for the guests to bond together. It’s a place where people meet and make friends.

Although the problem people, the persona non grata disrupt the meal, the show must go on. I for one plan to continue to go to the meals.

Just because people are homeless, they don’t have to act like animals. Last night a homeless guy implied that someone from the table where I was sitting was bashing the homeless. Not true. He demanded “where do you live, a hotel, a house, a tent…?” Dwelling in self pity, basing his outrage on false information, he chided an undefined recipient of his rage not to say things about the homeless when they haven’t experienced homelessness.

False witness was the catalyst for the guy’s vehement diatribe.

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

-Ephesians 4:29

It’s because of idiots like this that the community doesn’t want to help the homeless, but develops hobophobia, an irrational fear of the homeless and harasses them. Most homeless people are not like this but are just like everyone else and have become homeless because of the economy, for instance.

As The Animals sang, “one monkey don’t stop no show.”

The homeless community  needs to act civilly and show the community that they are just like everyone else. One reason Saint Patrick’s Day was created was to show the world that the Irish were not a bunch of shiftless, no good drunks but people with potential for good.

To show the community that the homeless are generally decent people and are just like you and me, we should have a homeless day parade in Bucks County. Just as was the case with civil rights for blacks during Jim Crow, the homeless need to stop making themselves a victim of circumstances and do positive things to, as The Animals also sang “get out of this place, if it’s the last thing we ever do. We’ve got to get out of this place” and “make a better life for me and you.”