Thursday, April 26, 2012

They Just Don't Have A Clue

Having been the manager of New Hampshire's largest homeless shelter for 6 years, I know a lot about homelessness - and homeless people. They came from all over the country - many of America's homeless are transients.

And while I empathize with their plight, I am also realistic about what can be done. Unlike liberal elitists, who believe the best solution is to enable them, coddle them, or simply feed them and the "problem" is solved. Not so. Not even close.

In the news today, Oprah and some liberal friends fed a homeless man at a fancy restaurant, then gave him "a wad of cash." I'm sure that made them feel warm and fuzzy all over. But it accomplishes absolutely nothing.

Statistics show that 89% of the time that cash would be spent on booze or drugs. And the guy is no better off - and may even be worse off, as a "wad of cash" could buy enough booze or drugs to kill him. Did Oprah know this man's history? Is he alcoholic, with a liver that will kill him if he keeps drinking? Is he an addict? Is he homeless because he is a child molester hiding from authorities? Just exactly who were they giving that money to? I doubt they took the time to find out, and did not care. That's because they were not interested in actually HELPING him - they only wanted to feel good - and get it into the newspapers to show the world how "compassionate" they are.

Certainly, that homeless person COULD have been a straight, non-substance abusing individual just down on his luck, where a hand up (not a hand-out) would actually help. But the statistics indicate that is unlikely. The vast majority are a mix of the mentally ill (put out onto the streets when liberals closed the institutions because they deprived them of their rights), substance abusers and criminals. In the 6 years I managed New Horizons, we had two murderers arrested at the shelter, and numerous others for assorted criminal activity. In the 6 years I ran the shelter, the number of straight, honest, mentally astute persons who graced our facility could be counted on my fingers. Of the 100+ homeless per night, that means only a very tiny percentage could actually beneft from a "wad of cash."

Oprah had a better chance of getting struck by lightning than to have found a "worthy" homeless person to assist. And even if she were to find such a person, her "solution" is the wrong one. Such individuals do not benefit from a hand-out. But they can get back on track with a hand UP. Help him find a job. Help him to look more presentable for employment. Help him to get what he needs in order to pick himself up. I knew one homeless guy who only needed a driver's license renewed so he could work. What he did NOT need was a meal at a fancy restaurant.

Here is a suggestion for bleeding heart liberals who REALLY want to help, instead of just giving themselves kudo's for "compassion" - find out what the person really needs. Find out the facts. In other words, do as the Bible suggests - sow your seed only on FERTILE ground. Not on barren ground, rocky ground, or among the thorns.


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