“A result of the problem” Yet what politician is doing anything about it? I’ve heard whispers that turned out to be nothing but lip-service. I think we have all seen the video where the state of Florida, USA, knifed the donated tents, another where they arrested a 90-year-old religious man for feeding “them” and another explaining that the police pour bleach on all the donated food, under the guise of “could get food poisoning”. I am not bashing the police, they have to do what they are ordered to do by virtue of the law, so understand this a LAW there, not police being uncaring or dismissive of their plight. Videos are below.

Unhelpful Labels

If you look at any social media posts about a shelter being considered for an area, you will see how people view some of the most vulnerable people in society, with disgust. To justify this disgust they label them (a) Drug addicts (b) Alcoholics (c) Mentally ill (d) losers (e) Lazy and (f) They want to be. The problem with these assumptions and labels is that even though those people can justify dismissing them and degrading them, they are also spreading some pretty wild lies. Then there are those that just comment to blow their own trumpets about what they donate and how much, and so on, and maybe they do because they want others to see it doesn’t take much to help someone who has nothing, so why not do it? Let them blow those trumpets because we need people like too.

Why not go to a shelter?

From my understanding, many that don’t go to shelters are for various reasons, but not one is because they want to freeze to death or be bitten by mosquitos all night, but because sometimes they have pets, who aren’t welcome in a shelter setting and some have children that they are concerned for, these shelters are wrought with crime in many areas. They have nothing, so they will steal another person’s things, there is a huge mix of people there, some are not the kind of people you want to expose your child to. That is just life, we have that in cafes and shopping malls.

How many paychecks away are you from being homeless?

My thoughts on those addicted to drugs and alcohol are that they still need food, they still drink coffee and eat. If I am giving them money, what they do with it, is not on me, it is on them. My heart still says, give it to them, so what if they go buy booze, do I really care that much? I am not giving anything I can’t afford to and I am not claiming them on my taxes so… I don’t care what they do with it. My conscious is clear, I give to help them, not to dictate to them. I know, you can do with your money what you want and have a right to expect, as we all do…but remember this, if you lose your job, wear out your welcome at friends and family, and don’t find another position in time, you too will be homeless and people like you, can assume you’re just a drug addict.

Could you become homeless?

You don’t have to lose your job to be homeless, you could be thrown out of your house, apartment, there could be a fire or flood, you live away from family, now what? So many awful things can happen, as simple as a divorce to leave you flat broke and homeless, and that applies more to men than women. But does that make you a drug addict? A loser? Lazy? Or any of the above labels that are tossed at homeless people? No, it certainly doesn’t. While many are, again it doesn’t mean we starve them, allow them to freeze to death or die from heat stroke.

Why they are homeless

I can’t even imagine the difficulties they endure every single day, an agency throwing everything they own away because it shows there is a homeless problem, and to appease local residents who don’t consider them anything more than a nuisance and don’t want to acknowledge them. I don’t know why every person is homeless, and I don’t care WHY, only that they are.

It is time that we all demand action

Everyone should demand action from their local government and up. It is about time these people, veterans or not, are cared about. They can’t collect any monetary help, they have no address, they reach a point they can’t apply for work, they have no clothing or showers readily available, no transportation and no money to pay for it, and everything they have tried to do to make an honest dollar has been made illegal, such as collecting cans and bottles from bins. They are in an appalling, dreadful situation and all we do is judge them and throw coins and some clothes we would never wear anymore, basically our unwanted things.

Respect is not earned, it is given unless it’s proven it’s for naught.

I see us as treating them like lepers; who should just take what the noble give them and have gratitude (which they do). BUT, shouldn’t giving and helping them, each and every time… be so much more compassionate, so much more from the heart? There are so many people do everything they can to help, but without the help from politicians, it will forever be a non-ending struggle. So who can you call, email and write to?

Wrecking the tents
Bleaching the food of homeless

From the Ashes: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding My Way