Dec 17, 2010

How To Help: Homeless People, Bundle of Sticks and Me

Arizona Front DoorImage by Always at Home via FlickrI don't suppose this will get much notice on Adsense.  After all HOMELESSNESS...what can we do?  Conservatives think that we should just donate or tithe to our church and they can take care of welfare etc.  But in the end we all know that what people should do and what they do are two different things.  I guess humans were not standing in line when the bundle of sticks was explained.

In case you didn't stand in that line either here is a short explanation of how the bundle of sticks works:
  1. All the money you get is not yours.  You earn your money then you must pay taxes.  If you had been standing in line at the bundle of sticks seminar it would have been explained that even though you are paid money to work and taxes are withheld you don't even need what is left...it would be nice if you shared what you have. It's called philanthropy and even the least among us can be a philanthropist.   However, no one is going to put you in jail if you aren't.  That is where the problem lies.
  2. The home you live in is NOT yours to do with as you please...the government keeps a stick (i.e. right) that allows them to regulate where you park your car, how you use your house (don't set up a house of prostitution...that really sets them off) and even if the house can stay where it was built.  They can actually buy your house from you even if you don't want to sell it so a highway or a sewer plant can be built. It's called Eminent Domain.
  3. Just so we are clear...all the money is not yours.  As we know, if you are not threatened with jail, you will not send money to the government so your children can swim, go to school or walk on the street safely.  Humans are funny that way!
So that brings us to the homeless here in Tucson Arizona.  Arizona is running on empty.  Social programs rank in importance with schools (the worst in the nation) so if the homeless are to be fed, helped to find jobs or given counseling the federal government in the guise of the Veterans Administration and churches must do the job.

Last night I was asked to help cook a meal for around 10 homeless men and one woman.  A group of us from our RV resort went to the church, set up the meal and sat down to eat with the men.  It was just wonderful!  I was so  apprehensive about the evening.  I don't know what I visualized but that was not it.  We laughed at each other.  They talked about sports and jobs hunts.  My heart was touched.

St. Pius parishioners come to the church and spend the night 7 days a week.  The VA provides transportation to the church.  The homeless are fed, sleep on cots and can shower or wash clothes.  They are given breakfast and then bused back to downtown Tucson to spent the day...outdoors.   When night falls the cycle begins again.

Now my first impulse was to go buy stuff...a sweat shirt for "Cleveland", videos (action movies) and maybe even a new set of stainless steel tableware for the church.  But what I will do is donate food to the food bank and return to sit and eat.  These people were proud and tired but they did not ask for anything and were probably instructed not to.    I would not do anything to change their self image or interfere with the system.  I will listen to those people that run this program and follow their suggestions.

Donations:
St. Pius X
Catholic Church

(520) 885-3573

Have a wonderful day.
b


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