Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Holiday. The Homeless.

This Easter holiday should be the last holiday and family gathering that Alex misses. In about one month, May 24 he will be released. Hopefully his other "indiscretions" (lol) in other counties the he has to answer for when he is released will not result in such harsh punishment. But those things are on his plate to eat not on my plate. we are all looking forward to having him back at family events.

Today I am taking some food and other items down to a homeless event in Kansas City. A friend in my office works very hard and diligently to help the homeless and less fortunate in our community. She is a great person in doing this work. It is good to be around people that give to others in not just money and things but in what is most valuable, time. Good work and good mission Dawn.

In addition, Darlene my great wife gives up lunch periods at her job every couple of weeks. She works downtown and she goes and serves lunch at the food kitchen to the homeless.

Honestly, true confession time, in the past I never gave the homeless much consideration. After all we have been through with Alex and actually seeing him homeless because we put him out of our (his) home I have a new recognition for the issues involved in this problem.

Funny thing with Alex. When we pass the people standing on street corners holding signs he tells us emphatically not to give them any money. He says they don't need money they need help. Give your money to the organizations that help them. If you give money to them on the street it will go to a drug dealer or for alcohol. Spoken by someone that has panhandled to get money to feed his addiction. I guess he would know more about it than I.

12 comments:

Lou said...

I don't agree. When I "give" someone money, it is a gift. Gifts don't come with conditions. My wish is that it gets them through the next 24 hours, in whatever way it takes for them to do that.

I do know my son is alive today because of the kindness of strangers. Some gave him money, some bought him a hamburger or coffee. Once, a man got out of his car and gave my son the coat off his back when he was walking in the freezing Detroit cold. Andrew says he will never forget that startling act of compassion.

kelly said...

We are active with our food bank locally. People don't know, but for every $1.00 they give, the local bank can go to the main bank and get $11.00 worth of food/supplies. I truly believe no one should have to go hungry.

beachteacher said...

I always struggle with that....whether giving cash would go straight to the liquor store or a drug dealer. Recently, a guy that had a cardboard sign was at an intersection that I pulled up to. I looked into his eyes, but drove away when the light turned green. It bothered me so much that I turned around and went back and pulled over and gave him some cash. While doing so, I said, "my son is an addict,...please promise me that you won't buy alcohol or drugs with this",..and he enthusiastically promised that. I drove away and started to cry, which surprised me, as I thought what an assinine thing that was for me to ask him, ...as if I could believe the promise he made to me. It really got to me, for homeless people could easily also be my son, just as you said Ron. We've also put our son out like you did, although he was couch surfing vs. actually being homeless.

My husband and I also recently went to our local homeless shelter and served breakfast to many people, and it was one of the best things I've done in a very long time. Glad that you're getting to do this,...I think you'll really like it.

LisaC said...

I, too, have made the decision to provide money to homeless on the street (as well as supporting organizations that help homeless) based on my son's experiences. I know now, that he had times when he was standing on the street corners begging for money and it probably went to drugs and once in awhile to food. And when I see homeless today asking for money, I think, "I hope that when it was my son, someone demonstrated a moment of kindness to him."

I didn't always feel this way and react this way, but now I can't imagine not trying to demonstrate some kindness, regardless of why they are there.

Topper said...

I think I would rather give $ to the organizations....see the same people on the corners with the signs...week after week.....

Tori said...

I would give homeless people a few dollars or buy them food. I do it a lot more now. Food that is although I have given a few some money.

We have so many homeless people. In certain spots they are at every light. I look at them different now. I wonder if they are there due to drugs or mental illness or both. It saddens me in a different much more profound way. I wonder if their Parents just gave up? Did they have Parents that cared? How many tears did their Parents cry?

And then of course, I worry that my son will be that 30 y.o. on a corner one day. I would want someone to help my son, you never know what a kind word can do for a stranger.

Addiction Journal said...

My son agrees vehemently w/ Alex about giving money to people on the street. He remembers well the games played out there. Happy Easter to all.

Lou..im gonna side w/ Ron on this one..If you want to give a gift give the gift of time to any organization that helps our kids recover... Giving them cash on the streets is actually working against the many parents who are "trying to raise the bottom "...

Momma said...

Good for you, Ron. Time is a very valuable and something we don't always give. I admire you for that.

My Son2 would also agree with Alex, and so do I. I can't in good conscience give cash if I think it's going towards drugs or alcohol.

Barbara said...

I can't tell you how many times I've left a comment, his post and then it just disappears. I don't know why it does that on your blog. I had a big long thing written out here but maybe I wasn't suppose to share it. I'll just say this:

I admire Darlene for giving her time, its much easier to give money but more rewarding to do something

I am happy to hear May 24 is the day and Alex truly does have a whole new life waiting for him this time

I wrote a long thing on giving to the homeless. I'll just have to post on it myself, not going to retype here and risk losing it again :)

Addiction--Mom trying to Detach with Love said...

I also work with our local homeless organization and generally try to carry some type of food in my car. Today we had some leftover KFC chicken with the fixings and saw a man who looked pretty down and out, stopped and gave him the food. I rarely give money, but will if I don't have any food handy. Happy Easter!

Olivia said...

Where will my son be for Easter, will he be cold, will he be hungry, will he think of me? will he be alive?

Syd said...

I do give food and buy people on the street something to eat. I volunteered at a shelter for about ten years when we lived near downtown. Now I give to organizations that help those in need. Mental problems are huge with many who are homeless.