Carolyn's Daily Posts: 2011

January 27, 2011

A Different Face of Homelessness


CAROLYN’S DAILY POSTS: 2011

A DIFFERENT FACE OF HOMELESSNESS

   Are the homeless on our streets always in need?

     My father showed me a different side of “the homeless.” He chose to live out on the streets even though he had financial ability to be off the streets, and offers of refuge.

     Yes, he chose this lifestyle at various times of his life.

     One friend insists that those choose this lifestyle are, at the very least, mentally ill, and need help. Yet, the mentally ill have the right to choose. One woman, who had her own apartment, chose homelessness. She would walk from Erie to Pittsburgh, and knew all the “hiding spots” for overnight along the way. She showed up on our doorstep on occasion, and we offered her respite. She was always gone in the morning when we got up.

     These two did NOT want their story told, their privacy invaded.

     I won’t deny that Ohio clergyman Ryan Riddell is not finding some truly homeless persons. There’s always been the truly homeless in the midst of our society. Today’s economy is creating untenable situations. I commend him for going out amongst those persons who are homeless, against living a part of their lifestyle.

Riddell…hopes to create an awareness of what’s happening downtown, just minutes from where many members of his congregation reside.

“We all hang out at the Oregon District, we socialize, eat, find entertainment, but on the other side of the trestle there’s a semi-tractor trailer and people are sleeping under that on skids with cardboard for insulation,” he says. “I typically drive through there with my windows up and have no awareness of the stuff going on there. I’m trying to live and walk these streets to create an awareness.”

Riddell says we all expect our community organizations to “take care of these things.”*

“I believe that biblically we have a responsibility to cry out and help these people,” he says, adding that many people are quick to insist that the homeless get a job and help themselves.

“These folks are so beaten down and so consumed with basic needs such as food and shelter, it’s hard to get out of that hole,” he explains.

He is particularly concerned about the kids who “age out” of the foster care system and end up living on the streets.

     Homelessness is a societal concern. But my father showed me a different side of the issue.

SOURCE:

*To read more about Ryan Riddell’s experience, click on http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700103014/Ohio-pastor-living-in-van-aims-to-aid-the-homeless.html

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ADDITIONAL READING:

PAST CARING

FEBRUARY DAYS TO CELEBRATE

Counting the Homeless in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania

HOW TO HARVEST & STORE ICE (Ice Harvesting)

www.carolyncholland.wordpress.com

www.beanerywriters.wordpress.com

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