Sunday, December 21, 2008

Homeless: Update (1)

It's now 11:40 am, Sunday, December 21, 2008. I took this picture from my room window. This is the bus stop I previously posted and she is the woman who I talked about. Thanks God, she is alive but she is still there.
Although there are some good shelters and villages for homless people in Portland but I don't think if just building such places would be enough. As Elaine said, some of these people are mentally ill so they are not able to make a proper decision where to stay or where to go. Why do some of them refuse to stay in shelters? There is always a reason behind everything. They should be guided (or even forced) to stay there if they refuse it. I'm curious to know if "American Democracy" does say if voters do not vote to pay tax for their support, these guys have to keep living like this in the streets and the only other option will be only few charities? Does "morality" play any role in your democracy?
* These are not offensive questions. I just want to learn more about the American democracy. Thanks.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

just out of curiosity, do you eat pork?

Gresham Photo Blog said...

The city of Portland has a fairly large amount of homeless people due to the generally fair weather and the liberal laws. Portland also supports such organized homeless communities as the "Dignity Village". Despite seeing sad scenes like the one on your blog, there are also 1000s of individuals and families being taken care of by volunteers and shelters in these hard weather and holiday times.

USelaine said...

No need to apologize for your moral outrage at so much need in such a prosperous country. I don't know how to answer your questions, other than to say liberals tend to vote for social support programs run by the government, and conservatives tend to vote against them, feeling private charities should just do what they can with voluntary donations. With the economy going down, there will be many, many more people in desperate need. I can happen to anyone.

I encourage you to go and talk directly to the people who provide the services, and perhaps talk to some homeless people themselves. There is a lot of literature about the issues, and the big shift back in the 1970s to shut down the big mental institutions (where considerable abuse and neglect occurred as well). It can be too overwhelming for families to take care of very ill relatives, and situations can even become dangerous. And like many Americans, homeless people can be fiercely independent, and don't want to be told where to go or what to eat. Places like Dignity Village allow them greater self-determination.

I've gone on too long here. There is much to study and discover about this. I admire your compassion. Students of sociology and social work are struggling with these very same questions. Talk to them as well.

Meead S. said...

Thanks Dina, Elaine and "Gresham Daily" for your comments. Thank you Elain for your informative comments. I know sometimes I feel I am in the world to make everything well and that's impossible indeed but at least I can talk about it and know of these issues and sometimes play en even small role.

To Anonymous: Thanks for your visit. I do not eat pork at my home but when I'm invited for food somewhere else I don't mind to have it when there is no other option. I prefer not to tell others that I do not eat pork, not to bother them change their food or prepare something else for me.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday we had a crazy (druggie) lady try to break into my apartment building with the police chasing after her. I don't know if she was looking for someplace warm to stay or simply trying to hide.

My wife worked at a food bank in Seattle. She said most of the homeless people she met as they came through fell into two categories: 1) mentally ill people who should be in an institution receiving therapy and 2) drug users who would rather using and homeless than sober and receiving assistance. Most homeless programs require people to be sober for them to receive assistance.

Then there is also the fact that Portland has a lot of support for homeless people, much more than anywhere else in Oregon. In fact, people will even migrate here from other states to be homeless (and/or receive help) in Portland.

Denton said...

These are difficult questions and are not in any way unique to the "American Democracy". You can browse the City Daily Photo community and find homeless in many cities around the world.

Personally I make an effort to contribute to homeless shelters and raise awareness of the problem.