Aug 9, 2009

Some things never change. A boy's main toy is still his imagination. Camping in the kitchen. Still cute after all these months. Merle Wayne Sneed tries to be a caring person. Some would argue against that contention, but... What got me to thinking about this is panhandlers. You might think that even the homeless would have the good sense to abandon Hooterville in the dead of summer, but many don't. I understand that most of the chronic homeless are mentally ill or have substance abuse problems or both. I often give them money, even though the smart folks say not to. I feel for these people, I really do. That said, I am sick to death of having to dodge homeless guys to get from my car to a store. This morning when I went to the bagel place there was a homeless guy out front, like some unkempt toll taker. When ever a car pulled into the lot, he would dash to it, before the driver could even get out. One of my customers, an 86-year-old named Ed, says he keeps tracts in his pocket and preaches Jesus to guys who ask him for money. That seems harsh. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

12 comments:

Kurt said...

There is no right answer.

Barbara said...

It's a dilemma that haunts me ever time I encounter someone holding out a hand. I long ago determined not to give them money, but rarely do I have anything else to hand off.

I sometimes think you must have to be at the absolute end of your rope to beg for your existence. It must be totally demoralizing.

Barbara said...

P.S. The women begging with children are the ones who most pull at my heartstrings.

Megan said...

I agree with Kurt.

tut-tut said...

Help your missions and shelters. The overwhelming number of homeless, at least in this area, are children under age 9.

Julia said...

I know a woman who keeps various nonperishable convenient foods and personal supplies in her car in little bag to give to homeless people. It's not perfect, but I like this idea.

Reya Mellicker said...

Miss Riley is such a doll! And the two boys, camped out in the kitchen - what could be more fun than that.

I've stopped giving money to panhandlers - maybe just because I am always so conflicted about it. I read an incredible book a few years ago about how interrupted sleep always magnifies any kind of neurosis. They never get any privacy, never get a good night's sleep. It breaks my heart.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

aw the kid pics are priceless.

I give money when hit up 9 times out of ten - if I have time I prefer to go to a cafe or diner with whoever is hitting me up buy food or drink and have a chat.

a couple days before I went down to dc for my dad's bd, I was hit up by a guy on the train who hit me up and proceeded to giving me a sad tale about not having anything to eat in a while, I whipped out my wallet and gave him 5 bucks (which is a lot more than I usually give, but other than 2 twenties all I had in my wallet) well, mr. eagle eye saw my twenties and tried to talk me into giving him a twenty - of course I didn't. I told him I needed that to use for bus fare as I was heading to dc to visit my dad (well, a bit of a lie). I also said I'm not really in a position to give strangers twenty bucks. we ended up chatting for the next 10 minutes...him pumping me, me pumping him....I found out we are essentially the same age (he took great delight that he is 3 months older than I) ....unfortunately, sad to say, he looks 20 years older....he can't remember when he last had a job and admitted that he has spent the majority of his majority in institutions - first mental hospitals then prisons....

ah humanity.....

bless you merle....I'm glad to hear you often give..... how can one not feel, but there but by the grace of god go we.....

Bella Rum said...

I agree, this is a tough one. I suppose food is the best gift but most of us don't have that with us when we need it. I was once approached before I could get out of my car at the market. He was making the rounds in the parking lot before people went into the store. He claimed his car was a few blocks away and he had run out of gas. I must say that it felt a bit more uncomfortable to be confronted while still in my car at my neighborhood grocery store.

Those grandchildren are incredible.

Steve said...

Sometimes you give, sometimes you don't. I really think it's that simple. You follow your gut.

Anonymous said...

I always keep some quarters in one pocket of my jeans and a couple of rumpled singles in another, so when I I'm asked I don't have to pull out a wallet.

Nan Patience said...

I remember when homeless people and even some industrious youth took to the streets to wash vehiclists' windshields for them while waiting for the light to turn green. If they didn't happen to have soap, they'd hock up some spit and rub it in to a dull shine with a toothy grin.