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He's gone, and I just don't get it.

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by Glaucus, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. Willie T

    Willie T St. Petersburg Vineyard

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    Ouch! I hope you didn't mean that like it sounded to me. I'm not all that sure that we have the ability to decide when to feed the hungry and clothe the naked... and when it is best to just let them suffer.
     
  2. miamited

    miamited Ted Supporter

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    Hi guys,

    I realize that I don't belong here on the eastern orthodox boards, but this thread was in the 'new threads' list and caught my eye, so I'll say my piece and leave.

    Having spent quite some time ministering to the homeless, I can tell you that the life on the streets is very tough and that, yes, the majority have some form of mental or substance abuse. Sometimes both. In my experience, one of the reasons that many homeless refuse shelter in funded homeless shelters is the rules. Most such shelters won't let you in if you show any signs of drinking or drug use. Knowing that these rules generally exist in all such shelters, when we offer someone the opportunity of staying in one, they refuse because they know they'll just be getting in trouble.

    When I ministered to the homeless at the south Miami-Dade homeless shelter in Naranja Florida, there were always people getting turned away and often starting a ruckus because the security personnel that checked them in smelled alcohol on their breath or noticed other signs of drug use. So, many of the homeless that have been out there for awhile know better than to try to get in to some of these shelters and just politely turn down any effort to help them get in. They understand that you're trying to be nice, but also realize that you likely don't have a clue how the shelter system works and are just setting them up to get in trouble. If not the night that you meet them, then the next night or the next one. They just know that they won't be able to abide by the rules for any length of time.

    Secondly, stealing is rampant in most shelters. Many homeless would much rather go off and sleep by themselves in a doorway or alley where they have a better chance of being able to close their eyes without having to worry that someone is going to steal what little stuff they have.

    Finally, they also know, if they've been homeless for any length of time, that shelter life is temporary at best. You'll get 30 days or 60 days and then you'll be forced to go right back where you were before. It's hard to find any meaningful work for the homeless. Most have very limited knowledge of any kind of work, they generally don't have clothes that they can change into and they don't have transportation. The shelter may give them 30 or 60 days, but that isn't long enough for people in their situation to set their life right and when they're put back on the street, any little job they might have had goes up in smoke.

    So, I'd just be careful saying that the homeless have made a choice or are happy/satisfied with their situation. Many of them have been through the 'we want to help you' mill and come out the other side pretty much the same as they were when they went in. They learn that there's little hope that anyone can make a meaningful change in their lives short of just giving them a $1,000.00 a month and a car and getting them to stop drinking or using drugs so that they'll get to work every morning for a 6 month stretch.

    However, this doesn't generally apply to the newly homeless or those who find themselves homeless because of some short term job or family set back. These people often will still have a car and be able to get to work and they just need a place to rest until they can get some money saved up to get back up and start fighting again.

    At the homeless shelter where I served you could usually tell the chronic homeless from those just down on their luck for a short time. You could give the chronic homeless a list of jobs and they'd just leave them at the next window. The temporary homeless would be more inclined to take the list and make the calls and often secure a job. But, they also usually had a car or at least bus fare to get to work for a while until the next paycheck came in. The temporary homeless also didn't suffer as much with addictions because they were really people who just needed a temporary hand to get back up.

    When someone has been homeless for a year or more and has been through the local system a time or two, then they begin to fall into despair and begin to accept what's happened to them and learn to adjust accordingly. However, don't ever make the mistake that such a life is a freewill choice.

    As for the OP and his homeless friend, he likely knew that he wouldn't be able to hold a job and took off before he embarrassed his benefactor and himself...again. While not a choice, it is often a resignation drawn from experience.

    God bless you,
    In Christ, ted
     
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  3. royal priest

    royal priest debtor to grace

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    The way our government gives out aid is a good example of what I mean. Their are many people receiving aid who should not and they are the worse for it. It enables their irresponsibility and ingratitude. The end result is a society of people who feel entitled to receive everything for nothing.
     
  4. Willie T

    Willie T St. Petersburg Vineyard

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    Were we discussing giving people $$$ to buy (whatever) with, or a few sandwiches a week and some discarded clothing to keep them warm?
     
  5. mark kennedy

    mark kennedy Natura non facit saltum Supporter

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    Thanks Ted, appreciate your candor and personal insight.

    Grace and peace,
    Mark
     
  6. royal priest

    royal priest debtor to grace

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    You need to weigh each situation. The goal of helping people is to do them good. Relieving someone's poverty might not be the loving thing to do for that particular person in that particular situation. On the other hand, maybe giving lots of money is the God-honoring thing to do. I knew a family that was tempted to file for bankruptcy. They met with the Pastor and deacons and were strongly discouraged to do so since it would've been a violation of several biblical principles. They resisted the biblical counsel at first, but eventually resolved to trust God to provide. Once their determination to do honor God was evident, the church surprised them with a large sum of money to help them out.
     
  7. Willie T

    Willie T St. Petersburg Vineyard

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    But, realistically speaking, isn't that family just going to be in the same situation again in six months? Their problem seems to be that they don't know how to manage their money. And is giving them a "bailout" like the government did with banks a few years ago, REALLY helping them?

    I'm kind of into teaching people how to fish, not buying them a boat to go out in.
     
  8. royal priest

    royal priest debtor to grace

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    We gave them very practical guidelines to follow. They were being held accountable to the Pastor and a brother in the church who happened to be financially savvy. After months of demonstrating their commitment to be responsible to their debtors, we gave them the gift.
    But you are right. That's a very important consideration when determining whether helping is really helping.
     
  9. Willie T

    Willie T St. Petersburg Vineyard

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    Well, that sounds like the sensible path was being followed. My wife and I have given anonymous tuitions to Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University.
     
  10. royal priest

    royal priest debtor to grace

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    That's great. His is a worthy cause to support for sure. The Lord bless your giving, bother.
     
  11. Andrei D

    Andrei D Active Member

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    Of all the rungs, humility seems to be the hardest to climb. In truth, your good deed was rewarded with a more precious gift than you might realize.
     
  12. Willie T

    Willie T St. Petersburg Vineyard

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    We don't do it for him, (though he does do a good thing) but rather for the opportunity it gives people to escape a lifetime of little more to look forward to than being poor. Not one person I know who went through the program ever thought it was pleasant gift. At least not during the first few months. LOL
     
  13. PittBullMom

    PittBullMom Active Member Supporter

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    In the end, don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, anyway.
     
  14. archer75

    archer75 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I could be homeless someday, although I'm not addicted to any drug and don't have serious mental problems. While I don't look forward to it, it's nice to know there are people out there like @Glaucus.
     
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  15. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    just to chime in a point I think is relevant. once I heard a priest say imagine if God was as stingy with His grace to us as we often are to the homeless. imagine if He withheld His grace because He knows we squander it, use what He gives for the wrong reasons, etc.
     
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  16. eleos1954

    eleos1954 God is Love Supporter

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    Perhaps something happened .... are you sure he just left on his own accord? Maybe authorities should check into it?
     
  17. FreeinChrist

    FreeinChrist CF Advisory team Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    MOD HAT

    Folks, a small clean up was done.

    Please pay attention to where you are posting.
     
  18. JCFantasy23

    JCFantasy23 In a Kingdom by the Sea. CF Senior Ambassador Angels Team Supporter

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    Yes, homeless shelters can be quite miserable and I've known some who prefer staying on the streets instead of that. Sadly, I knew someone who had never been homeless in her life, but when she got into a fight with her sister at her residence and had no other place to go, she went to stay at a shelter until she could figure something else out. A little over a week later she was dead because someone there kicked her so hard in the stomach she sat outside the building in the alley and ended up hemorrhaging to death from internal injuries people didn't realize she had. It was bizarre and fast acting, but she was only in her 30s and didn't have health issues. The examination revealed the death was from being kicked so hard it injured something that badly inside.

    As for your friend in the hotel, I am not sure of the situation or the explanation, but it is inspiring your heart is in the right place and you have tried to help.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
  19. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    ugh, Lord have mercy.
     
  20. SaNcTaMaRiA

    SaNcTaMaRiA I am a man...who loves our Lady! Supporter

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    Glaucus is fasting from his phone and the forums until after Lent. I wanted to drop back in here and give you all an update on his homeless friend. He came back and is safe. He is living in the hotel at this point and I believe will be working where Glaucus works very soon. Glaucus should be back after Lent and can expound more!
     
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