Does giving money to a homeless person help? Is it not their choices and their habits that got them there? Perhaps some are victims. Generalizing here is dangerous because many situations are unique and there could very well be victims. However, when someone approaches and asks for money, I have to generalize. I’ve been asked for money many times. I’ve given it only to see them asking for money again.
Often, I see the same people everyday. It looks like a choice they make to continue this path. I don’t like the path they’ve chosen. I want them to take another path. I guess my expectation for them is the more normal, healthy path. I don’t want to feed the habit or create a situation where I enable them to continue to be on the unclean, unproductive, and unhealthy path.
I know of a few serious alcoholics who have lost their jobs and subsequently their homes. One became homeless. The other is about to become homeless. There’s an argument here about whether they were predisposed to this condition either genetically or environmentally, but I still think that there is a capability to chose the response.
My end thought is that it is a choice that’s made. I think this choice is a product of an individual’s environment. Perhaps it’s a choice made in despair that’s compounded by a mental disorder? From that perspective, it may not be a choice they have the strength to make. If you really can’t make the choice, then I’m not sure what to think. My humanist side says get them off the street and in a mental institution…I guess. This sounds terrible. What other options are there in this case?
I read an article in the NewYorker by Malcom Gladwell where he presented a financial picture of how a few homeless people can drive up serious medical debts and how it would be more cost effective to provide an apartment and in home care for them than to let them be on the street driving up government costs. My take on this is that it’s all in the environment that people choose.
If you choose a situation where you feel you must drink to have the good times, either because the environment is truly unfortunate or because your mental outlook is truly unfortunate, then it seems that the resulting circumstances can’t be positive. If you choose to change your situation to one that’s empowering or change your outlook to one that’s empowering, then I expect your results will be empowering.
I’m sure there are those who are homeless who have never seen abundance. They might not know it exists. Again, I think this is an environment problem.
To fix homelessness, I think we need to focus on the environment an individual is in. Any other thoughts? What have I grossly missed? Experts needed…Please!