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Thread: I am heartbroken

  1. #1
    Geo55 Guest

    Unhappy I am heartbroken

    I returned from the supermarket this evening, where like every year all of the displays collecting toys or food for children are down, now that the holiday season is over.

    Have the homeless, abused, hungry children vanished? Of course not. There are children in North America going to sleep this evening, who haven't had a meal in days. There are little girls lying in their beds, wondering if daddy is going to molest them tonight. There are small boys lying in bed tonight who were beat almost into uncosciousness by their fathers, or in some cases their mothers. There are mothers crying as they face another cold winter night without shelter or a meal for thier children.

    Why do we as a society believe that benevolence is set aside for only one month of the year? Christmas should be all year 'round. Tonight for some reason I can't get them off my mind, I can't stop sobbing.

    Instead of keeping it to myself, tonight I'm sharing this sadness with you.

    The pictures below were not taken in a third world country or a country ravaged by war, they were not taken on another continent, they were taken in the US. They were not taken in Apalachia, they were not taken in a large metropolitan inner city. They were all taken within 30 miles of my home here in Ventura County.

    This young boy's bedroom is the front seat of an old Ford

    This boy awoke this morning and washed his face, brushed his teeth, in a public restroom with floors soaked in urine and vomit

    This is Mike. Mike is a homeless Viet Nam vet. An outcast of society. Mike is earning $8 giving blood. The $8 is not for himself. He will use it to feed the women and child in the last picture below. Mike is giving everything he has to feed them. The next time any of you ladies want to complain there are no good older men in the world, I want you to think of Mike first. Looking into Mike's face is looking into the face of an angel.

    Is there a rescue mission or shelter in your county or parish? Could you afford to donate $20 to $40 per month? Please consider doing so.
    Last edited by Geo55; 01-05-2008 at 11:49 PM.

  2. #2
    Geo55 Guest

    you are an angel and my hero (heroine)

  3. #3
    Diamonella Guest

    What am I doing here...

    Well, your message rings through my mind in so many ways...

    During the holidays, with all the over indulging all I kept on thinking was whether I would feel better were I in some area/country/neighbourhood where they need people to give their time...because, I am at the point where money just doesn't seem like quite enough...

    I was thinking what if I volunteered to feed the needy? Care for the elderly? Knit for those who need warm clothes? Even go to Africa where there are people...heck, Africa? There are so many other places torn apart...

    I feel all worthless never seems like quite enough does it? There was this kid at the grocery store that asked me for money. I gave it to him wondering 1) was it for bus fare like he said? 2) what if MY kid was ever in such a situation, would anybody care? 3) Should I have driven him safely home? And this will haunt me for days to come...

    I'm pretty sure my son will go into one of those programs where kids, or young adults go help and build shelters, feed the hungry and all that noble stuff and, I already know that I will likely lose him that way and I am already proud of him...he has that kind of heart. And, I am grieving already...

    Not for him, not for them but for the way things are...

    We spend, well, the US of A spends my, hundred of thousands of dollars on a space program and all those needy people in the same country...makes no sense to me...

    At least, here in Canada, we have social programs to help people...and there is so many less of us than there are of you.

    And I am going nowhere fast with this post. Just wanted to tell you, George, that other hearts are bleeding...

    All the time...

    Peace and love and serenity

  4. #4
    coloradogrrrl Guest
    Geo, what you shared tonight is both frightening and poignant. It is a crying shame that in this country of immense wealth, we still have the homeless, the forgotten, the mentally ill, living on the streets.

    I came across one of the many people on a street corner, carrying signs that said "Homeless". While I know that alot of these men could care less whether you give them money for a meal or their next beer, I gave him a $50 dollar bill from my wallet. Whether he chooses to have a hot meal or a few six packs of beer I didn't care, as long as he was content that night.

    What can the public do, to help our own homeless? So much of our avenues are unpublicised. Aside from volunteering at homeless shelters, donating to churches and public institutions... what can we do to help, I wonder? It seems such a waste and a pittance.

    I once had a foster daughter that I adored. Since my son is grown I applied to adopt her. I was denied, and do you know why? Because I was single... how crazy is that? It's a travesty....

  5. #5
    BeauSoleil Guest
    I have a little girl in my home who has seen more violence than she needed to see in her 7 years. She has been with us for 6 weeks now, and tonight she sleeps in the room with my 6 year old daughter, sparkly snowflake Christmas lights on the bottom of the loft bed for night lights, and a cool bed tent in rainbow colors over her bed.

    Her mama is hopefully doing what DSS wants her to, in order to get her back. In the meantime, she is living in a safe family.

    Those pictures you posted are a big eye opener. Thank you.

  6. #6
    yellowrose's Avatar
    yellowrose is offline Texas Gal
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    I watched the Michael Moore movie, "Sicko" tonight with my oldest daughter. It was showing the people that would be dropped off from the hospital, to skid row, because they could not pay for medical care and had no where to go. It is so sad.

    I don't think any act of love or charity is wasted. Anything one can do to give a person a moment of dignity or care is worthwhile.

    I am hopeful that my health, which has made a dramatic turn for the BETTER, will continue, so that I can do more for others.

    There is no higher calling than to love one's neighbor as one's self.

    Geo... you have the Father's heart.

  7. #7
    goodchild Guest
    Though I live in a third world country I feel just the way you do George and that's why I'm so heavily involved in charity. I'm on the district board that overseas 10 Caribbean countries and we meet twice monthly to ensure that our charity organizations in all 10 countries are helping those really in need.

    I'm also an executive member for charity organization at my university. We engage in various community outreach programs that have no boundaries, as anyone who is need we try to help them. We donate computers to schools, provide lunch money for students, donate clothing and other necessary items to shelters, children's homes and elderly homes. Our latest project is a mentor-ship program for at risk children. I have recently produced a newsletter with the aim of advertising our charity so that we can get more sponsors on board, as we often struggle to meet the many needs of the people we encounter.
    I enjoy what I do and I will continue to play an integral part in charity organizations, as there are many good people who really need help!

  8. #8
    OHLis Guest
    Touching post George.

    I share your agony and am witness to people that are nearly carbon copies of those in your photos, daily.

    I live in a very poor community in southern Ohio (on the fringe of Appalachia) and homelessness/drug abuse/alcoholism and the like are rampant here.

    There are people on almost every major street corner holding signs saying things like.."will work for food" or "homeless with kids, please help"

    it is heartwrenching and I so wish I could open the door to my car and let them all pile in when I see them...I cant offer much help monitarily, as I am struggling myself to raise 4 children after a nasty divorce that left me with nothing and every penny we have goes in to my pantry or to pay for our home. But Im a "cooker" and I often over prepare when it comes to meals. It seems I always have leftovers, and I would love to feed these people, or at best, a few of them...even if for one day.

    Sadly...that is not a safe practice and unfortunately so many of our homeless here are also addicts, mentally ill and or violent (understandably imo)...that to invite them in would be risking the safety of my own family. I know many of them are perfectly wonderful people that would never harm a fly, but how does one decipher? I feel awful about it..and wish I could do more.

    We dont have a shelter, if we did, I would at least volunteer time. Its so very sad

  9. #9
    Lily42 Guest
    I was touched by your story Geo, I don't mean to complain about my life, I have a roof over my head and am very grateful for that... I know I am only a couple paychecks now from living on the streets.. At least in my personal sitaution, I have hope, that I am slowly climbing out of the pit I am in though to a much more balanced life.. I think seeing the loss of hope in the people of this country the US is the hardest because we are the richest in the world, there should be no poverty, no homelessness, no families without healthcare.. It is heartbreaking.. I spent Friday seeing mothers who are having fourth, fifth, children, struggling with addictions, barely making it, and they should not be having more children but they are-- the faces of meth are not a pretty sight especially on younger women.. I pray and wonder, where did we fall short, did we compromise not only our morals in this country, but glamorize drugs, majke our children think everything is instant gratification, and lose the value of hard days work-- did we not do enough to stop alcolholism from ruining lives still.. Think of the single moms now, one paycheck is not enough if you work for minimum wage, and one job Should be enuf for a single mom!!!!!
    I give thanks every day for the little things in my life, good water, heat, lights, and a roof, a good job,a car --and I truly hope no matter where I go from here, I always will..
    Thanks Geo we have similar hearts..

  10. #10
    Mishigas73 Guest
    Plain and simply put, the vast majority of people simply don't think about these things unless they're forced into their face. And, in addition to that, many people frankly have a lot of their own issues to worry about.

    As for the first part of my last comment, I have two cases in point. The first was when I was living in New Orleans. I lived there for 3 years, literally 6 blocks away from one of the bigger housing projects in the city. In all that time, I simply never saw it. My life never took me there. When I stepped back to think about it, I was sad that I had been living in one of the most impoverished metropolitan areas in the US, and had never really *seen* it. Not that I was going to go for a tour of these areas, but it made me think that if *I* didn't see it, what of all of the others who didn't? Nothing changes if things are kept "separate" like that. And, that's one of the main reasons why I moved. Maybe Hurricane Katrina was a bit of a blessing. People all over the world saw the realities that had been so "neatly" hidden over very many years.

    The second case is what I have seen in Vancouver, especially over the past couple of months. When the Pickton trial was all the news was showing, all of a sudden there was this "epiphany" about the homeless, drug addicts and prostitutes on the Downtown East Side of the city. Surely these people existed long before they became "newsworthy"? And, again, this made me really sad. In a city that is experiencing a huge economic surge, it took the trial of a guy who allegedly killed 26 prostitutes to bring this to the masses. So many people simply don't have the need or desire to go to this area....and again, what you don't see, you don't really think about.

    And, the part about "having other things to worry about". That's just a fact. Good, bad or otherwise, selfishness is not necessarily a bad thing. I firmly believe in people doing what they can for others, but I also believe in being selfish enough to put yourself first. Sometimes it's a hard balance to keep, but it's also a necessary one.

    I'll end this for the moment by reiterating what I said to my Canuck just a couple of weeks ago, as we were walking into the Safeway and put our money into the Salvation Army kettle. "Now, what would be so bad about doing this in July again?". Unless you put it out there, most people simply won't think of it. And that loonie or two DOES go a long way.

  11. #11
    scott2075 Guest
    George, I struggle the same.

  12. #12
    grumpysgirl Guest
    George I have seen this myself and at one time I was in a battered womans shelter. I have great sympathy for those people and a huge heart.

    It makes me sick that we as a society assume that because they are homeless it is there fault. Not always the case.

  13. #13
    tigerlilly5 Guest

    I work at a shelter for homeless teens ages 10-17 ... yes with no parents; some are abused, some runaway, some throwaway.

    Right at the moment, I am also on the Board of Directors for our homeless shelter (the other one... for adults and families). I'm sitting up here helping answer phones. I have the cutest little 18 month old girl sitting in my lap while her mother is checking the newspaper ads for an apartment that the family might be able to afford. I'm grateful that this little cutie doesn't realize she is homeless, she's just happy to have attention from one more person. A pretty 17 year old girl is standing outside at the front of the shelter, a huge sunny smile on her face, waiting for her boyfriend she met when she transferred to the local highschool. Her mother should be "home" soon from work. Right now there are 42 people in this homeless shelter, almost 3/4 of them children here with their families. The majority of the adults work full-time (the others are either stay-at-home mothers or are on disability, etc.) The plight of all these residents could easily be much worse. The shelter allows them to be safe, fed, clothed, and most importantly have a feeling of stability while their lives are highly unstable and they are working towards regaining their self-sufficiency and moving into affordable housing.

    I'm editing some grant requests while I sit here. If we don't get some money - unrestricted funds that can be used as needed - in the door within the next six weeks, this shelter will CLOSE. It's the only one in about a 15-county area of North Texas. Close to 1,000 people will be without a safe place to stay each year, not to mention the hundred thousand who are helped with meals, baths, etc who do not need shelter. The youth shelter where I work is in better financial position, but still those unrestricted donations are critical to the ongoing operation. THE AVERAGE AGE OF A HOMELESS PERSON IN AMERICA IS NINE YEARS OLD. We must provide stability for this next generation, and not have them raised only knowing how to be homeless.

    Any donation that anyone can make to help end homelessness, no matter where you are, will be put to good use.

    *big huge hug to George*

  14. #14
    RebeccaSue Guest
    As a person who has experienced rock bottom and is in a Recovery program for many years now, charity did not get me clean or sober. Handouts kept me "using". I attend meetings at our local Salvation Army to support those inside, I sponsor women who want a different life, I help teens deal with parents who use substances..while one needs the basics, if drugs and alcohol are present, something greater is neeed. Help is available for those in that kind of peril. I am living testament to that truth as are millions of others across the world that cycles of family disease and addiction can be broken simply by the time it takes one recovering person to listen to another and share their experience, strength and hope. Hang in there George, there is a bigger plan that we can know with our limited vision!!
    Last edited by RebeccaSue; 01-07-2008 at 09:28 PM. Reason: spellcheck

  15. #15
    theREALTrish's Avatar
    theREALTrish is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Rhode Island
    I work as a counselor in a transitional housing program for homeless women and their children. They are homeless for various reasons but the majority are because of substance abuse issues.

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