I am so fargin' pissed right now, so let this serve as a warning. This will not be pretty or PC. Not by a long shot. Skip this and go watch a bird moonwalk.
When younger and idealistic, brimming with do-gooder energy, our family would take in the homeless from time to time. We eventually learned not to. It was never a physical danger situation, although that was a concern, but it was a certainly a psychological dilemma, and possibly an invitation to legal jeopardy depending on the habits that led a person to become homeless, i.e., drugs. Those were the good old days. I'll revisit legal jeopardy in a minute or ten.
I don't care if you believe in evil or not, I'm not sure I did, either, but I had a demon-possessed woman in my home, once. Scare your ass straight. I never gave such a thing much thought until voices, contorted features, and even an invisible, physical shove coming straight from her mouth made me a believer. Not science-fiction, folks. It was easily remedied, however, by an assertion of authority, "NOT in MY house!" And all the little horrors would leave her for a while. And we would cry and hurt for her, and help her and do all we could.
She was so sweet, and smart, and able to work when she was challenged by us to behave and to assert her own authority and self-control. But, she really needed help, so we helped her. We helped her right to the local homeless shelter after she started sliding back into her familiar familiars. She needed help, but not at the expense of our peaceful home. That is sovereign.
Unwed pregnant homeless idiot? Yeah, we took in that one, too. Didn't tell us she was preggers. Didn't tell us she'd had an abortion, nor did the doctor even tell us days later when we went to the emergency room to see her after she started to bleed profusely while at her job. Only later did we find out. She was perfectly healthy again, but didn't want to work. We were young, we believed the best. But, she wasn't homeless, she was freeloading, saving her boyfriend the trouble of bringing her to his place, gee, I wonder why? How incredulous she was when we packed her belongings and dropped her at the weekly hotel flop-house. Too bad she never told us she was only seventeen years old. Found out later that she had faked her license to show she was twenty-one and had been living on the streets for years, apparently. Sad, but not gonna be my problem after you lie to me and jeopardize my home and your own life.
And then there was a family member... that was the truly dangerous one. Sigh.
And so it went. We worked with a local homeless shelter and met all sorts of folks with one thing in common: rebellious, proud, stupid ideas about the world. Maybe one out of 20 was truly a basket case or sob story--oh hell, they were all sob stories--but the rest were healthy, well-fed, resourceful and smart.
And living just the sort of life they wanted. No strings, play the scam, scam the Christians in the suburbs, and the liberals in the government, hold a sign up at the intersection, do ANYthing but work and take on responsibility.
Able-bodied men would drag some stupid cow of a woman and her kids around the country with him, playing the scam, and living free. You helpfully set him up with a job? He's caught stealing. Caught lying. Called in sick. Don't show. Moved on to the next little town.
If someone needs help, and you ask them where their family or friends are, the story will be so similar as to be common currency among the modern hobo set. They have scripts they memorize. You don't know this, because you've only ever met one or two in your life.
There's a reason they're not on welfare, not seeking government help, drifting. I'd venture that there's more government money for the truly unfortunate than the truly unfortunate could use up. The scammers and "Homeless Vet, God Bless" cardboard sign set sleeping under the overpasses are happier than you know. Well, maybe not happy, but they are satisfied. And they fight for their territory, so lucrative is the gig.
Legal jeopardy, the new price of compassion.
Dear reader, DO NOT take any hazy "homeless" situation as the gospel truth. For every true need out there, you have a hundred pikers standing in line to freeload off of your white middle-class liberal guilt. Or your Christian gullibility. Or the media's incurious sensationalism about their so-called plight. Maybe in some other country, but not here. Not when unemployment is at 4%.
But here's the kicker: if you take them in, they belong to you. Here in Florida, if you try to send them packing, they'll call the cops on you. Then, Good Samaritan, you get to be a captive in your own home, unable to leave for fear of a theft or reprisal for attempting to send them packing. This just happened this morning to someone close to us. They tried to kick out the long-time freeloader of the past several months. The meth-headed druggie refused to leave and called the cops. The cops say, "she stays, or you go to jail for unlawful eviction of a tenant."
She stays, and her benefactor, who never charged her one dime or took one cent from her, has absolutely no right to insist upon her exit. Who voted for that law? Raise your hand and I'm gonna come over there and kick your ass right out of your Sinecure. Heh.
But, somehow, this poor frightened doe of a "tenant," after being made to feel extremely uncomfortable in her happy "home" today, has found friends who would take her in. A couple of gangsta bruthas showed up and hauled her and her shopping bags away. Amazing. Hopefully, that will be the end of it and no retribution will be exacted on her gracious, and now rueful, hosts.
It happens more often than you know. It's a pretty ballsy scheme. You'd think that just accepting a bit of disciplined responsibility would be far easier. It's not, apparently.
Don't give me any anecdotal evidence to the contrary of my experience, because I'll delete it. I'd wager that I've heard more about the plight of the homeless than you've ever heard about the darker truth of the situation, so shut up and let me drive this blog post, thank you.
The obvious exceptions are simply, and unfortunately just that: exceptions to the rule. The truth is that there is an entire underclass of people who live the life they do because they choose it every day when they wake up, free from any care except to wonder from where they can steal, cajole or fool their next meal, and anything above that is fine, as long as they don't have to listen to someone encourage them, or preach at them, or expect anything like gratitude in return.
So, you know, no tears for the professionally homeless. Have pity on them at your peril.