[Hpn] Re: Homelessness as choice

Paul Pitt pjpitt@mindspring.com
Sat, 09 Dec 2000 10:20:43 -0800

Matt Parkhouse
I made no such choice... and many like me made no such choice ... society
just had not use for us.   If you have white hair you are not needed ..AND

So put you money where your mouth is: help me find work.

I am not asking for money.  I do not want a loan.  I want a job.  I don't
want to beg, but I am begging. Please help me.

I am not perfect.  I am mature and most people think "he ought to be retired
and living on his savings."  Well, maybe I should,  but the 1990's recession
took my job, my savings and my house.  It took my job: Orange County
government went bankrupt (because of the recession) and I was layed off!  I
could not afford to keep my house, so when the savings ran out my house was
sold to pay the loan.    I had temporary employment during Y2K and then that

I wish to God I was not 60 years old.  I wish to God that I was well
connected in business.  I wish to God that I had some special advantage.
But I do not.  A good many of my friends either moved on or passed on.  I
was not at the top of the heap when it crashed.

I have done good things in my past.
* I am a hard worker.  [ I was never late, did not take time sick, and I did
more than my share]
* I have a good education (master's).   (B.S. Liberal arts, M.A., public
* I am not and  have never been a drinker.
* I don't smoke or use drugs.  (I quit smoking in 1974)
* I am in good health.
* I am honest.  [I have never stolen anything ever] [I cannot lie, I get
caught when I try it]
* I have no criminal record. [I have not had a traffic ticket in over ten
* I have references.  [there are people who will attest to my work ]
* I have technical skills.  [I programmed and managed computers for 20
* I have business skills and business education.   [I have a paralegal
certificate and R.E. Broker's license] [I have made a lot of money for
others, none for myself]
* I have more than 4,000 classroom hours of in-service training.  [that is
at least another degree or two]
* I have accomplishments in business and in government [I stopped crime on
one community, reduced government costs in three others, got awards for
helping more than 1/3rd of the cities and counties in Illinois]
* I was married once and raise two kids [now none of them want to know me]
* I am a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and I served in the Navy
* I learned to fly in the 1970's and mastered instrument flying as well
* I sailed across the Atlantic to deliver a boat in 1999, and that is a Mt.
Everest for being over 50

.. but all of that doesn't count for much, . I have been UNEMPLOYED for over
a year.  Hard core unemployed. I am only a step away from holding one of
those "will work for food" signs on a freeway ramp.  I am out of  money,
have no friends, and no resources.  The unemployment office says "keep
looking, something will happen." The VFW cannot help.   The Vietnam veterans
gave me an aptitude test,. but since I am not addicted I do not fit the mold

Don't just sit and throw stones... help out (or else shut up).

----- Original Message -----
From: <HOBOMATT@aol.com>
Sent: Saturday, December 09, 2000 8:10 AM
Subject: [Hpn] Re: Homelessness as choice

> << And the truth is that the homeless, to a very large degree, simply do
>  not want to reenter mainstream society.
>                                         <<snip>>
> The problem is the other two-
>  thirds, and honestly I believe the figure is much higher than two-
>  thirds, who do not want to get a nine-to-five job, and they do not want
>  the burden of paying rent and utilities." >>
> I would agree with this premise of Ted Hayes' that there are those who
> chose to live "outside of our mainstream society". I storngly disagree
> they are the majority of the homeless population. Here in Colorado
> my best estimate, based on regular interaction with homeless people in our
> city, is that 10 to 20 percent fit into that catagory. Even at those small
> percentages however, I do agree with Mr. Hayes' position that the funded
> helping agencies do not like to even acknowledge the existance of these
> individuals. They certainly do not fit the "poor, helpless victim" they
> to portray the clientele they serve (especially at this holiday
> season).
> Even within this small percentage, there are variations; ranging from very
> socialized gentlemen who harken to the hobos of old - clean camps, healthy
> lifestyle and no criminal behavior (other than squatting on someone's
> land), to rather preditory groups of people who would rip off anyone, from
> "citizen" to fellow homeless person, for a pack of smokes. If we accept
> there ARE such groups among the homeless, what is our response to them?
> Personally, my values are that people who "chose the lifestyle" fall into
> same sort of catagory as Punks, Goths, outlaw bikers or Dead-heads. As a
> member of society, what do I owe such people? I believe that society owes
> folks who opt out of the mainstream very little. We do, however, owe these
> people avenues of escape if and when they do wish to "return to the fold".
> Sort of like the attutude of a AA group several of my friends belong to:
> you want to drink and drug, that's your business. If you want to stop,
> ours' ". The "helping vs enabling" issue is a tough one. It's too bad the
> agencies tend to shy away from such discussion.
> Matt Parkhouse, RN;
> Colorado Springs, CO
> _______________________________________________