[Hpn] Re:Street People
Wed, 07 Feb 2001 10:21:49 -0500 (EST)
We have our "street people" here in Colorado Springs as well. It is a
sub-group our providers would prefer to not discuss. In any dialog on
homelessness however, they NEED to be discussed. They are a minority (perhaps
10% to 20% locally) of the diverse group of "the homeless". They are,
however, VERY visable. Our providers here would prefer the the general
populace believe that all homeless are "noble victims", especially at fund
raising time. We hear a lot about the circumstances of homeless families, the
dis-abled and the those who life has struck down. The people described in
this article are more what I would call "lifestylers". It isn't a healthy
lifestyle but for some, it is a chosen one. My values about this: Choosing to
"live outside" is similar to choosing the Goth lifestyle, the biker
lifestyle, embracing the drug culture, going Punk or following the Grateful
Dead. If that's your choice, fine; but don't ask me to support it. HOWEVER,
if you want to escape the consquenses of the choice and move toward a
healthier life, helping hands MUST be available. In my opinion, too many
"homeless programs" are, in reality, "street-life support programs". By the
way, if you go to the url provided, you end up at the Newspaper website. The
photos there, missing from the HPN List email posting are NOT pretty.
Matt Parkhouse, RN;
Colorado Springs, CO
Bill Thompson & Don Frazier
Standing roadside, usually dirty and ragged, they clutch a tattered piece of
cardboard that quickly sums up their situation and their request.
"Homeless." "Hungry." "Please help." "Will work for food." And, almost
without fail, "God bless you", the religious hook that stokes generosity,
if not guilt, and lends some promise of reciprocation: give to them, in turn
God gives to the donor.
"The prosperity has not penetrated this group of folks."
But in interviewing and observing a group of homeless people over the past
few weeks, it's been seen that it's a survival built on the largesse of
others, a confluence of the compassion of churchgoers and the secular
public and the taxing power of the state.