[Hpn] Re:Street People

HOBOMATT@aol.com HOBOMATT@aol.com
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

             <<<Street People
< http://www.theozone.com/News/fdstreetpeople0122.shtml
 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.