[Hpn] (no subject)

john macpherson nyceguy50@yahoo.com
Mon, 16 Jul 2001 13:57:10 -0700 (PDT)


I am formerly homeless in Austin and your story about
homelessness just shows the ignorance of all those
that were interviewed for the article.  The Mayor is
guilty of aggressive panhandling at another level of
the term to build his campaign fund, as much as you
are whenever you have to ask for your paycheck for
your work.  The mayor of our city sends out
advertisements for fundraising for his election that
in its self can be construed as aggressive
panhandling. (I argued this point with our city
council and the Daily Texan successfully) The act of
requesting a tip for those in the service industry is
panhandling agressively however we generally do not
consider it so. Aggressive panhandling generally
interfeers with your intent to travel or your right to
peace and solitude above the right of freedom of
speech it is also frequently part of an assault
against another person, whereas passive panhandling is
to simply sign and/or ask for spange (spare-change).
With many homeless with disability this is there only
source of income and the greatest amount off work
anyone could ask of that person.
Homelessness is often considered an easy way out
however you must consider what efforts are made to
manage there own life go here for a shower than travel
across town for your next soup kitchen, another bus to
get a razor, than travel six more blocks for a change
of cloths. and to another location to get out of the
weather etc. 
Getting some help through a service provider places
three times the stress on you to move out of your
situation, because it is a system that dooms a person
to failure.  The case manager must report there
inspections and the individual must get everything
verified as if the person is on probation of the court
system.

Just as bad is the attitude of our civil servants the
police and city council, that permits hate crimes to
be committed by all. Your neighbors are probably the
worse of all they will often set your camp on fire
with accelerants than call the fire company, and the
police will then accuse the homeless person as the
criminal for the campfire as you sleep. 

I agree that a percentage of people will always remain
homeless as long as there is not a system that is
designated to catch them, as they fall through the
cracks as big as the Grand Canyon which started with
Reganomics and deepens with the Bush administration.
The solution is difficult as long as there are too few
services that can address the situations. The greatest
solution is to address the problems one to one. The
issues is the cost of living, Social Security
Administration definition of disabled, education,
attitudes of discrimination against those that have
suffered personal tragedy, including incarceration.
However, when I look at the 2000 statistics and read
that 51 percent of the school children today receive
free school lunches I know the figures for
homelessness is grossly off of the mark or HUD's
definition of HOMELESSNESS is incorrect (that is the
definition that we must live by as the official one).
HUD's definition includes those that sofa serf, the
members of an extended family, the abused, neglected,
with substandard housing ie. earth floors, without
running water, or electric, prominent infestation of
vermin,  this figure can be as high as 20% of our
gross population who knows for sure.

We as a society focus on penalizing people with jail,
illness, and injury  which alters a persons skills to
procure new reasonable employment as you wrote about
the steel worker being laid off after holding a job
for 18 years. That party probably needs re tooling for
new work as the type of work that he had has disipated
into newer technology. If factories retool the mill
with billions of dollars why doesn't it do the same
with there personal. When the PC hit the market the
old spring action manual underwood typest were gone so
were there operators as those that had troubles
adapting to reading the monitors, many were deleted
from the job market.  When the Welfare system shut
down many were absorbed as service providers or
received retraining however many were forced to retire
without pensions.
We can retool people by  rewarding them for acquiring
the skills necessary but many can't find there way to
get the required training nor can they afford to do so
without a reasonable income to carry them through the
threshold of going back to school as I have demanded
for myself. 

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