Thursday, November 15, 2007

Adopt a Homeless Person?

Why not? I read Tony's blog start to finish and will continue to read it. Got me to thinking again. I have never been one to begrudge a homeless person some change. So what if they use it to buy a beer? I like a beer now and then too. Just cause their homeless they can't have a drink? So you're contributing to their habit. They don't have much else in life and chances are they aren't going to ditch the habit anytime soon. Don't want to give change? Ask them if you can buy them a coffee or lunch. And take some time to sit down and chat with them. These are PEOPLE. And most of them don't have much happiness, hope, friendship or love in their lives. Spread a little. Especially if you have all of the above in abundance.

When I worked at Starbucks on “The Ave” (University Way) in Seattle in college there were 2-3 older guys who were regulars out front. We had to dump the coffee each hour and brew fresh and we always filled their cups first before dumping and gave them the leftover pastries at the end of the day. Wasn’t much but we liked those guys.

So now I live in Central Oregon and we don’t see that many homeless on the streets, but there are some and some local shelters. I really need to check into doing more. But I was also thinking that it would be nice to start an “adopt a local” kind of thing, especially in bigger cities. I often refrained from dropping coins in big cities because in a few blocks I would see so many and I couldn’t make up my mind which cap to put it in. But what about “adopting” someone you pass by frequently, like the gal who makes Tony sandwiches, and Phil who hosts Tony's blog and has befriended him, and like we did back in the day at Starbucks? But make it an actual campaign with some real reaching out and friendship involved. Get to know the person. Invite them to dinner or to stay the night on occassion (I mean really, if they have hung out on the same corner for years and you see them everyday, the chances of something bad happening are slim).

At the very least pass on your extra clothes to them, or backpacks and other gear when cleaning out the closet, or just buy something on sale you think they could use. Wish I had more time to organize something like that.



jen said...

fabulous post. i agree - i have no problem giving money if i am asked - human beings are suffering and it's inconscionable that we simply turn away.

terrific ideas and ways to get involved.

Toni said...

This is a great idea. Certainly if everyone adopted one then we could make a tremendous difference.

BTW, I came by from My Mommy's Place. Everyone deserves to see their comment meter rise once in a while. :)

Melissa said...

I had a horrible day at work today. So I decided to sit in the sun in a park downtown(Chicago) and meditate/pray. I was releasing all of this stuff and loathing in my own dramas and problems.
A couple approached and right away I was open and honest. They explained they were hungry, had two kids to support and were in need of a job and a shelter to go to.
I took them to get meals and gave them $40 to get train passes and whatever else they need. I know in my heart that they truly needed and appreciated it.
I cried so hard on the rest of my walk home realizing that true compassion is HARD. How in the fuck did our world get SOOOO fucked up? It breaks my heart, but moments like this give me hope and make me realize how fucking lucky that I am.
Thank you Lance and Lisa for making my day.

Anonymous said...

I just moved to this community so am not sure what is available for help for the people. I know there is the usual Salvation Army and St. Vincent DePaul, but is that really personal? Are they really doing what they should be doing? There is more and more homeless people every day and we in the communities need to do more! I was almost homeless like these people and thank God for friends and family I made it, but not to where I want to be in my finances. Better than some, but am very limited. Could we form a national project under this heading? They have adopt a "everything else" so why couldn't we? Anybody out there with skills of setting this up?
On another note: If you get the opportunity to watch 2 Pay It Forward and the Soloist. Marvelous heart breaking soul searching movies!! We need to reach out and get these people off the streets and off meds! What happened to America? When did money become more important than life?

Angel one said...

Just in case you want to contact me.

Angel one said...

One more thought on this subject:
We might be able to form a group and get a grant to organize. I we really want help from a Government agency? Well, it might be a quicker way to help others if anyone is willing to do the paper work and get things going! Might take a long time and more people will die on the streets! Come on America...we need to help each other!

tina said...

i love your idea.