I thought it would be interesting for some of you to read
- Where do homeless people stay at night?
They often stay with friends, extended family, in cars, under bridges, shelters, on the street, or in 24-hour restaurants or grocery stores.
- Why can't they just get a job?
They can get a job. But can they get a job that pays enough to cover housing costs, utilities and everything associated with that? Many homeless people, some with families, do not have much education or work experience. They may not have a car providing them access to sufficient job opportunities. Domestic violence victims are in a quandary. They usually have a home, but cannot return to it for fear of abuse. Alcoholics and drug addicted people often need extra support, therapy or group homes to maintain some stability.
- Aren't most homeless people alcoholics, drug abusers or mentally ill?
No. Actually, most homeless people have no history of alcohol or drug problems or mental illness. Homelessness is an economic problem.
- Aren't there plenty of shelters?
There are many fine shelters, but not enough. It's expensive to run a certified facility. It may take days or weeks for a homeless person to find a room, especially during the winter months.
- Should I give money to people who are panhandling? Why don't they get a job?
They are actually "working" when they panhandle, but not legitimately. They play on others' guilt and usually are using the money to buy liquor or drugs. Panhandlers often shun main-stream society considering themselves as having a more free lifestyle. While some can earn hundreds of dollars a week, their signs are usually shams. Most have a place to live. This is organized panhandling. It is best not to give directly to panhandlers, rather to donate to legitimate programs that offer help such as Salvation Army, Samaritan House, Family Tree and many others in our community.
- Why doesn't social services take their children if they can't adequately care for them?
If a child attends school, is not abused or neglected, social services usually does not take the children. They prefer to keep families together and give supportive assistance to stabilize their lives. Most often, if a family is in a shelter, social services will not remove a child unless there are extenuating circumstances. However, if the parent cannot provide a stable home or if he or she is on drugs, alcohol, prostitutes or cannot provide proper care, the child may removed.