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Fnord
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21 Sep 2015, 7:39 pm

Progressively more often, I'm finding myself responding to requests for donations and volunteers by asking, "Where were you when I was homelessness?"

I think that this is a fair question, especially when directed toward those organizations that claim to help homeless people.

The Missus and I do our part, though. We've taken in people who would have otherwise been homeless. We donate to local neighborhood missions. We've even invited panhandlers into sit-down restaurants and fed them.

But those flyers in the post ... those telemarketing calls ... those door-to-door fundraisers with their high-speed pitches ... they all have to answer why they never did anything to help me out during the worst period of my life.

Some have told me that this is not a fair question, saying that they've never met me before.

"Why not?", I ask. "Have you never really met a homeless person?"

This either makes them angry or shames them into silence.

What about you? How do you deal with people who never lifted a finger to help you, yet who also expect you to raise no objection when they ask you for help?



neilson_wheels
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21 Sep 2015, 8:17 pm

Having spent some time homeless myself, I really appreciate those people that offered me somewhere safe to sleep and hot water to get clean. I was willing to take what was offered but not asking for the aid of strangers.

I have no time for charity mobbing and avoid giving to those who I think need to feed their habits, whether alcohol or drugs.

I can spot those who are lurking at the edges of society and I give money to them when I can afford to. The other morning I saw an old boy looking for food in the street bins during the rush hour, he was not begging and easily ignored by all the passersby. I gave him £10 but there was very little discussion on the matter.



Raleigh
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21 Sep 2015, 9:00 pm

Where were they when you were homeless?
They weren't there for you, obviously.
What would you have them do?
Go back in time?
You're not homeless now so the point is rather moot.

If you don't want to donate to these people, or prefer to give in your own way, that's fine.
I just don't see what 'shaming' people will accomplish.


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Fnord
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22 Sep 2015, 6:17 am

Raleigh wrote:
Where were they when you were homeless? They weren't there for you, obviously. What would you have them do? Go back in time? You're not homeless now so the point is rather moot. If you don't want to donate to these people, or prefer to give in your own way, that's fine. I just don't see what 'shaming' people will accomplish.
What would I have them do? Go away, obviously. Since they don't come back, it must work.

I'm not referring to people in real need, just (1) those people who seem to feel that they are entitled to a piece of my earnings, (2) those people who seem to feel justified in telling me how to live my life, and (3) those people who question my actions and motivations when they are no better off than I.

So, where were you ... ?



traven
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22 Sep 2015, 7:51 am

I'm not grudgefull about that, but sad sometimes.

I only give in person, the kids for school-extra's or sportclubs or things like that although I really hate the often used lottery-style of it, the gambling for useless gear bothers me.
Once (stupid I know) I donated to a bigger organisation, ten-fifteen year later I have been returned several times the worth of that gift in paperwork and nonsense-gifts with it, and the adress got handed down to other organisations who do the same spamming.
But it's not in giving some (that's just some feelgood-payoff) but in not purchasing (limited by what is do-able) goods with a negative footprint.
So internet and pc-use bother me also, and that surely falls when more cuttings have to be made.



Raleigh
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22 Sep 2015, 5:14 pm

Fnord wrote:
Raleigh wrote:
Where were they when you were homeless? They weren't there for you, obviously. What would you have them do? Go back in time? You're not homeless now so the point is rather moot. If you don't want to donate to these people, or prefer to give in your own way, that's fine. I just don't see what 'shaming' people will accomplish.
What would I have them do? Go away, obviously. Since they don't come back, it must work.

I'm not referring to people in real need, just (1) those people who seem to feel that they are entitled to a piece of my earnings, (2) those people who seem to feel justified in telling me how to live my life, and (3) those people who question my actions and motivations when they are no better off than I.

So, where were you ... ?

I was busy not caring.


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SocOfAutism
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22 Sep 2015, 5:48 pm

Nah, I get what you're saying.

Like when you're at the grocery store or a fast food restaurant and they're like, "Would you like to give a dollar for a hungry child?" Or occasionally, "for autism?"

Unless it's for needy animals I always say NO. I grew up starving and I never saw benefits from stuff like that, so I don't have any confidence that a real child somewhere will get my dollar. And I know that autism charities aren't for anything I would support, since I actually research autism myself.

When you say NO the cashier looks at you like you're some kind of Scrooge McDuck. No thank you, lady, you're not bullying ME out of MY dollar.



B19
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22 Sep 2015, 6:03 pm

Could you be going through what is called a 'caregiver burnout' stage Fnord?



Fnord
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22 Sep 2015, 6:53 pm

B19 wrote:
Could you be going through what is called a 'caregiver burnout' stage Fnord?
One that's lasted for 25 years?

No, it's just hard to muster compassion for any cause that addresses issues that I had to deal with on my own.



B19
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22 Sep 2015, 7:43 pm

I battled on my own too, because there was no-one else and I wanted better for my children when they grew up, and I love to see them thrive and achieve and not be hampered by the things that affected me - like the prejudice towards mothers parenting alone and the shocking predatory behaviour of married male neighbours and even academic colleagues, who thought they could exploit my vulnerability.

To see my adult children thriving now makes my past effort seem even much more worthwhile than I hoped.
Life for me as a young person was really really tough. It makes me happy to see adolescents who are truly loved and supported by their families. I hate to see suffering, particularly needless suffering..because I know how it feels to live with that pain and be alone with it.



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02 Oct 2015, 4:06 pm

I have a lot of respect for the homeless. I can find myself homeless at any time, and I know I won't survive. Nor do I deserve to. The world was never meant for anyone but the strong and brave.


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