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2015-09-17 / Telling It Like It Is

Telling It Like It Is

It’s Crazy To Think About New York’s Homeless “Crisis”
By Dara Mormile

There used to be an overweight man who sat outside of Holy Family Church on Conklin Avenue – asking passersby if they have a quarter. He was disheveled, his shoes were mangled and you could just tell by looking at him that he wasn’t quite right in the head – talking to himself and staring blankly into space. I don’t know how long this guy was hanging around the area, but he was obviously homeless and NOT mentally stable. To say I didn’t feel safe passing him is putting it mildly.

Good for Mayor Bill de Blasio for reviving the issue of how bad the homeless situation is in the city – saying we’re back to the “old days” when other administrations lacked the resources to end the disgusting problem. Adding beds to shelters, though, is not going to solve the problem of homeless people roaming our streets and harassing innocent people.

Officials also talk about providing more help and resources to the homeless so they have opportunities to better themselves and get off the streets. In my opinion, we can’t take a liberal approach to dealing with this “crisis.” The homeless don’t need assistance through government programs, mental health initiatives, access to low-income housing or more shelters. A lot of homeless individuals are NOT safe and they are NOT in the right frame of mind. I do NOT think they are capable of holding down a job. If they were, wouldn’t they seek help from an employment agency – maybe a program that will train them in a field of their interest? Do these bums have any interests that do not include…panhandling for drug money or alcohol? Why do they practically ignore police officers who are trying are moving them around? And how many of them HAVE turned their life around?

Lots of people are dealt a bad hand in life – it doesn’t mean they can’t throw those cards down and pick from a whole new deck! If the homeless were on the same mental level as those of us who have our act together, they might not accept sleeping in the same filthy clothes in front of a store while bunking out on an infested mattress.

Let’s get real! Someone who is sane – and a productive part of society – who once had a home, food on the table and a paycheck coming in, probably wouldn’t be okay with living their lives on the street for too long.

Are the homeless people who are constantly being approached by cops, and told to “move it,” eager to get into a work preparedness program where they can hone a marketable skill?

There are people who, as a result of hardships, have been displaced. Maybe their home was destroyed in a fire – maybe a disaster like Hurricane Sandy took away everything they needed to live a “normal” life. In essence, these people aren’t “homeless” – they’re simply victims of a horrific event that wasn’t really their fault. NORMAL people will seek help, put their resumes out there (if they’re not working or lost their job) and rebuild their lives so they can have the small luxuries they once had. Does that bum on the street even HAVE a resume to show an employer so they can make a living and build an independent foundation for themselves?

Instead of just moving around the homeless – especially the ones who harass the public – someone needs to prevent them from being on the streets in the first place! If they’re living in a shelter or mental facility, isn’t anyone trying to gauge their ability to get the hell out of there? And if they ARE a danger to us – if they’re urinating in public or bothering residents, they should be kept off the streets indefinitely – and our city has to recognize that they can’t be reformed to work in the corporate world. I’m not saying they’re all crooks, but they need to be recognized as individuals who can’t and won’t change no matter what “programs” are created to help them out of their situation.

That man who sat in front of Holy Family Church for years, with his raggedy clothes stinking of alcohol and feces…is THIS someone who wants to join the workforce and improve his life? Is THIS a person who understands that you can’t sit in your own filth in front of a public building in order to better yourself? Here’s an idea - let’s offer him a job! Maybe he can be an aide in de Blasio’s office for homeless services! If we’re lucky, that’ll be one less bum off the streets who can improve City Hall…

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