Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Little Respect for Homeless People

Yeah, there are a lot of homeless people who got that way because of hitting a pipe. It happens. It happens all too often and their stories are sad if you took the time to listen to them.

The problem is though that these same people are often treated with disdain and receive little if any respect. Another thing to think about though, some people just are the victims of circumstances beyond their control. They don't use drugs, aren't alcoholics and want to work and have a real roof over their heads.

Then there are those unfortunates who are physically or mentally ill. Some of these people belong someplace other than on the street. Some are a danger to themselves and to others. Some are just suffering from conditions that they either can't afford to have treated or are afraid of the stigma that would be attached to them if they did seek treatment.

Now, you would think that people who work at some of the homeless shelters would have a tiny bit of sensitivity to the plight of the homeless. Amazingly there are a few who seem to think that the street has a place in those shelters.

Oh, they may make a big deal about making sure that those who are clients are served. But how about with a bit of respect. A little respect goes a long way and when you don't treat someone with respect, deserved or not, don't be surprised when you get none in return.

What brings this all on today?

This morning one of the shelter workers was hollering that there were people who were getting coffee who should not have been doing so. One of the shelter residents, who did not have a good handle on the English language, misunderstood what was happening and rushed out of the doors. This poor fellow left before he had a chance to get breakfast.

Maybe he didn't need that meal today. Who knows.

Maybe he was frightened by the aggressive nature of this worker. Heavens knows that many of the people staying in the shelter are hassled on a daily basis. Some for no more reason than they are indeed homeless.

Wouldn't it be nice for a shelter to be more than just a shelter from the inclement weather. How about a shelter from some of the bad attitudes and conditions many of these people face on the street?

OK...back off the soapbox for now.

1 comment:

  1. I'm always baffled by people who go into social or outreach work who seem to have little compassion for the people they serve. I think some are just burnt out, but it's really no excuse.


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