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Old 11-30-2012, 08:44 AM   #21
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I've seen a lot more people recently afraid of losing their homes because they have lost jobs or have humongous medical bills. These are people who've worked hard all their lives, played by all the rules.

And as Anitram pointed out, so many of the homeless are veterans. People the country broke and didn't want to bother fixing so they just tossed them aside like so much garbage.
Last night I watched Rock Center and they did a story about that very thing-the WORKING homeless (many with college degrees, some with advanced degrees) who are still working. They lost their homes due to illness, divorce, a myriad of circumstances. They were not living in lavish homes that they couldn't afford, they were living in very modest homes and managing to pay their mortgages and bills. One woman got divorced and had three sons, just the cost of food and gas put her into foreclosure. Another couple, the husband developed kidney problems and the medical bills put them out of their home. They had health insurance too. They lived in their car until that was repossessed. They have two young daughters. Luckily they're going to be moving into an apartment before Christmas this year. Most shelters are not equipped for families, and they have to split up because most require that men and women be separated.

The report said that their has been a 60% increase in working homeless families since the recession started. Unprecedented increase. So when you're talking about "the homeless" those people are part of that too. Any of us could be that, given any random circumstance beyond our control.

Couldn't agree with you more about the veterans. I gave some money recently to a man with a veteran's ID. Could he have been scamming me? Of course. But I couldn't turn my back on it, on him and that situation at the moment. If that makes me a sucker or a fool well so be it. Not trying to toot my own horn, and yes if I had the time maybe I should have bought him some food instead. But it doesn't keep me awake at night, the thought that it could have been a scam. The fact that this country has so many veterans in those circumstances, I think that's what should keep me awake at night.

One other thing about that story-the officer said he keeps the receipt for the boots in a pocket of his bulletproof vest, to remind himself. That got to me.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:16 AM   #22
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I also think about the people who will be homeless after Hurricane Sandy, and not just temporarily homeless. People I saw on the news who were just holding onto their homes and couldn't afford homeowners insurance, flood insurance, whatever. How do they start over? Even if you could afford the insurance good luck collecting on it. There are probably still plenty of people still homeless after Katrina. So that's the face of 'the homeless' too.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:36 AM   #23
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The problem is that there are really two types of homelessness... your down on their luck people, victims of the economy, and then there's the mentally unstable and drug addicted homeless.

The guys on the street, at least here in NYC, tend to be from the second group. Those affected by the economy are more likely to seek out help, live in shelters, live in their cars, etc. Obviously there are some homeless on the street who are down on their luck victims of the economy who are too proud to seek out help. But almost every study shows that those are by far a very small minority.

The idea of not giving to panhandlers is to try and force them to seek help... help that is readily available in New York City. There are plenty of great charities that will ensure that the money is spent to help the homeless, not on booze and drugs. Give to your local food bank or soup kitchen or salvation army... not to panhandlers.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:49 AM   #24
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The problem is that there are really two types of homelessness... your down on their luck people, victims of the economy, and then there's the mentally unstable and drug addicted homeless.

The guys on the street, at least here in NYC, tend to be from the second group. Those affected by the economy are more likely to seek out help, live in shelters, live in their cars, etc. Obviously there are some homeless on the street who are down on their luck victims of the economy who are too proud to seek out help. But almost every study shows that those are by far a very small minority.

The idea of not giving to panhandlers is to try and force them to seek help... help that is readily available in New York City. There are plenty of great charities that will ensure that the money is spent to help the homeless, not on booze and drugs. Give to your local food bank or soup kitchen or salvation army... not to panhandlers.
There is an obvious contradiction in your post because you recognize that the mentally ill group will typically not seek out help to the same extent as those who are not mentally ill and may be temporarily homeless. Systemically homeless people (most of whom are mentally ill) often do not want to go to soup kitchens or food banks or shelters or the salvation army because they cannot cope with (i) order and/or routine; (ii) large numbers of people around them; (iii) small, enclosed spaces; (iv) other disruptive mentally ill people, etc, etc. So while it is a nice thing to do to give to soup kitchens it does not follow that all homeless will be reached. And as far as food banks go, most of the ones I have worked with had a system where you had to complete some kind of paperwork to qualify...pretty much a non-starter with somebody who is a homeless schizophrenic.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:55 AM   #25
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Yes, I think mentally ill people who are homeless present a very unique set of circumstances that can't be easily dealt with or explained. I appreciate your insight anitram. The mental health system has let many of those people down, many of them have tried to get help at some point.

I give food to the local food pantry, I do what I can.

On a much lighter and more superficial note, I was reading about the cop story on another site. And there were a bunch of women commenting on how hot the officer was, hot and so kind and caring and what a combo that is and is he available. So that's a whole different take on it
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:06 PM   #26
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The photo is on the homepage of Weather.com

I really liked what that police officer did. I liked that he knelt by him and looked him in the eyes. I remember the times (way too few) I've stopped to talk to a homeless person and saw the importance of just acknowledging them. I think it is important to look at a person and see a need and provide it if you can, especially when the cost is so little. It doesn't make you a saint. It doesn't make the other person a charity case. It's a moment when you acknowledge your common humanity. That's all.

I really like this thread. It made me go into myself. I talk the talk OK. I don't always walk the walk. Sure you need to make sure you're safe; sure, you need to be practical; sure, you need to make sure you're not exacerbating a situation. But when all's said and done, it's a smile; it's a sandwich; it's some change. Just a moment. Or maybe a series of moments.
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:15 PM   #27
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That's one of the things I found special about the guy in Vegas that I mentioned earlier. He didn't just stand there and leave the items for them. He sat down with them and talked and ate and helped choose who wanted which socks etc. (After a while it seemed there were items they told him they weren't going to use so he packed them back up before he was on his way.) But anyway it was the fact that he stuck around, sat with them, that made it different.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:35 PM   #28
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The barefoot homeless man who received new shoes from a kindhearted NYPD cop isn’t actually homeless — and has a sad history of refusing help from loved ones and the government.
For the past year, Jeffrey Hillman has had an apartment in the Bronx paid for through a combination of federal Section 8 rent vouchers and Social Security disability and veterans benefits, officials said Monday.


Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/...#ixzz2EDd5eQBD
...and....

Quote:
A homeless drifter was arrested and charged this morning for allegedly tossing a Queens dad onto a Times Square subway track, where he was fatally crushed by a Q train, law-enforcement sources told The Post.
Naeem Davis, 30, confessed yesterday while being grilled in the grisly death of Ki Suk Han, 58, who was struck in front of horrified onlookers Monday after trying desperately to scramble back to the platform.
Davis told police that he “stayed and watched” as the train hit Han, a law-enforcement source said.
He was charged with murder in the second degree and depraved indifference.
“He said he heard his torso snap and he knew he was dead.”
Davis showed no remorse for causing Han’s death, another source said.
I understand that the mentally insane, for the most part, do not want the help that soup kitchens and shelters provide. But there are still professionals who can help them better than then average Joe schmo on the street.

The problem stems back from budget cuts in the 80s and early 90s that shut down many of New York State's psychiatric hospitals. I grew up in a town on long island that formed around one of these hospitals. In the early 90s the hospital was completely shut down by the state. Thousands of mentally unstable people lived in the facility, and other facilities. The most dangerous were moved to few remaining hospitals that were still open... Many were sent to halfway houses, and others still simply went free, many of them ending up on the streets.

As much as it seems un-PC, or cruel to not actively help the homeless on a personal, one on one basis... You should absolutely not do so, for your own personal safety. I mean... There's a reason why in stand in a defensive stance on the subway platform. Its sad, but its reality.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:48 PM   #29
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Whatever the man's story is and in spite of what he did with the shoes, I still think the officer did the right thing. For me it is about what Bono's Saint said, that moment of humanity and walking the walk. And he is a police officer packing a gun, so his safety is better protected. My hunch is that he'd do the same thing again, in spite of it all. For me it's not about PC, it's more about trying to ward off cynicism and trying to hold onto sense of humanity. Not that I fault people for being cynical, because I'm plenty cynical myself. Just trying to hold onto the non cynical optimism that I have left.

As far as the man who was killed, I was going to start a thread about that. About the photo being taken and published and the photographer's and bystanders' actions. Where were all the other people to try to help that man? Maybe they were too far away too, the photographer claims he was but they weren't. I don't go into the city all that often but when I do I don't even think about that when taking the subway. I do think about my safety, and as a female I do what I can to protect it. I would do my best to stay away from and not engage a person like that in any sort of conversation. Not blaming the victim for doing that, if he even did. That whole story is just tragic. We've had plenty of people fall from the platforms onto the tracks, but I can't remember hearing of anyone being pushed.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:05 PM   #30
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A paranoid schizophrenic man pushed a 23-year-old woman to her death in Toronto about 15 years ago. He had been kicked out of his boarding/halfway house that morning. Just heartbreaking - I read recently that her Mom still goes to visit her grave twice a day every day.

Headache brought up a good point about the cuts to mental institutions - there is a high correlation between the decrease in the number of psychiatric beds and (i) homelessness and (ii) violent crime committed by mentally ill people per capita.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:07 PM   #31
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it's a nice story

go back in a couple of days, and good chance he will be barefoot again , he will have sold those $100 shoes for $10
Funny, you say that because allegedly he's barefoot again. But, only because he felt the shoes were too valuable and chose to hide them somewhere to keep them safe.


And Headache, I definitely remember when Governor Pataki came along and started shutting down all the mental hospitals. If I recall, you were a Kings Park boy. If I'm mistaken, please forgive me.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:19 PM   #32
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So that story about the man who was killed, is that the one I've been hearing about all over today, the one that involved the New York Post taking that photo and splashing it across their front page and the photographer just standing there snapping away?

(I'm with all others who are outraged by the Post's decisions regarding that, by the way. From what I've heard about the Post it doesn't sound that out of character for them, sensationalistic is what they do as I understand it, but still...that's pretty cold nonetheless.)

And I agree with MrsS's post. The fact that mental health facilities are struggling because of budget cuts is just absurd. Of all the things that we can cut funding for, those places don't seem like they'd be among my first picks.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:23 PM   #33
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So that story about the man who was killed, is that the one I've been hearing about all over today, the one that involved the New York Post taking that photo and splashing it across their front page and the photographer just standing there snapping away?

Yes-he says he was using the flash to try to get the driver to stop, and that he was too far away from the man to help him. I know it's a crazy situation, but I just can't imagine standing there and taking pictures.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:26 PM   #34
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Moonlit, check out the story a little further on the photographer. He actually tried to help the man, but he was too far away. He was snapping photos but his camera was still set for outdoors and he had no idea what he was shooting until afterward. There were others who were closer, but did nothing. The Post of course is going to be the Post and shamelessly show the photo.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:27 PM   #35
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Guess they were trying to top headless man in topless bar. Mission accomplished.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:32 PM   #36
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If you want an explanation from R. Umar Abbassi, the New York Post freelance photographer who captured the last moments of Ki Suk Han's life before Han was struck by an oncoming New York subway train Monday — why he didn't lend a hand, say — you're going to have to pay him, as CNN found out Tuesday evening.
"Reached by CNN, Abbasi was adamant that he would talk to the network only for pay," reports CNN's Michael Pearson.
The Post's Subway Photographer Will Only Talk to You For Money - National - The Atlantic Wire

I just don't get it...
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:38 PM   #37
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Wow. Stay classy. Makes his assertions more questionable.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:42 PM   #38
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Moonlit, check out the story a little further on the photographer. He actually tried to help the man, but he was too far away. He was snapping photos but his camera was still set for outdoors and he had no idea what he was shooting until afterward. There were others who were closer, but did nothing. The Post of course is going to be the Post and shamelessly show the photo.
By "tried to help the man", are you referring to his statement that he hoped his flash would be a warning signal?

'Cause if that's the case, yeah, I'd heard that one, and I can understand feeling helpless if you're too far away and don't think you'll get there in time. But even then, I'd still suggest maybe shouting out, at least, or trying to order someone who is closer to try and help him, or something. But if he didn't know what he'd been shooting...

Course, Pearl's article makes his claims sound really suspicious now. Either way, a tragic situation that really didn't need to end the way it did.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:16 AM   #39
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the photo was clearly rushed, as the settings are all off... The Q train has a yellow logo, not red. So it was clearly rushed... But the whole thing of him trying to stop the train? That's a load of BS.

I can't really blame him... He is a photographer after all. Its his job to take pictures. My favorite part of the whole thing is when CNN and NBC blast the Post for publishing the photo, and then show you the photo.

As far as helping the man? Apparently the pusher was still in the area. So you'd have to take care of him first, because who's to say he won't push you, too.

In all honesty, the best thing to do if you find yourself on the tracks is to run in the opposite direction of the train. Hopefully none of us ever have to be in that situation.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:35 AM   #40
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And Headache, I definitely remember when Governor Pataki came along and started shutting down all the mental hospitals. If I recall, you were a Kings Park boy. If I'm mistaken, please forgive me.
Correct sir. 9,000 patients lived there at its peak. Place was like straight outta Cuckoo's Nest.



Now? Abandoned.

In elementary school, every now and then we had to go into lockdown because somebody escaped. When it was shut down they simply let many of the patients go, or placed them in low security halfway houses where they could come and go as they please. Obviously many of them go and never come back.

So needless to say, today when I see a grown man in a teal dress and statue of liberty hat ride a bike down Lexington Avenue, it reminds me of my youth.
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