Thread: Imagine....

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    "Homelessness: Imagine

    Imagine: You are upset and even get angry when you get called to a man down in the alley behind the downtown (insert well-known bank name here) building. You’ve been there every shift for the past week. “Damn that Joe. He’s always doing this to us! He knows he has to take care of his diabetes.”

    Imagine: You go ballistic over a four am call, via the police department, for an unresponsive woman in a car located in the parking lot of a closed Westside factory. “What the Hell is wrong with Katie? I know she got a head injury from an IED in Afghanistan but damn! Doesn’t this woman have anything better to do than wake us up in the middle of the night for this crap?”

    What are some of the root causes of homelessness?

    Mental illness from head injuries and chemical imbalances. Factory cut backs and plant closures with people laid off. Unemployment benefits exhausted. Catastrophic injuries with medical bills that insurance doesn’t pay. How about people with no medical insurance at all? Saving accounts, retirement plans and 401K’s emptied out in hopes that a new job can be found in time. No remaining funds to pay the rent or mortgage with. These are just some of the many ways in which anyone can find themselves with no roof over their head. Many hard working people are just one paycheck away from the street.

    Oh sure. Public servants have it made. Good pay, maybe some available overtime and good retirement plans. Every payday you tuck away a hundred bucks in a war chest of on-hand cash just in case something unexpected comes along. Take as an example the radiator in the daily driver blows. Three hundred/five hundred bucks for a replacement is a bear but you can handle it. The refrigerator loses it cool but you have no problem buying a $800-1200 dollar replacement.

    Imagine: Your mate comes home and tells you that she has been terminated and that her company is leaving the county. With the unemployment rate hovering around 10-15%, it’s going to be a while before she finds another job. Making the rent or mortgage payment and monthly bills looks like it just is not going to happen on one income.

    Imagine: There’s more bad news. The fire district/department you work for can’t afford to stay in business, reverts to volunteers and lays you off. So, you dig in and start applying for all the fire jobs you can find but you just don’t get any job offers. You swallow your professional pride and seek out an ambulance gig but no one is hiring. In fact, the ambulance companies are putting fewer units on the street since call volume is down. The war chest empties out as does your retirement account. The mortgage company forecloses and suddenly, you wife’s Volvo station wagon starts looking pretty good.

    Imagine: You are homeless living in that Volvo station wagon but you are squeaking by with a minimum wage job. Instead of a fridge, you can manage to put a buck fifty bag of ice three times a week in an ice chest in the back of the Volvo. On your way to work, the radiator suddenly blows on the freeway. Three hundred/five hundred dollars for a radiator is out of out the question and there goes your job because you can’t get to work.

    Imagine: The homeless diabetic living in an HVAC alcove of a downtown bank building who has no money to purchase metformin, insulin, syringes or test strips, much less afford to eat properly. Think of the veteran with the head injury who just doesn't have money for anti-seizure medication and all governmental services and benefits have run out simply because there is nothing else that can be done. Not a one of any of the above would choose to be homeless.

    Can this really happen to you? How many paychecks are you away from homelessness? Would you choose to be homeless?

    It could be you without a home. Do your job with humility and gratitude. Maybe even toss in a little compassion for those you serve.

    Imagine.....
    "

    been looking for the source site and I lost the link.... if anyone finds the source please link it I don't want to cheat anyone out of credit they deserve as I did not write this.

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    I would become a warlord.
    Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

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    Thank you Socrates, for that very poignant reminder. We tend to forget, in the daily pressures of life, to be thankful for what we do have. I myself am very grateful to have a roof over my head and to have someone who loves me to share the ups and downs of life. So many don't have even that small consolation.

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    Not able to quote the exact source or research here, but I think the current trend is that the average US family is only 2 paychecks away from being bankrupt and/or homeless.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    My first Lieutenant, 36 years ago, frequently told us to remember:

    "There, but for the grace of God, go I."
    "SYRACUSE - An ISO Class One Fire Department"

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    Liberal rhetoric.

    The overwhelming majority of homeless in this country are homeless because they choose to be. I don't need a study. This is based on my 30+ year experiences in the fire service, EMS and law enforcement.

    Are any of you two paychecks away from being homeless? I'm not. I find that statement to also be liberal rhetoric. These are scare tactics that have been perpetuated for years by the liberal media in order to push through any number of welfare projects.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    I agree with George,

    We have programs with open beds, work options and means to get people back on their feet or into long term care. As I said - open beds now but yet we have homeless people who won't take advantage of the offers.

    For the record - I am about 2 years out from being homeless if the wife and I lose our jobs. Is that close to 2 paychecks?

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    I have a lot of friends who would fit the bill. After they get their paychecks and pay all their bills they usually only have about $100-$200 left over at the end of the month. And most people don't have any savings to speak off.

    As an example: He might bring home $4000 a month, but he has $3800 a month in expenses. So if that person lost his job he would be almost $8,000 in debt in the span of two months.

    I don't think I took the original post the same way as you guys did. To me it was more of a wake-up call to help people realize that they need to be more fiscally responsible.

    Most people don't save any money. If a person gets a $100 raise, they often pick up an additional $100 in expenses (more cable, better car, etc..) because "they can afford it now".

    People live through debt. Their house, their cars, it doesn't really belong to them. They just are allowed to use it as long as they are making the payments on time. If something happens and they cannot make the payments, that car and that house will be gone.

    When I read the original post I didn't think: "Those poor people, we should have handout programs for all of them."

    I saw the original post and thought: "That is exactly the reason why people need to plan ahead!"

    I think it should be MY responsibility to keep at least 6 months of expenses tucked away in a safe account somewhere. That way if I loose my job at least I know that I will be able to pay my bills for 6 months while I look for a new one. If I turn of my cable, internet, cell phone, then I may even be able to stretch that money just a little bit further.

    I also think that it should be MY responsibility to have at least 5 years of my annual salary in life insurance. God forbid I have a heart attack, get hit by a drunk driver, or die on the job. But if I check out of this world early I want to know that my family is taken care off. If my wife has to plan my funeral I don't want her to have to worry about making sure her resume is up to date. If we have kids I want her to be able to stay at home and make sure the kids are doing okay for a few years.

    I didn't think of the post as a liberal tearjerker. I really look at is as a wake-up call for people that think that nothing bad could ever happen to them. I look at the story and think "THAT is the reason that everyone should have their crap in order and have a plan."

    In summary: You might think that nothing bad will ever happen to you, but it is your responsibility to have a plan for yourself and your loved ones in case the $hit hits the fan. Make sure you and your family are taken care off if the $$$ quit flowing into the bank account.

    I always look at the very real risk that the next time that tone goes off I might not be coming home. And I firmly believe that I owe it to my wife that she will be taken care off long after I am gone. If I am hurt on the job I want to be able to focus on making a full recovery, and not worry about how we will pay for food this week. It is my responsibility as a husband and future father to make sure my family is taken care off, no matter what happens.

    And I don't think you can get much more conservative than that!
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    I don't know about a lot of areas of the US, but here, large portions of the homeless community are homeless because of mental or addictive reasons. They simply cannot function in a structured environment. I do know Markus is correct in that a lot of people in both our countries simply have very little to no savings. People here have never faced the problems of " Doing without" and seem never to have learned money management, saving for a rainy day, etc. It isn't my problem per se, but I certainly wouldn't shoot off my big mouth about how " they're homeless because they want to be"

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    My main point for posting this and I believe the main goal of the passage was to communicate, who are we to think we're better than someone else, I know a lot of you guys also get called out for bs calls all the time, but who are we to judge them, who are we, we're no better then them, we could end up in the same spot as them at any time. It also is trying to communicate that we don't know the whole story behind people, like it says the mental illness that's causing them to act the way they do could be caused by things such as the wars and the things they went through, we may not know all the facts, but we need to treat everyone to the best and not judge them, because in reality we really DON'T know what's going on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BryanLoader View Post
    I don't know about a lot of areas of the US, but here, large portions of the homeless community are homeless because of mental or addictive reasons. They simply cannot function in a structured environment. I do know Markus is correct in that a lot of people in both our countries simply have very little to no savings. People here have never faced the problems of " Doing without" and seem never to have learned money management, saving for a rainy day, etc. It isn't my problem per se, but I certainly wouldn't shoot off my big mouth about how " they're homeless because they want to be"
    I'll ask a very serious question - how do you solve the problem? We have assistance programs that aren't fully utilized now? How do you get someone to work to better themselves when they don't want to? How do you get someone who is mentally challenged but refuses medical treatment any help? There does come a point when you must accept personal responsibility. It is not societies fault these individuals are in the position they are in and fail to take advantage of programs for them. Its the old adage - you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. Well, in many cases, we are at the water hole but the horse isn't drinking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFNG View Post
    I'll ask a very serious question - how do you solve the problem? We have assistance programs that aren't fully utilized now? How do you get someone to work to better themselves when they don't want to? How do you get someone who is mentally challenged but refuses medical treatment any help? There does come a point when you must accept personal responsibility. It is not societies fault these individuals are in the position they are in and fail to take advantage of programs for them. Its the old adage - you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. Well, in many cases, we are at the water hole but the horse isn't drinking.
    I'll try to answer, but I sure as heck don't say I'm right. Up until about 30 years ago up here, a lot of these people would have been instituionalised for their own safety. Many simply can't and never will be able to cope with society. Then the liberals all came around saying that these people deserved and had the right to live openly in society. I happen to agree with this, but the problem was that a lot simply could not do it. Our mental institutions were closed, people were sent out on the streets with a very small stipend, then everybody whines about how they won't integrate and its all their fault they are homeless. Pure BS by people with no empathy and very little understanding.

    On the second part, I don't know how you will instill money and future plans on young people today. We did it at home, but that's a trite statement as many simply did not have nor will they have the encouragement from their parents. Maybe another depression is inevitable, I don't know, but whats going on today with gov't bailouts, sugar T*t handouts, no responsibility for actions is our biggest problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by socrates View Post
    My main point for posting this and I believe the main goal of the passage was to communicate, who are we to think we're better than someone else, I know a lot of you guys also get called out for bs calls all the time, but who are we to judge them, who are we, we're no better then them, we could end up in the same spot as them at any time. It also is trying to communicate that we don't know the whole story behind people, like it says the mental illness that's causing them to act the way they do could be caused by things such as the wars and the things they went through, we may not know all the facts, but we need to treat everyone to the best and not judge them, because in reality we really DON'T know what's going on.
    I didn't pass any judgment. I merely said that, in my fairly extensive experience, the majority of the homeless people I have encountered are homeless because they choose to be. It doesn't mean I am better than they are.

    I will also tell you that it is extremely difficult to take a mentally ill person off the street. Bring 'em into the ED. Unless they are a danger to themselves or others, they are going right back out. Probably before you get the paperwork done.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    I will also tell you that it is extremely difficult to take a mentally ill person off the street. Bring 'em into the ED. Unless they are a danger to themselves or others, they are going right back out. Probably before you get the paperwork done.
    That is very true, we get a lot of guys into our ED. If they are a danger to themselves or others, we can help. But it's not against the law to be mentally ill.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    I didn't pass any judgment. I merely said that, in my fairly extensive experience, the majority of the homeless people I have encountered are homeless because they choose to be. It doesn't mean I am better than they are.

    I will also tell you that it is extremely difficult to take a mentally ill person off the street. Bring 'em into the ED. Unless they are a danger to themselves or others, they are going right back out. Probably before you get the paperwork done.
    My statement wasn't directed at anyone, I agree they're very belligerent, I'll be the first to tell you that, I'm just saying the alcoholic down the street, getting drunk every night and calling 911 because he's dizzy etc. it was simply, think before you judge anyone that's the goal of the post. Don't pass judgement and think you're better than the guy whose ****ing himself and calling 911. (Once again not directed at anyone) just saying we don't know all the facts about what's going on with them and why they're in the state they're.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BryanLoader View Post
    I'll try to answer, but I sure as heck don't say I'm right. Up until about 30 years ago up here, a lot of these people would have been instituionalised for their own safety. Many simply can't and never will be able to cope with society. Then the liberals all came around saying that these people deserved and had the right to live openly in society. I happen to agree with this, but the problem was that a lot simply could not do it. Our mental institutions were closed, people were sent out on the streets with a very small stipend, then everybody whines about how they won't integrate and its all their fault they are homeless. Pure BS by people with no empathy and very little understanding.
    Your right on this one. Its not against the law to be mentally ill. If you aren't a danger to yourself or others, its free will. I would love to be able to help them, I just don't think we can. They don't want to be helped (rational or not - they said no).

    For the record, I would love to have all homeless people converted into productive members of society. If for no other reason, instead of being a tax burden, they are paying taxes. Its also the right thing to do. Just because I want it to happen doesn't mean I believe it can happen. Those who want help, find help. Those who don't want help choose the path they take (whether rational or irrational).

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