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  1. #1
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    Default Thumbs up to this family for their honesty...

    The college kids set where out protesting the "outrage" of the city neglecting it's homeless.

    Of course, it didn't matter that the guy according to police logs kept being taken to the city's wet shelter...and kept checking himself out.

    As much as we need to be compassionate to the homeless, and help those willing to accept help, you also have to recognize that there is a certain number that you will never be able to keep sheltered unless they're incarcerated in mental or penal institution.

    Which, if we think back 30 years, the liberal protestor's parents where out protesting that you couldn't keep people locked up for things like this...

    Tuesday, February 21, 2006
    Exposure victim’s family says addiction killed him

    By Taryn Plumb TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF

    WORCESTER— When driving through Worcester, James McKeon often glanced at the pale, downhearted faces milling about on Main Street, hoping — but at the same time not hoping — that he might see his brother among them.

    Allen McKeon, his half-brother, spent his life on and off the streets during his 30-year battle with substance abuse.

    “It grabbed him. He was just stuck in it,” James McKeon, 44, of East Brookfield, said of his brother’s drug and alcohol problems. “We knew this was going to happen someday. We waited for the telephone call.”

    It finally came a week-and-a-half ago, when Allen McKeon, 55, was found dead at the Washington Square rotary, an apparent victim of the cold.

    His death has sparked outrage among local human rights activists, who are calling on the city to deal with its vagrancy problem.

    Family members, meanwhile, didn’t consider Mr. McKeon to be homeless — they said he was a man who just didn’t come home. His severe addiction governed his life, and he would steal, lie and sabotage relationships to keep it going, they said. Thus, when faced with the choice of a warm place to sleep or the ability to drink, he chose the latter, they believe.

    “The city of Worcester is not responsible for Allen’s death,” his sister-in-law, Linda McKeon, said in an e-mail to the Telegram & Gazette. “Neither is his family. The disease of alcoholism is responsible, just as surely as if Allen had died of cancer.”

    The trouble started early — Allen grew up in an abusive household in Rochdale and his father often poured hard liquor into his bottle to placate him, according to Mrs. McKeon’s e-mail. One afternoon, police found his mother, Betty, badly beaten and tied to a chair. His father was ordered to stay away, the e-mail said. He did, and never returned.

    Betty remarried and had seven more children — three girls and four boys.

    “Allen was always surrounded by love and laughter in his home,” Mrs. McKeon explained in the e-mail. “(He) was offered and given everything he needed to grow and become whatever he desired in life.”

    As a youth, he worked at his stepfather’s general store, and was described as a meticulous dresser who spent long hours in front of the mirror. According to his family, he was good looking, clean-cut and popular with young ladies.

    Things changed, however, when Allen and one of his brothers, Paul, enlisted in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. Allen, because of his asthma, was honorably discharged, his family said. He began drinking and, at age 21, tried to rob a gas station. He was sent to jail for several years.

    “Allen’s (step)father and mother were broken hearted,” his sister-in-law explained in the e-mail. “Yet, he would pile his other children into his big, old station wagon and make trips to prison to visit his son. They visited and wrote Allen all the time.”

    After that, Allen served two other prison sentences, and frequently lived on the streets, family members said. He periodically reappeared and had “very short” periods of sobriety. Ultimately, though, he’d disappear again. His last known place of residence was Brockton, his brother said.

    “Even if we found him, he just wanted money to drink,” James McKeon explained. “He’d tell me right out, ‘I need money for a drink, that’s what I want to do.’ ”

    It was a hard cycle, his brother admitted, because the family was moved to help, but untrusting. Allen would often steal from them and, on one occasion, smoked crack cocaine in front of his young nieces and nephews, James McKeon explained.

    “Every time we put our hand out, we just got bit again,” he said.

    The last time his family saw him was in November, when he showed up unannounced and claimed to be living in a halfway house. James, who also suffered from alcoholism until 15 years ago, told him to get help and offered to bring him to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

    “That’s what you gotta do,” James said. “Some people just can’t grab on to it.”

    Despite his struggle with alcoholism, James described his brother as a handsome man with a great sense of humor.

    “(He was) just a nice guy,” he said. “We didn’t get to see much of that.”

    To honor Mr. McKeon, a funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. today inside the PIP Shelter, 701 Main Street. Gary Richards, pastor of Aldersgate United Methodist Church, will deliver the service.

    Peter Stefan, neighborhood advocate and funeral director at Graham, Putnam & Mahoney funeral home said he will present the city with an American flag in honor of Mr. McKeon, and ask that Worcester dedicate a day to honor its homeless population.

    Donations can be made in lieu of flowers to the Worcester Homeless Action Committee, Dismas House, P.O. Box 30125, Worcester MA 01603.


  2. #2
    Forum Member DaSharkie's Avatar
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    While I hate to see homeless folks anywhere, many (note that I did not say most or all) are ravaged by drugs and booze. Like any addiction, you cannot force recovery on the addicts. Every addict has to make the choice themselves, and often tiems they hit a rock, bottom point.

    After my own experiences and education, I have come to realize that either people quit cold turkey, hit rock bottom and realize there is a better way, or die. Often times people slip back into the abyss of drugs and booze.

    Mental health disorders do not help this situation out at all either.

    Thankfully, this man's family realizes this - even if other people want to push thier agenda on it.


    I have worked in Worcester, and did much of my Paramedic ride time for school with Worcester EMS (a phenominal organization by the way.) Worcester is typical of a New England old mill town that is stuck in a rut. City hall is notorious for having drunks adn homeless people passed out on the lawn and steps.

    It is quite sad overall.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

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    Actually, have to say Sharkie, since if you ever step foot back in the People's Republic...at least drive through there again!

    Worcester ain't no Boston yet, but it sure is on the upswing.

    Most of my jobs since '92 have been in or around there.

    Looking at what's happened over the last 10, and especially 5 years is starting to look amazing compared to what was there before.

  4. #4
    Forum Member DaSharkie's Avatar
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    I do avoid Massachusetts as much as possible. Other than the in-laws, there is just nothing there for me.........Well the New Balance Store in Boston and Bertucci's.

    I haven't been to Worcester in a couple years since I moved. It has improved greatly and still has a long way to go, but things will get better.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

    The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.

    "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." - New York Judge Gideon Tucker

    "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." - Dave Barry

    www.daveramsey.com www.clarkhoward.com www.heritage.org

  5. #5
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    Default Very sad ...

    This family tells it like it is. The bleeding hearts just don't get it.

    Homelessness is widespread EVERYWHERE, rich city, poor neighborhood, small town, large suburb, USA, Canada, Timbuktu .... makes no difference.

    All homeless people are not addicts or alcoholics (covering my *** in case someone takes a shot at the way I worded the first part of my post).

    I agree, Dal. Good on the family for understanding it all.
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  6. #6
    Forum Member ThNozzleman's Avatar
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    All homeless people are not addicts or alcoholics (covering my *** in case someone takes a shot at the way I worded the first part of my post).
    And yet, some people still feel the need to post stories like this that make it easy to blame the homeless themselves. Why? Is it an attempt to actually address the problem? To help these people? To do even a little to make their miserable lives more comfortable?
    This family tells it like it is. The bleeding hearts just don't get it.
    No, you don't "get it." What's your solution? Let them die in the cold? I mean, it's their fault anyway, right? For whatever reason, these people need help...and for you to take a cheap shot at the many people who are actually out there trying to help them is pretty pathetic.

  7. #7
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    Sorry Nozz, but I'm not sure what we're supposed to do.

    The day he died, he had been transported to the city's "wet" shelter (the one that allows people to stay even if they're currently intoxicated or high).

    And then he checked himself out.

    Unless you re-criminalize homelessness and mental illness, how do you force people to accept treatment?

    I posted it because there are people who view any homeless as failures of society, and will run up the flag pole an unfortunate situation like this to say, "We're not doing enough!". When in reality, it's not a failure of society, it's a failure of an individual who has repeatedly chosen not to accept the help.

  8. #8
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleman
    And yet, some people still feel the need to post stories like this that make it easy to blame the homeless themselves. Why? Is it an attempt to actually address the problem? To help these people? To do even a little to make their miserable lives more comfortable?

    No, you don't "get it." What's your solution? Let them die in the cold? I mean, it's their fault anyway, right? For whatever reason, these people need help...and for you to take a cheap shot at the many people who are actually out there trying to help them is pretty pathetic.
    Some people choose to live on the streets. Yes, we can help some of them, but not the ones who don't want to be helped. Where did I say it's "their" fault? Or that I would rather see someone die out in the cold?

    My post was not meant as a "cheap shot" at anyone. Have these college kids who expressed outrage at the City "done" anything to help the homeless problem? Have they gone to their local shelters or soup kitchens to volunteer their time? Have they handed out blankets on the street when a bad storm is approaching? Have they tried to implement a plan to reduce homelessness? Have any of them experienced homelessness themselves, or been close to it? I have enormous respect for all private citizens and public service agencies who work with those less fortunate. Don't put words in my mouth.
    September 11th - Never Forget

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  9. #9
    Forum Member ThNozzleman's Avatar
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    Some people choose to live on the streets. Yes, we can help some of them, but not the ones who don't want to be helped. Where did I say it's "their" fault? Or that I would rather see someone die out in the cold?
    I took exception with the "bleeding hearts not getting it." Since you know they aren't "getting it", then you surely are, right? I then asked what your solution would be.
    My post was not meant as a "cheap shot" at anyone. Have these college kids who expressed outrage at the City "done" anything to help the homeless problem? Have they gone to their local shelters or soup kitchens to volunteer their time? Have they handed out blankets on the street when a bad storm is approaching? Have they tried to implement a plan to reduce homelessness? Have any of them experienced homelessness themselves, or been close to it? I have enormous respect for all private citizens and public service agencies who work with those less fortunate. Don't put words in my mouth.
    I don't know if they have, or not. But to accuse the "bleeding hearts" of "not getting it" is a little harsh and generalized, especially when it's mostly them at ground zero helping these people. I'm not putting words in your mouth. You wrote it. I'm sure you'll find thousands of "bleeding hearts" that "get it" just fine.
    Sorry Nozz, but I'm not sure what we're supposed to do.
    No situation is ever exactly the same. People and their families wind up homeless for different reasons. Many of these people end up being beyond helping themselves. Regardless, taking a pot shot at "bleeding hearts" was uncalled for. I sure wouldn't accuse people who work in the field to attempt to give these people some food and a warm place to sleep of "not getting it."
    I posted it because there are people who view any homeless as failures of society, and will run up the flag pole an unfortunate situation like this to say, "We're not doing enough!". When in reality, it's not a failure of society, it's a failure of an individual who has repeatedly chosen not to accept the help.
    We should take care of those who cannot take care of themselves, regardless of the situation. People make mistakes all the time. For someone who has never been addicted to drugs or alcohol, it may be hard to actually understand the power it holds over someone. We have a responsibility as a society to take care of those who are mentally disabled, because they can't do it for themselves. And America could certainly be doing a lot more for the homeless. Nothing ****es me off than to hear some jerk like Rush Limbaugh making light of the situation by claiming that the "bleeding hearts" just don't "get it" and belittling their every effort to get these people some help.
    And that folks is the opinion of a "bleeding heart" who DOES get it.

  10. #10
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Don't Get It??................

    Some who CLAIM to "Get IT" Don't. Period. The Family of the deceased doesn't blame anybody else, they just feel bad that their loved one couldn't get away from his problems. THEY ARE RIGHT!! UNFORTUNATELY, IT IS PERFECTLY LEGAL TO DRINK YOURSELF TO DEATH IN AMERICA. Years ago, we set out on a course of "Political Correctness" that has basically allowed people to commit suicide. It was, once upon a time, illegal to be drunk in public. Things like sleeping on a park bench would get you thirty days in the can. If you were mentally unbalanced enough, you were in an institution, regardless of your personal desires. BUT YOU DIDN'T FREEZE TO DEATH SLEEPING IN THE PARK. Why am I so outspoken on this? How did I get to be an expert?? May 28th, 2005, I lost my oldest daughter to Alcohol, despite everything a loving family could do to stop it. YES, THE BLEEDING HEARTS STILL DON'T GET IT.
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  11. #11
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    My "bleeding hearts" comment was a cynical view directed at people who generally mouth off about a "cause" without doing anything about it themselves. Perhaps it was the wording "college kid set" that put that image in my head.

    The "bleeding hearts" are not the ones down at the shelters or on the street helping out. The "bleeding hearts" are not the ones trying to come up with solutions. Those are the dedicated, caring people. The "bleeding hearts" type I am referring to are the ones that are most vocal about "doing something about the city's homeless problem" when something high profile happens, like a man freezing to death in a city park, but when a new shelter is to open they are the first to protest against it ... "not in my neighborhood", "not on my street".


    Yes, that happened here (except the fictional bleeding heart I used as an example to illustrate my point). We did lose a homeless man on a cold night this winter. And a new shelter was delayed being opened downtown because the retailers on the same street were worried that their businesses would suffer.
    Last edited by RspctFrmCalgary; 02-27-2006 at 10:02 AM.
    September 11th - Never Forget

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