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Zee End

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Today’s post is my final in the 2015 annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

a-z 2015 Z

My theme this year was An Intimate Look at the Homeless and Mental Health Epidemic in America which happens to be the subtitle of my next book, The Stranger in My Recliner. The book is the true story of, Sophie.  Sophie is the eighty-year-old homeless woman that my husband brought home one night. She lived with us for nearly three –years. The night that she walked through our front door changed me.

That book will be out later this year.

So; I decided this year’s challenge posts would be on programs that actually help the homeless and the mentally ill, programs that don’t, when did homelessness become a problem and what or who caused it, famous homeless people, famous people that help the homeless and the mentally ill, what you can do that will help in a real way and a whole alphabet more…

Zee End

I thank you so much for following along this month with Sophie’s story. I hope her story inspires you to do something to help the homeless and or mentally ill in your community by writing letters to your community leaders, politicians and churches insisting on homes not hospitals or jails for the homeless.

If you have any suggestions or want to share what you have done please post on twitter using #sophieschallenge.

Happy May and thank you again for following along,

Doreen

I’m one of Lisa’s Live Wires! Lisa was a fabulous challenge co-host Lisa Buie-Collard

My fellow live wires:

Rhonda Albom – Bob R. MilneTamera NarayanStephanie FarisHeather McCubbin

*I am a day late because I was admitted to the hospital. I will be fine, cannot wait to get home!

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Victim…

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Today’s post is part of the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Each day of April (except Sunday,) we write a post corresponding with that day’s letter of the alphabet. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

a-z 2015 V

My theme for this years’ A-Z Challenge is An Intimate Look at the Homeless and Mental Health Epidemic in America which just happens to be the subtitle of my next book, The Stranger in My Recliner. The book is the true story of Sophie.  She was the eighty-year-old homeless woman that my husband brought home one night. She lived with us for nearly three –years. The book will be out this fall.

VICTIM

21-year-old, Daequon Norman is a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. He’s must use a wheelchair and has no verbal communication skills. Sometime during the first week of April Daequon’s mother, Nyia Parler walked him, in his wheel chair into the woods. She proceeded to dump him out of the wheel chair, cover him with a blanket and give him a bible. Then she turned her back and walked away. She went to Maryland to spend the week with her boyfriend.

Wheelchair in woods

On the night of April 10th, Fitzroy Anderson spotted two dear and followed them down a trail. He discovered Daequon and called 911.

Parler checked herself into the hospital in Maryland where she stayed for more than a week for an undisclosed …

Daequon remains in the hospital.

Parler was released from the hospital, arrested and extradited to Philadelphia where she was charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment, neglect of a care-dependent person, unlawful restraint, kidnapping and false imprisonment.

She remains in jail unable to post 2.5 million dollars bail.

For a minute I felt sorry for the mother. Having a child with special needs is a 24/7 extremely difficult job with very little down time. The child does not ‘grow-up’ and go to college. There is no empty nest.

I have a grandson with special-needs. He is all I could think of when I read about what happened to Daequon. My daughter and son-in-law work very hard to keep a support system together and to keep their relationship strong. They amaze me.

Services and support were available to Nyia and her son. Actually receiving those services is a nightmare full of hoops to jump through. She made a choice not to do the jumping.

I don’t feel sorry for Nyia anymore. What do you think?

Thank you for reading,

Doreen

I’m one of Lisa’s Live Wires! Lisa is a challenge co-host Lisa Buie-Collard

A-Z 2015 Minion Badge

My fellow live wires:

Rhonda Albom –   Bob R. Milne –   Tamera Narayan –  Stephanie Faris –   Heather McCubbin –   Randi Lee

 

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Lady Parts…

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Today’s post is part of the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Each day of April (except Sunday,) we write a post corresponding with that day’s letter of the alphabet. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

a-z 2015 U

My theme for this years’ A-Z Challenge is An Intimate Look at the Homeless and Mental Health Epidemic in America which just happens to be the subtitle of my next book, The Stranger in My Recliner. The book is the true story of Sophie.  She was the eighty-year-old homeless woman that my husband brought home one night. She lived with us for nearly three –years. The book will be out this fall.

Uterus

When Sophie was with us, every few months or so she would have severe pain in her lower abdomen. She would lie in the recliner and moan or cry and sometimes even scream in agony. She adamantly refused to let me take her to the hospital or to her doctor. She said her doctor told her that her ‘lady’ parts were falling down. It was heartbreaking to see her in so much pain and so frustrating that she wouldn’t go for help.

WTH…

I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why she wouldn’t get those parts put back up where they belonged.

And why have I never heard that such a thing could happen. It must be very rare.

Through the years I have had my share of troubles so when I got to the age of 50 with all -of -my ‘girl’ parts still in -tact I thought I dodged a bullet.

I was the fool that looked forward to menopause. I hated to be cold so hot flashes sounded pretty good. No more painful periods, fibroids, endometriosis or PMS. Nobody told me menopause was going to be like being drug through hell.

It was such a relief to get the hot flashes and the migraines under control and get back to my mid-life reinvention.

Then I felt a lump. It was just a little one but scary none the less. My gynecologist office did not have an appointment available till June. Nothing is urgent to these people anymore yet we keep hearing about early detection.

Then my ‘lady’ parts fell down. I called my primary doctor because I was home alone and terrified. The PA had me do a few things and she said it is most likely uterine prolapsed and that it was very common. If it is SO common why haven’t I heard about it other than Sophie? Does nobody talk about this stuff?

Normal:

Uterine Normal

 

Prolapse:

obgyn-uterine-prolapse

The PA scheduled me a GYN appointment for Monday. I want them to take all of my lady parts out, I quit!

Being a woman is definitely not for sissies.

Thank you for reading,

Doreen

I’m one of Lisa’s Live Wires! Lisa is a challenge co-host Lisa Buie-Collard

A-Z 2015 Minion Badge

My fellow live wires:

Rhonda Albom –   Bob R. Milne –   Tamera Narayan –  Stephanie Faris –   Heather McCubbin –   Randi Lee

Symptoms of Prolapse

 Although your symptoms may differ slightly, you may notice any of the following with a prolapse –

  •  A bulge in your vagina that ranges in size from quite small to very large
  • Discomfort or pressure in your pelvis or vagina
  • Difficulty having a bowel movement
  • Trouble emptying your bladder
  • Pain with intercourse
  • Lower back pain
  • Increased discomfort with long periods of standing
  • Improved discomfort with lying down

The four main types of prolapse

Normal anatomy The bladder, urethra, rectum, and small bowel are located near the vaginal canal.

Cystourethrocele When the wall between the bladder and vagina weakens, the bladder can fall down into the vaginal cavity.

Uterine Prolapse The uterine wall can also slide down into the vagina.

Rectocele Sometimes part of the rectal wall may protrude into the vagina.

Enterocele Small bowel may also herniate into the vaginal wall. This usually occurs in women who have had a hysterectomy.

 

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Quiet Rooms…

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Today’s post is part of the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Each day of April (except Sunday,) we write a post corresponding with that day’s letter of the alphabet. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

a-z 2015 Q

My theme for this years’ A-Z Challenge is An Intimate Look at the Homeless and Mental Health Epidemic in America which just happens to be the subtitle of my next book, The Stranger in My Recliner. The book is the true story of Sophie.  She was the eighty-year-old homeless woman that my husband brought home one night. She lived with us for nearly three –years. The book will be out this fall.

QUIET ROOM

I once told Sophie I just wanted to go up into my quiet room and relax. She told me she hated quiet rooms. Knowing the answer would probably rip my heart out I asked, “why?”

“When that girl beat me up and took all my Elvis collectibles, I asked the manager of the storage place to call the police. She called the police and they took me to the hospital. The officer and the hospital staff did not believe I was beat up because the woman at the storage place told them I was nuts. The cop wouldn’t let me take my stuff.  My grocery bags had everything I owned in them.

Because I was screaming and in pain the nurse in the emergency room sent me to the mental health ward. I kept telling them I was hurt. They put me in a straightjacket and put me in the quiet room. They told me someone would let me out soon. I was in there for twenty-four hours. I peed all over myself and couldn’t talk or see from crying so much. I was more terrified than I was of the junkies in the woods.

My back and my arm hurt so badly.

The next day they told me I could go. I walked out of the hospital wearing wet clothes and it was so cold. I walked to McDonalds to get a burger and some water and went back to the woods.”

The time patients are kept in ‘the quiet room’ or ‘the padded cell’ varies but it could be several days. This is still a common occurrence in America.

WTH

Thank you for reading,

Doreen

I’m one of Lisa’s Live Wires! Lisa is a challenge co-host Lisa Buie-Collard

A-Z 2015 Minion Badge

My fellow live wires:

Rhonda Albom –   Bob R. Milne –   Tamera Narayan –  Stephanie Faris –   Heather McCubbin –   Randi Lee

 

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Pawning off our elderly and mentally ill…

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Today’s post is part of the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Each day of April (except Sunday,) we write a post corresponding with that day’s letter of the alphabet. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

a-z 2015 p

 

My theme for this years’ A-Z Challenge is An Intimate Look at the Homeless and Mental Health Epidemic in America which just happens to be the subtitle of my next book, The Stranger in My Recliner. The book is the true story of Sophie.  She was the eighty-year-old homeless woman that my husband brought home one night. She lived with us for nearly three –years. The book will be out this fall.

 

Pawning off our elderly and mentally ill…

Not that long ago, as a society we locked away our family members that were deemed mentally ill, developmentally challenged or sickly and elderly. We locked them far away from the rest of us and our civilized society. We put them in dark, cold asylums. In the 1500’s prior to having actual asylums to commit them to they were put on asylum ships.  Back then these were known as the ships of fools. These ships roamed the seas and stopped from port to port only to pick up supplies and more fools. Can you imagine who the people were that they hired to work on those ships? I am quite sure they were plucked from the crop of the least employable. Some of the workers were lifelong criminals. They were given the chance to be sentenced to the prison ship or to work on the ship of fools. Why not get rid of two of society’s ills on one ship.

Ship of Fools

 

Some families, although very few back then kept their feebleminded relatives locked away in the attics or the basements of their own homes for their entire lifetimes to protect them and to keep them safe from the horrors of those ships and asylums.

During the 1600 and 1700’s the practice of exiling our mentally ill from ordinary society continued. The purpose of this treatment was to remove and isolate the less desirable from society, rather than to try curing them or at least trying to help them with their symptoms. It wasn’t until the early 1900’s that a more compassionate attitude towards the mentally ill started to emerge but isolation was still the ‘normal’ treatment.

During the 1950’s most of the country’s state hospitals were ordered closed and they literally opened the doors and let everyone out. Homelessness was born.

Today’s post is part of the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Each day of April (except Sunday,) we write a post corresponding with that day’s letter of the alphabet. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

asylum

Women started to enter the workforce around that time too. This left no one to care for aging parents so instead of asylums they built nursing homes. They built beautiful ‘assisted’ living facilities and led us to believe our parents would be well taken care of.

They are not being well taken care of at all. I spend a lot of time working in these facilities. Recently I have been working in the most ‘expensive’ facility in the area. I have seen an elderly man fall and lay on the floor moaning for twenty-minutes before somebody arrived to assist him. The nurse yelled at him. He was sent to the hospital and never returned.

The aides put elderly people on the toilet and leave them sitting for 15-20 minutes sometimes an hour. My client was so tired of sitting she went to get up and fell. They picked her up, put her in her wheel chair and left her alone in her room for 2-hours. I put ice on her bruises and demanded an ambulance, immediately.  I believe it was because ‘the State’ was in the building investigating cases of neglect and they did not want them to see a case first hand.

They are SO lucky she is going to be okay. No they really aren’t lucky because I am on a mission now to see that the management is fired, again. It just happened, 7-months ago. The corruption returned fast.

nursing home

If one of your loved ones is in one of these facilities please visit often and at odd hours. Your loved one is most likely not going to complain. You have to look for other signs. Bruises, weight loss and depression are definitely a sign something is off.

Ask to see the nursing reports, medications sheets and even the aide’s logs of when they were taken to the bathroom, had their positions changed and what they ate. Learn who the facilities ombudsman (the mediator) is so you don’t have to ask when something does go wrong.

Are you caring for an elderly relative? Have you had a bad or a good experience with a nursing, rehabilitation or assisted living facility?

Thank you for reading,

Doreen

I’m one of Lisa’s Live Wires! Lisa is a challenge co-host Lisa Buie-Collard

A-Z 2015 Minion Badge

My fellow live wires:

Rhonda Albom –   Bob R. Milne –   Tamera Narayan –  Stephanie Faris –   Heather McCubbin –   Randi Lee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Organizations that refer to organizations…

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Today’s post is part of the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Each day of April (except Sunday,) we write a post corresponding with that day’s letter of the alphabet. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

a-z 2015 O

My theme for this years’ A-Z Challenge is An Intimate Look at the Homeless and Mental Health Epidemic in America which just happens to be the subtitle of my next book, The Stranger in My Recliner. The book is the true story of Sophie.  She was the eighty-year-old homeless woman that my husband brought home one night. She lived with us for nearly three –years. The book will be out this fall.

Organizations that refer to other organizations

When my husband brought Sophie home I was sure the following day I would be able to find an organization that provided homes for homeless people. It seemed like someone was always collecting money and food for the homeless so I thought it would be a snap.

The first place I called was the Assistance Office. It took three-days to actually speak with a human being. The human being told me because we took Sophie into our home she was no longer considered homeless. Three weeks later he offered fifteen-dollars a month in food stamps and in order to receive those I would be required to sign ‘landlord’ paperwork.

I was so upset I decided to call our congressman’s office. From them I got an e-mail with a list of resources for the homeless. One was the assistance office then the social security office, county organization on aging and a list of shelters.

City Team- For adult men. You need photo ID to stay there. After five-nights they charge five-dollars a night.

Life Center of Eastern Delaware County:  The evening meal program is open to the public and anyone who is hungry can come here to eat.  Thanks to over 40 churches, synagogues, and temples, over 200 meals are served every evening, from 7-8 p.m.  A community shower program is also available every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 am to 2 pm.  Shelter residents receive multiple services, including:

Aids Coalition: testing and counseling every first and third Mondays from 6 – 8 pm

A.A Meetings:  Thursdays 4-6 pm & Saturdays 12 – 1:30 pm

N.A. Meetings:  Sundays 10:30 to 12:30 pm

Life Skills classes on Tuesdays from 2-3:30 each week.

The Life Center also hosts two health clinics, one in the spring and one in the fall, that are open to the public. Nurses from the University of Penn conduct the clinics.

Wesley House Emergency Shelter: Wesley House is located at 701 Madison Street in Chester and contains 17 rooms for families or single women.  It is typically at full capacity of 70 people on any given day and serves an average of 240 individuals (75 households) per year.  Wesley House has a state-of-the-art computer training room for clients to improve their computer skills, search for employment, and secure permanent housing. Financial literacy (Money Smarts) classes are offered here as well as the Catholic Social Services’ Out of Poverty Program, enrichment classes, nutrition classes, medical assessments through Horizon House, respite care for needy children, toys during the holiday season, and Planned Parenthood classes.

COUPLES: SHELTER POLICIES

Shelter programs have varying policies regarding placement accommodations for “couples”. Most

programs require that “couples” work together on a Family Service Plan. Below is a brief description

of the policies at each shelter.

Homeless Shelter delco

Warming Center - Couples are accepted, but must sleep separately.

Connect-by-Night - Couples are accepted, but must sleep separately.

Life Center - Couples are accepted, but must sleep separately.

Wesley House and Family Mgmt. Center – These two shelters have the appropriate

accommodations to allow couples to reside in the same unit if they present as a couple and agree to a joint service plan.

And the list went on. The problem with the shelters was every one of them was in a bad area, they did not open until 7:45 at night and most of them required you to leave by 8:00am.

I tried a few other politicians’ offices and received the same list.

If you are an 80-year-old homeless woman with no car and no cell phone how do you call all of these places? How do you get there? It was so frustrating.

I didn’t really want Sophie living with us but I was not going to leave her at any of those dangerous places, no way!

I came across this agency in Arkansas. This is another organization that ‘gets it.’ Homeless people need homes.

Homeless agency ROCK of HOPE

Ending Homelessness…One Life at a Time

Rock of Hope is a faith based charity that is working to eliminate homelessness in Central Arkansas by creating a network of love and support for our homeless friends. We are pioneering a new approach to help participants achieve a sustainable exit from homelessness.

Our unique approach helps our homeless friends by matching each one with a personal “champion” who becomes involved in their lives and guides them through each step of the journey toward independent living. This personal approach, along with other services such as short term transitional housing and transportation services, is creating a lasting impact and reducing the homeless population of Central Arkansas one life at a time.

For more information or to donate to this charity: http://therockofhope.org

Thank you for reading.

Doreen

I’m one of Lisa’s Live Wires! Lisa is a challenge co-host Lisa Buie-Collard

A-Z 2015 Minion Badge

My fellow live wires:

Rhonda Albom –   Bob R. Milne –   Tamera Narayan –  Stephanie Faris –   Heather McCubbin –   Randi Lee

 

 

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Night Falls…

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Today’s post is part of the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Each day of April (except Sunday,) we write a post corresponding with that day’s letter of the alphabet. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

a-z 2015 N

My theme for this years’ A-Z Challenge is An Intimate Look at the Homeless and Mental Health Epidemic in America which just happens to be the subtitle of my next book, The Stranger in My Recliner. The book is the true story of Sophie.  She was the eighty-year-old homeless woman that my husband brought home one night. She lived with us for nearly three –years. The book will be out this fall.

 

Night Falls

It was cold. The sharp pains in her back and hand reminded her. Trying not to move anything but her eyes she scanned. She saw him and felt relief and fear. Getting up was painful but she had to make sure he was breathing. They both had to get out of there before the school kids walked by, saw them and got scared. The mothers would call the police. She did not want to scare the kids and she definitely did not want to go to the hospital or even worse, jail.

Frank moaned, struggling to get on his feet. Sophie shushed him. The drug addicts were still passed out. They gathered their shopping bags and shuffled their way to the main road. The black sky just under the trees turned gray for a moment and then a bright orange. They shuffled faster. Shelly would be arriving any minute. The thought of hot coffee helped them pick up the pace.

Sunrise

They sat at the booth enjoying the warmth from the sun, soaking up every ray hoping the memory would keep them warm tonight. After lunch Sophie would leave Frank at McDonalds and she would go to the bank, to the storage facility and to the Goodwill store. They needed blankets. There was no time to cry. She found two thick blankets that were reasonably clean. She couldn’t wait to show them to Frank, she was so worried about him.

She could see the red flashing lights ten blocks ahead and knew. Now she was completely alone.

Ambulance lights

She shuffled back down the side street. Her fingers cramped around the plastic shopping bag handles. The sun was already turning bright orange. She had to get back before it fell behind the trees. She could not remember a time in her 80-years when she felt so terrified.

Again, night falls.

Thank you for reading,

Doreen

I’m one of Lisa’s Live Wires! Lisa is a challenge co-host Lisa Buie-Collard

My fellow live wires:

Rhonda Albom –   Bob R. Milne –   Tamera Narayan –  Stephanie Faris –   Heather McCubbin –   Randi Lee

 

 

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Money, Money, Money…

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Today’s post is part of the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Each day of April (except Sunday,) we write a post corresponding with that day’s letter of the alphabet. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

a-z 2015 M

 

Today we are 1/2 way through the alphabet!

 

My theme for this years’ A-Z Challenge is An Intimate Look at the Homeless and Mental Health Epidemic in America which just happens to be the subtitle of my next book, The Stranger in My Recliner. The book is the true story of Sophie.  She was the eighty-year-old homeless woman that my husband brought home one night. She lived with us for nearly three –years. The book will be out this fall.

 

Money, Money, Money

How much does homelessness cost taxpayers and how much will it cost to eradicate the homeless problem?

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image138166

If you have been following my A-Z Challenge posts you know that I get so frustrated when people choose to complicate the answer to the problem of homelessness.

Homeless people need homes, period. Once they have a home they are not homeless and the problem is solved, period.

A lot of government officials, churches and charity’s still believe that raising and spending millions of tax payer and private dollars on shelters, referral agencies and programs makes perfect sense. It makes no sense at all. I think the truth is those people believe it is easier to control homeless people when they are all living under one roof. It reminds me of the way minorities were housed not that many shameful years ago. Let’s keep them all in one area so we can keep an eye on them.

progect housing

The fact is a homeless person living on the street can cost up to $80,000 a year. The costs comes from emergency room visits, hospital stays, jail stays, first responders, addiction treatment, mental health treatment and state or county assistance.

To house a homeless person in a shelter for a year the cost averages around $42,000 a year. Because they have a roof over their head and are eating more regularly they do not get as sick. Shelters are expensive to run so a lot of the cost is administrative but don’t get me started on that foolishness.

To place a homeless person in an apartment would cost $9,600 a year. To provide them with a social worker is $2000 a year (social worker makes $40,000 a year and has 20 clients.) Add $1000 a month for expenses and we are up to $23,600 a year.

Kudos to, Beyonce for realizing that homes are the answer and donating 7 million dollars over many years in the Houston area as part of that city’s 100,000 homes campaign. Her and her husband Jay Z are brilliant business people. They were not going to throw their money at the problem and hope it helped. They solved the problem.

Beyonce’s-Temenos Place Apartments has space available for 43 individuals, and houses men and women who otherwise would likely be homeless. The facility supports its residents by providing meals, job readiness training, HIV/AIDS screenings and case management services, with an overall goal for residents to reach full self-sufficiency.

Beyonces homeless apartments

Houston has seen significant progress in its fight against homelessness. A 2014 Houston Homeless Count showed that on a given night about 5,351 people in the city were living without stable shelter — a 37 percent drop from 2011.

There are so many misconceptions about the homeless. The most ridiculous to me are they choose to live on the streets and they deserve to be there.  Being homeless is terrifying and dehumanizing. The one thing a homeless person might have left is pride and that pride makes it difficult for them to ask for help.

To learn more about Beyonce’s, project or to donate: http://www.temenoscdc.org

Thank you for reading,

Doreen

I’m one of Lisa’s Live Wires! Lisa is a challenge co-host Lisa Buie-Collard

My fellow live wires:

Rhonda Albom –   Bob R. Milne –   Tamera Narayan –  Stephanie Faris –   Heather McCubbin –   Randi Lee

 

 

A-Z 2015 Minion Badge

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Jails, Justice and Homelessness…

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Today’s post is part of the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

a-z 2015 j

My theme this year is An Intimate Look at the Homeless and Mental Health Epidemic in America which just happens to be the subtitle of my next book, The Stranger in My Recliner. The book is the true story of Sophie.  She was the eighty-year-old homeless woman that my husband brought home one night. She lived with us for nearly three –years. The book will be out this fall.

Jails, Justice and Homelessness

Did you know that if you become homeless you are pretty much considered a criminal by law enforcement and most communities? It is illegal pretty much everywhere to sleep outside, to loiter to beg and now it is becoming illegal to feed the homeless people on public property.

Homeless on bench

 

These laws that cause the homeless to be jailed and processed through the justice system do nothing to alleviate the problem of homelessness. In fact the fines and court cost pile up causing the homeless to be repeatedly jailed because they cannot pay the fines which results in higher fines, more court costs and this only causes the homeless person to be in an unending cycle of poverty. It also sucks up government, political and private resources that could be used elsewhere.

One community in Florida spent more than five-million-dollars over a five-year period jailing, prosecuting and re-jailing the same thirty-six people over and over. That doesn’t count the other millions spent on ambulances, emergency rooms and mental health facilities. It makes no sense morally and less sense fiscally. The town could have rented thirty-six apartments, provided thirty-six social workers, mental health services, addiction services, financial counseling and most likely well before five-years would have money left over and could have had thirty-six tax- paying, upstanding members of their community.

Homeless arrested

It is amazing what a hand up instead of a hand down can do for those whose self-esteem and confidence have been beaten out of them mentally and sometimes physically. Soup kitchens and shelters do not make the homeless feel good about themselves. Most of them are dangerous places. Sure they might be a band-aid but the only people that feel good about them are the people that think these places actually make a difference. They really don’t.

Our police communities are overwhelmed. Their budgets and manpower have been cut severely. They deal with violent criminals, domestic violence situations, child abusers, are the first on scene to deadly accidents seeing horrific sights, witness young people killing each other and they get calls about homeless people. One homeless person sleeping in a park can generate hundreds of calls to the police from mothers walking the children in the park, employees eating lunch the park, vendors trying to do business, dog walkers and joggers. Not all homeless people are mentally ill and not all mentally ill people are dangerous but let’s face facts, some are. All of those people that call the police have a right and deserve to use the public park the way it was intended to be used without fear.

The homeless also have rights. The police routinely do what they call sweeps. They go through public properties and confiscate or destroy the possessions of homeless people and their shelters with the hope the homeless will move on. If they don’t they are arrested. The UN has called the United States out on this practice. It does violate the homeless person’s fourth-amendment right to illegal search and seizure.

Three states have introduced bills to stop this practice. California, Oregon and Colorado are trying to ensure people can eat, pray and occupy a motor vehicle as long as they are not obstructing passage or are on private property without the owners’ permission.

Most people think the answer is complicated. It’s not. Homeless people need homes. That is pretty simple.

Homeless population numbers

What can you do to help?

Only donate to programs that work towards permanent housing for the homeless.

Before donating to a shelter ask what their policies are. Do young woman have to prove they are at risk on the street before they can stay? Do they accept pets? Do they have programs that lead to permanent housing? What is their crime rate? Are they open 24/7 or do the homeless have to leave first thing in the morning? If you are not comfortable with the answers do not give them your money. Find a program that actually offers a hand up.

Thank you for reading,

Doreen

I’m one of Lisa’s Live Wires! Lisa is a challenge co-host Lisa Buie-Collard.

A-Z 2015 Minion Badge

I am excited to be working with this bunch of fabulous bloggers …

Rhonda Albom –   Bob R. Milne –   Tamera Narayan –  Stephanie Faris –   Heather McCubbin –   Randi Lee

*homeless man on bench: *Photograph: Tony Eves / Alamy/Alamy

 

 

 

 

 

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Indigent…

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Today’s post is part of the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

a-z 2015 i

My theme this year is An Intimate Look at the Homeless and Mental Health Epidemic in America which just happens to be the subtitle of my next book, The Stranger in My Recliner. The book is the true story of Sophie.  She was the eighty-year-old homeless woman that my husband brought home one night. She lived with us for nearly three –years. The book will be out this fall.

Indigent-

adjective (Formal) destitute, poor, impoverished, needy, penniless, poverty-stricken, down and out, so poor as to lack even necessities; very needy,in want, down at heel (informal), impecunious, dirt-poor, straitened, on the breadline, short, flat broke (informal), penurious, necessitous

One of my readers called me the other night and told me this story. She needed a place to live for herself and her elderly mother. A friend suggested she take over the lease on her trailer. The woman moved herself, her mother, her dog and a couple of smaller animals into the trailer.

Right from day one she had problems with the landlord. He told her he wanted her to move. He had someone he wanted to offer the lease to. Months went by and he continued to harass her and her mother. She reached out to her county agency on aging and her county representatives for help with the harassment. Their idea of helping her was to take custody of her mother and assign a guardian. She was placed in a horrible place. The woman was then served eviction papers, had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized. She called animal rescue from the mental ward and asked them to go get her pets. She got a little better and was moved into transitional housing. She was fined by animal control ($500.00) for leaving her animals.

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The woman lost all of her belongings, her pets and her mother.

My heart was breaking listening to this story.

This woman was indigent in every sense of the word but she was strong, educated and determined. Every agency that was supposed to give her a hand up instead did everything they could to keep her under the soles of their shoes.

hand-up

Should the woman have been prepared for a rainy day, had some savings, a support network? Of course she should and she did. She was prepared for the rainy day not a tsunami.

The good news is this woman is on her way back to the top. She no longer wants to be a victim and she doesn’t want to fight organizations and politicians anymore. She is moving forward and plans to start a rescue for pets left in the situation her beloved pets were in when she was indigent, hospitalized and completely hopeless.

She is speaking this weekend, let’s wish her luck!

Doreen

I’m one of Lisa’s Live Wires! Lisa is a challenge co-host Lisa Buie-Collard.

A-Z 2015 Minion Badge

 I am excited to be working with this bunch of fabulous bloggers …

Rhonda Albom –   Bob R. Milne –   Tamera Narayan –  Stephanie Faris –   Heather McCubbin –   Randi Lee

 

 

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