Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hats off for real help for the homeless

I can't say it any better than this, so I won't even try:

Hats off to those behind a sharp decline in the number of homeless living on our city streets.  The 2010 homeless count tallied just over 2,400 citizens bunking on bus benches, diving in dumpsters and picking bottles in the alley — 2,421 people is still a huge, unacceptable number, but it is a decrease from the last round- up in ’08 of about 650 people.
That’s good. And how are they doing it? By acknowledging the differences between homeless and bums. Homeless can be helped. Bums can’t. You can lead a bum to water but you can’t make him bathe. Bums will always be homeless, but homeless aren’t always bums. Ya follow?

Programs like the twice annual Homeless Connect at the Shaw Conference Centre are making the difference. Let’s continue to focus our spending there — on the people that are a haircut, toothbrush, birth certificate, some Internet, legal counsel or maybe a clean shirt away from turning the corner and getting a job and a roof.
This Christmas season there’ll be Christmas dinner drives to ensure that everyone gets turkey, cranberries and gravy on the 25th. It’s a nice gesture, but funds can be spent — and are being spent — more effectively to help the homeless. Keep up the good work, Samaritans.
There are some people who want help, and there are others who don't.  I agree with Jack - lets use the resources to help those who want it first, and THEN worry about the others who don't.

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