In my job as a social media manager for a non-profit org (5 hours a week, officially) I run across info and opinions I wouldn’t normally seek out.
Since I am trying to get local support for the non-profit, I have “friended” a lot of prominent people in my city. But they don’t know it’s me, Maureen. I do it behind the mask of the non-profit. Anyway, I often see opinions about homeless people. For some reason, someone will just sort of go off on a rant about the topic one day, then dozens of people chime in.
It seems like the mayor of my city, at least understands the difference between the different types of “homeless” people. There are the substance abusers, the mentally ill and finally, the people like me who just don’t (or won’t?) make enough money to get a place to live. He would like to help all but he and most, have little sympathy for drug addicts/alcoholics. I can understand this. I too, have had my frustrations with them.
Still though, what I have learned is that it’s a vicious cycle. It’s hard to get off drugs/alcohol when your life sux really badly and you don’t see an end in sight. Say you got off drugs and got a job. what if the job didn’t pay enough to get you an apartment or even a room to rent. What would be the point of that and could you even keep the job anyway? Are they going to let you store all your earthly possessions next to your cash register or in your employee locker? I doubt it. Are you going to be able to stay clean without an apartment?
Also, alcohol helps people sleep at night. It’s noisy on the street. Alsohol can also help you get through a long, slow day.
Methamphetamines (the are uppers) help you if you don’t have a sleep spot where you can stay all night and you have to keep moving around. Once you come down from the meth, you will sleep a lot. Hopefully that happens in the daytime so maybe you can sleep in a park.
I don’t know all this from personal experience but from what I’ve heard. I will admit though, sometimes, when the library closes early on the weekend nights, alcohol abuse is tempting, just to pass the time. So far though, I’ve resisted overdoing it. I don’t need more problems.
What do you all thing about what I’ve written? Do you think drug addicts/alcoholics deserve any pity? Any help? How much and in what way should we help these folks?