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Laurie Anthony

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   Recent articles by
Laurie Anthony

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Thoughts on Homelessness
By Laurie Anthony   

Last edited: Wednesday, July 02, 2003
Posted: Wednesday, July 02, 2003

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Some thoughts about the importance of compassion!

Compassion for the homeless is the easiest, yet the most difficult challenge to embrace. We feel sadness for someone who has nothing, but because the homeless represent the lowest place a person can go, our feelings of self-righteousness mask the compassion we might feel. “If people look past the tattered clothes, they'll see in most a shiny, happy soul that belongs to someone's someone—a father's daughter, a mother's son. They'll see that all are human and want to know joy and love and a tender touch. But that's not how they're viewed. Sitting there on the stoop, they can see you looking down your nose at them and only noticing their dirty, shabby clothes. You sneer and they feel like they may as well be on death row.”

One of the most emotionally damaging aspects of homelessness is the lack of respect experienced by homeless people in their dealings with individuals and agencies. They typically have lead lives that have been characterized by letdowns and disappointments. Trust develops when the homeless person is treated with respect, acceptance, and genuine concern. It takes time for a relationship based on trust to develop. But when you have developed rapport with an individual, you can offer your assistance. It may be as simple as providing clean clothes, or it may entail setting up a job interview, securing lost documents, or making a doctor’s appointment. Don’t assume that your help is welcome. A homeless person may respond defensively—“How dare you think you’re better than me,” or “No one can tell me what to do,” using anger to maintain control over their situation. Someone may also accept help numbly, with seemingly little appreciation.

Web Site: Another Way to Help the Homeless

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Reviewed by Regina Pounds 7/4/2003
A country which likes to present itself as the greatest in the world but allows its citizens to become homeless ought to 'hang its head in shame.'

Thanks for posting this.
Reviewed by Regina Pounds 7/2/2003
Thank you! I was speaking to a homeless couple last Sunday, and they complained about the insulting attitude displayed by passersby and others, particularly Japanese tourists.

They were evicted from their apartment after three and one-half years because they were short $186 in rent. They got 5 days notice. There was no lease, and they were treated as transients under the hotel law - the lived in an apartment hotel. What happened was that he had become critically ill. His wife was told he might be terminal. He underwent radical surgery. He has recovered. But his employer of seven years had terminated him.

So the couple now lives in the park, where they "hustle" a living everyday trading and selling things that people give them or things they find. They will not go to the shelter because it is dangerous. They made the same allegations that other homeless people have made to me, that management of the shelter is stealing money, taking the good food and leaving slop for the homeless, driving fancy cars and otherwise living high off the hog on the donations of various institutions.

Reviewed by Regina Pounds 7/2/2003
Excellent little article. Even little things and acts can make a big difference.

Books by
Laurie Anthony

Real Stories, Untold Truths

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Have a Great One! A Homeless Man's Story

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Modern labour theories and practice. Covers issues like employment, unemployment, migration, brain drain, entrepreneurship, workaholism, and trade unions. ..  
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