A conversation on a train: Social Justice Superheroes the Mythbusters Tackle the “Lazy Homeless” Stereotype | End Homelessness | Change.org

We’re on the train on our way home. We strike up a conversation with someone sitting next to us. He’s wearing a suit and has a Bluetooth in his ear, an iPhone in his hand and a laptop on his lap. He works for an insurance company in New York City. He asks what we do, and after we describe our careers, the conversation takes an interesting turn.

Guess where the conversation on the train went!

The guy told the author of the post we are quoting about his sister:

He tells us about his younger sister, who is living in North Carolina and has six children. One has developmental delays. Last year her husband lost his job and hasn’t been able to find work. He started drinking heavily six months ago. Three months ago he said he was going to Texas to find work because that’s where the jobs are. She never heard from him again.

Even the guy whose sister is having this trouble, who is homeless because of the reasons above says:

“It must be hard helping people in your line of work because most of them are just looking for a handout and trying to game the system. Then we pay higher taxes to pay for them.”

Once again we decided to do a story on stereotypes. Finding two retweets coming from our twitter list of various resources & interesting peeps we follow in just a few seconds that dealt with these articles / posts they found, we just had to share both of them today!

But really, the point is that here is someone who has a sister facing many of the issues our clients do, and yet the power of the “lazy homeless” myth is so strong that he feels compelled to bring it up during the same discussion when he’s seeking help?

The other from the Pueblo Colorado paper deals with people who “want to be homeless” is:

Willfully homeless?

Points out:

The idea of homeless people as vagabonds looking for the easiest handout is “an urban legend that every town and city in the country” battles, said Anne Stattelman, director of Posada, an agency with a long history of serving the homeless in Pueblo.

Stattelman said the agency typically sees an increase in requests for help during the summer months because of people “traveling through, following seasonal jobs, but we haven’t seen that this year because there are no jobs.”

So, you see, the common myth in all cities it seems also deals with where the homeless population comes from. If there were jobs (which the “recession” took away) then there may be people in the economy we were used to, going around the country, being temporarily homeless as they got to a new location & were looking for work.

Now they aren’t traveling around as much it seems, staying where they are or maybe traveling for jobs that aren’t there any more.

We also realize that people who do want to find work, living in homeless shelters are finding for those jobs that do come open, that the lines are longer, with homeless people competing for the same jobs as the home-owner who got laid off or the apartment dweller who can’t pay the rent.

Is this YOUR thoughts too on willful homeless people & those who just want a handout?

Think some more about your reasoning & take a look at these two blog posts – maybe you’ll think differently – at least we hope so…

via Social Justice Superheroes the Mythbusters Tackle the “Lazy Homeless” Stereotype | End Homelessness | Change.org.


About homelessnessinsavannah

Advocating for Homelessness Issues in Savannah, GA, so that we can educate, share experiences & generate a Christian understanding of the issues & people who experience, support & attempt to end homelessness in Savannah, GA or anywhere else we can share stories from or about...
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One Response to A conversation on a train: Social Justice Superheroes the Mythbusters Tackle the “Lazy Homeless” Stereotype | End Homelessness | Change.org

  1. Pingback: Shelters and services for homeless receive financial boost from state | Government Grants for Citizens

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