Are we blaming the victim(s) in Savannah? | Filling in the Outlines of a Dickens Character, This One Real – NYTimes.com


English: Detail from photographic portrait of ...

English: Detail from photographic portrait of Charles Dickens (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A quote from a NYTimes movie review of “The Invisible Woman” on Christmas Day to get us started:

In an unsettling scene that reflects today’s increasingly harsh blame-the-victim attitudes toward the poor and homeless, Dickens pleads for compassion toward the desperate, orphaned children and prostitutes living on the streets of London.

This question allows us to bring to a crescendo the discussion on how best to address homelessness & other social ills in Savannah or any community that would like to focus a discussion on “they need to help themselves out of their homelessness”.

Blaming the victim may give us “forgiveness” in our own minds for not having a Homeless Persons’ Memorial Service that engages the whole community or in letting chronic homeless men sleep in a covered bus stop on Christmas Eve praying for people to stop by & drop off quilts, food or fresh clothing (more on this later…).

Let’s be clear though, we are not advocating for the homeless to believe they’re victims, however, we are expecting & desiring for them to accept responsibility for their decisions in life, determine why they made those choices & address the root causes of their homelessness. Being an addict or a drunk are often symptoms of deeper issues that need addressing.

The only question then is whether our “systems” are really working:

  • Is there a “one size fits all” attitude in Savannah with the “solutions & services” we offer to the homeless?
  • Are they really afraid of failure again in those systems we believe must work for everybody?
  • Is it a matter of hopelessness & is there a way to restore hope, give them respect for themselves as we show respect for human life?

The answer is a resounding YES, if we’re willing to have those tough discussions & come to consensus on what solutions will work for this population!

Perfect timing for this movie to be coming out!

It helps take the dialog to a new level as we work to launch in  full splendor the Savannah Dickens Project!

A lot of momentum is in the air with the article from Monday’s Savannah Morning News & this movie review coming in such close proximity!

Two local independent Savannah walking tour companies have joined forces this Christmas to create the Charles Dickens Savannah Christmas Walk. The project, in its first year, is a Victorian-themed tour that sheds light on the social issues Dickens wrote about in his novels — issues including homelessness that tour co-producers Chase Anderson and Phil Sellers say are just as timely in today’s world.

The men partnered with social entrepreneur and advocate for the homeless Marvin Heery of the Homelessness in Savannah Advocacy and all funds from the tours will benefit the Dickens Project. The upcoming project, set to launch next year, will include listening sessions and forums and, overall, will seek to develop broader approaches to engaging the Savannah community on homelessness and other issues.

“Charles Dickens is the glue that holds this all together. The tour was inspired by ‘A Christmas Carol’ and the message of that story, which had to do with a change of heart,” said Anderson. “Dickens wrote about social conditions in Victorian England that in some way parallel our own, and that’s really what brought us to Marvin.”

Heery, who was once homeless, said the tour not only benefits a social cause, but it also portrays information and is a learning opportunity for people about the history of social issues and how they’ve been addressed.

“In an advocacy role, sometimes we’re aggressive, but this gives us the opportunity to start the discussion with people in a very entertaining, light-hearted, seasonal approach to rasing people’s awareness to these issues,” Heery said.

“It gives us an opportunity to meet the people who are coming through, and a lot are local, but the common thread is that they all know homelessness exists, whether it’s in their community or in ours as tourists or as Savannah residents. So it does give us a foundation. We want to begin the dialogue about how people can be part of solutions that aren’t currently being looked at in our community,” said Heery.

Coincidence you ask? We think NOT!

Then yesterday a book is given to us with a chapter on “The Drunken Man” that takes on the way we judge people we see every day on the streets. We have an opportunity to look deeply at how we apply judgement in our views of others.

  • Is that the right thing to do?
  • Do we really have an opportunity to view people differently?
  • Can we therefore apply true compassion with action towards others condition in life?

We feel we do have that opportunity to look at people conditions differently so we offer up the chapter from the book below for your consideration! Let us know in the comments what you think about coming together in meaningful dialog on these topics through our Savannah Dickens Project!

Embraced By The Light” by Betty J. Eadie:

via Filling in the Outlines of a Dickens Character, This One Real – NYTimes.com.

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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...
This entry was posted in 0homeless, Action, Addictions, Advocvacy, Awareness, Causes of Homelessness, chronic homelessness, compassionate response, Costs of homelessness, Criminalization of Homelessness, debate, End Chronic Homelessness, End Homelessness, Georgia Alliance to End Homelessness, health care, homeless, Homeless Memorial Day, Homeless Person Memorial Service, Homelessness Revealed, Hope, Housing, Housing First, HUGS, National Alliance to End Homelessness, Panhandling, Poverty, Poverty Reduction, safety net, Savannah Dickens Project, shelters, socent, social entreprener, social justice, Street Medicine, Street Ministries, Street Outreach, Taxpayers, Ten Year Plan, tolerate homelessness, USICH, valueof0, Volunteer and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Are we blaming the victim(s) in Savannah? | Filling in the Outlines of a Dickens Character, This One Real – NYTimes.com

  1. Pingback: Comparing Charles Dickens’ “the Home” to Housing First, todays recognized solution | Home for Homeless Women – Presentation Page | Revisting Dickens | Homelessness in Savannah, Stories for Learning

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