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!
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:
- Savannah steps back in time (savannahnow.com)
- Want to be part of the discussion on Savannah’s Social Issues? | Savannah steps back in time | savannahnow.com (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)
- URGENT NOTICE: Possible “flashmob” event today | Homeless Persons’ Memorial WALK being organized in Savannah for today. (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)
- “Men With Broken Hearts”, Hank Williams, Homeless Person Memorial Day Service 2013 #HPMD2013 (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)
- An appropriate form of Memorial Service when a City can’t make one happen | Vigil in Minneapolis remembers 130 homeless people who died | MinnPost (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)
- Making a Real-Life Dickens Character Appear More in Full (nytimes.com)