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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The tricks are on me! » » Homeless Challenge (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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andrew124C41
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Somewhere near Washington, DC
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I fell upon this post and I thought to give a personal and professional opinion.

My undergrad and grad work prior to medicine was psych. I was also certified in addiction medicine. So, generally speaking, I know the drill.

Some of this has to do with where and when, that is to say some cities have more of one kind of homelessness than others AND after the 2008 business, there were a lot of folks who were definitely not alcoholics or addicts who were added to the homeless rosters.

By and large, most that I see in the DC area are the same type of people who were deinstitutionalized when the psych hospitals were emptied in the 70s. They suffer from various, serious mental illnesses. Often they are either beaten up or others steel from them when they wind up in shelters so they often refuse to go there. They are no paranoid in this regard. There fears are well founded.

But by the Grace of God Go I...

My wife and I generally give money or try and help them in some way.

Because they are all ready suffering, usually there is no place for humor or whimsy so no magic is in my opinion appropriate.

We just give them the money.
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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My thoughts are each should follow there own beliefs.

I have also been in mental health/addiction field for 30 years.
My clients ranged from street people to people whose family names were on city streets.
Some if the above were both.

Urban ministry has led me to
A. Provide food, clothes, and an ear
B. Musical programs
C. Family Fun nights at our City Union Mission.
(above included magic and puppetry)

Decades ago I was sharing at a "Juneteenth Event".
I was wailing the blues and doing a bit of ventriloquism".
I remember a man quipping DROP THE PUPPETS.
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
LeoH
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437 Posts

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I perform close-up or a local homeless shelter sponsored and located at a church. Local businesses furnish dinner for the "guests" and the employees act as servers for the dinner. For the homeless who attend. it is an experience like eating at a restaurant. The servers explain the menu for the evening. and the homeless order their meals and then are served by the volunteers. The diners set at large circular "10 top" tables with tablecloths. Two or three church members eat with the guests and engage the guests with conversation. The church tries to give this experience at the shelter once a month. Performing at a local shelter in a structured setting instead of the street may be a win/win for you.
paul180
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Having once been homeless myself this is kinda a touchy subject for me. To say that all a homeless person will do with money given is to use it on drugs or alcohol in not only ignorant but just plain wrong.

Having said that I do believe in a "hand up" not a "hand out". So giving money doesn't really address the underlined issues to a persons homelessness regardless of the reason. Disasters, Fire, gentrification, socioeconomic issues, mental health problems and more can all contribute to ones ability maintain residence.

The single best thing a person can do for one who is homeless is to CARE. I mean TRULY care, that a fellow human being be saved from the isolation and loneliness not to mention dangers present on the streets. Reaching out with a sandwich will feed our brothers for a day, reaching out with a way to help will hopefully, feed him for a lifetime.

I was through the good graces of people who cared that I moved from the streets to a home and I have never looked back since. But if my story isn't enough to convince you? Check out these once homeless people and tell me what you think?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyhSh5jXqPA
A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a foolish man can learn from a wise answer.

Attributing negativity to a topic or post doesn't make the topic or post negative,
it shines a light on the negativity of the person or persons, making the attributions.

BEWARE these Debbie downers and anything they say. They simply lack the self esteem or good will, to be positive or productive. Your belief in self, is more
important and is all that matters, for your success to be glorious.
HeyUTheClown
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I might be a little late in posting this, but you could also try the "Teach a man to fish.." proverb. Instead of producing money to give him, maybe you could teach him a simple enough coin trick (or card trick, if you want to give him a deck of cards), so he might be able to perform for other people and in return people will give him spare change.
ryanshaw9572
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I saw a homeless man performing magic outside my dorm, and he was a decent story-teller. If anyone is ever compelled to give to homeless people maybe keeping a few $5 gift cards to fast food restaurants would be better than cash.
TomB
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We have a lot of fake homeless people and they collect money and then go home. When I saw that guys coat, I thought it was too nice for a homeless person. My guess is if they followed him around some more, he would have went home.

I usually look at the bums shoes. If they are pretty beat up, they probably are homeless.

I use to give to homeless people when I saw them in downtown, but realized quickly most of them were driving to events to beg for money.

I would rather give money to food shelters where the homeless folks can go and get food. Churches historically have helped the poor too.

I use to be in favor of giving people jobs like cutting lawns or painting fences but too many bad things have happened in the world and I am less trusting to strangers now.

If I eat in a downtown area and take home a doggy bag, you would be surprised that bums turn down the doggy bag. I know its humiliating getting someone else's food, but if you are starving you would take it.

But now these homeless invaded cities have a new problem. There is something that happens after they eat. It's a really messy situation.
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