01 July, 2024

America and those who cannot protect themselves


I was busy watching videos about retirement issues and economic issues, housing problems and opportunities that are new, and thinking about watching a movie before it got so late.  

I sent an email to the Mayor's office in New York City today.  I watched a video about NYC by Cash Jordan and the immigration issues they are struggling with.  I decided to share a memory from my life with the Mayor because that was the only contact point I could find that was related to the issue.  I don't know if I will get a reply that is worth anything, but I felt it was important enough to share.

When I was younger, I can't remember when it was, there was a movement in the US to sponsor Vietnamese people in our churches and other groups across the nation.  I imagine it was somewhere around the time of the Vietnam war, but I can't be sure.  It may have been another people group.  It's been so long ago.  But I vaguely remember it being about Vietnamese people, maybe Vietnamese families.

What I wanted to share with the Mayor is the sponsorship program.  Churches committed to caring for these immigrants.  They helped with housing, jobs, getting settled into American culture, and language issues.  I imagine there are groups in NYC that can do the same thing, especially with the language barriers.  I think families are the most critical need for housing and jobs and building a better future, but I also know singles and couples will be in need.

In Oregon, there are new laws being implemented about homelessness and camping in public spaces.  One interview on the news was a couple with a dog.  The news person asked if they would follow the mandate.  No one talked about the restrictions in shelters against couples and dogs.  I wondered what the government expected them to do, and how to handle the dog issue.  Dogs are a safety issue for homeless people.  Being a couple is a safety issue as well as a human need.  These things don't go away just because you are homeless.  It's been a problem for as long as I can remember.

I think it is foolish of the government to expect people to leave all the things they have struggled to create so they can build a better future just to spend a night in a shelter.  What are they supposed to do with all their belongings, and their dog?  What is needed is a safe space to "live" in their tents as they keep building a better future.

I hate to see this happen.

When I was homeless, I didn't have all the extras.  It was just me.  Just a backpack of some kind.  No pets.  No tents.  No man.  Sometimes a vehicle, sometimes not.  Sometimes kids, sometimes not.  And I tried to find Christian shelters if I could, because I am a Christian.  Things are different in non-Christian shelters and services.  The unsaved don't like the differences in Christian shelters.  This spiritual battle exists in many parts of our lives/world, including within social services.

The Mayor here talked about shelter being a "carrot" to offer the homeless... about offering it over and over again.  Then he said the law has to become a stick (fines and jailtime) to make the homeless change.  This is where the couple with the dog don't fit.  They aren't trying to be difficult, they just want to be together, protect each other, protect their dog, protect their small amount of belongings, protect their lives, and find a better future.  What good will government "interventions" do for their lives? 

So, I will continue looking for better options as I wait for GOD to provide for me and Working Together.  It's all I can do right now.

In Christ,  Deborah Martin  -  https://work2gather.us 

Happy 4th of July to America

We are seeing our freedoms become mandates.  I'm not sure what America will look like in the near future.  I am trying to keep my eyes on GOD and my faith in His ability to accomplish His Will in our time.  

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