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Christ 06-17-2009 12:59 PM

Sign of the times?
 
Jobless man steals just for free prison lunch | Oddly Enough | Reuters

This used to happen sometimes back in the '70's, too... my dad used to tell me about homeless people who would get in fights just to be arrested on colder nights, so they'd have a place to sleep that was dry and warm.

Sad, sad world, when we're reminded of what we leave behind.

bgd73 06-17-2009 04:37 PM

I had heard of this too, except it was a guy in my age group. (late 80s and 90s teenagers). I haven't heard of that in sometime, My locale is small enough, when this persons story was told emotionally, there has been help since then for similar scenarios.
It does teach about jail and real character, not being unnecessarily crminal...but even self declared necassary, for reasons ther than detrimental.
In fact, that very episode helped me get through a railroading I suffered with a traffic violations (very bizarre extremely "not a jaibird" story). It hardly haunts, but do ponder flaws of the system. If help is not known to be found, I could imagine someone faking a crime for a weekend in a fed jail. Yelling drunk in public or whatever..

Matt Herring 06-17-2009 05:24 PM

The last couple days I've been going into Boston and I noticed something I had never seen before.

The first day there was a guy standing by the side of the road with a sign that said "I am not a drunk or a bum. I hurt my back and lost my job and everything went badly after that...can you spare some change?"

Today, there's a different guy there with a similar sign that said the guy lost his job after an aneurism. Same handwriting...different injury. So I drove about a half mile up the street...and ANOTHER guy with a similar sign is standing there! His sign said he had cancer.

I guessed somebody is paying these guys to stand out there in exchange for money or food or cigarettes or drugs. It was pretty obvious that all of these guys were up to something.

Christ 06-17-2009 08:45 PM

And they're the reason that the real injured, sick, and homeless can't get compassion or help.

There's always someone out there willing to take advantage of the good natured folks.

As for me, I've never been quite that down and out. I've stolen, but never to intentionally get caught. I've lived under a bridge (when you close your eyes, the cars sound like rushing water).. I've eaten from trash bins behind stores (not particularly fond of that time of my life, either).. but I've never been so far down that I couldn't source my own living, sad as that living may have been.

I can't imagine what those people who have honestly given up on society must be going through. When you can't count on your fellow man, who can you count on?

Piwoslaw 06-18-2009 09:55 AM

My uncle is a priest and one day he was walking in "civilian clothes" in the center of Warsaw when a a young man came up to him saying he needed money to survive, hasn't eaten in 5 days, etc. Normally my uncle would dismiss him and scores of others that do that everyday, but something told him the kid wasn't just trying to get easy money for alcohol or drugs. Instead of giving him money, my uncle stepped into a restaurant and told the boy he would pay for his meal.
He later told me that he's never seen anyone eat like that. The kid ate like he'd never had more than one mouthful of food on his plate at a time. I don't remember how the story ended, but it turned out the kid wasn't a junkie, but just had really bad luck for his whole life.

Some people need help, maybe if they see that there are others who want to help, they'll be able to do something with their life.
I never give money to beggers, but often see old ladies who do.

wagonman76 06-18-2009 12:56 PM

Awhile back there was a local woman who went into a local bank with a gun and a very halfhearted robbery attempt. Turned out she was trying to get locked away for good so her daughter would get taken away to foster care and get a better life. Hence she didn't get the punishment she wanted. Of course this local economy has been been in depression even when the national economy was good.

Christ 06-18-2009 01:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wagonman76 (Post 110619)
Awhile back there was a local woman who went into a local bank with a gun and a very halfhearted robbery attempt. Turned out she was trying to get locked away for good so her daughter would get taken away to foster care and get a better life. Hence she didn't get the punishment she wanted. Of course this local economy has been been in depression even when the national economy was good.

I went into the public assistance office a few times while we were living in Dauphin County (Harrisburg), and every time I applied for assistance for my wife, because she was pregnant, and I couldn't afford doctor bills (I don't go, myself, unless I'm dying), she got turned down the first few times... always over something stupid, like "you have too much money", blah blah blah... but every time I went down there with her, there were at least 100 people who were wearing clothes I couldn't dream of owning, watches that could pay my rent, shoes that would make my car payment, etc... and every one of them was there for their weekly welfare check.

How does that work?

eco_generator 06-18-2009 01:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Christ (Post 110623)
she got turned down the first few times... always over something stupid, like "you have too much money",

How does that work?

Spend your money on that fancy stuff and you WILL be broke enough to qualify for assistance... duh!! :p

I know what you mean, there is a need for financial counseling. It seems like people need to be forced to stop paying for big screen tvs, video game systems, cable, high speed internet, lottery, and all the other stupid stuff they waste money on to qualify for assistance. But that will never happen.

Piwoslaw 06-18-2009 01:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eco_generator (Post 110626)
Spend your money on that fancy stuff and you WILL be broke enough to qualify for assistance... duh!! :p

I know what you mean, there is a need for financial counseling. It seems like people need to be forced to stop paying for big screen tvs, video game systems, cable, high speed internet, lottery, and all the other stupid stuff they waste money on to qualify for assistance. But that will never happen.

I know people who can't afford paper, pencils and other school article for their kids, but smoke 2-3 packs a day, plus lots of beer.
There is this Polish saying: "There important things, and more important things. These are the most important."

Christ 06-18-2009 11:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Piwoslaw (Post 110628)
I know people who can't afford paper, pencils and other school article for their kids, but smoke 2-3 packs a day, plus lots of beer.
There is this Polish saying: "There important things, and more important things. These are the most important."

Yeah, my wife's father smokes a pack a day, isn't concerned with the long-term gains of attempting to get better mileage from his vehicles, isn't willing to spend money on making his house more efficient, and just went out and bought a new 26" LCD and surround system for his room... the only reason he has cable is b/c I'm paying for it, and I live here, so I gave him the hook up.

This man complains often about not having enough money to supply groceries for this house like "he should be able to"... but he buys all that crap and "specialty" tools that he'll use only once, when he could just as easily make a tool that will do the job for him.

I don't say much, this is just a layover point until we can get back out on our own, or until the house is done, whichever comes first.


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