What Would You Do?

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Nov 26, 2008, 7:22:34 PM11/26/08
to Mennonite Poverty Forum
There's a blog called "Freakonomics" connected to the NY Times that I
like to read. This last week, they interviewed some upper class folks
about what they would do "if the worst happened":


I was amused by the naivety of some of the comments, as if the
question isn't really serious, and that getting back on one's feet
isn't really that difficult.

Of course, they aren't in the same situation as most homeless, because
even if they lose all their economic capital, they still have social
capital, which is a much more important commodity, and the real coin
that the homeless lack.

So, what would YOU do? What if you were on the street? How would you
try to survive? What if you had no family, friends or church to help
you? Where would you go?

Steve K

Hugh Hollowell

Nov 26, 2008, 7:49:37 PM11/26/08
to mennonite-p...@googlegroups.com
The answers given are depressing--because they demonstrate just how out of touch we are. Almost every responder mentioned getting a job, as if you will have money immediately, and not need to shower, change clothes, have a safe, clean place to sleep and so on until you get paid. Reality is that even if you get hired immediately, you will be three weeks out before you see a dime, and then possibly only one week's pay. Also ignored is the fact that any job you could get instantly is highly unlikely to provide you with sufficient income to pay rent and food. Also forgotten are deposits and other costs of moving into somewhere.

Gonna stop now... these things (upper class white people with all the answers about how to get off the streets) just tick me off.

Hope everyone (in the US) has a great holiday tomorrow.

Grace & Peace,

Hugh Hollowell



Nov 26, 2008, 8:03:41 PM11/26/08
to mennonite-p...@googlegroups.com
I agree.  The answers are depressing.  And they started to tick me off...

And then I realized that they just don't understand the reality of what it means to be on the street.  This is why people are so angry about street people begging and receiving any charity-- because they think there are so many options.  They think that street folks just aren't "applying" themselves, or taking advantage of the "easy" options available to them.

Those of us who have been on the street, or who work closely with those on the street know that's not true. 

It makes me realize that we need to educate more.

Steve K

"It'll be a day like this one when the sky falls down
And the hungry and poor and deserted are found." -Switchfoot

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