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Thread: A True Modern Neanderthal

  1. #1

    A True Modern Neanderthal

    My wife told me an incredible story. The receptionist at her office noticed what appeared to be smoke coming from a drain grate located in a low spot on the office’s front lawn. Upon investigating, they discovered it was a campfire of a homeless person living in the culvert. Police were called and the individual was taken into custody. This is a sad but all too common story in the US. For a great many different reasons, people find themselves without a roof. My wife, Janicewhokeepsmehumble, is very well plugged into the non-profit community services world. She directs her family’s charitable foundation and annually gives the cash needed to build four Habitat for Humanity houses among other things. She has the contacts to get our enterprising Neanderthal living under her front yard the services he needs. He was really lucky to have picked her building. She does her part. He is getting help. We should all get out and swing a hammer for Habitat. If we just solve housing, all the other problems get so much smaller.

    TW

  2. #2
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    Thanks Thomas.
    David

  3. #3
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    I have wired and done the finish carpentry on several "Habitat for Humanity" houses and another house built by a similar organization. I volunteer regularly at a benevolent organization that exists to serve former inmates, recovering addicts and homeless people. I have worked with many such people on a very personal level. Do not be disappointed if the person you are trying to help eventually returns to his present condition. I see it happen all the time. You can't cure mental or spiritual problems with mere housing or food. You have to help them on a much more rudimentary level.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mann View Post
    Do not be disappointed if the person you are trying to help eventually returns to his present condition. I see it happen all the time. You can't cure mental or spiritual problems with mere housing or food. You have to help them on a much more rudimentary level.
    I might add that the person has to want to be helped in the first place.

  5. #5
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    Yes, how many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?

    My target for personality changes is 15%. More than that is a bonus.

    That said, Habitat is very successful for the right people and we should all support it and especially the other approaches Art works on.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Wilson View Post
    ... swing a hammer for Habitat. ...
    Have done so, including sponsored events by my company. We've built houses (to a point) outside our office in downtown; then they're trucked to final site.

    Habitat is my favorite charity, since the future owner is sometimes standing beside me swinging their hammer. "...teach a man to fish..."
    Molann an obair an saor.

  7. #7
    I've worked on habitat projects for many years. I will be helping on a project house in June.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mann View Post
    I have wired and done the finish carpentry on several "Habitat for Humanity" houses and another house built by a similar organization. I volunteer regularly at a benevolent organization that exists to serve former inmates, recovering addicts and homeless people. I have worked with many such people on a very personal level. Do not be disappointed if the person you are trying to help eventually returns to his present condition. I see it happen all the time. You can't cure mental or spiritual problems with mere housing or food. You have to help them on a much more rudimentary level.
    Thank you for your work. I understand that housing is only one piece the homeless problem. I do not know how this particular case turned out. My point is to help where you are able. I haven’t helped on a Habitat house in a number of years, but this instance right in the front yard reminded me that I can and should help with the skills I have.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mann View Post
    I have wired and done the finish carpentry on several "Habitat for Humanity" houses and another house built by a similar organization. I volunteer regularly at a benevolent organization that exists to serve former inmates, recovering addicts and homeless people. I have worked with many such people on a very personal level. Do not be disappointed if the person you are trying to help eventually returns to his present condition. I see it happen all the time. You can't cure mental or spiritual problems with mere housing or food. You have to help them on a much more rudimentary level.
    I recommend the excellent film "Leave No Trace", which goes into this.

    OTOH, there are millions of people who are just one paycheck away from being homeless in this country (USA) and when it happens they are very happy for the help. Blaming mental health for that is IMO too close to social darwinism.
    Last edited by Doug Dawson; 05-09-2019 at 12:59 PM.

  10. #10
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    Lee, you just put a burr under my saddle. I am retired and I built houses. I have a shop full of stationary and tool-box tools.
    I also have a F-150.

    I am going to contact habitat and volunteer. I bet others in this group will do likewise. Maybe other Creekers will do like wise. How about some mechanism on this forum to tell about and encourage others to join. I can't be the only retired, healthy old dog in this group. It might be the "Old Sawmill Creek Old Dog Volunteers".
    Last edited by lowell holmes; 05-09-2019 at 3:00 PM.

  11. #11
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    The kind of people I try to help would be overjoyed to even get get a paycheck. I don't have any idea what "social Darwinism" is. Anyone can get down on their luck and need short term help. People who live hand to mouth year after year, are either handicapped and can't earn a living at all or they are unwilling to give up immediate gratification for future security. I can't even count all the people I have counseled that they should put money away for a rainy day only to watch them spend every dime on a new cell phone, car, TV set or something much worse. More than one of the former inmates I have helped made 6 figure incomes on the street as recreational pharmacists and literally have nothing to show for it. Blaming their situation on mental health is about the kindest way I can put it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Dawson View Post
    I recommend the excellent film "Leave No Trace", which goes into this.

    OTOH, there are millions of people who are just one paycheck away from being homeless in this country (USA) and when it happens they are very happy for the help. Blaming mental health for that is IMO too close to social darwinism.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by lowell holmes View Post
    Lee, you just put a burr under my saddle. I am retired and I built houses. I have a shop full of stationary and tool-box tools.
    I also have a F-150.

    I am going to contact habitat and volunteer. I bet others in this group will do likewise. Maybe other Creekers will do like wise. How about some mechanism on this forum to tell about and encourage others to join. I can't be the only retired, healthy old dog in this group. It might be the "Old Sawmill Creek Old Dog Volunteers".
    Good for you. I think your idea for an SMC habitat section is terrific. I can round up more burrs. My dog seems to collect them in hunting season. I enjoy the habitat projects. You meet some interesting folks and working with unpaid volunteers can be very frustrating and rewarding. Once they get to know you they will generally give you a small team to work on a particular part of the build.
    Lee Schierer
    USNA- '71
    Captain USN(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  13. #13
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    Good for you Lowell.....You are willing to help!!
    Jerry

  14. #14
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    Here is a word of warning about working on "Habitat" houses. The other volunteers may know much, much less about building houses than you do and they don't realize it. You have to exercise a huge amount of patience when working with them. Sometimes, you just have to overlook some pretty big mistakes on their part.

  15. #15
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    It's a nice idea, but I think consensus among people who study the effectiveness of charities is that Habitat isn't very efficient. It's mostly driven by the warm fuzzies it gives volunteers and recipients (which, to be sure, is worth something). However, an economist looking critically at their setup would be aghast at the inefficiencies. It'd be much more efficient to use Habitat funds to construct appropriate, efficient housing using competent local professional labor.

    If you're curious about how best to help others, have a look at what the Effective Altruism folks have to say.

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