A 70 year old man froze to death in the old car he was sleeping in. He was nobody and a drunk who did day labor. He was called Grandad..
I knew him because he and other homeless people hang out at the public library and as long as they are not obviously drunk or drinking or causing problems, we let them hang out in the winter when it is cold or the summer when it is hot.
The only homeless shelters in our town are religious based. The rules don't allow drinking. That's fair. The rules also insist that the homeless sheltered there listen to sermons, bible reading and prayer.
Grandad didn't like the rules. There are a lot of homeless people I have spoken to over the years as a librarian when I urged them to go to shelters. Many of them won't go because they don't want "all the God stuff."
Your choice if you are homeless is shelter with religion or no shelter at all. Grandad was 70 and had a hard life and drank too much and that is what really killed him. But it does bother me that the only homeless rescources in this area all insist on Christian indoctrination with your free meal and warm place to sleep.
The homeless flock to the south this time of year. They stand at intersections with unfolded cardboard signs. I rarely carry any cash, but the times I do contribute a few bucks I almost always receive a "god bless you" in return. I never say anything but I guess in their mind we are even. I have come to hate the words "god bless".
So, what are you hoping they'd say? It's just religious for a polite 'thank you.'
Because fuck love and compassion if we can't use it to market our product!
And some people still think missionaries do their work because they actually give two shits about human suffering.
If a religious organization provides shelter and wants to spread their message in return, I don't see a problem with that - as long as they are footing the bill. To them, their message is part of healing the homeless - perhaps a way to elevate them from their drunkenness.
On the other hand, I feel that each community (not just the religious sector) should provide something to their homeless citizens. The religious could go there and offer 'spiritual' counselling, for those that would have it - but I would hope some other resources would be available, like psychological counselling, literacy tutoring, job search skills development, etc.
psychological counselling, literacy tutoring, job search skills development, etc.
If the Christians have any sense, they'll provide all those things too.
So yeah...it's a complete toss-up whether or not they would really provide those things.
That's why I'm saying it should be a community, not just religious community, effort.
Same as starving children in 3rd world countries. No faith means no food for them!