5.04.2013

Peace'burgh: Love the Homeless

photo credit.

Last week, my brother and I volunteered with a few other members of our church, Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community, to make, pack up and deliver about 30 lunches to homeless people around Pittsburgh. First thing's first, I am not writing this post to gain attention about "doing a good deed" or get a pat on the back through comments below. I'm writing this to make you aware of a common misconception that many people have about this overwhelmingly large part of our population.

We went to about five local spots where some people are known to be living, near various neighborhoods. Places that you probably wouldn't even think to look or if you were near, which if you frequent Pittsburgh, you've probably been near, and never noticed. I know that a lot of people often see homeless people out and about asking for money and only think that they want it for drugs or alcohol, which for some, is true. But some genuinely need your help. I think on Saturday, we saw both sides.

Either way, they are all people who needed a bottle of water and a sandwich, along with some other goodies, and a conversation. I don't really know what I'm trying to say. Besides maybe, give some of those people you see on the street something more than a smug look or abrupt "no" before leaving them in the dust. As a student, I got used to carrying around extra fruit and random snacks because I often don't have chance to run home for a meal, and quite a few times those snacks went to people on the street who asked for money for food. So there are easy little ways you can help. You can go to Hot Metal to volunteer, every Saturday at noon, walk in Tunch & Wolf's Walk for the Homeless, help out at a homeless shelter or you could purposefully carry around fruit. Above all, just know that they aren't all the kind of people you think they might be. Just like anyone else you might meet. The best you can do is just love them.

10 comments:

  1. Wow, what a kind and thoughtful thing to do with your church community! I lived in NY for awhile and there were tons of homeless people around every street corner. It made me so sad to see that, and how someone could get to that point of not having a place to live and nothing to eat. It's so wonderful that people like you care and is willing to lend a helping hand :) Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Christy
    Sunnywithasideof...

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    1. Thanks for stopping by my blog, Christina and for your kind words. It is certainly eye opening to see how some people have to live and of course made me so much more thankful for the things I have and people in my life who I know would help me out if I was ever anywhere near that situation.

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  2. Hey Chels,
    I enjoyed reading this. When I was in Graduate School, I did a research paper on homelessness. It was an eye opener. A large number of homeless individuals have a serious mental illness and this scares people away. If there were more people like you, Eric and your church, maybe a small dent could be made into solving this problem. I'm glad you and Eric have such good hearts. :)

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  3. I am a new follower! Love your blog!

    Lacelemonsandlove.blogspot.com

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  4. You're right. There are some misconceptions about homeless, and it is never wrong to help them.... I'm not going to go into my opinons, but like Kathy above says, some either have mental problems, are alcoholics, or are on drugs. It's disheartening, but you do what you can when you can with what you have. Good on you (even though you did say that that's not what you are looking for- but I get it: this is your journal and you have to write about it!)- Jess L

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    1. Thank, Jess - your opinion is always welcome here!

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  5. This is so sweet of you! I don't know the laws in PA, but in Ohio you can get panhandlers license aka there are homeless everywhere asking for money...it's very intense. They never want food just money. But I guess I never considered the actual centers and things like that!

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    1. Wow, that seems overwhelming! I run into about five people total per day asking for money/food, but I cannot imagine seeing as many as you probably see.

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