"Social Worker Pelts Homeless with Fast Food"Oh ma goodness! I'm writing a post!
It feels good to be back at my keyboard. I'm certain my cat totally thinks I just evicted her from the best seat in the house! Now, let's see if the brain cells can still piece together enough thoughts to call it a post...
A few Sundays ago, I took the time to read the Sunday paper (yes, I still buy one...mostly for the coupons!) I ran across the name of an old friend and it reminded me of the time I threw cheeseburgers at a homeless man.
Let me explain...
|The poster that graced the walls of the YSS training center.|
John is a true believer- a real do-gooder...by nature, thought, and deed. During my days at Youth Services System, several of my "cases" were never technically cases. By that, I mean services were performed based on need, not by what a client could pay. There was the mom who needed drug rehab but didn't qualify for care, so I took her- on the company dime- a hundred miles south to a place with an indigent bed. Same goes for the former client who needed picked up from jail and brought to a homeless shelter...or the pregnant twenty something who needed a place to live, some maternity clothes, and help getting a medical card.
I could go on, but the point is...YSS is the sort of agency that acts on its principles of service to people in need whether there is money to be made or not.
And that brings me back to me throwing cheeseburgers at the homeless man.
My brother worked as a paramedic and his squad was in downtown Wheeling, WV smack dab in a pretty bad neighborhood. When I'd drive down to visit him, there was this homeless guy who would stand on the corner and offer carnations for cash.
Of course, I'd make the trade. Until one day when my brother saw my flowers and flipped out. He gave me the run down..."Harve" (no idea what the homeless man's name was) was a drunk. He would steal flowers from graves and sell them to morons like myself. Then he'd take the money...like my ten bucks...and buy enough booze to OD on. (I guess it's easy for a guy whose liver was as pickled as a set of pig's feet.)
My brother and his fellow ambulance crew gave me a verbal noogie. Then later gave me more than a little hell when Harve went on a bender, had to be taken to the hospital for detox, and puked all over their ambulance.
The crew thanked me...with obvious sarcasm.
|photo courtesy of PhotoPin|
I started to imagine him becoming irate enough to grab me from my car...and I had my little boys with me.
I also worried that Harve would starve to death. (Cause he always said he needed food money.)
But I had sworn...no more money. So, I couldn't give him cash...couldn't offer counsel.
So one day, I bought him a couple of cheeseburgers. As I rolled up to his corner, I rolled my window down just far enough to toss the burgers out and move on.
When we got to the squad house, my then five-year-old son answers the "how are you bud?" with an innocent, "Good. Mom and I just threw some cheeseburgers at that homeless guy."
I suppose that would be the headline in the paper: "Social Worker Pelts Homeless with Fast Food"
My reasoning wouldn't matter. It'd probably be noted that I nearly put the guy's eye out.
I thought of this when I read the headline, "YSS Gives Shelter to Child Molester" (or something like that)...I cringed.
Seems my former boss is still helping people with hard luck. And sometimes the attempt to help another soul comes back to bite you square in the rump. A person comes asking for assistance and the kind heart extends a hand. Then that "poor soul" uses your good for ill and the guy who only meant to help is left holding the bag...and answering reporters' questions.
So while the papers ask, why would John Moses give a child molester a place to stay? I can only answer, sometimes you throw cheeseburgers at homeless people out of the goodness of your heart...out of the hope that the man who extends his hand for help is really wanting to be pulled up...not trying to drag you down.
Want to read the article? YSS Statement Raises Questions
photo credit: wd9hot via photopin cc