Dec 022016
 
"The Man's Face In The Hands" by George Hodan

“The Man’s Face In The Hands” by George Hodan

by John Donnelly…….

An individual chooses their shelter in accordance with the realties facing them. Affordable Housing is living where you can afford to live. In fact, ones’ only true residence is lodged between their ears. Mother Earth is our home.

Tangential structures and morsels of food do not equate to the nourishment required to maintain a healthy “Self”, the “Thinker of the Thought”. No human power, bathroom towel, soup kitchen, principality or government will alleviate the so-called homeless issue.

Successful civilizations thrived because they were designed to reinforce and reward achievement and accomplishment. They did not cater to, or accommodate any segment of society unwilling to take advantage of the plethora of assistance and opportunity that was available to them.

For too long, the homeless have been enabled in their plight, rather than addressed with some cold hard facts about themselves. A responsible form of love fallen from favor, under the squeeze of political correctness.

The rigor of living on the street can frequently manifest itself into a troubled life and destructive conduct. Many homeless individual’s remain in a diseased state of mind far longer than necessary, as they are pampered and coddled by a culture that feigns interest in helping them. Possessing the courage, integrity and strength to confront these wayward souls with the facts concerning their predicament; has been shied away from via the theoretical pressures of “Relativism”.

Citizens not taking shelter in a traditional manner are not entitled to special treatment from the government at the taxpayers’ expense. If a politician, crusader or concerned citizen wants to take a homeless person home to live with them, there’s nothing preventing them from doing so.

Enticing vagrants to come and stay anywhere, is not a good idea. It’s a reckless recipe for disaster. “Prioritized Destinations” will always attract drifters and transients. However, the safety and well-being of residents inhabiting these locales must be insured. Polices need to be designed and enforced that preserve their quality of life, while not breaking the backs of the city’s coffers. The expense and waste of pursuing illogical responses designed to address the homeless issue, has for the most part been ineffective and harmful.

The label “Homeless” appears to have morphed into some type of special designation worthy of favored consideration. Rather than becoming a self-identifying, transitory and transformational wakeup call; which recognizes a particular stage in an individuals’ development. A period of reprieve, whereby a person is endowed with the gift of time, so they might reflect upon the direction of their lives; renewing the need and reinforcing the desire to process events and their lives in a new and therapeutic manner; stimulating growth, maturity and a positive re-entry into the society at large.

Homelessness is not a catastrophic event or experience. Society does not need to over-react and perseverate upon this natural occurrence, as though it were the end of the world.

Developing an emotionally fraught schematic, which artificially addresses a natural event, has the potential to accelerate disturbing behavior triggered by diseased aspects within the targeted population. Perhaps strengthening existing disorders into a resistant strain, unable to respond to traditional remedies and treatment.

If homeless men and women are unwilling to capitalize upon the positive alternatives that are available for them, they will remain unto themselves and their community; a disturbing source of restlessness, irritability and discontent.

An inappropriate and enabling reaction to the adversities faced by the homeless, can prop them up and shield them from the consequences of their behavior. It can give them a false sense of acceptability. Never challenging or allowing their true potential to be activated and developed.

Handling anyone with kid gloves is not what life’s experiences were intended to be. Growth requires friction. Government intervention is not the answer. The solutions being proffered by many alleged homeless experts, are flimsy and implausible.

If community members are having a difficult time acknowledging the fact that some people live differently than they do, perhaps they need treatment in how to properly engage, or not, with those living an alternative life style. .

Alcoholics and addicts suffer from a disease that manifests itself in excessive drinking and drug use. The cause of their illness is treatable. If they adhere to a prescribed design for living, they can permanently recover from their unhealthy state. Individuals with this disease who refuse to partake of the treatment that is freely available to all, and continue to break the law, must be firmly punished with ever increasing sanctions.

People suffering with mental illness may require forced residential treatment. Civilizations have devised laws which safeguard society from violent and destructive behavior. This universal standard is applicable under all circumstances. No one is above nor beneath the law.

With regularity, some homeless people commit violent felonies. They are dangerous people who need to be imprisoned and punished severely. Society must be protected, while these perpetrators are given a chance to grow up and learn a lesson from the “school of hard knocks”.

There are creative, productive and rehabilitative ways to incarcerate non-violent inmates. Road crews, maintenance, laundry, construction trades, culinary work, cloths making, wood crafting and vegetable gardening are all activities that positively impact the prisoner and society. There has always been a special joy and dignity that comes from hard work. Self-esteem, hope and a belief in oneself are attributes that no government or person can create within you.

Financial ruin and natural disasters happen, often forcing people to radically change their lives. Family, friends and government assistance are available to guide them through these challenging times.

Frigid winter nights spent looking for a heated subway car to ride in, along with seeking relief during the suffocating summer heat absorbed in the concrete jungle of the South Bronx, brought me to the rooftops of many buildings lining the streets of New York City. This necessary course of action occupied 4 years of my life. Growth can be painfully slow.

Unable to assimilate and integrate back into society, I needed time to discover and deal with things that were troubling me. A kill switch had been flipped on within me and I couldn’t find a way to turn it off. Wandering the streets wasn’t pleasant, but it was required of me so I could wind down and work through the troublesome experiences that bound me.

No government intervention was sought, welcomed or entertained. It would have disrupted the cathartic journey I had embarked upon.

For the most part, I wasn’t confrontational or an annoyance. Operating within the confines of the law, I went about my business in a non-descript manner. Disabled and confused, it took some time to get back on my feet.

Time did heal most of my wounds. However, it was an experience I had to go through for the most part on my own. Internally, it built strength and confidence, as I advanced through a series of challenges that brought me closer to my goal of Self-Realization.

Human beings are resilient and beautiful. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

Quickly on another topic…From my perspective, open-containers are not a problem for Key West. It’s the effect that the intoxicant being drank from the container has upon the individual drinking it. If dangerous, destructive or lawless conduct is the result of partaking in any substance, then it’s off to jail you go. These offenders can be worked into some type of road gang, picking up litter or perhaps volunteer for a non-laborious project. Jails were designed to punish (decrease the frequency) of inappropriate behavior.

“Discipline and Structure” are ingredients contained within self-management styles that breed success. If someone is hell bent on destroying themselves there is not a thing that can be done to prevent it from happening. However, we should not be forced to suffer and made to watch another’s self-destruction. Providing impecunious groups with an audience on their terms, further weakens them and sickens those forced to witness their demise. Radiating love and encouragement, while placing people into positions to succeed, is a far more pleasurable and attractive alternative.

Reinventing the wheel, by pretending that we don’t know what is required to live a successful life, is a ridiculous mockery of the human race.

Sheriff Rick Ramsay is an extraordinary leader. He and his deputies are competent and credible law enforcement officers, who have outstandingly served the citizens of Monroe County for many years. Sheriff Ramsay has a brilliant and creative mind. Why not allocate to him and his staff the funds that you appear to be willing to throw away funding homeless projects that have the earmark of “designed failure”. Sheriff Ramsay and his staff will devise a wise, prudent and measured remedy for those individuals brought to his jail with a homeless designation.

Spared from destruction and blessed many times over, I’ve had the honor and privilege, over the last 47 years, to mentor individuals and groups journeying on the road less traveled. I am one of them. I do not purport to know all the answers. However, I know my answer and I’ve seen it create solutions in the lives of many.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
John Donnelly
John Donnelly, a resident of Key Largo was born, raised and went to high school in the South Bronx. Upon graduation he was awarded several scholarships to college. He chose to enlist in the United Sates Marine Corps. While serving in Vietnam John was wounded in action. He received two meritorious promotions, one during combat. Upon discharge and return to America, John had a difficult time transitioning back into civilian life. He found himself homeless for the next 4 years. As he worked out some troublesome concerns, he began to yearn to make some sense of his experiences via education. He sought and received his GI Bill benefits. He later graduated frpm the University of Miami on the President’s Honor Roll. While working at a Maximum Security Prison Facility for criminally insane adolescents, he earned a Master of Science degree from Florida International University.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
More Articles by John Donnelly prior to November, 2014.
 December 2, 2016  Posted by at 12:56 am Issue #195, John Donnelly  Add comments

  6 Responses to “Homelessness…A Journey & Memoir…”

  1. “Sheriff Ramsay has a brilliant and creative mind. Why not allocate to him and his staff the funds that you appear to be willing to throw away funding homeless projects that have the earmark of “designed failure”. Sheriff Ramsay and his staff will devise a wise, prudent and measured remedy for those individuals brought to his jail with a homeless designation.”

    Okay. How about an interview with Sheriff Ramsay and request his plan?

  2. Ben,

    Thanks for reading and commenting on the article. I’ve read your thoughtful and well put together insights on a number of occasions. I sincerely appreciate and value your knowledgeable understandings.

    Even with the enormity of the Sheriff’s responsibilities, I believe Rick would welcome the opportunity to share his ideas with you. He will bring that same brilliant and creative mind that has reduced crime by 7.8%, while his deputies and detectives have achieved the highest clearance rate for crime since 1991….

    Under the wisdom of Sheriff Ramsay’s leadership, we live and work in safer communities. Our children, families and loved one’s are better protected.

    I’m certain a man of his caliber and experience, would add merit and worth to any discussion on homelessness.

    Again, thanks for your insightful contributions.

    Blessings & Respect

  3. John, No, I don’t mean for me to interview the sheriff, but for you or someone else to do so. I don’t have the passion or insight that others do about this subject, although I have had homeless/semi-homeless work for me in the past and they did a great job as skilled construction workers.

    I paid them a good wage (pretty much what they said they needed) and to make a long story short – when the work was finished one guy ended up with $3,000 in his bank account, another had enough to buy a used truck that he fixed up (as well as ample traveling money to return to his hometown in the middle of the state) and the 3rd worker…he ended up with ZERO as he spent his money on crack and women. This 3rd guy was an extremely hard worker like the others, but a couple of times when he got off of his medication, he said he needed a day or two off to talk to his psychologist/psychiatrist. Once he got back on his meds he was like new and good to go.

    I know the sheriff only casually from when he drops by the coffee shop on occasion, but I do know people who know him personally or work for him and believe he has previously spoken out about the homeless, although I don’t remember how deep he got into it.

    If memory serves me, I do remember the last words of a “certified” homeless situation expert who was called in to evaluate this area and he said (paraphrased) – You don’t want to make things too good or comfortable for the homeless down here, because if you do they will come in droves. That might seem to lack compassion or empathy, but that’s what the man said.

  4. Mr. Donnelly

    Outstanding synopsis , intelligently composed and cogently constructed.The literary flow and smoothness with which your words and thoughts blend themselves together, created a comprehensive document worthy of review by those working in the field of rehabilitation. We look forward to your next article. Accept our gratitude and thanks.

  5. Ben,

    What a truly magnificent story. Taking care of your Brothers (equitably) and your Brothers taking care of you, with an ‘above acceptable’ work product.

    Ben, I love what you do.

    Regarding the Sheriff, I will do my best to schedule a meeting with him and discuss the homeless situation. A Pastor up this way wants to setup a visit and/or conversation with him as well, to speak about homelessness and crime.

    Thank you so very much for sharing your beautiful experience, it made my day.

    Blessings & Respect, Always

  6. Sully,

    Your words of encouragement are sincerely appreciated. Thank you so very much.

    As I’m given strength, guidance and courage via the God of my understanding; I will do my best to carry on.

    I’m taken aback and humbled by your beautiful words and sentiments. Thanks again.

    Blessings & Respect, Always