Thursday, September 27, 2007

Choosers can be beggars

o who gives a darn, anyways. These people create their own problems and expect the rest of us to bail them out. Can you really see Jesus in their eyes? Come on, now. Really?

The writer of this article went out on the streets around Minneapolis and interviewed them.

Do they deserve "a second chance"?

Volume 27 - Issue 1313 - Jim Walsh - February 1, 2006

On the Corner

Text and photos by Jim Walsh
February 1, 2006

35W and Lake Street
est job: "A long time ago, I worked at Mystic Lake Casino. I was in environmental services. That's a fancy word for janitor. I worked there a year."

Worst job: "This."

Last job: "Two years ago, I was a maid helping the elderly [in-home]. I could set my own hours, and I'd get paid weekly, not like these other jobs where you get paid every two weeks."

Dream job: "Helping the elderly."

35W and Lake Street
Best job:
"I've only had the best jobs in the world. I'm a certified welder. That's what I want to do. I can go to work at anytime."

Worst job: "I'm an alcoholic, Sir. And I'm having a hard time keeping work."

Last job: "Three weeks ago." (Points to his jacket, with the logo of a steel company.)

Dream job: "If I could find a job I wouldn't have to carry around my clothing in a bag and do this. Hey! If anybody out there can hear me....

35W and University Avenue
Best job: "Working for Northwestern Bell, back in '72. Lineman."

Worst job: "Day labor stuff. Minnesota Barrel, for instance. They're heavy, you gotta stack 'em three high and stuff. But it was a job. I did everything there is."

Last job: "Senior center in Cambridge, doing maintenance work on their facility. I'm a handyman."

Dream job: "I dunno. I really don't. I'm on veterans' disability. I was in Vietnam."


paramedicgirl said...

Nice blog Jim! I'm glad Father V linked to it or I may not have found it.

I'm curious - did you interview these homeless people? I have a penchant for the poor. I love to help them. When I was in Boston in August, I took a bunch of dollar bills with me and gave them out to all the street beggars. What struck me was that each one said "God bless you."

One woman was sitting on the street with her pant leg rolled up, exposing an old scar from knee surgery. Of course, I knew it was an ancient scar, but I recognized that this was her job, and it was how she made her living.

We chatted and I gave her money, and then we chatted some more. She may have been using her scar for pity money, but her appreciation was genuine. And she asked God to bless me. She was lovely.

Anonymous said...

paramedic girl - i just read your tv comment on Fr v's site. you seem heroic to me in that.

no. i did not do this interview. above the article you will find full credit to the reporter who did. it also has a link to his newspaper's on-line edition, and thereon are links to the various articles. I've used a pportin of te article in my post, so you can read the rest of the inerviews on his post.

did you watch the sunday videos on adam'sale? i'm sure that one of the homeless man struck a chord in a lot of readers.

hey - give me a story. i know we've all had many 'second chaances' in our life...share one or two for God's glory and our edification and upbuilding.

does that sond pompous enough?
really - i would appreciate it.

i'll bet you've encountered some tough ones in some of the emergency runs you've made - and i'd bet you followed up on a few to see how they did afterwards - maybe some stories there?

i see you over at adoro's blog, too, right?

Anonymous said...

I think they deserve a second, third, fourth, fifth and thirtieth chance...but most of them wouldn't do anything with those chances.

Those that are truly in need have the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, the John 3:16 Mission, etc. But those places don't serve liquor or hand out cash for drugs.

Also, as it's been reported in media around these parts, some of them make more than the average person by just holding a sign and looking pathetic--so, why bother to work?

uncle jim said...

we get a lot of them just stop in at our car repair shop and ask for help ... several favorite stories all the same. i'm told by a son, who spent some time homeless, they they teach these to each other looking for the best pitch to use. and they do know all the places for a hand-out and services and what day of the week at what time the stores dump old stuff to the dumpsters, etc., etc., etc.

having said that, which one doesn't have christ in him/her?

Anonymous said...

Having Christ in you doesn't give you permission to be a freeloader.

When Christ talks about the poor he doesn't mean the wilfully unemployed. When he talks about the widow, he doesn't mean the woman whose husband isn't around because her kids have seven different fathers she didn't bother to marry.

Loving someone and even wanting the best for them doesn't mean having to enable their destructive behaviors.

uncle jim said...

I'll give you all that.

Then what should our response be?

Fr. V said...


This is cool!

Will have to link to this one too!

I feel another post coming on.

Oh no . . .

uncle jim said...

for those who don't recognize the highway designation, think of the bridge that collapsed several weeks ago: 35W

Anonymous said...

Our response should be an invitation to a better life and help in achieving it.

Their response should be a desire for a better life and the willingness to work for it.

We shouldn't be treating them as the objects of pity but as the subjects of a relationship--with us and with God.

Anonymous said...

If someone is looking for money for alcohol, drugs, giving money is helping the person self-destruct.
To help the truly needy, carry bottled water and gift certificates for coffee shops/sub shops, etc. If someone is hungry for food or thirsty, these donations will be appreciated and you will be serving Jesus in "the least of his brothers/sisters".

uncle jim said...

How practical is this?
VERY ...
Love, compassion, common-sense.
I'm stocking up this week-end!

Adoro said...

I'm going to blog about this because of an experience I had in my last job not too far from that location.