***Update on this family: They lived for a year and a half in my brother’s yard, long enough for the oldest child to graduate high school (our decision: we didn’t want to throw them out during the child’s senior year).
When they left, the father got angry at my dad and stole a dog that my brother had bought from the family. They’d been fostering a dog for a rescue org and had decided they didn’t want to take care of it anymore & sold it to my brother for his girlfriend. They left with the dog after an argument with my dad over what to do with their broken down camper-they wanted my dad to buy it, but were going to remove the towing hitch-which was 1)the only valuable part and 2) the only way to move it. So my dad said uh, no if they wanted the money for it they could leave it in place with the hitch-after the 18 months of free rent and utilities & donations of food etc from our friends and family, that was the deal. They left the camper, stole the dog. Quality folks.
I hope no more sad stories come our way ever again.
Originally posted Feb 14, 2010
My husband says maybe we should restrict our Samaritan work to donations to large organizations because you need the buffer. You know, the buffer between yourself and the people you help. That way, you don’t see what they do with your money, or your gift, or your donation of whatever.
I think that’s where people are coming from with this ludicrous push to have welfare recipients tested for drugs, even though welfare takes up a miniscule portion of the budget and the implementation of a program like that would be more expensive than it’s worth. Not to mention unconstitutional.
But I didn’t come here to talk about that-I came to talk about the homeless people who until today were living in my yard and are now living in my brother’s yard. Like RIGHT in his yard. When he looks out his living room window, they’re 6 feet away. Can we just take a moment to give my brother mad respect because he’s really taking one for the team with this. He’s only home 2 days a week right now and his place has more permanent hookups, so we had to move them. Since they’ll be staying a while.
The thing is that this is an incredibly deep learning experience for me in terms of boundaries, and how deep my generosity goes, and judgments, and all kinds of issues that I never considered when we first offered up the motor home to this family. For instance, I learned that while I willingly share my washing machine and my shower and my hot water and dishwasher, I’m having a hard time being a socialist about my internet connection, which is struggling under the heavy bandwidth of two teenagers and xbox live. (no, in case you’re wondering, I don’t consider myself a socialist)
Wouldn’t it be so neat and tidy if we always got to help people just like us? And then they would just accept exactly the help we offered, take all the advice we gave them, which of course would lead them down exactly the right path, and then they’d dig right out of the hole they’re in and before they knew it they’d be back on track.
I hear this a lot: “these people (I guess they mean poor people?) have the same opportunities as everyone else. They can just go get a job and make their way like everyone else has to” and I am here to tell you that this is just not true for everyone, and what I’ve wondered late on sleepless nights lately is what is society’s responsibility to the people who cannot scrape by, now that the economy is collapsing around us? Who cares for them, the people who can’t come home to family like we did?(for the record, the mom in this family does have a part time job. They are unable to find affordable housing)
When I ask my husband that question he gestures toward the front yard.