Sunday, September 30, 2012

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. Lincoln

This submission was made in response to a blurb published in a local newspsper by a person who was outraged to see so many people in the local soup kitchen texting on their cell phones. I share it here with you my dear readers knowing this not a lecture you need to hear. ;-)
Have a joyous day

Dear Editor
On Saturday September 29th the Chronicle- Journal carried a Thumbs Down comment regarding soup kitchens and cell phones… to this person and everyone who read it and thought “HERE, HERE!” God gives each of you a big Thumbs Down… He wanted to use it to squeeze the ignorance out of your stupid heads, but I convinced him to wait on that and try education first.
            My name is Bonny L. Cameron and I am the foremost expert on homelessness in Canada. Let me begin by saying cell phones are no longer a luxury or an add-on, millions of Canadians (including myself) choose cell phones over landlines, also unlimited plans run between $25 and $40 per month.
           That said now for the sad reality; 50% of people using Canada’s shelters &/or soup kitchens are there simply because they are poor. Marginally employed and marginally housed these folks move often, a cell phone is often the only consistency in a turbulent struggle just to get by. It keeps them connected with family, friends, social workers, doctors, teachers, babysitters, employers, potential employers, potential landlords…again a cell phone is a necessity, NOT a luxury.   

          Another 20% of homeless are what I call medicals, people who struggle with disability (visible or hidden), living on a fixed income, in and out of hospitals, moving often and in need of  consistent contact information for family, friends and service providers to reach them.
         The last 30% are street people (your stereotypical homeless) addicts, drunks, and people struggling with undiagnosed mental illness or concurrent disorders. If any of these guys have a cell phone I celebrate “WooHoo”…. That’s 40 bucks that did not go to buying crack this month.
          If you witnessed this atrocity you must have been at that soup kitchen… if you are eating there you also have too much month at the end of your money. Perhaps you should change your priorities, move from your apartment into a cheap rooming house or give up your (landline) phone or television service so you can afford food. You don’t want people judging you …do not presume judge others. The world will be a better place when we all practice the Golden Rule.
          On the other hand perhaps you volunteer or work for that organization… if this is the case “Leave at once and never look back”!  Go out and save a baby whale for Jesus…. Your kind… does more harm than good working with the poor and disenfranchised.  Your sanctimonious, judgmental attitude just causes more hurt to people already suffering.  Re-read Matthew 25:40… and don’t wait until you are standing at the Pearly-Gates before you figure out how you are going to explain your behaviour.
For anyone who cares enough to want to know the truth about homelessness in Canada you can visit my website
Bonny L. Cameron