"All words are symbols that represent unspeakable realities. Which is also why words are magical." (Donald Miller tweet)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

NO spikes

So... this has me furious. http://globalnews.ca/news/1385919/anti-homeless-spikes-efforts-to-deter-homeless-backfire/

First of all - they aren't "the homeless". Unless the rest of us are "the homed". They are PEOPLE who DON'T HAVE A HOME.

Imagine that, just for a second. 

Nowhere to retreat. No bed. No choice of food. No quiet or safe space. No place to ... stop.

And now... you can't sit down either. Or lie down. On public space that doesn't matter to anyone. Because someone put SPIKES there for the express purpose of denying you the comfort of sitting down on a concrete slab. You walked all day ... keep on walking. We don't need your kind here. You're not people... you're "the homeless".

Tell me, please, how this attitude is different, except in degree, to attitudes behind slavery, genocide and the like? "You aren't human enough to sit down in a public space."

And don't - DO NOT - tell me that it's their fault somehow. No one grows up dreaming of being without a place to live. Are there choices? Sure, sometimes. More obstacles in the way of making good choices than I've ever had to face? Almost always. Does "the system" work? Uh, no. At its best, it is short-term and dehumanizing. 

I don't rant often. And I can't solve it all. But I'll tell you this: there will be NO spikes installed around MY church. (Or my home, for that matter. If someone wants to sit on my front porch, they can.) One of my goals is to find an affordable bench or two to drill into the concrete around Crossfire, so there IS a place to rest.

And anyone will be welcome to it. They can also use the washroom. And have a bottle of water. 

Who's with me?



Brenda Naylor said...

I agree 100% . What if we came up with a way to raise the funds to buy those benches around the church? A church sale, a raffle ...something...I would happily donate a prize to be raffled..I crochet...I could make a beautiful blanket or something .....God bless you Pastor Patti

Patti said...

Thanks Brenda :) We've been keeping an eye out for awhile, so hopefully we can work something out. The thing is - every expense we have is based on fundraising, so to hold a fundraiser for this, is to take away from something ELSE that's important. So we take an offering every week, and work hard to cover everything in the budget - including benches! :)

Doug Grierson said...

I agree with you. Sounds like a great idea. At our church, every communion service we take a second offering called the benevolent fund which finances needs like this for people with financial needs within our church or community. Why don't you start some fund like this and get those benches that will come with some food and water? I think Jesus would approve. Don't forget, at one point he was a homeless man with no place to lay his head!