Welfare is a short-term fix for an immediate crisis, but it must not turn into a way of life, and it cannot be a lifestyle.
Fifteen years ago, I worked in a San Pedro foodbank called "The Crossing". While working their in Thanksgiving, I noticed that some of the homeless and needy who arrived there had an imperial attitude. They expected their food, and would get huffy and arrogant if they did not get what they wanted when they wanted it.
Welfarism is poisonous on many levels. It breeds sloth and insolence in people, enabling them not to work or provide anything for themselves or to serve others.
An accute example of this welfare entitlement mentality forced a church in San Pedro, CA to stop free lunches.
|Sign in front of Mary Star of the Sea Church. (Chuck Bennett / Daily Breeze Photographer)|
Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church in San Pedro has temporarily shut down a program that provides free sack lunches to the hungry, many of them homeless, citing aggressive behavior on the part of some of the clients.
Charity cannot become a subsidy for crime or sloth, or abusive behavior. No matter what the circumstances of poor and homeless individuals, an expectation of good behavior remains.
The weekday service, run by volunteers through the church’s Christian Care ministry, is set to reopen Monday, according to a notice posted on the church door this week, but organizers warned that it may end up a permanent closure if behavior doesn’t improve.
Poverty is not just about a lack of money. Charity has to heal the entire person, not just provide food for the stomach and shelter for the head. Many people are homeless because of a lack of education and training, some may argue. Did they have a proper upbringing? Did they have support systems as children before becoming adults?
“Due to an increase in aggressive behavior by some of our clients, we will be closed for lunches for 1 week: Aug. 24 to Aug. 28, 2015,” the notice read. “We will reopen on August 31st. If poor behavior continues we may have to close the lunch program.”
The most successful charities to not just give food or money, The provide shelter, counseling, Biblical training, and help individuals prosper in their souls, so that they can prosper and be in health in every other aspect of their lives.
|Mary Star of the Sea Inner Enclave|
Members of the Christian Care ministry could not be reached for comment after several attempts Tuesday.
Does anyone need to ask or tell them anything else? They should not be blamed or slighted for expecting better behavior from individuals seeking food. However, charities in the South Bay need to do more than just hand out food.
The move comes at a time when the homelessness issue has exploded in San Pedro, prompting special neighborhood council meetings and numerous online debates. Mary Star has been passing out the sandwiches from its church doors in the 800 block of Seventh Street for nearly three decades.
Several churches throughout the South Bay and Harbor Area have similar programs.
Why is there so much homelessness in San Pedro? How about the lack of available jobs? Perhaps the overabundance of government welfare has turned the Harbor region into a magnet for homeless people. LA City has made it harder for businesses to thrive while doing nothing about proper housing for individuals who live and work in the region.
By the way - the answer to affordable housing is not rent control or Section subsidies. The fact is that lots of people want to live in the mild, temperate, and beautiful South Bay, and the competition for housing will raise prices. Of course, jacking up the minimum wage has forced up rental prices, too, along with the rules and regulations within cities,
A study released this week reported a dramatic rise in chronic homelessness, citing a lack of affordable housing and a stagnant labor market as contributing factors.
"Stagnant labor market"? Industrious people are looking for ways to deal with this. Some people are moving back in with their parents, or they moving in with other people and splitting their rent. I know a number of people who work more jobs, or they cut spending. Mary Star of the Sea is not responsible for the homelessness problem, and they should not have to endure criticism or scrutiny,
In San Pedro, the issue has taken over social media sites as community members argue about what to do about the uptick in encampments on city streets and parks, often accompanied by public urination and defecation, panhandling and other behavior or crimes that have alarmed, angered and frustrated many residents who believe the situation is part of a growing regional and local crisis.
Debates mostly center over where to build more transitional shelters or whether to allow hubs of small, rudimentary houses on vacant lots to exist as encampments.
Extreme proposals have suggested moving homeless people into less inhabited regions of Los Angeles County.
Hundreds are expected to turn out from 6-8 p.m. Sept. 3 for Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino’s community forum on homelessness at the Warner Grand Theatre in downtown San Pedro.
Questions are being taken in advance via a dedicated Facebook page — San Pedro Homelessness Forum — for the panel that will include Greg Spiegel, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s homeless czar; Los Angeles Police Department Senior Lead Officer Deon Joseph, who has spent the past 17 years policing downtown’s Skid Row; and Shari Weaver, director of the Family Resource Center at Harbor Interfaith Services in San Pedro.
Los Angeles has done nothing but make it harder to make it in the city, and welfarism has become too common a way of life. There is a lack of local control for communities of interest to do something substantial.
Improving the quality of local schools would help. Giving adults and private charities more freedom and opportunity to help young people without strong families or stable homes can stave off the cycle of drop-outs who end up struggling, on welfare, or homeless.
Whether this statement offends people are not, we need a revitalization of spiritual growth in our societies. A return to Biblical respect and authority:
Most people do not believe that they have any hope, or should have any expectation of doing well in their lives. For too many in the Los Angeles region, poverty and dependence are not just a way of life, they are THE only life they know.
That is wrong, and they should know the truth, that there is the Loving God, through His Son Jesus, who has nothing but our best interests at heart -- not the government! -- and that prosperity is available to all who will believe. Why is this message not being preached in local churches? They can do much more than handing out lunch on the weekdays.
Once again, notice that food does not lead to soul prosperity. What poor choices or mental illnesses have contributed to a heavy move of homelessness among so many in the region? The central problem rests on much more than money or lack of space.