Monday, December 17, 2007

Homeless by choice

It is always refreshing to read a report which touches on the truth. For instance;

Like all those the Waikato Times spoke to who work with the homeless, Mr White said many people who live on the streets were there by choice.

I imagine the response to that by some is, they don't know any better, they aren't making an 'informed choice'. Nobody could want to live like that.

That is a matter for conjecture. Meanwhile don't people have a right to live on the streets if they choose? If the streets belong to the public by proxy then these people have every right to live on them. It may offend, it may distress, it may anger others. But as long as street dwellers live within the law perhaps we ought to stop wringing our hands and accept them.


Rick said...

They are uninformed.

I shared camp with a Vietnam vet in tropical Northern Territory who can't bare to live any other way.

And I've met others who likewise feel at home on the streets and will choose to go back there. I once hitched a ride from a business professional who confided that he'd spent 6 years of his youth sleeping in doorways in Amsterdam- before "snapping out of it."

I don't think it's moral, or right, or healthy. They are uninformed- ie they're letting fear (or like shaddow) rule them. But it is their choice, no mistake about it.

Anonymous said...

Ask Blanket Man in Cuba Mall. He used to be a smelly, half naked drunk. Now he is a famous smelly half naked drunk. I'd say he would not swap his blanket and fame for a cosy house.

Brian Smaller

Anonymous said...

In the UK, the local councils are required by law to provide housing (or a B&B if no houses are available) for any homeless person.

ANd guess what: There are still homeless people on the streets: by choice.

Michael said...

Blanket Man (aka Ben Hana) currently has a roof over his head - I saw him being arrested last week. And we're paying for it anyway.

KG said...

I lived in the bush alone for a year after I left the Army--the thought of socialising was just too much to bear.
Rick, don't agree that it's necessarily uninformed, and it's most certainly not "immoral" provided nobody else is harmed.

Swimming said...

Blanket man is loaded. He lives on the streets by choice. I think he just recently bought himself a new i-pod.

Rick said...

I understand it, KG.

Rick, don't agree that it's necessarily uninformed, and it's most certainly not "immoral" provided nobody else is harmed.

My conception of morality is individualistic- one doesn't need to conspire with, or against, others to be unethical.

Those who forgoe civilisation and capitalism and society by choice are not living the good life. I think they have perception issues to resolve, and are going about it the best way they know how. And, when they're done being uninformed, unenlightened, they come out a better person: enlightened.

Thus spake Rickathustra.

KG said...

I see what you mean by the "immoral" bit now, and I'd have to agree with that.