Articles, Blog

Panhandling/ Opioids

September 8, 2019

okay what I thought I would do now is to
give you guys a different option for those of you who want to help people who
are panhandling or flying a sign whichever term you like to use but you
don’t feel comfortable giving money I like to have this variety of items in my
van and also I will start with this stuff
over here I go to the goodwill and I’ll get
sleeping bags and fortunately I have never had a problem getting sleeping
bags I like to get two or three at a time and I’m typically paying about four
or five dollars per sleeping bag and I also like to have with me a variety of
backpacks because they are very needed for individuals who are living on the
street and so here’s different sizes for different options and again get those at
Goodwill probably another you know four dollars or so and blankets are always
good you can get those for just a couple bucks and the clothing items I like to
have both men and women’s clothes all different sizes and I only get them off of
the clearance rack which you’re probably paying about a dollar an item so you
know you really have to be mindful because this stuff does add up
so you got to kind of keep a budget so there’s typically two scenarios that
you’re going to run into one is the person who’s panhandling /flying their
sign at a stoplight so you get to the stoplight it’s red you’ve only got a couple
seconds to hand something off I like to have a few of these bags just with three
or four items in it you just reach down grab a bag out the window and their you
go your not holding up traffic it’s not a danger to
anybody and then the other scenario is I have a backpack and I have a lot of
these items that I always carry in the pack there’s still some in here from
last weekend so say you’re at a park or in the parking lot of Walmart a grocery
store and you see someone who looks like they could use a little help I give them
the option to come over and they can go through the bag that’s by the van and I
have never had anyone really rummage through and take take take take take
every single person who has ever looked through the book bag has been nothing
but courteous and I have to you a story I now keep the gift cards attached to
the receipt and the paper that it came on because I had one gentleman he saw
there was a gift card in the bag and he said oh I think you probably dropped
this out of your purse I don’t think it meant to have that in there and I said I
absolutely did so and I said there’s like $5 on it but they are one of the
first items to go out of the bag people get really excited to see that and
another important thing in diabetic socks if you can just imagine these guys
are walking for hours a day miles and miles and miles and I have had so
many people tell me that their feet just burn and it feels like pins and needles
the neuropathy so I like to get the diabetic socks to go along with that
also the body pains that they experience from sleeping on the ground
being in the cold in the wet and not that this is going to solve anything but
it I hope that it helps a little bit and the antibiotic cream i
case of cuts things like that another thing that people like to get is a lip
balm chapstick for both winter and summer when people are living in the
camps they like the clothesline to hang up their sleeping bags to dry out if
it’s been raining or their clothes that’s always a good thing and also in
the camps a lot of the camps I’ve been in have been very organized very clean
but a few of them that I’ve been in have been a hot mess and so I’d like to take
garbage bags with me if I’m going into the camps and I encourage those that are
staying there to pick up and you know put some of those beer cans or trash or
whatever is hanging around in the garbage bags and I tell them you know
maybe the cops won’t be harassing you so much if you keep this area a little
cleaner and it does work because I’ve gone back and the garbage bags are
filled so that made me happy and some feminine products and a lot of people
don’t think to put items in your bag for women but unfortunately women are the
highest rate of increase when it comes to homelessness and that is due to
domestic abuse and divorce unfortunately so don’t forget your
ladies out there and the hair ties the the flossing sticks I have several of
these bags and I put like a half a dozen to a dozen of them in there and people
can just grab those the fanny wipes I keep several of these bags in my
backpack for obvious reasons and I have the large size toothbrush and toothpaste
typically I have the travel size which works a whole lot better because people
are very limited in the space they have to carry things so I’m
definitely gonna have to restock the trial size or the travel size toothbrush
and toothpaste and this is very helpful for those who are living in the woods
the bug spray and the emery boards surprised me because I really thought
that only the women would take them but just as many men are grabbing these
as the women again travel-size the shampoo conditioner body wash
whenever you go into a hotel you know scoop them up I have a giant bag of the
travel size from hotels and maybe you can collect some from friends or
neighbors so that you can always keep those because those go pretty darn quick
the six pack of water I get from the dollar store so six for a dollar you
can’t beat that and I’d give each individual the whole six pack
don’t keep the plastic bottles of water in your car in the heat because it’s
just not good for anyone to have that plastic sitting in the heat I also have
male and female ball caps those are very popular items and I carry the
giant marker you know so they can be creative and make their signs but I
don’t give these out I just make sure that I have one for anyone
who needs it and I know there’s a lot of people who don’t agree with those
flying their signs and we will talk about that later I also like to have
games and things to work your mind like some word find and make sure
they have a pen to go with it or handing out decks of cards very popular
and here I have the checker set and keep it in a bag to protect it from the
elements and the adult coloring books make sure you have crayons to go with
those I know a lot of people tell me that they are just bored because of all
the time that is idle in their life at this point and unfortunately I know
many of you are out there are thinking well they wouldn’t be bored if they were out
looking for a job I have learned so many things from doing this project and one
of the biggest things I’ve learned is that homelessness does not discriminate
it can happen to anybody it can happen to you
it can happen to me it can happen to your mother and your father your child
your neighbor your coworker and I talked a little bit about the fact
that women are one of the biggest growing populations of homelessness
the second is suburban youth and that is due to the opioid epidemic so I’m going
to list some groups of people and you tell me do you think that that person is
a victim or that they have caused their addiction to drugs the painkillers what
about an 80 year old woman who had hip surgery and now she’s addicted to her
painkillers or what about that star football player that injured his knee
during the game and now he’s addicted to painkillers what about that 30 year old
who was in a motor vehicle accident hurt his back and he is a general contractor
he is unable to stay home he’s got to work and he is addicted to his
painkillers are those people victims or did they
cause their addiction personally I feel all are victims because of society’s
abuse to prescription medications you’re injured you go your doctor your doctor
gives you a prescription for a painkiller let’s see some of those
prescriptions could be fentenol oxycodone morphine hydrocodone vicodin
norco percocet or demerol and let’s just to name a few so you take all of your medication as
prescribed but you run out and your still in pain so you go back to your doctor and
you asked for a refill chances are good you’re going to get
that refill and if you continue to take that depending on your personality
depending on your chemistry your makeup you could easily become addicted you can
become addicted to that after just a few days so you got that refill that’s gone
you go back to your doctor ask for more this time your doctor does not give you any
more so you absolutely need it at this point to function you’re still
working you’re still going to school but it’s becomes a struggle
you’re starting to change your dynamics of your relationships in your life because
you’re needing this painkiller every day now you’re running out you don’t
have any you get nervous so now your looking in the medicine cabinets of
your friends or family members when that’s no longer an option then you
resort to going out on the street and buying those pills
those pills out on the street are gonna cost you $20 a pop now your
relationships are really changing and you’re getting new friends “friends” the
people are on the street who are supplying these painkillers to you and that one pill that used to help
that’s no longer helping now you’re up to five six or more and
it’s costing $20 a pop you don’t have that kind of money but you know you
still have to take it in order to keep working because the pain you can’t deal
with it so now one of these new friends tells you you know what I’ve got
a different something something that will help you and it’s going to
cost you a fraction of the price and you’re really hesitant because you have
never been that person to use street drugs
never but you’re in the panic mode you’re like well you know you say no
the first time and then unfortunately it’s getting to the point where you
can’t afford $20 a pop anymore so all right and you kind of tell yourself well
if I don’t shoot up the heroin then I won’t be a junkie like those people on
the streets so now you’re using heroin all your
relationships have been broken if you’re not homeless already
you’re probably couch surfing and eventually unfortunately thousands of those
individuals are now shooting up and they’ve lost all sense of themselves
they don’t care if they live or die they’re out on the streets
those are the people that you’re seeing panhandling to get money for those drugs or the alcohol food something to drink just to survive
because their families have probably given up on them because they’ve stolen
everything they can get their hands on to get money for this drug so don’t think I can’t happen to you it can
happen to anybody the people that you see out on the
streets they have probably made a good many bad decisions it does not mean that
they are bad people

1 Comment

  • Reply Born Blazed September 1, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    there are also people faking being homeless for $$$

  • Leave a Reply