THE HOMELESS©PortWhitmanTimes 2004
     PORT WHITMAN: "The homeless have the same rights as the rest of us", stated the Assistant Director of the Volunteers of America, in a recent article reporting the sharing of costs by county municipalities to pay for a permanent homeless shelter in Port Whitman. But do they?
     First of all, the homeless are not all the same, not all ne'er-do-well drifters living off the fat of the system, though most certainly a goodly enough percentage of those do to make the situation alarming. (The city of Port Whitman does not want them downtown in the "Development" area, the first instance I've heard of where the city was actually rejecting residents) so another location has been found, a few blocks away, but out of sight, thus out of mind.
     There are homeless because of family problems, homeless dischargees from hospitals or care centers with noplace to go, battered homeless, poor homeless addicted homeless, drunk homeless, criminal homeless, and countless other categories of unfortunates who, to use the word of Fr. Alfred Weber talking on 60 Minutes, will now be "pipelined" into the city for care, and rehabilitation, hopefully.
     But as to the "rights" of the homeless... Just how far must society lean to accommodate those individuals in this group who refuse to be rehabilitated? I should think, unless we all want to continue down the road of more and more tax money being spent on people who take less and less responsibility, that some limits should be designed into this new institution, so that it does not become a magnet for freebie seekers.
     Recently in Oregon, the homeless threatened to actually take over a town. This kind of thing can get carried away, especially when it's being run by do-gooder achiever types who are not only not spending their own money, but not even spending the money of the municipality in which they operate, have no connection with the funding, other than being the co-beneficiaries, along with the homeless, of the contributions that run the shelter. These people are looking out for their own careers you can bet, just as the homeless people are looking for their next square meal and a warm bed. It's only a matter of levels of taking, unless restrictions are applied that insure that the people who have these rights are shown a road to shouldering the responsibilities that provide for them.
     The proposed location of the shelter in Port Whitman is interesting, though no surprise, and so is the fact that the other county municipalities are willing to pay so much for it NOT to be located in their communities. Frankly, it seems that each of us should be willing to help, and that means taking a certain number of the unfortunates into our individual communities, thus dividing them up so they don't become a movement, rather than shoving them all in one place where instant blight is created, along with an organized ghetto, where lack of hope can be nourished along with its victims.

           Henry Francisco - Port Whitman Times

Go, pursue a dream
Odd though that may seem
Time here to live
Your energy give,
Life's new leases teem...

About The Cooper-Grant & Center-City Areas, and Camden at-large



Comicbooks bring ya
Stories which sing ya
An ultra-reality
Yea, a modality
Into which they can string ya

Telling tales out-of-school
Might well turn the fool
Cast as the butt
Embarrassed somewhat
To come back and be spitefully cruel

At the mercy of the system
The choice: Go with 'em
Or stubbornly resist
At which point they'll desist
Then you'll be off to abyss-dom

Like a flat rock
Taking a walk
Skip o'er a smooth pond
To a future beyond
What can be seen from the dock

To up and compete 
Don't sink down and cheat
Be bigger, faster, more, less
Unafraid of largesse
In giving yourself a front seat 

When competitive pace
Gets up in your face
Yet, winning prizes
Within sight arises
Simply invent a new race

A million years old
Earth, from a mold
Perfected by God 
Has us all awed
At what's yet to unfold

From a ball of clay
Man was formed one day;
The Creator, goes the tale
Who'd made Earth, said "Today'll
Get a Biblical myth underway."

There is no shell
In which one can dwell
Forceful words can't pierce
With a point that is fierce,
Pungently casting their spell

Swindlers use religions
Turning fools into "pigeons"
With messages carried
From those who are buried
Extracting donations in smidgens

If your job is your passion
You're likely to cash in;
The pleasure of working
Even soda jerking
Of tasty fun has its ration

Life: an escapade
One long promenade
Down streets of dreams
Or thusly it seems…
Merely a masquerade

Slow down readers' thinking
To the speed of your inking.
That's all writing is
Gee whiz!
From what were you shrinking?

The writer decides
What to show or to hide
From the perspective
Of what is effective
And that to the reader confides

The perfect existence:
Keeping one's distance
Having the fun
Without even one
Tiny grain of of resistance