A Response to a Comment on my Helping the Homeless Blog Post

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This is a response to a comment made in this post.

Here is the comment:

Don’t take this the wrong way, but I think you’re making extremely judgmental assumptions here.

You don’t know this baby’s mother or how she came to be on the street. And it is pretty presumptious of you to asssume that you’d be a better parent, just because you have a nice house to live in. And you definitely have no idea if the baby would be better off in the system.

It’s easy to say that someone should turn their kids over to the state, when you’re talking about someone else. But when it’s your child who will be whisked away to live with complete strangers selected by an over-taxed system that doesn’t have the resources to even ensure the safety of the kids in their care.

It’s not like the Disney movies where kids go into a loving home in an affluent neighborhood. Unfortunately, very few wealthy families adopt children, and even fewer take in foster kids.

You also don’t know what the woman is doing to get herself out of the situation. It could be she is doing everything she can.

The best thing you can do is to support the local women’s shelter so that they can in turn offer services to this woman and her child–hopefully the services that will help her find a home for herself and her child.

YES! This is exactly what I was saying… I can’t judge this lady… I don’t know the entire situation… how am I supposed to know what to do… ya know?
My first assumptions are EXTREMELY judgmental… then when I start to think about it more… I feel completely helpless…
You just made my point more eloquently than I ever could…
I agree… would I be a better parent just because I have nice stuff? Who knows… but that isn’t something I will ever find out… because that just isn’t how things work…
My whole point is this… how am I supposed to help THAT one kid. Sure, I can help the masses, and sure I can volunteer at local women’s shelters, etc. But the real question is- What about that one kid? Is that something we realistically can help with? I know we have systems set up to help the masses, but what about those kids that fall through the cracks? What about that one little baby living on the street? How can I help that ONE particular kid… I am totally unequipped. I know nothing about the system, and I don’t have a way to handle that sort of thing… do I sit by and watch that happen? Or do I do something?
I don’t know.

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  2. OK – not sure what I did to that first sentence! It was supposed to say “I agree with Claena and Andy.”
    .-= Penny´s last blog ..Simple Pleasures =-.

  3. I Claena and Andy. Working with organizations trained in this area is probably the number one thing you can do to help.

    There really is no feasible way to help that one baby, without helping his/her mother. Know what I mean? And to make THAT much of a difference, I think you would really have to HELP her – ie: support her as you help her find a home, help her find a job, help her find day care, etc. It would take a HUGE commitment (in every sense of the word) on your part.

    You seem to have such a good heart. Don’t torment yourself. Volunteer to help where you can. I think you make a MUCH larger difference than you’ll ever know.
    .-= Penny´s last blog ..Simple Pleasures =-.

  4. Jamie, I’ll share with you something I had to learnt very quickly, and very painfully, when dealing with a great number of ‘social care’ situations when I was an ambulance medic…

    No matter how hard you try, no matter what you do, or how good you are, sometimes you just can’t save all the lives all of the time.

    You have to find perspective, and accept there may be nothing you can do to help *this one child*. But there is plenty you can do that might make a difference, like going down with Tammy to help out. Giving spare food, money or blankets and clothes to help out.

    Don’t take it personally that you can’t help this one child, it’s not your fault. But there are plenty of things you can do. Go out, find out what they are, and then go do them. It will help you feel just a little better.
    .-= Andy Walker´s last blog ..A face from the past =-.

  5. None of us are really equipped. That’s why I support the local private organizations who do know about how the system works and how to tell the difference between someone who just needs a leg up and someone who needs other levels of help or care.

    There are people who have dedicated their lives to helping people who find themselves in these kind of desperate circumstances. I think the best way to help the individuals is to support those people who are best equipped to help and who have established relationships with the people who need help.

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