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Helping the Homeless

Homeless Shoe ShineLast Sunday I went with Tammy Kling to help the homeless in downtown Dallas.

I learned a lot. I’m now frustrated with the system, mad at myself for being so stuff greedy, and frustrated that I can’t do more to help.

There were people living with newborn babies on the streets of downtown Dallas. The first thing I wanted to do was take those babies straight home and give them a crib to sleep in.

How are those tiny babies going to survive in 108 degree heat?

I actually haven’t been able to get those babies off my mind. But the suck part is- I don’t know how to help them.

Show up on Sunday mornings and make sure they’re still alive? That kind of seems like a colossal waste, and then what happens if I show up and that lady doesn’t have her dirty stroller with her? I don’t know how I could handle that.

My next question is– Is that the best place for that baby? Well, obviously that woman loves the child and wants to keep the baby with her, she wants to raise her- but what chance does that baby have? Does anyone really think that newborn is going to grow up on the streets? There’s just no way. I can’t see a way- and, again- I don’t know what to do about it.

So, now I know there’s a brand new baby living on the streets of downtown Dallas, her mother hopping from one shelter to the next just to take the time to find a cool place for a baby less than a month old.

I am at a total loss, I have no idea how to help that baby, and I feel pretty helpless. The selfish part of me is VERY glad that my daughter has a safe, secure place to grow up- but what about that poor baby?

I want to drive back there- load that kid up in my extra three hundred dollar car seat and drive her away from that place- raise her as my own and NEVER tell her about how she was born to some homeless person and spent the first month of her life living on the street.

Honestly, that’s the only way I would be satisfied with the outcome. So, now what do I do?
Creative Commons License photo credit: Alex E. Proimos

Julie Butcher

Sunday 26th of July 2009

Jamie, That woman needs professional help and counseling in order to fix whatever damage that led her to being on the streets in the first place. Very seldom is it a situation where one person bears no fault. It's heartbreaking to see. I agree child services should be called and the woman helped- but by people trained in this work. Your job is to help your local womens shelter as much as you are able, to appreciate your own family, and to take advantage of your God-given gifts and opportunities.

--Julie .-= Julie Butcher´s last blog ..Food Pantry-A Sunday Miracle For You =-.

Claena

Sunday 26th of July 2009

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 womens 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.

AssassinGrl

Sunday 26th of July 2009

I know this is going to sound cold at first, but you said it yourself,"How do I help the baby?" And that is what is important here. Child services needs to be called. It sounds harsh for the mother, but if it were you on the streets of Dallas, would you hand your baby over to Child Services or risk your baby's life? I know you'd put your baby's well being above your own wishes. .-= AssassinGrl´s last blog ..Ain’t No Folla Back Girl =-.

Beth Anne

Sunday 26th of July 2009

:( I know it's so sad my sister says if she ever got pregnant she'd put the baby up for adoption but that isn't the easiest thing to do either. The homeless is a problem and it's sad. Some of them like living like that...others don't really have a choice. It's awful because it's so hard to get a job if you don't even have an address. When I was in college we used to make pb&J or go get 1 dollar burgers from mcdonalds and give it to the homeless people that were out on the streets. That's a start. OR you can start volunteering. Donating baby clothes to places. There's stuff to do.