The above is a statement from a participant on the NextDoor app. I chose to discuss this comment because it is one I see quite often. It is a very uneducated comment and one aimed at making people think anyone who is concerned about the homeless is a hypocrite for not taking them into their own home. It is essentially stating “If you won’t take a homeless person into your own home, you don’t care that much” and that couldn’t be further from the truth!
The Needs of the Homeless
Most of the homeless I’ve talked to have some form of PTSD. The severity of the PTSD depends upon how long they’ve been on the streets. This and many other problems plague those who are forced to live on the streets due to their circumstances.
If a kind person brought a homeless person into their home they would be unable to meet the needs of the homeless person. Most people are not equipped financially or otherwise to really deal with homeless issue. Will the nice person who invites the homeless person in be able to afford medical care for the homeless person? At the very least, a checkup should be done and any issues treated. Will the nice person be able to handle the counseling needs the homeless person will have? Absolutely not! The average person is not equipped to deal with the things that homelessness brings about.
Not being able to handle these things doesn’t mean your help towards the homeless is a waste of time. We all need to help in the way we can best make a difference. For some of us that is advocating for the homeless in front of government agencies. For other people this involves collecting blankets and other essentials for the homeless. Whatever your calling, do it well and that’s all anyone can ask.
The Dangers of This Statement
This entire statement is what is known in logic class as a straw man argument. The person saying this has set up a straw man: if you don’t take in the homeless, you don’t care about the homeless. The problem is that the straw man is completely false. Taking in a homeless person will likely just lead to other issues because most citizens are not equipped to handle sheltering a homeless person. Some things can be easily inferred by this statement:
- If you bring them into your home, they will steal you blind.
- If you bring them into your house, they will never leave.
- If you refuse to take in a homeless person you don’t truly care about them.
None of these things is true. Again, we are not equipped to handle the needs of the homeless, so taking them in will just cause the homeless person even more issues.
Before you make a statement like this, understand what you are saying. Before you believe someone who makes a statement like this, understand their agenda. These are two very important things to take away from this.This type of comment is rude and hurtful. It completely misses the point. It does nothing to further the dialogue. It should never again be uttered.