Reply Hey Mom! Learn more about the Gerber Life Insurance Grow-Up Plan!
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-27-2007, 08:58 PM   #1
Fither's Avatar
Fither
Registered Users
seller
seller
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 3,880
A discussion about our children and the homeless...

Would anyone care to share the discussions you have had with your children explaining the homeless?

an encounter we had with a homeless woman while we were out to dinner tonight made me painfully aware that i am completely unprepared to explain to my children about homeless people, why some people have no home, etc.

my own experiences with the homeless, which are numerous because i lived in chicago for six years, basically consisted of me avoiding eye contact and walking briskly away. this is what i was taught to do by the city "veterans", and what i saw most people doing.

tonight, while we were eating our fantastic dinner at a pricey restaurant, a homeless woman came to the window where we were eating and asked us for money. the city girl in me immediately reverted to my old behavior of "ignore ignore ignore" and then i started thinking....these people are not invisible, i can't act like this in front of my child. he observes everything i do! also, when we left the restaurant, she came up to us and asked us for two dollars. i had no cash on me, so i looked down and said, "i'm sorry" and kept walking.

i'm really really struggling with this. before i know it my son will be able to ask me, "why mommy?" "why does she want your money?" "why does she have no home?", "why does she have no food?".

we are moving back to the city after we are done with grad school, so homeless people will be a part of our lives forever, it's not like i can just avoid the issue, not that i think that's the best plan. do you have any thoughts, advice, experience? thanks mamas

Advertisement

__________________
Heather.
Wife to Tyler. Mama to Jack, Oliver, Augustus and Leona Violet, brand new.
Part time Social Worker, Part time College Instructor, Full time Happy/Exhausted.
Fither is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2007, 08:27 AM   #2
kgsd's Avatar
kgsd
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,231
Re: A discussion about our children and the homeless...

Gosh, that's a tough one. I worked a little with homeless kids, and while I know why most of them were homeless, there are different reasons adults would be homeless.

Here are some fact sheets for kids about homelessness:

http://www.endhomelessness.org/secti...a_and_research

Last edited by kgsd; 01-28-2007 at 08:28 AM.
kgsd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2007, 08:35 AM   #3
courtfrog2's Avatar
courtfrog2
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Southwest Michigan
Posts: 677
Re: A discussion about our children and the homeless...

I went on a mission trip to Staten Island this past summer and it opened my eyes tremendously. I started taking my girls (2 and 7) to a homeless shelter once a month for their prayer service and then my husband and I work the soup kitchen while my girls have a huge bowl of candy and they pass them out to the people! My kids love it so much. We also do this thing called "second sunday soup" where people from my church donate cans of soup and we cook it in huge pots and go to a park by the mission and hand out bowls of soup and hats/gloves/blankets/ and coats to the homeless! My girls do this with me every month also. I feel that they need to witness homelessness. My 7 year old talks about her "friends" on the streets and really wants to help. We see the same people every month and the girls are a big hit. The homeless people love them and look forward to us helping them.

I strongly feel that kids learn by example. I am not shy around homeless people. I embrace them with love and compassion and so do my kids. We pray for them all the time in our daily prayers with the kids. Even though we don't have a lot of money to give to them, we give of our time. Lives are being touched my our love we show for them.

Courtney
__________________
Courtney Wife to DH Dave, Mom to Hannah (7) and Stella (2), Stepmom to Katlynn (12), David (8), and Emily (6).
courtfrog2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2007, 10:17 AM   #4
Fither's Avatar
Fither
Registered Users
seller
seller
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 3,880
Re: A discussion about our children and the homeless...

Quote:
Originally Posted by courtfrog2 View Post
I went on a mission trip to Staten Island this past summer and it opened my eyes tremendously. I started taking my girls (2 and 7) to a homeless shelter once a month for their prayer service and then my husband and I work the soup kitchen while my girls have a huge bowl of candy and they pass them out to the people! My kids love it so much. We also do this thing called "second sunday soup" where people from my church donate cans of soup and we cook it in huge pots and go to a park by the mission and hand out bowls of soup and hats/gloves/blankets/ and coats to the homeless! My girls do this with me every month also. I feel that they need to witness homelessness. My 7 year old talks about her "friends" on the streets and really wants to help. We see the same people every month and the girls are a big hit. The homeless people love them and look forward to us helping them.

I strongly feel that kids learn by example. I am not shy around homeless people. I embrace them with love and compassion and so do my kids. We pray for them all the time in our daily prayers with the kids. Even though we don't have a lot of money to give to them, we give of our time. Lives are being touched my our love we show for them.

Courtney
thank you so much mama this really is a big help to me.
__________________
Heather.
Wife to Tyler. Mama to Jack, Oliver, Augustus and Leona Violet, brand new.
Part time Social Worker, Part time College Instructor, Full time Happy/Exhausted.
Fither is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2007, 10:17 AM   #5
Fither's Avatar
Fither
Registered Users
seller
seller
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 3,880
Re: A discussion about our children and the homeless...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kgsd View Post
Gosh, that's a tough one. I worked a little with homeless kids, and while I know why most of them were homeless, there are different reasons adults would be homeless.

Here are some fact sheets for kids about homelessness:

http://www.endhomelessness.org/secti...a_and_research
thank you mama!
__________________
Heather.
Wife to Tyler. Mama to Jack, Oliver, Augustus and Leona Violet, brand new.
Part time Social Worker, Part time College Instructor, Full time Happy/Exhausted.
Fither is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2007, 12:52 PM   #6
beenwaitingalongtime's Avatar
beenwaitingalongtime
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 9,993
My Mood:
Re: A discussion about our children and the homeless...

I'm w/ Courtney. As a child, I traveled to Philly w/ my church youth group the 1st Sat. of ea. month to hand out bag lunches to the homeless. We were taught to not give them money (knowing they'd likely use it for alcohol) 'for food' but to give them food instead, clothes when we had enough collected. We included biz cards w/ addys of local shelters if it got too cold out, as well as info. on places like Goodwill to go for job training or employment assistance. That's really the best you can do is guide them to the help they need. Some people really do choose to remain homeless, so all you can do is fill their tummy occasionally.
I used to always feel bad for the Deaf people in the mall who would try to sell me a trinket for $2 saying they're Deaf and can't work, but now that I work in an environment where 60% of the staff are Deaf, I know that that's the easy way out. The first thing I was taught to sign to them was 'No. Go work' and give them a card for Goodwill.
This year we've been researching soup kitchens and other ways to feed the homeless so DD will be w/ us from the start. For those who've fallen on hard times or are addicted to substances, we will continue to assist them in any way we can (w/ food, clothes and job placement cards), but for those who don't want to help themselves, we'll explain to DD that they're free of debt and responsibility and will unfortunately continue to live that way--we'll do the same for them, but will NOT give them money to enable their habits.
__________________
Erika--Cloth Diapering (again!), Extended Breastfeeding, Babywearing, Signing and Delayed/Selective Vaxxing Mama to 7y/o Ramie, 4 y/o Reese and newbie Sebastian
beenwaitingalongtime is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2007, 01:45 PM   #7
JustAugust's Avatar
JustAugust
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Cloud 9
Posts: 12,049
My Mood:
Re: A discussion about our children and the homeless...

When I nannyd (?), I watched a little boy named Connor and he he always asked why I gave money to the men on the corner. I told him that they didn't have any home or food and that I tried to give them some money so they could at least so get something good in their tummies. He was good with that answer. He was 5 at the time.
__________________
Tiffany, Mama to the incredible JM (3.25.06) , NC (7.28.10) and EH (9.23.13)
We don't vaccinate, we kept our sons intact, we use cloth diapers, we co-sleep, we extended RF, we breastfeed, but we watch too much tv and I totally dig plastic! Everyone has their issues, lol.
JustAugust is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2007, 07:13 PM   #8
KV Boo's Avatar
KV Boo
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: NY
Posts: 533
My Mood:
Re: A discussion about our children and the homeless...

On Friday i had my girls watch 20/20 with Diane Sawyer she was showing kids that are homeless or had no money and lived in poverty. By watching it they were able to see that not everybody has what they have.

We live in NY so they see homeless people often and i just try to tell them that not everybody is as fortunate as them and you should never treat people different because you never know if you could end up homeless yourself.
__________________

Mommy to Tatiana 12 years old
Stacy 10 years old and Gabriella born August 3, 2006 My little baby girl!!
KV Boo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2007, 04:47 PM   #9
Kahlan
Registered Users
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 37
Re: A discussion about our children and the homeless...

If I have to spend a lot of time in the city I try to bring granola bars and other nutrient rich, non perishible foods with me, instead of giving money. I will continue to do this and I have no problems explaining to my son that many of these people are ill and can not care for themselves.
Kahlan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2007, 05:54 PM   #10
courtfrog2's Avatar
courtfrog2
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Southwest Michigan
Posts: 677
Re: A discussion about our children and the homeless...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kahlan View Post
If I have to spend a lot of time in the city I try to bring granola bars and other nutrient rich, non perishible foods with me, instead of giving money. I will continue to do this and I have no problems explaining to my son that many of these people are ill and can not care for themselves.
That's awesome!!! That's exactly how project hospital in Staten Island started. People brought extras in their own lunch and would give people at the ferry terminal some. For a while they were just homeless, but then soon, after seeing them over and over again, the homeless started becoming people with names.

Everyone has a story and I'm fortunate to hear some very touching stories of homeless people. Many of them are just like you and I, but they have had some bad luck so to speak. I love talking to the homeless or the people living in poverty. It's amazing!!!

Thanks everyone for sharing and thanks for starting this thread!
__________________
Courtney Wife to DH Dave, Mom to Hannah (7) and Stella (2), Stepmom to Katlynn (12), David (8), and Emily (6).
courtfrog2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Copyright 2005 - 2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.