History and homelessness...
Jan 31, 2013 | 1161 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I saw several letters in the T-I recently that I feel could use my input.

First, if the “Outdoor Industry Association” wants to take their trade show somewhere else, let ‘em. They don’t live here, and I can’t say that I miss having them as my neighbors.

Second, I have always known Negro Bill Canyon as that. I say we should leave it as that. I imagine with him being the success he was, he’d be a fine man to sit and chew the fat with. Imagine the education one would get from that chat. I think that having the name like it is provokes inquiry as to why it’s called that. People aren’t going to be as prone to ask, “why is it called Grandstaff Canyon” as much as they are with the name it has. I don’t see any room for “political correctness” in history because that destroys the unique flavor that history has.

Third, the homeless issue is a losing proposition no matter how you look at it. A lot of people try to help, and more often than not their help is accepted until the homeless realize there’s strings attached. Like getting out of the slump they’re in that causes them to be homeless.

More often than not you will find mental illness to be the primary cause. And addictions feed into the mental illness. Addictions like booze and drugs. But there is a third that you likely missed – attention. Yeah, attention. I met a homeless fella last summer, and I helped him every which way I could. I befriended him and listened to his worries and complaints; I gave him a ride once in a while to somewhere he had to go to. I even gave him some food. I contacted a local charity that can help with housing and helped the two meet.

What I received in return is a man that is afraid of change. And you will find that many of the long-term homeless are like that. They get used to using people. They get used to a way of life and they really don’t want to change. Feeling lonely and depressed and not having the resources that people with housing typically have, it becomes more of a security blanket for them.

I feel the best way to learn how to help the homeless is to go live homeless yourself for a while and learn what it’s like from the inside. It’s very educating.

—Carl Kem

Columbia, Utah

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