I received a 911 call earlier today from a woman who was curious what number to dial to report a male harassing her. I told her that if it was going on right now, 911 was fine – do tell.
She said she was panhandling at one of our fair city's most lucrative corners and a drunk male, also panhandling, had been belligerent and shoved her. They were both standing on the raised median between lanes (4 lanes one direction, 3 lanes the other).
I asked the caller where officers could meet her for contact. She said she was still in the median. I told her she needed to get out of the street and pick a corner that she’d be safe at.
She said, I’ll just wait in my car.
Um… okay. What kind of car?
I’ll be in my 1998 (ubiquitous SUV).
Wait – wait – wait. She’s a panhandler by profession and drives a 1998 SUV ? And I know the parking lot she had parked at. – she’s not camping there at night. She drives this vehicle.
Granted that it is a 10 year old vehicle and could be a POS but c’mon – it’s only 2 years older than my ubiquitous SUV! And she’s calling me from a cellular phone. How much does that cost? I know how much it costs me and I consider it something of a luxury.
These are your charity dollars at work, people.
If you continue to give money to panhandlers this is where it goes and you are only perpetuating the problem.
Oh and by the way, if you wish to invoke the Good Samaritan story in the Bible – you’re drinking the wrong color Kool-Aid.
(The PanicBlog translation, your Bible may vary)A guy was traveling from
Jerusalemto . Banditos beat him up and left him for dead. (PanicBlog note: Bear in mind the half-dead guy had no sign mentioning he would work for food or that he was a Maccabean War Veteran.) Jericho
A priest walked up the same road and, upon seeing said half-dead guy, stepped to the other side of the road and kept walking. A second passerby, evidently wearing Levi’s, did the very same thing.
A third passerby, this one a Samaritan, saw the miserable heap of human flesh laying on the side of the road and did what? (PanicBlog note: Did he give him $20. No. Did he simply give the guy a meal? Nope.)
What G-Sam did was this: He bandaged the victim’s wounds. He poured oil and wine on him. He loaded him up into his donkey (which incidentally was the SUV of its time and considered something of a ‘sweet ride.’) He took him to the Motel VI where he then took care of him and paid for his food and lodging. He also gave the guy 2 silver coins. (PanicBlog note: Considering that Judas Iscariot sold out the Son of God for 30 silver coins, this was some tall green).
Sooooo, boys and girls. If you want to help the homeless – go all the way. Take ‘em home. Set them up with health care and some spending money.
Or perhaps spend your panhandler money more wisely and give it to a social service agency which will do all of those things. There are many of them and you know which ones they are.
Another thing to consider was the story Luke failed to mentioned: The story of G-Sam’s brother, we’ll call him “D-Sam” for Dead Samaritan who was shanked in the eye with a spork when stopping to aid a homeless looking subject. His case wasn’t so parable-worthy as his brother.
** yes, I know, there is a whole different point to the Good Samaritan story which has to do with racial tolerance. I don’t claim to be any kind of religious scholar. I don’t even claim to be the least bit religious.
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