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Old 12-15-2008, 03:32 PM   #1
TEMA
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Question re: Homeless
Hi Everyone,
It's really cold out right now. My dh and I live in B.C. where it usually just rains all the time.
Right now tho', there is no rain and the skies are a beautiful bright blue - very sunny. The problem is - no clouds mean no warmth and I'm worried about the homeless.
In particular, the teenagers my dh sees every morning huddled around a gas station near where we live. These kids are aged about 12 - 20 and they don't seem to have any warm clothing or a home to go to.
I've been knitting hats and scarfs and I'd like to give them to these kids. The problem is - I don't go out at 6 a.m. - still dark, still very cold - bad neighbourhood... my dh takes his speed walk at that time and he's told me about these kids.
Is it possible for me to just go down there and hand these things out? Will they be offended or offensive?
I don't see them during the day when I sometimes manage to get out of the house. They just seem to be there during the p.m. and early a.m.
I expect the gas station owner chases them away.
I am fairly shy and not all that well...
Any suggestions....?
TEMA
p.s. I did give a whole bunch of tams and scarfs I crocheted one year to a local storefront for the homeless and later found out that none of my things had been distributed. I know the things I did were warm and cozy... I wear them myself.... so I don't understand what happened there.
Thanks,
TEMA

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Old 12-15-2008, 05:18 PM   #2
Jan in CA
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I wouldn't think they'd be offended. If they are cold they'd probably appreciate them. I'm reeling over the thought of the younger ones.. I mean a 12 yr old?!
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:23 PM   #3
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I'm not entirely certain they are homeless. some teens just dress that way. the local gas station/convenience mart here is the hangout on the way to school for kids getting coffee and breakfast. you know they won't eat "home" food between certain ages. Or wear a sweater/coat. They're too cool for that. So they stand around and freeze.

Check first. They may very well be homeless.

Or, they could just be teenagers.
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Old 12-15-2008, 08:49 PM   #4
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No, I'm pretty sure they are homeless.
My dh is out in the morning for his 'walk' every day between 5:30 and 6 a.m. and I doubt that anyone would be out in that cold dark time of day if they were not homeless.
Hubby says they took a huge cardboard sign down and braced it against the wind trying to get warm.
We get a lot of homeless in our area. They come in the summer and stay for the winter because we don't usually have such bad winters.
Also, they come for the drugs. We seem to have a lot of drug dealers in our area as well.
The police have chased them out of the park nearby but, really, they have nowhere else to go.
So pathetic....
So sad....
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:51 AM   #5
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I say do what your heart tells you to do. There was one time I was driving down a street near my house...it was a REALLY hot day and there was a homeless man sitting on a bench on the sidewalk (I knew he was homeless because of the shopping cart he had with him, and its contents...plus, he was digging through the trash).

I was on my way to my mom and dad's house...when I got to my mom and dad's, I told my mom about the guy and said I was going to buy him a bottled water on my way home and give it to him. My mom cautioned me not to saying that it may be offensive and a lot of times, the homeless don't want handouts. I decided to listen to my mom and didn't buy the water, but, to this day I regret not doing it. Maybe he would have been offended, but, what if he wouldn't have been? I mean the day was scorchingly hot and the poor guy was digging through the trash can to find something whether it was food or water. I just don't know. I'd rather know, even if he would have been offended...lesson learned.
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Old 12-16-2008, 10:15 AM   #6
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I'd almost prefer to go through an organization of some kind. Around here, some churches have mitten trees (hats and scarves accepted), or you could give them to a social worker or church or police station which could pass them along. I don't know if you have the equivalent of Child Protective Services there - but those social workers would have the closest and best access to homeless children and could perhaps be a good resource to get the scarves and hats to children who need them.

A web search came up with:
Covenant House in Vancouver http://www.covenanthousebc.org/
A homeless outreach program http://www.bchousing.org/programs/Ho..._Program#Reach
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:17 AM   #7
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You can simply offer them. They will either accept or not. If it were me that's what I would do. You can ask your husband to skip his walk and go with you for safety.

If you do this, I wouldn't even mention being homeless or anything, just approach them with the warm gifts, tell them that you made more of them than you needed, and that it would be a big help to you if they would take them.
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Knitting_Guy View Post
You can simply offer them. They will either accept or not. If it were me that's what I would do. You can ask your husband to skip his walk and go with you for safety.

If you do this, I wouldn't even mention being homeless or anything, just approach them with the warm gifts, tell them that you made more of them than you needed, and that it would be a big help to you if they would take them.
I think Mason's idea is perfect. That's a wonderful gesture on your part, and it sounds like it would be very much appreciated.

If, for some reason, they choose to be ugly about it (as teenagers sometimes are), then remember to chalk it up to their problems, not yours. Regardless of how they react, you are doing a wonderful thing.
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Old 12-16-2008, 01:39 PM   #9
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I would wrap them. It is the holiday season after all. What kid is going to turn down a gift? Kids all love unwrapping a gift and that way there is no awkwardness. If they don't like the gift well that happens anyways with any kid, homeless or not.

I think this is great that you want to help them.
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Old 12-16-2008, 02:24 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Knitting_Guy View Post
You can simply offer them. They will either accept or not. If it were me that's what I would do. You can ask your husband to skip his walk and go with you for safety.

If you do this, I wouldn't even mention being homeless or anything, just approach them with the warm gifts, tell them that you made more of them than you needed, and that it would be a big help to you if they would take them.
I like this idea best. It seems less like a handout, but still serves the same purpose.
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