letter to the editor…….

I would like to address a hot topic people in Bay County. I haven’t written the 44-cent Forum in some time. My reasoning was that everybody has opinions about homeless people. In offering this letter, I am presenting fact, not opinion.
In 1998 I had a lot of different projects that required manual labor. I decided to go to the Rescue Mission and hire some workers from among the needy. As a result, I casually interviewed several men in and around the Mission. Finally settling on two, I put them to work on a priority project. I picked them up daily in front of the Mission and returned them at the end of the day.
A week or so into the project, I learned that these two men had used up their allowed time at the Mission and were sleeping in woods across the street. They were good workers at that time. My wife and I thought perhaps we could help to get them back on their feet. My wife purchased new work clothes and I made arrangements for a room in a low-end motel on the beach, where I picked them up and returned them daily.
This project continued for close to three months. They were paid $8 per hour for 40 hours per week. Soon, on Monday mornings I would push beer cans away from the door and wake them up to go to work. I also bought their lunch every day. After about six weeks one of the well-traveled men quit when I went to pick them up. He had told me that previously he had been in Montana picking up and selling elk and deer antlers in Yellowstone Park (which is illegal). He said he thought he might go back because he could earn as much as I was paying him in a couple of days.
The remaining man “worked” for another few weeks. They were kicked out of the motel and I had to rent the man still working another place. In spite of everything I could do, mostly when I wasn’t around, he drove my tractor constantly, accomplishing nothing. One Monday morning I went to pick him up and he was still drunk and crying that is mother in Waycross, Ga., was deathly ill and was about to die. He had to get home right away. I immediately took him to the bus station, bought him a ticket and gave him $150.
I thought this was the end of that, until a couple of days later I saw him walking down the street in Panama City.
There are many more exasperating occurrences with these two men during the course of their employment too numerous to mention.
Some would say I can’t blame all homeless people for the actions of these two. To that I would say, if there is a huge number of deserving people who are homeless, how in the world could I have randomly I picked these two, who were by choice homeless? I really believe these two are the norm rather than an exception. My wife and I still try to help anyone, although in a much-reduced effort.
Panama City Beach

Read more: http://www.newsherald.com/articles/don-99972-topic-haven.html#ixzz1kn8rd13a

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