Oh, if we could run the world! Somehow, when we gather, and realize that we are just working cogs in a pyramid scheme that benefits others to live in luxury, we try and solve the problems of the world. My oldest brother is running for congress for that reason.
This is my oldest sister and my homeless brother. Much of our discussion surrounded homelessness. All primitive cultures governed themselves . They chose leadership of some kind meant to benefit the whole tribe, not just a few at the top. A tribe took care of its members including the weak and sick. When they found a food supply, they shared it equally. They meted out suitable punishment to those who offended.
While many groups try to do something about the “homeless problem”, our laws and our police at every level treat the homeless as though it is against the law to be homeless. Norman worked all of his life as a carpenter; he contributed and paid taxes. Somewhat late in life, he began drinking. He is an alcoholic and he smokes marijuana. He has never been arrested for any thing but drunkenness, possession of marijuana, and trespassing. He doesn’t steal. He has never been violent. He carries a bible wherever he goes. He is what some of us like to term a “Jesus Freak”. When Norman first became homeless, seventeen years ago, he protested that a person like him, in our society, cannot legally occupy a place on the planet. He cannot sleep anywhere because he has no home. He cannot use public restrooms, they are for customers only. It is quite draconian that because he is so powerless, the police can treat him any way they choose.
He has two suits against the Sheriffs Office for false arrest. He has been falsely hauled away from two properties where he had had permission to stay. I’ll relate those stories to you another time.
He has (hopefully) a superficial skin cancer. He also had a stroke four years ago, for which he received no treatment. He suffers a lot of pain and cannot walk or stand on his feet for a lengthy period. His latest arrest, was for trespassing on “public” property. He was sleeping in the bushes on property owned by Cal Trans. When you go to jail, they suspend your medical, they take away your social security and when they dump you back out on the street, you have to re-apply for your benefits and wait for them all over again which can take months. You cannot get your social security unless you have a physical address. You cannot pay for a post office box to receive your check. Since he was kicked off the Ca-Trans property, the cancer tripled in size. The nurse in the jail looked at his head and wanted nothing to do with that problem. A homeless advocate got him an appointment to have the cancer removed on the 14th of January. When he tried to get an appointment at Highland Hospital on his own, his wait time to be examined was six months.
I love my brother. I believe he made poor choices about his life to get into such a downward spiral. All of us at one time or another have tried to “help” him. He doesn’t want our handouts. He receives social security of about $800 a month. (I’ll revisit this subject again.)
I have a Uncle with a similar situation, almost identical actually. I’m 40, and ever since I was little he battled alcohol and Marijuana. All of my adult years I would try and help him with his issues with no luck. This is a touchy subject for you as I can tell you have a part of you blaming society for abandoning your Brother, what I realized with my Uncle is he doesn’t want help, he liked being on the street, where he could stay drunk and have no responsibilities. Alcoholism is a treatable disease! If the person wants to get help, it is out there. I could go on and on about the “system” and how it is broken, but I feel the bottom line is, there is help out there, I know this first hand because I got my Uncle in many homes, rehabs and apartments, But he would just screw it up with his drinking. Now he is in a state funded mental institution because he drank so much his mind is pickled. If you really want to help your Brother, get him some Drug and Alcohol treatment (which is available) before its to late. Because that is the real problem. Sorry I sound harsh, but this one kinda hits home for me.