Whenever someone tries to get me to share his/her/zir/their enthusiasm for helping migrants, I offer to pay all of the expenses to bring a migrant to the say-gooder’s house. So far, this hasn’t cost me anything, but apparently sometimes this kind of offer is accepted.
“They were homeless. I took them in. Would you?” (Los Angeles Times):
This June, I participated in Safe Place for Youth’s Host Home Program, short-term “interventions” for unhoused young people, ages 18 to 24. In December, stuck in L.A. traffic, my ears had pricked up. Marlene and Michael Rapkin were on the radio describing an inspiring three months they’d spent as two of Safe Place’s initial cadre of hosts.
“Welcoming the stranger” is one of my core Jewish values, and I’d helped with the annual homeless count.
[See “White men correctly perceive American Jews as their enemies?” for my take on this last expressed statement.]
But could I take in someone off the street? What with a recent divorce, my kid’s stint in rehab and college expenses, I’d been renting out a guest bedroom to make my monthly nut. But when a tenant canceled, and I learned that Safe Space offered a small stipend to offset hosts’ household expenses, I challenged myself to “walk the walk” of my social justice values.
If she is enticed by the “small stipend” handed out by the homeless industry, this divorcée perhaps should have planned her foray into California family law more carefully…
I offered to house any of the youths I’d met except that heavily tattooed couple. She had the word “cured” in bold block lettering on one cheek and “More Love” above her brow; his forehead read “Less Hate”; alas, a skater beanie obscured “Less.” … Then I learned that Keyawna and Jesse had been living — sweltering — in their 2008 Kia. I’ve complained that my marriage broke up because my spouse and I shared a bathroom.
How much do multi-color tattoos over a substantial portion of a human body cost? Would the homeless couple have had a decent nest egg if they’d stuck with their factory skin color?
But if the city can’t accommodate artists from economically diverse backgrounds, then only the privileged will get to create. I was also certain face tats were job killers, until Keyawna explained that they fit their “brand,” and most were Jesse’s designs. He’s a visual artist; she’s an aspiring rapper and soul singer. … She told me later they’d hidden their valuables from me too.
If they have “valuables”, why are they homeless?