Thursday, April 16, 2009

The ZigZag Café

We will be convening here at the ZigZag café, Suisse, on Thursdays for conversation and dialogue. I’M AWAY FOR A FEW DAYS SO CANNOT JOIN IN, BUT I WILL RESPOND TO ANY COMMENTS EARLY NEXT WEEK.

I invite you to stop by every Thursday for the question of the day. Your thoughts and participation are most welcome. Pull up a stool, avec un café, un thé, ou un chocolat chaud, et un croissant, and join in here on Thursday at the ZZ café.

For today:

What are your thoughts about the surging degree of homelessness in so many parts of the world, including North America?


Susan Barnes said...

Just breezing past on my way out of town, I’m heading off on two weeks holidays. Yea!

Hope you have a good time away too, Greg

Joshua said...

I think the underlying reasons for homelessness in much of the world is different from the US at least, and even in the US while they're all jumbled together as "homeless" there is are actually diverse reasons. A college student living out of their car I see less of as a tragedy (not that that isn't, or a sign of the family) than say a family being evicted after losing their source of income. Similarly an alcoholic isn't the same as some progressive experimenting for their book. But the solutions are different for two, as say the alcoholic doesn't need just a handout, but to come to turns with certain stipulations for addressing tangential problems they may not be kosher with. Understandably, they might not like curfews or rules pertaining to possession. Those rules though are there for a purpose and good. So I think the US has conditional solutions, which don't adequately address the problems cause nobody has the answer for how to solve the problem in the US, but the answers that some do have is based on knowing what they're talking about in many cases.

This is different from world homelessness, which I haven't thought about, except superficially in terms of groups like refugees.

Great topic btw! One of the better ones if we delved into it. I'm happy and sad it doesn't have 40 comments under it.

Incidentally, the Christians that help with homeless shelters rock! The exception are the Habitat people (not the staff), which can be a lot of weekend warriors, but who are doing more than I am at the moment! Interesting though, they also have conditional stipulations which ARE good, like being debt-free and having to pay $300 dollars.

As a side note: The Catholic Workers in ATL is actually run by a bunch of presbyterians.

Micha said...

the desire for freedom, adventure, new experiences and infinity may be the reason for some.

Greg said...

Thanks. Trust you're having a great break!

Greg said...

Thanks. Good thoughts. I was thinking of homelessness also as a fragmented and sort of nomadic existence. For some it is literal, while for others it is ideological and both for a variety of reasons. Commitment is either not possible ot it's all too hard to realize.

Yeah, would have been nice to have more comments on this one.

Greg said...

Thanks. Yes, I agree. Hard to settle, even when one has that option, which of course many don't.

harry coe maynard said...


Well, Jackie Pullinger has a lot of interesting things to say ( very Charismatic), the poor have always been Gods way to reach the World for Christ, interesting.

My nephew spent the last two summers at Mother Teresas 4 months last summer. He stays with me this month gets married then off to China as a Missioary, will miss him,

How Much is enough? I don't know.

Do we feel guilt or commpassion? Do we blame God? Is it a result of sin on the poor persons part or neglet on ours?

I read about Nero burning Rome and blaming the Christians then was surprised that the Romans accepted the Christian theory because they already considered them "The Hateres of the Human Race" Incredible. I guess because they thought man was basically sinful in a super Human culture.


Sharon said...

Could homelessness be indicative of the individualistic nature of society? Here are some examples: the social stigma of 'living with your parents' after the age of, say, thirty. the fact that we would rather put the elderly in group care than have them live at home. the curious unwritten rule that it's okay to have roommates until you have children.

A friend of mine, a missionary from Paraguay home on furlough, said that the current economic crisis might force more Americans into community living (more than one family to a house, was her implication). It made me think.

I think some could be tied to the advent of washing machines. People who made a smaller living used to be able to live with benefactors, doing laundry and other such tasks. Since the self-sufficient nuclear family was presented as ideal, those positions have largely been lost. You now have to be independently wealthy to hire and house a nanny or a cook.

What do you think?

Greg said...

Harry coe,
Thanks. Good points and questions. I think it's a result of sin and neglect, but also where there is an option, sometimes it's a choice in the name of freedom.

Greg said...

Thanks for the insights. Yes, I think individualism has something to do with it, especially when 'home' is much more than house.