Sunday, May 17, 2009

Not in my backyard

"Father, I have X in my car, he has just got out of prison, I've got a tent, he stay in your garden".

I screw up my face, hunch my shoulders saying "no" but not wanting to mouth the word.

X has been in prison dozens of time, he drinks, he takes drugs, he steals, he can get violent. In his childhood he was unloved, and most probably unwanted, moving from institution to institution. He has lived in my garden before, the garden is tiny, he lived around the corner of a bay of the house, I didn't notice until the smell of human waste became overpowering.

What would Our Lady do? She wouldn't refuse the poor. Well I didn't actually say the word, "No!"

Lawrence gives the lead to a story in the Argus in which one of our rough sleepers was sheltering in a rubbish bin and was nearly crushed to death.

We don't know how to deal with people who don't fit in, if they are mad they can be institutionalised, if the criminal they can be imprisoned, if they are poor they end up on our streets. If they are like X the bounce around the system like something on a pinball table.


nickbris said...

There used to be a Reception Centre in Elm Grove but some GENIUS on the Council decided it was too good for them.

Some of the filched exes would help to house the homeless.

How can a civilised society chuck people out on the streets?

Anonymous said...

Where on earth do you live Fr Ray? you like my flares?

The Black Mantilla said...

You did the right thing. I have been working with people like X for 15 years, and there's no way I'd allow that because they can't help themselves. How can he get better? Different things work for different people - what it comes down to in every case, though, is the individual deciding that he or she isn't going to live that way anymore. They mostly need treatment, and to be compelled by the legal system to stay in treatment long enough to see the benefit for themselves. Nobody wants to live that way, but they really don't know how to do it another way. I'll pray for him, Father.

Anonymous said...

Farther, rejoice, you are happy you just met Our Lord. You are double as happy because you can also afford that you do not despise one of these little ones.

Dilly said...

Black Mantilla is right. Someone with drink and drug addictions has to reach rock bottom before he can get better. Detach with love and prayer.

Mental problems can be treated properly only when drink and drugs do not affect the effectiveness of the medication he will need.

The care bureaucracy will only heave itself into action when he is a visual problem that they can't avoid dealing with. I wish I didn't speak from experience, but I do.

The Bones said...

The level of care and love needed to help 'X' is beyond the social services. It is beyond the prison system and it is beyond drug day centres. It is beyond the help and assistance of even individuals who care for him, or nightshelters and hostels.

Only a monastery with Brothers who could truly show him God's care for him could help. No such thing exists in Brighton. He lives as a transient and begs for food and drink. He gets methadone in the morning from the drugs unit. He is left to fend for himself during the day and rarely has enough left to get a B & B.

In the absence of these things, only the refuge of the Church, the love of the Body of Christ and their prayers can help him,

Physiocrat said...

It needs more than you alone are capable of to give such people the care they need and if you can't do all that is necessary it is better not to start.

Brighton desperately needs a community of Brothers with a core of experienced and qualified individuals who can provide what this man and others like him actually need. Such individuals are one of the by-products of the breakdown of our society. Their care is not something that amateur well-meaning people can take on by themselves.

berenike said...

CFRs ...

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