We Must Listen to Each Other

This was a post on my Alligator Jackson's Inside Huntington Facebook page in response to arguments stemming from a couple who fed the homeless being told by the health department to cease feeding them.


A girl I spent a lot of years with graduated from a 28 day recovery program last month.  She relapsed 3 days later.  She is back in rehab and has completed two weeks. 

It is gutwrenching it breaks your heart.  I worried about Bre who is like my daughter for years.  I watched EMS bring her back to life in Four and a Half Alley.  I would lay in bed at night wondering if she is alive or dead.  She is  clean now and works in recovery. 

I have seen patients leave where I work.  Happy and proud of them and the hope I put in them....then hear they died from an overdose just days later. 

My second cousin Scott Weiland was a major rock star.  Gold and platinum records, a clothing line, a record company, and millions of fans could not save him.  He died from the effect of drugs like his younger brother. 

Now, someone I know well is lost and gave birth to a baby addicted to drugs. 

I have never done a drug in my life but it tears me up a piece at a time.  But I am not telling you anything you don't know.  We have all lived through this epidemic nightmare.  Many of you have lost sons, daughters, siblings, parents, and other loved ones.  This is not a pissing contest. 

I have also opened my door to the freezing on a cold night to have them steal off me that night.  I have fed someone who later broke in my house.  I encounter people shooting up outside my house and had them pull a knife on me.  This happened twice.  Another two times I almost ended up in a fist fight. 

Two people were murdered in two years at my last apartment building.  I went to St. Louis and looked online at the paper the next morning.  My apartment building was online with a police car parked where my truck was.  My next door neighbor was shot and murdered. 

I don't have the answers.  You don't have the answers.  No one has the answers.  Until we all come to the table and talk and listen, this will continue.  The tragedies will not stop. 

Arguing online spreads the misunderstandings and hatred.  At least we are not arguing about if addiction is a disease like we argued for years. 

Now, we are arguing about feeding the homeless and if all homeless are addicts.  We need to come together.  We all need to listen....listen to each other.  None of us has the answer but maybe if we listen, learn from each other, debate, negotiate, and comprimise...we can find a better plan than we have. 

The fighting on here has gone on for days and it proves nothing....it can go on for years and solve nothing.  We need to work together. 

I do want to clarify a few things.  The Huntington Mission offers three meals a day Monday through Friday.  Two meals on Saturdays and Sundays.  Several area churches offer meals and food.  Facing Hunger food bank works hard. 

Several places contacted me and offered the couple who was told to stop feeding the homeless a chance to work with them.  The couple also had a GoFundMe page to help the homeless in other ways.  The goal was met.  The last $225 coming from Rocky Meadows. 

Many are trying but we have to quit fighting each other.  Enabling is not the answer....letting them suffer is not the answer....the answer is somewhere in between.

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