Dear Sir,

You and Rush are right-somewhat, regarding the personal efforts of the homeless. Some HUD funding is lost through worthless handout programs. People have to help themselves.

However, there is an excellent program that does work. It's called FORkids, inc. I know it works because I direct it. It provides Family Opportunities and Resources -- not handouts.(We only work with families.)

Of course everyone one (who can) should work -- I think that unless one is completely vegetative, they can work. But there is much more to it than just the desire to work. Some of the factors stem from generational poverty -- a lack of social skills, poor self and family image, no employment skills or family background.

Other problems include mental illness, (especially depression). When a wealthy person has a drug addiction they can still survive -- they have the money to not work or to go for treatment, etc.

Many of the adults (primarily single mothers) have suffered terrible abuse by fathers, brothers, uncles, friends, mothers, spouses, etc. Their childhoods were so horrid that unless they were of an exceptional constitution they were destined for adult problems.

So, it takes the shelters, safe houses, transitional, permanent housing and LOTS of Supportive Employment and LOTS of emotional support for families.

And, it takes turning your back on those who are able, but unwilling to do something about their own problems. Because we can help, but we cannot do it for them. That is where we waste resources -- and that is where we just provide that emergency shelter -- and take the kids away (but we don't) -- so they can have a better life. (But the Foster Care system is ROTTEN, so that is not an answer!)

So, bear with us -- those of us who WORK VERY HARD every day to try to help families help themselves.

We have a little website, if you'd like to see what we do to help. Try We're trying.

E. Brickhouse

Executive Director, FORkids, inc.

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