Church Pays Tribute to a Man Whose Home Was Its Steps

A vast majority of people are of the idea that homeless people should struggle to get a job, and that they are homeless because they are lazy. The reality is different from what is commonly thought. No one becomes homeless by choice. There may be a thousand reasons as to why a person is homeless. Instead of criticism, long-term assistance by those who can provide guidance is required. It is a fact that runaway criminals may disguise themselves as homeless, but not all homeless are criminals. Another misconception is that all homeless people are alcoholics or drug abusers.

This again is a misunderstanding. The reality is that this can happen to any one of us at any stage in life, as there is no intention or will involved in becoming homeless. At the same time it is a fact that these homeless are in continuous struggle to carry on with their life, facing problems in abundance. A few things should be kept in mind before helping this class of society. Instead of helping them in the form of money, the society should help them with things they need. Helping a homeless by buying for him his breakfast is better than giving him money to buy that breakfast himself.

The reason is that many homeless are involved in unlawful activities or addicted to drugs and if money is given directly, the result is more drug addiction instead of satiety. Shelter is another problem, especially in the winter season. Provision of health services to the homeless is a challenge for the medical community. Those who are addicted to drugs, or are affected by an illness need to be managed properly. Just like the common people, these homeless have needs which in a sense are special to these homeless.

It is not only the responsibility of the government to cater for these need, but the society is also under obligation to share this responsibility, for improving the living conditions of the homeless. Question 1: What kind of intervention, if any, would be appropriate here? The self-destructive behavior of Arthur Cafiero was perhaps promoted by his loneliness. A lot of people were around him, but perhaps he never felt close enough to anyone to share what he wanted, or simply to share the problems he was facing.

His intentions for suicide were not taken seriously. Who knows why was he willing to commit suicide? Was he affected by a psychiatric disease? Depression? Or was it a feeling of being useless for anyone or doing anything? An attempt to look for the root cause of his problems was the first thing that should have been done. Justifying one’s death by saying that he was willing to die, clearly implies that no one showed interest in knowing the cause of his problems. He was offered shelter, but he refused it.

Good counseling by an expert mental health care physician would have shown better results. Refusal can be converted to acceptance by letting a person realize that what is being offered to him, is nothing else but his own need which should be fulfilled under all conditions. Question 2: Do you agree with what Mr. Brashear says about Arthur Cafieros choices? Why or why not? Arthur Cafieros appears to be the kind of person who is very much limited to himself. He has a complicated personality.

On one hand he dislikes taking favors by refusing to take shelter, but on the other hand he returns the burger saying it has less amount of meat. It appears that Mr. Cafieros is not clear about his preferences. Showing resistance against police officer’s actions may mean he was afraid of their actions or that he had no trust in them. Taking an action that defends one’s right does not make him proud as Mr. Brashear mentioned in his words. It might be his love for justice and an attempt to keep this matter in his control.


Newman, A. (2003). `Church Pays Tribute to a Man Whose Home Was Its Steps.` The New York Times.

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