Crossroads and the Issue of Charity
The website of Crossroads, Providence, describes it as “a national leader in providing a continuum of care to the homeless”. This post is in no way a criticism of its staff, who are undoubtedly dedicated and work very hard, or of those residents who find themselves in genuine straits.
On his blog Rescuing Providence, in the process of relating his conversation with a young lady he was transporting, Lieutenant Michael Morse says this about Crossroads.
Our rescues are called there daily for assaults, overdoses, drunks and every reason you can think of, then some. The clientele there is poisoned with chronically homeless people who know the system and how to abuse it.
Doesn’t this get to the crux of the question of charity, whether publicly or privately funded? If you – in this case, Crossroads – set out to help people, how do you 1.) stop your good intentions and deeds from being abused and 2.) ensure that you are not faciliating an individual’s self-destructive behavior?