Carlos - Invisible People

Carlos


When I asked Carlos what it was like on Skid Row he said it was a “terrible feeling” and that you feel like a failure. Carlos says that homelessness “dehumanizes” you. Carlos has been on […]

Carlos

When I asked Carlos what it was like on Skid Row he said it was a “terrible feeling” and that you feel like a failure. Carlos says that homelessness “dehumanizes” you.

Carlos has been on the streets of Skid Row for a year and a half, ever since he got out of prison. It a sad fact about today’s society, that after a person has paid the price for their mistakes, we continue to punish them. Once you have a felony it’s nearly impossible to find a job. In most States you cannot get food stamps or other support. Homelessness or committing more crimes to survive are often the only two choices!

Carlos said something true that I hope haunts you as well as it haunts me. He said, “at least in prison you have everything you need. Out here you don’t”!

I am not sure if you are aware that the use of private prisons are growing, and that private prisons are public companies with their stock traded on Wall Street. Their business model to investors is to keep jails full. There is zero incentive to help people get back into society. Add to that 60% of people in jail today are nonviolent drug offenders! Does anyone but me see how horrible this is?

I have a lot of respect for Carlos. It’s not easy fighting to get your life back, but that is just what he is doing. As Carlos points out and you’ll hear me say – we do not make it easy for people to get out of homelessness.

Before we’ll ever come close to ending homelessness we need to fix how people from jails and prison reenter society. It’s really a slap on all of our faces that so many men and women go from being incarcerated to homelessness!

 

 

Special thanks to Los Angeles Mission

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  • http://www.facebook.com/keithMBender Keith M Bender

    Some may split hairs on this but the results we create by the continued punishment of the “Law Breakers” by being disenfranchised from society makes the Prison Factory system recycle it’s “victims” in the name of _______? Justice? The realization that 3 hots and a cot looks better can even be seen played out in TV drama’s . Since Dragnet and all the other Law Enforcement Shows proves that we would rather imprison people than to help House them. Watch what the Politicians do and not what they say. Perverted Christian ideals? An Eye for an Eye is Old Testament crap which allows the Part of “GOD” to be played by “We the People”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/keithMBender Keith M Bender

    Ps: The issue with Slavery was understood by George Washington as something he could not extricate himself from but he saw how the British used it to divert attention away from their abuses of the lower caste Colonials who would as Washington learned the hard way by the mistreatment and broken promises he endured from the British Royalists even though he was regarded a “Celebrity” after the French and Indian War and his older half brother Lawrence was married to a Fairfax. So even with impeccable connections he was short changed. The experience showed him that Slavery was a way to expedite the British profiteering and give the Colonials some perverted sense of power and control in an otherwise impotent powerless position.
    My point is the Prison System is the same “”false Power” an impotent society exercises while affordable housing is a Prison Cell.

  • Chaplain BR

    Proverb’s 19:3 states that “The foolishness of a man twists his way, and (then) his heart frets against the Lord.” We’re out there sowing wild oats that God warns us to please not sow (because of what’s in them); then when they grow, we get mad at God or whomever! And while it’s true that the justice system is not always fair – often times it seems not, both to the victim(s) and to the perpetrator, it is unfair on both sides of justice: Imagine how many things Carlos, or some of us, for that matter, did not get caught at.
    And while a person may pay back in full the system by doing his time for his crime, paying off the self-imposed stigma on your character can take longer. Thankfully, many more state legislatures and penal systems are putting more emphasis and money into reentry based programs. There is help out there in most instances. True, you won’t find some of it by accident, but it’s there. Many have been helped and stayed out of the recidivism cycle. I hope Carlos seeks and is guided to make the best of his life situation.
    As to “for hire” prisons, it is true they are a for-profit corporation, and some are run much better or worse than others. Still, they are accountable to meet strict department of corrections standards and results, and cannot merely meet their stockholders bottom-line. State and federal department of corrections are certainly an imperfect system in an imperfect world yielding imperfect results. Criticism certainly is easy and sometimes deserved. Constructive criticism is certainly needed and I hope appreciated.
    -Chaplain BR