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Packs for Bums

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Ben Beckerich, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Howdy

    Today I watched a bum struggle to put on some old Jansport book-bag style pack he had way over-burdened with strapped-on garbage bags full of crap... the tiny little straps and horrible load distribution looked incredibly uncomfortable. I immediately thought about the old pack on the shelf in my garage that I haven't used since sometime in the early '0s. He could certainly use it more than the shelf...

    All our old, outdated, replaced climbing/camping/hiking gear would probably be incredibly useful to these guys.. shelters, packs, and stoves most of all, I'd think. Even stuff that's too old or beat up for any kind of mountain use would probably work fine for sea-level city camping. I've got a couple old-but-still-dry Goretex jackets, a pack, a couple down jackets, and other miscellaneous crap..

    Anybody have anything to contribute?
     
  2. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I'm looking into setting up a non-profit to make a regular thing out of it, if I can get enough gear flow... we could probably look at doing a NWFA-sponsored event in the near future, if so.

    For now, I'm just looking to put a few packs together to get out before the weather starts to turn.. not really into a big hurrah. I just got promoted at work and trying to catch the last of the climbing season... busy guy
     
  3. CJ49er

    CJ49er Lake Oswego Member

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    I may have some gear collecting dust that I can toss in.

    CJ
     
  4. SonicBlue03

    SonicBlue03 Snohomish Well-Known Member

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    It's worth applauding bkb's humanitarian and liberal efforts to support those in need. Especially on a very conservative-minded board, it underlines the message that some of us have been trying to spread for a while; you can be left-leaning *and* be an enthusiast of firearms.
     
  5. gallogiro

    gallogiro Willamette Valley Active Member

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    I work for a non-profit org that deals with a lot of homeless people. My observations; the majority have mental health issues. Some are transient, some really are Vets, and there quite a bit of them that are going through transitional programs to get jobs, stop drug abuse and those who stick to it make it to halfway homes. There is the occasional lazy one that just wants free services and they feel entitled to them. And yes, not everyone that sits in the corner with a sign is Homeless, I get the feeling those are usually scams.

    As far as helping the homeless, I say go for it. I don't have any clothing/gear to donate but I do know where you can get your program started. Hey BKB, get a hold of Columbia sports, they have a program called Re-Threads. They basically give away any returned merchandise or merchandise that doesn't sell. There is a qualification process for it; a previous employer of mine (county) did this and we would give kids coats to low income families at the schools and the remaining clothing for adults would be given to the local shelter/mission.
     
  6. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    You see a man who needs a pack, you give him a pack.
     
  7. beavertonbuck

    beavertonbuck Beaverton Active Member

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    I applaude the OP for the idea and have an old pack that I would be willing to donate. I would rather give food/items rather than cash because I know it isn't going to be pissed away.
     
  8. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    For many years I have taken duck hunting clothing and outer wear that i have, well, outgrowen, to downtown PDX, found someone my size who looked cold and offered it to them. It feels nice indeed! Folks might consider such a donation. It is the epitome of wet, cold weather gear. Since we can't tell scammers from people who truly need help I think that we should just do what we can.
     
  9. safetyman

    safetyman Clark County, WA Active Member

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    I have some gear I could contribute to the cause I think. Although I have run across more than a few bums who abused my kindness (mostly all in my college years), I have also run across others who seemed genuinely surprised that someone who was willing to help or give to them. I still give and help when I can because I think of those that are actually thankful for assistance, not because I want to change those that buy beer with a donation or refuse a burger after begging for food.
     
  10. duginsky

    duginsky Tualatin Active Member

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    BK - I have some gear I'd be glad to pass along.
     
  11. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I've noted the offers for help- I will get a pencil and notepad out tomorrow and shoot PMs to everyone who wants to help with this.
     
  12. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    I deal a lot with low income/migrant/homeless/ect people in my line of work. While your actions are wonderful if it is what you believe in more power to you and your cause. For me to just give based on "believed need" I can not do it. I see so much abuse and problems with the system and pay so much in taxes to support that I am not willing to give more.

    Now with that said while I am not willing to give a "hand out" I am VERY willing to help anyone who is willing to help themselves. I will willing give to people who want to make their life better which in turn will make others better and that spreads.
     
  13. teflon97239

    teflon97239 Portland, OR Well-Known Member

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    I park in/near downtown Portland a lot depending on how late I am for work. Never any short supply of homeless people in their cardboard huts, bedrolls, etc. I avoid the young ones with strong backs, blond dreds, pitbulls, energy drinks, BMX bikes and expensive ink. I look for the sick people who've been doing this for years and couldn't get an interview at Burger King with a week of scrubbing and free dental work. Anything I'm not using that will keep them warmer or drier is left on their "doorsteps." With the overhead some of the brand-name charity CEO's can suck up in salaries, I prefer to put things right onto the street where they will be used tonight.
     
    Sincere and (deleted member) like this.
  14. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    I kinda look at it the same as Nwcid. I have worked downtown Seattle and Tacoma,around these folks for years.
    They steal what they can,from each other and whoever leave stuff lying around.
    I would always tell fellow workers to put their coats away,that they would take off as they warmed up shoveling,to put them in the truck as the coat will grow legs.

    I would guess about half of the stuff you give to the homeless will be bought and sold for wine,cigarettes etc.
    Most on the streets are there because they really don't want to bother working. Or should I say bother cleaning up or waking up to work.

    I don't see it as a waist to give the coats to a shelter,but give them to a family man that has lost his job,not someone who hasn't even tried to get a job for forever.

    It's called "enabling". Give them more and they can go on without working longer.
    Ever ask one of them if they would like a job?

    YMMV
     
  15. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I don't judge.