Kindness Gone Awry

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I am always curious what happens to someone- call it a professional hazard. I came across this article “Kind act nets homeless man a windfall but struggle with addition persists” in my pile and knew from the news that it did not end well. It started off as a feel-good story “Homeless man gives his last $20 to couple who needs gas.” Yes, this made me smile and continue to believe in good old fashion kindness. Apparently, the couple felt the same, and they started a Go Fund Me account which resulted in more than 14,000 people contributing a total of $402,706 to this man. Everybody loves a feel-good story, but I can’t help, but see one red flag after another. The clinical social worker that I am thought, why not give to a drug rehab center, or a homeless shelter. I also found myself internally screaming “Meet the person where they’re at.”

Months later, the spotlight has faded, and reality has set in. He still struggles with an addiction to heroin and opioids. He admits using some of the money from his many benefactors to buy drugs — a “small amount,” he said, without elaborating. “I didn’t get involved in drugs overnight. It’s going to be a struggle for the rest of my life.” Friends, knowing of his good fortune, have asked him for money. He said it makes him uncomfortable. He said he has shared some of his money with others in need, and on social media, he encouraged his GoFundMe donors to contribute to a fund-raiser for a fellow veteran. I think the best thing the couple could have done for this gentleman was to help him find support groups and be a sounding board, not give him money. Money is a strange thing that often changes an individual. Which, it did in this story. McClure and her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, pledged to buy Bobbitt a new house; his “dream truck,” a 1999 Ford Ranger; a computer; new clothes; and a cellphone. They said they had set up two trusts in his benefit and hired him a lawyer and a financial adviser. McClure and D’Amico now ration the money they give him for daily living and will not say how much money remains, how it is invested, or whether Bobbitt will ultimately be allowed to control it.

 

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4 Responses to Kindness Gone Awry

  1. adguru101 says:

    A timely cautionary tale. We often feel we’re doing a good deed when what we’re really doing is supporting a problem situation.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gail Kaufman says:

    From the outside looking in, it may seem like all the homeless need is cash to give them a fresh start, but without other types support for underlying issues, apparently not.

    Liked by 1 person

    • msw blog says:

      I agree, I always inform clients,students,and coworkers homeless doesn’t start overnight. So, when we think about helping we must remember Maslow’s hierarchy,and to only give to organization that have checked out.

      Like

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