In my previous blog posting, I wrote about the man that my husband Jim and I found lying beside a major thoroughfare. I have now talked with Nick Bush of United Ministries Place of Hope, a day shelter for people who are homeless, about what he might suggest for the next time we find someone at the side of the road.
Nick suggested several things to consider. He asked if Jim had smelled alcohol on the man and Jim had not. Nick said that people who have used crack cocaine all night will fall asleep anywhere afterwards. If they use high power meth, they may ride that for a couple of weeks. When they come down, they may sleep for several days…anywhere. They may not smell of drugs but nevertheless, they are under the influence. Of course, the person may need medical attention, drug related or not.
Nick cautioned that females probably should not try to engage with someone lying beside the road because it may be a ruse to attack or rob the woman. Or the person may be out of his mind and inadvertently hurt the caring woman.
Nick suggested that the best thing to do was to call 9-1-1 and report that there was a person lying beside the road and you, the caller, were concerned. One could always stay close by to assure that the man was appropriately helped. And if the guy truly did not want help, he could always refuse to get in the ambulance.
Of course, every situation is different but it helps to get advice from someone who regularly deals with all kinds of behavior and issues especially with people who are homeless.