What’s the Latest Development?
To raise funds needed for renovation, the St. Brother Albert Homeless Shelter in central Poland is offering a course in urban survival, teaching its students how to live in the concrete jungle without money. One of the course’s lessons is how to drum up food money by helping people transport their department store purchases to their cars. In St. Brother Albert’s village, shopping carts are rented with a small coin deposit and when the cart is returned (by the helpful urban beggar), the coin goes to the one who returned the cart. Another strategy, not surprisingly, is frugality: Buying food from the bottom shelf and choosing groceries over bar or restaurant offerings.
What’s the Big Idea?
On rainy nights when cardboard boxes no longer suffice for shelter, the course recommends sleeping on night busses, which are heated and traverse the city in long, circuitous routes until four o’clock in the morning. To take advantage of government soup kitchens, students are told to stay off the bottle, since public and religious charity services are available to those only without obvious alcohol problems. The homeless individuals who teach the course say they live by a different concept of happiness, which is often defined by the charity of others.
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