Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Fight homelessness, not homeless people

But, no, homeless people are icky, and dirty:

So let's screw over a church that shelters them...

...and let's ask volunteers to do something EXTREMELY useful with their time: sitting on benches for three hour stretches of time to keep homeless people from using them!

I was wondering if April 1st had come early, but no, there are actually people out there who are this hateful and stupid. Instead of contributing toward constructive solutions, they seem to think that further marginalizing these folks will make the problem go away.


Anonymous said...

that's the stupidest most heartless thing i've ever heard.

sometimes the human race makes me despair.

Anonymous said...

Growing up, I had zero experience with homelessness and homeless folks (rural farming community in the plains). I don't remember ever seeing a homeless person until I went to D.C. when I was 15. It was eye-opening. Our sponsors told us to avoid them, to not engage them in conversation, and to certainly NOT give them any money because they would SO USE IT FOR DRUGS OMGZ.

I moved to California after college, to a major city full of homeless people. I had a job near downtown and faced the homelessness issue every day. At the time, I was figuring out a lot about myself and realized that my quarter or even my $5 was not going to suddenly turn this person's life around. A kid, probably 17 or so, asked me for some change outside a Starbucks because he wanted some coffee. I told him I didn't care what he did with my change, it was HIS change now. He told me he just wanted to be honest.

The point is, it saddens me that people have such a horrible outlook on the homeless. People (I'm speaking in generalities here) think that the homeless are homeless because they're winos or drug addicts or both, but that just isn't the case. Sometimes, bad things happen. Sometimes, you lose your job and your spouse and your home and your world collapses around you.

I like how the La Jolla lady is taking up that bench space SO NO ONE CAN SIT ON IT BUT THE VOLUNTEERS. What about tourists who are just so bone weary from seeing the sites in La Jolla? Bah.

Rachel said...

Classic clase of NIMBY - only it's not in my city.

I worked with the homeless shelter and homeless coalition in Cincinnati several years ago and spent some time with one particular homeless encampment beneath the freeway. The city tried to evict these residents, who had lived there for four years, because it was right behind the Bengals stadium. They didn't care about the other 1,300 homeless men,women and children on Cincinnati streets - just these people because they were a blight to the suburbanites who ventured into the big bad city for Bengals games.

I wrote a story on it here

Mercurior said...

its just another way to discriminate, to hate.

you cant make comments about, sex, race, religion, sexual orientations.

but you can about fat and the homeless. so all the ire from hate has to be focused on one group.

makes me despair to be a human.

Anonymous said...

Oh yuck, not more of this intolerant crap! A few months ago, the local government in my mom's town went to the effort of installing an extra armrest halfway along every bench in town. So that people could no longer lie down on them.

Of course, now, when you sit on the bench, there's really only room for two people to sit, not four or five....

What petty things people can come up with are totally beyond me. Anyone has the right to use the public space in any way they please or need to, so long as they are not actually causing harm. And, no, lying down on a bench does not cause harm.

Nan said...

Unbelievable, but the same thing is endemic across the country: sweep the homeless out of sight instead of trying to do something about root causes.

The first time I remember seeing homeless people that included families and kids was during the Reagan administration in the 1980s. Saint Ronnie made self-centered greed respectable and said it was okay to hate the poor, and it's been downhill in this country ever since.

Anonymous said...

I work for a non-profit organization in Maryland that provides transitional housing to homeless families with children, which includes single dads. Although we don't help out singles because our goal is to keep kids off the street, the homeless haters do not realize the majority of these people became homeless not because they're lazy, but because illness, fire, domestic violence, etc. led to their situation. Most want to be productive; I do realize there are those that want to "opt out" of society and not be responsible.

Just like with us fat people, we can't judge a book by its cover. I have come into contact with homeless people and you would never think they are living in their cars, on the street, or bouncing from friend to friend.

Karen said...

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore; send these, the homeless, the tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

We've done a pretty poor job living up to the sentiment on the Statue of Liberty.

Mrs.Millur said...

Kudos to the Church for acting on their conviction that there are more important things in life than free parking. I cross my fingers and hope that public pressure will have the parking ramp owner backing down soon.

Who seriously has so little else to do with their time that they can waste 3 hours knitting on a park bench, just to kick someone out of public space?

Mercurior said...

today its "Give me your tired,( but not too tired obviously or they wouldnt want to work) your poor(but not too poor because they cant buy the crap we sell), your huddled masses yearning to breathe free(free to buy into corporate world, to conform)"; and the golden door is probably sold off for scrap by now.

(i am british but my wife is american, and i hate the way america and the uk have become non tolerant of people)

in my home town there was a man homeless and he kept begging for money for a cup of tea, but he usually spent it on gambling, so one day my mum says ok, you want a cup of tea, come to me to that cafe, and i will buy you one and i will sit with you.

he never bothered her again. If someone asks me for a cup of tea i will take them to a cafe and buy them one. i would rather do that, that give money for an unknown reason.

Kira said...

It's so sad how people can have so little compassion towards fellow humans. We've become so tribal as a society - anyone who's perceived in any way as "other" is to be feared and loathed, it seems.

Here in New Orleans we reportedly have >14,000 homeless people - this in a city of ~300,000. Last fall they were camping out in a park across the street from City Hall. That simply couldn't do, so they were kicked out. Many then relocated to a camp underneath a freeway overpass, but that started getting national news attention, so they're being kicked out of there, too. This in a city with 20% of it's pre-storm mental health resources, where thousands have still been unable to rebuild because the insurance companies and government have dragged their feet or just plain refused to pay out, and where rents have doubled. Yet they're tearing down sturdy old projects that could be quickly and cheaply renovated to provide temporary housing to most of the homeless, in the name of some day building improved mixed-income housing (something which was planned years ago for other lots which are still vacant).

Okay, stepping off the soapbox - I just really get upset by the lack of compassion people are capable of showing.