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Mystic Knight of the Sea
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I feel sorry for them, but I think a lot of our feel good programs are counter productive. Quite often homeless people are offered jobs, and they turn them down. They move on to a better location for a freebie.

What's my answer to the problem? I don't know what the answer is. You can't make people work and provide for their own needs if they don't want to.
 

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Some of our homless around here show up in cars and beg then go home, go figure.

There are some truly sick people on the streets though and you can tell who they are.
 

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There's always a small percentage of people who live "outside" societal norms... and human ability to adapt to our environment is one of our greatest strengths. Unlike some bubbleheaded SUV-driving soccermom, I don't feel so "guilty" everytime I see a street person that I feel the need to give them $5 for a Starbucks coffee.

If you've got too many homeless in your community, send 'em to San Francisco. It's like Disneyland for bums.
 

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No "one size fits all" approach to homelessness is ever going to work. There are three kinds of homeless folks to my way of thinking, each of which needs to be dealt with in a different manner. Problem is, that most folks want to apply an approach that works for one group to all three:

1. Down-on-your-luck victims of circumstance who will bounce back quickly - e.g. the person who lost his job last week and just got burned out of his apartment. This person can probably tough it out on their own, but it'd be a good idea to give them a helping hand (but not a handout).

2. Disabled folks like the guy in this story. This also includes the chronic mentally-ill. These folks won't be able to work, and need safety-net programs such as disability payments and subsidized housing.

3. Bums who can work, but who for the moment choose to be between career opportunities. They should be left to shift for themselves.

Now, think about it: Social Darwinists want to do what's appropriate for #3 to categories #1 and #2. What's appropriate for #1 is inadequate for #2 and squandering money on #3. What's appropriate for #2 is overkill for #1 and again squandering money on #3.
 

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During the winter my church along with 3 other churches in the area take care of between 15 & 25 homeless.............it's our turn every fourth week, they are fed, can shower and have a warm safe place to sleep. We also give food to folks that are having a hard time feeding themselves for various reasons. So you folks that like to knock churches............well.
 

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I just figured out what to do with all the extra grub.
 

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DorGunR said:
During the winter my church along with 3 other churches in the area take care of between 15 & 25 homeless.............it's our turn every fourth week, they are fed, can shower and have a warm safe place to sleep. We also give food to folks that are having a hard time feeding themselves for various reasons. So you folks that like to knock churches............well.
It is good to hear that some churches still do things for their communities. Folks around here seem to have never heard of that.
 

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I have spent alot of time talking to the homeless on the streets. I have alot stories I would like to share with folks here. I used to go talk to them ask them about things. Most are quite talkative I spent my last birthday under a bridge where many of them sleep. Yes I know I have a home, but for some reason I feel like I had a connection with these people. Because they are people too. Alot of them really are down on thier luck, some need to be in mental hospitals. Some just like it if someone talks to them.

I got alot of stories, about what I learned walking the city in which I live. I miss those walks sometimes because I was with a good friend, and I learned alot about myself from alot of nameless faces.
 

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Two words - WORK CAMPS. Most of these bums want to live on the street. I say round them up and put them in a camp. Teach them how to be productive humans clean them up and find them simple jobs so they can rebuild their self esteem.
 

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Gunco Irregular
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As someone that lived on the street in the 70's (you can't sign a lease when you are 15 or 16) I believe the ones that can benefit from help or that would be the easiest to get on their feet, are usually the ones that are making a conscious decision to be where they are. The ones that truley need help are often the hardest to help, as they are usually mentally ill or deep in chemical dependence. You also find people that, through their own free will, always seem to have "horrible luck" and it is never their fault for losing a job or being evicted as they are always the "victim". It is really tough not to want to help this kind of person when they have kids, but my experience has been that unless they make real changes in their thinking, you are just throwing good money after bad. If you are homeless in this country and really want help it is available, although you have to be willing to fill out endless paperwork and stand in long lines. I will buy food for people down on their luck but I will not give them money.
 

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fal_shooter said:
Two words - WORK CAMPS. Most of these bums want to live on the street. I say round them up and put them in a camp. Teach them how to be productive humans clean them up and find them simple jobs so they can rebuild their self esteem.
You'd love Cuba. Been there twice, one of the most frightening things I saw, once I learned how to see what there wasn't to see and once I realized its implications, was that there are no bums.
 

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Mystic Knight of the Sea
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Even countries like Cuba has some attributes that are worthwhile. In the US we allow drunken bums to sleep in libraries and stink up the place and to sprawl out and lay in public vestibules so that the people that actually pay the taxes to build those places have to step over them to get in. But we can brag about how we treat our bums. :eek:
 

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I guess just as I am willing to tolerate some danger in order to enjoy freedom, I am also willing to tolerate some annoyances like bums. Although agree with you that in some cities they have become more a scourge than a mere annoyance.

I don't think that bums should be rounded up and sent to work camps, but I also see nothing wrong with rousting them when they try to crash in public buildings or on peoples' doorsteps. Being rousted by the cops is the traditional price one pays for being a bum*.

*Please note that by "bum" I am using the term in its traditional and restricted sense - i.e. a neer-do-well who chooses not to work. As noted in a previous post, I consider the disabled and those who have fallen on hard times to be separate categories of the homeless and should be treated differently.
 

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Mystic Knight of the Sea
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Dzerzhinsky said:
*Please note that by "bum" I am using the term in its traditional and restricted sense - i.e. a neer-do-well who chooses not to work. As noted in a previous post, I consider the disabled and those who have fallen on hard times to be separate categories of the homeless and should be treated differently.
I feel the same way. The few that just have a temporary setback and fall on hard times aren't the ones that are causing the biggest problem. We should have programs to help them find employment and to provide them with basic needs temporarily. And, the mentally ill we need to gather them up and get them off the streets anyway before they cause harm to themself or to others. As far as the druggies and alcoholics that refuse placement in a rehab center, roust em up and chase em out of town. The taxpayers shouldn't be expected to subsidize drug and alcohol abusers so they can continue their lifestyle.

Bah humbug. Yer spoiling my view you scurly dirtbag get out of here. :buttkick:
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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There is a difference bums and hobos. (Tramps are a third category, IIRC).

Our homeless social policy is assuming we are dealing with Depression era hobos when in fact we are dealing with bums.
 

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Pogo said:
...And, the mentally ill we need to gather them up and get them off the streets anyway before they cause harm to themself or to others...
I disagree. One of the few really good things that Reagan did when he was governor of California was to get the mentally-ill out of institutions and back into the community. The problem was that move was supposed to have been coupled with funding for outpatient community mental-health clinics adequate to meet the needs of the now-free mentally ill, and that didn't happen - and still hasn't happened.

Living in the community and being provided outpatient care provides the mentally ill with more of the liberties shared by the rest of the citizenry and is far less costly to the taxpayers.

Living in the community and not being provided outpatient care results in the scenario you now are seeing.

I'd be hard pressed to name a group with less political clout than crazies. It's not like they've got a powerful lobbyist pressing for funding for good community mental health centers.

FYI, under current laws, folks who pose a clear and present danger to self or others due to a mental disorder still can be hospitalized against their will.
 

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Custer, can you explain your distinctions? (I think of hobos as pretty much having gone by the wayside after WWII, shiftless transients largely riding the rails and communicating with one another via secret signs. Here's a neat site I found, although from the preface it's clear the author thinks hobos haven't gone by the wayside yet: http://www.slackaction.com/signroll.htm)

So here's the three:
Bums
Hobos
Tramps
 

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Mystic Knight of the Sea
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Smeg, I'm not talking about mentally handicapped people that are just having difficulty and need assisted living. I've got a close relative that is handicapped and he has his own apartment, drives a car, and works at a part time job. He gets assistance from mental health workers in making sure he keeps his medical appointments and he has food in his refrigerator, etc, as well as the immediate family helping him.

I'm talking about the ones that as soon as they get out of an institution they dissappear into a big city and eat out of trash cans, sleep in vestibules and dumpsters until finally they get dumped into the garbage truck and crushed with the trash. They can't be left to their own devise. And, I have no regrets paying taxes to take care of these people.
 
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