U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-24-2007, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,231 posts, read 3,446,616 times
Reputation: 396

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Supernova7 View Post
I'm sorry to hear about your negative experiences. I can attest to the fact that I seldom experience hostile homeless people, even though I expect them to be far more hostile that they are. You have to consider how hard their lives are and what they have to face on a daily basis.

...if I was homeless I would probably seek every mode of escape imaginable, anything to help me feel alive even if it's momentarily. I've met some wonderful homeless people with really enchanting stories and incredible personal accomplishments. You just have to get to know them....
While I admire your compassion and accurate assessment of reality, I question the effectiveness of your approach to this issue. Homelessness IS just a couple unlucky breaks away from most of us, I'm on the fence myself. I have multiple medical disorders, some of them undiagnosed, I have no health insurance, 2 out of 3 phone calls I receive are from debt collectors, I'm unemployed and live in 400 square feet with my dying dog. But I will NOT take other people down with me.

The system is broken. It's the system, it's the culture, the society, our materialism, the right wing talk show hosts who tell us that we all have equal opportunities and the only reason some people are richer is because they worked harder and earned it. This is the American Mind and it's a cancer. That's the real enemy.

I don't fault the homeless for being homeless. But there's nothing wrong with griping about aggressive homeless people, pointing out how unwise it is to donate money to people for begging, and suggesting that we pay people to work rather than to sit on sidewalks half-dead while we pretend that we're being "compassionate" by donating our quarters and dollar bills. Do you get what I'm saying or is my blunt language interfering with my message?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-24-2007, 04:02 PM
 
Location: NW suburbs
94 posts, read 430,529 times
Reputation: 41
Anywhere in the SF bay area. The bums have a real sense of entitlement.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-24-2007, 07:32 PM
 
333 posts, read 1,332,057 times
Reputation: 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHarvester View Post
While I admire your compassion and accurate assessment of reality, I question the effectiveness of your approach to this issue. Homelessness IS just a couple unlucky breaks away from most of us, I'm on the fence myself. I have multiple medical disorders, some of them undiagnosed, I have no health insurance, 2 out of 3 phone calls I receive are from debt collectors, I'm unemployed and live in 400 square feet with my dying dog. But I will NOT take other people down with me.

The system is broken. It's the system, it's the culture, the society, our materialism, the right wing talk show hosts who tell us that we all have equal opportunities and the only reason some people are richer is because they worked harder and earned it. This is the American Mind and it's a cancer. That's the real enemy.

I don't fault the homeless for being homeless. But there's nothing wrong with griping about aggressive homeless people, pointing out how unwise it is to donate money to people for begging, and suggesting that we pay people to work rather than to sit on sidewalks half-dead while we pretend that we're being "compassionate" by donating our quarters and dollar bills. Do you get what I'm saying or is my blunt language interfering with my message?
right on...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-24-2007, 08:26 PM
 
606 posts, read 2,777,929 times
Reputation: 134
I'll make a ranking on the most aggresive bum cities.
1.Chicago
2.Berkely, Cal
3.Las Vegas
4.Miami
5.Philadelphia
6.St. Louis
7.DC
8.LA
9.Minneapolis
10.Providence
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-27-2007, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Palm Springs, CA
74 posts, read 238,539 times
Reputation: 44
Smile Most aggressive bums

San Francisco has to win the prize on this one. We have the largest quantity, and we even have a neighborhood full of bums (the Tenderloin).

We have a mild climate, and a city that is very generous and sympathetic to their plight, and they are attracted here in hordes.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-27-2007, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs,CO
2,368 posts, read 6,829,180 times
Reputation: 624
One time this summer I was back in Cleveland,going to a baseball game with my brother and dad and it was a two block walk to The Jake,and we got stopped 4 times by bums,some of them were groups too.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-27-2007, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Noo Yawk, Noo Yawk
625 posts, read 1,352,719 times
Reputation: 626
Default Homeless and begging

First of all, I must say that the use of the word "bum" in the title of this thread is offensive to me. It is as if you have lumped every person who begs into this one category, and that word has negative connotations. Remember - these are human beings we are talking about!

Mental illness is far more widespread than we want to realize, and I would say that most homeless people begging and sleeping in the streets have some form of mental illness -- and mental illness also can lead to alcoholism, so just because someone is obviously drunk and begging does not mean that they do not suffer from a mental disease as well. Until the mentally ill are dealt with more respectfully -- and the stigma is erased -- I'm afraid that those suffering with it will continue to find their way into the streets and resort to begging or even crime to survive.

Furthermore, the effects alone of just living or begging in the streets - even without a drug or alcohol problem - does affect people's capacity to think. The stress levels of staying alive, staying clean, finding a meal, avoiding violence are huge and wreak havoc on the nervous system and mental process. I once befriended a woman who was begging in my neighborhood. She was very popular, personable, fairly clean, and polite. She told me that people would suggest to her that she would make more money if she was dirtier and more pathetic-looking. They objected to her begging since she looked pretty presentable! She said, "I have pride, I don't want to be dirty." She was not always homeless but could sometimes afford an SRO (a 1-room unit where you pay rent week-to-week, and usually share a communal bathroom and kitchen). I got her a job at a printing company for minimum wage - they needed someone to help collate a big manual they were producing. She loved working but she couldn't do it. All she had to do was put page 2 after page 1, and so on. It was all set up to be very easy, but the boss told me that she had messed up so many manuals, he had to let her go. She was brokenhearted about it, and I was upset that it didn't work out -- but I realized she had lost her capacity to think well enough to hold down a job. She also gave me lice when she hugged me - oh well, maybe that's why he fired her. But she was trying so-o-o hard to take care of herself.

People get rejected by their families and/or lose their homes for many reasons. We can't just lump them all into one group and say that they should all be working and supporting themselves. Many simply can't. The ones that can will, but it won't always work out. Very few people can live on minimum wage or public assistance well enough to make ends meet anyway.

All that being said, I don't befriend every homeless person I see; I'm not stupid. No matter what reason brought them to their current situation, many are mentally unbalanced and could be potentially violent. I trust my instincts. I help when I can, and avoid when necessary. There used to be a homeless guy who would sleep in my building's entrance, and I would buy him coffee and a muffin each morning when I asked him not to stay there. The management eventually put a lock on the front door, and now the neighborhood has a drop-in center, so that stopped happening. I've had hostility directed at me but I've also laughed out loud when someone begging had something witty to say. And there are some that are bums in the sense that they are lazy and want to take advantage of people without doing any work (the stoner "hippie" kids panhandling in Ithaca, NY come to mind). But not all people begging or living in the streets are that way.

The word "prejudice" means "pre-judging" someone before you know anything about them as an individual, and basing your judgments on stereotypes or hearsay. Unless you open your eyes and see street people as individuals, you are just being prejudiced -- and that is very sad because prejudice never makes a problem go away.

Last edited by citychik; 07-27-2007 at 01:37 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-27-2007, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,231 posts, read 3,446,616 times
Reputation: 396
Quote:
Originally Posted by citychik View Post
First of all, I must say that the use of the word "bum" in the title of this thread is offensive to me.
I'm starting to lose interest and comprehension about the word "offensive" because it seems to apply to everyone about everything. What do you mean? Are you physically damaged by reading the word? Did it affect your life in some way other than that of your own choosing? Can you not take responsibility for how you interpret and feel about words?

That being said, I think it's not a useful word for purposes of this thread because we're talking about panhandling, not "bums." I don't even know what a "bum" is. I have never panhandled in my life but I'm probably more of a bum than most panhandlers, so in that sense the word is simply abused. But the word "offensive" is more abused than any word in the American language. And yes, I meant American, not English.
Quote:
Originally Posted by citychik View Post
Mental illness is far more widespread than we want to realize, and I would say that most homeless people begging and sleeping in the streets have some form of mental illness
You know those ants that come into your kitchen, those mosquitoes that bite you, the car salesman who pressures you in ways that annoy you, the politicians you hate and wish weren't in office? They are all suffering from problems and needs as well. That doesn't strip you of your right to complain about them. I delight in killing mosquitoes. I love seeing people in the Bush Administration get taken down like ducks in a carnival shooting gallery. And I don't feel at all guilty. Nor do I feel guilty about driving past a beggar holding up a cardboard "Anything helps, God Bless" sign and feeling annoyed about the fact that they're standing on a street corner because people are stupid enough to pay them to do it.

Your intelligence and compassion are admirable and I don't intend to put you down. I intend to stir debate because I think that the misguided compassion of those who donate to beggars is causing more harm to those in need than if you paid about ten times as much to a political or charitable organization that is trying to solve the problem at its root instead of putting bandaids on it. The fact that we have millions of homeless, most of them mentally ill, abused, addicted or otherwise disabled, in the wealthiest nation on earth --- THAT is what you should direct your anger towards. The fact that people call them "bums" is a wake-up call. We're accepting this as if it has no systemic cause or solution. It's systemic. We have to address the problem from the level of causation, not the level of enabling beggars to indulge themselves in their own self-demise.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-27-2007, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Noo Yawk, Noo Yawk
625 posts, read 1,352,719 times
Reputation: 626
Default words

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHarvester View Post
I'm starting to lose interest and comprehension about the word "offensive" because it seems to apply to everyone about everything. What do you mean? Are you physically damaged by reading the word? Did it affect your life in some way other than that of your own choosing? Can you not take responsibility for how you interpret and feel about words?
Yes, I always take responsibility for my words. The OP didn't offend me; I found the word offensive - that is my responsibility. Physically damaged? No, that isn't how I think of the word "offensive." According to the American Heritage Dictionary the adjective means:
1. Disagreeable to the senses: an offensive odor.
2. Causing anger, displeasure, resentment, or affront: an offensive gesture.
3. a. Making an attack: The offensive troops gained ground quickly.
3. b. Of, relating to, or designed for attack: offensive weapons.

I found the use of the word "bum" in this instance offensive because it seems to paint too a broad stroke about those who survive by begging in the streets. I thought it a very judgmental word to use, as it usually means a lazy, loafing, idle scavenger (except if it's a beach bum). It didn't make me angry, but was disagreeable to my sense of respect for others, so I "spoke up" (wrote up?) to point out that not all beggars in the street are "bums" and many have no other means to survive. One thing I find offensive is making blanket statements about a group of people in a way which does not consider their individuality.

Quote:
Your intelligence and compassion are admirable and I don't intend to put you down. I intend to stir debate because I think that the misguided compassion of those who donate to beggars is causing more harm to those in need than if you paid about ten times as much to a political or charitable organization that is trying to solve the problem at its root instead of putting bandaids on it. The fact that we have millions of homeless, most of them mentally ill, abused, addicted or otherwise disabled, in the wealthiest nation on earth --- THAT is what you should direct your anger towards. The fact that people call them "bums" is a wake-up call. We're accepting this as if it has no systemic cause or solution. It's systemic. We have to address the problem from the level of causation, not the level of enabling beggars to indulge themselves in their own self-demise.
In my opinion, the apathy and resentment people feel about the homeless, the mentally ill, drug addicts, and those begging in the streets also contribute to the problem.

And, believe me, I do give to a number of charities that provide services to the homeless - one of my favorite is Ready, Willing, and Able, which employs homeless men to clean the streets in NYC, provides them a place to live which requires rent, and teaches them new skills such as how to manage their money and become self-sufficient as part of society. I contribute food and clothing at the shelters and drop-in centers and have served dinner at soup kitchens. I freaking got someone a job, okay! Doing all of that, however, will not stop me from giving someone in the street who looks really hungry a sandwich. Sheesh.

Last edited by citychik; 07-27-2007 at 04:41 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-27-2007, 04:44 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,231 posts, read 3,446,616 times
Reputation: 396
Citychik: Great response, you explained everything very well. A couple comments:
Quote:
Originally Posted by citychik View Post
I found the use of the word "bum" in this instance offensive because it seems to paint too a broad stroke about those who survive by begging in the streets. I thought it a very judgmental word to use
Agreed. It's definitely a useless judgmental word that provides no information other than to inform the listener/reader about the attitude of the person using it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by citychik View Post
In my opinion, the apathy and resentment people feel about the homeless, the mentally ill, drug addicts, and those begging in the streets also contribute to the problem.

....Doing all of that, however, will not stop me from giving someone in the street who looks really hungry a sandwich. Sheesh.
I hear ya. First part, the apathy and resentment: this is aggravated by the current system. Part of "the system" is that well-intentioned individuals pay other individuals to sit on sidewalks or stand at intersections begging. This is a vicious circle because the few who feel compassion are far-outnumbered by the many who feel annoyed, which decreases interest in the plight of the very real human beings who are occupying those public spaces asking for money.

It doesn't help that many of the beggars are professionals who make more money than people who work jobs, as proven by several objective studies.

But when you make a judgment call about the plight of an individual, and you choose to feed them because you truly believe they need it, then I'm certainly not going to call you a "contributing factor" to the problem. On the other hand, I've personally experienced con artists who had me fooled into believing that their situation was as desperate as it looked. The best actors are not in Hollywood, many of them are on our streets making a great living by begging. I don't knock your compassion, I just think we need a different economic system. Our tolerance of social inequity is inexcusable in a nation where the top 1% of the wealthy could easily feed, house, clothe, and provide health care for the bottom 10%. That's just sick. And I'm tired of being conned.

One last item: there are frequent cases of beggars in Austin who rob or beat the people they approach. I think it's foolish to give to beggars because it supports a system that encourages fraud and hurts the truly needy. The best actors win. When I'm destitute, which is probable within about 2 years, I won't be begging and nobody will know of my situation. And I will be joining a few million others who don't beg. Why do you choose to reward those who get in your face about it? How do you KNOW you're not just being an enabler?

Last edited by TheHarvester; 07-27-2007 at 04:52 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top