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Old 12-06-2013, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
321 posts, read 458,252 times
Reputation: 205

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Columbia, SC wanted to round up the downtown homeless and put them in a camp on the edge of town. Complete with police to encourage them not to re-enter. They backed down under threat from the ACLU and other civic groups. It's representative to me of how regressive that state is. Well they started the Civil War, what can you expect from them. Up here in NC things are more civil even if they're swinging Red State lately. NC wasn't sure which side of the Civil War it was going to be on; it soon chose the South.
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:29 AM
 
Location: Utica, NY
1,912 posts, read 2,538,690 times
Reputation: 3200
What about creating agricultural communes for the homeless? Lots of spare land in this country and they could basically be self sustaining.
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
17,032 posts, read 26,823,297 times
Reputation: 16189
I don't give to them. Being an inner city resident, I've seen too many use spare change for booze and cigs.

I give to the food shelves.
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:03 AM
 
2,777 posts, read 3,022,683 times
Reputation: 2312
I usually throw em a few bucks, back in NYC I'd buy them a beer.
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
17,032 posts, read 26,823,297 times
Reputation: 16189
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy1190 View Post
What about creating agricultural communes for the homeless? Lots of spare land in this country and they could basically be self sustaining.

Laziness and mental illness are big problems in the homeless community.
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Utica, NY
1,912 posts, read 2,538,690 times
Reputation: 3200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oildog View Post
Laziness and mental illness are big problems in the homeless community.
Well we have the ability to treat the mentally ill.
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
321 posts, read 458,252 times
Reputation: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy1190 View Post
Well we have the ability to treat the mentally ill.
But the problem with communes is that getting fed isn't really the issue. For the most part the homeless already do get fed. The problems are things like crime control, substance abuse, respect for property, managing a commons, and medical treatment for those mentally ill folks. I'm not a fan of putting a lot of homeless people, who on average are some of the lowest socially functioning members of society, all in one place. What do I mean about "lowest functioning?" I mean I went for a doughnut at a homeless center in Asheville the other week, and heard later that day that some guy stabbed some other guy. A stupid argument about looking at someone's girlfriend. Often the response of that homeless center in such instances is to shut the place down, enforcing consequences for everyone in that community and not just the people involved, but they didn't in this case. Sure the stabber will do jail time, but the point is these communities can readily devolve into a "grade school with weapons" level of mentality.

I'm not convinced that trying to turn homeless people into collective farmers is enough of a stabilizing influence on their lives. Various organizations do try to deal with all these issues in total, but the work doesn't get done for free. Perhaps it could work for some homeless and not others, especially, those who don't have substance abuse or mental illness problems. But that's seriously reducing the applicant pool, isn't it.

Also if you read the history of voluntary intentional communities, i.e. hippies who decided to set up some farms and live off the land, you will find that the politics of such communities typically suck. Where "suck" means the communities eventually disband. I'm not convinced that trying to turn homeless people into collective farmers is enough of a stabilizing influence on their lives. Usually because people can't decide upon any fair way to share the difficulties of farming labor.
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Old 12-07-2013, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
15,697 posts, read 26,694,100 times
Reputation: 20277
Two things that we normally tell them is:

1. They are always looking for people to work in the fields. Our city produces more strawberries than any other on the planet. You can always get a job working in the fields.

2. I usually keep a list of places that are hiring and will pass out the list. For example many of the food places are looking for people, a new Walmart is opening in January I think, that will be our areas 4th Walmart in the Ventura Oxnard area, a first for Ventura. But they are hiring and have placed signs on all the busy streets leading up to the store.

Here is what I have seen in our area:

1. A guy had leg braces, a bandaged head and arm, and he was on a street corner trying to get the drivers to give him cash. I saw him an hour later at the same intersection and his leg braces and bandages were on a little cart he had near the curb.

2. One woman was asking for cash at an intersection with a sign saying her daughter was sick. (IN our area they usually just stand at an intersection with a sign trying to get the people in the cars to give them money.) Later this same woman was seen at a liquor store buying a bottle and a six pack.

3. A local guy is always in a wheel chair and he moves all over the western part of our county asking for money. He also has a new scam where he tosses himself under cars as they are taking off. The people think that they hit him. He just asks for money and many have been scammed by him.
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Old 12-07-2013, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
321 posts, read 458,252 times
Reputation: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by SOON2BNSURPRISE View Post
I saw him an hour later at the same intersection and his leg braces and bandages were on a little cart he had near the curb.
Cool, I wonder how long it would take to apply and then remove a prosthetic. Something hideous like a finger bent backwards.

Quote:
2. One woman was asking for cash at an intersection with a sign saying her daughter was sick. (IN our area they usually just stand at an intersection with a sign trying to get the people in the cars to give them money.) Later this same woman was seen at a liquor store buying a bottle and a six pack.
Doesn't have to be a contradiction. She could be drowning her sorrows that her daughter is sick. She could be making her daughter sick by plying her with booze. Her daughter could be sick, and she didn't mention that she's collecting money for herself, not her daughter.

Quote:
He also has a new scam where he tosses himself under cars as they are taking off.
Risky gambit, if he ever miscalculates. It could be an Olympic sport. He could give interviews about the best technique, and do product endorsements. "Raybestos brakes! They stop so fast, I never get killed!" "For that soft, crunchy feeling of rolling over your spine: FIRESTONE."

Have you ever seriously chewed a beggar out before? I have. It generally happens when they approach me in my poor as heck looking rusty ass vehicle, complete with a cooler and sleeping bags and such, and then they don't take "no" for an answer. One of the most irritating ones I got was a guy asking me for food, because he said, "I'm HUNgry." In a sort of whining well practiced childlike sniveling voice. I held my tongue about his **** poor planning and thought about whether I had any food in my car that I didn't want, that I could spare. "Let's see what I've got... do you want some bread?" I know that bread is a commonly obtained item on the street, but if you're hungry, it's food. That's how I live myself, I eat what I've got.

His respose? "Oh LORD. Don't you have anything else??" I chewed him out good, that if my food wasn't good enough for him, he could jolly well take a hike, and go to the same food banks, etc. that I do. I really laid into him for about 15 seconds. A little while later I felt bad about it, that although I was justified, I was unnecessarily cruel and hurtful about it. I caught up with him nearby and said I was sorry I was mean about it, but he had really pissed me off. He said, "You're alright." I noticed he didn't try to ply me with any whiny show when he said that either. There's one face that the homeless put on for their marks, and another they put on for people they think are more like themselves.

My "problem" is I'm pretty good at looking like a totally regular person walking down the street. Generally, nobody knows I'm homeless unless I tell them. I don't wear any kind of "homeless uniform." Although appearing normal is an advantage in most respects, it's a disadvantage in that I'll be begged same as anyone else.

My usual response to being begged nowadays is "Sorry, I'm homeless" in the hope that they might remember the 2nd time and leave me alone. Some do remember, and I have more respect for that, because it means at least they're paying attention and can interact with me as a human being. Others don't remember, they're on auto-pilot. I figure those ones are either mentally ill or too addicted to care.

I've also had debates with car approachers that go something like this. "Spare any change?" "You're seriously going to ask someone with a car like mine? I live out of this thing." "Well at least you have a car." "That's true, but it doesn't mean I have anything left over to give." "That's true." That one ended better than another one. "Well at least you have a car." I thought to myself, yeah buddy, and I intend to keep it that way.

Oh, and the impassioned gas can sales pitch late at night. He was either really in a state of personal desperation, or a very good actor. I offered to bodyguard him on the way to an ATM machine or gas station or wherever he thought he needed to be next, but I wasn't giving anything to him. More impassioned attempts on his part. I said, "What you need to do... is find someone ELSE... who's got the money."
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Old 12-09-2013, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
55,702 posts, read 54,294,792 times
Reputation: 65924
I passed four different panhandlers this morning after a meeting, walking back to the train station. It bothered me that there are so many, but my cynical side thinks they figure people are out Christmas shopping this time of year and it's a good time to get on the street and play up their sympathy.

The one that bothered me most was a young couple with a dog. I hate when the junkies use dogs for props--it's a sympathy ploy, and I've sometimes seen the same dog used by different panhandlers. On the other hand, maybe the dog gets fed that way by compassionate strangers and gets a little more time to live before he ends up euthanized in a shelter somewhere. And yes--before someone starts shrieking that I'm being judgmental blah blah blah, when you see young white people begging on the streets of Manhattan with the stupid signs that say someone stole their sleeping bag or they need a bus ticket home (two of the most popular begging slogans on cardboard signs), you can bet they are junkies. And yes, blah blah blah, junkies maybe should get sympathy, too--but they won't get money from me.
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