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  •  i've lived with them (0+ / 0-)

    and worked with them

    fact does not require fiction for balance (proudly a DFH)

    by mollyd on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:17:29 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  then you should understand (0+ / 0-)

      the difference between the social problems: to repeat: 1. poverty, layoffs, foreclosures causing some (way too many) people to lose their homes or not be able to afford rent, and have nowhere to live, a situation that they want to get out of ASAP, and, as I said, in my town, these folks get help. The Obama administration funded an emergency preventing homelessness program, which helped those facing immediate homelessness who had a prospect of getting back on their feet, by paying rent and bills for a while, and that helped in the last few years, and these people do not pass out in the streets or sleep under bridges (maybe in their cars for a while) or participate in the revolving door to jail; 2. street vagrants.

      The story originally posted here about "permits" in AZ was addressing problem #2. If you read it, you can see that.

      Problem #2 is made up of a number of different kinds of people. In my town, some of them are people who would have been committed to the county mental institution before Gov. Reagan shut them down. Most, if not all of them, are chronic drunks and many of them do crank, there is also some heroin (I know which of the abandoned houses downtown is the shooting gallery, thanks to Juice.) The police know them all, and they know their stories. Many of us who live here know them and their stories, too.

      We know Mohawk Mike, we know the handsome Indian guy with the white pony tail and the guitar on his back who occasionally gets so abusive to his mother, that she throws him out of the house to sleep wild for a while, I pitched him to register him to vote in 2010; he said he was registered and would vote for my local candidate. We know Bill whose pants are always falling down, who is one of the most pathetic sleepers under the bridges. Most of the street vagrants we see sober sometimes, and drunk most of the time, but I don't remember ever seeing Bill sober. Then there's Bobblehead, I know his real name, too, but forget it right now, who walks up and down Main Street with a head set, bobbling his head up and down to music. He disappears for longer periods of time, sent off to treatment is the local theory. And he comes back, and he's friendly, waving a greeting, and calm for a while, and gradually deterioriates mentally and physically, gets aggressive, and starts getting his name back in the police log again. just a few of the most well-known street vagrants. Jail is not the proper way to deal with these folks, but when a business owner calls and says, Bill's passed out on my threshold again, or a mother calls and says "there's a drunken guy who won't stop trying to swing the kids in the park" what are the cops supposed to do? Jail is their only option. They don't like it but the town demands they "do something."

      We also get transients/hobos, who are traveling through town and don't stay long, many of those are younger people though, with still quite a few Vietnam vets. They don't generally cause trouble, unless you're bothered by hitchhiking or people sitting with signs "Will Work for Bud" during marijuana harvest season.

      To lump all these people in together as "homeless" is not a helpful approach.

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