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A generation with its hand out...

Messages
10,583
Location
vancouver, canada
In a similar vein …

What’s y’all’s take in the sidewalk/highway median/public park tent dwellers?

I’m not torn on this so much as I am understanding of the many and varied perspectives on the matter and of how people came to hold those views.

I just don’t want to see it normalized. I can’t accept that we as a society and all of us as individuals, the tent dwellers themselves included, will tolerate a somewhat sizable percentage of us living that way. Nor do I accept that this sad phenomenon will be with us permanently. It’s unhealthy for the people living that way, and for the rest of us, too.
The great majority of those that dwell in the urban tent cities have mental health and addiction issues. So far, it is not for a lack of money spent in the attempts to eradicate it. It would appear that certain issues, such as addiction, are just beyond the ability of governments to solve. It is no longer just a big city issue as so many smaller cities in the US are dealing with the issue. It is rampant throughout the land.

The issue is indeed complex and the harm created is vast, it goes way beyond aesthetics.....health, sanitation, rat infestation, fire risk, crime in the camps and in the surrounding area, residents no longer able to use the parks due to fear of needles...the list of harms goes on and on.

A decade ago the mayor was reelected based on a commitment to eradicate homelessness in his next term. The problem is at least double if not triple today. I do think he was sincere in his promise.......the issue just proved more intractable than his ability or desire.
 

GHT

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,538
Location
New Forest
In a similar vein …

What’s y’all’s take in the sidewalk/highway median/public park tent dwellers?
tipi.jpg

My first thought was that the natives of North America were tent dwellers, I have seen these tipi parks. But of course what Tony is talking about is the squalor caused by the homeless, setting up camp wherever they can.
tent squalour.jpg

Just one click and I found this:
Find emergency housing
  1. Dial 211 for help finding emergency housing. In most areas of the U.S., dial 211 to connect with local social services and referrals for emergency housing.
  2. Find shelters near you. Check HUD's local homeless assistance list for shelters and housing in your state.
  3. Emergency housing for special groups.
Does such a service exist? Why can't these people help themselves? My own childhood was tough, Mother died young, just 34. Dad raised his four kids alone, held down a job and ensured that we all had clean clothes and a clean home. What he didn't do, was throw the towel in. His Stirling example was passed on to his four kids. We have all had to face adversity, like Dad, we dealt with it.
 

FOXTROT LAMONT

One Too Many
Messages
1,723
Location
St John's Wood, London UK
In a similar vein …

What’s y’all’s take in the sidewalk/highway median/public park tent dwellers?

I’m not torn on this so much as I am understanding of the many and varied perspectives on the matter and of how people came to hold those views.

I just don’t want to see it normalized. I can’t accept that we as a society and all of us as individuals, the tent dwellers themselves included, will tolerate a somewhat sizable percentage of us living that way. Nor do I accept that this sad phenomenon will be with us permanently. It’s unhealthy for the people living that way, and for the rest of us, too.
Interesting. I attend several economic forums held in Europe and the States every year and the subject of sovereign individual right seems the prevailing view. Meaning alcoholism with
drug addiction is freely chosen inherent right; wherein resultant consequence is justified in accordance individual liberty. Society is stymied by this of course; however, individual right
to choose personal direction is paramount over collective concern.
 
Messages
10,583
Location
vancouver, canada
View attachment 622664

My first thought was that the natives of North America were tent dwellers, I have seen these tipi parks. But of course what Tony is talking about is the squalor caused by the homeless, setting up camp wherever they can.
View attachment 622663

Just one click and I found this:
Find emergency housing
  1. Dial 211 for help finding emergency housing. In most areas of the U.S., dial 211 to connect with local social services and referrals for emergency housing.
  2. Find shelters near you. Check HUD's local homeless assistance list for shelters and housing in your state.
  3. Emergency housing for special groups.
Does such a service exist? Why can't these people help themselves? My own childhood was tough, Mother died young, just 34. Dad raised his four kids alone, held down a job and ensured that we all had clean clothes and a clean home. What he didn't do, was throw the towel in. His Stirling example was passed on to his four kids. We have all had to face adversity, like Dad, we dealt with it.
The critical issue is the folks in these camps have serious mental health and addiction issues. There are shelter beds available for them but many (most) refuse as there are codes of conduct enforced in order to stay there. These tent dwellers would rather live rough than adhere to the rules of the shelter......for multiple reasons.
 
Messages
10,583
Location
vancouver, canada
Interesting. I attend several economic forums held in Europe and the States every year and the subject of sovereign individual right seems the prevailing view. Meaning alcoholism with
drug addiction is freely chosen inherent right; wherein resultant consequence is justified in accordance individual liberty. Society is stymied by this of course; however, individual right
to choose personal direction is paramount over collective concern.
SCOTUS is about to make a ruling on the right of cities to enforcement.
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
Messages
33,324
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
We had a homeless, obviously mentally-ill woman, about my age, living on the street in front of my workplace thru much last winter and early spring. She occasionally became loud, disruptive, and sometimes violent, and often defecated on the sidewalk -- which I had to clean up because the city seemed unwilling to do anything about it. I asked the police if something could be done, and they shrugged and said that there's nothing illegal about a human doing that particular function on the sidewalk. A human who lets a dog do that and doesn't clean it up, you can run them in. Not a person, though, must respect their individual right.

This woman spoke with a cultivated Westchester, New York accent, and, upon investigation, it was determined that she used to be college instructor of some kind before her mental demons brought her down. She was finally taken, by what means I do not know, to Boston and "deposited" there. I hope she can somehow be compelled to accept the help she needs, because she is clearly not capable of making "choices" on her own.

Since our state mental hospital was shut down in the 90s this type of thing has become ever more common, and everybody talks about it but nobody does anything about it. Of course, I, as an individual, could "choose" not to clean up a mentally-ill woman's s**t, but my sense of responsibility to collective society prevents me from making that choice.
 
Messages
10,748
Location
My mother's basement
For far, far longer than any of us have been alive there has been drug addiction and what we now call “mental illness.” And there’s little doubt there has been alcoholism ever since our far-distant ancestors first figured out how to maintain a steady supply of fermenting plant matter.

Is any of that more prevalent now? I can’t say, and I‘m skeptical of studies that purport to answer that question definitively. But common sense tells us that such pathologies are significantly more prevalent among our homeless brothers and sisters. (Any insistence that they be referred to as “people experiencing homelessness” or the “unhoused” will be met with strong resistance from me, not because I’m any less sensitive to the plight of the homeless, but because such semantic games don’t do a damn thing for those people. They do, however, leave the smug language police feeling more virtuous, which seems to me the entire point of the exercise.)

Street corner panhandlers didn’t exist in my world until the early 1980s. And I don’t recall seeing people pitching tents on sidewalks and parks, etc., until about 25 years ago, and then it was organized street theater by a group in Seattle called SHARE/WHEEL, which set up “tent cities” in church parking lots (which was contrary to municipal code, of course) in their efforts to draw attention to the issue (and to themselves, it seemed to me then, and still does). Panhandling and visible homelessness has become all the more common since then, the efforts of SHARE/WHEEL and its ilk notwithstanding. My fear, as I stated a few posts earlier in this thread, is that this becomes normalized. That seems to be happening.

Social contagion is real. A friend of my wife’s has three kids by two fathers, neither of whom she has ever married. The father of her little boy (he must be about 10 now) is a guest of the state of Colorado. The kid asked her when he himself would be going to prison. That’s all it took for her to send the boy to live with her brother and his wife and kids in rural Arkansas while she gets her life in order. I mention this because this woman’s family is her safety net, and that’s what’s missing in the lives of too many people.

I don’t wish for any person to grow up thinking that living in a tent alongside a freeway ramp is an option for him. Yes, housing is much more expensive now than it used to be, and yes, many among the homeless have serious substance abuse and mental health challenges. But we aren’t helping these people by allowing them to pitch a tent wherever they damn well please. It’s bad for them and it’s bad for the rest of us. Not allowing it will force those would-be tent dwellers into other living situations, and it will force the rest of us to come up with those other options.
 
Messages
10,583
Location
vancouver, canada
For far, far longer than any of us have been alive there has been drug addiction and what we now call “mental illness.” And there’s little doubt there has been alcoholism ever since our far-distant ancestors first figured out how to maintain a steady supply of fermenting plant matter.

Is any of that more prevalent now? I can’t say, and I‘m skeptical of studies that purport to answer that question definitively. But common sense tells us that such pathologies are significantly more prevalent among our homeless brothers and sisters. (Any insistence that they be referred to as “people experiencing homelessness” or the “unhoused” will be met with strong resistance from me, not because I’m any less sensitive to the plight of the homeless, but because such semantic games don’t do a damn thing for those people. They do, however, leave the smug language police feeling more virtuous, which seems to me the entire point of the exercise.)

Street corner panhandlers didn’t exist in my world until the early 1980s. And I don’t recall seeing people pitching tents on sidewalks and parks, etc., until about 25 years ago, and then it was organized street theater by a group in Seattle called SHARE/WHEEL, which set up “tent cities” in church parking lots (which was contrary to municipal code, of course) in their efforts to draw attention to the issue (and to themselves, it seemed to me then, and still does). Panhandling and visible homelessness has become all the more common since then, the efforts of SHARE/WHEEL and its ilk notwithstanding. My fear, as I stated a few posts earlier in this thread, is that this becomes normalized. That seems to be happening.

Social contagion is real. A friend of my wife’s has three kids by two fathers, neither of whom she has ever married. The father of her little boy (he must be about 10 now) is a guest of the state of Colorado. The kid asked her when he himself would be going to prison. That’s all it took for her to send the boy to live with her brother and his wife and kids in rural Arkansas while she gets her life in order. I mention this because this woman’s family is her safety net, and that’s what’s missing in the lives of too many people.

I don’t wish for any person to grow up thinking that living in a tent alongside a freeway ramp is an option for him. Yes, housing is much more expensive now than it used to be, and yes, many among the homeless have serious substance abuse and mental health challenges. But we aren’t helping these people by allowing them to pitch a tent wherever they damn well please. It’s bad for them and it’s bad for the rest of us. Not allowing it will force those would-be tent dwellers into other living situations, and it will force the rest of us to come up with those other options.
One aspect of addiction that is not spoken about much is the "zombie" effect. Our EMT's here spend a large portion of their day administering Nalaxone to the fentanyl OD's. They do manage to 'save' a great many of them....this time......but there is often severe brain damage. So for every fentanyl death there are a few hundred survivors with their brains fried that are incapable of normal human function. Our streets are full of these people.

How does a society that values individual freedoms deal with that? How can they arrest/incarcerate folks for public defecation when in so many cities they won't arrest for actual crimes of theft, damage and violence?
 

FOXTROT LAMONT

One Too Many
Messages
1,723
Location
St John's Wood, London UK
How does a society that values individual freedoms deal with that? How can they arrest/incarcerate folks for public defecation when in so many cities they won't arrest for actual crimes of theft, damage and violence?
I mentioned in another thread the crossroad America finds itself with petroleum and non fossil fuel choices amidst capitalism and philosophic choices. And this is a real, quite serious
conundrum that splays out into larger society. As an economist I study global consequences
wrought daily news events seemingly inconsequential but tied to the far larger society in ways easily overlooked. I've not seen the squalor allowed London in St Petersburg, Moscow,
or Sochi, but then the West has a freedom wherein rights clash responsibility.
 
Messages
10,748
Location
My mother's basement


How does a society that values individual freedoms deal with that? How can they arrest/incarcerate folks for public defecation when in so many cities they won't arrest for actual crimes of theft, damage and violence?
Witness what happened with your neighbors a couple-three hours to the south. Ann Davison, the Seattle city attorney, ran for election on a platform of cleaning up the homeless encampments. She won against an incumbent city councilwoman. She was reelected after changing her party affiliation to Republican, this in a heavily Democratic, “liberal” Seattle. She was endorsed in that second election by political leaders from both major parties. (It was an easy choice, as her opponent advocated defunding the police.)

It can be refreshing to see dearly held ideologies make way for hard realities. The horse just has to get thirsty enough to actually drink the water to which he’s been led.
 
Messages
10,583
Location
vancouver, canada
Witness what happened with your neighbors a couple-three hours to the south. Ann Davison, the Seattle city attorney, ran for election on a platform of cleaning up the homeless encampments. She won against an incumbent city councilwoman. She was reelected after changing her party affiliation to Republican, this in a heavily Democratic, “liberal” Seattle. She was endorsed in that second election by political leaders from both major parties. (It was an easy choice, as her opponent advocated defunding the police.)

It can be refreshing to see dearly held ideologies make way for hard realities. The horse just has to get thirsty enough to actually drink the water to which he’s been led.
Last I read the homeless encampments in Seattle are as bad or worse than ever. Like our mayor in 2015 whos intentions were pure....his results, less so. Perhaps the SCOTUS ruling due soon will help to empower city governance to actually deal with it at least, on a legal level. The human level is a whole other paradigm.
 

FOXTROT LAMONT

One Too Many
Messages
1,723
Location
St John's Wood, London UK
It can be refreshing to see dearly held ideologies make way for hard realities. The horse just has to get thirsty enough to actually drink the water to which he’s been led.
A military exchange trip to the US Army's Ft Benning Georgia for the eight-week Ranger School garnered this tidbit: ''You can lead a horse to water and make him drink. Stick his head
under water then kick him in the balls. That horse will drink water.'' o_O
 
Messages
10,748
Location
My mother's basement
Last I read the homeless encampments in Seattle are as bad or worse than ever. Like our mayor in 2015 whos intentions were pure....his results, less so. Perhaps the SCOTUS ruling due soon will help to empower city governance to actually deal with it at least, on a legal level. The human level is a whole other paradigm.
Yeah, there was that unfortunate Ninth Circuit ruling from a few years back, which SCOTUS declined to review.

Ms. Davison’s political success is an obvious indication of just where public sentiment on this matter lies.
 
Messages
10,583
Location
vancouver, canada
I mentioned in another thread the crossroad America finds itself with petroleum and non fossil fuel choices amidst capitalism and philosophic choices. And this is a real, quite serious
conundrum that splays out into larger society. As an economist I study global consequences
wrought daily news events seemingly inconsequential but tied to the far larger society in ways easily overlooked. I've not seen the squalor allowed London in St Petersburg, Moscow,
or Sochi, but then the West has a freedom wherein rights clash responsibility.
In my travels I have found the safest streets to walk are the ones located in authoritarian ruled countries. Cuba had very safe streets when I last visited. Franco's Spain and Salazar's Portugal were marvels of peace and order back in the day. Thomas Sowell's maxim: "There are never solutions, only tradeoffs"
 
Messages
10,748
Location
My mother's basement
One aspect of addiction that is not spoken about much is the "zombie" effect. Our EMT's here spend a large portion of their day administering Nalaxone to the fentanyl OD's. They do manage to 'save' a great many of them....this time......but there is often severe brain damage. So for every fentanyl death there are a few hundred survivors with their brains fried that are incapable of normal human function. Our streets are full of these people. …

Hypoxia, I take it, due to respiratory depression while overdosing?

I’ve now lived through enough overblown drug scares to meet each subsequent one with skepticism. Still, though, it seems that fentanyl is turning up in other illicit drugs and being ingested by the unwitting.

There was lots of “dirt” in street drugs back when I walked in that world, but not fentanyl. If there had been I’d likely have lost more friends and associates than the ones I did.

It used to be that a relatively young and healthy person didn’t have to worry much about OD’ing if that person steered clear of needles. But with fentanyl showing up in pills to be taken orally, and in cocaine to be snorted or smoked, that’s apparently no longer the case.
 
Last edited:
Messages
10,583
Location
vancouver, canada
Yeah, there was that unfortunate Ninth Circuit ruling from a few years back, which SCOTUS declined to review.

Ms. Davison’s political success is an obvious indication of just where public sentiment on this matter lies.
SCOTUS has a ruling pending on "Grants Pass v somebody. It will go a long way in determining the rights of cities to police/enforce measures against the encampments.
 
Messages
10,583
Location
vancouver, canada
Hypoxia, I take it, due to respiratory depression while overdosing?

I’ve now lived through enough overblown drug scares to meet each subsequent one with skepticism. Still, though, it seems that fentanyl is turning up in other illicit drugs and being consumed by the unwitting.

There was lots of “dirt” in street drugs back when I walked in that world, but not fentanyl. If there had been I’d likely have lost more friends and associates than the ones I did.

It used to be that a relatively young and healthy person didn’t have to worry much about OD’ing if that person steered clear of needles. But with fentanyl showing up in pills to be consumed orally, and in cocaine to be snorted or smoked, that’s apparently no longer the case.
We are running about 2500 OD deaths each year for about the last decade. Add in the Zombie quotient and the communal effect is staggering. I am old enough to have hung out in Vancouver's Skid Row back in the 60's and 70's and it was an OK place. Just a few what we called 'whinos' about. My boxing club/gym was right in the heart of it and visited 2 to 3 times a week. Now in a 6 block stretch of the main street it is tent city, inhabited largely by those that could pass as extras in a zombie apocalypse movie. So many small towns in the US that we came to love in our RV travels, Grants Pass OR, Bend OR, Ashville NC, all now have large encampments that are vexing both residents and those in leadership. I am bettin' it gets much worse before it ever gets better. But then I am a cynic of the highest order.
 

Benny Holiday

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,768
Location
Sydney Australia
We used to have homeless people in Australia's big cities who were victims of abuse, or who were addicts or had mental issues. Over the last five or six years, however, it has changed dramatically. As our economy has crashed along with that of the rest of the western world to which our economic fortunes are tied, the government has tried to prop it up by bringing in enormous numbers of migrants. As a result the already harsh housing crisis has grown into a catastrophe.

As housing prices have increased to untenable levels (when I bought my property thirty years ago, it cost $115,000, about 2 and a half year's wages; it's now worth $950,000, more than 10 years' wages), so too has the cost of renting,
as supply simply can't meet demand. Strewn across parks in all Australia's major cities now are tent villages full of working families who simply can't find rental accommodation or afford to rent a place if they do find one. And still record migration occurs, with almost 800,000 new arrivals to the country flooding in last year. There are no jobs, waiting times in hospital Emergency rooms are 6-8 hours before a doctor can see you, and there seems to be no end in sight.

I don't think the people 'in charge' here have any idea what they're doing or how to resolve the issues.
 
Messages
10,748
Location
My mother's basement
Those advocating for what they deem in the best interests of the homeless often cite the high cost of housing as the predominant factor in people becoming homeless. They argue that a larger percentage of people face homelessness in locales with higher housing costs.

I don’t necessarily dispute that, but I don’t accept it at face value, either. I’m left to wonder to what degree homelessness is less visible in the less spendy, more rural areas, where a person might find a less conspicuous spot to set up camp.

I once lived in a converted chicken coop. I once lived in a garret with a sink in the room and a water closet one flight down. A friend once resided in the ‘47 Dodge school bus I had parked alongside my house. After that he lived in a travel trailer on a piece of land out in rural Snohomish County. Such shelter may be substandard, but that friend was never homeless, nor was I. But neither of us were junkies, and neither suffered from anything more debilitating than your garden variety neuroses.

I wish I had more faith in mental health services. I really do. And I wish I had more faith in addiction therapies. But I don’t, in both cases. Doing what we can with the tools currently at our disposal to address those contributing factors to homelessness can’t come close to doing enough. But I can't accept that there is nothing more to be done. There will always be the hard cases, but I don’t believe they are the majority, not even close. (Although those with the overdose-caused neurocognitive damage our British Columbian friend mentions may well be beyond return to a healthy, productive state.)
 
Messages
10,748
Location
My mother's basement
We used to have homeless people in Australia's big cities who were victims of abuse, or who were addicts or had mental issues. Over the last five or six years, however, it has changed dramatically. As our economy has crashed along with that of the rest of the western world to which our economic fortunes are tied, the government has tried to prop it up by bringing in enormous numbers of migrants. As a result the already harsh housing crisis has grown into a catastrophe.

As housing prices have increased to untenable levels (when I bought my property thirty years ago, it cost $115,000, about 2 and a half year's wages; it's now worth $950,000, more than 10 years' wages), so too has the cost of renting,
as supply simply can't meet demand. Strewn across parks in all Australia's major cities now are tent villages full of working families who simply can't find rental accommodation or afford to rent a place if they do find one. And still record migration occurs, with almost 800,000 new arrivals to the country flooding in last year. There are no jobs, waiting times in hospital Emergency rooms are 6-8 hours before a doctor can see you, and there seems to be no end in sight.

I don't think the people 'in charge' here have any idea what they're doing or how to resolve the issues.
The problem here isn’t a lack of employment opportunities, leastwise not for physically and/or mentally capable people of working age. But there is a housing crunch in our more desirable locales. It takes one full-time working class job to cover housing costs for a typical family just getting into the market these days.
 
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