...Every night, homeless people sleep scattered throughout Lincoln Park, but especially in the city’s Uptown neighborhood.
Early in the morning, two worlds of Uptown converge along this stretch of Lincoln Park west of Lakeshore Drive. People stroll through walking their dogs. And then there are people like Ed Laster.
LASTER: They put $2 million for a pump to pump fresh water for them funky dogs. I love dogs, but go taste the water from that pump there that’s for the people. It tastes like gasoline.
Laster and his girlfriend Vanessa, whom he calls his wife, sleep here on the grass south of Lawrence.
Read (and listen to) the entire story here.
2M for a water line for the dog park? I'm not sure that's accurate.ReplyDelete
I'm very liberal, and I believe that certain groups of people deserve the benefit of the doubt and deserve our collective help. With that being said, where is Lester's self-accountability? If he is a spokesman for homeless people, then the rest of the homeless people truly deserving our help should be angry at Laster. One would say that he's an embarassment to homeless people everywhere. Take some responsibility and work to get yourself back on your feet. If there was any semblance of that from Laster, I highly doubt the author of the article would overlook that.
Laster joined a gang, started selling drugs and left home at 16ReplyDelete
Another reason why gangs, and the violence that comes with, can't be ignored.
That "stuff" we hear "happens" ...?
Yeah, that "stuff" destroys life and tears at the most sensitive of societal nerves.
You have to address it to resolve it.
Really Ryan, an embarassment to all homeless everywhere?? Where did he say he spoke for all homeless? Of course he speaks only for himself. And surely you know all homeless don't necessarily have his backstory. And, as Yo highlighted, obviously he made some very poor choices early in his life. We know people are homeless for a variety of reasons--including bad life decisions. Agreed? That being said, his having made bad choices doesn't make his observation about the dog park water less relevant and less ironic, that a human being coming into the dog park to get a drink of water is stopped by some lady demanding to see his doggy credentials--seriously, no one has a problem with that? AS long as he was not causing any trouble, surely we can be humane enough to acknowledge that the guy had a bit of a reason to be miffed that a) dog park water tasted better than human water, and b) someone actually tried to keep him from getting some water (or at least questioned his "right" to be in the dog park).ReplyDelete
Okay, so maybe "embarassment" is a little harsh; regardless, I purposely wrote "one would say," not "I say."ReplyDelete
My fear of this article is that people will paint with a broad brush to classify homeless people, thinking that too many people share Laster's story and aren't worth helping.
Maybe another issue is the author's intent? If I'm trying to draw empathy and compassion from my audience, I'd select an example that is a fair representation of my subject matter.
If an individual has fallen on difficult times, but he/she is working to get back up on his/her feet, that's the story that I want to read about and feel good about helping. I have a feeling that Laster isn't first in line to be deserving of any assistance, and he'll just have to wait in line or start improving his life to move ahead in this "line."
Hey Ashley Gross, Chicago Public Radio producer, B.A. Brown, M.A. Columbia University:ReplyDelete
A homeless person in Uptown, nice get! How long did you chase that one before your schedules meshed?
This story would have been pure cliche for a Columbia College undergrad let alone a Columbia U grad school grad.
A neighborhood reporter in Chicago gets to do this once in their career before it gets old. Couldn't you have saved your shot at it for a slow news week? Are you reading the same papers and watching the same television news as the rest of us? Why don't you impress the heck out of everyone and get the local elected official on tape for five minutes? Let us know if you need help with some questions to ask.
A couple days ago, the Park District came into Clarendon Park with security and a large white pick-up truck. They evicted the homeless that have camped out there all summer, and took all their miscellaneous garbage in the truck--shopping carts, crates, etc. Needless to say, the homeless were back the next day, with more stuff.ReplyDelete
Hugh, my thoughts exactly. Not to sound too harsh, but "NEWSFLASH! The recession has increased the number of homeless people, and some of them sleep in the parks in Uptown. In related news, the sky is blue and grass is green. Film at 11."ReplyDelete
If you join a gang and start selling drugs then I have no empathy for you. Good luck Mr. Laster and wish you the best, but you'll get no help from me. Well except for my tax dollars that are going to pay for a roof over your head so you have a nice place to get drunk during the day.ReplyDelete
Actually, I thought the article was interesting - how often do we get to hear the back stories of the homeless? This was pretty much a primer of the poor choices this gentleman made to be in the position he is, and the inaccuracies he bases his opinions on.ReplyDelete
($2 million for a dog water faucet? Maybe at Wilson Yard, but not at Puptown.)
Also interesting to read he sees himself as a victim, but refuses to take much aid offered him.
I have very little sympathy for him, but the article was instructive for me. What it left me with was NOT "there are homeless in the park" (a sad fact of life in Uptown), but:
- why the concentration in Uptown?
- what can social services do differently to engage people like Mr. Laster, who aren't exactly the pull-yourselves-up-by-the-bootstraps types?
Hugh and Ed....people could say the same thing about all the recent media hype over gang bangers chasing each other around on Sheridan.....wow, big whup, groups of rival kids chased each other around, did a lot of posing and threw punches through the air, and the sky is blue and the grass is green.....ReplyDelete
True Sean--although I think the "media hype" in that case was more about a citizen's captured video footage of said fights, rather than any previously printed news stories about said fights.ReplyDelete
I guess my issue is more what Trumansqrenabor pointed out--this article doesn't get quite get to the heart of "Why the concentration in Uptown?" and therefore frustrates me(merely my opinion). And I have, in my previous career, heard the backstories of many homeless people, so I guess this is not so much "news" to me as it may be to some.
The street violence got the attention it did because it was startling to the average viewer. Sean, it's not startling to you anymore and perhaps that says more about you than you want to reveal.ReplyDelete
For years, I mean decades, residents have complained about this type of street violence and it was always promptly dismissed as yuppies startled about their property values. Then this video makes national news and our concerns are at last validated. Kinda sad that it takes it getting on national news to get the tiniest bit of attention from da mayor and Helen. You know, I'll take what I can get.
This homeless situation in the park? Please, I expect more from a kid reporter in grade school. Imagine what it would be like if we could teach accountability as well as we currently teach victimization?
Ed, why the concentration in Uptown? Well, I have different thoughts about that. One is that I feel there is a perception of homeless being concentrated in Uptown only in comparison to the surrounding communities. Also I take issue with the term 'concentrated' as it implies that there is some deliberate effort or plan or action taken to locate homeless people in Uptown. There isn't, though I know many uptowners like to fantasize that the evil ald. Shiller is hard at work to bring homeless to Uptown to make their lives miserable - oh yeah, and to secure Shiller more votes. I think a more appropriate question would be 'why are there so many homeless people in Uptown' rather why are they concentrated here. I also feel the whole notion of homeless being 'concentrated' in Uptown plays into the sense of victimhood a lot of UU posters like to indulge in.ReplyDelete
Another thought is that Uptown is home to two significant homeless shelters, started by Uptown residents themselves. A couple of hundred people stay at these shelters combined and those with no where to go during the daytime will all hang out mostly in the commercial strips - Broadway, Sheridan, Wilson, Lawrence, or the parks. The shelters bring up the whole chicken or the egg argument. It seems a little of both. The shelters were opened by Uptown residents because there were so many homeless people in Uptown back in the day when they were created, but clearly they also bring more homeless to Uptown who are seeking shelter. Perhaps a better question would be why haven't other communities opened more homeless shelters? Wrigleyville has one on Addison that serves about 30 men and Lincoln Park has one on Fullerton that serves about 30 men and women. I think that is it until you get to PGM at 14th and Canal. Then there are many more located on the South and West sides. There is still a far greater need for homeless shelter beds than there is a supply. People who are homeless and unable to get into a shelter are still going to exist and need to be and sleep somewhere. If I were homeless and unable to get into a shelter, sleeping in a park would be preferrable to sleeping in an alley and I would also stay close to where the shelters were in hopes of getting into one the next day or so.
And no doubt there a several other homeless providers - providers of drop in centers, medical care, food and clothing - in Uptown and it makes sense to me. I mean why shouldn't providers of supportive services to homeless people be located close to where they sleep?
Still, what are the solutions? What should be done? Round up all the homeless and stick them in camps, away from the rest of society? Force them out of Uptown? To where? There is going to be a lot of homeless in Chicago on our streets for a long time because there is not enough appropriate places for them to sleep at night; there is not enough places for them to stay during the day that are off the streets, out of the parks, and where they would be accepted; and for those who may have some income to rent a room, such as Ed in the story, there is not enough available housing that is affordable to them. And unfortunately most people don't care about providing or contributing to any solutions to these problems, they just don't want to see homeless people around where they live.
Well don`t worry as winter is around the corner. The only thing calling it home will be birds, snow and the cold.......ReplyDelete
A couple of hundred people stay at these shelters combined and those with no where to go during the daytime will all hang out mostly in the commercial strips - Broadway, Sheridan, Wilson, Lawrence, or the parks. -SeanReplyDelete
Sean, I wonder if the shelters that are allowing their clients to wander around the streets with nothing to do are letting their funders know this is happening?
I swear this doesn't happen at the Lakeview Shelter in the 44th Ward or the Salvation Army Family Shelter in the 48th Ward. I wonder why? What could be that variable? I'll have to think on that and see if I can guess.
And no doubt there a several other homeless providers - providers of drop in centers, medical care, food and clothing - in Uptown and it makes sense to me. I mean why shouldn't providers of supportive services to homeless people be located close to where they sleep? - SeanReplyDelete
No doubt it makes a lot of sense to the providers. Most of them don't live in our neighborhood.
No one is saying get rid of the homeless. We're saying stop concentrating these homeless services in one area. If they are wandering around the streets after their night in a shelter with nothing to do, something isn't working right.
Gee.....I wonder who made 'conditions' possible for the homeless to wallow/suffer up here in Uptown?ReplyDelete
My two cents worth.ReplyDelete
Services should be extended to homesless people. At the same time homeless people requesting services need to understand there are rules that must be followed.
Rules like getting clean of additctions. Learning how to take care of oneself. Getting and staying with a job training program. Working a job, long term, like the rest of us.
Reading between the lines, the main character in the interview seemed disappointed in not being given an apartment. Did anyone, other than myself wonder if perhaps he was not given an apartment because he refuses to stick with the program?
What's the use of putting homeless people in apartments, giving them food, welfare benefits, SSDI, Link cards and many other benefits if they are not clean, sober, and willing to put some effort into getting their life back together? They are making choices too. And they are not all "mentally disabled".
It sounds to me as if he's fine and dandy living out under the bushes, caging for enough loose change from passerby's to buy a dose of rot gut wine or high alcohol beer or other drug of choice. Happy with just enough to get by as long as he doesn't have to tow the line. If he wants to be like that, I say let him stay out there.
I find his remark about being rebuked by a lady at the dog park rather disengenious. If he needed water he could have easily walked over to the Margate field house. There's water there too. He could even have a shower there.
If I had been the lady in the dog park, I too would have wondered why he needed to get his water inside the dog park.
Anyone else wonder if the cops don't round 'em up from Michigan Ave and Lincoln Park and dump 'em up in Uptown? I do.
He's got a good thing going if he doesn't want to be responsible for himself. The Night Ministry drops by tonight and gives him food and medical care. The area soup kitchens provide food with no thought of any accountability. The Department of Human Services drops by daily in the park to give him extra food to tie him over for his evening meal. And God knows he has plenty of enablers who must give him money because they feel sorry for him. All this and we wonder why he doesn't have motivation to change his life. Go figure.ReplyDelete
Just wondering.....a couple of points. Saying that the shelters 'allow' the guests who sleep there at night to wander around is just absusrd, insulting, and downright dumb. These shelters provide overnight shelter to most of these people and that is it. The shelters are not responsible for what their overnight guests do during the day anymore than say a downtown hotel is responsible for what its guests do in the city during the day, or perhaps your condo association is responsible for what you do outside the property during the day. The tone of your statement suggests that people without their own housing are somehow less than human, without the right to move about freely, to be treated like animals and kept contained.ReplyDelete
Why the difference with the Sal Army lodge and the Lakeview shelter? No need to wonder or think on it, I'll be happy to provide some information and not conjecture about it. It is because the people who stay at those shelters are able to stay inside them all day in the case of the Sal Army family shelter and for all but a few hours a day in the case of the Lakeview shelter. Those shelters are also able to provide daytime structure, i.e., groups/programming, for the guests who stay in them. Also Lakeview shelter only serves about 30 men and they do wander the neighborhood around wrigley for parts of the day. I know this because I know a lot of the guys that use the Lakeview shelter and I see them hanging out in bus shelters or elsewhere or walking about on Addison and Halsted and other streets in that area. But again, on most days they don't have to leave the Lakeview shelter until 3 p.m. and can come back inside at 8:30 p.m. Whereas at REST, they have to leave at 6 a.m. or so and can't return until 7:30 p.m. The Sal Army Lodge used to be a motel and has some recreational areas contained within where mothers can spend time with their children during the day, and again, no one has to leave and go outside during the day. And no doubt the shelters funders are fully aware of what the shelters are able to provide. Now if you want to spearhead a fundraising effort to enable the other shelters to provide 24hr. services or to operate a day time drop in center for people without permanent housing to get out of the public's eye, I am sure the shelter's board of directors would be very happy to hear from you. But my hunch is you are not really interested in that, you are more interested in using innuendo to try and smear the alderman of the 46th.
And again, I disgree with the term 'concentrating' and the focus of trying to stop or end homeless services in Uptown, though you did not say that directly. I think the focus should be on increasing capacity elsewhere, not decreasing it in Uptown. The need is definitely there and if there were an increase in homeless shelter space and affordable housing for people below the poverty line outside Uptown, I am sure you would see fewer homeless people wandering around Uptown. But I think it would be wrong and downright immoral to decrease the current homeless services in Uptown, which hardly meets what is needed, without increasing it elsewhere - and that should be the focus. But I feel the prevailing sentiment - certainly not shared by all condo owners or posters on UU - is just to cleanse Uptown of the homeless and who cares what happens to them.
Whereas at REST, they have to leave at 6 a.m. or so and can't return until 7:30 p.m.ReplyDelete
People used to be able to go to the basement during daytime hours if they weren't going to appointments with the staff. When did that stop?
Sassy... they do serve lunch in the basement so folks do go down there for that during the noon hour and some folks spend time up on the 4th floor to see their workers, but that's it. I don't think they ever were able to provide day long drop in services.ReplyDelete
Sean, I can't remember who posted the statistics, but yes, Uptown has the highest statistic in terms of shelters and services for the homeless in the city of Chicago.ReplyDelete
And yes, there is an effort to push the less desirables out of certain areas of the city. I remember a great article in Street Wise talking about how Daley had cops vigorously forcing homeless out of downtown Chicago while he was putting a ton of money into planting trees and flowers in the middle of lake shore drive and other areas. Yes, he wanted to draw tourists in to Chicago, and they can't be bothered by those pesky homeless.
Why is Wilson Yard being built in Uptown and not Lincoln Park? Or Lakeview? Or downtown Chicago? Wrigleyville? Because the residents there don't want it. And Daley doesn't want it, because it will push buyers, shoppers and visitors out of these rich neighborhoods. So he calls up his good friend Helen and hands her a wad of TIF and says, 'take care of it Shills, thanks!'
I remember giving a homeless guy money for the El at the Metra LaSalle Street Station so he could get to Uptown to shelter for the night. It was freezing cold out that night. I asked why he wasn't staying somewhere closer, and he stated there wasn't anywhere downtown and that 'all the homeless go to Uptown." His opinion I know... but I found it quite interesting to hear his perspective.
There is something that can be done to help the homeless, those who wish and can be helped - but every neighborhood should shoulder that responsibility equally... not just Uptown.
Farrell, I do not disagree with you about needing to increase capacity in other areas of the city. But as Uptown residents of old have a proud history of not turning their backs on those without stable housing, I would hate to see efforts at decreasing Uptown's present capacity to serve the homeless before there is significant increases elsewhere.ReplyDelete
Also, I see the issues with those without stable housing to be separate from the issues of gang crime and the issue of Wilson Yard. And I am all for the police increasing their efforts to put the smack down on gangs.
Also, given Uptown's long history of supporting the homeless I do have misgivings about those who are fairly new arrivals now complaining about it. I know realators don't exactly advertise that aspect of Uptown - Uptown is always written about as a 'hot new\up and coming area' in real estate ads it seems - but it seems a bit like someone buying a house in the middle of the desert and then complaining about the hot dry air. And I know people will read that and protest wrongly that I am saying that they should stop complaining and just accept gang crime or street crime since they choose to move here. I don't think anyone should have to accept the gang crime and shootings etc., but I feel the issue with the homeless is unfairly lumped in with that and Wilson Yard.
Sean, the difference between Lakeview Shelter and REST is that Lakeview Shelter didn't take on more than what they could handle. I strongly disagree with you that if we build more homeless shelters in Uptown we would see fewer homeless in the area. We would have more people than ever coming from everywhere else to find a homeless shelter in Uptown.ReplyDelete
As far as people who have been here a shorter time having less say so about their community, where in the Constitution does it say that people with less time in a neighborhood have less say about their neighborhood? But if you want to believe that, then it's the homeless who should have less rights because most of them come in from other neighborhoods and most of them have been here less than a few years.
Now if you want to take up the cause and have more homeless shelters in your neighborhood, be my guest. I'd like to see you work as hard for this to occur in your neighborhood instead of you wasting time on an Uptown neighborhood blog telling us what we should be doing.
Also, given Uptown's long history of supporting the homeless I do have misgivings about those who are fairly new arrivals now complaining about it. I know realtors don't exactly advertise that aspect of Uptown - Uptown is always written about as a 'hot new\up and coming area' in real estate ads it seems - but it seems a bit like someone buying a house in the middle of the desert and then complaining about the hot dry air.
Nail, meet hammer.
But I've heard that sparkly things like a fast-talking real estate agent in the latest fashion, stainless steel appliances, and a marble bath with a whirlpool tub can cause temporary blindness.
As usual, this will not be published. This crowd doesn't seem to like hammers unencased in velvet.
far as people who have been here a shorter time having less say so about their community, where in the Constitution does it say that people with less time in a neighborhood have less say about their neighborhood?ReplyDelete
Sean said nothing of the kind. I've heard the desert has been terribly hot for a hell of a long time.
So Kenny, you're saying condo owners shouldn't complain about all the problems of homeless people who drink and defecate in the public because we're living in a desert and complaining about hot air. What about poor people who live here? Should they have to put up with this for their children because Uptown has been declared a desert?ReplyDelete
Sorry, Kevin. Low standards shouldn't have to be acceptable for anyone, no matter what their income level happens to be. Uptown isn't a desert. It's a community of residents who care about this neighborhood. Just because we live in Uptown doesn't mean we have to be accepting of low standards.
From the COURAJ playbook: when defending an indefensible position, bring up granite and stainless.ReplyDelete
As usual, this will not be published. This crowd doesn't seem to like hammers unencased in velvet. KennyReplyDelete
Kenny, you're such a victim and so is Helen. Here you are, standing up for all the victims in Uptown. Such a knight in shining armor too. So many victims, so little time and you are so under appreciated in the process!
It's like this, Kenny. I ain't buying the b.s. I'm not denying there are victims because there are. Where I differ is that I believe in hand-ups rather than hand-outs. One keeps the person stuck in a cycle of despair; the other approach changes the person from being a victim to becoming a survivor.
I don't trust the motivations of people like Helen and Sean who rely on highlighting the victimization of others. Never did. I don't trust their motivation because their approach promotes dependency and loss of power. If they really wanted to be advocates, their focus would be on empowering people to change their lives.
So don't go trying selling the b.s. today. I ain't buying it.
holey moley said...ReplyDelete
So Kenny, you're saying condo owners shouldn't complain about all the problems of homeless people who drink and defecate in the public because we're living in a desert and complaining about hot air.
I’m saying that anyone who chooses to buy in a neighborhood with the highest concentration of social service agencies in the state of Illinois should have at least some idea that their neighborhood experience is going to be different than in a neighborhood that has few social service agencies.
I’m saying that I’ve met a great many of my fellow condo-owners in the neighborhood over the past 11 years whose initial thrill at getting the same features (granite, marble, ss, square footage) for less than elsewhere, dissolved pretty quickly upon discovering what “a lot of social service agencies” actually means.
I’m saying that from some (not all) of the comments on UU (and to continue the desert analogy) some people didn’t even realize they were buying in the desert, despite neither caring for nor dealing well with hot air.
I'm not denying there are victims because there are. Where I differ is that I believe in hand-ups rather than hand-outs.
I happen to agree with you, hope that you also advocate for the homeless, especially those suffering from mental illness and comorbid substance abuse.
Some suggested reading:
“A key component in the dehospitalization of persons with chronic mental illnesses and their translocation to a wide range of settings has been the shift from state to federal funding encouraged by the Social Security Administration's restrictions on funding for institutions for mental diseases (IMDs), usually referred to as the IMD exclusion. The overall effect of the exclusion, which limits federal funding for mentally ill patients receiving care in many settings, including state psychiatric hospitals, has been to create incentives for states to move patients out of state hospitals, which has contributed to homelessness and inappropriate incarceration.”
It strikes me as not at all unlikely that many of the characters in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” might experience homelessness today, except for the sociopath, McMurphy -- who'd have a much better chance at becoming a successful CEO on Wall Street.
I’m saying that anyone who chooses to buy in a neighborhood with the highest concentration of social service agencies in the state of Illinois should have at least some idea that their neighborhood experience is going to be different than in a neighborhood that has few social service agencies. -KennyReplyDelete
I knew there were a ton of social services when I moved here, and you're going to find this shocking, I didn't have a problem with it. What I do have a problem with is that when problems arise that are connected with the clients serviced by these social services, many of these organizations shrug their shoulders and tell us we should have known it would be bad when we moved here. It's a rather blatant way of saying we're not going to be good neighbors to the community. I also expected this social justice Helen to act in a just manner but like others moving here, I was fooled.
Mental health care is screwed up in this country. We all know that. Uptown should not be the one community that pays for the sins of this city and this nation. Besides, it's not just condo owners who live here who want a safer neighborhood. It's POOR FAMILIES who also live here and I find it insulting that awful conditions are considered okay for them just because they are poor.
You see, Kenny, the poor don't have stainless steel appliances or marble baths with whirlpool tubs but you, Sean, and Helen don't seem to think they count. Screw safety. They should have known it was going to be bad here when they were on their 10-year waiting list to get housing.
We've been slapped around by Helen and the likes of you for decades now and we're not going to take it anymore. When Helen drew her gun to shoot at the condo owners, she ended up shooting herself in the foot. It's too late for her now and I think even you realize her days are numbered.
I believe many residents wanted to work to make the neighborhood better for everyone. Judgments from Helen and her ilk are what ultimately created this hostility and you are all now paying the piper.
In all of your efforts to advocate for the poor, you and Helen made it worse by fanning the fires of polarization. How ironic!
We've been slapped around by Helen and the likes of you for decades now and we're not going to take it anymore.ReplyDelete
Aw, is that you playing a victim card? Ironic indeed.
And that comment about “The poor deserve what I’m demanding, too” – that reasoning has always troubled me, because the poor have always deserved better than the crumbs they’ve been thrown, have always deserved your support, everywhere you’ve ever lived, and everywhere they are right now. “Now that *I* live here, the poor of Uptown have my benevolent concern.” Talk about a knight in shining armor, what are you, running for alderman?
Those experiencing homelessness deserve better, too. Instead, what I see, by a segment of the community, are efforts to criminalize homelessness, by way of anti-panhandling actions, park sweeps, arrests for sleeping on the commons, and persistent calls for something as little as relieving oneself in the alley. Free public toilets have gone the way of the dinosaur, but of course you know this, because all of us have had to duck into a pub or restaurant while out shopping, buy a soda just so we could use the restroom. Hear, hear now! No one in this town can piss or shit for free! Hold it until you get a job!
Try as I might, I just can’t wrap my head around the thought process behind “ if we make it a lot harder to be homeless, fewer people will be homeless.” The best way to sanitize the streets -- because make no mistake about it, that’s the intent here -- would be to address and eliminate the root causes of homelessness. But they are many, and would require a lot more than the platitudes offered up by politicians, whether the tired Helen Shiler-now-on-autopilot-Marxism-cum-Daley, or her Reaganesque-Friedmanish opponents. It would require remaking the entire system into one more humane, effectively dismantling capitalisme sauvage.
This is my last response on this subject, but in closing, I’ll tell you a little more about “the likes of me.” Despite Chip’s insistence, I don’t work for Helen, I've never even voted for her in the last 3 aldremanic elections. I’m also not employed in the social service sector, nor do I hang out with JPUSA or Ron and his crowd. I’ve just been where about 1/3 of the homeless are. Years ago, in my 30’s, I struggled with mental illness and self-medicating addiction. I never went to war, never committed a felony, was never physically, emotionally, or sexually abused as a child, didn’t grow up in poverty, yet I wound up homeless for a time because of my illness. I’m supremely lucky, my experience on the streets was very brief (thanks to family and friends who rescued me via love and a whole lotta their money for psych care.)
I own a condo now, have a good job. But I’ll never forget how close I came to becoming what someone called “an animal,” sleeping in the park.
Hip hip, hurrah, holeymoley. Ain't life grand.
No, Kenny. I'm not playing victim. A victim takes no accountability and requires a savior like Helen to rescue them because some enablers have this need to keep them powerless. I don't need to be rescued.ReplyDelete
We don't have public toilets everywhere because it would be a haven for crime. If homeless people need to use the toilet, God knows there are plenty of social services that make a toilet available.
In your unshakable belief that all people who want safer streets must hate the homeless, you made the assumption that we didn't help out the unfortunate before we moved to Uptown. We just disagree with what helps them out. I'm not big on enabling and you are. I tell you this though, I won't help out shelters that don't take more responsibility for their clients.
But you showed your true colors in your last post. You don't believe in capitalism. I don't see that changing anytime soon, so we will be stuck with capitalism for a little while longer and that's fine with me. If you see that as the only cure for poverty, you need to make another trip to Cuba.
But you showed your true colors in your last post. You don't believe in capitalism. I don't see that changing anytime soon, so we will be stuck with capitalism for a little while longer and that's fine with me. If you see that as the only cure for poverty, you need to make another trip to Cuba.ReplyDelete
Uptown is certainly becoming a center for mind-reading!
It (resolving homelessness) would require remaking the entire system into one more humane, effectively dismantling capitalisme sauvage.ReplyDelete
Care to interpret, nrn312?
I'm viewing the posts of the past few weeks about homelessness in Uptown, and it's obvious many Posters have only a passing knowledge of the real situation, and it's not their fault and not a criticism. Homelessness is only one aspect of a larger, local situation: the At-Risk population: people experiencing homelessness, poverty, unemployment, disabilities, ageing, illiteracy, addictions, and more. As someone who works the 'front lines' against these, I can tell you that many of the homeless in Uptown are afraid to go elsewhere in the City, like PGM, etc., both black and white. Additionally, Uptown has become the homeless 'mecca' over the years because it has so many services, though they are beginning to decrease. Shelters, food programs, pantries, physical and mental health clinics, seniors and mental disability housing, recovery and abuse efforts, and subsidized housing, city and private. Everyday residents of Uptown would be better served contacting these programs and agencies for information. As for 2 mil on a dog park pump, I've got one better: a certain city Alderman recently released $100,000 in "discretionary funds" so a bunch of kids could put up a mural, beneath an overpass, on a busy street with little foot traffic, honoring the 'spiritual activities' of a minority group that represents less than 1% of the city's population! That 100gs would run the program I work for for a year and feed 25,000 hunger people here in Uptown, but we can't get money from the city. Figure that one out.ReplyDelete