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Downtown Homeless


photolitherland

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I think we all know downtown Houstons biggest flaw and that is the bums. The bums dont really bother me at all, but I know people are afraid of them and they detract business and people from going downtown at night. Just the other day I was taking the train and right by Main Place there was a bum taking a leak on a metro rail bench with his thing just spraying it everywhere and another crazy bum was singing and jumping around on the railroad tracks. They are everywhere on Main Street and the north side, south side, and every side of downtown. My question is, what can be done to rid downtown of their presence? I know you cant just go around putting them in jails but there must be something to do. Chicago, NYC, and so on all have their own bum problems but out of all the cities in America Ive been to Houston has the biggest congregation of weird, abnormal, and disgusting bums who beg for change around every corner. If they werent there, or at least not as prevalent than downtown could really thrive. So, what can be done?

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sentence them to 30 days of cleaning up trash and cleaning up graffiti for loitering and for every day they refuse to do the work add on 3 days

make it illegal to give them any money and set up stings to catch enablers doing it and put a LARGE fine on it to go towards "bum help" like buying brooms and shovels and scrubbers for them to do the work with

make it illegal to beg and give them 60 days of labor for begging VS the 30 for loitering

give them 90 days of work in addition to the 30 and 60 if they are begging or loitering while drunk

arrest and charge them with theft when caught with a shopping cart they do not have a receipt for or a "title" for (yes I know shopping carts are not titled that is the point)

one way tickets to san farncisco, new orleans, LA, DC, Detroit and NYC

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Wow, no one has ever brought up this interesting topic before.

And it's not just the bums, I also blame those "hip hop thugs" for keeping downtown mired in mediocrity. If we could just keep out all of the bums and "Gangster Grizzilles," we'd have an entertainment/residential/retail center that would rival New York Times Square and the Vegas Strip, COMBINED~!

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sentence them to 30 days of cleaning up trash and cleaning up graffiti for loitering and for every day they refuse to do the work add on 3 days

Doesn't work. Just like you can't make prisoners pick up trash along the highways anymore. What are you going to do to them? They're already in prison. Keeping a lazy person in prison gives them three meals a day, clothing, an opportunity for hygiene -- all the things they didn't have on the streets.

Moreover, the more obnoxious the vagrant, the more likely the problem is mental. How do you get a mental case to follow directions for street sweeping when he thinks he's on Mars?

make it illegal to give them any money and set up stings to catch enablers doing it and put a LARGE fine on it to go towards "bum help" like buying brooms and shovels and scrubbers for them to do the work with

I don't know about Houston, but in some cities it is already illegal to give to panhandlers. Houston has few enough police officers for major crimes. There would be a hew and cry if they were diverted to busting the soft of heart.

make it illegal to beg and give them 60 days of labor for begging VS the 30 for loitering

give them 90 days of work in addition to the 30 and 60 if they are begging or loitering while drunk

Can't be done. Begging is free speech. The courts have been over this in the past. Also, loitering laws have been routinely struck down in the courts.

arrest and charge them with theft when caught with a shopping cart they do not have a receipt for or a "title" for (yes I know shopping carts are not titled that is the point)

Who's to say they weren't given the cart legally? It's not unheard of for supermarkets to dump their broken carts in vacant lots or otherwise dispose of them so they end up in the hands of the public. iPods are stolen more often than shopping carts. Do you think cops should be allowed to ask you for the receipt for your iPod whenever they want?

one way tickets to san farncisco, new orleans, LA, DC, Detroit and NYC

This has been done on occasion. Denver did it most recently for the Democratic convention. I remember another big one a few years earlier where Atlanta was the recipient. Nothing illegal about it, but it sure does make for some awkward moments at the National Conference of Mayors.

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actually you still can have chain gangs....Joe Arpaio has done it in Phoenix....you just have to have someone in power with the balls to ignore court idiots and the threats of lawsuits and find other ways to get around court ordered stupidity and destruction of society

same with loitering and begging

http://www.dui.com/dui-library/arizona/new...dressed-in-pink

you can carry a portable breath meter and test them for being drunk....then toss them in for that

I would bet a large part of them would suddenly find that they are quite sane if faced with being locked up and forced to work or staying locked up longer

I also doubt most stores give away and or dump shopping carts since they are easy to repair and cost a great deal to start with and they would have scrap value as well and some stores hire people to find them and return them

Houston has a shortage of anything in some peoples eyes and that does not stop police from wasting time on all types of "crimes" as soon as the bums and their enablers are gone and or in jail the cops will have plenty more time for other crimes

lastly who cares what the loser mayor of some failed city says to you at a mayors meeting

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Are you for real? Some cities give bums one way tickets to other cities just to get rid of them. That sounds like a great idea. Lets send them all to Detroit, that city is already crappy enough and its about to become a lot crappier with the possibility of GM going down. So lets give them all our bums due to the fact that Deadtroit does not have a bright future ahead while Houston does. ;)

The thing that needs to happen is for downtown to get rid of those 2 crappy dollar like stores on Main Street. The one owned by the Indian guys and that other one needs to be shut down. Around those stores is where the bums congregate and its because those stores are quite dirty and cheap. I think with Main Place going in at the corner of that one convenience store that they will clean it up a little and or the bums will migrate to another part of town. Security guards at Main Place hopefully wont be very tolerant of their loitering about.

Edited by photolitherland
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I think we all know downtown Houstons biggest flaw and that is the bums. The bums dont really bother me at all, but I know people are afraid of them and they detract business and people from going downtown at night. Just the other day I was taking the train and right by Main Place there was a bum taking a leak on a metro rail bench with his thing just spraying it everywhere and another crazy bum was singing and jumping around on the railroad tracks. They are everywhere on Main Street and the north side, south side, and every side of downtown. My question is, what can be done to rid downtown of their presence? I know you cant just go around putting them in jails but there must be something to do. Chicago, NYC, and so on all have their own bum problems but out of all the cities in America Ive been to Houston has the biggest congregation of weird, abnormal, and disgusting bums who beg for change around every corner. If they werent there, or at least not as prevalent than downtown could really thrive. So, what can be done?

You need to get out more. Houston doesn't have a lot of bums, and the ones we do have are boring compared to other big cities. Check out San Francisco if you want to see a lot of really crazy and scary bums.

What can be done? Learn to accept them. They aren't stopping downtown from "thriving".

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I think I'd rather watch a creative bum beg for change than have to deal with angry bum haters like you two (Vines and photo). So, whose rights are more important, the bum's right to beg for change, your right not to have to look at bums, or my right not to have to see you in my downtown harrassing the police to arrest the bums?

Please cite applicable caselaw in your response.

PS - Oh, and any reference to fake tough guys in Phoenix who are simply media whores is an automatic disqualifier.

Edited by RedScare
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I stated that I dont mind the bums but others do, in fact, I quite enjoy bum antics. The problem is that I see women walking by with their dates and when they come across a bum you can tell they arent used to them and they get scared. People that arent used to them get deterred by them and no longer want to go downtown. My family has lived in Houston for 12 years now and I was the only one who ever went downtown when I lived there. They all thought it was an infested crime hole when thats just not the case. I think the problem with our downtown is that there are more bums than pedestrians at night. In other big cities there are tons of pedestrians and bums but the pedestrians outnumber the bums. In Houston the bums greatly outnumber pedestrians and their in lies the problem.

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I stated that I dont mind the bums but others do, in fact, I quite enjoy bum antics. The problem is that I see women walking by with their dates and when they come across a bum you can tell they arent used to them and they get scared.

No, silly. That is the chick's way of testing her date to see if he is a real and generous man. If the date is man enough to give the bum a buck, the chick knows that her date is not only wealthy, but generous...a real keeper. If on the other hand, her date goes on a rant about putting them on chain gangs and making them wear pink jail outfits, then she knows that her date is low paid, stingy and homophobic...best to dump him immediately.

So actually, lots of people like and appreciate the usefulness of bums.

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actually you still can have chain gangs....Joe Arpaio has done it in Phoenix....you just have to have someone in power with the balls to ignore court idiots and the threats of lawsuits and find other ways to get around court ordered stupidity and destruction of society

same with loitering and begging

http://www.dui.com/dui-library/arizona/new...dressed-in-pink

Yes, I like his style. It makes prison unpleasant, and humiliating, which is exactly what its supposed to be! I bet there are very few if any repeat offenders after coming out of that program.

But those are drug dealers, murderers, thieves and rapists... I don't think they'd ever allow a punishment like that for simple loitering and begging. Punishment doesn't fit the crime, really there isn't much of a crime at all.

Media whores? No matter as long as it gets the job done.

you can carry a portable breath meter and test them for being drunk....then toss them in for that

You can toss them in for PI, but then what? They spend a weekend in jail, then right back to the streets.

Ever see that episode of South Park when the bums invaded?

As silly as it sounds it has a good point... they fed off of change and more kept coming to South Park till it was overrun. The way to defeat them was to not give them any change! (and also to trick them into going to another town, but there is a better way)

Unloading them to another city would just spark an all out war between cities and end up being a bum exchange program.

The best thing to do IMO is to NEVER give them anything. They have options... go to family for help, go to friends, go to a shelter... work and get back on their feet. Something other than drinking all day and sleeping on the sidewalk. Giving them handouts only keeps them looking for more handouts. There have been bums who puled themselves off the street, it is possible. There are people who "don't want help" but then beg for money, and they are hypocrites. Those are people (don't forget that) who need to swallow their pride and fix themselves. Those that are mentally ill need to be committed and treated, I'd rather see my tax money paying for their commitment and treatment rather than them out on the streets possibly hurting someone.

A lot of people would feel sorry for the Vietnam Vet hopping on one leg... but then I just think of all the people in wheelchairs and/or missing limbs, going up a handicapped ramp to their clean air conditioned office where they also make a living for themselves whom didn't let their disability stop them.

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No, silly. That is the chick's way of testing her date to see if he is a real and generous man. If the date is man enough to give the bum a buck, the chick knows that her date is not only wealthy, but generous...a real keeper. If on the other hand, her date goes on a rant about putting them on chain gangs and making them wear pink jail outfits, then she knows that her date is low paid, stingy and homophobic...best to dump him immediately.

So actually, lots of people like and appreciate the usefulness of bums.

Lmao, I love that. :lol::lol::lol:

Especially if its a cute old man bum who does a little happy dance before and after you give him the money. There's the exception to my "don't give them anything rule". They simply become part of the nights entertainment for a small fee.

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I think the problem with our downtown is that there are more bums than pedestrians at night.

First, bums are mostly pedestrians, so there can't be more bums than pedestrians.

Second, you've got cause and effect confused. Houston's downtown is empty at night because it's surrounded by cheap land with no natural boundaries. That gives most people the ability to live somewhere else, and most people prefer to live in single family houses with yards or cheap apartments. It isn't the bums keeping the non-bums out of downtown. It's the cheap land and good roads.

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You need to get out more. Houston doesn't have a lot of bums, and the ones we do have are boring compared to other big cities. Check out San Francisco if you want to see a lot of really crazy and scary bums.

What can be done? Learn to accept them. They aren't stopping downtown from "thriving".

The problem is that bums are ALL OVER THIS FREAKING CITY. From downtown all the way out to FM1960. Its beyond ridiculous.

NEVER give bums anything - except a cold shoulder. Its all you bleeding hearts that keep them in business. I personally think its disgusting that people will stand at a street corner for over 12 hours a day - yet refuse to get a job, only working 8 hours a day, where they would most surely do less work than they do now when they beg.

I agree with the other poster, give all these lazy grifters a one way ticket and twenty bucks to somewhere magical - like Atlanta.

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And it's not just the bums, I also blame those "hip hop thugs" for keeping downtown mired in mediocrity. If we could just keep out all of the bums and "Gangster Grizzilles," we'd have an entertainment/residential/retail center that would rival New York Times Square and the Vegas Strip, COMBINED~!

The wanna be gangstas are a problem for downtown.

I agree with Membag, you haven't seen bums until you've gone to San Francisco.

Edited by LunaticFringe
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Please cite applicable caselaw in your response.

Just because some particular approach to social engineering happens to be illegal right now doesn't mean that someone adovcating that approach should be dismissed. The questions should focus on whether the approach has merit. If it does, then maybe someone needs to do some lobbying and try to get the law changed.

"Oh, that damned Al Capone! What can we do to keep him from smuggling in liquor from Canada and using that as his cash cow to support a well-organized criminal empire?" "What if we just made it OK to produce, distribute, sell, and consume liquor domestically?" "No, you dummy, that'd be illegal! We can't do that. And please cite applicable caselaw in your future suggestions."

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If I decided to remain permanently homeless, I would pick a large southern city like Houston or anywhere in California... you can't blame these folks for setting up shop in H-town. And I would argue very little crime can be attributed to the homeless population, especially violent crime.

What could be done about the Main St corridor is that Metro could start actually making people pay to ride the rail via better enforcement (the rail seems to be the primary mode of transportation for Houston's homeless)... but Metro doesn't seem concerned about rail fares (I have only been checked 3 times in my four years of riding the rail).

But, generally, I think people should lighten up on the homeless. I have met a lot of them and while most have either mental or substance abuse issues, the vast majority are harmless.

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actually you still can have chain gangs....Joe Arpaio has done it in Phoenix....you just have to have someone in power with the balls to ignore court idiots and the threats of lawsuits and find other ways to get around court ordered stupidity and destruction of society

same with loitering and begging

http://www.dui.com/dui-library/arizona/new...dressed-in-pink

Arizona has different laws than Texas. While you're right that it takes someone with courage, you still don't address the problem of the mentally ill.

I would bet a large part of them would suddenly find that they are quite sane if faced with being locked up and forced to work or staying locked up longer

You'd lose that bet. I know a sheriff in a county that surrounds a medium-sized city. He has told me more than once that a number of vagrants see jail as a vacation from life on the streets.

I also doubt most stores give away and or dump shopping carts since they are easy to repair and cost a great deal to start with and they would have scrap value as well and some stores hire people to find them and return them

Doubt if you want, but it's true. As a teen-ager I worked for a supermarket that did just this sort of thing. When the wheels got too wobbly, we were instructed to toss them over the cliff. Later when the strip center was expanded to include the area below the cliff we were instructed to give the carts to the homeless to take away. The economics may have changed in the 20ish years since I had that job, but I know what we did.

But you still haven't addressed the point above -- what gives a police officer the right to stop you and demand to see a sales receipt for any item on your person? Being homeless doesn't mean you don't have civil rights.

lastly who cares what the loser mayor of some failed city says to you at a mayors meeting

Tell that to Mayor White and Ray Nagin.

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Just don't give them anything. I have worked downtown for about 10 years now. I can honestly say that about 80% of the bums in downtown have been here for years. I see the same ones all the time in "their" spots. I have never really had a problem with any of them. Other than the one guy who curses at parking signs. Or the guy who tried to steal my orange.

I'd rather we do something about these harassing thugs who whistle and use vulgar advances to passing women. First time this happened I was in shock. The only thing I could do was stare down the punk and apologize to the young lady.

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The problem is that bums are ALL OVER THIS FREAKING CITY. From downtown all the way out to FM1960. Its beyond ridiculous.

NEVER give bums anything - except a cold shoulder. Its all you bleeding hearts that keep them in business. I personally think its disgusting that people will stand at a street corner for over 12 hours a day - yet refuse to get a job, only working 8 hours a day, where they would most surely do less work than they do now when they beg.

I agree with the other poster, give all these lazy grifters a one way ticket and twenty bucks to somewhere magical - like Atlanta.

I'm afraid I'm one of those bleeding hearts that keep them in business. I know they can be annoying, but I guess I figure it's not my place to judge. "There but for the grace of god" etc. I try to just give them a dollar and move on. It seems to be more gentlemanly than to go on about it.

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I'm afraid I'm one of those bleeding hearts that keep them in business. I know they can be annoying, but I guess I figure it's not my place to judge. "There but for the grace of god" etc. I try to just give them a dollar and move on. It seems to be more gentlemanly than to go on about it.

If you want to give to someone you think is really in need, I won't chastise you. However, if you are one of those who give to the intersection regulars, I will be greatly disappointed. That is where my frustration lies. They are the laziest of the lazy. Especially the ones who are so lazy, they work the same corner, with the same sign, every day.

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Yeah, I've seen (imo) much worse behavior by club/bar patrons than the homeless downtown...

...or at a Walmart on Black Friday.

The regulars are harmless and are just there in their spot and never even make eye contact. There is one younger guy though that it always seems to be his birthday. I never give money, they've got places for them to go and get food.

I don't think the guy that screams at the walk/don't walk signs is homeless, he always wears nice shiny suites.

Back in the 80's, in the Skyline District area, there was a crazy lady that would always say "You got twenty dolla?". She said this to everyone. I wonder if she ever got one.

Then there was the red-headed guy that would stop at the trash can in front of HL&P every morning. He'd get a newspaper and any partially eaten food. We left him an Egg McMuffin one morning. He looked at it and put it back. I guess he preferred the things that had been sampled.

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Just because some particular approach to social engineering happens to be illegal right now doesn't mean that someone adovcating that approach should be dismissed. The questions should focus on whether the approach has merit. If it does, then maybe someone needs to do some lobbying and try to get the law changed.

"Oh, that damned Al Capone! What can we do to keep him from smuggling in liquor from Canada and using that as his cash cow to support a well-organized criminal empire?" "What if we just made it OK to produce, distribute, sell, and consume liquor domestically?" "No, you dummy, that'd be illegal! We can't do that. And please cite applicable caselaw in your future suggestions."

Oh, it was only the US Constitution that I was thinking of. That, and capitalists and charities. You see, if "begging" is outlawed, charities would be illegal, since they ask for money or property without offering anything in return. Same with churches. Of course, then the bums would simply "sell" a product or service, such as cleaning your windshield. Outlaw that, and you've just made capitalism illegal.

I look forward to your lobbying campaign to do away with the Constitution in your efforts to run bums out of downtown.

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I'm afraid I'm one of those bleeding hearts that keep them in business. I know they can be annoying, but I guess I figure it's not my place to judge. "There but for the grace of god" etc. I try to just give them a dollar and move on. It seems to be more gentlemanly than to go on about it.

Check to see if a local church has an alternative for giving cash to them. The church I go to sells coupon books for $5 that are redeemable for food or showers and other things that the homeless need. It's a way to give without using cash since it's impossible to know who's truly in need and who's just trying to get money for their drug/alcohol habit.

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RedScare, it would seem that you would like to see the bums stay downtown and keep them defecating on metro line benches for all to see and smell. Many cities in America have put laws against panhandling, and that's not infringing upon capitalism or the constitution. Cities that have put laws in effect to keep homeless from loitering, panhandling, and such have seen significant decreases in their populations. Why do you want to protect people who think its just fine and dandy for them to piss on places where people sit while people are watching them take a piss? These people need to be taken off the streets and put in mental institutions or prisons and the ones who are capable of work need to get jobs or they should face imprisonment. You cant tell me that 90% of the non mental ones couldn't work 40 hours a week at McDonalds. They could work there if they just put in the effort and got their lazy bums off the street and would stop asking for my change every two minutes to spend on crack when I'm walkin around.

Edited by photolitherland
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RedScare, it would seem that you would like to see the bums stay downtown and keep them defecating on metro line benches for all to see and smell. Many cities in America have put laws against panhandling, and that's not infringing upon capitalism or the constitution. Cities that have put laws in effect to keep homeless from loitering, panhandling, and such have seen significant decreases in their populations. Why do you want to protect people who think its just fine and dandy for them to piss on places where people sit while people are watching them take a piss? These people need to be taken off the streets and put in mental institutions or prisons and the ones who are capable of work need to get jobs or they should face imprisonment. You cant tell me that 90% of the non mental ones couldn't work 40 hours a week at McDonalds. They could work there if they just put in the effort and got their lazy bums off the street and would stop asking for my change every two minutes to spend on crack when I'm walkin around.

I note that you are adding other factors to your argument. There are laws on the books for defecating or urinating in public, and I am in favor of enforcing those laws. As for your other gripes, as well as your attempt to shame me into agreeing with your wishes to infringe on others' rights just so you will not have to look at them, color me unimpressed. I am far more interested in protecting the Constitutional rights of ALL Americans than whether panhandlers offend you. That you would so cavalierly restrict those rights on the basis of what you find unattractive is a sad commentary on how little Americans value the freedom and liberty that our Constitution provides.

Luckily, our Supreme Court takes the Constitution more seriously than do you. If you'll google "loitering law unconstitutional", you will find numerous examples of the Supreme Court protecting your liberty. Similarly, panhandling laws have often been found to violate the Constitution, though if they are made specific enough, they will pass. Usually, laws that prohibit 'aggressive' panhandling, or begging near bus stops or rail stations, or at night may be legal. Go here for an article on some of the pitfalls of civility ordinances. Be forewarned...the link is a homeless advocacy site. You may become disgusted that these people actually see the homeless as human.

Your demand that the homeless get jobs or go to prison is particularly troubling. Forcing someone to work under threat of prison sounds a lot like indentured servitude. I think they do that in North Korea. We outlawed that here 150 years ago. Do you really want to bring that back?

You are new on this forum. If you look around, you'll see this subject comes up often. In this economic climate, I expect you'll see many more bums on the street. You should probably get used to them. It is expensive to lock them up, and our tax dollars will be stretched thin already. Hopefully, the deteriorating economy does not force you to become one of them, begging for spare change so that you can eat. But, if it does, I promise not to hold your post against you, and I will give you a buck to buy a burger...or a rock...whichever does you more good.

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Many cities in America have put laws against panhandling, and that's not infringing upon capitalism or the constitution.

Seriously? I've lived in dozens of cities and not one has ever had an anti-panhandling law that wasn't struck down by the courts. Could you please tell us which cities have managed to get around the legal scrutiny?

I've seen aggressive panhandling laws upheld, but those don't cover what we're talking about in this thread. People begging for money isn't aggressive panhandling. People grabbing your shirt and screaming at you when you don't give them money is covered by the law.

And for the record, yes, I have called 911 on more than one occasion for an aggressive panhandler. The last time was in October.

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Why do you want to protect people who think its just fine and dandy for them to piss on places where people sit while people are watching them take a piss?

You should see the parking garage I park in downtown after a Rockets game. Those people relieving themselves are not homeless...as is obvious by them getting into their big SUVs after they are done.

I have gone to school and lived in downtown for 3 years now. I don't think it is that big of a problem. I can count on both hands the number of times I have been asked for money in that 3 years. Granted I don't really ever get over to the specific area you seem to be talking about.

Edited by jayshoota
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Oh, it was only the US Constitution that I was thinking of. That, and capitalists and charities. You see, if "begging" is outlawed, charities would be illegal, since they ask for money or property without offering anything in return. Same with churches. Of course, then the bums would simply "sell" a product or service, such as cleaning your windshield. Outlaw that, and you've just made capitalism illegal.

I look forward to your lobbying campaign to do away with the Constitution in your efforts to run bums out of downtown.

I'm sorry, but you've confused my actual point (that law can be changed) with the notion that I somehow support the policy that TexasVines was advocating.

Incidentally, even the US Constitution agrees with me that it can be changed. There's even precedent for having done it.

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I do not live or work downtown, but I do go down there often, on weekends and evenings. I am baffled by the alarm over the bums. While I have seen quite a few bums, the numbers are not particularly surprising compared to other major cities, and I have never been the least bit harassed or bothered by any of them.

Honestly, in any listing of downtown problems the "bum problem" ranks well below the problem of bird s*#t covering Main Street Square, the plaza in front of The Wortham Center, and other areas of downtown.

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Honestly, in any listing of downtown problems the "bum problem" ranks well below the problem of bird s*#t covering Main Street Square, the plaza in front of The Wortham Center, and other areas of downtown.

Here here.

If only the grackles could shape up by being threatened with prison or the nuthouse.

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Some of the stories seem a bit extreme. I live downtown and encounter bums all the time. Yes they ask for money, but they've always left me alone after I said no once. If one continues to harass you, sure, that's a problem. I'm just saying its not a very common occurrence. I don't even bother telling any of the lies (I don't have any change, I only have enough for bus fare). I just say No.

But ultimately they're just people, and while it may be an unpleasant experience for you to see them sitting there at the corner shop at Main Street Square in the morning asking for money with all their worldly possessions beside them, try to imagine how much worse it must feel for them. You'll hop on the train and be a mile away in a few minutes, but they'll be sleeping on the front stoop of the downtown churches tonight, or at the YMCA if they can scrounge together enough money.

And support the organizations that are providing support to them, like S.E.A.R.C.H.

Really guys its not that big a deal.

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Some of the stories seem a bit extreme. I live downtown and encounter bums all the time. Yes they ask for money, but they've always left me alone after I said no once. If one continues to harass you, sure, that's a problem. I'm just saying its not a very common occurrence. I don't even bother telling any of the lies (I don't have any change, I only have enough for bus fare). I just say No.

But ultimately they're just people, and while it may be an unpleasant experience for you to see them sitting there at the corner shop at Main Street Square in the morning asking for money with all their worldly possessions beside them, try to imagine how much worse it must feel for them. You'll hop on the train and be a mile away in a few minutes, but they'll be sleeping on the front stoop of the downtown churches tonight, or at the YMCA if they can scrounge together enough money.

And support the organizations that are providing support to them, like S.E.A.R.C.H.

Really guys its not that big a deal.

The way it was told to me by a person working DT much longer than me is that there is an ordinance that forbids them to pursue or harass you. This offense can result in a ticket or arrest. Thats why they just ask once. The bums seem to know and understand this.

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The way it was told to me by a person working DT much longer than me is that there is an ordinance that forbids them to pursue or harass you. This offense can result in a ticket or arrest. Thats why they just ask once. The bums seem to know and understand this.

Yeah I don't know all the details, but I do remember some action on panhandling when Bill White came in to office. Also, there were signs put up by the city and a radio campaign telling people not to give money to the homeless, and to give to aid organizations instead, something I fully support. The probability that you're supporting a substance abuse problem by giving money to homeless is just way too high. I've given food, though.

Anyway, I just don't see it as that big of a problem, and frankly we absolutely do not have any jail capacity to spare for minor annoyances. Status quo seems good to me.

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I do not live or work downtown, but I do go down there often, on weekends and evenings. I am baffled by the alarm over the bums. While I have seen quite a few bums, the numbers are not particularly surprising compared to other major cities, and I have never been the least bit harassed or bothered by any of them.

Honestly, in any listing of downtown problems the "bum problem" ranks well below the problem of bird s*#t covering Main Street Square, the plaza in front of The Wortham Center, and other areas of downtown.

The difference between bird crap and the bums is the potential to be harassed. Why go anywhere where there is a higher potential to be harassed, run in to trouble, or anything unpleasant.

And before any of you go to the other extreme of: "Well, there's danger everywhere, why not just stay home then?" - you all know what I mean by the raised threat of harassment.

I'm sticking to the idea of bus-tickets to Atlanta.

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The way it was told to me by a person working DT much longer than me is that there is an ordinance that forbids them to pursue or harass you. This offense can result in a ticket or arrest. Thats why they just ask once. The bums seem to know and understand this.

it also forbids them to sit down on the sidewalks certain hrs of the day but it is just not enforced.

Edited by musicman
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it also forbids them to sit down on the sidewalks certain hrs of the day but it is just not enforced.

It's also against the law to spit on DT sidewalks, but you don't see that being enforced either. I think this law comes from way back when most men and some women chewed.

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  • 4 weeks later...

hm, bums usually leave you alone if you don't make eye contact, that's what I do, they usually lurk in the bus stops especially at rush hour but if you don't make eye contact or simply tell them no, they will leave you alone. Granted, as a girl walking downtown where it's not especially lighted is scary, even walking around during the day can be scary near St Joseph hospital and Main St square and the reason as someone said earlier is because DT has more bum traffic than business people at certain times of the day. I've never been harassed and I've been going DT for almost a year, but I have been scared. And the fear comes from seeing the bums that are clearly intoxicated or drugged, especially on the weekends. DT needs more stores a mall or something to make it feel like a real downtown, we are the 4th largest city in the US but what stores or lively things do we have dt? Macys and the new mall with the forever 21 store?

The city does need to do something about the public urination, I suggest public bathrooms. The only ones I am aware of are in the McDonalds near main st square, the ones in the tunnels, and in St Joseph hospital. And they should do something about that cheap store in main st square that's owned by the Indian couple, that's the place where all the bums get their alcohol from, I swear there's nothing more disturbing than seeing someone with a beer in a brown bag at like 11AM.

Edited by ericnowcool
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  • The title was changed to Downtown Homeless

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