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DJ V Lawrence

Houston: The 7th "meanest" City In America?

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http://www.houstonchronicle.com/disp/story...nt/3581766.html

So after being named the Persons of the Year by the Dallas Morning Star for opening our doors to our neighbors in Louisiana, advocates of the homeless in America have named us the 7th "meanest" city to the homeless. (Dallas was ranked 6th, San Antonio was ranked 13th, Austin was ranked 15th meanest in America as well). :lol:

I read this article and was thinking, "it's considered 'mean' to not want the homeless on our streets?"

Bill White said he back the "city ordinance that makes it illegal to lie, sit or place belongings on downtown or Midtown sidewalks from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m", because the Midtown residents wanted the homeless out of their neighborhoods as much as downtown, where the ordinance originally took place. I'm not sure if ANY Houstonians want the homeless living in their neighborhood.

Is anyone as baffled about this article as I am?

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Hell, I'm proud that we're 7th meanest to homeless people. I think it would be great if we were #1 on the list. The "more meaner" we are, the less apt they are to stick around.

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Hell, I'm proud that we're 7th meanest to homeless people. I think it would be great if we were #1 on the list. The "more meaner" we are, the less apt they are to stick around.

Your compassion for the less fortunate is overwhelming.

Your insightfulness into the homeless issue is impressive as well.

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I read this article and was thinking, "it's considered 'mean' to not want the homeless on our streets?"

It is pretty wierd. Municipal rules prompting police to chase off homeless people from one part of town is mean to me, but worse, I think rules like that reveal a very frustrated population.

I read the article and thought about political action groups citing Christian Family Values as the reason to disallow certain behaviors. These groups need to put the strong arm on politicians to correct problematic homelessness. Get the crazy people off the streets and back into institutions; those with the wherewithal to chose a homeless existance will not menace socitey.

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Hell, I'm proud that we're 7th meanest to homeless people. I think it would be great if we were #1 on the list. The "more meaner" we are, the less apt they are to stick around.

That's the spirit! :angry2:

<_<

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While I'm not saying I wish we were #1, but lately it seems as if enforcement to some of the rules would be really nice. I had some friends visiting during the Christmas time and we went out around both downtown and Midtown, had dinner at Brasil one night in the Montrose area. Needless to say, we all had a great time, but it was a little annoying that there was not one spot we went that we were not hit up with some type of panhandling/ begging at each and every stop. Park the car in midtown, get out, someone approaches asking for money. Fill up for gas, same thing. We eat outside at Brasil, sure enough, someone comes and leans over the railing and asks for food, which someone at our table gave their leftovers to him. Seemed fine, but then sure enough, he comes back 15 minutes later and also asks for money. We go watch a Rockets game, walk from there to main street, get hit up at least 2-3 times on the way for money.

Leaving to the airport, went down Chartres until it hits 59, passed by Congress and you see the current refugee camp that has been built up there. In looking at that, I find it hard to believe we are #7. Its an eyesore and just cannot be the solution to the problem. Probably at least 200 people these days. I was in New York the week after that, and I'm not saying they don't have a whole entirely different set of issues, but I was not asked for money once while I was up there. I know it all depends what part of Manhattan you are in, but I was all over from Chinatown to lower east side up to the upper east/west side.

I know its already a law to not be able to approach people for cash at ATM's, gas stations, etc. but its not being enforced and while in general my friends from out of town had a great time, they were surprised by the amount of begging that goes on, even one being from L.A.

In my day to day in downtown, I don't see that much in the CBD, but there are a few characters that seem to get away with breaking the law in very visible places. Near Stowers Condos, there is always a guy there laying on the sidewalk and smoking cigarettes and yelling at people. On Louisana, not too far from the Calpine building and also around Market Square, there's always a few guys.

I'll admit it, I'm not compassionate towards any of the people who panhandle to me. I know panhandling and homelessness are two different issues, but they probably go hand in hand in some ways. And while I know shuffling the people around isn't a solution, I hardly believe just letting things stay the way they are is the answer either. I'm not surprised to see Atlanta so high, I think they just passed one of the toughest ordinances, completely banning panhandling.

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I would also. I'm glad Houston's rules are strict, because although all of the homeless and/or BUMS are not all bad. A majority of them are just crack heads looking for an easy penny to get there crack or booze, and do not want anything else. If they really want help they will seek it. Not that I do not like bums, I just agree with the new laws for the folowing reasons. At least Houstonians are not taping them doing dumb ish and fighting each other for a cheap buck. Has anyone heard of or seen those bum fight videos?

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I wish Houston would get a little more strict on their enforcement as well, I would much rather work and earn my money then depend on stangers to give me change.

The other night I was sitting in a restaurant with a friend and we actually saw someone pull up in an old style mercedes and get out in raggedy clothes to work the corner. I was shocked.

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I would also. I'm glad Houston's rules are strict, because although all of the homeless and/or BUMS are not all bad. A majority of them are just crack heads looking for an easy penny to get there crack or booze, and do not want anything else. If they really want help they will seek it. Not that I do not like bums, I just agree with the new laws for the folowing reasons. At least Houstonians are not taping them doing dumb ish and fighting each other for a cheap buck. Has anyone heard of or seen those bum fight videos?

I have seen BumFights. Extremely, um, extreme to say the least. Think it was tapings were of the Los Angeles homeless. Just mentioning that because Los Angeles was ranked 18th on the list. Here's a new article on the amount of homeless citizens there...

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/nation/3584533.html

(I'm mentioning L.A. because once again, I'm not sure if having 85,000 homeless on the streets of a city is something to be proud of or not :huh: )

I'm not exactly sure what the homeless associations are discouraged by with our laws against the homeless residing in Downtown and Midtown. I thought the idea was to not have ANY homeless allowed in ANY streets, parks, or overpasses by giving them housing and shelter. From what I hear, Houston's been making a conscious effort to provide that kind of housing. Are the homeless advocates trying to say that it's inhumane and against civil rights to not give the people the option of being "homeless", and "forcing" them to live in city-sponsored shelters?

How exactly does having a huge population of homeless on the streets help a city, especially when that city's taxpayers are spending money trying to give them the housing they could use? And why is it wrong for Midtown residents to not want the homeless to live in their streets? Didn't Midtown have a big problem with the homeless possibly bringing property value and quality of life down in that area around a year or two ago. Then Bill White answers their call, and he's considered "mean"? I'm lost.

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Your compassion for the less fortunate is overwhelming.

Your insightfulness into the homeless issue is impressive as well.

I think he's probably saying what a lot of us feel, even if it does seem a little cold. It's hard to be compassionate when most of us have been through hard times--maybe even harder than that guy on the street--and made it through. I worked for our church mission group for two organizations here in Houston: Star of Hope, and Covenant House. I was stunned, after 8 weeks of being deeply integrated in the homeless "lifestyle", to find there are two extremes--with no real "in between": one extreme are the folks who continually walk the line every day, paycheck to paycheck, never planning, never saving, and they make a few mistakes, lose their job, get evicted and stay in a shelter until they either move on to another shelter or find a job and get out. The other extreme is what we see on the streets--vagrants who litter the streets, drink and do drugs, and REFUSE to go to shelters. That's right, I said REFUSE. I can't tell you how many people on the streets that we were giving blankets and food to had too much pride or ego to go to a shelter. It was sad, humbling, and absolutely STUPID at the same time. It frustrated me that these people would rather wait for us to come around with blankets and sandwiches when we could have been doing a LOT of good elsewhere. We never really saw either problem with Covenant House just because of their ages--most were pissed off at their parents, went back home after a couple of weeks, and some were flat out runaways--okay kids, but some of them were STUPID....dang!!!! :rolleyes:

It's sad that there even has to be a homeless situation...but there are shelters out there and these people have the tools necessary to get themselves back on the right track. This is a country that offers so many programs and freebees that there should never be a man on the street unless that's his choice, and for many of them it is just that.

Edited by Parrothead

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It's sad that there even has to be a homeless situation...but there are shelters out there and these people have the tools necessary to get themselves back on the right track. This is a country that offers so many programs and freebees that there should never be a man on the street unless that's his choice, and for many of them it is just that.

I volunteered with the homeless in Boston when I was in college. Over 20% of the homeless are actually mentally ill. There are many homeless out there who have tried to get work, but they don't have an address to complete a W4. There are many little obsticles that the average person just doesn't see. Here is an article I found on the web about the causes of homelessness.

http://www.camillushouse.org/camillus_reso...ness.php#causes

Just remember, a society is only as strong as our weekend member.

My husband works in 1000 Main and has said that the homeless population has gotten out of control. I agree that something needs to be done and that the ordinances need to be enforced. However, I think we all need to understand the underlying causes of the issue and create preventative measures rather than just being mean about it. We are the richest country in the world- no reason for children in poverty or homelessness.

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I volunteered with the homeless in Boston when I was in college. Over 20% of the homeless are actually mentally ill. There are many homeless out there who have tried to get work, but they don't have an address to complete a W4. There are many little obsticles that the average person just doesn't see. Here is an article I found on the web about the causes of homelessness.

http://www.camillushouse.org/camillus_reso...ness.php#causes

Just remember, a society is only as strong as our weekend member.

My husband works in 1000 Main and has said that the homeless population has gotten out of control. I agree that something needs to be done and that the ordinances need to be enforced. However, I think we all need to understand the underlying causes of the issue and create preventative measures rather than just being mean about it. We are the richest country in the world- no reason for children in poverty or homelessness.

I think you mean "weakest" member.

What I want to know is, how does anyone know it's 20%? It seems like that would be pretty hard to estimate.

I agree that there is no reason for children in poverty. Adults...that's a different story. There are always reasons for it....it's coming up with solutions to fix it that's so hard.

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