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Ninth Circuit: Homelessness not a crime

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Pujo, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. Pujo

    Pujo Rookie

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    Source: ACLU press release, 04/14/2006

    This is why we need these "activist judges". Arresting people for simply having no shelter??
  2. Chevy

    Chevy Rookie

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    Sleeping/lying on public sidewalks should be an arrestable offense ... The real shame is when a homeless individual is sitting on a park bench and is arrested - happen in New Orleans all the time ...
  3. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We need more shelters and more help for these people.

    The problem increased significantly after Reagan cut budgets for mental health -- hospitals and services.

    Cambridge seems to handle the homelessness problem quite well. It seems like there's an unwritten (or written) law that as long as the homeless are polite, the police won't bother them. Quite a few of them sell Spare Change newspaper, which gives them a little more dignity.

    One had a taxi driver who was a former homeless guy. I forgeet what he told me, but he had had a very hard life and became addicted to alcohol. Once he was able to quit drinking, he was able to pull his life back together.

    In Scandinavia, there were virtually no homeless people when I lived there. I think that was a benefit worth paying for.
  4. Chevy

    Chevy Rookie

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    I agree with the premise, but I think there need to be some limits. I am all for giving an addict a chance to clean up and move on. But, once you've had your shot, I feel it is wrong to expect tax payer's dollars to continue to fund treatment/housing. If non-profits want to allow 2nd/3rd/Nth repeats, then no government dollars can be used (I would say they cannot receive any public funding).

    Back them into the corner hard and fast so they know that the only choice is to clean up.

    And, before there are any "but you don't understand how tough it is" statements ... Your talking to a former cocaine and alcohol addict. I stopped, on my own ... No 12-steps, no counseling, just me. If I can do that, then damn near anyone should be able to do it with some support.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2006
  5. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Chevy, that's really impressive that you quit those things, but don't sell yourself short. From the little I know about you, you're stronger and braver than a lot of people -- an entrepreneur, a soldier, I think you said you stayed in NO during Katrina, ....

    At any rate, the homeless issue is really a middle class issue because they are often in our neighborhoods, and some of them are creepy. I think it would make my neighborhood (Harvard Square) nicer if there were more facilities for the homeless. I think everyone would benefit.
  6. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    Agreed. I always thought that since we pay so much, at least the money should go to help less fortunate ones. Many homeless are kids who have no choice in the matter. Addiction isn't the only cause of homelessness.

    I always wondered why more churches, synagogues, etc didn't have their own shelters. I know some do, but more should. Why should all the burden be put on taxpayers? I think if these tax-exempt groups don't pull some weight, they should lose their exempt status.
  7. Chevy

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    Patters, Thanks for the compliments, but I can't accept one of them .... It was stupidity that made me stay during Katrina, not bravery.

    I think the hard question is "At what point do shelters enable the condition rather than help alleviate it?" Talking with the folks at the shelter I worked at, there was a general consensus that with few exceptions, none cared enough to try to move up. Their attitude was "Why bother, I got a roof."

    Even worse (or expected, I guess) was that many of these people received a devent SSI/Disability check ... Easily enough to get an apartment. Add in food stamps and a little "cash work" on the side (easy to do at almost any restaraunt) and they could have had a decent life. Instead, the monthly check was smoked within a few days.

    I'd like to see a change where church/non-profits have to pay property tax. There's no reason why they shouldn't.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2006
  8. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Patters,
    Holy Mary Mother Of Jesus H Christ, I had to read it twice, I can't believe you called some homeless people "Creepy", I'll pray for you tonight.

    Don't let some of those "panhandlers" fool you, there are a few in Cambridge that come from Cambridgeport & East Cambridge that live a pretty good life and when they want to pick up a few extra dollars they put their Halloween costumes on then park their cars over on Mt Auburn St then sneak out onto Mass Ave with their Dunken Doughnut coffee cups and go into their act, at times they can pick up a $100 in an hour.
    Someday wink at one of them, if you notice a little smirk you may have spotted one of them.
    This all started when the Cops were told to leave them alone unless they were causing trouble, most of the Cops try to avoid them, a Cambridge Cop can get in a lot of trouble messing with the Homeless.
  9. ELOrocks17

    ELOrocks17 Guest

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    We need to give these people a hand-up...not a hand out. They need to be taught self reliance, not dependence.
  10. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Those are cliches, unless you back them up with some specific things you favor doing. Do you favor funding programs that teach self-reliance? And what kind of "hand up" will you give someone who suffers schizophrenia, addictions, or other related problems?
  11. Pujo

    Pujo Rookie

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    Well said, Patters. And arresting them is neither a hands up nor a hand out, it's a hands-behind-your-back and doesn't belong in the homeless equation.
  12. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Many of them belong in Mental Institutions, but if they opened the hospitals again the whiners would say that their 'civil liberties were being violated, so we don't and they sleep under bridges and in cardboard boxes.
    When they emptied the Mental Hospitals they headed for the streets and the back alleys.

    A great percentage of the homeless are "winos' and "junkies" now they can't be picked up because they that would violate their civil rights, so there is one more option left, "LIVE WITH IT".

    Your right Patters, some of them are "creepy".
  13. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Harry, hate to disappoint you, but it was Reagan who cut the budget for mental hospitals and care. The Democrats fought him, but lost, and in fact you might recall that when Clinton was elected, Tipper Gore played a major role in the fight to have medical insurance cover mental health needs.

    Liberals have always recognized mental illness as a legitimate problem, but it's conservative who often call it a "soft science." While liberals do believe in due process (i.e., civil liberties), I think most conservative do too.

    Do you think police should be allowed to pick up anyone they think is a wino or junkie? How would that work? Perhaps they could say a drunk in a suit and tie is not a wino, but that would have been unfair to you, who maybe didn't regularly wear a suit and tie in your drinking days. What's your proposal?
  14. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Reagan=I know that, but try putting them back there and see what happens.

    Reagan=Nobody's perfect

    Picking up the wino=Years ago they did just that, then they sent them up to the Billerica house of Correction, the Billerica facility was afar differnet place than it is today, they had a big farm and the winos spent 6 months drying out they were different people when released, many went right back to the alley's but some never drank again in their lives. The thing the Liberals didn't like about it was that it was "forced rehabilitation" BUT IT WORKED.

    Winos with suits on=If they wandered the streets staggering they went into the wagon right along with the wino from the alley.

    It could never be done today, we live in different times, but you could walk the streets of Cambridge at any time of the day or night and never be bothered. On hot summer nights people took their whole family and slept on the banks of the Charles River.
    In another 30 years America will resemble another third world country you can see it coming.
  15. Turd Furguson

    Turd Furguson Rookie

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    What good are all these programs if they arent going to be fully utilized and have no discernible outcome to help people get off these very programs?
  16. ELOrocks17

    ELOrocks17 Guest

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    C'mon Patters, you know for a fact that many Americans are just 1 paycheck away from bieng homeless..me included. I dont want to live on the streets so I work to make sure that does not happen. Alot of these so called homeless people on the streets refuse to get a job, or work for a living because suckers like you keep paying to make sure they recieve entitlements.
  17. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm not disagreeing with you ELOrocks17, but still we have to deal with the people you describe. What do we do with the lazy drunks? What do you suggest? It's not like locking them up costs nothing. It's not like we want homeless people literally dying on our streets? What do you think we should do? There's no free ride, except for the lazy drunks. That's just the way it is.
  18. ELOrocks17

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    Well, they are lazy drunks because we as a society let them be lazy drunks. We just look the other way and let them continue.
  19. Pujo

    Pujo Rookie

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    Someone has a right to be a lazy drunk if they're not comitting crimes against people. If all you want from life is to sit on the sidewalk and ask for change, no one has any right to tell you otherwise.

    And there's nothing you COULD do to make them anything else, no matter how hard you tried. There have been lazy drunks through history and there''ll always be lazy drunks. You can throw them in jail, but that costs lots of money - I suppose you could execute them... is that what you'd want?
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2006
  20. Turd Furguson

    Turd Furguson Rookie

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    Someone has a right to be a lazy drunk but we as a society do NOT have an obligation to subsidize the lazy drunk's lifestyle.

    Arent there loitering laws on the books?

    We cant have our streets littered with drunks and street people else we might as well turn NYC back into the "5 points" a la Gangs of New York.

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