Comments about ‘Cities crack down on homeless people across the United States’

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Published: Monday, June 18 2012 10:00 a.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

Oh, yeah, I would much rather stand on a corner and get a sunburn or sun poisoning than go with someone and have a nice meal in some air conditioned restaurant! Those that refuse are most likely too embarrassed to go into a public place or they just want money. Maybe they have other mouths to feed and they feel it would be unfair if they accepted a nice meal. Whatever their reasons you do not have to give them anything if you do not want to. I live in a part of town where panhandlers are everywhere and they have never bullied me into giving them money. They realize that times are tough (duh) and I haven't come across a single one who did not react in kind to my greetings. If they want to live their lives on the street that is their right and if you do or don't want to give them money that is your right. Live and let live!

Brer Rabbit
Spanish Fork, UT

I remember when Yellowstone National Park started the, "Don't feed the bears policy." Before that it was common to see bears on the road, and once in awhile someone got attacked. According to the comments here we could assume that the, "Don't feed the bears policy," was cruel. Hmmm, I wonder? The bears are probably doing much better, living like bears rather than begging along the road.

I am not saying that we shouldn't support these folks who have fallen on hard times, but there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. We have the resources to help them in ways that are more helpful than enabling them. I suggest that those that feel the need to toss a few dollars to the panhandlers or sandwiches to those sleeping on the street that you get involved with organizations that are trying to make a difference, the right way.

Phillip M Hotchkiss
Malta, Mt

Luke 14:12-13

Don't forget Gods' law. I for one will never tolerate one telling me to ignore the poor. I have never been and hope to never be homeless. If I was I would hope one could find compassion in aq cold lonely time of someone's existance.

Sugar City, ID

As part of a humanitarian project I recently helped clean up and area in San Diego where the homeless camp out. It was filled with large piles of trash--the homeless didn't made the effort to even clean up after themselves. No wonder people don't want them around. We had to use special gloves to protect ourselves from the needles. I want to help but couldn't they at least throw away their trash and needles?

Draper, UT

I agree with Michael Medved's proposed solutions:
1. For those who are mentally ill (a sizeable minority) make it easier to get them committed to a mental hospital, as treatments are much better for many conditions than they used to be. There would then be a much better chance of them being able to take care of themselves. This would necessarily need to be done with government support.
2. For those who are homeless due to permanent disability, subsidized apartments or nursing homes may be the best answer. This could be public or private charity.
3. For those who are temporarily homeless due to the economy, provide safe, clean shelters where they can work toward obtaining work and becoming self-sufficient. This can be and is being done through many private charities.
4. For those who choose to be homeless because they like the lifestyle and freedom (and there really are those), the criminal justice system may be the best answer if they are trespassing and/or panhandling.
Panhandling and sleeping and/or loitering in public places doesn't need to be allowed. It is not insensitive or inhumane to treat the underlying causes for homelessness.

American Fork, UT

Keep on rockin' in the free world...

Los Angeles, CA

I have been a Homeless Consultant in the Skid Row Area of Los Angeles for over 25 years. I work directly in the gutters and the streets where these people live. Most of them want to live in the street and not in a house or apartment. WHY? They love being free to be themselves...even if that means being dirty and poor. Most are substance abusers or mentally ill. Very few are on the streets because they are out of work. Creating housing for these people will not work.

Huntsville, UT

Ezekiel 16:49

Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

Anderson, SC

I am surprised and appalled at some of these comments..but know I should not be. Many have learned through behavior patterns how to harden their heart...except when it comes to themselves and suddenly they find themselves in a place they never thought they would ever be. I hope that happens to those who condemn the poor and disadvantaged without a clue as to some of the "real" stories. I found myself several years ago without a home for a week. I am so glad that happened, I learned the truth about myself and other people really fast. You never forget. I hope and pray with all my heart and soul a million times over that those who condemn the poor and push their prideful ideas and theories find themselves on the street with nothing but the clothes on their backs..and what "fun" it will be to finally know the truth.

Cedar Hills, UT

there is not enough money or food to take care of all the homeless. Also - giving handouts isn't a fix - only a bandaide. What homeless people REALLY need is a job - a skill and the opportunity to provide for themselves. Back in the mid-1900's my dad and grandpa worked for the CCC (civilian conservations corp) to build roads and do other blue collar type jobs where they lived in camp-style barracks and were able to pick up lots of useful skills such as heavy equipment operator, welders, carpenters, etc..... and all the while complete alot of useful work for society in general. I think we need to bring back the CCC.

Springville, UT

I've been stuck without food, albeit for a short time, and let me tell you, a ham sandwich out on the side of the street would have been simply wonderful. And I would not have worried about the salt, fiber, and fat content. Mayor Bloomberg should go without food for a few days-- seriously-- and see if his perspective changes.

Several people have mentioned a litmus test for sincerity of hungry homeless: offer them food. I encountered a guy who was looking for work to get money to buy a bus ticket to a construction job. You've heard that story a hundred times, right? I bought him a nice 12 inch sandwich at the Sensuous Sandwich. He snarfed half of it and saved the rest for later. He was in tears afterward and gave me a hug. Somehow I don't think he was part of a business an organized group was running.

If you would like to help the homeless in Provo, the ones that really need help, donate to (or volunteer at) the Food and Care Coalition. They filter out the scammers so you don't have to.

Layton, UT

In seattle where the homeless are already coddled, and shelters abound, there are homeless activist groups that shun homeless shelters and demand that cities provide public lands where they can squat. It's called "Tent City" look it up. It's a whole culture being formed around vagrancy. And their intent was to get into every community in the area, not just big cities, and get right in your face about it.


This country under Obamas rule is becoming a joke if you break the law slip over the border into this country you are crowned. If you are jobless lose your home your money you are thrown in jail. And people do not have a problem with this... What has happened to this once great country...

Mcallen, TX

Many students don't do well in school, because they choose not to do homework or study.

Many, (not all) homeless people, choose to not do the things needed to provide. They made their choices, and now live with it.

People who took responsibility are looked at being greedy bigots.

Where do you draw the line?

Mesa, AZ

And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.

Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just.

But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.

Mosiah 4:16-18

Santa Monica, CA

Red Corvette--I've lived in Santa Monica for over twenty-two years. Lot's of homeless here because there are services to help them. I served in the armed forces during and I have a lot of sympathy for I know that many of them use the bus routes out of Santa Monica to go to the Veterans hospital. I know that a great percentage of others are mentally ill. I feel really lucky that I made it out of my time in the service without a drinking problem and it's tough to see guys who could have been my drill instructors or platoon commanders, who suffer from chronic problems and are reduced to a life on the streets. I don't know where you served or what branch you served in--but when you serve with good people, you feel their pain. As far as the mentally ill ones go--well, they're mentally ill and so I have sympathy for them. I just wanted you to know a couple of the reasons that some of us DO have sympathy for the homeless, because you seem to be so proud of having none.

Taylorsville, 00

@worf: That's a thought. What is the line between discouraging a destructive, self-determined path and adding a burden to someone that hadn't chosen their own misfortunes?

This is where collective, sustainable action becomes a proper help. An individual is going to be less effective in coming up with and maintaining help and paths for these people. It's going to be an effort beyond an individual's power. And to allow the problem to 'police itself' isn't a solution as it has too great a capacity to tear down local neighborhoods and raise crime.

This is why we came up with government and originally began to ask government to create groups that could address these things so that most people could continue to work and live in other productive ways. Have a group that comes up with and maintains pathways out of homelessness and poverty. Don't have it only be a stopgap, unsustained effort. Then we'll have a better idea of who needs help and wants it, and who prefers the lifestyle that requires them to panhandle or break into homes.

Salt Lake City, UT

Homelessness must be accepted for what it is, an unending problem that cannot be solved by providing temporary food, homes, or medical care. There has to be more efforts on the prevention of homelessness.

Taylorsville, 00

@Kitenoa: Poverty is an unending problem, but temporary 'make it through the day' solutions aren't unreasonable. We need long term solutions, prevention and short term help as well. Or to put it a different way, the human body's need for food is a continual problem, but we can't wait until we have perfection in years to come to start eating.

Casa Grande, AZ

Utah votes what 90% republican? So is that the republican answer to simply make being homeless illegal?


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