Cities crack down on homeless people across the United States

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  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    July 2, 2012 4:29 p.m.

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


  • DVD Taylorsville, 00
    July 2, 2012 8:18 a.m.

    @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.

  • Kitenoa Salt Lake City, UT
    July 2, 2012 7:52 a.m.

    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.

  • DVD Taylorsville, 00
    July 1, 2012 4:58 p.m.

    @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.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    July 1, 2012 10:52 a.m.

    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.

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    June 30, 2012 3:22 p.m.

    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

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    June 29, 2012 4:47 p.m.

    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?

    June 20, 2012 8:00 p.m.

    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...

  • raybies Layton, UT
    June 20, 2012 5:57 a.m.

    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.

  • Lyle Springville, UT
    June 19, 2012 3:29 p.m.

    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.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 19, 2012 9:44 a.m.

    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.

  • snowbird2020 Anderson, SC
    June 19, 2012 7:18 a.m.

    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.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    June 19, 2012 7:04 a.m.

    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.

  • lionofusa Los Angeles, CA
    June 19, 2012 2:01 a.m.

    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.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 18, 2012 10:47 p.m.

    Keep on rockin' in the free world...

  • Earl1066 Draper, UT
    June 18, 2012 10:14 p.m.

    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.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    June 18, 2012 9:00 p.m.

    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?

  • Phillip M Hotchkiss Malta, Mt
    June 18, 2012 7:42 p.m.

    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.

  • Brer Rabbit Spanish Fork, UT
    June 18, 2012 7:26 p.m.

    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.

  • ignoranceisbliss Salt Lake City, UT
    June 18, 2012 6:12 p.m.

    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!

  • ShaunMcC La Verkin, UT
    June 18, 2012 6:05 p.m.

    My experience has been remarkably different than those posted above. Yes, I have had a few refuse my offers of actual food or a trip to a restaurant, but most of those that I have offered to buy a value meal or sandwich have gratefully accepted and I have had the opportunity of visiting with them while we ate. One man had a wife who was pregnant and hiding in the bushes (not sure why) so we brought her a sandwich too. They were extremely grateful. I simply don't offer money, but I will offer food or a $5 gift certificate to a fast food place. They are cheap (only $5 - go figure) and easy to give. It is our place to assist, either individually or through charities, church or community groups. If we did what we should, the government wouldn't be involved and we wouldn't be spending endless tax dollars on bureaucrats that wring their hands and say they can't do anything for the homeless while they collect high salaries and drive expensive cars.

  • milojthatch Sandy, UT
    June 18, 2012 5:43 p.m.

    I'm not one to site Government over reaching normally. But this time, how can you not see it that way? How dare any level of government tell me who I can and can not help. When you then think about how many of the homeless population are Vets, it to me is worse then burning the flag in public. Shame on all of these cities!

  • Ronald Uharriet SWun City, Ca.
    June 18, 2012 5:12 p.m.

    Maybe we need a balanced approach.

    If we have the money to make the new said laws, and to try to enforce them, perhaps it might be better to use that same money to require that every county in evey state in the Nation have Homeless shelters where one can wash their clothing, take a shower, shave, brush their teeth, comb their hair, go to the toilet and look presentable so maybe they can find a job through the homeless shelter job placement center.

    Perhaps the government, through these centers can give employers insinatives to hire the homeless i.e. pay the workmans comp for the employer that hires the homeless. The employer pays the homeless a minimum wage to start with matching funds going to the homeless from the government.

    Perhaps through the homeless centers, we can offer free job training programs. Perhaps these centers could provide a legal place for the homeless to camp out and/or come inside on bitter cold or raining nights.

    Perhaps compassion for our homeless brothers and sisters is better than making criminals out of them. Give a free bowl of vegetable soup with a little protein and a little starch.

  • lqqk pocatello, ID
    June 18, 2012 5:03 p.m.

    There is a big difference between homeless and panhandling. I have seen people standing on the corner with a big dog. Get rid of the dog if you can't feed yourself what are you doing with a dog? I have also observed someone panhandling and then get picked up in a very nice car and leave. The several people I observed around town today all seem to be connected to each other. I think it is a business they are running on the corners. Something needs to be done about people holding their hardluck stories on every corner. Most of them probably make more on the corner than if they went and worked at K orW -mart or M-fastfood.

  • Ronald Uharriet SWun City, Ca.
    June 18, 2012 4:50 p.m.

    Sometimes I think we pick and choose the scriptures we choose to follow and ignore or rationalize away those that are not convient for us to follow:

    In as much as ye have done this onto the least of these my brethern, ye have done it onto me.

    Blessed are the poor.

    The good Samaritan and many more.

    The next thing you know, there will be laws passed that make it aginst the law to be hungry, or be sick, or perhaps die in the streets because nobody cares enought to help.

  • Julie gluten free mother SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    June 18, 2012 4:31 p.m.

    I love that "in New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently outlawed food donations to homeless shelters because the city can't assess salt, fat and fiber content." Wow, please don't let hungry people eat something less than nutritionally perfect. Better they go hungry.
    On the whole I am sick and tired of pan handlers. If they really need help I am one of the first who wants to help. But I totally believe there are many people making a fortune from the goodness of others. I would like to see it be easier to donate to agencies that will ensure the right people really get help.

  • PCRes Park City, UT
    June 18, 2012 4:31 p.m.

    Very Sad. We all need to get involved and resolve this CRISIS. The cities banning them are run by Democrats. But who really cares. Stop the political stuff and discuss solutions. Obviously, the government is not a solution provider!
    We need to find space that will house and provide a way to feed these people.
    Do need to eliminate the capability of begging. This is a way for the homeless to be used by others to collect money...not for themselves.

  • AZRods Maricopa, AZ
    June 18, 2012 4:31 p.m.

    redcorvette, aside from the fact that my black vette would eat your red vette for lunch...
    I'm very curious how you tie a national problem into an LDS subject.
    I'm also a little surprised that they let your comment through.
    I have found the exact results that proudutahn has listed.
    Many homeless, sign holders have no interest in getting a job. Nor do they want food.
    I have offered, in my ignorance, work and food for those who were asking for help.
    I have learned in my church experience, the wisdom of not handing out money.
    I've traveled internationally and found the same results among the poor who make our homeless look almost comfortable. Same results when offering to take them to get a good meal.

  • Trooper55 Williams, AZ
    June 18, 2012 4:26 p.m.

    I have come across a few homeless people since I have retired and most of them are looking for work and don't panhandle. Red Corvette doesn't know what he is talking about the homeless, and why they are that way. I for one do help out the homeless people when I can. I think people need to remember they could become homeless and then maybe they would sing a different tune, about people trying to make it in the hard times this country is going through, so before you judge them just remember the Lord will judge you he same way that yoiu judge.

  • perhaps Salt Lake City, UT
    June 18, 2012 4:26 p.m.

    Mike "Nanny" Bloomberg is worried about the fiber content of food donated to homeless shelters? I guess New York City deserves him.

  • sailhardy BOSTON, MA
    June 18, 2012 4:21 p.m.

    It is about time. While many are homeless through no fault of their own, that does not give them right to be in people’s way or begging in threatening manner. They do not have the right to take over public places, either. Yes, it would be better if cities could provide social services and shelters, but many do, and it is never enough. In fact, the more services there are, the more homeless people there are.

  • danaslc Kearns, UT
    June 18, 2012 4:15 p.m.

    Maybe we should help our American Homeless population in the same we we help those from other nations who come her against the law. That may help solve the problem.

  • Kosta Fesenko Chicken McNuggetville, UT
    June 18, 2012 3:22 p.m.

    I understand where they are coming from, but I still find it ridiculous to say to people "you aren't good enough to hang out on the streets! you bring our whole city down!" Or the classic "get a job, loser!"

  • ProudUtahn St. George, Utah
    June 18, 2012 3:20 p.m.

    There is always 3 sides to every story. "Your side, My side and the Truth" With the subject of homelessness there is a wide spectrum of truth. Those that are homeless by choice, those that act homeless to get gain and those that don't want to be homeless but realy are. In Salt Lake I have been yelled at for offering to take them to the grocery store or a resturant to feed them,
    there was a time all I had was a granola bar and no money and the idividual offered me a sandwich or apple from their back pack, then there was once only once that the person graciously accepted my offer we had a great visit on our way to the grocery store. In Las Vegas I was approached by a Women who needed to sell her dececeiced husbands diamond ring to feed her children, I got yelled at for offering a grocery cart of food she could keep the ring, turned out a gentelman behind me was a jewler and just laughed at her the ring was a fake.

  • Vaughn J Kearns, UT
    June 18, 2012 2:42 p.m.

    MAybe the politicians think the homeless will be convicted and sentenced to serving time. Now we the taxpayer will be forced to give to feed and house them rather than voluntarily giving. The cost will obviously escalate. The mayors should find ways to help these people to move up and off the street, not simply cause additional government costs in police, courts, and lawyers fees.

  • JediToby Tooele, UT
    June 18, 2012 2:22 p.m.

    Clearly, the people passing these laws have never been homeless for a week. It changes your perspective; it changes your life. If they had, they would not pass such wrongheaded legislation, for as one highly-skilled homeless person told me last week, "All these people, they have no idea how close they are to standing on the corner like I am."

    Homeless people are the epitome of libertarianism. They don't ask for government assistance, instead relying on their fellow man. They don't pay taxes and don't use services (unless you count parks as services). They carry no debt, for they have no collateral upon which to establish credit. Panhandling is as much a job as pouring concrete and more of a job than playing solitaire while watching your employees work.

    Don't judge our homeless before you've walked in their shoes. I'm told some generous people give very nice shoes out.

  • Whos Life RU Living? Ogden, UT
    June 18, 2012 1:20 p.m.

    Are these the same homeless that the Republicans keep on blaming for not paying their taxes?

  • owlmaster2 Kaysville, UT
    June 18, 2012 12:11 p.m.

    Shame on the people of any city that attempt to punish the homeless further.

    Use those resources to help them. Teach them. Help them gain skills to find jobs and for the Veterans that need psychiatric care, take care of them. A huge number of homeless are Vietnam and Desert Storm Vets. WE the people owe them help. Politicians declare war and then Politicians desert the ones that fought their wars.

    Shame on any of you that ignore or punish the homeless.

  • 1conservative WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    June 18, 2012 11:58 a.m.

    So......when police "cite" a homeless person, WHO'S gonna pay?

    Should we send them to jail? It costs about 150.00$ per day to house them at the jail.

    Some people think: "all we have to do is pass a law"----Problem solved.

    Sometimes people don't think things through very well!

  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC
    June 18, 2012 11:29 a.m.

    Unfortunate! We are becoming a dictatorship more and more everyday.