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Here's What Happened When One City Gave Homeless People Shelter Instead of Throwing Them in Jail

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posted on Oct, 11 2014 @ 01:37 AM
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Wow, people in a staunchly Christian nation actually behaving like Christians should!

Are homeless people routinely arrested in the US for being homeless?




posted on Oct, 11 2014 @ 08:37 AM
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The fact that it cost more to administer a homeless person than it does to give them free housing, smacks of over administration and misallocation of funds, which is the biggest waist.
edit on 11-10-2014 by rom12345 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 11 2014 @ 09:28 AM
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a reply to: EasyPleaseMe

Yes and no. They are arrested for being homeless, but the excuse is that they are loitering on private property and harassing people. Or drunk in public. But in Santa Monica there are lots of homeless people who just camp out on the sidewalks. They aren't messed with. Cops leave them alone. Usually they are actually friendly. Often a bit crazy but friendly at least.

There is/was a homeless man in my neighborhood. Would always hang around this liquor store. Didn't drink but his encampment was a store or two over in the alley. The guy who runs the liquor store is a gruff old persian man. Usually untalkative and unsmiling with the customers. Well that old man hired this homeless guy. Paid him a normal salary, and didn't short him or pay him some sub wage. Paid him what he paid all of his other employees. Turns out the old man was actually a pretty nice guy. So don't judge a book by its cover.

Anyways, this homeless man worked hard, and soon he was getting nearly 40 hours a week of work. Always did a good job. I would go into the liquor store and see him over the months. His health improved, his skin, his outlook on life.

So after almost a year of watching this I go into the liquor store one day and I see him buying beer. The owner wanted to just give it to him, he refused and wanted to pay. I went up to him and said "hey man! I thought you didn't drink" He responded " I'm celebrating tonight!"

I asked him why? "It's my birthday!" he responded. and then after some silence and a pause I saw a tear well up in his eye and he says to me almost in a half broken soft voice, just choked up a bit and goes " I just realized it's the first time I've celebrated my birthday indoors in 5 years" Turned out he had rented his first room about a month ago and was now no longer homeless but paying his way renting a room at a decent looking house down the street by someone in the community who took a chance on renting a room out to a homeless man trying to right himself again.

Just went into that same liquor store last night. He's still working there. Still keeping a roof over his head and even got himself some new kicks. Nowaays he spends his time in between shifts talking with his boss (the old persian man that everybody thinks is mean, cause they never took the time to get to know him) about coin collecting, standing side by side behind the counter looking at coin collection books and catalogs. An old former homeless black man standing 6'3" beside a old persian man standing 5'3" laughing and pointing at coins they hope to find and add to their personal collections. Smiles from ear to ear on both.

So there are ways to help the homeless. Arresting them is usually not the answer and only makes the situation worse. (Granted some do need to be arrested) I applaud and support the decision this city has made and am thrilled at how effective it has been in both helping their local budget, reducing homelessness and ultimately decreasing the net pain and suffering going around. And its not just a "christian" thing. the persian guy in my story is jewish, and the black guy was an athiest.
edit on 11-10-2014 by BASSPLYR because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 11 2014 @ 09:59 AM
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a reply to: Blue Shift

"they could get the Russians to build a camp. Relocation costs would be the biggest expense, but after that, these homeless people could be housed for a fraction of the cost."

I do hope you were being sarcastic. Since this is what "forced residential camps" look like in Russia:

en.wikipedia.org...
RUSSIAN GULAG
"The Russian Gulag was the government agency that administered the main Soviet forced labor camp systems during the Stalin era, from the 1930s until the 1950s... The Gulag is recognized as a major instrument of political repression in the Soviet Union, based on Article 58 (RSFSR Penal Code).

"Several Soviet dissidents wrote about the continuation of the Gulag even after it was officially closed. Among them, Anatoli Marchenko (1938-1986), who actually died in the Gulag, demonstrated in his writings that the Soviet gulag had not ended with Joseph Stalin. Similar testimonies came from Soviet dissidents Vladimir Bukovsky, Yuri Orlov, Nathan Shcharansky, all of them released from the Gulag and given permission to emigrate in the West, after years of international pressure on Soviet authorities."



posted on Oct, 11 2014 @ 10:31 AM
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originally posted by: Fylgje
if you can't take care of yourself then it's possible signs of mental illness mixed possibly with drug/alcohol abuse. If you're found living, for example, under a bridge, then that person should be taken to a mental facility and evaluated. If it's deemed that you cannot care for yourself, then the facility will.

You really have zero clue, don't you? I agree with BH, your post is damn offensive. I didn't want to be a homeless teenager, and my mom didn't want to be a homeless parent. A lost job, and an ARM adjustment on the house eventually led to that. No one had the money to help out, so we were screwed when her savings dried up. There was never any open beds in shelters -- they didn't have enough beds OR shelters back then to begin with for everyone -- and the best we could do before someone's landlord would look the other way while we stayed there was to sleep in parks, parking lots, on the beach. That's not a sign a mental illness, it's when the world crumbles down around you out of your control & you can't catch a break. It takes time to climb back out of rock bottom, whether you think so or not. I'd like to continue on, but the T & C prohibits what else I have to say to you. Thanks for lumping people like me & BH who've had experience with homelessness in with the mentally ill. Gotta love the implied insult.


I'm still as impressed with SLC's results with this program as I was when I first posted earlier in the thread. They really are giving people hope with the help, and that is worth a lot more than you think.



posted on Oct, 11 2014 @ 10:35 AM
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a reply to: JanAmosComenius

Thanks for your reply.

(Even the FBI had problems finding computer genuises to hire who were) "at least 3 years clean". I didn't say that its now permitted to smoke in its cubeland. I just pointed out that not every pothead is unwanted even in the eyes of top government agency."

I can understand the dilemma. But I'd think a responsible Gov. agency would need some kind of controls, either "3 months clean" to start the job, and/or random tests where the THC in their blood has to be below a determined threshold before it seriously affects their thought processes and decision-making.

A big part of working in Intel (like the FBI) is having a strong and moral enough character as to not be subject to bribes, manipulation to drunkenly spill secrets, or stupidly believing that the super-model at the party finds you alone SOOOOOOOOO attractive.

These are known counter-intel tactics targeting enemy agents, and they've worked since the beginning of Time. And if an Intel Agent is a full-force, unrestricted pot-head, his/her decision making skills are always impaired, and even "malicious friends/acquaintances with an agenda" can manipulate them. And when bad personal-decisions wreck their finances, then the chief reason "Good Agents Go Bad" rears its ugly head - m.o.n.e.y.

"But not every work is from 9 till 5 and not everybody needs to stay sharp all the time."

Oh really? Well, personally, I don't want to go into a Big Box store when it opens at 7AM, and see a dazed employee who just took his last maryjane puff 3 minutes before Clocking In, barreling toward me on a forklift. Any more than I want to think a gov. Agent or Soldier or Policeman/Fireman or Surgeon has been up all night smoking pot, before responding to my personal "life-threatening situation." These are difficult, dangerous jobs with great public trust, and if that trust is violated by the loss of innocent lives, that pot-head will be held accountable. Which won't bring back those innocent lives, nor help the public's getting-shakier-all-the-time trust in public officials.

Also, I'm not legally qualified to get into the "personal rights versus the rights of the law abiding public" argument. But generally speaking, once one becomes a criminal or predator - even a "non-responsible" claiming pot-head who made a "responsible choice" to consume substances that lowered his thoughts/reactions below the threshold to safely operate dangerous machinery or make important decision - and "physical public harm" results, then the victims' rights trump the criminal-predator's "rights." Every time. And you'll either be demoted to work in a closet on a motherboard-computer with your smartphone as a monitor - or flipping burgers the rest of your life.

It's like some decent guys in prison after a bar fight, where they don't even remember killing someone. Their life/career/relationships are altered forever. A little personal responsibility goes a long way. And in a free society especially, where we're always tripping over someone else's "rights" up against our own "rights", people need clear thinking more than ever. You want to smoke pot? Do it in the privacy of your home, and don't smoke so much you are dopey, reckless and incapable of making intelligent and responsible decisions the next day.


edit on 11-10-2014 by MKMoniker because: clarification

edit on 11-10-2014 by MKMoniker because: clarification, typos

edit on 11-10-2014 by MKMoniker because: typo



posted on Oct, 11 2014 @ 11:13 AM
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a reply to: Meee32

"So they created the problem they are now claiming to have solved, a nice way to usher in socialism and have you all begging for it and saying what a marvelous idea it is XD."

Like most western civilizations, the U.S. casts a wide social net. It's called directed-compassion. There are parts I don't like either, like endlessly extended unemployment benefits, when studies show most people don't even start looking for a job until their unemployment is about to run out. But I DO want to see the children from poor homes fed up to three meals a day at school, since schools figured out that kids who are starving can't concentrate or learn.

You want REAL socialism? Think subsidized/restricted everything to support a gazillion middle-men, so there's low employment - and a banana costs $10. Orphans are put into institutions with oatmeal for three meals a day, instead of Foster Care in real homes. Everyone hates the government but can't vote - or the elections are rigged, and their votes don't count. (Well, yeah, we're already there with Team Obama - but not the rest I listed!)

Besides, the biggest push to "round up the homeless" comes from store and restaurant owners, since the homeless are begging from their customers and present an unwelcome sight sitting on the curb before their establishment. These are usually the "homeless" who get arrested first. For most homeless, they are just an eye-sore, with tent and cardboard cities beneath overpasses, or sleeping under bushes in residential areas near some kind-hearted but mis-understanding souls who feed them sandwiches every night.

I've seen half-hearted approaches, from a city paying for a postal mailbox or website so the homeless can contact relatives or potential employers. Most of these "experiments" were eventually abandoned - due to little use by the homeless. Most hardcore homeless just can't get it together enough to find their own way out of the labyrinthe of homelessness. And then there's Hawaii's explosive solution to their homeless problem: each homeless person can sign up for a free plane ticket out of Hawaii - one way only. (Los Angeles and Seattle did NOT like that idea!)

But the bottom line is that most homeless need serious intervention to stabilize their lives, and that starts with housing. Even if they live in a halfway house the rest of their lives, it gets them off the street and into a stable environment. This is one social net problem where everyone wins - homeless and society.
edit on 11-10-2014 by MKMoniker because: clarify and typos



posted on Oct, 11 2014 @ 11:59 AM
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a reply to: FyreByrd

Great thread, one slight correction: the monolithic and isolated institutions for the mentally ill were closed in the last century, primarily because the emerging idea was "group homes" within communities. The residents could live closer to relatives, for more visits. And could get better individualized care using that community's resources, with help from Fed funding.

This "community-based" idea has now moved into drug addiction. Texas closed prisons by rewriting some sentencing laws, and petty criminals who were repeat offenders for just using/selling small amounts of drugs, were sentenced to "group homes" within communities - instead of prisons. They got better individual medical and counseling help in a less crowded environment, and could stay in their "home" communities with relatives close by.



posted on Oct, 11 2014 @ 02:22 PM
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originally posted by: Cuervo
a reply to: FyreByrd

Another example of how curmudgeonry and miserliness is strictly for giggles and is not truly part of a smart fiscal conservative game.

People that tout that logic (the screw you, I got mine, bootstraps, rabble rabble, git off mah lawn types) often don't understand they are shooting themselves in their collective foot when they shoot down any discussion of creative solutions like this.

If you keep stomping on the poor and letting them starve, they'll continue to be a drain. You give them housing and a foothold, they'll be your future customers, lining your pockets. All the while, saving you money. Upward mobility from the bottom of a well is a myth. Trickle-down is a myth. You need to have a base or everything will trickle down into a flat mud puddle, including the rich folks.

Bravo, Salt Lake. Can't stand being in that city but they just went up a few notches on my respect board.


That was by far the best post I've read for a while. I'd give you a medal but all I can offer is a case of nuka-cola.

I'd add more to the post but I'd just be echoing your sentiments.



posted on Oct, 11 2014 @ 05:15 PM
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a reply to: FyreByrd

I've asked one person on this site who said she'd been homeless what should be done about the existing homeless who are mentally ill/addicted and she didn't respond. Now I'll ask the same question to anyone on this list who has been homeless. Yes, I know that preventing people from becoming homeless is the ideal solution but I'm asking about those who are already homeless. The problem seems to be that the mentally ill and serious addicts can't function well enough to avoid being evicted. Solutions?



posted on Oct, 11 2014 @ 05:58 PM
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a reply to: ArchPlayer

I am Hispanic, although yes I am white, and have been to Utah and never experienced any racism towards me. Many of my friends are from Utah, and Wyoming. I have lived in Wyoming and my job took me to several states and many small and large cities. For the most part most people are very friendly. You will always find some people that are racist, and yes I have seen a few, but they are for the most part the exception to the rule.



posted on Oct, 11 2014 @ 05:58 PM
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How about they just let people get a #ing job.



posted on Oct, 11 2014 @ 06:06 PM
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originally posted by: onequestion
How about they just let people get a #ing job.


You don't know what could be the reasons for these people being homeless. It could be that most of these people don't have the technical skills to apply to most jobs that are available. Some homeless people might have a mental disorder that would impede them from acquiring and keeping a job. We simply don't know why those people are homeless.



posted on Oct, 11 2014 @ 06:36 PM
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originally posted by: ElectricUniverse

originally posted by: onequestion
How about they just let people get a #ing job.


You don't know what could be the reasons for these people being homeless. It could be that most of these people don't have the technical skills to apply to most jobs that are available. Some homeless people might have a mental disorder that would impede them from acquiring and keeping a job. We simply don't know why those people are homeless.



Studies have already shown that a huge percentage of homeless people have mental and addiction problems. The question is how to get them off the streets and keep them off the streets if they are unable to behave in such a way that they won't be evicted from housing.



posted on Oct, 11 2014 @ 11:48 PM
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Not to brag but I often day dream about being president of my country and one of the ideas I have come up with have been housing projects such as this. Its really not that hard to see how such projects would eventually be of benefit for the economy and the whole social construct, in fact, I would say is quite obvious actually, so I don't get why more cities/governments aren't spending time in engineering these sort of projects instead of wasting everyone's money by declaring a war to drugs and nonsense like that.



posted on Oct, 12 2014 @ 12:12 AM
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originally posted by: Tangerine
a reply to: FyreByrd

I found this information about the Salt Lake City project (July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013): 73% of the homeless in the study had barriers to permanent housing. The barriers were defined as mental illness, domestic violence, etc.. Interestingly, drug and alcohol addiction was not listed separately and likely is included under mental illness. I don't understand why domestic violence (although clearly it could be a cause of homelessness) would remain a barrier to permanent housing. It might mean that the victims of domestic violence were too afraid to stay in one place where they could be found by their abusers.

At the end of the year 53% of the people in the study were listed as exiting to permanent destinations. It is unclear what this means although I'll assume that it means "permanent" housing. Thirty-nine percent were listed as exiting to other destinations (institutional settings, deceased, family and friends). Eight percent were listed as exiting to homelessness.

I wish the study had done a better job of defining its terms. For example, referring to "exiting to permanent destinations" suggests permanency although the study does not offer any supporting evidence to prove this permanency. If 73% of the homeless in the study have barriers to permanent housing, how do 53% obtain permanent housing? Reading between the lines, many of them will not be able to stay in permanent housing long term.

jobs.utah.gov...


Thanks for sharing, to bump that up with added info: I talked to someone who was in SLC, their they were seeking help with their homeless issues. To keep it short and less personal: They were basically turned away, almost to say as if they didn't fit the mold for being given help from that area.

Seems like the news is making all of this seem positive when it is really not.



posted on Oct, 12 2014 @ 12:18 AM
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originally posted by: onequestion
How about they just let people get a #ing job.


I know formerly homeless people, a few quite well. It's almost impossible to get a job, any job, when you are homeless, have no address or phone or access to internet, no place to wash clothing/self properly and have no or very limited transporation.

Temporary shelters don't provide any of the above needed items for seeking and finding work, they only provide a cot and maybe a meal for one day.



posted on Oct, 12 2014 @ 12:39 AM
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a reply to: FyreByrd

Thinking about this, I've seen people I'm familiar
with losing their home, or being evicted and most
don't end up on the streets. Because they have people
who love them and/or want to help them thru a bad spot.
I feel bad for the homeless because it's obvious they had
no one.



posted on Oct, 12 2014 @ 12:41 AM
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originally posted by: Tangerine
a reply to: FyreByrd

I've asked one person on this site who said she'd been homeless what should be done about the existing homeless who are mentally ill/addicted and she didn't respond. Now I'll ask the same question to anyone on this list who has been homeless. Yes, I know that preventing people from becoming homeless is the ideal solution but I'm asking about those who are already homeless. The problem seems to be that the mentally ill and serious addicts can't function well enough to avoid being evicted. Solutions?


There are many I can imagine. Home health care, social worker visits, etc. However all possible solutions to these specific (mental health and/or addiction) required skilled care by a paid case worker with the time and resources to do the job and in this 'era of austerity', I have trouble imagining the poliitical will being available to anything other then endless war and killing.

Helping the mentally ill and addicted outside of jails and prisions, even with personalized human care, would still be less expensive and of benefit to the community in the long term.

Just because you cannot imagine solutions doesn't mean that solutions don't exist And requiring a solution to be perfect isn't necessary. Both these persistant 'thought forms' are unproductive to individuals and groups.

In the US there is a terrible lack of imagination and experimentation in the social welfare domain because of narrow and close minded thinking. We, in the US, encouage creativity in the areas of killing and destroying life but not promoting health and well-being of people and the bioshpere. If we look to nature as a guide (and we don't) only half of her energy is put into dissolution and decay the other is put into growth and abundance.

We need to start emulating the contructive forces of nature instead of the distructive ones and that begins with the way we think and act.



posted on Oct, 12 2014 @ 12:46 AM
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originally posted by: MKMoniker
a reply to: Blue Shift

"they could get the Russians to build a camp. Relocation costs would be the biggest expense, but after that, these homeless people could be housed for a fraction of the cost."

I do hope you were being sarcastic. Since this is what "forced residential camps" look like in Russia:

en.wikipedia.org...
RUSSIAN GULAG
"The Russian Gulag was the government agency that administered the main Soviet forced labor camp systems during the Stalin era, from the 1930s until the 1950s... The Gulag is recognized as a major instrument of political repression in the Soviet Union, based on Article 58 (RSFSR Penal Code).

"Several Soviet dissidents wrote about the continuation of the Gulag even after it was officially closed. Among them, Anatoli Marchenko (1938-1986), who actually died in the Gulag, demonstrated in his writings that the Soviet gulag had not ended with Joseph Stalin. Similar testimonies came from Soviet dissidents Vladimir Bukovsky, Yuri Orlov, Nathan Shcharansky, all of them released from the Gulag and given permission to emigrate in the West, after years of international pressure on Soviet authorities."


An interesting historical note on "relocation costs would be the biggest expense". The nazis in world war II used the world 'relocation' as code for 'sending to the gas chambers'.




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