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Judge Orders Police To Stop Arresting 91-Year-Old Man For Feeding The Homeless

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posted on Dec, 6 2014 @ 11:42 PM
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a reply to: LABTECH767




In that locality a high percentage are probably illegal immigrant's who dumpster dive for food etc, a lare percentage probably suffer mental problem's also and there really should be a safety net to protect such people,

I agree. What do you do? Send them back to where they came from? Ok. Force them into a mental institution? Ok, but you can't do that.

Give them a place where they can get a free meal then hang out for the next 24 hours waiting for the next one? Ok. How does that help them get off the street? How does that protect them? How does that help the community?

It's a complicated problem with no one solution. Randomly handing out meals is nice but it does nothing to alleviate the situation.
edit on 12/6/2014 by Phage because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 6 2014 @ 11:48 PM
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a reply to: Phage



It's a complicated problem with no one solution. Randomly handing out meals is nice but it does nothing to alleviate the situation.


Yes it does. It alleviates their hunger...small steps. Big problems need big solutions but no one is coming up with those.

Just want to say, hope you are never homeless - and maybe this Christmas you'll find what you need! "Are there no prisons, are there no workhouses."


edit on 6-12-2014 by Maluhia because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2014 @ 11:51 PM
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a reply to: Maluhia
Thank you.
The same to you.



posted on Dec, 6 2014 @ 11:51 PM
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originally posted by: Phage

Randomly handing out meals is nice but it does nothing to alleviate the situation.


What's wrong with simply being nice?



posted on Dec, 7 2014 @ 12:04 AM
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a reply to: Bone75
Being nice is good. As I said, I try to "be nice" to the homeless I encounter. But it does nothing to actually help their situation. They're still there the next day, and the next.

In some circumstances it creates what is sometimes known as "an attractive nuisance." A place for the homeless to congregate. The homeless who, for one reason or another, have eschewed moving into a shelter. Do you think that the people who live in the community have no right to expect people to not be sleeping on the sidewalk? What about health concerns? Is sanitation a minor matter?

edit on 12/7/2014 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 7 2014 @ 12:10 AM
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a reply to: Bone75




What's wrong with simply being nice?


That's the point. Why is it wrong and punishable? We have become a such a "screw you if you can't make it" society when the odds are so stacked against basic hard working people - forget the fact that mental illness usually leaves you completely without a lifejacket. Compassion is what we are so lacking.



posted on Dec, 7 2014 @ 12:14 AM
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a reply to: Maluhia




Why is it wrong and punishable?

It's punishable because it is against the law.

Arguably, the violation was continued after multiple arrests more as a act of civil disobedience than an act of compassion. The point of civil disobedience is to bring a matter to the attention of the court.

It worked. A judge stopped enforcement of an existing law (sounds a bit like the immigration thing, no?). Let's see what happens next.



posted on Dec, 7 2014 @ 12:16 AM
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a reply to: Phage

Have you ever been to one of those shelters? If you have you would understand why even the worst of the destitute homeless avoid them. Believe it or not they are worse than living under a bridge, under a cardboard box, in a snowstorm.



posted on Dec, 7 2014 @ 12:25 AM
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a reply to: Maluhia



Have you ever been to one of those shelters? If you have you would understand why even the worst of the destitute homeless avoid them.

Yes, sort of a dormitory type atmosphere. They offer security, hygiene (toilets, showers), and food. They are not a home but they are far better than living on the street. They also require sobriety and do not allow illegal activity because anything otherwise would endanger all of the residents of the shelter. Some people will not, or cannot deal with such restrictive rules.

edit on 12/7/2014 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 7 2014 @ 10:32 AM
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originally posted by: Maluhia
a reply to: jude11



Having laws against helping those that are hungry is the most inhumane thing a society can have.


We have so many insane laws because elected officials' job is to make laws, so they have to come up with some ridiculous stuff so they can say "I was responsible for the passage of x number of laws - I'm looking out for you". What we need to do is change the job description!


You are exactly right.
If they don`t make laws,even laws that we don`t need,then they don`t have a job.

They way the system is set up almost guarantees that the end result will be a police state at some point.

They have to keep thinking of ways to justify new laws,and making new laws otherwise they are out of work.
I don`t think any politician is going to admit that currently we don`t need any more new laws and voluntarily give up their job.

I now understand why congress was a part time job when the country was founded.
full time law makers equals full time law making whether we need new laws or not.



posted on Dec, 7 2014 @ 11:23 AM
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Having spent many years living in Southern states after living in the North, I have noticed that authorities in the South treat homeless people and poor people worst than stray wild rabies-infected animals. Just my honest observation.



posted on Dec, 7 2014 @ 12:53 PM
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hmm....that's so bad and unfair. Things like this make me feel sad.



posted on Dec, 7 2014 @ 12:59 PM
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I hope you don’t feel like I’m picking on you with this post. You made a lot of good points and I wanted to address them to provide a different point of view.



originally posted by: Phage
There are such a thing as homeless shelters. Guess what? A lot of homeless don't like them because of the rules. Rules like no drinking or drugs. Rules like curfews.


Maluhia
Have you ever been to one of those shelters? If you have you would understand why even the worst of the destitute homeless avoid them.


originally posted by: Phage

Yes, sort of a dormitory type atmosphere. They offer security, hygiene (toilets, showers), and food. They are not a home but they are far better than living on the street. They also require sobriety and do not allow illegal activity because anything otherwise would endanger all of the residents of the shelter. Some people will not, or cannot deal with such restrictive rules.


The shelters can’t house the entire homeless population and in some cases there are rules which would break up families. The majority of the support comes from independent non-profit organizations (typically faith based). I live in the Dallas area. Dallas has a place called the Bridge and is known for being one of the more friendly places in the United States for homeless [I have read this but homeless people I talked too didn’t always agree]. Despite the support here, as of last census, IIRC there are 10 children under the age of 6 that are homeless with no family. I doubt they chose that life because they don’t like curfews or are hooked on drugs.

Of course, that doesn’t prove anything. My point is that I am convinced there are far less people refusing help than your statement implies due to curfews and restrictions. In my opinion the lion-share of the problem is lack of support, infrastructure, money, and safety (I wouldn't feel safe with my family due to the stabbings). I have drawn this conclusion from my own involvement and talking to the homeless population. I have directly talked to about roughly 1% of the homeless population here.

As a side note, here in Dallas the census is conducted by volunteers, police, and other officials who physically go and look for the homeless. The actual numbers are believed to be higher because they can’t locate everybody.


originally posted by: Phage
There are a lot of different kinds of people who are homeless. Giving them a place to congregate (for meals) and offering them nothing else may sound like a really nice thing to do but it does nothing to correct the problem of either the homeless themselves or the community.

www.homelessshelterdirectory.org...


I agree with this statement 100%, but that isn’t a good justification for not feeding them because there isn’t an existing viable alternative. This man would not feel compelled to feed them and we wouldn’t be discussing it otherwise. People starving trumps the other problems it creates.



originally posted by: Phage
Maybe in the portable toilets that the law requires those groups who are feeding the homeless within the law supply?


You have a good point, but should the burden be entirely on one individual who does not have the means? The set of people willing to help is small enough as it is. Is it wise to further restrict it with no long term solution in place? The sad reality is that the following basics are an issue whether this man feeds them or not:

1.) Hygiene
2.) A place to go to the restroom (they are often kicked out of public places many of us have access to)
3.) Transportation
4.) Shelter

Even in cases where the homeless have #4 the vast majority of them still don’t have #1, 2, 3 unless you expect them to sit in the shelter 24 hours a day. In other words, the part about the restroom is a problem either way. Personally, I think this man should provide portable toilets instead of food and he might be doing them a bigger service. The problem is that bad. And it is there whether he feeds them or not. I shudder the thought of having to sneak around into some back ally to defecate like a rabid animal because you were kicked out of everywhere else. We treat our prisoners better than this. Some homeless commit minor crimes in the hope of being put in jail because the conditions are much better.

Our lowest standards for how we treat people don’t even match up with how the homeless are treated. In fact a stray pet is likely to receive more support and better treatment.



originally posted by: Phage
Give them a place where they can get a free meal then hang out for the next 24 hours waiting for the next one? Ok. How does that help them get off the street? How does that protect them? How does that help the community?

It's a complicated problem with no one solution. Randomly handing out meals is nice but it does nothing to alleviate the situation.


You are right it is a complicated problem. However, it does alleviate the situation for the hungry, on that day for that meal, when every meal matters. That statement is only possible from a position of comfort. Until the community steps up to solve the problem then it will continue to exist, but we shouldn’t make it illegal to feed the hungry just because we refuse to devise a clever solution for a complicated problem or worse yet because some old man didn't bring a portable toilet with him. It only takes a bit of compassion balanced with with practicality to see my point.

Note: I'm not trying to imply you are not compassionate. There are other forms of potential disconnect but I do believe compassion is a necessary condition for understanding the problem.



originally posted by: Phage
Compassion is a great thing but handing out food under the wrong circumstances doesn't necessarily help the situation.


Would you rather have them starve than create an inconvenience? Until we find a system that works that is the alternative in some cases. We have a responsibility to develop a long term goal if we are going to use that as an excuse for our current inaction or as an excuse to do even less than nothing.



posted on Dec, 7 2014 @ 01:23 PM
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a reply to: compressedFusion

Great post. Thanks for contributing. It is a very complicated problem and just so silly to discourage small forms of help.



compassion balanced with with practicality


Both unfortunately are usually lacking in government solutions.



posted on Dec, 7 2014 @ 01:25 PM
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a reply to: compressedFusion

You have a good point, but should the burden be entirely on one individual who does not have the means?
He is not one individual. He is the President of the Love Thy Neighbor organization.
lovethyneighbor.org...



Would you rather have them starve than create an inconvenience? Until we find a system that works that is the alternative in some cases.
An inconvenience is it? No health concerns? No other concerns?

No, I would not rather they starve. I would rather that those who really need help get it. As I said, the acts of civil disobedience have served their purpose, brought to law to the attention of the court.
edit on 12/7/2014 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 7 2014 @ 02:19 PM
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When a simple act of kindness is made illegal, you may want to take a hard look at the type of society you're creating.



posted on Dec, 7 2014 @ 02:34 PM
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originally posted by: Phage
He is not one individual. He is the President of the Love Thy Neighbor organization.
lovethyneighbor.org...


I haven't followed this case closely. I wasn't aware he was part of an organization. I would agree with providing the toilets if they have the means. However, the responsibility doesn't lie completely with this man and his organization. If we are to deny this man the ability to feed them then the community inherits an extra burden of responsibility. I believe this statement holds true even if that denial is done lawfully. Enforcing the law does not absolve society of any extra responsibility inherited as a result of that enforcement.



An inconvenience is it? No health concerns? No other concerns?

No, I would not rather they starve. I would rather that those who really need help get it. As I said, the acts of civil disobedience have served their purpose, brought to law to the attention of the court.


My choice of the word inconvenience was two fold. I wanted to draw attention to the scale of our infrastructure compared to the resources devoted to solving the problems which amounts to very little. And my main point was that those concerns exist in full force despite this man's actions. His actions have a negligible or inconvenient effect on a problem that is already out of control. If people were helping this way en masse then the problems you are concerned about wouldn't exist. It would be on everybody's radar.


I would rather that those who really need help get it.


I want those who need help to get it as well, but it is not happening. You imply that it would create more problems to feed the homeless in this manner. I sincerely doubt this, but neither of us can truly quantify the effect. If you do have some additional information I personally would like to hear it. My mind is not set and I enjoy the opportunity to challenge my internal beliefs through discovery.

Until we can say with certainty I believe it is wise to have compassion and respect for life as a the foundation for making decisions (that and trial by iteration). Please note I'm not saying that blind compassion is the best course of action.



As I said, the acts of civil disobedience have served their purpose, brought to law to the attention of the court.

I also wonder if our definition of help is the same. There is the prejudice that a large percentage of the homeless population suffers from mental illness disproportionately to the average population. While there is a gap it seems to be less than 1/4th than the statistics I have read.

The reason I bring this up is because your statement about civil disobedience can be construed as a lack of empathy. Naturally they had two goals. They wanted to bring attention to the plight of the homeless and they wanted to feed them as well. It's not as if feeding the homeless was devised as a strategy to change the law. It came from a need to feed the homeless. I suspect this paragraph is superfluous and is likely a mischaracterization of your intent. Although I also suspect there is a kernel of truth as well.



posted on Dec, 7 2014 @ 02:52 PM
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a reply to: Maluhia

Thank you judge, your honor ( without sarcasm) for being a light and beacon of common sense and compassion. Wish more judges were like you.
edit on 7-12-2014 by th3dudeabides because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 7 2014 @ 03:47 PM
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originally posted by: Phage
a reply to: LABTECH767




In that locality a high percentage are probably illegal immigrant's who dumpster dive for food etc, a lare percentage probably suffer mental problem's also and there really should be a safety net to protect such people,

I agree. What do you do? Send them back to where they came from? Ok. Force them into a mental institution? Ok, but you can't do that.

Give them a place where they can get a free meal then hang out for the next 24 hours waiting for the next one? Ok. How does that help them get off the street? How does that protect them? How does that help the community?

It's a complicated problem with no one solution. Randomly handing out meals is nice but it does nothing to alleviate the situation.


All valid points Phage...

But Utah seems to have worked out a pretty good solution...


In 2005, Utah adopted a 10-year plan to end chronic homelessness. After nearly a decade, enormous progress has been made, with a 72 percent decrease in the number of the chronic homeless, from almost 1,800 to less than 500.

In one of the leading examples around the nation of counterintuitive thinking, Utah has been giving away apartments to the homeless. It is a program has actually saved Utah money. For each homeless person, estimates for emergency medical bills alone are more than $16,000 a year on average. Giving them an apartment costs about $11,000. And it has drastically reduced the need for emergency medical visits.

Outside of medical, various other costs, including legal and justice system costs are estimated to add another $20,000 to $30,000 dollars a year (depending on the location). Utah’s housing, and support for the individuals once they are residing in a home, cuts those total costs by over half, all-in-all, from about $19,000 a year to under $8,000.


Source

There are ways to do it, but it requires an investment, and there are returns for the right investments. Risk vs. Reward. It's not going to solve every homeless person's problem - there's no one-size-fits-all, but the way the homeless situation has been handled up to this point, something drastic needs to be done and Utah seems to be headed in a better direction than most.

~Namaste
edit on 7-12-2014 by SonOfTheLawOfOne because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 7 2014 @ 04:24 PM
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a reply to: SonOfTheLawOfOne

That's great, really good. A thoughtful and innovative approach which apparently has been working in Utah. Strange though, that "almost 1,800 to less than 500" seems to conflict with this report which cites a homeless population in Utah of 3,277 (in 2013). Oh, I see it's talking about "chronic homeless." In Utah that classification accounts for 3% of the homeless population. They showed a slight uptick in 2014 though. jobs.utah.gov...

I wonder what an apartment in Ft. Lauderdale would cost and how many are available. In any case, Florida on the whole has showed a pretty dramatic decrease, whatever they are doing.

The largest decreases in homelessness since 2012 were seen in Florida (7,308) and Colorado (7,014).

That's a 14% decrease for Florida. www.hudexchange.info...

Here's the 2014 report. Florida shows another strong drop (down 6,320).
www.hudexchange.info...

edit on 12/7/2014 by Phage because: (no reason given)




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