This is a complex issue. First, I didn't see anyone post information on what the law actually states. That would be helpful. Is it a tax, or is
there some permit fee? If the latter, is this to insure that adequate measures will be taken for safety, sanitation, and so forth? Those are
important. In the area they choose to do this, what affect do the masses of people coming in for the food and supplies have on the homes and/or
businesses? In some cases, laws are set simply to encourage homeless people to move along to somewhere else, but we don't see the actual law, so it's
impossible to say in this case. Feeding these people, and handing out coats and blankets is great, of course, but have they tried working with the
city for some sort of special permit? If they can afford the food, the coats and blankets, and so forth, then they can surely afford some
portapotties, security, and the like. Right? There are criminals among homeless people. There are plenty with mental issues. Help doesn't have to
As for homelessness itself, that's complex as well. There isn't just one cause.
Many are homeless because they lost a job, through no fault of their own, or there was a problem with their housing, and it's closer than a lot of
folks want to think, to get to that point. Many who are homeless want to do anything they can to improve their situation. Those people can be
There are others who are homeless because of mental issues. These could be helped, but instead of reforming the mental care system, many were simply
tossed out, and are now on the streets. Many of these are indeed veterans, with PTSD issues and others, and that's a serious blot on the nation. If
we can afford to support the military, then we can afford to support the vets as well, all of them. This group can be helped, too, if sensible
changes are made to the system.
Then there is a third group. There are some who are homeless totally through their own doing. These could fall into a couple of groups. A small
number could be of a "hermit" type, and prefer to not be tied down by an address or whatever, just doing what they need to to survive. Then there re
some who actually expect someone else to take care of them. Not disabled, not crazy, just lazy and with a real sense of entitlement. I KNOW one like
that. Won't work, when he did, too nasty-mouthed to hold a job, or told the employers that their methods were stupid. Doesn't want to work to meet
needs, stating that they shouldn't have to pay for rent and food and things like light bulbs, and that their earnings should be for entertainment.
That sort, you cannot help. CANNOT. Worse, the total lack of gratitude when someone does try, coupled with stealing from those who try, make it even
harder to accept. Someone who will steal from friend and family, who expects all sorts of things, while never doing anything for others when they
were able, is the sort that give homeless people a bad name.
No, most do not fit into that third group, thankfully! However, in areas with a lot of homeless, there are issues. Higher crime, people using public
areas as toilets, homeless treating actual restrooms like a wild animal would, using the floor, etc, rampant drug use and drunkenness, and other such
problems do follow large groups of homeless people. Even if only a fraction are actually responsible, the average person sees this, and looks down on
the whole. To truly combat the issue of homelessness, every type needs to be addressed, with solutions that fit. There is no one size fits all
solution. Affordable housing is a start, and some sort of job is needed, for those that can work, and treatment for those with mental issues. As for
the jobs, make a law that no one with a green card can work if there is a homeless person that can do the job instead, who is a citizen. I am sure a
lot of homeless people would be happy to clean a hotel room to pay for a small place to live, but I have seen such positions filled by more
non-citizens than citizens. And, no, that isn't racist. That's a simple fact. Lawn care, restaurants, whatever - citizens first. We have to care
for our own before trying to care for people from other countries. As others have asked, how can we spend money to bring in and house people from
across the ocean, and not have money to house people right here?? Let's train the homeless, and get them jobs, first!
Next, treatment, real treatment, for the mentally ill. Some aren't capable of staying on needed meds, and these people should be in some sort of
caring treatment center. Not everyone that worked in these was, or is, some sort of uncaring bully. A very sweet aunt of mine worked in a mental
hospital for years. Some real oversight and good management, and people that need the care could get it. It isn't compassionate to turn someone into
the street instead of fixing a problem. Those that can manage with help need to be helped. All the welfare dollars, and we have this many homeless
people?? We can give free phones out, but we can't house someone? We can pay for health care for employed people, but not house someone, so they can
work? The system, as it is now, is set to reward the politicians, and to enslave the people. The homeless fall through the cracks.
Once those two groups are properly helped, the numbers left would be very small. The lazy sort wouldn't be able to hide behind the rest, and would be
seen for what they are, and end up forced to change to survive.
Another point is that not all places set up to help are doing their job. There may be some great shelters, staffed by great people, but there are
some that are not so great. I know of a case where people were told to come to a shelter, because of bad weather, and when they arrived, no one would
even answer the door to let them in. Expected, and that's what they found. I know of people in such a situation that had church members do nothing
to help. Shameful, that!
Nice, anyway, to see this group helping, and hopefully they can work out the issues with the city and make things better. Hopefully, they will
actually try to do so. There are ways people can help. A church I attended (in Texas, as it happens), many years back, spent weeks gathering all
sorts of clothing, used Sunday school rooms to store and sort it, and collected gifts and planned some light snacks. The event was broadcast to the
whole area widely, with flyers, balloons, etc, and all were welcome. No paperwork, no qualifying, just come. By the day of the event, the clothing
was sorted by sex, size, and, for children's stuff, by age as well. The toy gifts were wrapped and labeled for age and gender, as appropriate.
People could come (and come they did!!), sort through for whatever they needed, with helpers, and kids could get a gift, or even gifts. Some
collected them for family that didn't show. We didn't ask for proof; we just handed them out. Lots of nice professional clothing, good school stuff,
baked goods, and a ton of toys went out. It took a lot of work, and a lot of sacrifice, but it was really something special. Some of these kids, you
could tell wouldn't have much of anything.
The DePaul bunch (Catholic, in that case) always did, and I believe still do, a lot for those in need. They even work with businesses, getting
employees to participate. So, Texas isn't all bad.