Originally posted by Jessicamsa
reply to post by intrptr
Did you ever have problems with the police while you were homeless?? Did you ever see any other homeless person having problems with the police?
Yes, but not like you would think. For the most part the "homeless" encampments were known by the police who basically laid off unless they received
complaints from the locals who were ALWAYS complaining about the damn homeless because they would see shopping carts or litter or someone broke into
their car, etc. Then the police would come and tell us to be careful or we would be driven out of there. Thing is that if someone in our little
enclave was creating a s problem, and it did happen, we would throw them out ourselves
If someone littered, we cleaned it up. And the shopping carts were left there by people on foot from the grocery store who dumped them and carried
their groceries home. We valued the bit of freedom and space we had and defended that because it was all we had. Kinda don't crap where you live or
eat, right? Cops knew that too and would go thru the moves of warning us, even though they knew the car breakins were by a gang of stereo thieves they
were looking for.
Sometimes the cops were breaking in rookies and would practice on us (for real) like a training academy or something. We would endure that as well as
a sort of price of admission. The cops also knew that if they didn't harass us that we would be more cooperative if and when a serious crime occurred
in the area like a murder or missing child, etc. They would cultivate that kind of symbiotic relationship as mutually beneficial. They knew who each
and everyone of us were and even checked up on us from time to time if someone was sick or needed anything. They were the only ones who did.
I spent 7 years outdoors and no one ever came where I was staying and offered me anything. Homeless programs, phooey. They are in word only. What was
available was minimal and usually charitable and you had to go get it yourself. For the most part we knew we were on our own. The other kind of
homeless person is a leach on govt resources sucking all that up and never getting "on their feet". It's easy to tell the difference. One hangs
out around homeless shelters generaly being a nuisance, the other is seen riding a bike hung with sacks of cans heading to a recycle center. Or
scraping metals and going to flea markets. They work hard all day reclaiming waste from garbage and generating money which they put back into society.
And their carbon foot print is almost non - existent. They do not need nor do they ask for your help. They are (in)dependent, not (de)pendent on
I even had a guardian angel of sorts who watched out for me when other cops ran my name on the radio to check me out when I was dumpster diving behind
buildings at night with flashlight and tools. He would come on and tell the officer I was a local and OK. Blew me away. I would cry. Took me a while
to establish that kind of rapore and I had to be always clean and alert to their presence. Others who did dope or stole stuff from behind buildings
whatever, did not last long. It was careful, or your out. Some times they wake you up and ask you to move on as in, not on my beat, etc. Some times
there was middle of the night harassment or searches... what are you doing here?, etc. For the most part they were human too and actually admired guys
like me who were independent of the system or "Free", like one cop used to tell me. One man said he would give a years pay to have what I had for
two weeks . What's that, I asked. Freedom, he said. I told him it wasn't all that glamorous.
I had more to worry about from other homeless or so called "civilized " people than I ever had to fear from the police. Thats my experience though.
Other people had addiction or mental health issues and traveled a different road. Things became more and more difficult as time went by too. After
9/11 they changed entirely. Thats when I came back indoors, and the policies of cities and their respective police departments have become altogether
different. Laws have changed as well as attitudes, I don't think I could coexist that way again, and operate freely like I used to. Everywhere people
and companies are a lot more suspicious of strangers (terrorists), even though that is a false paranoia. Its the homeless who are terrified of
society, not the other way around.
I knew and heard of lots of other peole who had more trouble with the police than I did, but they were as it turned out mostly a race issue (both
ways). That used to make me cringe. Or a drug or other criminal problem like I said. Those were interesting times. Sorry about the long wind. Thanks
for letting me vent.