It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Street People

page: 1

log in


posted on Dec, 8 2008 @ 03:29 AM
source: Our Road To Awe

So you might have noticed that there are people who live on the street. Street people, in fact.

It seems that the overall consensus of people who live in houses is that the people living on the street represent a problem for society.

There is less of a consensus as to what should be done about the problem of the street people. Depending who you ask, perhaps we should rehabilitate them, give them job training, pressgang them, convert them to a religion, house them, incarcerate them, educate them, kill them, or some combination of those.

Obviously each of those options comes with its own set of difficult questions but most of those questions are boring from being asked over and over again and they all avoid the important question which is,

What if there's nothing wrong with living on the street in the first place?

We have -always- had street people in our cities. Based on this fact alone we should be hesitant to declare the phenomenon wrong unless we're prepared to declare something fundamentally wrong with humanity itself.
No doubt many people are ready to do that. Still, most of the arguments I've heard in favor of the worthlessness of humanity are arguments about the worthlessness of humanity in post-Roman Empire society, not the worthlessness of the human organism in itself.

The human organism has literally billions of years of experience under its belt in the art of living for free off of the environment. Compare that to its mere thousands of years of experience living in cities and towns, working at jobs, and consider that from a purely biological standpoint we are probably better equipped to live like street people than like office workers in apartments.
In the event of a total economic and societal collapse, we may find that the people who have already been living on the street are better equipped for survival. That makes the automatic reaction of revulsion and disdain that many experience at the sight of a homeless person seem a little backwards to me.

posted on Dec, 8 2008 @ 04:14 AM
Interesting points.

I do agree that living off of the land free of societal bounds has been in effect for centuries.

But the homeless guy on the street corner in Vancouver isn't farming or raising animals to support his lifestyle, nor are hundreds of thousands of street people.

The majority, while they do learn to subsist on extremely little by way of even the most basic necessities, are actually supported mainly by those of us who choose to dwell in homes/apartments rooming houses or hotels/hostels...etc etc. We (meant collectively and including churches, Advocacy agencies, Mental health Agencies etc) supplement them and the government does as well.

We (again meant inclusively) pay their way, either by donation or by waste.

If we suffer socially, for example famine...where will the street people get their food? We won't be generating waste in excess as we do normally. The government will be first and foremost helping those first and foremost with children, the elderly, the infirm...the street people will be close to last on the rung.

I have never met a street person yet in Vancouver, a city with a staggering population of homeless, who can support themselves entirely free of of supplements, in fact they rely almost exclusively on supplements from others.

This isn't the 1800's anymore and while a return to basics I have no doubt would be a damn good thing for the people in general, it just is not a reality nor a possibility in practice.

Even areas where a person may be able to squat...very unlikely that the majority of homeless actually have skill enough to survive truly independently. It's not what they learn on the street. they learn to survive, but not in terms of positive and proactive actions. they beg, steal, cheat, borrow, find and recycle goods and supplies that come from others.

They do not learn to plant seeds.
They do not learn to start fire without matches or lighters.
They do not learn to trap their own food or prepare it.
They do not learn to make their own fabrics or ropes.
They do not raise animals for food - most are transient and rarely stay put long enough to actually make an independent life.
Many work odd jobs when they need to, however being transient really limits what they can do gainfully. Cash jobs usually and extremely low pay, and again they are not independent if they have an employer. They may still be living on the street but not on their own terms.

They learn to avoid police.
They learn better and faster ways to break into homes and vehicles.
They learn where to sleep and how to avoid some trouble within their own community. (yes I am aware some rash generalizations appear and sadly all are true for MANY street people.) there are more but I didn't want to be too offensive

Also I realize you may be referring to a 1 or 2% portion of the street people who actually would not be described as street people if they in fact are living independently of any supplements.

Those who squat - usually form small communities and work together to get off and stay off the grid. They go into it knowingly and with education , skill and supplies of their own.

The 99% of actual street people are in the same oar-less boat as almost 80% of the populations who have no clue how to survive without modern "basics".

They will be no difference between street people and homed people in the event of a catastrophic event.

I dare say that the street people, will be worse off. nothing to barter. no skills. Mental health issues, addictions, rejection of authority and social responsibility (and that authority may actually be life saving if SHTF).

Personally I'd love to be off the grid...but living on the street is not true independence by any stretch.

And yes I am an advocate for those mentally ill, addicted and homeless, and I do have years of first hand experience working with them, living ina community filled with them, and having very close friends who were "street people".

It's not all it's cracked up to be. Not freedom in the least.

posted on Dec, 8 2008 @ 04:43 AM

Originally posted by justgeneric
Interesting points.

I do agree that living off of the land free of societal bounds has been in effect for centuries.

But the homeless guy on the street corner in Vancouver isn't farming or raising animals to support his lifestyle, nor are hundreds of thousands of street people.

Yes but you neglect to think why the street people aren't doing this.
Because a Nazi regime has hijacked a country and claimed all the land for itself.
Public land belongs to the public, who are the street people.
Yet if they started farming a piece of public land, they would be thrown off it, and there efforts confiscated.
Why not give a homeless person a piece of land each.
And see what they can make from it.

posted on Dec, 8 2008 @ 05:24 AM

Why not give a homeless person a piece of land each. And see what they can make from it.

WHAT??? yeah and how's about every hard working, gainfully employed, socially responsible person gets a chunk o' land too. LOL otherwise the street people will have some stiff competition when folks purposely go "homeless" to get this wonderful freebie.

I didn't say that society wasn't to blame for it's own mess and that includes the street people. We have to live with what we have.

I never said I liked it either. We're all bound by the same constraints and limitations was my main point.

And for those who do get off the grid by owning their own land...they too are just as much at risk of being booted off of it as the street person who squats. By your own definition of our nazi society.

And again I never said I liked that either.

posted on Dec, 8 2008 @ 09:08 AM
im going to go back and read everything as soon as i have the time but i must say 1st

"What if there's nothing wrong with living on the street in the first place? "

um yea, not sure about that one

yes there are some people who make it their "choice" to be on the street, but personally ive met lots of homeless "street people" and one thing im confident of, is that the majority of them arent happy in their situation, many have mental problems, drug problems, etc

i must say personally its my opinion that our situation is pathetic, i think the USA is really out of touch with their people

yes i know other countries are just as bad off and many are worse by leaps and bounds, but i truly feel that we shouldnt be doing a percent of the stuff we are doing overseas and in other countries while there is a single person who suffers from hunger and has no roof over their heads here in america

how do we as a nation wish to help others when we cant even help our own, we have programs and we set up shelters and food banks and what not, but when the leaders of these programs ask for more money, the people in charge say the moneys not there and they're spending too much already, and we have budget cuts, yet we go fight wars and drug wars and send billions overseas, when we could end probably half those overseas problems if we just addressed the situations at hand here in our own backyard

posted on Dec, 8 2008 @ 09:16 AM
reply to post by Dramey

what?? and deny the rich their wealth? are you crazy? people get killed for that. i'm going back in my hole.

posted on Dec, 8 2008 @ 08:41 PM
interesting points, all.

if anything, this points out the need for Space Exploration to get a kick in the ass, and hopefully, PLEASE, Obama might get to that by term 2, if the nation doesn't collapse.

why Space? LAND. there's LAND in space. open territory. all we have to do is go there.

you see, I would LOVE to be a pioneer, I actually KNOW how to be self-sufficient, and it really is impossible for anyone who isn't rich to go and buy land and do this sort of thing, especially because of the earlier mentioned point that if the government doesn't like what you do on your land, they'll burn it down like Waco or Ruby Ridge or the mormon place in Texas.

sure. I don't agree with what those people did either, but they owned the land, and if they want to do their own thing on private property, and aren't kidnapping anyone, then by all means they should be able to. on their own land.

as for street living being a worthy choice, I don't see how it's any different from people who enjoy simple living as opposed to working their butts off to be millionaires in the city- it's all about Aims and Games, you know. if that makes them happy, then so be it, just don't expect me to help them out if they are TRULY there by choice. if they just can't get anywhere but WANT TO, then they deserve my full attention.

at any rate, this one was written by my friend GwiddernTree, who coauthors my blog. I'll direct him to your comments.

top topics


log in