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“There but for the grace of God…”

9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

10 But by the grace of God I am what I am:

1 Corinthians 15

We see them everywhere now as they have proliferated around us in sunlight and in shadow. We see them in the corners of our eyes as we drive about on our daily errands or commutes. If we live out of the zone where they drift and gather we hear of them or see them in the reports that inevitably come to our attention.

Last week as I drove across the vast and stained and empty parking lot of the failed and shuttered K-Mart I saw a pair of legs in grease-stained pants sticking out from beneath a thick unkept hedge surrounded by concrete strips and parking spaces. A large dog of a variegated color sat beside him keeping watch, guarding. He did not move and I could not, from my distance away from the dog, tell if he was breathing. I watched closely for a minute and he did not move. The dog watched me with a calm demeanor. I learned long ago to never trust a calm dog.

Instead, I called the police and animal control for what is happily termed “a welfare check.” Dog was controlled and police interviewed subject after shaking him out of his oxy daze. He was, it would seem, just taking a deep nap on a traffic island. Really? Yes. Doesn’t want help just wants to nod out. It’s his job it seems. Let a man lie back down to work.

You feel them everywhere now. You don’t know what would work to gentle their condition. You do know that all that has been tried and all the treasure that has been applied has all… all come to naught. The disease is complex, multifaceted, and long ago metastasized into the body politic and that body has become both swollen with resources and grossly overinflated; it is as if one could transform a condom into a blimp and call the city protected. It’s a hallucination of course but in this era a politically correct hallucination trumps reality. Just how delusional the disease has made the body politic is seen in the latest fashionable “final solution” to this implosion of the social order; the hip answer to these piles of human detritus strewn along the sidewalks and boulevards of our cities…Tiny Houses.

Tiny houses! Housing like some sort of shells that hermit crabs can just pull themselves into. Housing that comes to the houseless rather than the other way around. Houses so tiny they can make whole Pop-Up Thieves’ Neighborhoods in the vacant lot down the block. Come one come all for your Tiny House! And better yet for the homeless, they are free! Better still next year all citizens that own a house will be required by the state to accept one Tiny House! on their property with kitchen and bathroom access. Step right up! Get yours!  You’ve taken a fall to the bottom and now we shall lift you up. Just lie back down to work. Don’t fall.

As a man like myself grows older one thing you slowly recognize as the first and last thing to fear in old age is The Fall. The mistake that precipitates The Fall is the mistake one takes care never to make. You take your time. You grab the handrail. You watch, you always, watch your step. You know — that having done everything right — you won’t fall when the fall is all. That’s what they thought too.

You see them everywhere now. Their fall scares you more than any slip getting out of the bath. Their fall frightens you worse than your hip failing. Their final fall is the fall that frightens you most of all.  Even if it does come with a Tiny House!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Gordon Scott March 24, 2021, 3:56 PM

    In the Twin Cities, they plan to put tiny houses in a warehouse. I suppose the houses will not need heating and cooling, then. Heating is the big deal, here.

    The original plan was tiny apartments surrounding a central bath area. Now I know that won’t work, because many of these folks will just piss out the front door of their apartment. If one adds running water to a tiny house in a warehouse, well, it’s an expensive plumbing job, but it could work.

    About 18 months ago, the owner of a hotel that was supposed to be high end, but had failed at that aim, invited all the homeless being evicted from a big campout. It lasted a week, with dealers roaming the halls and folks shooting up anywhere they pleased. So the chastened owner kicked them out. They left, taking the bedding, radios and TVs with them and leaving, as always, truckloads of trash.

    That’s how the homeless resemble pipeline protesters most. Both generate about triple the trash of a similar number of housed residents. Oh, and if the AIM (American Indian Movement) Patrol shows up to police the camps, realize that they are lying, lying turds. They control who can live there and who cannot, and drug dealers are welcome as long as they pay for access.

  • Gordon Scott March 24, 2021, 4:03 PM

    Oh and why can’t Elon Musk invent a belt that old farts like us can wear. It would detect a fall happening, and instanly inflate an air bag to cushion our impact.

    Before anyone says the detection tech doesn’t exist, it does.

    Computer hard drives installed in laptops have had it for at least a decade. A sensor recognizes that the unit is in free fall, and the read/write head on the hard drive parks itself. Thus it does not damage itself or the disk when the laptop strikes the ground.

    Imagine many fewer broken hips! That would be a breakthrough.

  • Teresa Pittman March 24, 2021, 4:11 PM

    I have learned, through Twitter, that if they take over your property, it just sucks to be you. I tried to explain to them that it is pointless to pay for sewage dumping for those living in RVs, because they prefer to just dump it on the ground. But those that don’t have to deal with them are so much wiser than me, I guess. I am going to let the county foreclose on the place. I’d like to clean it up and sell it, but I’d have to spend my money to find a lawyer to go to court to have them officially removed. Then I’d get to pay to clean it all up.

  • OneGuy March 24, 2021, 5:54 PM

    It isn’t really a homeless problem. That is a symptom. It is a drug problem. If you give them a place to live they will just destroy it. You might as well flush that money down a toilet. The law should require that they be arrested and placed in a work camp for a month or two every time they are caught. The shock of drying out without their drugs and alcohol month after month will either kill them or cure them. Either way they will be off the street and it will be a safer and healthier environment for tax paying citizens.

  • Tom Hyland March 24, 2021, 6:01 PM

    “Next year all citizens that own a house will be required by the state to accept one Tiny House! on their property with kitchen and bathroom access.” Gerard, please explain. Is this really happening? In California? Every homeowner who has a yard will supply space for a Tiny Home?

  • Vanderleun March 24, 2021, 6:34 PM

    Not to my knowledge Tom but it is a fair extrapolation from the present state.

  • Tom Hyland March 24, 2021, 6:48 PM

    Tucker Carlson summarizes the invasion upon our southern border in this 13 minute video. Hundreds of thousands of people, unskilled, can’t speak English, are entering the US, a country with no jobs and it’s own massive homeless population as the above video illustrates.

  • ghostsniper March 24, 2021, 7:14 PM

    I’m 66 and last year I fell. I was surprised how hard it took the wind out of my sail. Been 10 year or more since the previous fall.

    Was standing on the 3rd step of a stepladder installing 4’x8′ 1/2″ plywood on the ceiling, first sheet. I got the plywood up there with both hands and the nailgun hanging on my belt. Shifted to where I was right in the center of the plywood and holding it up against the bottom chords with one hand, nailgun in the other hand.

    Had to lean way out to the right to use the nose of the nailgun to guide the edge against the wall and into the corner. I was leaning way out, too far out, cause the nose of the nailgun must be almost exactly perpendicular to the surface in order to fire. I was using my Paslode cordless nailer with 2.5″ nails.

    With most of my weight out on the right side, the ladder decided to shift and slid slightly to the left. This caused me to overcorrect, weightwise, and now the ladder was thrown to the right at the top and to the left at the bottom. I let the plywood go and twisted in midair to reactively land so that my weight was spread out over a wide area.

    That nailgun cost $400 so I held onto it the whole way down, which, “all the way down” only lasted about 1/2 a second. My right shoulder hit a pneumatic tire on a hand truck sitting there and that additional twisting effect is what did me in. And then the plywood landed on me.

    Oh dear. Ever feel the edge of plywood? It’s merciless. My right arm, the one with the nailgun, went behind me and I landed on it. That’s not a normal position for an arm. But I didn’t slam my skall on the concrete slab. Pshwew. So I just laid there for a bit, assessing what the damages were.

    No blood. Well, not much. I mean, no severed arteries and such. But my right shoulder hurt like hell, and my left shin was tore up from the edge of the plywood and that burned hard and it was bleeding. All in all, it wasn’t too bad. Until the next day. I felt like the incredible hulk kicked my ass. Could barely move. Breathing ached. I was in bad shape.

    So I took a couple days to recoup and thought of a way to do it better. I made a “T” out of 2×4’s that was almost 8′ tall and that sufficed as a 2nd set of hands to do what I tried to do alone. Worked great and in a couple days the job was done. YAY! Hopefully it will be at least another 10 years before I fall again.

  • Auntie Analogue March 24, 2021, 8:24 PM

    The sense of entitlement expressed by these people is gobsmacking: “Gimme gimme gimme gimme gimme.”

    Take over entire streets, take over a public park and to hell with the public – the taxpayers – who pay for the streets and the park and want to use the streets and park and do not wish to have to navigate the shambles the homeless made of the streets park, and do not wish to bring their children through or into a clusterfuck of drug-taking, drug-dealing, filth-spreading “Gimme gimme gimme” homeless parasites.

    The problem isn’t a “homeless” problem. The problem isn’t a “drug problem.” The problem is the Left-liberals who used lawyers and courts to do away with state institutions and thus with those institutions’ mandatory medical professional administration of the correct medicines and other medical care for the mentally ill, thus imposing tens of thousands of those institutions former residents on the public in places that were meant for the public to enjoy for commerce and for enjoyment – that’s how far the “extrapolation” has now gotten.

    The cost to taxpayers of what passes for “caring” for the homeless out in the public is astronomical compared to the much lower cost of mandatory institutionalization of the mentally ill, and the suffering that de-institutionalization inflicted on the mentally ill thus made homeless is unconscionable because institutionalization greatly alleviated their suffering. The cost of de-institutionalization to the fabric of society is just as bad – it’s yet another evil imposed upon us by the do-gooders as T.S. Eliot observed, “Most of the evil in this world is done by people with good intentions.”

  • greg March 24, 2021, 8:35 PM

    Homeless people I have gotten to know, Pueblo, CO.

    Richard is a panhandler who worked adjacent to the Sonic drive in I was involved with. The owner told me about Richard. One day Richard approached me and asked if he could borrow my phone. I said sure if he would let me interview him.

    He talked just like a cheech and chong movie. How much money do you make Richard over on the corner? Oh man, I can maaaakkkke like $240 in a few hours if the cops will leave me alone. Really? That much? Well depends how long I can stay there. Where do you live Richard? In alley, or something? Noooo Waaaaay maaan. Right there in one of the apartments.

    What? Apartment? How?

    Hey maaaan, I am schizophrenic. Messed up. I get ssi disability, but my mom she keeps all the money, pays the bills and won’t let me have any.

    So Richard what do you do with the cash?

    I buy cigarettes, snacks and booze. Got to have a little fun man.

    Ok Richard here’s my phone, who you going to call?

    My sister maaaannn. I going to call her to pick me up.

    For what?

    Maaannn to go for a ride, I want to go for a ride.

    Sister doesn’t answer phone.

    Richard, why didn’t you leave a message?

    A message maaannn? Why? What would I say? Just wanted to go for a ride.

    Peg Leg Mike. Guy at work married the lady who delivered his mail. Part of the new household was Mike. The wife’s father. Mike was a Vietnam Vet, with prosthetic leg.

    Mike wouldn’t stay home and allow the family to help him and take care of him. He always wanted to go camping along the Arkansas River in town. They tried everything to get him to stop hanging out with the bums. Like a rescued feral cat, he couldn’t be locked up in a place you couldn’t see the sky. The fellow bums eventually beat him with his own leg to death.

    Tom. Tom would walk dogs along the river walk. Tom was a desperately lonely old man.

    One day Tom calls me and tell me that he picked up a couple homeless ladies and brought them home, to our neighborhood.

    Why would you do that Tom?

    Because I am going to help them, and cure them.

    This ended up lasting years. One lady did end up getting a job. There were several more of the women. I got to know them. Some would have been kinda attractive if it weren’t for the drugs and lack of hygiene. They were all crazy. Everyone and everything was out to get them. Cops would listen to them from out of sky. Or tackle them for no reason whatsoever. They would have loud conversations with themselves just exactly like someone was there. They all came from families, with husbands, children and parents.

    These people aren’t like us. At all. Not even a little bit. They will never change because there is no reason to change and become like us. You can’t help them. Only enable them. There is a tiny percentage who might make it back. How would you ever figure which ones?

    The only way to end this is for the cops to lock them up. Every time. Forget that. It’s only going to get worse and worse.

    One idea would be to have a blog, where people could tell stories about them.

    Like the time Hidey stole walnuts at Safeway and the cops showed up when Tom was driving her home.

    Or when one of the girls found Tom passed out from diabetes. Saved his life.

    There was the time at the bank. Time one of the brothers passed out from vodka and Tom found him hypothermic in the fish pond. On, and on and on. John was another one. He only knew one name. His. He called everyone John.

  • Casey Klahn March 24, 2021, 8:42 PM

    After 50: no fukn ladders!

    I haven’t really a clue what can be done to aright this homeless problem. Here are some thoughts.

    Make the economy absolutely robust (Trump style).

    Fire and imprison all city councilmen and mayors in the cities where homelessness has proliferated.

    Look at the work the RC church has done. To my mind, the Catholic center in Spokane looks to be the best housing and support, although when driving past on busy evenings one has to watch out for Froggers.

    Stop the free drug give aways.

    Have a civil servant just tasked with the problem; make him a vice mayor.

    Incarcerate law-breaking homeless.

    Have public toilets. For real. Make the GD mayor clean the shit up on his way to the jailcell.

    Stop subsidizing homelessness. Make it suck, but by the same token help the mental and doctor the druggies.

    Mental health. OMG. Half the mental health nurses in the USA are drug abusers, devil worshippers, and poster children for the DSM. Nurse Rachet looks sexy next to them.


    Border. Tie Biden to a Rio Grande anthill and put all liberal politicians on notice. Tell Mexico to get right or be destroyed economically and/or otherwise. Libs love the covid narrative, and then they let in a bunch of sick migrants with no checks or ID. GrrrR.

    My own mother was homeless for awhile – more than I care to realize. Mental health. Alcohol. They are people in crisis. The cities and states are failing and I have zero respect for those institutions at this point in time.

  • Carter Duchesney March 25, 2021, 1:56 AM

    And it follows that by the “grace of God” they are there. I guess that quote doesn’t work for those not meriting God’s grace.

  • Vanderleun March 25, 2021, 8:14 AM

    The Bricklayer’s Accident Report
    Told by Gerard Hoffnung at the Oxford Union, December 4th, 1958
    Dear Sir:

    I am writing in response to your request for additional information in Block #3 of the accident reporting form. I put “Poor Planning” as the cause of my accident. You asked for a fuller explanation and I trust the following details will be sufficient.

    I am a bricklayer by trade. On the day of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of a new six-story building. When I completed my work, I found I had some bricks left over which when weighed later were found to weigh 240 lbs. Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley which was attached to the side of the building at the sixth floor.

    Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the roof, swung the barrel out and loaded the bricks into it. Then I went down and untied the rope, holding it tightly to insure a slow descent of the 240 lbs of bricks. You will note on the accident reporting form that my weight is 135 lbs.

    Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rapid rate up the side of the building.

    In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel which was now proceeding downward at an equally impressive speed. This explains the fractured skull, minor abrasions and the broken collarbone, as listed in Section 3, accident reporting form.

    Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley which I mentioned in Paragraph 2 of this correspondence. Fortunately by this time I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold the rope, in spite of the excruciating pain I was now beginning to experience.

    At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground-and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Now devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel weighed approximately 50 lbs.

    I refer you again to my weight. As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the building.

    In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles, broken tooth and severe lacerations of my legs and lower body.

    Here my luck began to change slightly. The encounter with the barrel seemed to slow me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell into the pile of bricks and fortunately only three vertebrae were cracked.

    I am sorry to report, however, as I lay there on the pile of bricks, in pain, unable to move and watching the empty barrel six stories above me, I again lost my composure and presence of mind and let go of the rope.

  • John the River March 25, 2021, 8:31 AM

    Well, if I have a 4×8 of sheetrock or plywood; it becomes 4×4 or a 2×4 pile of pieces. If I get old enough, 18″ squares. Whatever is safe.

    Oddly enough, not ‘old’ enough to get an vaccine appointment until this week, which I refused. In this state instead of sending the vaccine to the local pharmacy or my doctors practice; the State has set up mega-sites with specially hired injectors and (of course) State supervisors. The site they wanted me to go to was in Boston, at a failed state owned convention hall. Parking is $24.
    I’ll wait till June, hopefully my doctor will be allowed access to the J&J vaccine by then.

  • Phil in Englewood March 25, 2021, 8:57 AM

    Here’s the accident report in a song…

  • Tom Hyland March 25, 2021, 9:34 AM

    Okay, I think I get it. Gerard and Ghost and Phil veering off into ladder and construction mishaps is the way homeless people talk? I watched about 3 minutes of the homeless dude and hit the stop button. Homeless people can talk and talk and talk and it is an effective paint remover.

  • Bill in Tennessee March 25, 2021, 10:34 AM

    While I understand “there but for the grace of God…” I also cannot help but notice that underlying nearly every statement by that guy, there is an subtext of “it’s someone else’s fault” and “it’s someone else’s duty”….and so on. At no time in there did he ever seem to take personal responsibility for his condition, and therein lies the crux of the problem everywhere. We have created generations of helpless people through an ever-growing welfare state until we finally reached the limits of that system. And now that limit is manifesting itself on the streets of our American cities.

  • CC March 25, 2021, 12:27 PM

    How can you come up with billions to house illegals in $400.00/night hotel rooms, but can’t help our own homeless here?
    And how the hell can you possibly justify that?

  • Kevin in PA March 25, 2021, 1:02 PM

    I was refraining from comment on this one, but the ladder aspect has added a dimension to the conversation that is drawing me in.
    I have mixed feelings about this explosion in homelessness. I have previously considered that most homeless are there because of poor life choices, lack of personal responsibility be it drugs, alcohol, gambling or whatever other the vice. I do have to ponder though, how much of this explosion post- pandemic or pandemic induced tragedy, loss of jobs due to closed businesses and the follow on of bad circumstances followed by more bad timing, bad luck. Or, take a guy who works for a living and falls off a ladder. Shit happens. Out of work for an extended period of time is a tough bounce….it can happen I suppose and I believe there was once a time when charity organizations and churches handled these problems. Why is that not happening today? I don’t know. Whatever happened to cause all of this is outside of my realm to know for sure.

    I am disinclined to view anymore of these type videos, as it’s depressing to see it happening in our country, it is also demoralizing and there’s not a damn thing I can do to remedy a problem for which I am not able to fully understand its cause. I do suspect there is a bit of money to be made in the “help the homeless” hustle and that could be a tributing factor to why the problem is not remedied.

    Another issue, as many have previously noted, there is an undertone of entitlement from many of these street characters claiming homelessness and that is something I just can not abide. The lack of willingness to get up off your ass and make your own situation better is reprehensible. That an individual would stoop to begging, pan-handling and such informs me that this individual is either unemployable (likely due to drug problem, booze problem or some other), or that the begging gig pays better than working for a living….and that irks the shit out of me.

    Finally, I am definitely in agreement with the standard operating procedure of NO LADDERS AFTER 50.

  • Tom Hyland March 25, 2021, 2:48 PM

    CC…. excellent question! I heard Biden might have his first press conference today. I won’t be surprised if it doesn’t happen. Someone ought to hand him that very inquiry.

  • julie March 25, 2021, 3:01 PM

    Auntie, re. the parks, I had to stop taking my kids to their favorite, a gorgeous park in Redlands (not our town, but the parks in our town were all fenced off for Covid). It has one of the biggest play structures they’ve ever played on, and overall is just a beautiful space. Across from the park is a small daycare/ private school. Last fall, we went there, but to my kids’ huge disappointment we didn’t stay. A group of drug dealers were set up in the picnic pavilion closest to the playground, and a steady stream of staggering buyers were ambling around. Meanwhile, there was a police car parked right across from the playground. The officer was diligently posting notices all around the school informing people in giant warning letters that the school was closed (no idea why this was necessary; presumably since it was closed nobody was attending). She didn’t even glance at the scene in the park. In Redlands, the parks belong to the homeless now, and I guess whatever they do there is fine.

    Thankfully, there are neighboring towns where we can go play without being surrounded by zombies.

  • CC March 25, 2021, 4:20 PM

    Is that Redlands CA, Julie?
    Used to stop there all the time at Griswald’s Smorgasbord.
    It was an excellent place to pack some calories back on after a day in the snow up at Big Bear.
    There are many things I miss there, but they’re as gone from that place as I am, unfortunately.

  • gwbnyc March 25, 2021, 4:40 PM


    fell from scaffold (-8 feet) twice with this same experience- the “time stands still” thing took place, I even noticed three screwheads “timed” in the same position on the way down. and laying there, after figuring I wasn’t paralyzed, I really really wanted my mom.

    there’s the falling man prayer, too, that doesn’t expend time but just occurs- “kill me don’t cripple me”.

  • Gordon Scott March 25, 2021, 9:25 PM

    I’m in Los Algodones, Baja California. It’s a town about the size of the Mall of America, if you include the parking and IKEA. It is immediately west of Yuma, AZ, but the border crossing is in California. And in this town are about 300 dental clinics, 75 optical clinics, 75 pharmacies, and other places like botox, beauty parlors, and lots and lots of street vendors.

    I’m here to get a couple of molar cavity issues resolved, and I’m also here to meet with a few clinics. I’m going to be helping folks get their dental issues resolved for 60 to 70 percent off US prices. My customers are the clinics, my clients are the people I help. Having done all the research and gotten my problems fixed, I’m gonna help others, and my help is free to the clients.

    Right now the border crossing closes at 2:00 p.m. Covid rules, i guess. So folks have to be back across by 2, or they have to spend the night. Most folks park in the big Indian Casino lot and walk across and back. It’s a fairly short walk, since the moment you step out of the Mexican customs area there are 5 clinics within 30 yards.

    I’m staying in Los Algodones. It is inexpensive and safe. But there ain’t much night life right now. Business is starting to pick up again after being off 80 percent in 2020. But it is entering the low season, when temperatures can be 115 day after day. So no real recovery happens before October.

    I was walking around the town about 5:30 p.m. I decided to make a loop by the border. It’s locked down completely. But as I was passing the gate I heard a guy yelling. He was trapped between two gates, on the southbound path, and he couldn’t get out. And since no one is up there when the border is closed, no one could hear him.

    There’s one of those rotating door type gates made of steel pipe. You can pass through on one side, but the way back is barred. Ahead, 15 feet away, is the main pedestrian barrier gate. This guy had gone through the rotating gate, and now he was between the two gates with no way out.

    i tried to get the Mexican boarder guards interested. After much use of Google Translate, the guard said they couldn’t do anything because he was still in the US. I tried calling the border station. No one would answer, though I knew there were still people in the US Customs complex.

    I called 911. I got switched from Mexican 911 to El Centro, CA 911 (all the American 911 operators speak Spanish down here, by the way). El Centro transferred me to Yuma Fire and Rescue, the closest US town, although Yuma is in AZ, and the trapped guy is in CA. Still, Yuma listened and said they would try to figure out who to call. A few minutes later Yuma police called me, and they said they would try to reach someone.

    I got a bright idea. I called the San Luis Rio crossing, a 24-hour location. I got a guy on the phone. He told me I had to call the one 25 feet from me, and would not let my pleas that no one would answer sway him. He admitted they had unpublished numbers for the other station, but said he didn’t know them off the top of his head, and said he was busy, and he hung up on me.

    At this point two CBP guys came out of a building about 150 yards away. I yelled for a while, rattled the bars of the gate with my cane, and yelled some more. They damn well could hear and see me. Finally one of them strolled down and talked to the poor trapped guy for ten minutes or so, was shown some ID, and the agent then unlocked the other side of the rotating gate and freed the guy.

    I was there for about 90 minutes. I have no idea how long the guy was there before I arrived. And you just know that has happened before. I understand law enforcement cynicism, but man, these guys left me with a bad taste.

    Tomorrow they install two crowns, a couple of more meetings and it’s back to the United States with some very inexpensive meds, and several bottles of the world’s best vanilla. I’d tell you how good the shrimp tacos are, because the Gulf of California is just right over there, and those shrimp are big, and fresh, but I can’t eat them. People gaze sadly at me and pat my shoulder, but I know they’re thinking: Good, More for me.

  • ghostsniper March 26, 2021, 4:53 AM

    For unknown reasons many people want to make this homeless thing more complex than it is.
    The solution is simple.


    Like Tom I only watched the first few minutes. How does that guy get to claim land that he doesn’t own? If he tried to claim your living room what would YOU do?
    You’d punch little holes all the way through him, right? The scourges can only squat where they are allowed to.

  • Annie Rose March 26, 2021, 7:11 AM

    Many of these people on the streets have serious untreated mental illness. They have tried medication with mind-altering drugs and their lives have devolved from there.

    One of my co-workers had a father who lived on the streets in another state. He had major mental issues. She had looked into having him committed to get him on meds but was told that he would just be released after a few days of observation and could not be made to take the meds. A local priest would check on him and give her a call from time to time. Her dad refused all offers of social services. They would have given him a place to live, medical care, drug rehab, counseling, and help finding a job.

    She decided to fly him to her place and let him live with her and her two little boys, as he was getting on in years. She would come home to find that he had taken her toaster or tv apart, or scorch marks on an electrical outlet. He refused to bathe or clean up his room. His paranoia was ramping up. He refused to get a physical so his mental illness could start being addressed.

    After two weeks, he almost set her place on fire, so she had to ask him to leave. She drove him to the airport and had a ticket waiting for him at the desk. He refused to get out of her car. She had to abandon her car in the airport parking garage and take a cab back home. She went back the next day and he had left. She heard a week later from the priest that somehow her dad had flown back and was panhandling on his favorite corner again. She was completely crushed and devastated, but what could she do? The courts fight families who are trying to help their loved ones and the states have closed the mental institutions where these people used to be placed, to be “humane”.

    Our area has feel-good groups who buy up houses in neighborhoods or builds residential buildings to house those who are recovering addicts or have major psych issues. There is one supervisor or social worker in the buildings/ houses for a few hours a day. No one is there at night or on weekends. There are frequent fights and calls to the police and ambulance every week.

    In our lovely suburban neighborhood, we have one of these psych residential buildings just a mile down the road. Most of the residents are shipped in from Chicago. This place is next to a daycare and a block from the high school. There is no nearby grocery store or public transportation to assist these people in caring for themselves, as most of them don’t drive. The residents are sometimes seen walking in a daze along the major road, grinning in their own reality on their way to somewhere. I worry about being in my backyard and suddenly turning around to find some psychotic person grinning at me. I’ve worked in a residential workshop setting and therapeutic day schools, so am very familiar with what happens when someone who is schizophrenic, psychotic, or bipolar goes off their meds. I’m not sure how closing down mental institutions and leaving mentally ill people to fend for themselves in group housing with no supervision is more compassionate, but here we are.

  • EX-Californian Pete March 26, 2021, 12:16 PM

    Well, it may SEEM that homeless are everywhere, but they are not.
    Just one more reason I chose to move into my rural little Midwest town was after finding out that the crime rate here is almost nonexistent, and in 2019 there were an estimated “3 to 5 homeless” people in the entire county. Yes, in my ENTIRE county.
    I heard that there (possibly, but unlikely) could be a few more, but if so, they would be “backwoods dwellers” – folks living off the land in the heavily wooded areas. If that’s true, I doubt they survived the last couple of Winter storms that hit the area.

    So, why are there almost ZERO homeless folks here? Because it’s not tolerated.

    There are so many county and state programs to treat the problems that cause most of the homelessness, and people here tend to jump in, lend a hand, and help out those who sincerely want off of the street.
    And just like my neighboring state, if a homeless person is of the “completely irredeemable” variety, they usually get a bus ticket to another state of their choice. Supposedly, California and Oregon are the 2 top choices for these dregs. Go figure…

  • Nancy Schreiber March 26, 2021, 5:59 PM

    In frustration at the homeless encampments outside the big library In Downtown Fort Lauderdale, I volunteered to take the unsold bagels etc from a local Einstein’s Bagel store (they close at 5 pm everyday) and deliver them to a homeless shelter 5 miles away. Amazingly, the homeless encampment disappeared (70 to 100 people). I felt like a miracle worker – not really. But the city who had tolerated this behavior and even encouraged it by offering meals two times a day suddenly decided enough was enough and closed it down. Supposedly they went to shelters that were only 60% occupied anyway. Homeless don’t like the shelters because they have rules.

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