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Are You Feeding The Homeless? Or, Are You Feeding The Addiction?

Last Updated: Sunday, July 8, 2018 4:44 PM
Down On Their Luck...
My Reply To The "You Need To Give 'Those Down On Their Luck'....A Break" Comment
They're not huring anyone...
They're not huritng anyone, and I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings...
First, they hurt themselves and those around them.

Second, businesses, retail, restaurant, etc. do not want to be around the Homeless as all they, homeless and panhandlers, do is scare away customers via CONSTANTLY begging, asking, demanding of these customers money, etc., every minute of the day, literally. (Do you like telemarketers, who also need to eat, calling you all the time, even at lunch, dinner?)

I know a few contractors and people in the transportation industry, e.g. service types, cab drivers, contractors, who drive around all day and go to their customer's place of business, but have no idea what it takes to set up a retail store or restaurant and get customers to come to them. The exact opposite of the transportation and contractor industry. Traveling to a client's place of business is not the same as getting customers to travel to your FIXED place of business.

They, contractors and service delivery types, as well as churches and Catholics/Baptists, have no idea the amount of trouble the homeless bring e.g. from trash, garbage, crime, beer bottles, every hour of the day that they bring to an area.

It's amazing how they see things through their eyes only, e.g. the come properly dressed for the client or a church look clean out in front and inside, but never give a thought how "other businesses" need to appear to their customers.

Just look at the area around the New Orleans Mission. How many "privately owned" business do you see around them? Excluding government and grant funded establishments.

Same for Bourbon Street and the French Quarter. Just look at all the buildings around the French Quarter i.e. the JAX Brewery, Mill House, WTC, Rampart Street, etc., all run down, half vacant.

I guess I should have seen the relationship as if the New Orleans Locals think that is OK, then I guess the New Orleans Mission and panhandlers on every intersection of the city would also be also OK.

There is a reason why Orleans Parish has less than half the sales tax revenue of Jefferson Parish and why the Convention Center is not able to get far more conventions.
Last year, for example, Jefferson generated $310.7 million in sales taxes, excluding taxes generated from the sale of food and drugs, automobiles and hotel and motel rooms in the parish. Orleans Parish brought in just $162.9 million, but that includes every category, meaning the gap between the two parishes is even greater. - October 2013 - New Orleans Advocate
Lastly, can the city have it both ways? In other words, have a Big Easy lifestyle, 24/7 alcohol, public intoxication, one social event after another, serving alcohol, and then expect not to have homelessness from poor job performance and eventual job loss due to being constantly drunk the night before?
Easy Conversion Of Basic Necessities To Cash
Many generous and giving individuals and groups realize that giving cash can be used for drugs and alcohol. Hence, they give only give basic necessities, like food, canned food, toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, shampoo, detergent, packaged snacks, shaving cream, razors, etc. All of these basic necessities and travel supplies can easily be taken to a high traffic site like a gas station and be sold to an unsuspecting visitor to the city and sold and converted to cash.

For example of the set of travel good like toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, etc., cost like $10 dollars, the homeless will ask the tourist if he/she would like to purchase it for $2 to $5 dollars instead of the full retail value of $10 dollars. That is, 50 cents on the dollar.

Moreover, if the homeless can think of a good desperation, or sob, story, the homeless can not only get full value, but perhaps even double the value of the basic needs or travel kit in cash. Hence, instead of $10 dollars, because of the convenience, the unsuspecting visitor/traveler to the city, gives $20 and says, keep the change. This cash can easily be used to purchase cigarettes, beer, and drugs.

The homeless can easily target students, who are looking for a deal, or look for an out-of-state license plate, and target these visitors for a trade.

It's a lot easier than you think to BARTER basic necessities into cash, or barter basic necessities in direct exchange for drugs. e.g. furniture, pots/pans, food, bath towels, eating utensils, shower curtains, wall pictures, laundry detergent.

If you talk to police and look at police statistics, you will see that drugs are paid with cash 50% of the time. The remaining 50% of the time drugs are paid with "physical goods." These physical goods are sometimes stolen items from those closest to them, family and friends, and it's a big reason why the family and friends abandoned them.

Drug dealers, and their many girlfriends, need basic stuff just like anyone else and all that stuff given to the Homeless can easily end up with Drug Dealers and their many girlfriends.

If you talk to managers at Family Dollar, Wal-Mart, or Walgreens, laundry detergent is a favorite item that is shoplifted and can be used to pay for drugs or convert to cash. If you include sales tax, liquid laundry detergent is almost $20 dollars and can be used to barter with many types of people who don't ask too many questions. Some stores in certain high crime locations, while inconvenient for shoppers, even store their laundry detergent behind the counter due the high shoplifting rates of those items.

Drug Addicts will beg, borrow, steal and barter to fed their addictions. Ever wonder why the Homeless never get any better and continually relapse, even with all these charities, non-profits and government aid? Well, they don't need to change. All of their basic necessities are given to them on a regular basis and bartered(exchanged) for drugs and alcohol. The holidays are great times for bartering for the Homeless as all those gifts and basic necessities can be exchanged for drugs and alcohol.

And since the Homeless are given all their basic necessities, the Homeless don't need to work and can spend 100% of their time and efforts in feeding their addictions via panhandling, begging, stealing and bartering the basic necessities they were given for drugs and alcohol.
You Can’t Criminalize Being Homeless
First, the laws, and any news laws don't say, "If you are homeless, you are a criminal". Cities are criminalizing bad, self-destructive and irresponsible behavior that affect the homeless themselves and others around them. If the cities don't have laws that say you can't panhandle where it's unsafe, or sleep on the public bench at night, why should the homeless change their behavior as the homeless will say what they are doing is not against the law?

But say if the homeless advocates are correct, the laws are criminalizing the homeless and it will be difficult for the homeless to get a job if they have a criminal record. Well if that is true, how can you get the homeless to admit their mistakes if they don't think they have a problem with drinking or doing drugs?

What good is it to get the Homeless a job if they are still addicted, many chronically, and did not even show up to the job(s) they had in the past because they were too drunk or "on drugs" in the past? Should it really be about getting the Homeless a job? Or should be asking, "Why are they getting fired from their jobs in the first place?"

The first step in drug recovery is to admit you have a problem. But if the laws says it's OK to panhandle, sleep on park benches, and basically use public property as their own exclusive private property to (a) sleep and ask for money, (b) litter, (c) defecate/urinate, (d) drink and do drugs, and (e) cause a public health hazard, how can the homeless see and feel the consequences of their drug addiction and alcoholism?

Do the Homeless Advocates want it both ways with not criminalizing the homeless as aren't they saying, "Being Homeless is not wrong. Hence, drinking alcohol all day long is also, not wrong."?

How can cities not criminalize being homeless (drug addictions) and then expect the homeless to take the first step in drug recovery, i.e. the admission (of guilt) that they have drug and alcohol problem?
More Panhandling Laws Will Only Fill Up The Jails
First, when you have an aggressive panhandling law, it does NOT fill the prisons because even free food and shelter does not fill the Homeless Shelters. The Drug Addicts and Homeless don't even want to go to the Homeless Shelters so why would they want to go to prison, which by the way, is far more restrictive than the Homeless Shelters in "following the rules".
Our Military Veterans Are More Deserving Of Our Assistance And At Least Basic Quality Of Life Since They Gave Their Life For Us.
There is a difference between deserving of "assistance" and deserving of more "addiction".

Just because a veteran offered their life for their country doesn't mean they can do no wrong for the rest of their lives.
They didn't become perfect and are still human and can make really stupid and selfish mistakes later in life. Their responsibility to themselves and others didn't all of the sudden disappear when they put their lives on the line. Life goes on and so does their responsibility to themselves and others after their service.

Regardless, veterans are deserving of a type of assistance that can break their addictions. This "breaking of the addictions" can mean temporary starvation, isolation, and actions that are painful in order to "break the addiction."
The Most Vulnerable Population (The Homeless)
QUESTION 1 -If the Homeless are the city's most vulnerable population, how does allowing the Homeless to live on the streets protect them?

QUESTION 2 - In other words, if the Homeless are so vulnerable why allow the homeless to have public street access to 24/7 drugs and alcohol that will only make their mental illness worse?

QUESTION 3 - Finally, why allow the city's most vulnerable(The Homeless), to interact with ex-cons, criminals, and drug dealers? (How much protection can a tent provide for the city's most vulnerable?)

SIDE NOTE: How does allowing gas stations to sell cheap alcohol and beer to the homeless 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, protect the city's most vulnerable people?

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