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Cleaning out a homeless camp

Old 07-20-21, 11:37 AM
  #1  
mtnbud
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Cleaning out a homeless camp


It's hard to comprehend how much trash is being removed from this homeless camp. At least 4 dump truck loads based on what I can see.

News article
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Old 07-20-21, 11:39 AM
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You'd need 4 dump trucks just for the needles in Portland
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Old 07-20-21, 11:49 AM
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The richest country on earth, plenty of empty buildings, and human beings are living outside like stray dogs. It's amazing how little compassion people have for them.
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Old 07-20-21, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
The richest country on earth, plenty of empty buildings, and human beings are living outside like stray dogs. It's amazing how little compassion people have for them.
It is a complicated issue.

So far my experience is that helping someone who has no skin in the game will always end badly.

I allowed someone to stay here for 9 months. Then have been trying to evict the person for the last year. And, ultimately it will cost me in the thousands in damages and costs to evict. And, he has already been threatening to sue me for allowing him to stay on my property for free.

I find it annoying the state can roll the dump trucks in a day, but it is a horrendous process for a homeowner to get rid of a squatter.
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Old 07-20-21, 12:29 PM
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It IS a complicated issue... but if you empower people to take care of their space, and to watch out for others, by giving those folks basic responsibilities, you tend to create "someone" out of the previous "wreckage" that once existed.

No doubt there are those that will not go along... I have no solution for them. But some folks can be rescued. And sometimes it is that simple first step that matters.

Seattle is leaning more on the tiny house village model than perhaps any other city, though Los Angeles County hopes by the end of the year to have 425 portable, prefabricated composite plastic pods, which are made in Everett, that can be set up in minutes.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said that the pandemic exacerbated the homelessness crisis, leading to a push for more temporary shelter options.

“These new investments in tiny home villages are effective shelter options to end a person’s experience with homelessness and add much needed new shelter capacity to offer more individuals safer spaces who are living in our parks and sidewalks,” Durkan said in a news release.

While tiny houses are effective at slowing the cycle of returning to the street, they don’t necessarily end someone’s homelessness. More than 7% of the people who left the villages in 2020 went back to shelters, and a fifth went to a “place not meant for human habitation,” according to data from the village operators.
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle...eattle-begins/

It always amazed me how much stuff was "cleaned out" of San Diego's Mission Valley when such sweeps went on. It also scared the bejeezus out of me when I came across what I thought were dead folks just off the bike paths in the Valley... (was just sleeping bags full of belongings).

The homeless situation, like the healthcare situation in America, are both poorly addressed and managed, and are indicators of how badly we as a country manage certain resources. Health care is attached to jobs, jobs are attached to people with addresses, addresses don't go to the homeless; so once that bottom is reached, the homeless have neither, and a darn difficult time climbing back up.
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Old 07-20-21, 12:45 PM
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The Tiny House model may well be one model. But, one can't just dump the Tiny Houses around like tents.

To make it effective, they likely have to have strict guidelines that everyone adheres to, and a social worker to come around regularly to both help out, as well enforce the rules.
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Old 07-20-21, 04:02 PM
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Here in Bloomington, IN, other cities give homeless tickets to get here. We have a pretty lenient city government that allows them to stay and get free meals at the city food kitchen, and sleeping placement at three shelters. They homeless have taken over two parks and uncounted vacant lots and use them as campgrounds. They even camp out in and under vehicles in a few local car lots. The debris is everywhere, and the needles are left for others to have to clean up. They share whatever pills and booze that they can get so you never know what they are on and sometimes it is a mixture of a lot of stuff. Our bike co-op had to send folks to Narcan school just over the liability issues of the homeless and drugs.
Our post office which is located adjacent to one of the parks has erected a ten foot fence topped with razor wire to keep them away from the federal building. At just about every intersection of a major road we have panhandlers who work in shifts exchanging the cardboard "need help" signs. We have one guy who has a rare brain disorder but he manages to move to a different location each day (Is laziness a rare brain disorder?).
I used to have compassion for those in need, but I have crossed over to the dark side when it comes to the homeless. I get having difficulties due to mental and disability problems, but homelessness seems to be a learned disability. MH
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Old 07-20-21, 04:09 PM
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Austin Texas. Big fight about the homeless colonies. I gave a homeless person a 20 dollar Whataburger card so he could eat. What the person did with it I don’t know. Just show some compassion and you will receive good karma.
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Old 07-20-21, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
The richest country on earth, plenty of empty buildings, and human beings are living outside like stray dogs. It's amazing how little compassion people have for them.
USA is not even in the top 10 wealthiest countries.

Mentally ill should have a place in a hospital or institution.

Criminals belong in prison.

Others should be offered work to clean graffiti at a wage single moms earn at Walmart in flyover country.

No stray dogs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...PP)_per_capita
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Old 07-20-21, 06:00 PM
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We definitely have enough wealth and resources as a society to address this problem if we want to. We've decided not to.

It's very sad. It's sad for the people living like stray animals. It's sad for the people they beg from, for the people who own the cars they break into, and it's sad for all of us for allowing it to happen to our fellow humans.
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Old 07-20-21, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
It IS a complicated issue... but if you empower people to take care of their space, and to watch out for others, by giving those folks basic responsibilities, you tend to create "someone" out of the previous "wreckage" that once existed.
.
It good to dream.
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Old 07-20-21, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post

Mentally ill should have a place in a hospital or institution.

Criminals belong in prison.
These are very expensive options. Raising taxes enough to pay for that would be a tough thing to sell in today's environment.
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Old 07-20-21, 06:54 PM
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Our nation is certainly prosperous enough that we could eliminate the homeless problem. Especially if it was truly just an issue of "sticking them in an empty building" mentality that some seem to have about it. As quite a few posters have mentioned already, it's a complex issue and there is no one size fits all solution to it.
It's easy to be dismissive and use the "teach a man to fish" mentality on this. The issue is that in spite of a really decent safety net system in place within our country, there are simply too many people out there that are abusing those systems. Gaming it, working it in order to live for free. It has created a situation where even if you truly NEED the help, you have to know how to game the system to be approved. Even aside from that aspect, simply knowing WHAT assistance is out there for you.

Mix in a bit of metal health issue, low intelligence, social anxieties, a cost of living in homes and rent that far surpass the "living wage" that average, uneducated working class people earn...

I think most of us would be terrified to fully realize how close we really are to living in a tent somewhere just like that.
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Old 07-20-21, 07:01 PM
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P&R bound.
Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
We definitely have enough wealth and resources as a society to address this problem if we want to.
Wealth is the cause. Automation vastly reduced the productive workforce and reduced prices of many products, especially food. With cheaper food, the population grew, while there is less work. Homeless people can get by on pocket change because that's how cheap food is now. Until the next fuel shortage starts the next food shortage. We will eventually get back to an agricultural economy of most people working on farms or in farming towns, making products for farmers and themselves, after some starvation, food riots, etc.
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Old 07-20-21, 10:08 PM
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Give a man a fish you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish he will be broke and hungry for a lifetime!
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Old 07-20-21, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Juan Foote View Post
Our nation is certainly prosperous enough that we could eliminate the homeless problem. Especially if it was truly just an issue of "sticking them in an empty building" mentality that some seem to have about it. As quite a few posters have mentioned already, it's a complex issue and there is no one size fits all solution to it.
It's easy to be dismissive and use the "teach a man to fish" mentality on this. The issue is that in spite of a really decent safety net system in place within our country, there are simply too many people out there that are abusing those systems. Gaming it, working it in order to live for free. It has created a situation where even if you truly NEED the help, you have to know how to game the system to be approved. Even aside from that aspect, simply knowing WHAT assistance is out there for you.

Mix in a bit of metal health issue, low intelligence, social anxieties, a cost of living in homes and rent that far surpass the "living wage" that average, uneducated working class people earn...

I think most of us would be terrified to fully realize how close we really are to living in a tent somewhere just like that.
Camped in a tent for 10 days last month but in the New Mexico mountains. But by choice and had fun. The comedian George Lopez during one of his comedy skits summed it up good saying Why do white people love to camp and pretend that they are broke lol. It is funny because most people camping regardless of ethnic background are doing the activity for recreation. We all know the camping trip will end and we all go home to our cushy homes. The atmosphere in todays society I have never been more grateful to have a secure home and shelter. Hopefully attitudes will shift including my own attitude.
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Old 07-20-21, 11:07 PM
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The apartment complex where I've been for 15 years has gradually morphed from a place for retired seniors only, to a second chance residence for folks trying to escape homelessness or living in shelters. The transition occurred rapidly after the 2008 economic crisis, slowed a bit around 2012, then escalated quickly the past few years. It follows trends in the economy, political policies, etc. IOW, the usual stuff.

At one point around 15 years ago maybe one or two tenants were formerly homeless. Now it's closer to 75%. Same pattern all over. The subsidized housing complexes built in the 1950s, separated from the prosperous downtown and suburbs, have been phased out, with residents placed elsewhere around the region. But there's little or no effort to assist with the transition.

And it's definitely not easy to make the transition. I've never seen the eviction rate higher. Evictions used to be rare, maybe one every few months, usually when a tenant developed dementia or was physically incapable of taking care of themselves. The process would be gradual, usually with adult protective services, transitioning them to nursing homes, etc.

But now it's pretty much a weekly occurrence, fairly sudden, with their belongings tossed into dumpsters. For the past year it happens so often there's now an industrial size dumpster trailer just to accommodate all the discarded furniture. It's hauled away and replaced every couple of weeks.

Even with affordable housing, stipends for food and necessities, some folks can't seem to adapt on their own.

Some folks are second and third generation homeless. Dysfunction builds upon a dysfunctional base into a practically inescapable vortex. They've never known what a "conventional, traditional home" is. I'm seeing some of the effect in my own extended family. In three generations they've devolved from traditionally hard working middle class to chronically unemployed alcoholics and drug addicts, rarely if ever able to hold a job, in and out of jail and sometimes prison. And in rural counties they get caught in the nearly inescapable probation/revocation trap. There are too many arrests for bureaucratic "offenses" that used to be handled administratively: tickets for expired licenses, plates, registration, insurance, etc. Now it's zero tolerance, everybody is arrested for everything. The county courts impose fees and penalties these people can never repay. But they're forbidden to leave the county, even to take another job or catch a breather and try to get their lives together. Their public humiliation continues with easily accessible mug shots on the government websites, sometimes reposted on social media for schadenfreude by trolls. Their chances of ever escaping this trap are pretty much nil. It's just the latest incarnation of the company town, prison farm labor and birth-to-prison pipeline, a profit maker for government agencies and privatized prisons.

It really takes a complete social services system, including regular checkups from social workers, counselors who can assist with getting assistance for food (we're in a "food desert," with the nearest grocery store a mile away, necessitating crossing two busy intersections -- very challenging for disabled folks), transportation for medical, psychiatric, and substance abuse recovery appointments, etc. That isn't happening.

For some reason the apt complex still hasn't implemented electronic payments for rent. Some folks don't have checking accounts because it's yet another expense from their meager income. So they have to walk a mile or more to find an affordable money order to pay rent. The nearest money orders are only a block away at the bank, but they charge $5 per money order. That's a lot of money for folks on minimal SSI or disability income.

At the risk of seeming to make light of or mock a serious issue, I still haven't seen a better summation of this complex problem than the South Park folks did in one of their darkest parodies several years ago, "Night of the Living Homeless." That episode came out in 2007, just on the verge of the economic collapse that led to this crisis. They nailed it in every respect, including the practice of cities shuffling homeless folks to other cities to make it somebody else's problem.

My city has just joined much of the rest of Texas in a push to "end homelessness" by effectively outlawing it, destroying homeless camps and prohibiting anything resembling loitering. There is now a semi-official "homeless district," pushed outward to clear out the center city for gentrification. But the "homeless district" is overwhelmed, partly due to the pandemic, and the vibe has become very noisy, aggressive and unpleasant. I've spoken with many homeless folks who prefer to camp in the parks or downtown. They're often schizophrenic or mentally ill, but harmless and terrified of the official shelters. They can't cope with the noise and aggression.


And as other folks have said, it could happen to most of us. Many Americans are one crisis away from homelessness.



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Old 07-20-21, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
..hard to comprehend how much trash...
I noticed this around the refugee camps of the 70's just outside of Ethiopia. Ton's of trash. Those people were not strung out on drugs or with mental illness. Where did all the trash come from? In the 70's as a visiting medic our biggest problem was disease. We would set up two lines. One for the wormer and another for what ever immunizations we had. A camp in that area was only healthy for a few days even when supplied with water and food. Some French guy, who was in-charge, made a policy that camps were moved to another area every week. On the Somali boarder there were three camps on rotation. After a week everyone was moved on down the road to another camp and a crew would come in with fire hoses and tractors to clean every thing off in the camp just left. Wow, tons of trash, and these people had nothing. It was an idea that worked till the area was overwhelmed by an exponentially increasing population. Soon there was no where to move.

I was just an Army Medic doing MEDCAP's for a few days off and on in these camps and in other areas. In the early 70's big decisions were being made on Nam. I was thinking, working in these camps was a hell of allot easier than fighting VC in the bush. Being in the field, or down range as the young guys call it, can make you feel very small. I think back and really don't know if I could have done more. These people were starving, without means, without water, and without hope. And yet more than a few of them were deserters rather than refugees. I kept thinking, go back and take back your country. Fight for what you are and never give up. I was 19 years old and knew nothing yet of real life. I was warned not to judge. I still have mixed feelings. Here now the big question remains, are we taking care of refugees or deserters?
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Old 07-21-21, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
These are very expensive options. Raising taxes enough to pay for that would be a tough thing to sell in today's environment.
You left off the third point. Those who are not mentally ill or criminals should be given assistance in the way of a job. I believe the mentally ill should be treated. I also believe giving people handouts does not help nor does an army of government social workers.
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Old 07-21-21, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Nessism View Post
It good to dream.
You go no where without dreams.
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Old 07-21-21, 07:18 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
To make it effective, they likely have to have strict guidelines that everyone adheres to, and a social worker to come around regularly to both help out, as well enforce the rules.
Several years ago one of the largest encampments here in So Cal (Orange County) was finally broken up. Although everyone was given the opportunity to receive a voucher for 90 days in a hotel, something like 60% of the people turned it down. They were even offered a free bus ride to the hotels. One of the reoccurring complaints was that they did not want to adhere to the restrictions like curfews and being told when they have to be in by.

As far as the clean-up went, it was approximately 2 years before they made the encampment areas accessible to the public due to the risk of needles and hazardous waste being deposited in the area. For 2 years these areas were fenced off to the general public.
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Old 07-21-21, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by TakingMyTime View Post
Several years ago one of the largest encampments here in So Cal (Orange County) was finally broken up. Although everyone was given the opportunity to receive a voucher for 90 days in a hotel, something like 60% of the people turned it down. They were even offered a free bus ride to the hotels. One of the reoccurring complaints was that they did not want to adhere to the restrictions like curfews and being told when they have to be in by.

As far as the clean-up went, it was approximately 2 years before they made the encampment areas accessible to the public due to the risk of needles and hazardous waste being deposited in the area. For 2 years these areas were fenced off to the general public.
That was an interesting situation, wasn't it? It actually took 6 months to clean it up that big encampment along in Santa Ana River next to Angel Stadium (and another month for the one down in the Fountain Valley/Santa Ana area), but 6 months is still quite a long time for a 'demolition & removal' project. Yeah, it also took a while to move the 'residents' off, too. You ride through that area now and you'd never know they were there. There are occasionally homeless still sleeping along the lower Santa Ana River in Orange County, but they aren't setting up 'housekeeping'.

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Old 07-21-21, 08:00 AM
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a large percentage of the homeless are beyond societal reclamation ... they are urban wanderers who exist by chance and suspicion ... given a home, they will stay til the urge to move strikes and just up and leave ... I have first hand knowledge because for a few years I lived in a warehouse next to an interstate. There were always between 30 to a 100 tents and makeshifts set up under the freeway. 90+% were white. The cops rarely showed. I mingled among them and listened to their tales of woe and begotten ness. They lived in an existential reality that accepted their circumstance as a choice. I used to give them cases of expired beer & boxes of beer snacks that were headed for the disposal. There was little violence or crime or drugs among them. These American homeless are a new social phenomenon and Norman Rockwell's ameriKa never phathomed these 21st century trainless hobos. Some had library cards and PO boxes for veterans checks. Today,Texas cities are rousting and bulldozing these places without regards to the consequences and I no longer live in that warehouse............................... alienation from the demands of modernity fuels this homeless ethos and nothing that modernity offers will alleviate this plight because these folks have abandoned modernity. I cannot imagine how these people survive in a Covid world but the fact that they do is a reason for everyone to question the motives of our leader's choices and inquire into our own horizons
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Old 07-21-21, 09:16 AM
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They have stepped up the encampment removal. From what I hear it's a program that offers assistance as an only choice and that the freeways will not harbor them anymore. That will work until the walls start closing in on them. If there was some way to make them responsible for one another and not just themselves.
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Old 07-21-21, 09:52 AM
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From my local news, today:

Sacramento Leaders Take Action To Remove Homeless From Critical Infrastructure

.
...there was a ginormous fire of about 30 acres in the grass and trees along the American River bike trail in the heart of the homeless camping district right next to I 80 a couple of days ago.
It was pretty spectacular, and impacted travel on the freeway there (one of our busiest) for several hours.
..

Three fires started in Sacramento homeless encampments burn 165 acres in a week

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One of these fires in June was kicked off by some guy trying to reheat a pizza over a pile of burning napkins.

So it's certainly a bad deal for everyone involved, including he majority of the homeless trying to camp out down there and survive another brutal summer. But I do think it's reached the point here where it makes sense to spend the money on some sort of housing strategy, as opposed to problem remediation after the fact. There was a fire here some years back in that area that took out the main railroad trestle and bridge across the American. It was constructed from wood pilings, soaked in creosote, so once it got going, it burned for a week.

Railroad Inferno



Took the better part of a month to reconstruct it working 24 hour shifts, using steel this time. I have no idea how much it cost, when you factor in the train freight impacts. That one incident should have spurred some action, but nothing has gotten done, because the problem is so intractable.
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