06 August 2008

The Homeless, Panhandling and Redevelopment

A good article in the Pulse on the issue:

Police and business owners agree, the benches along Fourth Street make it an attractive spot for the homeless. Says one businessman, "They're not benches. They're bunkbeds."

...developers have become increasingly savvy in recent years with respect to how they view the homeless.

"Some developers have become more educated over the last few years, and are advocating programs like DCI's intervention worker. That didn't exist several years ago."

...DCI employs a social worker to work with panhandlers and the homeless in an attempt to break their cycles of poverty and get them off the streets for good.

He adds though, that he is concerned by city ordinances that clear paths for development at the expense of low-income or transitional housing.

"I'm concerned about efforts that aren't aimed at reducing poverty, but zone it away and move it around.

Expanding DCI's system with a task force of social workers is surely a better plan than what we are getting with the current network of social service agencies.

About half of homeless individuals are schizophrenic and don't have the basic life skills the rest of us take for granted. They need the psychological equivalent of a parole officer. Once they have someone to hold their hand they can start working, pay rent, etc. and be productive tax-paying citizens.


Anonymous said...

One of the most cogent messages I have heard in the whole battle for SS turf to date. Each group fights for their sector of the pie and the rest, along with the adjacent neighborhoods, be damned and spurned.
Another WEnder.

Anonymous said...

A business man talking about homeless people, yes, right. I hope their efforts to locate those homeless guys doesn't become in a punishing way to get them out of the path.


I went to Minneapolis to see it, it was so exciting that sometimes I couldn't hear the guy in the microphone, congrats.


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