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  • At Home With the Homeless

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on September 24th, 2019 (All posts by )

    The homeless, like the poor are, as Jesus depressingly observed, always with us. Admittedly the American poor are darned well-off, when compared to the poor in other times and in other places. It was reported last week on one of my go-to sites, that of all the homeless in the USA, half of them appear to have taken up residence on the streets, alleys and byways of California, although a fair number of the technically homeless are well-adjusted and employed, and merely living out of RVs, vans, trailers and automobiles parked on streets and parking lots because they cannot afford a rental of a dwelling-place without wheels on it. My daughter has brought home some pretty chilling observation of street people in Pasadena, over the last couple of years; the ubiquity of substance-addled and hygiene-challenged street people and their scratch encampments still shocks her, on every visit to family out there.

    Not that we didn’t ever see street people, or vagrants here in San Antonio; there always were a handful, panhandling at certain intersections with a cardboard sign, hanging out at the bus station, or wherever there were services of any sort catering to the down-and-out. Sometimes when I had to use the city bus system because my car was at the garage, I’d see some truly odd people at the stops or sometimes on the bus.

    Mostly we had to really go out of our neighborhood to lay eyes on the indigent, wheeling a rusty shopping cart filled with junk, except for that one older guy who is a rather gentle sort and more of a neighborhood character; an eccentric rather than a unhinged, unpredictable menace. Starting this year, though, to encounter the homeless all that is necessary is to drive a couple of blocks to the quartet of commercial strip malls, situated on a major crossroads – commercial strips which house the nearest HEB, the Planet Fitness outlet, the Big Lots and Dollar Tree stores, the Mexican grocery and at least a dozen fast food restaurants and eateries. The Next Door app that I subscribe to, in order to keep up with neighborhood events like yard sales, and recommendations for local merchants, is now also reporting frequent unpleasant encounters; aggressive panhandling in the parking lots, customers at the drive-up ATM feeling threatened; last week there was a post from an irate local man who came out of the supermarket to find a homeless man urinating on his parked car.

    The general suspicion is that the sudden increase in the numbers of visibly homeless is because of several factors; the first being that this part of San Antonio is thickly threaded with green belts and parks – some situated along seasonal watercourses and patched with tracts of land which has never been built up. Much of these lands are wooded with scrub trees and large shrubs; a grazing ground for deer, coyotes and small wildlife and birds – and the homeless. Neighborhood Handy Guy told me this spring that there was a large encampment in the small grove across the street in back of the Lowes’ where we bought much of the materiel for my master bathroom rebuild – he said it was called “Sherwood Forest” among the cognoscenti. We also suspected that homeless cases were camping out in the wooded tract of land surrounding Comanche Hill; there have been posts on the Next Door app that hikers and people walking their dogs have been menaced, or at least, frightened out of going there alone any more. My daughter, who previously liked to run a long circuit along the major thoroughfare in the dark hours of early morning has given that up. She runs at the same hours now, but within the neighborhood.

    Another factor is the presence of an enterprise which purchases plasma from donors; this used to be a Hallmark Card store; now the gossip on Next Door is that many of the indigents are selling plasma there to fund their various addictions, and that’s why they tend to congregate around that intersection. Plus, no less than four businesses at that intersection closed up shop rather abruptly or relocated in the last few months; a bank, two restaurants and a Discount Tire. Now those four buildings stand empty, and if you believe that anything more than cursory maintenance is being done on the outside, I have some fine Florida swampland on offer.

    Finally – it appears now to be policy now to not hassle the homeless unduly. The police department, the city council, the DA all point the fingers at each other in assigning blame for the situation. Never mind that the horrible examples abound of what happens in a city and neighborhood when the aggressively deranged and substance-addled are permitted free range to camp, poop, and panhandle and otherwise abuse the tolerance of residents and business owners. I’d have thought that the city management of San Antonio would know better when it comes to virtue-signaling on behalf of the favored victim group over the interests of voting and tax-paying good citizens, but this is the body which saw fit to ban Chik-fil-A from among the airport food concessionaires.

    What really has set the neighborhood ablaze with indignation and exasperation was a real blaze, in a tree and shrub-covered tract which backs on part of the neighborhood. There is a long stretch of land along Nacogdoches, between Spring Farm and Judson; formerly a buffer zone between a fairly busy main artery, and the backyards of houses in the neighborhood. There is a nursing home on one side of the entrance leading into Spring Creek, and a day-care center on the other side. One of the homeless encampments is – or was – among the trees at the back of that strip, almost hard against the boundary fences of the various residences. Last week, one of the homeless elements camping there set a fire which came close to firing the boundary fence, some trees, and according to one homeowner, very nearly his house. (Local news story here. The on-the-spot-reporter was grossed out by the smell. Yeah, imagine that, just over your back fence. Imagine not letting the kids play in your back yard because of that, and other dangers.)

    Look, plenty of my neighbors are sympathetic about the homeless; there are resources noted on the Next Door app for helping out. Also generous city outreach programs to help those homeless people who want to be helped. It’s just that too many of them wish to live without rules, which would be OK, if they could live without rules and not adversely impact the civil, tolerant and law-abiding sorts. You want to live in disgusting squalor in the woods, in a tent with hot and cold running drugs and open prostitution and defecation being de regueur … knock yourselves out. Drug and whore yourselves to death, fine, as regrettable as the sober and law-abiding might find these personal choices to be. It’s still a free country, or so I have been informed. We can always patronize other businesses – we have that option. But setting up camps next to our homes and backyards? Carelessly endangering our homes and health? Yeah, where can we go now? This latest – is not good. There will be a public meeting at weekend to address this matter. We will attend, of course. The opportunity to grill our local rep will be priceless.

     

    26 Responses to “At Home With the Homeless”

    1. Anonymous Says:

      There will be a public meeting at weekend to address this matter. We will attend, of course. The opportunity to grill our local rep will be priceless.
      When the “progressive” gummint people find out their jobs may be in danger from those who have to suffer the consequences of their homeless-enabling policies, they might change their tune. Maybe. But as you point out, in a city whose government booted Chik-Fil-A out of the airport, this may not be happening.

      My HOA has occasional issues with homeless people. A resident,in telling a homeless person to get off our property, incurred the wrath of this homeless person. In retaliation, the homeless person defecated in our laundry room. As a result, we installed a combination lock gate on the laundry. Five years ago, I discovered a homeless person sleeping in a unit’s pooolside patio. A call to our HOA’s manager resulted in a policeman’s being at the property within 20 minutes. The cop read the homeless person the riot act, threatening arrest if he showed up on the property again. The homeless person hasn’t been back. The policeman pointed out that there were a lot of alcoholics among the homeless- as this person was. (I will spare the story about how I knew that, unless requested.)

      As I see it, the City Council and upper management types who set homeless policy at the municipal level live in more affluent neighborhoods where they don’t have to worry about homeless people invading their property. They can afford to be “tolerant” of the “diverse” behaviors of the homeless, because they aren’t personally affected by them.

    2. Gringo Says:

      Anonymous.

    3. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      1) Y’all will be called all sorts of nasty things by the “Rep” for your heartlessness.
      2) The homeless will continue to afflict you until there are consequences.
      3) It is Leftist theology that under no circumstances will they allow there to be consequences for those who afflict you, because to the Leftist politician the homeless are far more valuable than you are.
      4) There is no compromise with the “Rep” possible. If they do not impose those consequences on the homeless, they are your enemy.

      Subotai Bahadur

    4. Anonymous Says:

      SB is correct (I almost wrote “right”, but we already knew that).

      Let no real or incentivized crisis go to waste. The response of progressives and useful idiots is, in the name of compassion, to “care” for the homeless by subsidizing their substance abuse, criminal behaviors and health risks. Those with real mental conditions will receive medications with no supervision or accountability to comply with treatment.

      There is effectively an ongoing competition among the progressive dominated large metro areas in attracting the homeless and creating more of them. Austin led and leads the way in Texas, but this “compassion” has spread from the major cities to many of our mid-sized.

      One would think that an economy this strong would reduce this issue by offering productive alternatives. The fact that it hasn’t shows the powerful effects of subsidizing irresponsible behavior and a cultural narrative that applauds stupidity accompanied by compassionate emotion.

      The gated communities (ivory towers) will never feel the negative consequences personally, but they will feed at the trough of public power and reward.

      Death6

    5. Mike K Says:

      There are homeless plus beggars in Tucson but not as many as I would expect. The Tucson city council is pretty left wing and has promoted a “Sanctuary City” thing but that is now going to a ballot measure. Since Tucson, out side of a deep blue zone around the university, is pretty mixed with military and retirees, so it might not pass.

      Years ago, when I was still teaching medical students, I took my group to the “Skid Row” part of LA before it was most of downtown. We would visit the shelters and talk to the directors. I wanted them to see where so many of their patients at County Hospital lived. I quit teaching about 5 years ago before the homeless thing exploded.

    6. Jonathan Says:

      But setting up camps next to our homes and backyards?

      Of course. They are there for the same reason that wild animals migrate to heavily populated areas. Not that homeless people are animals. It’s just easier for animals and down-and-out people to get by around large human populations.

      In my area there seem to be three overlapping groups of homeless people: seasonal migrants, registered sex offenders whose offender status makes it difficult for them to find work or housing, and untreated addicts/mentally ill. There is obviously a systemic problem even though my state and city don’t go out of their way to encourage homelessness. (I assume the problem would get much less attention if a Republican were not president.)

      It is also obvious that many of these people’s homelessness is being underwritten by disability payments, and that many of them could be helped if they were somehow forced to take the appropriate meds. It might also help if legislatures changed the sex-offender laws so that people no longer get branded for life. But how does any of that get done?

    7. Gringo Says:

      Jonathan
      In my area there seem to be three overlapping groups of homeless people: ….registered sex offenders whose offender status makes it difficult for them to find work or housing…

      Laws and regulations which make it more difficult for registered sex offenders to have a stable residence , thus increasing homelessness, also increase the likelihood of reoffending.New evidence says US sex-offender policies are actually causing more crime.

      California passed a law in Nov. 2006 forbidding parolees who’d committed a sex crime from living within 2,000 feet of schools or parks. Less than five years later, the number of them who were homeless had risen from 88 to almost 2,000. In Oct. 2014, Milwaukee passed an ordinance banning many registrants from living within 2,000 ft of schools, parks, day cares, recreational trails, and playgrounds. The number of homeless registrants promptly soared from 15 to 230 in less than two years, according to an analysis in Oct. 2016 by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

      Most of the area within a city’s limits are within 2,0000 feet of a park or school. Such laws or regulations mean that most of a city’s area is off-limits for residences for registered sex offenders. Result: more registered sex offenders who are homeless. In spite of the good intentions of such laws and regulations, homeless registered sex offenders commit sex crimes at a much higher rate than registered sex offenders who have stable residences.

      Now, new research suggests making it harder for offenders to find a place to live might increase reoffending. In a study released in July 2016, researchers from the California and Canadian justice departments looked at more than 1,600 California sex offenders on probation or parole. Overall, the group’s sex-crime recidivism rates were low–less than 5% during the five-year follow-up period. But those who were homeless were over four times more likely to commit a repeat sex crime than those who weren’t. “Collectively, transient status seems to be associated with higher sexual recidivism rates,” the researchers concluded. That’s likely because those who lack stable homes, jobs, and social connections are more prone to reoffend.

      The California Sex Offender Management Board, created by the state legislature and made up of law enforcement officials and other experts, issued a stark warning in a 2011 report: “The Board believes that the rise in homelessness among sex offenders needs attention because it is so closely associated with an increased level of threat to community safety.” An earlier board report had cited nine studies, including from Australia and Great Britain, all of which found a link between homelessness among ex-offenders (including sex offenders) and higher re-offense rates.

      Force registered sex offenders into homeless status, as one doesn’t want registered sex offenders living in one’s neighborhood. But homeless registered sex offenders are much more likely to reoffend- much more likely to commit more sex crimes. Beware government officials with good intentions.

    8. Bill Brandt Says:

      It’s been the last couple of years that it has really become prevalent. You will actually see tents on the sidewalks downtown. What happened to the anti-vagrancy laws?

      Maybe the solution is to move to the cold belt. They don’t like the cold and stay away from it.

      Last summer I was driving up 101 and stopped in Santa Barbara for gas. I am almost immediately set upon by a vagrant on a bicycle and his female companion. In a small convo it is revealed that they just came from Hawaii.

      I said “if you are just struggling to get by I would have picked a town besides Santa Barbara”.

      Probably one of the wealthiest and most expensive towns in CA.

      Of course they cursed me and said I was heartless and….rode on.

    9. Mike K Says:

      Laws and regulations which make it more difficult for registered sex offenders to have a stable residence ,

      Some years ago, there was a group of sex offenders who were pedophiles that asked to be castrated. There is some evidence that castration, even chemical castration, can reduce the dreams and fantasies that pedophiles have and which may reduce the risk of recidivism.

      There is some research on chemical castration.

      Current opinions on chemical castration for pedophilia are discordant. Some surveys confirm that therapy reduces sexual thoughts and fantasies, especially in recidivism.

      Surgical castration, which would not be subject to compliance with meds, is only available to teenagers who want sex changes.

    10. Jay Guevara Says:

      Late entry.

      Let’s start by cleaning up the language. These people are NOT homeless; they’re vagrants, and should be referred to as such. Characterizing them as “homeless” makes them victims, and invites viewing them like Ozzie and Harriet who somehow just lost their house, when nothing could be further from the truth. The vagrants are largely drug- and alcohol-addled, with some being organically deranged (for which we can thank the Supreme Court’s decision in O’Connor v. Donaldson for making the deranged difficult to institutionalize against their will).

      Vagrants often do not want help, pace liberals. Many of them choose this lifestyle, and resist efforts to get them out of it. They often eschew “homeless” shelters at night, because such shelters generally have rules against drugs, alcohol, and weapons.

      The problems you describe in San Antonio have obtained in my own quiet, upscale coastal California town for some time. Recently two vagrants broke into a pricey condo overlooking a lagoon, and proceeded to murder the female owner by stabbing her 147 times. Over the summer our son was working in a small shopping center that one morning featured a vagrant collapsed on one of the doorsteps, murdered by another vagrant.

      So I don’t want to hear about “compassion.” The vagrants are not victims; they’re the problem. it’s the productive, law-abiding, tax-paying citizens who have to put up with them who are the victims.

    11. Jay Guevara Says:

      I said “if you are just struggling to get by I would have picked a town besides Santa Barbara”.

      Probably one of the wealthiest and most expensive towns in CA.

      It is, but you don’t understand. Your comment would make sense if the vagrants planned on paying their own way. They do not.

      Vagrants seek out wealthy areas because it is more lucrative to panhandle in a wealthy area, which is also likely to have more generous benefits.

      Watch this video of the encampment in Orange County, another wealthy area: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iu3qAkNC0s4

      The large red “A” you see early on is Angel Stadium; the freeway you see later in the background is I-5, which runs right along the coast.

      Nearby the same sort of encampment literally abut the backyards of homeowners who are trying to raise families.

      This has been a long-standing and now growing problem in California. File it under “what hath liberalism wrought?”

    12. Sgt. Mom Says:

      The neighbors discussing this all are quite aware of the difference between the truly homeless, and those vagrants who willfully choose to live on the streets – and no, I don’t think we’ll be bullied by the city council unto accepting an unacceptable situation. The presence of vagrant camps right next to where we live and shop – no, we won’t put up with it quietly.

    13. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      The key, Sarge, is having a metaphorical club to hold over their heads. Some serious threat; political, social, or economic that will make them prioritize personal benefit over political correctness. And an undoubted willingness to use it. It, of course, would be illegal and thus out of bounds for the club to be physical; albeit admittedly effective.

      Keep us posted.

      I submit that I like the idea of sending as many of the “homeless” who are that way by choice to LA, Frisco, Sacramento, Portland, or Seattle. It would micturate in the Wheaties of the TSA and the bargain airlines, but be worth it financially to buy them non-refundable tickets to fly there. Half the nation’s “homeless” are already in California, and I can see a tremendous benefit to increasing that percentage as much as possible before either a) “the Big One” or b) the attempt by the Peoples’ Democrat Republic of Alta California to secede and the unpleasantness around that event.

      Subotai Bahadur

    14. Gringo Says:

      The neighbors discussing this all are quite aware of the difference between the truly homeless, and those vagrants who willfully choose to live on the streets..

      Some years ago I got into a conversation with one of the more competent homeless- he helped edit a newspaper for the homeless. He lived out in the woods. I asked him why he and other homeless didn’t rent an apartment in the “diverse” side of town. At the time, four could have split a 2 BR “diverse” rental of $400 at $100 each. His reply was that he would never live in the “diverse” side of town.

    15. Gringo Says:

      Subotai Bahadur:
      The key, Sarge, is having a metaphorical club to hold over their heads. Some serious threat; political, social, or economic that will make them prioritize personal benefit over political correctness. And an undoubted willingness to use it. It, of course, would be illegal and thus out of bounds for the club to be physical; albeit admittedly effective.

      My suggestion is to transport homeless to the residences of City Council members.

    16. Helian Says:

      If you like to read old magazines you’ll occasionally come across an article describing how similar situations were handled back in the day (we’re talking the 20’s and 30’s). They had “hobo camps” then, too, but the problem was never allowed to get completely out of hand as it is today. When the bums started molesting the normies, the American Legion would form a “committee,” beat up a few of the vagrants, and run the rest out of town. Of course, that can’t happen now, because the American Legion, like the boy scouts, has been assimilated by the Borg. I was in Seattle a few months ago, and the horror stories about the downtown there are true. It’s at least as bad as anything I’ve seen in California.

    17. Mike K Says:

      In the 1930s there was a certain romance about the poor and even the bums. A lot of people realized they were not that far from the same situation.

      :My man Godfrey” is a good example of the genre.

      The hero, William Powell\, plays a bum living in the city dump. Carol Lombard, in one of my favorite movies, finds him and he ends up working as her father’s butler. It’s a great movie, if you have never seen it.

      So is “It Happened One Night.” The Claudette Colbert character sees how the poor live.

      There were quite a few movies that portrayed the hero as a bum but really not. One of my favorites had the hero walking up to an estate where he is taken for a bum but is an author. It was called “Merrily We Live.”

      The secret hero was the source for stories and movies like “Superman.”

      Of course there was no issue of drug use. Psychotics were locked up. Both issues are at the heart of the present day homeless problem.

    18. Ginny Says:

      Well there was a lot of alcohol and I blame some of that romanticizing which gives cover to the remarkably irresponsible and cruel approaches that lose perspective. (Sure I like those films often and those characters often; it isn’t great to throw water on good natured humor which is seldom in over supply.) Sure the homeless probably don’t want to live a bourgeois life – few of them appear to be illegal aliens who arrive with nothing but often live a hardscrabble life that is not on the streets. The street people appear to be some quotient of mentally disturbed and another of druggies and many who begin with one of those problems and eventually merge them. Accepting their reality is no more appropriate than believing women’s shelters should be open to transsexuals who have a troubled history of abuse of others. Nor to accept the claim of parental rights on the border where a good many children are not genetically or emotionally connected to the person who has brought them across the border – and seldom for a good reason. It is not a sign of sensitivity to accept another’s delusions or even convenient for them claims as reality, it is a failure to care.

      We seem to have lost all sense of priorities and even more lost any sense that policies should begin with what works. Mental hospitals might not have worked well but they worked better than this. The marvelous improvements slowly gained as cities became cleaner, safer, healthier places after 1700 are being compromised – in 1950 when some of us were kids, people would assume American cities with feces running down the sidewalks and needles washing into the gutters and rats multiplying that some great natural disaster or international war had happened. (Mind you, that feeling would be no less shaed by my friends who still had outhouses and a pump in the kitchen sink.) I suspect in a few decade life expectancy of city folk will have diminished as was true for centuries.

      The priorities appear to have become virtue signaling (certainly not virtue) and choices that are least likely to impinge on the life of those capable of removing themselves (and perhaps their children) from the ugly world lazy signaling has wrought. Worrying about plastic straws but not the wasted lives of the mentally ill and drug addicts is crazy in itself. Subjective standards, romanticism and narcissism reinforce each other. The Victorian school marm, the stern missionary, the cool if competent nurse – they civilized the world, bringing health and education, discipline and a sense of order. The romantics that are critical of these values are often, (see Rousseau and Shelley), not very good parents, really not very good adults.

      Anyway, that is just general bitching. More specifically, how can either elected leaders or administrative bureaucrats be so heartless as to let shootings and garbage pile up on the streets around them? Is it because they have now found to banish these from their small, narrow and probably gated community life. And, of course, why aren’t the people who live in such squalor expected to clean it up? Do those in charge often step around the feces and needles, the blank stares and babbling voices? Surely encouraging such a soulless life –both for those stepped around and those doing the stepping – is wrong. Romanticizing insanity doesn’t make it romantic. God knows how the Floridians looked at Cruz as the police made their 70th call to his house and the school officials patted him down for guns as he entered. Or how the mayors of sanctuary cities look at what they have wrought in blood and pain.

    19. Mike K Says:

      Mental hospitals might not have worked well but they worked better than this.

      Many of the misconceptions about mental hospitals preceded the real improvements that came with effective anti-psychotic drugs. I worked a summer in the VA psych unit in Los Angeles. Schizophrenics responded well, even to those rather early drugs like Thorazine. Much better drugs exist now. What happened was a perfect storm when movies like “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and the early effective drugs gave the illusion that the psychotic could be treated in an outpatient setting. Governors, like Reagan in CA, took the “reformers” literally and closed the hospitals. It was another case of “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” The people who bought the argument that Randall McMurphy was “just different” are now getting “IT” good and hard. Of course, the hospitals closing saved money for the government and the outpatient services never got built. It turns out that psychotics don’t take those drugs without coercion, so they stay crazy.

      Then came the drugs, which largely became a common phenomenon in the 1970s.

    20. Jay Guevara Says:

      Governors, like Reagan in CA, took the “reformers” literally and closed the hospitals.

      Sorry, but this is most definitely NOT true, although it has become part of liberal theology to assert this.

      Mental hospitals closed owing to the 1975 Supreme Court decision in O’Connor v. Donaldson, which made involuntary institutionalization very difficult. Having then no legal basis for keeping inmates, the hospitals had to let them go, and many mental hospitals closed for lack of patients. (A friend of mine lost her job at one for just this reason.) IIRC, the Supreme Court decision was preceded by similar legislation in California sponsored by a Democrat legislator whose name escapes me at the moment.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O%27Connor_v._Donaldson

      We recently had a nut who tried (unsuccessfully, thank God) to shoot up (and blow up) a local elementary school. Neighbors had called police to his apartment on a literal monthly basis owing to his bizarre and frightening behavior, but the police could do nothing, without a showing that the nut posed an imminent threat to himself or others. Without such a showing they could no more drop a net over him than they could arrest someone without reading him his rights.

    21. Ginny Says:

      I’ve known academically brilliant schizophrenics who also didn’t always stay on medication. I love America’s emphasis on individualism (see half the songs in Country Music, which also demonstrates the downside) but it is a silly romanticism that those with mental disorders know what is best – for them and those around them. The nature of mental illness is a lack of sound, prudent judgement.

      The problems with red flag laws involving guns are equally great in red laws concerning mental problems; the lines are not going to be cleanly drawn and a good deal of thought needs to be spent on defining the public’s/government’s right to limitations on individuals. Imminent threat is clearly too narrow (more than one murder is this area has been committed by someone clearly delusional – but murderous intent didn’t appear until immediately before the act.). Broadening the ability to curtail some freedoms (and offer some help) will take some time and will need to be examined constantly to see what works and what doesn’t. But narrowing the freedom in general of the public rather than offering both restrictions and aid to the few would make a lot more sense.

    22. Sgt. Mom Says:

      The most irritating thing about the initial reaction of the city council, the DA, etc – is that they and we already know how this whole situation with the indigent/bughouse-nuts vagrants will work out! It is demonstrated by California’s cities! Nothing good comes of tolerating vagrants taking over public spaces! From poop, used syringes, piles of trash, and ordinary citizens being harassed by aggressive panhandlers or the merely deranged – we all know how this evolves.
      The city seems to have been embarrassed into policing the worst of it around the Naco-O’Connor intersection by the news story, but as the Daughter Unit says, “we can’t slack off, because once we take off public pressure, they’ll go right back to tolerating it.”

    23. Ginny Says:

      Do they even try to defend this as a policy? I always said I didn’t want to live where I had to lock any doors. The level of inefficiencies and discomfort in living in a nontrust community isn’t worth it. Does anyone that sets up these crazy policies ever have to defend them with logic? Oh, I meant to say above, limiting the lives of the majority and broadening the rights to self-destruction of a minority is surely hard to defend.

    24. Will March Says:

      Greetings to Sgt. Mom! Been a while since I had a chance to enjoy your thoughts.
      To sort out the roots of what we now call “homelessness in America,” look back to 1966, when filmmaker Frederick Wiseman was given permission to film patients and activities inside the Massachusetts Correctional Institution in Bridgewater, Mass. After he spent months filming and editing shots into a story, he showed the adminsitrators and officials the film.

      The bureaucrats were shocked when they saw the terrible scenes he had captured in his film – patients made into drooling zombies by heavy doses of Thorazine; human feces smeared on walls by patients left to dry by over-worked staff; drugged patients left for hours sitting in their own waste; violent encounters between patients and staff. The film was shown a few times in limited venues, but a court injunction to destroyed most prints and prevented Wiseman distributing the film, which he had titled “Titticut Follies.” This made headlines for the film, and it was widely-discussed long before the injunction lapsed.

      As “Titticut Follies” finally was released and started circulating more than ten years later, news reports had already emerged that for fifty years, Virginia State Mental Hospitals had been sterilizing patients, without their consent, and without even consulting or notifying the families of the patients. These together prompted the public outcry that eventually led Congress to enact legislation to outlaw the institutionalization of patients against their will without specific diagnosis by certified Mental Health professionals. Evidently for most of a century, a family could just drop off a troublesome child or sibling or uncle, whatnot, and tell the institution the person could no longer safely be left unsupervised, Thanks, ‘Bye.

      Ronald Reagan signed the Legislation that the Democrat Congress had passed. But they never could get legislation out of committee to proceed with the promised nationwide Halfway-House system as the “safety net” to help hundreds of thousands of newly-emancipated mental patients make the transition to self-sufficiency, or at least have a place to sleep.

      Reagan was followed by Bush, who met increasingly unmasked Democrat hostility, focused on their agenda to defend the openly communist Sandinista regime in Nicaragua. The Dems began a sustained attempt to remove the Bush administration over backdoor aid directed to the “Contras” opposing the Marxist regime in Managua.

      The homeless issue was pushed to the background, and allowed to seek its own solution. Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, and world events overwhelmed any concerns over the marginalized homeless people. So they who had been “liberated” from unjust incarceration and warehousing in those mental hospitals became the modern wave of homeless people in America since the Great Depression.

      The cynical use of humans as props-of-convenience being one of the particular talents of the Left, the homeless suddenly became a permanent feature. Their visible suffering is seen to be far too useful to the Left for them to risk the loss of their propaganda value by doing something… anything … to help them find permanent homes.

    25. Sgt. Mom Says:

      Hi, Will – yep, I knew of the beginning of it all, rooted in distaste for abuses within certain asylums, and how they were closed, and the inmates left to fend for themselves when the plans for halfway houses/clinics fell through. Talk about the road to civic hell being paved with good intentions…

      As for the local meeting, and our own homeless problem – the meeting was basically residents from a good number of local neighborhoods and apartment complexes. We passed around some good contact numbers for the SAPD non-emergency lines, agreed to talk to our immediate neighbors about not contributing to panhandlers, to approach the various businesses where the panhandlers were hanging out, and to keep calling with polite complaints to the local authorities. It seems that the main problem has been somewhat alleviated, as the most obvious street people have vacated that particular intersection. But it’s something that we have to keep on doing, and being implacably polite about it all, in order to have any effect.

      As for Austin, the city authorities there seem bound and determined to replicate LA/San Francisco.

    26. Gringo Says:

      Sgt. Mom:
      As for Austin, the city authorities there seem bound and determined to replicate LA/San Francisco.

      Sad, but true. But Governor Abbot is on the case.Fed Up: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Warns Austin to Fix Its Homeless Mess—Or He Will.

      Gov. Greg Abbott has evidently seen enough. Today he issued a stern letter to the Mayor of the Adlervilles, warning him that if the city fails to clean up its own mess, the State of Texas will no longer tolerate being messed with.

      Today I sent a letter to @MayorAdler about the growing crisis arising from the Austin Homeless policy.

      Feces & used needles are piling up & residents are endangered.

      If not fixed by Nov.1, I’ll use State authority to protect Texans’ health & safety.#txlege pic.twitter.com/KmvEtMW81T
      — Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) October 2, 2019