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Thread: Homeless shelters

  1. #1
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    Homeless shelters

    We all know the homeless issue in America. My thoughts/question is and I hope I phrase this correctly, Are these homeless shelters becoming the equivalent of the old time Poor Houses?

    I ask as out town has a "few" and now another has been approved after much back and forth from the homeowners in the area of it. This one will house 60 a night. Hoping to be 24 hour eventually. A fence it being put up where the picnic tables will be. Ordinances will be set so said for waiting on sidewalks till opening at night. The YMCA already lets anyone needing a shower use it. The public pool has now opened up in the winter as a dinner and night shelter.

    The tiny town next door has just approved a shelter 24/7 for up to 6 months at a time.

    I D K the answer it just seems like so much and such an issue.

    Yesterday I donated two old Trek bikes to what opened a couple years ago as ReCycle bike shop for those in needed. Classes had to be taken on minor repair and rules to get a bike. I went there to drop the bikes off and Wow it was like a store now, yes bikes for sale too. This hurts the tiny local bike store I believe. Goodwill has beautiful stores now. Ours is next door to WM and Starbucks.

    Kind of a rant but just wondering

  2. #2
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikingLady View Post
    We all know the homeless issue in America. My thoughts/question is and I hope I phrase this correctly, Are these homeless shelters becoming the equivalent of the old time Poor Houses?

    I D K the answer it just seems like so much and such an issue.
    It seems to be an issue in our city, as well. In fact, the main homeless shelter here, which has been overwhelmed for years, finally tore down the old "mat room" building and is replacing it in two stages with facilities about twice the size. They are also, however, restructuring their services. The new "mat room" will hold as many homeless people as they can legally put in there; the demand appears to be there (especially in winter). But nicer facilities (shared rooms with individual bathrooms and even some efficiency-apartment-like setups) depend on demonstrated abstinence from substance abuse and/or holding a job. The highest level (literally, the top floor in one of the new buildings) is the "apartments" and residents are charged a nominal rent which is then returned to them when they are ready to move to a "mainstream" living place elsewhere in the area.

    Homelessness is a complex issue. Some see it as a moral failure. Others see it as a personality or lifestyle issue. Still others see people who were just barely hanging on until one last rap on the knuckles knocked them off their perch. I think all of those reasons for homelessness -- except the first -- is true. But the first really muddies the waters.

    I don't know the answer either except that these folks need to have some place to live, especially in double-digit-below-zero weather, that does not endanger others (other homeless or other citizens). I have no qualm with shelters requiring residents to not fight or abuse alcohol or drugs during their stay though that excludes some homeless people. And I applaud the structure that rewards those who can beat addiction and develop the social and economic responsibility most of us like to see in our fellow citizens. A lot of people just need a break their way. Many more people are just one bad break away from homelessness themselves. It's not good out there and I don't see much on the horizon that will change that long-term.

    Quote Originally Posted by BikingLady View Post
    Yesterday I donated two old Trek bikes to what opened a couple years ago as ReCycle bike shop for those in needed. Classes had to be taken on minor repair and rules to get a bike. I went there to drop the bikes off and Wow it was like a store now, yes bikes for sale too. This hurts the tiny local bike store I believe. Goodwill has beautiful stores now. Ours is next door to WM and Starbucks.

    Kind of a rant but just wondering
    I know plenty of people who will never consider buying anything used. Not even clothing their kids will grow out of in six months or a Halloween costume. Or hard furniture. Or a bike. Or a smartphone.

    I think places like ReCycle and Goodwill are amping it up for few reasons. First, it's a more attractive environment that attracts customers who have a hard time envisioning themselves in a thrift or resale store. Second, there's more "stuff" out there than they can deploy to the needy but their costs aren't going down any, so selling some covers those expenses. And, third, if you want to present your storefront as an alternative to the friendly local bike shop or the dollar store or Target/Walmart, putting your employees in such spaces emphasizes aspects of business and customer service that operating out of a grungy storefront or basement does not.

    The tiny local bike store will persevere, if the people managing it are any good at all. They have access to expertise and product ReCycle will never reliably have. To some customers, that's a critical difference. The tiny local bike store does not have to race to the bottom economically if they can provide customers enough value for whatever extra they're paying. People still pay for bottled water and cable TV, don't they?
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

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    SteveinMN,

    Do you know if your local homeless shelter sends a driver to nearby hotels to pick up leftovers from "continental breakfasts"? My hunch is that the hotels put out a substantial amount of stuff that has very little shelf-life... for instance, scrambled eggs, cooked breakfast sausage, etc. Then at 9:30 AM, breakfast is over. The hotels probably have a few employees who partake of some of the leftovers. But... if there is more leftover perishable food, does it just go into the dumpsters at the hotels?

    BTW, I have some memories of the Sunken Garden, Como Park Zoo & Conservatory. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5lmXFGBxgc

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    Working in local government, I have found there to be three location issues you can count on for a local outcry: Low income housing, homeless shelters and registered sex offenders. Not surprisingly, wealthier neighborhoods can usually come up with plausible reasons why they shouldn't be sited there.

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    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Back decades, there used to be homes with rooms to rent and meals provided or a home with rooms to rent sort of like a motel room. Where have these all gone? i know I rented a room when at university with a hot plate, a mini fridge and a shared bathroom. It worked and was affordable. Where do people go with minimal funds? Are all homeless people unemployed or low in funds? unhealthy or having mental issues or drug issues? It strikes me as a very complex issue for each community to deal with. To date, I have seen no clear sense of direction in managing the situation or are there examples of successful management?
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LDAHL View Post
    Working in local government, I have found there to be three location issues you can count on for a local outcry: Low income housing, homeless shelters and registered sex offenders. Not surprisingly, wealthier neighborhoods can usually come up with plausible reasons why they shouldn't be sited there.
    Open prisons, that is the trifecta of all of the above. That is what we in my neighborhood spent years and thousands and thousands of dollars fighting, and were successful.That was the state that was attempting to fook us over.

    We also spent many hundreds of citizen hours helping to/hoping to shape the rejiggered public housing complex down the block.. Sadly, the rejiggering was completed only for part of the area. That was the feds that were fooking us over.

    Stupid mf bureaucrats, a pox on them. Present company excepted.

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    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    I've read some things about Portland Maine being innovative in dealing with homelessness.

    https://www.pressherald.com/2017/05/...ew-apartments/

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    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dado potato View Post
    Do you know if your local homeless shelter sends a driver to nearby hotels to pick up leftovers from "continental breakfasts"? My hunch is that the hotels put out a substantial amount of stuff that has very little shelf-life... for instance, scrambled eggs, cooked breakfast sausage, etc. Then at 9:30 AM, breakfast is over. The hotels probably have a few employees who partake of some of the leftovers. But... if there is more leftover perishable food, does it just go into the dumpsters at the hotels?
    I don't think there's a direct arrangement among the shelter and local hotels. But I know the big food bank at which I volunteer has a large food rescue program which includes an increasing number of restaurants and hotels that offer their extra prepared food -- and that the homeless shelter is a client.

    Quote Originally Posted by dado potato View Post
    BTW, I have some memories of the Sunken Garden, Como Park Zoo & Conservatory. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5lmXFGBxgc
    That place is a jewel! One of my favorite things to do in winter (especially in awful stretches like the icebox we're re-entering) is to spend an hour or so inside either the Sunken Garden or the Cowles Conservatory in Minneapolis. It's a bit of a vacation to be around green growing things and smell wet earth for a while!
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

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    To date, I have seen no clear sense of direction in managing the situation or are there examples of successful management?
    I think it is a huge problem that is not being addressed except at local levels and then just in a stop-gap manner. This city unbeknownst to us at the time we decided to retire here has a huge homeless and growing population. We can't go to a trail or park without seeing homeless camps and all of their trash. Needles, feces, garbage. The local charity that tends to them has just added another three acres so there will be more. These types for whatever their issue are not homeless - they are vagrants who don't want to play the game and live off the generosity of others. Many are young, white males who I guess are drug addicts with no ambition but to survive another day.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post
    Back decades, there used to be homes with rooms to rent and meals provided or a home with rooms to rent sort of like a motel room. Where have these all gone? i know I rented a room when at university with a hot plate, a mini fridge and a shared bathroom. It worked and was affordable. Where do people go with minimal funds? Are all homeless people unemployed or low in funds? unhealthy or having mental issues or drug issues? It strikes me as a very complex issue for each community to deal with. To date, I have seen no clear sense of direction in managing the situation or are there examples of successful management?
    Something else missing, is I have a local shopping district, with a small town Mayberry Feel. One of Walt Disney's original studio's was in it. Above those stores, are both some apartments, as well as residences that used to house those that owned the stores below.
    For decades, it has been unlawful to use those as residences.

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