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Archive for Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Shelter has 3 months to resolve concerns

Commission on homelessness to work with site’s neighbors

December 14, 2005

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The Lawrence Community Shelter has been given another three months by city commissioners to work with its neighbors to iron out concerns about the downtown homeless shelter.

Commissioners Tuesday night agreed to extend the permit for the shelter - located at 10th and Kentucky streets - for three months. But commissioners also directed the city's Community Commission on Homelessness to examine how the shelter could better work with neighbors who have expressed concerns about loitering and the number of police calls at the shelter.

"I'm hoping that we can work together as a team," said City Commissioner Sue Hack. "It is an important issue. We are a compassionate community, but we also have expectations and want to protect surrounding property owners."

Commissioners received about two hours of public comment on the issue, hearing from both supporters of the shelter and neighbors who believe that the shelter has not lived up to its promises since opening in December of 2003.

People from both sides of the issue, though, agreed that there needed to be a discussion about finding a long-term location for the shelter - which is one of two in the city, but is the only shelter that accepts individuals who have been drinking.


Volunteer Mary Jo Harrell stacks coffee mugs Tuesday afternoon at the Lawrence Community Shelter, which is at 10th and Kentucky streets. City Commissioners on Tuesday night agreed to extend the center's permit for three months.  Commissioners directed a city committee to examine how the shelter could work better with neighbors.

Volunteer Mary Jo Harrell stacks coffee mugs Tuesday afternoon at the Lawrence Community Shelter, which is at 10th and Kentucky streets. City Commissioners on Tuesday night agreed to extend the center's permit for three months. Commissioners directed a city committee to examine how the shelter could work better with neighbors.

"I'm for all the goodness that everyone can do, but on the other hand you have people who are just asking (shelter) management to follow through on what they've promised," said Bob Schumm, a downtown business owner. "Maybe this is the wake-up call the city needs to get going on finding a location that will really work well."

Proponents of the shelter didn't object to that thinking, but said the city shouldn't take any action to hurt the shelter in the meantime.

"What we should have here is a hearing on how to build a better shelter, how we can create a system that we don't have to turn people away, what we can do to create more affordable housing," said Hilda Enoch, a longtime advocate for the homeless. "We have real problems to be solved, but to shut down this shelter or limit it in any way won't solve any problems."

The shelter's director, Loring Henderson, also told commissioners that he did not think the current facility was a good long-term location because the building was too small and it was on the edge of a residential neighborhood.

Helen Hartnett, co-chairwoman of the homeless commission, said it likely would not be able to tackle the issue of a new location for the shelter during its three month review. But she said the commission could help ease tensions between the neighborhood and the shelter.

"We hope we can come up with a strategy to create ongoing communication between the shelter staff and the neighborhood groups," said Hartnett, who teaches at Kansas University's School of Social Welfare.

The homeless commission is newly formed and replaced the city's Task Force on Homeless Services, which disbanded after it presented its final report to city commissioners earlier this year.

Members of the new commission are: Katherine Dinsdale, Loring Henderson, Shirley Martin-Smith, Sara Taliaferro, Barbara Hogue, Ed Brunt, Jane Faubion, Kim Gouge, Phil Hemphill, Robert Mosely and Hartnett.











By the numbers

Here are the types of incidents police officers have been dispatched to investigate at the Lawrence Community Shelter from Jan. 1 through Nov. 25: ¢ trespassing: 50 calls ¢ medical emergency: 43 ¢ request for officer: 28 ¢ battery: 23 ¢ disturbance, no weapon: 16 ¢ disturbance with weapon: two ¢ drugs: five ¢ theft: 10 ¢ threats: seven ¢ wanted person: four

Comments

bearded_gnome 8 years, 4 months ago

Offtotheright: you're right!
she did not succeed at countering any of my points and demonstrates an amazing haughtiness about reasonable complaints RE We do not like to have a huge concentration of crime and crime-prone persons there!
she illustrates why the shelter will probably be given the heave in three months, with that attitude!

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offtotheright 8 years, 4 months ago

You people are really wasting your breath here.

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miss_tigerus 8 years, 4 months ago

Infernoday

I call it as I see it. I even do that with my commrades, as you call them. I have the uttmost repect from the majority in the homeless community.

Example of human interest story: Journalist shows up at the night shelter while all the guests are standing in line. It's cold, it's Thanksgiving and all anyone wanted to do was get inside the shelter after spending many hours waiting ouside. the journalist proceeded to snap pictures,without permission I might add so that they could write a story about homeless shelters and the people in them. We all turned our backs and the journalist was lucky they didn't get hurt (another police call...are you listening neighbors?) The homeless put up with alot....the surrounding community says that THEY put up with alot. Who wins the battle of "Who puts up with more?" You tell me.

I'm not the who needs to grow up...I do think that certain people just need to go home, lock their doors , shut thier blinds so they can't see the "real world" around them.

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infernoday 8 years, 4 months ago

miss_tigerus, you haven't listened to anything that we have been saying. You're so quick to defend and argue our points that you are tarnishing your own. I know that it appears that we are trying to insult you or make you feel bad, but any insults are only towards the persona you are hiding behind.

Please go back and re-read what people have been saying, you'll find that not one person has said that the shelter should be destroyed or otherwise permanetly removed. We have differing opinions on what should be done, but its with those varying degrees that can help shape the future.

Remember, you have a perfect opportunity to help the shelter more than any of us right now. You asked us to "... look at the guests on an individual basis" but think negativly towards a human interest peice. You need to be that story. Yes, the citizens will forget about your story and eventually move on to something else, but the homeless will never forget, isn't it them were writing all of this for anyways?

Grow up, you owe it to more than just the shelter or your commrades in the shelter. You owe it to yourself.

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miss_tigerus 8 years, 4 months ago

And some of you yahoo's want to get out your video camers to film the homeless....that's sad

It's amazing how wonderful a homeless person becomes when someone needs a human interest story. The "dirty, drug infested dried up old street bum" beomes a Star. And then the rest of the 300 some odd days of the year...he's still a "bum" and the writer has gone on the fame and fortune..at the expense of the bum.

People are people. For all I know...some of the neighbors are "closet drug users or even dealers"

But we'll never know the "neighbors" because they don't have the guts to come have a simple cup of coffee with the "dirty, drug infested street bum" now do they.

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miss_tigerus 8 years, 4 months ago

bearded_gnome

I'm not a KU student, I'm a Washburn student I think thats the problem I think Washburn is a better University.

Which does say some thing about the long time residents of Lawrence. Not very wecoming people and heavan forbid that someone attends a college other than KU.

And the "police calling policing" has not change at the shelter.

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larryville_79 8 years, 4 months ago

The passion in Miss_tigerus' heart to be a part of the solution is audible but her rants are defiant as a 5year old's. I understand the desire to help and make a difference.Many of us are just born that way. She has a trmendous opportunity to see the world from a perspective that most fear and ignore and hope will go away,and hopefully come out on top,as a better person. But the defiant nature of her posts and the ignorance rings loud and clear I would have to ask her to please step down as a spokesperson for a cause that I feel just as passionately about.Before she causes any more damage for the shelter's image.

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Jeremy 8 years, 4 months ago

Hey neighbors and other opponets of the shelter. You'd better video or photograph the problems that are occurring at the shelter because the staff has been told not to call the Police unless it's an absolute emergency.

They're going to show a significant reduction in police calls to make it look like they're improving. It's not that the actual problems of dealing with dangerous, drunk, and/or crazy "clients" are being reduced or solved, they're just not snitching on themselves.

Pretty good plan, but the rest of us are onto you!

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bearded_gnome 8 years, 4 months ago

most offensive by Miss_tigerus, all the police calls and the loitering, no big deal to her. huh?

apparently she doesn't understand the meaning of private property in our system...and arson by homess is "no big deal?" or, homeless despoiling bathrooms with feces, "no big deal?"
or, remember Louie, the few weeks ago, sleeping in the open air and a guy comes from MO and attacks him w/ a big hanging knife? they're making louie more comfortable in that lifestyle instead of providing motivation for him to stop living on the street. and, public sex acts, "no big deal?" I could make a list very long here!

and, as to miss_tigress_arse describes herself as an attractive female. yet, she's a student, studying at KU and cannot keep her own dwelling? furthermore as her posts indicate, she might have the body, but the saying goes: "pretty is as pretty does" the men on that job site might've liked her T@&@A but I've known many women who were deeply beautiful, but only once you looked beyond the skin-deep.
her posts exhibit exactly why we are so damned tired of the shelter and what it is bringing. also, many homeless come to lawrence for these services to be comfortable, is that what we want?

finally, Raging_bear, big LOL to your turds comment...nice going. one of the best comments I've ever read on the board! I'm glad the city has given the shelter a three-month probation.

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infernoday 8 years, 4 months ago

You have the power to help more than any of us can, you could be the success story, the evidence that the service's work, the person that I and most importantly the other homeless could look up to and draw inspiration from when we feel like there is no future. Today in a 5 comments you have single handedly turned it into a joke and a waste of taxpayers money. How could I see a future or a reason to help when you boast about buying a laptop, and sleep in a warm bed while others try to find solace in 30deg weather.

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infernoday 8 years, 4 months ago

miss_tigerus, I am not trying to take a stab at you personally, or anyway for that matter, but through all that I have read I haven't fully seen what point it is you are trying to make. I have instead seen your finger being pointed in all directions, a lot having little to do with the situation at hand. So out of some intuition and creative thought to help appease the words of others on you I have boiled it all down to you being scared of reality. Your accusations and ignorance being just a way for you to vent your frustrations.

One thing that is forgotten when pointing the fingers at others is looking at oneself first.

The issue here has tremendous place in your heart and life, you've stated that you are a resident and a volunteer for the shelter. Its your home and job for you and losing it is a scary proposition when you've already lost both once. Then you take in that you've become a full time student with their help along with other organizations. This cant be easy for you.

Another thing that is easily forgotten when faced with a situation of fear is that we are not alone. There are other people who are just as bad or as worse. That is something that you have forgotten although it is what you have been screaming it at us. We have to do are part in anyway possible. It shouldn't be expected that people should give money for this, because again remember there are some in far worse positions. But just because the priority for Private and Government money is low, that doesn't mean their isn't anything that can be done. You've already demonstrated the biggest tool in progress here. You've voiced your opinions. However, there is another thing that you, miss_tigerus, can do personally. You could think before you speak and take another hard look at yourself.

We've heard your broken words for support, but where is your support? Your trying to rally the troops for help but are coming off as hypocritical and ignorant. You've entered the world of the streets, been given support, and been shown a door to a future. But, you are still living at the shelter.

Yes, you do volunteer there, and I will just assume that its to help others, but why not take those hours and apply it where you can support yourself. Obtain a job, finish school, and get a career. The organizations would understand if you walked away to finish your goals and secure your future. You were given help for a reason, staying doesn't do more than slap your saviors in the face.

I am 23 years old and will soon find myself being homeless. I feel right now that I don't have the rest of my life anymore. But you have been in the same boat and now working on what a lot of people don't have a degree. I envy you for losing everything and making headway to get it all back and more. But my envy is short lived when I see that your still wasting it away.

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gmaikido 8 years, 4 months ago

I believe homeless services in a residential area is a valid concern for residents. Close to the shelter homeless graciously utilize LINK and other nearby services for many years. I remember when the shelter did not exist homeless were in the same area and the same problems and concerns existed. One thing that has changed is the homeless are more visible in the area than before in light of the shelter.

Rationally speaking if the shelter did not exist then more homeless would be living on the streets, on your front or back porch, in your shed, back yard or even your bed. I believe the shelter is a place were PEOPLE are able to start a new life. However, there are those who are less motivated than others to move forward with their lives. I want to disclose, my experience in Lawrence more homeless do not use drugs and or alcohol. There is indeed a population who do. Believe it or not there are many drugs and prescription meds sold on the streets, in both shelters, and in the eating establishments.

There are drug dealers who even come to town when SSI checks are in. Indeed, one has the choice to use drugs or self-medicate there psychiatric symptoms, but I believe a lb of hope and motivation to change can go along way to begin the recovery process. There is a cycle of hopelessness that need to change.

Next, I believe trained staff is essential in helping one find the path to recovery. Unfortunately, funds are scarce to properly train shelter staff in all the dimensions of providing service to the homeless population. I am not familiar what extent both shelters have in terms of trained staff (trained in mental health, crisis prevention/intervention, community resource acquisition, etc) but this should be seriously looked at. In the past, I have been to both homeless shelters in the past and staff were ill prepared to deal with shelter guests discouragements.

Few options existed to help one end their plight of homelessness. In the end FUNDING is the key to this problem. I hope the shelter will continue to serve a need in the community. If the shelter is not permitted to stay open then ask yourself, "where will they go." Some may be compassionate to the cause and others may simply not care. No shelter then people will have to do what they have to do in order to survive. No shelter then other institutions such as DG Co jail may become the new shelter.

I urge the city commission to keep the shelter doors open. Remember people died on the streets that sparked the doors of the Lawrence shelter to open. A lot of progress has been achieved. Please take a step forward not 2-steps back. God Bless.

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miss_tigerus 8 years, 4 months ago

Sure Lynn, do you have any good leads on jobs?? All suggestions welcome.

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observer 8 years, 4 months ago

Wondering, would you rather have the homeless or the college students trashing your neighborhood? Personally, think homeless are a lot less problem. I for one wouldn't live near downtown because of student slums. not homeless shelters. Same reason I refuse to go downtown at night, can't stand obnoxious drunks and they aren't the homeless.

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Lynn731 8 years, 4 months ago

This situation has gotten totally ridiculous. Put these people to work. Help them find jobs, and if they want to receive a free bed to sleep in, and free meals make them work for it. There are jobs out there for people that want to work, the problem is that the majority of these people do not want to work. I know this will be a hard pill to swallow for all you liberals, do gooders, and bleeding hearts out there. Also, this shelter should absolutely not be near any neighborhood or area where people live. The shelter takes people that have been drinking. Would you like some drunk wandering around near your home? Using your front yard for a bathroom, or trash can? Of course not, and that is why there are problems. To whomever made the decision to put this shelter near or in a residential neighborhood, you are brain dead! Make these slackers work, and move your shelter away from any residential area, then perhaps you do gooders can feed and house these people without causing any problems. Except of course, the source of funding all this. That may be a problem. Thank you, Lynn

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miss_tigerus 8 years, 4 months ago

Why do you assume the negative Rangingbear? Why do you suggest that I plan on being a carreer student? Don't you think that, that is "insulting" to me? I do.

I also told someone else the same thing. They insulted me by saying that I'm getting my degree here by doing my internship at the expense of his neighborhood.

I have student loans. How else..."mommy and daddy?" I don't think so

So I suppose the Social Workers in the Masters program from Washburn doing their intenship here is also a bad thing as well. That they are not "ligitimate" assests to this neighborhood.

And the Police....the neighbors want more security here.but yet you say uniformed officers cause more problems. Which is it..."Cops or No Cops" please make up your minds about that. They already patrol the area as it is......

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Ragingbear 8 years, 4 months ago

There were no insults towards you. I simply said what was. Look at yourself. You are apparently going to school, and have training in a rather productive field. Yet you somehow not only manage to do all your homework and studies at that place, but manage to add in a bunch of volunteer hours.

So, what? You have decided to not pay money for an apartment? Or perhaps you just don't want to work, and expect to somehow stay in college your entire life? Where is the tuition money for this schooling coming from? Did you choose to be homeless?

Idea #1- Why do we need another clinic when there are two three that fill the needs quite well? Are you suggesting that we take funds allocated for low-cost and free clinics and use them for an on-site clinic? And where would it be put? That building is bursting at it's seams as it is? Do you have a location in mind? How are we going to afford that?

Idea #2- Hmmm, so instead of the staff just putting their foot down, we need to hire a uniformed staff to provide 24 man hours a day at a minimum cost of $4320 a month, or nearly $52000 a year to pay for a person that cannot make arrest, has no real ability, and in order to get somebody arrested, or moved off the property would require them to call the police?

Let us not forget how many people would react to a uniformed person who looks like a cop wandering the facility. Things could easily get ugly, and no doubt will.

Those aren't ideas. Those are turds. You can tell because they come out of the same part of the body. So if you have any ideas that may actually do something ,please hang up and try again. If you need help, please dial your operator.

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miss_tigerus 8 years, 4 months ago

Then you must have joined late when I posted.

Yes, I live at the shelter

Yes, I'm a full time Criminal Justice Student majoring in Corrections

Yes, I also am a Volunteer for the shelter

Yes, I also have EMT training and have helped out in that way as well

Ideas:

Funding for the shelters own medical staff Own Clinic if you will Would take all the responsibility off the city.

Funding for security. relief for LPD this would hopefully releave tension with neighors knowing that theres security here

And RangingBear if you have mental problems I will disregard your insults towards me.

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Ragingbear 8 years, 4 months ago

You have changed your personal story more times than I can count now. Now you don't live at the shelter, but volunteer there. You own your own laptop, which is neat if you do. And we didn't already go through this.

Your just a waste .Either post some ideas to improve it, encourage ideas to improve it, or move on.

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miss_tigerus 8 years, 4 months ago

And my plight?? I'm a full time student, volunteer at the shelter ( in charge of the Christmas Wish List Program) Have my own laptop geez thought we already went through this

:o) I don't sit down at the library

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miss_tigerus 8 years, 4 months ago

But I've already told the people in this forum that but since I stay here...it's assumed I'm one of the menences as well. I also have EMT training, which I've used as a volunteer for the shelter. Do I get another cookie???? :o) I've also documented community service hours for people that the courts send here to do their community service hours for their DUI's ...etc (ku students) or have been busted for drugs. So you can talk all day about the "street drunks..etc LCS works closely with the courts, the probation officers, the parole oficer, law enforcement it's just more than a "drunk shelter"

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badger 8 years, 4 months ago

Oh, and you still haven't told me if I'm one of your 'hardened group of people meaner than criminals'.

Per your 2:27 and 2:29 posts, it seems that it's perfectly all right for you to lump together all 'criminals' for a yardstick of 'badness' but we are not to lump together all the shelter guests (a significantly smaller population) and associate them with problems occurring in their immediate proximity due to the presence of the operation that provides them with food, shelter, and comfort. Duly noted.

Ragingbear has a point. It seems that today, all you did for the shelter was insult, offend, and abuse those who you had a unique opportunity to influence. Rather than talking about plans for what the shelter could do to build community support, you opted to berate people and refuse to accept that the shelter's own policies and actions have a lot to do with its community image. You dismissed over a hundred police calls in under a year as 'no big deal'. You pointed out that as part of the larger picture, it wasn't that serious. Well, as part of the even larger picture, the lives of the people this shelter helps mean not one thing, in the face of the tremendous poverty of much of the rest of the world. But you don't care about that; you only want to help those in your immediate proximity.

However, you also want to pick and choose who in your immediate proximity is worthy of your understanding. A homeless man who wants to smoke pot on the steps? Totally worthy. A local homeowner who doesn't want his children exposed to drugs that way? Well, he's just hard-hearted and narrow-minded. A career drunk with no interest in holding a job? Well, he's got problems and he needs patience. A neighbor who calls the police the fourth time he finds someone passed out on his front steps? He just can't accept that other people have rights and needs and problems.

You want compassion and understanding given back to you, you have to start giving them to everyone, not just the people who meet your little criteria for 'broken enough.'

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Ragingbear 8 years, 4 months ago

First it was "You don't know the story" to "I can't work under slave conditions." to "I was sexually assaulted."

Has anyone else noticed that this person has sat at the library computer all day today?

What did you do to end the plight of yourself or others today?

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larryville_79 8 years, 4 months ago

So,you must NOT go to work or even look for a better way on the assumption that you could get ripped off? You are making every excuse for these people but Miss Tigerus you are really turning me off to the plight of these poeple. I have for many moons been behind the underdogs of western civilzation.i HAve spoken for the shelter both publicly and on these forums.They are humans and citizens who deserve all the dignity that anyone gets in this great country. But you are obviously a part of the problem and blessing the da*ned place with your extremely attractive self hardly makes you a part of the solution.It is clear that sitting behind the desk for free may well give you a little self worth for a change but it won't pay the bills.Get a job and show these people how to do it.Be an example not an in-active activist. Until you get out drop-in shlter and out to the workforce office your words are empty and without merit. I go to work every single day with the great risk of getting screwed or worse...killed.So don't give me any of your excuses and don't make them, for your fellows shlter "guests".

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badger 8 years, 4 months ago

Yeah, miss_tigerus, characterizing us as insensitive towards sexual harrassment, that's totally going to show us.

In my years of being employed, I have put up with:

-sexual harrassment -religious discrimination -emotional abuse -having things hurled at my head -having things swung at my head -being threatened with assault, robbery, and murder -working 12 hour days without being paid -being paid far less than advertised for far harder work than advertised -working weeks at a time of 16-hour days for just under five bucks an hour -showing up to work to find that the company had closed and left no forwarding address - or paychecks -being threatened with firing if I did not lie to the county health department about the fact that someone who worked in the produce dept of the grocery store had been diagnosed with Hepatitis A -being threatened with firing while I was on a job 800 miles from home for objecting to unsafe working conditions, and being told that the company would not pay my expenses home if I was fired while on that trip

The point YOU are missing, dear, is that everyone experiences abuses on the job. Sometimes you walk out, sometimes you stay, but you NEVER use those abuses as a justification to stop trying to find work to put food on your own table.

Stop trying to play the persecution card. Here is the crux of the matter, and the thing you need to think about before you post again:

This shelter has 3 months, 90 days to clean up its act, make up with the neighbors, and demonstrate that it can be a useful, necessary part of the community. If it cannot demonstrate that, it is likely to go away. If it goes away, these souls you are so passionately defending will have lost another resource.

Instead of looking to tar and blame others for what you perceive as failure in the obligations you believe they have to you, you need, right the heck now, to get the fact that the burden of proof is on the shelter and they need to take action to correct what is wrong. Just like an addict has to admit that he has a problem and has been making wrong choices before rehab will work, this shelter has to admit that they have problems, and own up to the wrong choices they made, before they'll be able to join the community as a productive entity.

You can keep slinging blame all you want. However, remember what I said yesterday about how sometimes, the only way to get through to someone who will not accept responsibility and change is to shut the door in his face and walk away. When Lawrence shuts the door in the face of this shelter and walks away, how long will it take before you all hit rock bottom and realize that your situation is often the product of your own choices?

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blue73harley 8 years, 4 months ago

Tigerus - you are the one who is extremely confused. Ragingbear refered to day labor because your post at 2:09 specifically said that you worked two days at day labor.

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rousseau108 8 years, 4 months ago

let's not forget the police calls listed by LJW don't even include all the calls around the shelter due to shelter guests. example, drinking in public, aggressive panhandling, fighting, trespassing on neighboring properties, etc. I like how Miss_tigerus thinks the neighbors are the ones that have obligations to the homeless. I don't think so. And what does she mean by the homeless have fought to keep their neighbors' houses safe and secure? I guess the neighbors didn't understand the homeless were actually working as security guards but fell asleep on their front porch, in their cars, etc. As for the permanent "guests," I don't think you qualify as a guest if you have the address of the shelter on your DRIVERS LICENSE. But I'm glad Miss_tigerus has taken up the mantle of shelter spokeswoman and can educate all of us on what really goes on there b/c no one else can possibly know. Oh wait, I work in that area and have to witness the police calls and the transients' antics all the time, so excuse me for having a different view from you Miss_tigerus, though I'm sure you'll call me an insensitive snob who doesn't care about the plight of these people that do nothing but lie on the shelter lawn and hang out at 10/mass drinking and smoking pot.

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miss_tigerus 8 years, 4 months ago

once again you"ve missed the point so I guess you think sexual harassment is a good thing? Your confused And this wasn't a day labor place...this was an individual contractor who came to the shelter looking for help.....guess I should run background checks before I go out and WORK my mistake for all I know he could be the next serial killer yet to be caught! And people are worried about the "guests" at the shelter...geezz

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Ragingbear 8 years, 4 months ago

Actually, day labor places tend to be a rip-off. Sure, better than nothing. I lived by the skin of my teeth with them for a summer. Forget breaks, forget lunch half the time. And expect to work 12 hour shifts for 4.00 an hour. That's right, most day labor places actually dip into your paycheck to cover their "expenses".

It is STILL better than nothing. $40 a day can still put food on the table, keep the lights on, and pay the rent. And day labor is only supposed to be temporary. Something to hold you over until you find real work.

And I agree... Two whole days? Try working construction for minimum wage in Texas Summer weather for 12 hours for a month with no days off. Then we can talk.

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blue73harley 8 years, 4 months ago

"Posted by miss_tigerus (anonymous) on December 14, 2005 at 2:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Larryville

I actually worked day labor for 2 days. Do you know what I had to put up with?"

Wow! 2 whole days?! I've been employed for over thirty years. You know what I've had to put up with! Geez, get a life!

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Ragingbear 8 years, 4 months ago

Tigerus, as for knowing their stories. I know them. I lived them. I was on these very streets myself for over a year. What I said stands. You are no different. Every day I was on the street I was fighting to get my life together. Therapy, voc rehab, social work, phone calls, applications ect. There was not a day that went by that I was not trying in some way to get myself out of the situation that I was in.

I was, and still am experiencing a debilitating mental disorder that makes me unable to function on any realistic level for weeks or even months at a time. Yet even during those periods, I was doing the neccessart maintenance needed to at least not let my work to that point go to waste.

So, what do I see? The same faces then as I do now. The same lack of services and coverage I see now. People who have given up on life to such a degree that they prefer to be homeless rather than take any responsiblity for their life. I am, and always was thankful for what services I did get, but I never let myself grow satisfied or complacant with what I had.

So, no. I don't care if they watched their mother shoot heroin as a child. I don't care that they have arguments with trash cans, or drink Listerine because it is the only thing they can afford to calm the voices. The fact remains that all we have right now are resources that simply prevent the homeless from dying any quicker than they already are. The providers need to stand up and take charge. And they need to do so by either making the homeless take charge of themselves, or take charge for them. I am not talking about tough love, I am talking about doing what needs to be done.

The homeless do not have the right to be homeless. They do not have the right to live in alleyways. In fact, they have the rights to the exact opposite. And what has to be done is to make them excersize those rights, show them how, and help them do it.

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miss_tigerus 8 years, 4 months ago

should NOT be lumped together sorry doing to many things at once

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miss_tigerus 8 years, 4 months ago

And Badger,

My point was that the people who are guests at the shelter should be lumped all together as well.

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badger 8 years, 4 months ago

Oh, and you still haven't specified which of us is included in your 'hardened group of people meaner than criminals.'

By the way, I've known a lot of very nice criminals. At one of my college jobs, we had a regular customer who was the kindest, most openhearted person you could know.

Of course, she ended up in county on a meth charge, and we had to add on to the charges for the 600 bucks' worth of bad checks she'd written us over a two-week period.

Then there was the regular customer, wonderful guy, always had a kind and encouraging thing to say on a rough day. He'd done a 6-12 stretch (think he actually served 8) for receiving stolen goods.

Or perhaps the woman I met while working in the social services sector. Polite, friendly, nicest soul in the world. Pity the state had to take her children when she went up on her fourth prostitution bust.

When you use criminals as the comparison for 'bad people' you imply that criminals are inherently bad people. They're not, always. Lots of times they're good people who made bad choices, and using them as the yardstick for people who treat others badly is lumping them all into a category I don't think is fair.

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miss_tigerus 8 years, 4 months ago

Larryville

I actually worked day labor for 2 days. Do you know what I had to put up with? Being an attractive female, I had to put up with being sexually harrassed for 2 days. Then I was only paid 20.00 for 16 hours worth of work. I wouldn't go back What does that say about the contractors in Lawrence looking for day labor. I've heard many horror stories about the men here going out to work..but never getting paid. I think they just want free labor....and taking advantage of the homeless

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badger 8 years, 4 months ago

Actually, miss_t, until July I was from that area.

I relocated to Austin less than six months ago, and prior to that I was fairly active in local culture.

There's actually a pretty decent chance you and some of the other boardfolk have met me, and don't realize that.

Ten points from House Tigerus for making assumptions and not paying attention.

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T0M_F00LERY 8 years, 4 months ago

we need to stop accommodating these people. If someone doesn't want to try not to be homeless than I don't think Lawrence should continue to support them. Homeless are coming to Lawrence because it is an easy place to be homeless. They aren't from Lawrence and shouldn't be our responsibility.

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miss_tigerus 8 years, 4 months ago

Well thank you badger o) I think

And since you are not from this area, you do not know the atmosphere here concerning this issue. Although I highly respect your input and insightfulness

And if my strong-willed nature has offended anyone. I am sorry. But, It's a family trait! :o)

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larryville_79 8 years, 4 months ago

trust me,I know them on an individual basis.How?nunyas. But if you haven't noticed I am very much in favor of helping the homeless.With the stipulation that they must want to help themselves.Thats the element that is missing and that is the element that is most visible when you walk past the place. I have a tremendous desire to see people become something and pull there socks up and be about something.No matter where they come from.It can be done. But the ones that stay at the shlter night after night,year after year are the ones that I have no time for.No sympathy and neither should anyone that gives a hoot about them.How many able bodied single men are hanging out?Last spring I went there looking for help.Offering cash money for day work at a more than $20 per hour.You kow how many single men hanging out took me up on the offer? None.Not one single person wanted to leave the security of the drinking steps to EARN something.I wasn't just offering drinking $$$.I was offering a little self esteem and the oppertunity to say "I worked for this one"glugglugglug.

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blue73harley 8 years, 4 months ago

Badger - kudos for trying. Your posts have been completely clear and understandable. Her responses have been increasingly defensive and down-right hostile. And fact-of-the-matter is, the police statistics clearly show that something needs to change.

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badger 8 years, 4 months ago

harley -

I think she has the capacity to understand the value of compromise. She has a passion for helping people that, if propely channelled into more effective use of the energy, could prove a valuable asset to helping more than just her immediate circle of acquaintance - and really helping them, not just setting herself on the moral high ground, throwing rocks, and congratulating herself for 'standing up' to the people she thinks are attacking her.

There is merit there, and as she has on at least one occasion been willing to accept that there are ways to make your efforts more effective, I'm willing to spend a little time trying to get through to her.

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miss_tigerus 8 years, 4 months ago

And do you also know that alot of "disputing couples" here in lawrence use the shelter as a "place to sleep" Yep...get in an argument with the wife...go stay at the shelter. Beats paying for a hotel room for the night, and friends and family don't want to get involved. That's happened before. So where would THAT fit into stats?? Or people traveling though with car poblems?? Or singles moms gettng evicted?? single woman for that matter. Not every one has a drug or alcohol problem.

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badger 8 years, 4 months ago

Two more points:

  1. Who is saying it's not our problem? No one that I see. In fact, they're saying that currently, because of the handling of the shelter, it is more of a problem than it should be, because not only is it not helping people that it really should be, the actions of those who manage the shelter (and the attitudes of those who are its advocates) are decreasing overall support for helping the homeless.

  2. I'd love to take you up on the coffee invite, but I'm now seven hundred miles away. A number of other posters here are as far away as Canada and Utah. Just because no one has knocked on your door in the hour or so since you posted the info, don't assume 'everyone is unwilling to accept the invitation.' Minds change slowly, and you're not doing much to make them want to come talk to a person who insults, belittles, and castigates them for not conforming to her moral and social expectations - but is unwilling to consider the validity of their own.

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blue73harley 8 years, 4 months ago

Badger - you are wasting your time. She just doesn't get it.

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badger 8 years, 4 months ago

miss_tigerus said:

"Wow,

What an incrediable (sic) negative response.

Some of the shelter guests have fought to keep your houses safe and secure. But you don't feel an obligation to them That's amazing.

Personally, I've thanked them, but some of you don't seem to feel that. That's amazing too.

What a hardened group of people. I know criminals who are nicer than you."

To whom was this directed?

I don't see a preponderance of negative response here, just the expectation that the shelter guests will be held to standards of discipline and behaviour consistent with being a good neighbor. Ragingbear took kind of a tangent about the bagels and coffee, and offtotheright is being typically antagonistic, but if you read this thread and see only attacks from people who are meaner than criminals, you're really just looking for ways to interpret things as attacks. You run the risk of seriously alienating a lot of people who agree with you in principle and would be willing to help you if you'd just learn the meaning of compromise and can the stiff-necked self-righteousness.

Am I a cruel person for saying, "I only have twenty-five dollars. I will give it to someone who will DIE tomorrow if he doesn't get clean water instead of someone who is in a hard place, but has food, and water, and a roof to sleep under"? This is, quite honestly, the first time I've ever been called meaner than criminals because I choose my level of giving based on need instead of proximity.

I'm guessing that the reason you can't seem to stable your high horse is that you've given its space over to a homeless family to sleep in? Like most of what you're saying, that would be well-intended, but not particularly helpful in the long run. Could you at least, perhaps, tie the creature to the hitching post and stop lecturing people as if the only people with the market cornered on compassion for fellow man were the ones who agree with your position absolutely?

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miss_tigerus 8 years, 4 months ago

Yes Larryville, the horror stories are real And maybe instead of grouping everyone together, maybe people should look at the guests on an individual basis. But then no one wants to take me up on the invitation for coffee, so you're just missin' out. Just keep your negative comments to yourself from now on if you don't want to learn more about the people who are here.

And everyone has "issues" please....some just have alot of safety nets out there that keep them from having to be a "guest"

The child I was speaking about did end up committing a crime...NOT HERE though. Just want to make that clear to all the readers. Went though the criminal justice system and is getting life back on track now.

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larryville_79 8 years, 4 months ago

There is a number of "guests" that have been there since the night the place opened.Maybe not in one stretch but they are still living in the streets and are still staying at the shelter when it's convenient. Ask how many have been denied access because they are "full".Filled by regulars who do in-house service to assure a bed for themselves...nightly.

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lonelyboy 8 years, 4 months ago

Land of the free and home of the brave... takes on a whole new meaning around this shelter town.

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offtotheright 8 years, 4 months ago

I thought there was a time limit of being a 'guest'?

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larryville_79 8 years, 4 months ago

horror stories and yes they are real and the scars can be debilitating(sp?)but only if the person wants to step up to the plate and do something about it.once the pain of living in addiction or depression becomes greater than the pain of taking action,then something can be done for them. I knew a young lady who woke up dead in Pickney park a few years ago. Beautiful person.But she had issues.Unfortunately it was easier to eat the free food and sleep in the shelter than it was to find help.tell you the truth she didn't ever voice that she wanted help. That is the frustrating thing about all of this.The ones that want help can't get it because the ones who want to live this lifestyle are taking up the space.Yes,homeless by choice.It is true.And it seems to be as addictive as the alcohol/drugs. Address those that have stayed "guests" at the shelter for three years.THREE YEARS!!

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miss_tigerus 8 years, 4 months ago

So what you're saying RagingBear is that you don't feel that the people at the shelter could hold an intelligant conversation. And are you "too good" to eat the "day old bagels?" Sounds like it, but it's ok for the "homeless"to eat them and at the same time have to listen to the constent degrading comments

What if you knew of someones background. Let's say at the age of 8 this person was watching his mother shoot herion into her forehead and then being asked to hold the belt while she tied her vein off to shoot up more. It wasn't this childs fault ....was it?? That the only life that they've known has been in the drug world in a large inner city project. Not your problem???

And the coffee is NOT weak.

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blue73harley 8 years, 4 months ago

The stats on the police/medical calls are certainly there!

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larryville_79 8 years, 4 months ago

Interesting topic.I always love these threads about the homeless. Perhaps more "success" stories would make tigerus' arguement more viable. I know that may infringe on privacy issues but,surely there are stats somewhere.

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Ragingbear 8 years, 4 months ago

A great cup of coffee, and excellent conversation? Sure, if I wanted to talk to somebody about how the lawful king of Iraq was exiled to an asteroid orbiting Jupiter, and how his special telescope gave him power to control the minds of the people there...

And brown water that some people think is coffee. And not to mention the filth, stench, aroma of every bodily fluid imaginable, not to mention booze and listerine for those who can't afford booze.... Sounds like heaven.

Or, people can put their foot down. On both sides. Just because the place serves the homeless does not mean that they are exempt from good neighbor policies. Many of those buildings in that area are owned, and because of both LINK and the Community Shelter, the property value has been decreased.

Little things make a difference. End the loitering, end the drinking in the area, increase the presence of police so that deterring factors prevent 911 calls. Establish rules stricter than "Just show up." type things..

Mr. Henderson is now trying to claim that this place is a comprehensive shelter. A comprehensive shelter for those who do not know is a full rehabilitative and support structure. People are there, working, at appointments, or undergoing some sort of other social work. They aren't just sitting around munching on day-old bagels all day and waiting for their next meal.

Things need to change, the structure system needs an overhaul. And everybody needs to pull the stick out.

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miss_tigerus 8 years, 4 months ago

Wow,

What an incrediable negative response.

Some of the shelter guests have fought to keep your houses safe and secure. But you don't feel an obligation to them That's amazing.

Personally, I've thanked them, but some of you don't seem to feel that. That's amazing too.

What a hardened group of people. I know criminals who are nicer than you.

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badger 8 years, 4 months ago

Uh, offtotheright, I don't get what you're saying, there...

I'd think that maybe it was a response to the long wait time, if not for the fact that it was posted almost a quarter hour after miss_tigerus's last response. Are you perhaps knocking on her door for that cup of coffee?

Miss_tigerus, for some it's a matter of the urgency of need. When, for example, the tsunami struck Southeast Asia last year, people giving 'outside their own back yards' in spite of their own problems made the difference between a death toll in the hundreds of thousands and one in the millions. It was a critical care urgent need situation, and for me, making donation decisions for the year, the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in another country who have no access to clean drinking water and cannot even forage for food took precedence over funding drug addicts in their fourth course through rehab or making sure someone gets two meals a day instead of one. This year, after the quakes in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region, hours made the difference for some people. Facing harsh weather and starvation, living wasn't day-to-day for them, it was moment-to-moment.

It's a brutal truth, but the homeless in America live better than most of the people in the Third World, so when they have a crisis in an undeveloped nation, they have even less of a safety net than we do. For the improvement of daily life, local problems get my pennies, but when we're talking about the difference between life and death in a matter of days, I can't just take care of my own neighbors and leave the rest to fend for themselves.

Earlier this year, Sri Lanka, devastated by last year's tsunamis, gave twenty-five thousand dollars to Hurricane Katrina relief. In the face of some of the more sizeable donations, it seems a pittance, but in the face of Sri Lanka's economy, it was amazing largesse. These people said, "We are dirt poor, and we have nothing, but we will give up some of our nothing and share our dirt with you." America could learn a great deal from that act, but it went largely unrecognized in the media circus.

We are a global community, and it's far too self-centered and Ugly American to say that problems at home always trump problems away, regardless of severity. I help those in the most urgent need, those facing crises, when I can, and a lot of people feel the same way.

You want to know how it will be that people will be moved to give, to open their hearts to the homeless? By recognizing that a person is a person is a person, and that the ones more like us or within our eyesight are no more or less human than the ones we can't see or don't notice.

It's a global perspective.

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offtotheright 8 years, 4 months ago

HELLO? Anyone in there Miss_tigers_r_us??????

Knock knock knock!!!!

Geez...

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miss_tigerus 8 years, 4 months ago

A person having their own personal social goals is great. Really, at least their doing something. But on the other hand, if you have a social issue in "your own backyard" ....literally, why would a person complain about it and "send money" else where. Doesn't make sense Badger.

And as with anyone, our neighbors are more than welcome to come over and have a great cup of coffee and some excellant conversations. We'll even take them outside and sit on our front porch.

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blue73harley 8 years, 4 months ago

I would say 188 calls in 11 months is a HUGE deal.

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offtotheright 8 years, 4 months ago

Miss_tigers_r_us...you belong at the shelter, you obviously have a few mental problems yourself!

Your statements: "But really, in the big picture it's really not that big of a deal." and "But, I'm certainly not going to bend over backwards to "appease" the neighbors. I believe they have some obigations to the shelter guests. This isn't s one-way street."

You are kidding right? Were these statements really meant as a joke?

Maybe if you owned a home, you might be thinking differently! I am no neighbor of the shelter, thank god for that! The current neighbors, nor I have absolutely NO obligation to any of the Shelter 'guests' whatsoever!

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badger 8 years, 4 months ago

But if you insist on standing on your side of the street, expecting them to come over, in three months the shelter will have made no progress, and it will be the big loser. Someone has to take the first step.

When I said that there needed to be a meeting where everyone's concerns got voiced and listened to with respect and no defensiveness, why did you assume I only meant the concerns of the neighbors? You say the neighborhood has an obligation to the shelter. Has that been communicated to them in a non-confrontational setting, or has there just been the demand that they accept the changes to their neighborhood (did they even have a say in those changes?) and then accept being berated for being 'bad volunteers' or not giving enough, or not making the homeless enough of a priority?

Too often, advocates for the homeless assume that any criticism of them or resistance to programs, shelters, or funding is obviously based in a lack of compassion, a desire to pretend the homeless don't exist, or ignorance. Sometimes, it's based in, "I don't know that the way you're doing what you're doing is actually helping people, and I resent the attempt to make me feel guilty for not supporting your personal goals for society when I have my own social goals to work on."

I might add that for me, helping the hurricane victims does count as helping at home, as Austin took in several thousand who have decided to stay here instead of going back to the mold-covered pile of nothing they have in New Orleans. In fact, I'm pretty proud of the fact that upon being told that FEMA would provide no funding to the schools to cover the extra student load, an Austin school official said, "We'll concentrate on getting these kids into classrooms, and we'll worry about the money when we have to worry about the money."

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miss_tigerus 8 years, 4 months ago

Good Morning Badger

And yes I was being very sarcastic in my first post. And I did so because I truely can see headlines or meeting about that very topic. And once again, it would be blown out of context, almost into hysteria.

The Lawrence Community Shelter is part of the Social Service world. I, myself, have been an Emergency Services Coordinator...and the list goes on.

The issues of police calls, loitering and what ever else are a concern for the neighboring residents. I understand. But really, in the big picture it's really not that big of a deal. Things are being taken care of, and if you asked Loring, I'm sure he would tell you he wished that he could fund this himself...as do I. There are alot of us out there who are dedicated to this.

And I certainly do understand that at this tme of year, there are alot of people asking for money. Nobody should go without, and everyones budget situation is different

As far as the hurricane victums, my heart goes out to them. But we still need to take care of things here at home. And, whether its good or bad of me, I choose taking care of home first. And I am. But, I'm certainly not going to bend over backwards to "appease" the neighbors. I believe they have some obigations to the shelter guests. This isn't s one-way street.

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badger 8 years, 4 months ago

"Homeless people are a low priority when gifting money."

Well, I suppose that after giving to the Salvation Army and their nice little kettles, Goodwill, Toys for Tots, food pantry drives, Family Eldercare, the Christmas Bureau (an organization that coordinates different agencies and organizations to avoid duplicating the help and to get the greatest number of people aid), and a few other chosen charities, I do kind of tend to run out of money.

Of course, that may have something to do with the money I spent during the fall to help the 5,000-and-some Katrina and Rita evacuees residing in the town I moved to this summer. Did you know that some of them are still living in barns, tents, and hotels, because the waiting list for FEMA aid getting apartments is pages long, and the waiting list for inexpensive apartments is just a little longer than that?

In the past twelve months, we've had calls for aid for a tsunami that displaced millions, hurricanes in this country that displaced hundreds of thousands of people, two or three major earthquakes, and continued downturns in the economy that put new homeless on the street every single day. Those who give are tapped out, frankly, and chastising them for not giving enough won't make them have any more money. I cut my earmarked Christmas donation money this year after the NOAA projections for next year's hurricane season came out. It's gone into savings for next September and October.

Perhaps the center could get more funding and sympathy if, as it was directed by the Commission, it focused on building lines of communication with its neighbors and finding ways to coexist. Lawrencians give a lot, and not just 'to the university'. The center has everything to lose and nothing to gain by antagonizing its neighbors, and if those who are defending it walk around with industrial-sized chips on their shoulders, they won't particularly help their own cause.

I suppose, though, that it's easier to tell yourself it's the neighbors' fault for being unreasonable about waking up to a homeless guy sleeping on your front porch, and cite bias against the homeless. I find it interesting that the first two responses here were from people speaking in favor of the shelter - and blaming others instead of talking about ways to find some common ground with them. I think the first step should be an open community meeting at the shelter, and that everyone should be given a chance to voice their concerns, and those concerns should be listened to respectfully, seriously, and without defensiveness, and then ways to resolve them should be sought.

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miss_tigerus 8 years, 4 months ago

Well of course the gifts go to the university.

And close to the cemetry would be appropriate, not very far to carry our dead. But then that wasn't printed in the paper. How many people have died, that must fall under "Officer Assistance" Oh goodness, did I bring up another issue for the "neighbors" to complain about...."Dead People in our Neighborhood"

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Jackie Jackasserson 8 years, 4 months ago

Oh for pete's sake - let's move the homeless shelter east onto 15th out by the cemetery where everyone can't find or reach it. That way it won't bother any of the living. Seriosly - The current location is as close to good as you can get for access by the very people that need it. It needs to be larger and we need better programs and housing. We know what we need - now we just need money. But homeless people are a low priority when it comes to gifting money. Some people gift far less to community needs like this one and far more to univeristy endowments and special projects. Some one needs to raise awareness and find a way to decrease bias against the homeless to increase potential funding.

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