Archive for Thursday, November 8, 2007

Homeless numbers drop nationally, not locally

November 8, 2007


The number of Americans who are chronically homeless dropped by nearly 12 percent last year, according to government estimates released Wednesday.

But in Lawrence, the numbers of homeless appear to be staying the same or possibly increasing slightly, said Loring Henderson, director of Lawrence Community Shelter.

"It's hard to tell because so much is changing in Lawrence as far as our programs and things that are available and are not available," Henderson said.

A census taken in Lawrence on Jan. 29 found there were nearly 400 homeless adults and children in the community. Of that number, 32 were classified as "chronically" homeless - but that number might have been low, since a number of people known to be chronically homeless refuse to cooperate with such studies.

The federal definition for chronically homeless is someone with a disabling condition who has either been continuously homeless for a year or more or has had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past year.

Nationally, the number of chronically homeless dropped from 175,900 in 2005 to 155,600 in 2006, the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported. HUD credited government programs designed to move homeless people into permanent housing for the decline.

Lawrence task force recommended and local leaders and services hope they can soon provide similar programs to move people into permanent housing.

"We don't have a lot of that," Henderson said. "We don't have any in-house treatment programs in Lawrence; it's outpatient."

- The Associated Press contributed to this story.


toefungus 10 years, 7 months ago

This is simply a relocation problem. More homeless are relocating here.

Dave McClain 10 years, 7 months ago

That's because we promote them coming to town, feed them, house them, and give them money when they beg for it.

We have lots of job openings here, but can't get people to come to work every day. Why work when you can eat and sleep for free.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years, 7 months ago

So are you saying that you'd hire these homeless folks, dmcclain? Even the ones who are scizophrenic, or have similarly disabling mental illnesses?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years, 7 months ago

"Yep, we are going to become the Seattle of the Midwest, supplying bunks for drunks."

So do you have a "final solution" that you'd like to propose?

geekin_topekan 10 years, 7 months ago

You couldnt hire them if you tried.I have gone there with jobs that pay $10-40 hr.Not one taker.So,i kept the money for myself. My point?ther is none.Just an obsevation.If was not angry,just amused. Incidently,the homeless clients that volunteer there are at their post in the dropin center,daily,without fail and will not leave there post.Period.Why can't they display this dedication to a paying job?Your guess is as good as anyone's. I was homeless once.Lived by the river.Bummed money downtown.But a few eye opening experiences made me see the err of my ways and I took the bull by the horns and did what I needed to do to get off teh streets.If I can do anyone with the capacity to look themselves in the mirror and say "you need help" can do it also. I can tell you that one of the biggest hurdles beyond finding a livable wage is finding a landlord that will rent to you.But,again,it can done.Fairly easily really but you cannot give up,rely on the dropin or sally for anything or drink/drug.It's trhat simple. But,in the meantime,i still flip the bums a buck or two.I've been there and if my contribution can push them closer to that lifechanging event than I am doing my part to help them off the street.

doc1 10 years, 7 months ago

Here's a solution. Give them free one way bus tickets to Florida. The price paid supporting these people shadows the cost of tickets. Ok but seriously. Stop giving these people so much free stuff. It's getting worse and only the tax payers and downtown business people suffer.

Dave McClain 10 years, 7 months ago

Great observations, geekin! If the dedication to employment was even close to the dedication of being in line for the free food, those that could work would have jobs. There will always be the need to help support the "scizophrenic, or have similarly disabling mental illnesses" that bozo points out. It's the article's point of the decreases in the population in the rest of the country, but the potential increases in Lawrence that are the concern.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years, 7 months ago

Wow, doc1, that's brilliant. All we have to do is make sure that people who have nothing have even less.

Ragingbear 10 years, 7 months ago

Wow. You guys sure are stupid. How did you figure out how to operate a computer?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years, 7 months ago

"Not giving them something for nothing though would help in pushing them on to somewhere else."

A "final solution" would be a lot more honest way to go about acheiving the same result.

TheYetiSpeaks 10 years, 7 months ago

This article is complete crap. Because of the difficulty of "counting" the homeless I have two thoughts: 1. I severely doubt that chronic homelessness has dropped 12% nationwide. This is simply propaganda commissioned by whomever would benefit from advertising a drop in the homeless population.

  1. Nowhere in this article do they put a definitive current number on the local population of the chronically homeless. In fact, the exact quote is, "It's hard to tell because so much is changing in Lawrence as far as our programs and things that are available and are not available,"

Sorry, LJW. Your headline is crap. Your paper is for the most part crap. Metaphorically speaking, this article is a giant flaming bag of poo on all our doorsteps. Thanks for nothing and have a nice day.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years, 7 months ago

"Not attracting them would be a wonderful "final solution"."

So you're saying that making them someone else's problems is a good "final solution?" Who do you have in mind?

SettingTheRecordStraight 10 years, 7 months ago

Don't let bozo bait you into his conversation about a "final solution." He's making a not-very-subtle reference to Hitler's "final solution" for Jews in Nazi Germany.

Way to keep the conversation dignified, bozo.

jumpin_catfish 10 years, 7 months ago

While you can't paint all homeless with a broad brush, I have talked to some of our homeless folks and they have chosen their life style. One young lady from a middle class family said she was seeing America by hitting road. Crazy if you ask me but the question is how our community is going to deal with a real social problem. Step 1. Provide assitance and support to those truly need. (Emotional & mental health issues, job training etc) Step 2. Determine those "milking the system" and use all legal means to encourage them to leave our community.

geekin_topekan 10 years, 7 months ago

Many are from "our community".Born and raised here in toontown.That would make it "their community".A lot more than the transplanted jocos on these boards.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years, 7 months ago

"One young lady from a middle class family said she was seeing America by hitting road. "

And very likely, like a large percentage of homeless people, they really aren't a problem to anyone.

jennifermarti 10 years, 7 months ago

Not a problem to anyone- They are a problem to our community.
Going downtown on Saturday morning is quite a site. Seeing all those jobless bums sitting out front waiting for their free meal, but not before they suck down that last smoke. The smokes they bought with the money they sponged off some taxing paying and working citizen the night before downtown. It's a huge problem to downtown business. And it's just plain embarrassing for the city.

MattressMan 10 years, 7 months ago

"One young lady from a middle class family said she was seeing America by hitting road. " Well what are you waiting for sister, hit the road and quit bumming off the citizens of Lawrence.

"And very likely, like a large percentage of homeless people, they really aren't a problem to anyone." Well it is a problem when they panhandle families, shelters seek taxpayer monies, they piss in your yard or better yet take a crap in the doorway of your business. Oh I forgot, that's not a problem.

geekin_topekan 10 years, 7 months ago

And what do you intend to do about this embarassment jennifer?Nothing?Put up or shut up. The embarassment to the community is people who feel that they are more entitled to life and liberty than those who have less than themselves.If money is all you have to offer this community than pack your crap and leave.

jennifermarti 10 years, 7 months ago

Put up or shut up huh? Are you trying to say we can help these people? Well here is a newsflash for you geek-there is no helping people like this!! They will sponge off the system until there is nothing left and then move on to sponge off someone else. They do not want to work and they do not want anything better for themselves. So how do you propose we "help" them? I would have no problem helping someone who wants to help themselves. Too bad that is not the case. I don't feel I am more entitled to anything; I have earned my living. And I have earned it without any free meals from the city or spare change from patrons downtown.

i_have_only_valid_opinions 10 years, 7 months ago

bozo - you just keep jacking your jaw and telling everyone how their comments/ideas are stupid...let's hear one good idea you have about how to solve the that last part - I said "good" idea.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 10 years, 7 months ago

The Bible says a lot about helping those in need, but it also says "if a man won't work, don't let him eat." We should emphasize that the operative word in that passage is "WON'T work."

So, to answer Bozo's question: yes, some of them would get better, immediatly, if they went from little to nothing. Some of them just haven't become desperate enough to change.

This doesn't apply to all the homeless, but I think we underestimate how many of them just need "motivation".

geekin_topekan 10 years, 7 months ago

I am saying that there is good in the worst of us and bad in the best of us.If you jennifer have survived physical mental or emotional abuse,addiction,neglect and mental illness than you have been gifted beyond anyone I have ever encountered and my hat is off to you.If you have never encountered any of these things than your words are nil and void of reason. I can only assume that you were raised in a decent hardworking family by loving and supportive parents?If this is the case than you have again been gifted beyond what many homeless people have been givin in life.If you have pulled yourself from the bowels of abuse and addiction then wouldn't you believe you have a responsibility to them?There is no easy answers to this problem.They are the way they are for some reason and I can't define what it is and neither can you.But unless you have lived a day of their life your hatred is nothing more than simple ignorance.Change that and you may find yourself a happier person.Or at least a more interesting person if nothing else.

Ragingbear 10 years, 7 months ago

~~if a man won't work, don't let him eat.~~

Hmm. Enlighten us as to where exactly in the Bible that is located. Because not only do I not recall it from the 4 times I have read the bible from cover-to-cover, but google seems to not have any biblical info on that as well.

bd 10 years, 7 months ago

I like the one way ticket to Florida idea! At least they will not freeze to death this winter.

llama726 10 years, 7 months ago

You people are incredible. You're talking about these human beings as if they're a stray dog on your doorstep. They're still people, you know. Yeah- a lot of them make dumb mistakes, poor choices, etc. So do most of you, the difference is you have enough of a social network to keep you from sinking to the bottom. Many of them are either veterans or mentally ill citizens. It reminds me of a song, well, more of a stand up sketch to music, where a guy is talking about how a homeless guy came up to him and asked for money, and he thought he'd say no, you'll just spend it on booze, but then he thought about it, and what else is he going to buy? A CD rack? A stock investment? Let me tell ya, it must be great to live outside when it's 20 degrees- soon to be colder- at night. And really, if you have NOTHING, how do you get a job? Do you go to your job interview in the clothes they are wearing? How many employers hire persons who cannot list a permanent address? How many landlords are willing to take in someone without a job? It's a double-edged sword.

But, continue on with your delusional "oh, just go work at McDonald's" thoughts- because clearly, it's just that easy to walk in and have a job.

TheYetiSpeaks 10 years, 7 months ago

As usual when this subject comes up, I am mildly shocked and abundantly appalled by the amount of people who think that all homeless people are "lazy bums, who are unwilling to work, and have no interest in bettering their situation". I find it amazing that this town gets all riled up about rare frogs in man-made wetlands, business parks near the airport, Wal-mart, and coal plants in western Kansas, but when the discussion turns to helping fellow human beings your butts pucker up like a vice grip.

TheYetiSpeaks 10 years, 7 months ago

posted by Dollypawpaw: "Also, pointing them out to the children is great as a teaching tool."

And what do you tell your children in that particular lesson? Hey kids, dont get schizophrenia or any other debilitating psychological or sociological phobias and conditions. Because if you do, you might have some ignorant, judgmental a$$holes generalize your situation and tell you are worthless......You are some piece of work.

FatTony 10 years, 7 months ago


I'm looking and would gladly take $25-$30 an hr.

Ceallach 10 years, 7 months ago

The Census, a report by the DHUD . . . this is applying apples to oranges. The homeless willing to be part of a census, survey, report, etc., are those trying to get as much as possible from the system and should not be thought to represent homelessness as a whole. Did the data come from scouring the brush in parks, walking along rivers, down the alleys at night? This is one big laugh on the taxpayers. Political leaches sucking the tax dollars as they research, write and publish documents on the homeless. Please!!! Some of the homeless community would rather freeze and/or starve than submit themselves to the rules, regs and reports of shelters. That group cannot be counted and since we have no "true" idea of their numbers the data for such a project is worthless. Just another example of "feel good about myself because I want to take care of others by using tax and/or grant money" groups that have found a way to tap the tax dollar kegs.

Jean1183 10 years, 7 months ago

2 Thessalonians 3:10 (New International Version)

10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years, 7 months ago

"Fill Bozo's bus full of those who need a bath and see how quick he bails when he cant stand the stinch."

Well, you're on that bus, too. Still want them there?

toefungus 10 years, 7 months ago

Maybe the reduction in the homeless population is the result of the sub-prime mess. Since there are so many vacant homes, the "homeless" move in. Nobody notices they don't really own the home until a bank tries to sell it and the realtor says someone is living in it. The people surveying will have to start searching foreclosed homes, too.

Jonathan Allison 10 years, 7 months ago

Lawrence just wouldn't be the same without the homeless.

It just wouldn't be right to walk down Mass street and not have folks sitting on the sidewalk strumming their guitars or playing chess. We already forced them away from sleeping on the sidewalks, now we have no one to run hurdles over at night.

Ragingbear 10 years, 7 months ago

HawkmynameistoolongbecauseIhavenoimagination, The LJW has done many articles on the truthfulness of the homeless situation. This includes those that have been homeless for 5+ years, and those who are homeless for only a short period of time. That includes showing hidden campsites and articles about people addicted to drugs with their 5th baby on the way. But people like you choose to ignore stuff like that, and just run around and go "OMG Teh homless r teh suk".

Rationalanimal 10 years, 7 months ago

You mean, homelessness has dropped under the evil Bush who hates blacks and poor people and especially both. Unbelievable.

Ragingbear 10 years, 7 months ago

Hey everyone, hawkmyloginisstupid is trying to tell ME what it's like on the Lawrence streets. That is really funny. I love how he has no clue, yet acts like he does. Come on boys and girls. Let's point and laugh.

llama726 10 years, 7 months ago

You guys are missing the whole damn picture. For a society that perpetuates the myth that we are "pro-life," you can find support for putting homeless people in concentration camps, and even a portion of people who advocate just killing them! What in the hell is wrong with you people? So a vocal minority of homeless people are just spoiled brats that families decided to pull the plug on; what about our soldiers coming home from Iraq with SEVERE problems and getting NO help? We are failing as a society to help them, and many other people who lack the resources to get any kind of psychological or psychiatric help (Hi, for-profit medical system? I have a poor person here who needs care. Mmhmm. Drop him off on the street you say? Alright) but everyone is so self-absorbed, you'll just keep repeating your tired mantra. God forbid your perfect lives ever one day be shattered. You should just be thankful, and not have this righteous indignation that people are asking for "a free handout" because you've "worked your ass off to get where you are." Congratulations. Sometimes you can work very hard and fail.

You guys are so indignant about where 0.13% of your city's tax dollars are, and yet there is little-to-no indignation about where 60% of your federal tax dollars go (here's a hint- it's wasted, mostly on 'military' spending to pay politician's friends who supply the military- inadequately, at that, but also for countless other wasteful enterprises). $187,000 across 88605 people (last Census 2006) is $2.11 per year per person. Woe is you and your budget from that big hit- now you can't buy that $1.99 + tax renovation to the house you've been wanting these last few years!

Before considering the war in Iraq, the defense budget for the nation is $440,000,000,000 across 300,000,000 people (not all of whom pay taxes, obviously): average impact of $1,466.67 per person. Don't cry about the money impact.

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