Advertisement

Letters to the Editor

Downtown bullies

October 18, 2010

Advertisement

To the editor:

This letter is in reference to the Oct. 15 story “Merchants to start campaign against panhandling.” I have a few questions for these merchants. What gives any one of you the right to say how another American spends her or his money? Who looks over your shoulder to judge whether your purchases are productive? What do you call a productive purchase? Is it a $5 ice cream cone? How about a $12 pound of coffee? How about anything you can imagine as long as it has a Jayhawk slapped on it? Are those productive purchases?

What would be so terrible about seeing the poor and homeless who panhandle as human beings just like any of us and actually doing something about the fact that millions of Americans are forced to live this way? Why can we not start with the assumption that it is never OK to harm another person and actually try solving social ills rather than bullying the poor and homeless?

Whether we like to admit it or not, they are humans, part of our society, and in need of help. Why must we blame them and punish them for a social issue that is much larger than they are? Shame on our downtown merchants!

Jon Hudson,

Lawrence

Comments

TopJayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

Jon Spoken like a bleeding heart that knows nothing of which he speaks. SW Jayhawk is right.
Lawrence is not good in it's treatment of the mentallay ill. Topeka and KC hold up Lawrences end of the log on that one. But this is about lazy and stupid people. It is not the fault of the economy, it is not the fault of being mentally ill. It is lazy people taking advantage of simps like you.

0

notajayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

The_Big_B (anonymous) says…

"Don't lump performers in with beggars."

And don't lump all the homeless in with the drug addicts.

0

LJ Whirled 3 years, 6 months ago

I love the street musicians. They are providing entertainment and atmosphere. I doubt most of them are homeless, but rather think they just lack a venue. Don't lump performers in with beggars.

0

oliveoyl 3 years, 6 months ago

I don't discount anyone in this forums experience and I'm sure it is irritating to get accosted but I'd also be curious as to how often the people who complain about bums come Downtown, especially to support the day life? Would you support it on a regular basis if the homeless magically disappeared out of Downtown? That is the real question behind the motives of the DLI. My assumption is no. It's always the same people who complain about Downtown and reasons why they don't support it...the homeless is just another excuse. If not the homeless then it would be the high prices, or the parking, or the drunk students, etc...

Maybe I assume too much...

0

yellowframes 3 years, 6 months ago

Dear Jon Hudson, You are so painfully wrong to send this letter. You must not own or work at a business downtown. I used to be an employee at Java Break the 24 hour coffee shop. It was amazing to work there, but a constant problem happens to be homeless individuals. Not only are panhandlers a nuisance to pedestrians, but can also be a problem to customers inside businesses downtown. There is not one business owner that wants their customers shooed away by a bum searching for change. I support merchants against panhandlers! In no way are they bullies or in the wrong to start a campaign. I have had numerous run-ins with many different homeless individuals panhandling inside of Java Break while working. I have had coffee, patio chairs, and other objects thrown at myself or the building Java Break resides in. Why, because I interferred with the panhandling acts in a very professional yet kind way. I have found homeless people are extremely rude and selfish. There are places in Lawrence that help to provide food and shelter; I believe the homeless panhandlers downtown do not seek help from these shelters and in return get defensive, violent, and out of control when someone rejects the pathetic inquiry for change. Yes it is too bad that there are so many homeless individuals and what not, but what right do they have to bother families, workers, or business owners downtown with their sob stories. I personally think it is a wonderful ideal to move the shelter farther away from downtown (not in a residential area) and also to some how fine panhandlers. Get them off of the wonderful downtown streets that Lawrence is popular for!

0

sun45kiss 3 years, 6 months ago

I'm from the SF Bay Area-the homeless capitol for the USA....trust me this is just another plug into our lives for controlling people via the law. Voted for by the people, for the people and eventually against the people. Enjoy your so called free speech online-offline--it really does'nt matter; eventually that will be under control as well.

0

HedleyLamarrr 3 years, 6 months ago

The real story in all of this is, if you're not a student or tourist, whom dowtown Lawrence is designed to serve, mass street sucks. I avoid that cesspool like the plague. There is almost nothing of desire to a Lawrence resident on that street. It wasn't always like that, but Jane Penington and downtown Lawrence, inc have absolutely ruined the street.

0

Armored_One 3 years, 6 months ago

The legitimately homeless could probably use some help in one form or another. The ones that were forced out fo work, which generally leads to being forced out of living arrangements.

Those people also generally seek out help, through proper channels, with a vengence, from my experience.

It's the ones that have hair that looks like it came out of some plastic extruder, walk around i heavy weight construction over-alls and have backpacks that really bug the heck out of me. My son, for all his good intentions, can't seem to fathom why I don't let him bring them over to the house. I made that mistake once and about a week later went to the local pawn shops to reclaim the power tools they took off with after I gave them a place to stay and food to eat. Never did see the pendant my great grandmother gave me, though.

The intentionally homeless need to be driven out of this town. Both my wife and my oldest son have been accosted by them in the past month downtown and one kicked my car because I refused to give him 5 bucks. I just can't bring myself to help someone that is saying they are "starving" when they have more piercings and tattoes than Tommy Lee, are smoking name brand cigarettes, and other signs that they are simply too lazy to contribute.

0

Kontum1972 3 years, 6 months ago

i only go downtown once a week..and thats it.... i did go "one month" without a visit...so i dont have a problem with all the "poo" going on down there.......i just ignore it....

the "real problem" is all the DUI idiots and really bad drivers that are running lights and killing citizens with their POV's.....these are the vermin we should put behind bars for the rest of their pathetic lives....

0

Meatwad 3 years, 6 months ago

Bums (many of whom are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol) ruin our downtown and I'm glad Downtown Lawrence Assoc. has finally decided to do something about it. I don't know if this small effort will help but if it educates the people who enable the drug and alcohol use to give to the organizations that help those who really want help instead of giving cash directly to the beggars, that is a big start. I give money all the time to musicians downtown, but never to beggars. The musicians are doing a job, the beggars are just lazy and usually want the money just for drugs, cigarettes or alcohol.

0

doc1 3 years, 6 months ago

They need to bring in Bum Fights. Pay the winner of each bout $100.00.

0

parrothead8 3 years, 6 months ago

All the downtown merchants want to do is put a little info card near their checkouts on how to avoid panhandlers. I'll do the same thing with those cards as I usually do with panhandlers: ignore them and walk away.

Every now and then, though, I'll buy one of the quieter guys a couple slices of pizza and a Coke.

0

rockchalk1977 3 years, 6 months ago

As a compassionate conservative here is my solution. Buy all panhandling homeless people a one way bus ticket to San Fransicko so they can hang with their brothers and sisters. Family should be together. Make them Nancy Pelosi's problem since she helped create them.

0

BABBOY 3 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

0

Ricky_Vaughn 3 years, 6 months ago

Panhandlers are lucky I don't spit on them when I walk by. They'll never get a piece of lint from my pocket.

0

kipper 3 years, 6 months ago

You may have missed the statistics -- the unemployment rate is over 9 percent. There are many people asking for jobs who are not getting them, and I can imagine being in that situation and needing to ask for help, and especially if you add a whole host of other devastating life circumstances on top of unemployment. My point is that a whole lot of people who never thought they would be homeless end up in this very difficult situation.

0

kipper 3 years, 6 months ago

I agree with this letter to the editor. Whether to give or not give money or food to panhandlers should be a personal choice that is hopefully based on broad, complicated, and thoughtful considerations. I don't like the Downtown Lawrence pamphlet because it is controversial, narrow in it's perspective, condescending to people on the streets by implying that they will necessarily make bad choices, and wrong to imply (with the "walk with confidence" statement) that panhandlers should be feared.

It would be helpful to look at the larger picture. One in seven people in the US lives in poverty according to recent widely reported census statistics for 2009. The Kansas poverty rate increased to 13.4 % in 2009 (a higher increase than some other parts of the country). The US unemployment rate in Sept. of 2010 was 9.2%! And regarding the income gap, "The top-earning 20% of Americans — those making more than $100,000 each year — received 49.4% of all income generated in the U.S., compared with the 3.4% earned by those below the poverty line, according to newly released Census figures. That ratio of 14.5-to-1 was an increase from 13.6 in 2008 and nearly double a low of 7.69 in 1968." (USA Today)

So it stands to reason that there are more people on the streets in Lawrence because there are more people on the streets everywhere. Thus it would be helpful if we as a community would quit pretending that Lawrence has a growing number of homeless people because it is some sort of haven for the poor. We should all be shocked by the numbers of homeless people everywhere -- including in our community.

No one is immune from being one of the above statistics, and even if some of us struggle to imagine ourselves becoming poor (I'm not one of them), surely all of us have friends and family who could be vulnerable. And there are additional factors, of course, that leave people vulnerable: a devastating mental break, addiction, injury, job loss, illness, jail-time, military service, loss of a spouse. I can imagine myself being in a situation where I'd need to ask for money, and that this asking could even happen on the streets. This imagining influences how I feel about others who have thus far been less fortunate than me. People on the streets should be treated with dignity and respect. The people on the streets are you and me.

0

gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 6 months ago

Perhaps we should give the panhandlers a card with Jon's address and cab fare?

0

Kontum1972 3 years, 6 months ago

hmmmm...i was wondering if they have a bed-bug problem too?

0

pace 3 years, 6 months ago

Just by the by, a lot of panhandlers aren't homeless. A lot of homeless work and are not panhandlers.

0

whats_going_on 3 years, 6 months ago

I don't care if they are there, as long as they don't harass other people (and no, that wasn't a snotty remark)

I'll never forget walking downtown one evening next to Mad Greek and I saw one of their employees come outside and bring a meal to a homeless person. I think that would be more helpful than money in most cases. Or, when it starts to get cold, clean out those old beanies and take them down there so the homeless can try to stay warm.

0

Hudson Luce 3 years, 6 months ago

During the summer, a lot of the "homeless" are traveller kids. They choose to live in that way, some of them end up permanently homeless, some die, and the rest find some place to settle down and make a life for themselves. Quite a few of them are alcoholics or pretty close to it, some have mental health issues they can't afford under the present system to get help for, and some are runaways. Some of them are middle class, some are working class, and some come from rich families and even have trust funds and the like. Most of them have Myspace pages, it's how they keep in touch with each other. They've got a surprisingly close-knit culture, a sort of community amongst themselves, a kind of support network, and they form close bonds with each other. Here's an interview with a traveller kid who settled down here and who works here: http://www.lawrence.com/news/2008/may...

In other words, they're human beings, too. Some of them are jerks and they're the aggressive panhandlers. Others act in a halfway decent manner, and they probably get more money that way. If you give them money, there's a fair chance it'll get spent on beer or cheap wine or whiskey, but there's also the chance they'll buy food. Unless they've gotten to the point where they're dependent on alcohol, it's a choice they make, and as long as they're getting free money, that choice is pretty easy to make. Liquor and grocery stores sell them the booze and beer, it's not like they're getting it for free.

There are ways to deal with this problem without putting all of these people in jail or getting them into the criminal justice system. One way is to encourage people not to give money to them, but that doesn't work out, because people will do that anyway, given the comments on this article. The real problem here seems to be aggressive panhandling, and a way to deal with that might be to have a couple of LKPD officers walk a beat up and down Massachusetts Avenue during the hours that businesses are open. That's probably the best answer to the problem, just having police around would give the aggressive types a good reason to find some other place to go to.

0

gatekeeper 3 years, 6 months ago

I would like to remind all how many homeless and transients are veterans. According to the Nat Coalition for Homeless Vets, about 1/3 of the adult homeless population are vets. "The majority of them are single; come from urban areas; and suffer from mental illness, alcohol and/or substance abuse, or co-occurring disorders."

How many of these druggie panhandlers you speak of served their nation and now are treated as scum by so many of you? How many of them developed drug problems because of the horrors they saw while serving, only to return home and not get the support they need?

"Although flawless counts are impossible to come by – the transient nature of homeless populations presents a major difficulty – VA estimates that 107,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. Over the course of a year, approximately twice that many experience homelessness. Only eight percent of the general population can claim veteran status, but nearly one-fifth of the homeless population are veterans."

Think about this before bashing every transient you see in town. How many of them served our nation to protect you and your rights? Do you think you should assist them in their time of need when they were willing to sacrifice their lives so you can go shopping downtown?

http://www.nchv.org/background.cfm

0

WHY 3 years, 6 months ago

If the homeless had their own money then no one would care. When they mooch off of society and then waste the help that is a social concern. If all the homeless need is some booze the Downtown group should buy a keg of natty and leave it at the edge of town.

0

deec 3 years, 6 months ago

I know a few people who self-medicate with alcohol and/or street drugs because they work better than the pharmaceuticals to control their illness.

0

birdsandflowers 3 years, 6 months ago

How many of you folks would like to know how some of the money you have sunk into the social security system is being spent by the mentally ill who receive monthly checks. Speaking from personal experience with a mentally ill family member . . . he has chosen to be homeless for the past 5 months. He receives just under $1000 a month from Social Security. He is bipolar with schizo-effect disorder and an alcoholic. He chooses to go off his medication because he is "happier" that way. Nearly an entire monthly check has been blown at a strip club; then there's the guitars, cigarettes and plenty of booze and pot; other drugs when available; occasional jail time for petty infractions -- "a cot and three hots"; unnecessary emergency room visits (the hospitals in St. Louis and Memphis will most likely have to write off his expenses because they have no forwarding address for him). Don't get me wrong -- there are plenty of the homeless that are truly in need and there are many mentally ill that struggle and need assistance. I'm just saying the system is being abused and it ticks me off seeing it first hand.

0

Randall Uhrich 3 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

0

notajayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

Reading these comments give me yet another reason to be happy I don't - and never will - live in Larryville.

I just love all the whiners who constantly harp on taxing the "rich" to relieve the "burden" on the middle class (aka themselves), but they can't be bothered to come up with some loose change to help out someone that doesn't even have food to eat.

I just love all the whiners talking about how our greedy, corporate healthcare system forces people into bankruptcy and losing their homes, and conveniently forget that when they see a homeless person, who just must be a drug addict, or have chosen his or her circumstances out of laziness.

I just love the ones who pat themselves on the back for giving to the Salvation Army or the United Way - as long as they keep those pathetic people out of sight somewhere and you don't have to actually see them.

For all of you that think there's just SO much help available for these people, try it sometime. Start with the SRS website and see how much assistance is available for a single person without an established disability. Then try to apply for disability and see how easy that is. Try getting a job when you don't have a phone number, an address, transportation, or a place to take a shower or wash your clothes before your interview. Oh, you might be able to get some help, a small amount of food stamps or some dry goods from a food pantry - of course, without some place to actually prepare that food, that's of rather limited utility.

As usual, the utter lack of compassion, empathy, and human decency exhibited by the fine folks of Larryville (especially the ones constantly complaining about the lack of those qualities in others) makes me sick to my stomach.

0

pace 3 years, 6 months ago

yeha man, be cool, buy those souls a drink. Let downtown be open to what ever. Why they are against skate boarding and they do all the heavy stuff against jaywalking. Here downtown is suggesting people don't hand money to panhandlers. They don't have the right to an opinion. They should not be allowed to make a statement. They are rich man, they are prejudiced because so much of their money is tied up in their business, and what are they doing spending all day and night at their store, they should get out sometime and get over it. they should keep the shut up about rather people are being helped or not by my spare change. They should keep the shut up even if their business is being hurt or if the panhandlers are aggressive to the point of harassing people when they stand in front of a window looking at the goods. Downtown does not have the right to an opinion. They should shut it up man. i dis this, there should be no discussion on it, I got an opinion and it is the one and only truth. I don't like the woman who suggested giving out sandwiches or information, I like to give those little bottles of booze one gets on planes. Hey nothing wrong with helping a fellow man. Any way I don't have time to volunteer at any agency or enough money to donate to one or any extra food for those pantries. They don't have any more action then me, handing out a couple of quarters, That is what people need. End of story.

0

Rancho 3 years, 6 months ago

Not one of you has made a comment on the "Theater Lawrence Awarded $497.600...Grant" article. Towards the end of the article it says "The grant is the second major grant the Mabee Foundation has made to a Lawrence organization in the last week. The foundation also awarded $540,000 to the Lawrence Community Shelter."

0

jessanddaron 3 years, 6 months ago

First of all, addiction IS a disease. It might have been an easy and poor choice to try and relieve some of the pain I am sure these people feel, but make no mistake addiction is a disease that often works harder than ones willingness to overcome it. Lock up the less fortunate because they are bad for local business? Give me a break, go somewhere with an actual panhandling injunction (I've lived there) and you'll see Lawrence has a tiny problem if any. The fundamental issue at hand is that the general consensus is most of the homeless aren't people at all anymore. You have turned them into dirty tenants of downtown who pay no rent and bother people. I, for one, haven't been seriously pestered by anyone less fortunate, and my mother taught me about the word "mitzvah". Maybe you guys should google it...

0

sully97 3 years, 6 months ago

This is about the merchants rallying the public to push the homeless out of the public domain with the support and help of the city. The homeless have rights. Period. It doesn't matter how they choose to spend their money and it's not illegal to ask for it. Just look at the downtown merchants who "ask" everyone to 'support our community' and to 'buy-local' by paying 4-times as much for corpo franchise crap that is anything but 'local'. Supporting downtown for the sake of keeping them around is every bit the handout. And for people who look down on alcohol consumption by day when it comes to the homeless, while pouring alcohol down the throats of any willing student by night, is beyond disgusting.

Screw downtown. I'm done with it. I'm taking my business elsewhere from now on.

0

Jimo 3 years, 6 months ago

I assume these merchants would also give a swift bootkick to the bee-hind of those pesky girl scouts peddling their heart disease and obesity bullets all over.

0

HedleyLamarrr 3 years, 6 months ago

Downtown Lawrence inc vs bums. Whose side to pick. In this corner we have Jane Pennington, the hot dog riot queen of mass who seems adept at only one thing: applying for obscure and pointless awards. In the other corner are the bums, some of whom utilize aversive collection efforts that would make the IRS proud.

What can a bum do with a buck or two in the downtown that Jane has created? Well, they can eat, drink or buy worthless pieces of junk. There's nothing downtown that's worth a trip for the residents of the town thanks in large part to downtown Lawrence inc. Oh, there's also nowhere else to shop in the town, also in large part thanks to downtown Lawrence, inc.

Basically, Downtown Lawrence inc and Jane Pennington are the VERY things that have created this bum friendly atmosphere on Mass. You made your bed, now go sleep in it, or cardboard box or whatever.

0

beatrice 3 years, 6 months ago

I can absolutely appreciate why business owners would try to keep panhandlers off the streets and from in front of their businesses. Asking people not to give money directly to those who ask isn't that unusual, as many who make it their business to help the homeless feel it is best to give to the shelters and other organizations that provide services for those in need rather than just giving a handout to those who ask. Giving to your local shelter is far from "punishing" the homeless, and it helps by making sure the money isn't going to be spent on drugs or alcohol. Further, homeless shelters often provide services that can help those who have fallen on hard times and want help to aquire the skills (or needed medicine) necessary to eventually care and support themselves.

Jon, one further point -- what gives the businesses, or any of us, the "right" to tell others how to spend their money is our right to freedom of speech. I have the right to say it, and you have the right to ignore it if you choose.

0

couranna1 3 years, 6 months ago

There are plenty of ways to get fed, clothed, cleaned and stay warm besides panhandling If you give to them you ar crazy

0

sully97 3 years, 6 months ago

"I really think about 75% of these people, if they put as much effort into getting back on their feet as they do begging for spare change could turn their lives around.

There are probably 25% of them...most with varying forms of mental illness that are truly in need."

Care to site the source of your statisitcs, Mr. Bootstraps? Or, are you like most right wingers who make up their facts as they go?

0

mr_right_wing 3 years, 6 months ago

I really think about 75% of these people, if they put as much effort into getting back on their feet as they do begging for spare change could turn their lives around.

There are probably 25% of them...most with varying forms of mental illness that are truly in need.

It's not that hard to figure out; when someone tells you they're hungry, and you offer to get them something to eat (instead of giving them cash) and all of a sudden they're not interested.... (This tactic worked out a lot better when there was a McDonalds downtown, now there's nowhere cheap!!)

...or...

They need a buck for the bus, so you offer to go over to the transit office and get them a day pass (again, instead of cash) and the reply becomes "forget it." "never-mind."

The 'easy" and "quick" thing to do is just give them cash; and they're well aware of that!

0

Chris Ogle 3 years, 6 months ago

Just recently, I was approached for money. Instead of a hand-out, I offered him $20.00 for two hours work cleaning my garage. His response (word for word) " Why would I do that when I can make more money doing this??" Pretty much sums up the problem for me.

0

Bursting 3 years, 6 months ago

They panhandle because Lawrence's homeless services don't hand out cash for booze and drugs. Has anyone ever really taken a good good look at these people downtown, they have an unstoppable drive based solely on addiction: cigarettes, alcohol, meth... I've watched their drug deals, binge drinking (in public, on the sidewalk), and rude behavior (might I ad specifically to women and individuals not in groups). And when someone takes exception and decides to say something to these meddlers, cops quickly shew the unhappy "real" citizens away. Simply said, this problem needs to be fixed.

0

Steven Gaudreau 3 years, 6 months ago

Is "bullying" the catch word of the month?
Jon, I have an idea. Since you are the champion of the homeless, why not open your doors to them? Let's not even go that far, let's have them sit in your yard or hangout on your door step. They can ask you and your neighbors for money, most of which is for drugs and alcohol. Then they can defacate and urinate on your house or your door step much like the homeless do downtown. Every once in a while, a homeless person can brandish a screw driver and threaten your family. Do the right thing Jon, take the homeless in yourself. A large population of the homeless are mentally ill. My heart goes out to the mentally ill who have been abandoned by their families. Downtown businesses have issues with drug addict and bums, not individuals who do not have the mental capacity to care for themselves.

0

tanaumaga 3 years, 6 months ago

random indeed. that show totally illustrates the problems here. everybody watch that show...cure all. ha.

0

Random56 3 years, 6 months ago

Jon makes it sound like it's our fault they're homeless. If you ever watched intervention or have ever known an alcoholic or drug addict , you can't help them, they are the only one that can help themselves.

0

Flap Doodle 3 years, 6 months ago

Are the zoo keepers being bullies when they put up signs saying not to feed the animals?

0

cato_the_elder 3 years, 6 months ago

I'll never forget some years ago being panhandled by a teenager who had what must have been $10,000 worth of braces in his mouth.

0

Ward 3 years, 6 months ago

The downtown merchants association is making a big effort at making cards and pamphlets to educate the consumers and visitors of Lawrence about the services available to the homeless and otherwise impoverished folks looking for spare change in our fair town. The downtown merchants association does not appear to be doing nary a thing to assist the people it is targeting as bad for business. Their position is based upon fear and making a buck while avoiding the difficult (and rewarding) task of organizing assistance to the local social services and the people they serve.

0

rtwngr 3 years, 6 months ago

An acquaintance of mine's parents were visiting from out of town and had heard a lot about downtown Lawrence and Massachusetts street for its variety of shops and restaurants. They were truly impressed and loved their experience when they visited. The remark that stood out to me was, "We couldn't believe all of the homeless, begging on the street."

0

dinoman 3 years, 6 months ago

to everybody who posted... have you ever stoped and asked the pan handler their feelings and just why they choose to be where they are... living homeless is sometimes the only option.. yea we have shelters, but have you stoped in to see what they are like... most of the people staying there are on some form of drugs and that includes alcohol, granted the drugs are not used there but most of the people there have drug problems.. if i was homeless i would not want to stay there either.. being homeless dosn't mean that you loose your sense of self. sometimes it just happens and getting back on your feet especially in this day and age can be almost impossible.. i mean just for one minute stop yes stop and ask your self what would you do if you became unemployed tomorrow and could not find a job... how would you pay for your rent and if you got kicked out how would you get another apartment how would you get another job without an address. where would your healthcare come from. not to mention your next meal... now magnify that problem by saying you are married or you have a disability.. face it we all are just a few weeks or months away from homelessness our selfs ..... that is life in this economy that we live in treat others as we would want to be treated

0

whiteguy 3 years, 6 months ago

I say put them on a bus and drive them over to johns house , he will obviously hand out money and free stuff to them, and who knows , maybe set up camp as well . THAT DOES SOUND PRETTY AWSOME !

0

newmedia 3 years, 6 months ago

As they apparently can't afford a newspaper just hand them the Help Wanted ads and let them help themselves. Probably not politically correct...

0

CorkyHundley 3 years, 6 months ago

Transformation. Third World. Cooties.

Use one square of toilet paper and save the planet.

0

Dan Eyler 3 years, 6 months ago

Jon, Lawrence provides layer upon layer of support to homeless. If for some reason we don't provide enough is because Lawrence is also know as an easy mark for anyone who doesn't want to work , who is mentally ill, or is drifting from one town to another. We are not just taking care of our own, but taking care of so called homeless for sea to shinning sea. Lawrence has become a great big star on the homeless handout map. I have witnessed very poor behavior by so called homeless while downtown. I recall telling my wife that if visitors from other communities see what we saw they wouldn't come back. Not only would they not want to come back they would also pass the information to others. Lawrence is about ready to open a 125 bed shelter for homeless. Because of this I am certain the Lawrence business community and Lawrence citizens will be even more dismayed as these homeless travel on our local bus system between the new shelter location just east of the county jail to downtown Lawrence. So do us all a favor and give us a break.

0

Number_1_Grandma 3 years, 6 months ago

Ban the bums and be done with this issue. Downtown is for conducting business. Panhandlers are for disrupting business. Ban them, throw them in jail but get rid of them one way or the other.

0

lawrence267 3 years, 6 months ago

They're not telling you how to spend your money, they're just giving out information to the public. No one is stopping you from continuing to give them money.

0

Benjamin Roberts 3 years, 6 months ago

"Shame on our downtown merchants!"

Maybe you should just boycott the downtown. Don't go there. Spend your money on Sixth or South Iowa Streets.

0

gccs14r 3 years, 6 months ago

Giving money to panhandlers encourages more of them to come here.

0

Joe Hyde 3 years, 6 months ago

Downtown merchants rightly view the presence of so many panhandlers as a chronic aggravation to their customers, both actual and potential. Customer aggravation at being chronically panhandled on downtown sidewalks and parking lots translates to lost business and less income for business owners and associated employees.

All the merchants are asking is that shoppers please resist the urge to individually give money to panhandlers. If the panhandler is indeed a homeless person, we have social services agencies that are capable of helping that person in comprehensive ways that go far beyond any insulting pittance of loose change the person might acquire by panhandling.

0

Liberty_One 3 years, 6 months ago

Jon, you're much worse because you are treating them like helpless children.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.