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Should the city designate areas for homeless campsites on city property?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on February 11, 2009

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Photo of Ali Nass

“Yes they should because it is better for them to have their own place rather than walking around in the street.”

Photo of Joseph Yoder

“Yes they should … as long as there is some kind of control.”

Photo of Courtney Newell

“I don’t believe they should … it would attract more and more homeless people.”

Photo of Mary Nulton

“I don’t think so … it wouldn’t encourage them to actually seek out somewhere healthy to live.”

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jonas_opines 9 years, 1 month ago

Errr. . . . how about we just let them use that campsite by the river that they Were using before we kicked them out of it, rather than throwing up another somewhere else?

Richard Heckler 9 years, 1 month ago

Lease out the Allen Press Bldg or Tanger Mall. Both sites have plenty of space for treating and training. City bus svcs are available. It would cost the city a whole lot less money to have one place large enough than to expect the LPD to use their valuable time running all over town keeping tabs on their whereabouts. It would be way less expensive than locking them up at $50- $100 per day.Obviously the current system is not working.

canyon_wren 9 years, 1 month ago

So--you provide a campground that will attract a lot more homeless to Lawrence--what do you do with all those extra people in the winter? Then you will need to go ahead and have REAL housing available for them during the bad weather. Doesn't sound logical to me.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 1 month ago

Ali thinks the homeless wander the streets 24/7 and that they do that because they don't have a place to camp? Wake up, dude.If we do this we'd be forced to rent one of those huge drilling machines like when South Park got overrun by hippies. Great plan!! I suppose this came from the same scholars who decided to support the unused, smog machine called The T when we can't afford to make budget. Why don't we just rent them all rooms at Spring Hill Suites, and take the locks off all the mini bars while we are at it?I'll say it: the emperor has no clothes, or common sense.

Tony Kisner 9 years, 1 month ago

Merrill the system cound not work better. Build a shelter where all who want to continue to drink can flop for the night, add a good intentioned but misdirected group of citizens and you get an exploding homeless population.Now thanks to the drain on the system the city will not be able to assist its own when they need it. Sorry family of four, you will now need to live in a tent because this guy with the bottle of thunderbird was here first.

absolutelyridiculous 9 years, 1 month ago

Can you say Obamaville? Let's give these folks some dignity. Living in a cardboard box is inhumane...of course I hear if you used old Journal World newspapers to cover up, it's like a big soft down-filled comforter. Nice work LJW. Keep it up.

Flap Doodle 9 years, 1 month ago

Put 'em on the empty buses & just drive them around & around 24/7

rusty2 9 years, 1 month ago

Yes, and nearby commissioners homes.

townie79 9 years, 1 month ago

killjoy your comment made me shoot Mr. Pibb out of my nose!awesome!

canyon_wren 9 years, 1 month ago

There must be at least 300 people who are strongly supporting this. If each of them would take one of the homeless into his/her home, that would solve the problem. An additional "guest" shouldn't be that much trouble.

Kyle Reed 9 years, 1 month ago

xbusguy (Anonymous) says… "how do you spell l a w s u i t e ?"Ironically enough, not like that. No "e" on the end.

sgtwolverine 9 years, 1 month ago

I don't know how anyone -- even those in government -- could possibly think this is a good idea.

PapaB 9 years, 1 month ago

I'm sure there might be some empty cells somewhere... I'm just sayin'...

geniusmannumber1 9 years, 1 month ago

Good job, folks. All these comments, and only killjoy and townie79 are advocating genocide against poor people. That's called relative restraint on these boards.

Chris Ogle 9 years, 1 month ago

Lawsuite, boy do I feel stupid. Ok, how about this... When the MT buses are finished with daily routes, we could open them up to the homeless. Instead of counting riders, count boardings.MT numbers would be up, and the guy that doesn't s*** in the back seat, gets bus number 1.

Seriously 9 years, 1 month ago

Why should Lawrence encourage this kind of behavior ? If people know there is a free ticket here then yes they will come and then we are supporting people that are not of this community. I don't want my tax dollars paying for those people. I'm not heartless I donate time and money to the community and I take my donations to local charity's and not corporate charity's that send my things outside this community. A portion of homeless people choose that life style and if we give them a continuous free ride then how does that encourage them to be better people and get out of that lifestyle ? If the city wants to help, then set up some programs for job placement so these people can be responsible citizens.

Elmer_Fudd 9 years, 1 month ago

Vewy glad they moved them fwom the wiveh.The squiwls and wabbits aw stawwting to come back aweady.Makes sum vewy nice pot woasts with cawwots.

denak 9 years, 1 month ago

mispelled word aside, xbusguy had a point. I was wondering if there would be liability issues if the state designated this area and then someone was raped there or some other crime was commited there. If someone fell or were injured, would the city be responsible since it was the city's property? Who is going to maintain this area??Not to sound cold hearted or anything, but if this city is having such a budget crisis, does it really need to take on this extra cost and does the city really want to open itself up to lawsuits?Dena

Sheila Couchman 9 years, 1 month ago

Good grief! All they really needed to do in the first place was leave the campsite know, the one they BULLDOZED....idiots!

geekin_topekan 9 years, 1 month ago

For real,just leave them alone,But I am sure that most on this board will find something else to whine about.BTW,if money is all you have to contribute to a community,take it to joco.Bye.Booyah!!Totally owned!Whos yo daddy?Huh?Huh?

Moderateguy 9 years, 1 month ago

My head is spinning. Yesterday somebody was proposing taxing farmers for the CO2 emitted by their livestock. Now our local leaders are considering opening up a city sponsored campground for bums, alcoholics and drug addicts. What the he*l is going on???If you think we have a homeless problem now, just wait until word gets out about a free campground with bathrooms and showers. (Not that any of them would use the showers for anything but a place to shoot up.) Build it and they will come. Close the wet shelter! Find a way to help those that want to work and kick the rest of them out of OUR town.

TacoBob 9 years, 1 month ago

I have to admit that was the first Merrill comment I have ever fully read. Brevity, no cut and paste, no links.

Tom McCune 9 years, 1 month ago

So, use some of the economic stimulus money to create a modern version of the Civilian Conservation Corps. That worked quite well. Good people who were in a temporary bind got a place to live and the necessities of life in exchange for needed work. The bums, dope fiends, and winos hung out down by the railroad tracks where they belong. People with true physical disabilities are a little more difficult....

Charlie Sabotage 9 years, 1 month ago

If we're setting up accommodations let's just just be sure there is a shower and it's close to the new WalMart, they could try their luck at getting a job since they're hiring in the masses. Hell, maybe they could even live in WalMart, they'd be on time for work. Plus, if the camp deal ever fell through they could use the boxes they unpack at work to build a new living situation.

Deja Coffin 9 years, 1 month ago

I'd just designate another city all together!

Omegatron 9 years, 1 month ago

In time of war, the military should be the largest employer.Congress needs to act.The local senator needs to draft a bill for congress that brings back the draft in a limited form. One which orders the military to go through all homeless sites around the country looking for everyone of draft age and not disabled. Which orders the military to 1) If person is illegal deported him/her 2) If the person is able bodied they are given a choice.Get a civilian job within a certain time frame to avoid the draft or get drafted for a tour. That'll reduce the number of homeless by a substantial amount and help the military with their recruiting problems.It'll give the homeless a chance to get back on their feet through stable employment. A chance to save up and get their credit back, housing for the near future, health care, etc...Who cares if this is not the PC thing to do, that it'll make the anti-war crowd take up arms. Better then these people being on the streets, laying around doing drugs waiting to die...

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