Homeless in Austin

Discussion in 'In The Stands' started by 1963_Frosh, Feb 1, 2020.

  1. 1963_Frosh

    1963_Frosh 250+ Posts

    I recently watched a series of shows about cities that have deteriorated because of homelessness. First city up was San Francisco, where pooping on the sidewalks there is so common that there are now Smartphone Apps to tell you where the poop is. In addition, San Francisco city leaders declared they would not prosecute shoplifting crimes under $950, so shoplifting in local stores is now commonplace.

    Lo and behold, Austin was one of the cities shown on the program, thanks to a recent ordinance legalizing sidewalk sleeping and camping, thus drawing the homeless from other cities in Texas. My question for this forum is that if Austin becomes a sh**hole like San Francisco, will recruiting suffer? Will the 6th Street district become one big outhouse? I was born in Austin and spent most of youth there, including my years at UT, but now I’m thinking I’ll never visit again.
  2. Sangre Naranjada

    Sangre Naranjada Winebibber

    I'm still extremely happy to have abandoned Austin when I did, almost 20 years ago now. Every time the city does something stupid (again), that happiness is reinforced.
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  3. zuckercanyon

    zuckercanyon 1,000+ Posts

    I think some of the best players come from less than stellar surroundings...as long as the homeless don't infiltrate campus classrooms, it shouldn't be a factor....
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  4. Texanne

    Texanne 5,000+ Posts

    What is your solution to the problem of homelessness?
  5. nashhorn

    nashhorn 2,500+ Posts

    Build low income housing that requires one to work.
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  6. Crockett

    Crockett 5,000+ Posts

    I've spent some time visiting with homeless folks. A lot of them like the freedom of no house, no daily job, hand-to-mouth subsidence that frankly reminds us a little about humanity's norm up until 7,000 years ago.

    Seems rational to me that we would want to examine use public resources to provide a decent place to go to the bathroom since continuous exposure to human excrement is something we've gotten away from in urban settings over the last 150 years. It's unpleasant and a source of disease. I don't think it would cost much more to give people a place to flush than it does to hire someone to clean up after them.

    Requiring public businesses to open their bathrooms is problematic. Every once in a while I find myself in downtown Dallas and a lot of businesses don't let you into their restrooms even if you are buying stuff. In some cases, the homeless invade the bathroom and block the door to clean up or catch some winks.

    Any solution to the homeless problem has to acknowledge that responsible adulthood is not everybody's cup of tea.
  7. Sangre Naranjada

    Sangre Naranjada Winebibber

    Does that necessarily mean the rest of us have to bear the burden of their choice to abdicate responsible adulthood?
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  8. Horn6721

    Horn6721 Half of seeming clever is keeping your mouth shut.

    ? "Any solution to the homeless problem has to acknowledge that responsible adulthood is not everybody's cup of tea."
    What would you do with all the people who feel no need to be responsible?
  9. SabreHorn

    SabreHorn 5,000+ Posts

    As far as The University is concerned, it has its own police force (worthless as it is). If the problem attempts to cross 19th or 30th, let the University enforce its own rules about vagrancy. Unfortunately that will not protect West Campus, but I know the fraternities can keep that "clean" - see also The Paschal Posse.

    For any of that to happen, we need either Frank Erwin back or a new president who is more conservative.

    Was anyone ever bothered by the presence of the "Indian Princess" or Gordon the newspaper man? Of course, neither of them slept on the curb, bummed money or food.
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  10. Crockett

    Crockett 5,000+ Posts

    Hey, I didn't create those people ... except maybe with my tacit approval for our role as world policeman and the mentally scarred veterans who come home as a result. If I thought my self-righteous disapproval would have them straighten up and fly rights, I'd walk down there and berate them as a volunteer project.

    I can't make people be responsible adults. Maybe Adolph Hitler or Pol Pot could have. I'm saying that if the homeless exist and live on the edges, it's better to build bathrooms than walk around/clean up poop.
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    Last edited: Feb 1, 2020
  11. BurntOrangeLH

    BurntOrangeLH 2,500+ Posts

    So CCC work camps?
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  12. BurntOrangeLH

    BurntOrangeLH 2,500+ Posts

    Not all of these people are irresponsible druggies. they are just economic refugees and would like a job on which they could survive. Austin requires 2X - 3X the minimum wage to have any hope of mere survival now.

    State Of Nature: Texas Homeless Camp Now Identifies As Town
  13. Texanne

    Texanne 5,000+ Posts

    I work daily with homeless people who would love nothing more than a job that pays them enough to be able to afford rent. Even crappy-*** apartments have gotten out of hand, and there is a waiting list for public housing. My church is a member organization for Family Promise, a homeless ministry that allows families to stay together. They sleep in churches every night, a different church each week. I recognize many of our guests because they come to Workforce to try to find jobs. Not all homeless have abdicated responsibility.

    And I also work with folks who have been laid off and are terrified of losing their homes.
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  14. nashhorn

    nashhorn 2,500+ Posts

    Oh for crying out loud Burnt, I’m not saying that, nor should it be inferred at all. I think we should have some housing that is available BUT some type of work should be made available where recipient is able to feel it is earned. Don’t try to tell me that there is not plenty of work opportunities in a city the size of Austin. What I am saying is that one should NOT feel menial jobs are beneath them if they can get housing for it.
  15. Crockett

    Crockett 5,000+ Posts

    Honestly like the idea of something like a cca work camp.
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  16. IvanDiabloHorn

    IvanDiabloHorn 1,000+ Posts

    This is Texas, not California.

    Public spaces are for public use, not homesteading. When some ne’er do well puts up a tent, craps or lays prone on public areas that impede my use of the public space, he is out of line and should be moved out. The ne’er do wells do not have any more right to public area use than I do. Move them out.
    Every morning have public works remove any tents and belongings and haul it to the garbage dump. Have police available to throw any of them in jail that resist having their garbage taken away. Then move them out to I35 and see if they will camp there.

    The State of Texas is at fault for not reigning Austin in. Austin is not a city state, it reports to the State government. The first bill passed in the next session should address camping in public areas that are meant for all citizens. I am calling my Rep and Senator, you should do the same.

    Do not feed the bears. Do not feed the alligators. Do not feed the ne’er do wells.

    Work or starve. I don’t care if the work is government work programs. Pick up trash, cut grass, dig ditches. No work, no food or money.

    These bums will move along rather than work.

    Quit feeling sorry for them.
  17. Horn6721

    Horn6721 Half of seeming clever is keeping your mouth shut.

    That is a good idea but why would you think the homeless would agree to that? As you pointed many like the freedom with no restrictions.
    and can you imagine the outcry if they were forced into work camps?
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2020
  18. Crockett

    Crockett 5,000+ Posts

    Yeah, as in the 30s, cca camps should be voluntary. Maybe it could be presented among less palatable options.
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  19. Horn6721

    Horn6721 Half of seeming clever is keeping your mouth shut.

    For most homeless who like how they live work camps would not work
    But you might be right, that there are some who would like the opportunity to get their life together. If the woke SJW would stay out of it that would work.
    There is no one answer. I can see this could be one.
  20. ut1969

    ut1969 100+ Posts

    I have a coworker who was born and raised in California and after 40 years moved to Leander. He was around and dealt with the homeless everyday. In California the majority of the homeless are basically bums. They want no responsibilities and are just basically a drain on society.
  21. Austin_Bill

    Austin_Bill 1,000+ Posts

    Let's not miss the elephant in the room, the majority of homeless are people with drug addiction or mental issues. Yes there are those that are just down on their luck individuals who need a home. But the vast majority are people that have some tough issues that are not going to go away.

    The problem with San Francisco, Seattle, and such is those cities are run by soft Democrats who can't say enough. The problem with Austin, is those same people have moved here.

    I agree, we need the state to step in and show some leadership across the board in all cities. I absolutely am following my local elections closer than ever we need better leadership.
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  22. nashhorn

    nashhorn 2,500+ Posts

    Whatever happened to Abbott’s “going to clean up Austin’s homeless” declaration? That’s a paraphrase btw.
  23. Phil Elliott

    Phil Elliott 2,500+ Posts

    I have a 1st cousin who has been homeless in Houston for over 20 years. In the past, his greater family (mostly cousins since all the adults have passed away over the years) have tried to help him find housing, clothes, etc. It always fails because he cannot and will not be responsible to anyone or anything. Example: He was sleeping on his sister's couch for a while. She is poor as a church mouse but would make him breakfast in the morning before she would go to work. After several days, she told him you are welcome here anytime, but could you please leave me a couple of bucks every now and again to help out paying for the breakfast? He left that day and did not return.

    My cousin's experience is not true for everyone, but it sure lines up precisely with what Crockett is saying.
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  24. old65horn

    old65horn 1,000+ Posts

    There have been homeless people as long as I have been alive, which is too long. When I was a kid, they were called hobos. We lived about 50 yards from the RR tracks and I would see them walking the tracks during the day. Back then, the country had just come out of a depression and each county had a poor farm. That is the source of the phrase "you are driving me to the poor farm".

    A lot of people, as evidenced by several posts, have an ad hoc knowledge and apply that to homeless as a whole. I agree that many are drug addicts, alcoholics or mentally ill, but not all. I do not agree that we should round them up and put them in cages. Some are just down on their luck and need a break.

    The way I look at it, I am better off than they are. I usually give the ones at a stop sign, light a couple of bucks except at Christmas. Then I try to give them 5 dollars. Whe I get the same shape they are, I will stop giving them a couple of bucks.
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    Last edited: Feb 3, 2020
  25. Horn6721

    Horn6721 Half of seeming clever is keeping your mouth shut.

    Old? Who is calling for putting them in cages??

    You really should stop giving money to them. Give instead to places that try to take care of them, get them off the streets, try to help with drug and mental issues. By giving them money you are enabling them to not get help.
    There are people who prey on these people by actually "hiring" them to beg . They take them to corners, pick them up after their "shift" and give them enough of their take to buy drugs or alcohol to get them to the next day.

    Giving a buck here or there may make You feel good but you are not helping anyone. Instead give to places that actually try to help
    and better yet volunteer at one.
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  26. old65horn

    old65horn 1,000+ Posts

    Thanks for the advise.
  27. Horn6721

    Horn6721 Half of seeming clever is keeping your mouth shut.

    I have volunteered with agencies who try to help homeless. I see the hard job they have trying to get the homeless to see there is a better and safer way to live. Many homeless whether on drugs/alcohol or with mental issues would rather beg for 4 hours a day than go through the hard slog of getting sober or mental help. NO easy answers but giving them money on the street is not one

    Even if your thanks to me for the advice was sarcastic I hope you stop and think if you are really helping them by giving them a buck.
  28. Austin_Bill

    Austin_Bill 1,000+ Posts

    LOL, I have an uncle who is about 72 yrs old. Skinny as a twig and a Vietnam vet. I keep telling him I'm going to get him some old army rags and put him on the corner begging, I figure we can get about $300 a day and I told him I'd split it with him 60-40, after all it's my idea.
  29. zuckercanyon

    zuckercanyon 1,000+ Posts

    It doesn't have to be a cage just several acres with fencing and tower guards.....oh yeah that poor farm thing
  30. mb227

    mb227 2,500+ Posts

    Concur, generally, with this. Maybe I am jaded, but there are just too many stories from all parts of the country where the local news has discovered the vehicle they walk to at the end of the 'shift' and drive away.

    A few weeks ago, when I was back in the Austin area, I saw a mid-20's guy walking from near MoPac and 360 with a folding chair. He was NOT going to a festival of any sort. He had parked far enough away from where he was going to set up shop (I also saw his 'need help' sign).

    On occasion, if I see someone with a sign at an intersection during the pouring rain, I'll give THEM a couple of bucks if I have some loose bills. They may be running the same scam, but at least someone in the rain has a better chance of actually BEING destitute. Few of the grifters are going to stay outside in that sort of weather...

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