I would love to visit a few large cities to interview a few homeless individuals. Help me with this mission by donating (click here).
Around the world there is an attack on the homeless and I am not sure why. I'll admit every so often you do run across someone you should avoid at all costs, but that's not just homeless people, that's for anyone. The mental status of the homeless is tested more than not, as every day they're worrying about their next meal, where to store their things and finding a comfortable place to sleep. Over time of dealing with this scenario, you'd probably be a bit crazy, too.
FYI, this is going to get a bit graphic.
Some cities openly attempt to defeat the homeless with "hostile architecture" - bolts, spikes and sometimes slopes are present.
All of this money goes to defeating and not treating.
If you can't defeat the homeless with nasty architectural tricks, the next thing to do is pay them a visit to destroy their property.
Police and maybe fire dept. employees destroy tents belonging to homeless people. They cut the tops off the tents with box cutters. The homeless and their advocates claim the police are acting under direct orders from the Mayor Baker.
Small homeless communities or large ones, the solution seems to be the same in numerous areas: Destroy the home they could make.
Bulldozing the homeless' property
If cutting the tops off tents and throwing their belongings away wasn't good enough for them, Nashville (TN) responded to a tent city by bulldozing their property. That's right, outright mental and physical slaughter of one's property.
NASVHILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The bulldozers came as the sun was coming up as if to keep their appearance from being noticed by the hundreds of drivers streaming by on Ellington Parkway headed to work. Wednesday marked the end of a tent city which has been in Nashville for the better part of two years. --News Channel 5 Nashville
I completely understand dirtying up the place, one should keep everything they can as clean as they can. Given the fact of the situation they're already in, it's safe to assume they're already limited on resources to keep things clean and even in some cases organized (storms, etc). I am too concerned about where they (the homeless) went after this bulldozing incident. Despite the city taking ownership of all the "mess" and trying to clean it up, they still left some things behind and "TDOT" plans to removing any remaining trash within that week. A 30 day notice was given to the tent city, but really, no other locations were provided for the homeless to actually go.
Those same individuals were waiting on additional housing.
Oddly enough, in another part of Tennessee things are being handled slightly different. Knoxville is setting up a "day" area for the homeless, but sadly it closes down at night. Again, they bulldozed the tent city prior to this, evicting all who was there.
In my home state, they supposedly assist in the housing process before clearing homeless camps (read: survival areas).
The Herald-Dispatch reports Huntington officials say agencies that regularly assist homeless people used resources to ensure those evicted from the riverbank are moved into permanent housing. Residents were allowed to take any belongings they wished before the process started Thursday. --AP
Let's get to Dennis
In this next segment we're going to discuss an infamous person who is homeless--Dennis. I send all best wishes to Dennis. After watching this heartbreaking video, you'd almost want to call the feds for Dennis.
There's your 6 inches, bitch --Dennis
I usually don't support calling someone a bitch or any other derogatory phrase, term, etc unless warranted and used in proper context. You know, if someone cuts you off in a parking lot you have the right to call them whatever you want - You could take the "high" road by keeping the language to yourself, but you're still entitled to be upset over it, but hopefully not for long.
In this particular video about a guy named Dennis who happens to be homeless, an officer (a non-peaceful one at that) decided to complain about how close Dennis' belongings were to a traffic light unit. The officer claimed his belongings had to be at least six inches away, to which Dennis complied - Sadly... this was not enough for the officer as they continued about the "concrete" portion. Despite Dennis complying to every demand made to keep things away from the unit, the officer continued poking away at Dennis' mentality.
I've worked with the public and I can tell you the majority of the time it's no one's fault but your own if you become upset. In certain circumstances I feel one should be able to address the public for their language and abuse. "Hey, I'm not going to help you if you use foul language at me," or "this discussion will be over if you continue to use foul language towards me." Incredibly easy phrases to use. It tells the other person you're simply not going to tolerate their abuse and they'll need to stop. This works with customers and non-customers, but when it comes to working with citizens in the form of "law enforcement," things change. They change because you can't dictate what type of language is used by a citizen, you know, due to the freedom of speech. Providing one is not inciting violence, say whatever!
Move your shit [...]
Get your shit [...]
Not even 5 minutes into the encounter
After stating some laws and being rejected, Dennis said "fine" and started walking towards the cart, but then the officer followed up with, "do you wanna to go to jail today?" This question was completely unnecessary as Dennis exhibited no hostility towards the officer and didn't try to escalate anything. Clearly not concerned with receiving a few hot meals a day, Dennis offered himself up to be arrested, and not surprisingly the officer declined. The fact of asking one if they want to go to jail may trigger some in the wrong way. What the officer should have did is wait to see what Dennis was going to do. He did not decline to move anything, he only said "fine."
A second officer eventually arrived on scene, went back and forth with Dennis and I would imagine due to Dennis' responses subsequently dialed for assistance on the law. To cut it short, it ended up Dennis being cleared and having the "right" to keep his belongings right there as he already moved them six inches to provide an air gap for the unit.
Dennis claimed to have been at this spot for two months.
It's clear Dennis was struggling with keeping his sanity in check.
It's difficult to watch the homeless be treated this way.
Just yesterday (Friday November 16, 2019) I learned a homeless individual traveling through (Keyser, WV) thankfully ended up with paid hotel stay, but was later found deceased. The community learned he was sick, but not much else is known. Again, to help with resources and producing more content, please consider donating (here).
And definitely don't do this (graphic content)
Put your hands on your fucking knees --Officer
If you're unfamiliar with Kelly Thomas, he was murdered by law enforcement and prior to this had his face broke, and choked on his own blood. Despite video evidence and Officer Manuel Ramos being charged with second-degree murder, he was later found not guilty, and the charges of others were dropped.
Thomas was known to the homeless community and law enforcement (more here).
Change the tone
We're gonna have to start changing the tone when speaking with individuals in these positions, not because one day that could be us, but because they're clearly in a state of survival. They're worrying about their next meal, where to sleep next, how to protect their things while they're sleeping--so many things to worry about.
Don't gaslight them.
Be kind, be humble.
I hope you have a good day and thank you for reading. Simply wanted to shed light where I can on the unfair treatment of the homeless.