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Da Guru

Why won`t any candidate address homelessness as an issue?

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2 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

This is another angle on the housing that I'd never thought about until I was peripherally involved. 

The question came up about what kind of rules formerly homeless people had to follow in order to get the housing assistance?

Can they have other people sleep over?

Is there a curfew time when people are supposed to be inside?

Can they have 20 other people sleep over?

Can they have alcohol?

For things that aren't legal like marijuana, will they be subject to room inspection type stuff?

 

I'd never even thought about any of those things. But they all came up as they discussed how they'd run the facilities. 

If I remember right, I think they landed on a middle ground. Alcohol is allowed. These are adults. 

There are some curfew times when people are supposed to be quiet and inside. 

I think they landed that they're not allowed to have overnight guests. But I'm not sure. 

Bottom line is it's some work to get the details. It's work worth doing. And there are others doing the same so there are models. I just remembering being sort of surprised of the details. 

Joe,

How does this not become Cabrini Green all over again?  There will be significant pushback from neighborhoods that do not want subsidized housing in them.  This will of course force this program into areas set aside for it.   Does this just create a slum?  

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29 minutes ago, supermike80 said:

Joe,

How does this not become Cabrini Green all over again?  There will be significant pushback from neighborhoods that do not want subsidized housing in them.  This will of course force this program into areas set aside for it.   Does this just create a slum?  

It's a fair question and one to consider. My answer is truthfully, I don't know.

BUT, that's not a reason to not do it.

There are people much smarter than me that know this kind of thing. And I lean to them.

In my experience, I think having some of the rules in place that do their best to balance dignity and treating adults like adults with also being responsible for the ecosystem of the housing unit.

I think things like size of the housing complex matters. 48 rooms vs 4,000 all in one place makes a difference.

Security makes a difference.

Adequate case workers to help makes a lot of difference.

That kind of thing.

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3 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

It's a fair question and one to consider. My answer is truthfully, I don't know.

BUT, that's not a reason to not do it.

There are people much smarter than me that know this kind of thing. And I lean to them.

In my experience, I think having some of the rules in place that do their best to balance dignity and treating adults like adults with also being responsible for the ecosystem of the housing unit.

I think things like size of the housing complex matters. 48 rooms vs 4,000 all in one place makes a difference.

Security makes a difference.

Adequate case workers to help makes a lot of difference.

That kind of thing.

Oh I agree.  Trying might be worth it.  Limited, controlled, where it could be studied to see if there is merit to it.  

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40 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

This is another angle on the housing that I'd never thought about until I was peripherally involved. 

The question came up about what kind of rules formerly homeless people had to follow in order to get the housing assistance?

Can they have other people sleep over?

Is there a curfew time when people are supposed to be inside?

Can they have 20 other people sleep over?

Can they have alcohol?

For things that aren't legal like marijuana, will they be subject to room inspection type stuff?

 

I'd never even thought about any of those things. But they all came up as they discussed how they'd run the facilities. 

If I remember right, I think they landed on a middle ground. Alcohol is allowed. These are adults. 

There are some curfew times when people are supposed to be quiet and inside. 

I think they landed that they're not allowed to have overnight guests. But I'm not sure. 

Bottom line is it's some work to get the details. It's work worth doing. And there are others doing the same so there are models. I just remembering being sort of surprised of the details. 

I've seen studies where it's all phased too.  Meaning, the more ownership is turned over to the individual, the more personal freedom they receive...eventually they land on "it's your place now...good luck"

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1 minute ago, supermike80 said:

Oh I agree.  Trying might be worth it.  Limited, controlled, where it could be studied to see if there is merit to it.  

Yes. They're well past just trying it though.

Even in smaller cities like Knoxville, it's been working well for several years now. 

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1. Much as I admire him, the man most responsible for the homeless problem, at least in California, was Ronald Reagan, by changing the laws regarding mental hospitals. 

2. @Da Guru this is a terrific thread. But when you get a chance can you change the title and spell “candidate” correctly? Thx. 

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45 minutes ago, supermike80 said:
54 minutes ago, The Commish said:

In the proper program, there are goals that have to be met and requirements under which people are given the residences.  This would work itself out.  Will this sort of approach fix all of homelessness?  No, of course not, but it could easily help millions and pay for itself over time.

Well sure in the proper program if there are true requirements then sure.   I'm not sure I agree with your assessment that it will "work itself out" nor do I agree with your last sentence, but I appreciate your opinion.

To be clear....I am saying with the proper requirements your concerns would root themselves out.  If there is a drug free requirement, being a druggie and owning isn't an option...works itself out as they aren't eligible.  Treating people as adults as long as they are behaving like adults fixes a lot of things.  Does it fix everything for everyone?  No.  Generally it works pretty well though.  

As for the last sentence, I can assure you it will NOT fix all homelessness.  If you're holding out for a silver bullet solution, you're going to be waiting a long time...forever probably.  Housing isn't the monumental problem people want it to be and it's one of the biggest things to aid in a person getting on the right track.  95% of the "problems" created in this space are man/politically made.  And as people get on their feet and they are transitioned to paying the full rent/mortgage, that's the very definition of "paying for itself".  Yes, someone will have to pay for the initial set up, but a successful program becomes self sustaining over time and could even provide monies for initial start ups in other communities.  That shouldn't be in question.

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Here is an article about Reagan and the mental hospitals: 

https://sites.psu.edu/psy533wheeler/2017/02/08/u01-ronald-reagan-and-the-federal-deinstitutionalization-of-mentally-ill-patients/comment-page-1/

I have a personal involvement in this. My grandmother was mentally ill long before I was born. Because of the change in law my mother was unable to keep her institutionalized. When I was a kid my grandmother was a homeless person, despite the fact that my parents were reasonably well off. Often my mom couldn’t find her. My grandmother wandered the streets of Los Angeles, slept in parks and alleys. The authorities could do nothing. This went on for years until she finally passed away. 

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1 hour ago, supermike80 said:

Joe,

How does this not become Cabrini Green all over again?  There will be significant pushback from neighborhoods that do not want subsidized housing in them.  This will of course force this program into areas set aside for it.   Does this just create a slum?  

One way is not to put all of the affordable housing in one area. Spread it out throughout the city. That's what Austin is trying to do.

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21 minutes ago, whoknew said:

One way is not to put all of the affordable housing in one area. Spread it out throughout the city. That's what Austin is trying to do.

Yes. I think one thing people learned was the giant housing things create issues with just population density. 

As well as it's tough to find existing structure that big. I'm not sure how others are doing it, but both the housing places in Knoxville took existing structures and converted them.

One was a historic but then run down motel downtown. The other was a school they converted. Both now are excellent. 

I know one has 48 rooms. The other is about the same I think. Much easier to keep a handle on something that size. 

Edited by Joe Bryant

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37 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Counterpoint: “I still think closing the institutions was the best thing Reagan ever did.”

(Follow-up.)

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2 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

Yes. I think one thing people learned was the giant housing things create issues with just population density. 

As well as it's tough to find existing structure that big. I'm not sure how others are doing it, but both the housing places in Knoxville took existing structures and converted them.

One was a historic but then run down motel downtown. The other was a school they converted. Both now are excellent. 

I know one has 48 rooms. The other is about the same I thing. Much easier to keep a handle on something that size. 

Density which may bring on crime.  Not that people would be predetermined to be criminals...but that many people brings opportunity and it just takes one slip for someone to take the risk of getting caught.

Similar to why crime is usually higher in bigger citiies vs smaller ones.  Opportunity.  Smaller community (be it a neighborhood or city) people are more familiar with everyone else and there is less opportunity.  Bigger areas where anonymity is a tool of those wishing to take advantage of others.

Smaller definitely seems like the better option.

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1 hour ago, supermike80 said:

Oh I agree.  Trying might be worth it.  Limited, controlled, where it could be studied to see if there is merit to it.  

If only there were some studies that have been done already.

Edited by whoknew

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1 hour ago, The Commish said:

To be clear....I am saying with the proper requirements your concerns would root themselves out.  If there is a drug free requirement, being a druggie and owning isn't an option...works itself out as they aren't eligible.  Treating people as adults as long as they are behaving like adults fixes a lot of things.  Does it fix everything for everyone?  No.  Generally it works pretty well though.  

As for the last sentence, I can assure you it will NOT fix all homelessness.  If you're holding out for a silver bullet solution, you're going to be waiting a long time...forever probably.  Housing isn't the monumental problem people want it to be and it's one of the biggest things to aid in a person getting on the right track.  95% of the "problems" created in this space are man/politically made.  And as people get on their feet and they are transitioned to paying the full rent/mortgage, that's the very definition of "paying for itself".  Yes, someone will have to pay for the initial set up, but a successful program becomes self sustaining over time and could even provide monies for initial start ups in other communities.  That shouldn't be in question.

Oh I know there is no silver bullet..Obviously or it might have already been implemented.  It is logical if you lay out a bunch of rules about how you could qualify for this free housing it could work.  If we are going to lay all these requirements out, why not make one  --have gainful employment and pay rent?  

 

Edited by supermike80

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4 minutes ago, supermike80 said:

Oh I know there is no silver bullet..Obviously or it might have already been implemented.  It is logical if you lay out a bunch of rules about how you could qualify for this free housing it could work.  If we are going to lay all these requirements out, why not make one  --have gainful employment and pay rent?  

 

Thats the EXACT end goal :shrug: 

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1 minute ago, The Commish said:

Thats the EXACT end goal :shrug: 

Not talking about the end goal. You said everything will be wonderful in this free housing if we set rules and treat these adults like adults.  Forgetting for a moment they are homeless for a reason, most likely their own fault--if we set all these rules. No drugs, no violence, no visitors, why don't we also say, in order to get the free housing you have to have a job?  Why cant that be one of the rules since that seems to be the fix to everything and there can be no disputing that.

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16 minutes ago, supermike80 said:

Oh I know there is no silver bullet..Obviously or it might have already been implemented.  It is logical if you lay out a bunch of rules about how you could qualify for this free housing it could work.  If we are going to lay all these requirements out, why not make one  --have gainful employment and pay rent?  

 

So NOT Housing First, then?

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5 minutes ago, supermike80 said:

Not talking about the end goal. You said everything will be wonderful in this free housing if we set rules and treat these adults like adults.  Forgetting for a moment they are homeless for a reason, most likely their own fault--if we set all these rules. No drugs, no violence, no visitors, why don't we also say, in order to get the free housing you have to have a job?  Why cant that be one of the rules since that seems to be the fix to everything and there can be no disputing that.

This is a 1,000,000,000% faulty assumption.  And it's not "free housing".  Its true that some will be supported for a period of time, but all would be expected to pay.  You should really read about how these programs have worked in other places.  It seems like you're stuck in the stereotypes where "homeless" is the guy sitting on the curb panhandling all day and "homeless" because they are lazy, on drugs etc.  That is a fraction of the homeless population.  I'm willing to bet that it's less than 30% actually.  I am also willing to bet that you interact with homeless people every day that you have no idea are homeless.

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Just now, The Commish said:

This is a 1,000,000,000% faulty assumption.  And it's not "free housing".  Its true that some will be supported for a period of time, but all would be expected to pay.  You should really read about how these programs have worked in other places.  It seems like you're stuck in the stereotypes where "homeless" is the guy sitting on the curb panhandling all day and "homeless" because they are lazy, on drugs etc.  That is a fraction of the homeless population.  I'm willing to bet that it's less than 30% actually.  I am also willing to bet that you interact with homeless people every day that you have no idea are homeless.

I'm willing to bet the % of homeless people who are homeless are in that situation because of the decisions they have made in life.  It didn't just happen

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1 minute ago, supermike80 said:

I'm willing to bet the % of homeless people who are homeless are in that situation because of the decisions they have made in life.  It didn't just happen

Ok...how much?  I don't generally bet, but if you're going to give me money, I'll take it.  Before you answer, you need to read up.

http://www.homeaid.org/homeaid-stories/69/top-causes-of-homelessness
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homelessness_in_the_United_States
http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/why.html
https://www.homelesshub.ca/about-homelessness/homelessness-101/causes-homelessness

These are just four out of hundreds of articles, all saying the same thing.  If you read these and still want to make that bet, you let me know.

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16 minutes ago, The Commish said:

Ok...how much?  I don't generally bet, but if you're going to give me money, I'll take it.  Before you answer, you need to read up.

http://www.homeaid.org/homeaid-stories/69/top-causes-of-homelessness
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homelessness_in_the_United_States
http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/why.html
https://www.homelesshub.ca/about-homelessness/homelessness-101/causes-homelessness

These are just four out of hundreds of articles, all saying the same thing.  If you read these and still want to make that bet, you let me know.

The first link, says this:

Homelessness is, in fact, caused by tragic life occurrences like the loss of loved ones, job loss, domestic violence, divorce and family disputes. Other impairments such as depression, untreated mental illness, post traumatic stress disorder, and physical disabilities are also responsible for a large portion of the homeless.

That's pretty general.  Job loss?  Gee how come?  Family disputes?..What the heck does that even mean?   And are you going to believe a link that doesn't even mention drug addiction?  I don't buy that at all---and you shouldn't either. There is no dispute about that.

Third link is from 2009 and completely irrelevant now. it even says part of the reason folks are homeless is due to a lack of available jobs, this is not true today.

Your fourth link is from Canada. Ugh. 

So back to my point, sure, those reasons listed above, that are not controllable--like a hurricane, or domestic violence(as the victim, not the perpetrator) are of course reasons why people are homeless.  But I am standing by my assertion that there are a very large amount of people who are homeless because of the decisions they have made in life.  Your links did nothing to change my position on that.  They are essentially worthless--at least the ones I clicked---I can't click anymore since you don't even read your own info.  So I would totally win my bet.

And again, the argument isn't that we shouldn't try to do something about this, but I'm telling you that your fantasy that somehow if you treat folks nicely they will be nice back is laughable and you will regret it.  Ask anyone woo has been burned by a drug addict, or a thief.  Its absurd.

ETA: And this is from your Wikipedia link:

34.7% of all sheltered adults who were homeless had chronic substance abuse issues

About 50% of people who are chronically homeless had co-occurring substance abuse problems

 

It's almost like you don't even understand what you are reading.

Edited by supermike80

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10 minutes ago, supermike80 said:

The first link, says this:

Homelessness is, in fact, caused by tragic life occurrences like the loss of loved ones, job loss, domestic violence, divorce and family disputes. Other impairments such as depression, untreated mental illness, post traumatic stress disorder, and physical disabilities are also responsible for a large portion of the homeless.

That's pretty general.  Job loss?  Gee how come?  Family disputes?..What the heck does that even mean?   And are you going to believe a link that doesn't even mention drug addiction?  I don't buy that at all---and you shouldn't either. There is no dispute about that.

Third link is from 2009 and completely irrelevant now. it even says part of the reason folks are homeless is due to a lack of available jobs, this is not true today.

Your fourth link is from Canada. Ugh. 

So back to my point, sure, those reasons listed above, that are not controllable--like a hurricane, or domestic violence(as the victim, not the perpetrator) are of course reasons why people are homeless.  But I am standing by my assertion that there are a very large amount of people who are homeless because of the decisions they have made in life.  Your links did nothing to change my position on that.  They are essentially worthless--at least the ones I clicked---I can't click anymore since you don't even read your own info.  So I would totally win my bet.

And again, the argument isn't that we shouldn't try to do something about this, but I'm telling you that your fantasy that somehow if you treat folks nicely they will be nice back is laughable and you will regret it.  Ask anyone woo has been burned by a drug addict, or a thief.  Its absurd.

ETA: And this is from your Wikipedia link:

34.7% of all sheltered adults who were homeless had chronic substance abuse issues

About 50% of people who are chronically homeless had co-occurring substance abuse problems

 

It's almost like you don't even understand what you are reading.

ok...have a good day :thumbup: 

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3 hours ago, timschochet said:

1. Much as I admire him, the man most responsible for the homeless problem, at least in California, was Ronald Reagan, by changing the laws regarding mental hospitals. 

2. @Da Guru this is a terrific thread. But when you get a chance can you change the title and spell “candidate” correctly? Thx. 

:thumbup:  Just noticed that.

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2 hours ago, supermike80 said:

I'm willing to bet the % of homeless people who are homeless are in that situation because of the decisions they have made in life.  It didn't just happen

My pure opinion based on purely anecdotal experience working with homeless folks in Knoxville for 10 years. I'm far from an expert. But I have a lot of experience:

Some people truly do wind up there by accident.

I knew a guy there that was a regular guy. He was hit by a car that wasn't his fault. In the hospital for a long time. Got addicted to pain medicine after his accident. And found himself homeless. He certainly made some choices along the way. But this more or less just happened to him.

But in my experience, most are homeless because of something they did. 

They got a DUI. They beat up their girlfriend. They got arrested for buying drugs. 

That action COUPLED with a lack of support from family and/or friends plus the lack of marketable job skills/access to money can very often put someone into homelessness.

Lots and lots of people can get a DUI / beat their girlfriend / get arrested for buying drugs and do NOT wind up homeless.

It's a combination of things. 

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3 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

My pure opinion based on purely anecdotal experience working with homeless folks in Knoxville for 10 years. I'm far from an expert. But I have a lot of experience:

Some people truly do wind up there by accident.

I knew a guy there that was a regular guy. He was hit by a car that wasn't his fault. In the hospital for a long time. Got addicted to pain medicine after his accident. And found himself homeless. He certainly made some choices along the way. But this more or less just happened to him.

But in my experience, most are homeless because of something they did. 

They got a DUI. They beat up their girlfriend. They got arrested for buying drugs. 

That action COUPLED with a lack of support from family and/or friends plus the lack of marketable job skills/access to money can very often put someone into homelessness.

Lots and lots of people can get a DUI / beat their girlfriend / get arrested for buying drugs and do NOT wind up homeless.

It's a combination of things. 

I agree.  I will add however that in many cases, they did get initial support from friends and/or family, and crapped on it multiple times until those support avenues were cut off.  

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7 minutes ago, supermike80 said:

I agree.  I will add however that in many cases, they did get initial support from friends and/or family, and crapped on it multiple times until those support avenues were cut off.  

I won't argue there. Some did get support and again, for a combination of reasons, they burned through whatever support they had.

For some, burning through support meant breaking relationship with only a couple of people. For others, they were blessed with a much stronger support group. That varies as well.

One thing I've learned from my homeless friends - people are complicated. 

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Nothing of substance to add other than I see the problem everyday as massive encampments surround where I work in Alameda, CA. Parking lots have turned into RV camps that are loaded with garbage and everyday more vehicles and people show up, it’s sad and at the same time disgusting. Disgusting because for some reason they need 5 bike frames with no other parts, broken fishing poles and countless other random broken things.

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On 7/9/2019 at 6:50 AM, Maurile Tremblay said:
On 7/9/2019 at 6:19 AM, timschochet said:

Counterpoint: “I still think closing the institutions was the best thing Reagan ever did.”

(Follow-up.)

His conclusion is based partly on two arguments (paraphrased in bold) which seem to be logically weak and borderline disingenuous:

1. "putting the mentally ill in hospitals would be similar to preemptively putting people from the ghetto in jail, and we all know how bad that idea sounds!" (First off, he's ignoring the fact that many of these mentally ill people are already in jail (or in-and-out of jail on a regular basis). Second, I think society has advanced to the point where we are much better at identifying which mentally ill people should be institutionalized. And we've already criminalized various aspects of homelessness, except that we're putting the homeless in jail, or putting them on probation, and not treating their mental illness. So if these people are already in the system, why not switch them from a judicial system to a medical system?)

2. "we shouldn't institutionalize people because remember how bad the hospitals were in the 1950s!" (Sorry but those types of hospitals are ancient history. And any modern hospital has to be better than jail.)

Also, I am suspicious of the wistful tales of how society allegedly dealt with the mentally ill during Colonial times. And it glosses over the fact that the methods of that era -- arresting a person and confining them to their home or village -- bring up the exact same issues of liberty and due process which he criticized with argument #1 above.

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13 hours ago, CGRdrJoe said:

Nothing of substance to add other than I see the problem everyday as massive encampments surround where I work in Alameda, CA. Parking lots have turned into RV camps that are loaded with garbage and everyday more vehicles and people show up, it’s sad and at the same time disgusting. Disgusting because for some reason they need 5 bike frames with no other parts, broken fishing poles and countless other random broken things.

You're hitting a real point. 

Trash is a big issue. In the homeless world, value is weird. Everything is valuable and disposable at the same time. Some of it's mental illness hoarding stuff but a lot of it is just "I might need that part" to McGuyver something together.

Another big issue is hope. When you're not sure you'll be alive next week, or don't really care if you're alive next week, cleaning up after yourself is low priority.

From the practical angle for how Homeless folks exist in society though, the trash is what often gets them kicked out of a place. It's one thing to see tents up under the bridge. People are mostly ok with that. But when it's tents and piles of trash, that becomes way less ok. I get it. 

The solution though is tough. We've seen added pressure from the City of late to cut way down on the trash that's left where we serve food if we're going to be allowed to keep serving. I give BBQ to go in containers which can often wind up not in a trashcan. I've been stressing to the folks to help us all out and make sure they wind up in the trash but again, the hope issue is tough. 

That's the kind of thing I'm talking about when I say it's not simple.

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13 hours ago, CGRdrJoe said:

Nothing of substance to add other than I see the problem everyday as massive encampments surround where I work in Alameda, CA. Parking lots have turned into RV camps that are loaded with garbage and everyday more vehicles and people show up, it’s sad and at the same time disgusting. Disgusting because for some reason they need 5 bike frames with no other parts, broken fishing poles and countless other random broken things.

Not sure of the definition. Are you really homeless if you live in an RV? In a sedan, I'd say yes, but a vehicle with built in beds and toilet?

Not passing judgement on any part of your statement, merely asking for a definition to that point. 

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I'll take some pictures today and load them when I get home from work, they had a huge trash pile and I guess they attempted to burn in this past weekend and ended up burning up 3 of the RV's.

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30 minutes ago, msommer said:

Not sure of the definition. Are you really homeless if you live in an RV? In a sedan, I'd say yes, but a vehicle with built in beds and toilet?

Not passing judgement on any part of your statement, merely asking for a definition to that point. 

An RV without water or sewer hookups isn’t much more than a large van.

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59 minutes ago, msommer said:

Not sure of the definition. Are you really homeless if you live in an RV? In a sedan, I'd say yes, but a vehicle with built in beds and toilet?

Not passing judgement on any part of your statement, merely asking for a definition to that point. 

Hopefully this worked:

https://imgur.com/gallery/jyoNH8J

 

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2 minutes ago, CGRdrJoe said:

Hopefully this worked:

https://imgur.com/gallery/jyoNH8J

 

That’s nothing.  There’s about three hundred yards of street near MLK pool in Hunters Point that’s 10’ high of solid garbage.  You can’t even drive on it.

I only go there once or twice a year, but it’s always like that.  I guess the city of SF just gave up.

Perhaps it’s time to address the housing issues.

 

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6 hours ago, Joe Bryant said:

Thank you for sharing.

Do you know much about the group or the conference? Seems good. 

I don’t, but I’m glad to see another organization advocating at the national level. 

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