Re: Job update ...

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				  (Snip snip)
-X-Sender: jinx at mail dot albany dot net
-Date: Sun, 14 Sep 1997 23:52:28 -0400
-From: "K. Kuzawski" <jinx at mail dot albany dot net>
->Going off on a tangent ... I was in New York for meetings this Thursday and
->I noticed some "anti" homeless population "improvements" that I thought
->might interest you all. As you'll remember, we bantered around about some
->policies in San Francisco that Pat was telling us about .
-I saw an article in the paper today about how SF's latest homeless problem
-dumb solution is to set aside areas where it is legal to sleep in a car. I
-guess it is illegal to sleep in your car (why? If I am driving cross country
-and need a nap and dont want to waste 100 bucks on a room, what to do?).  So
-they want to find "someplace" where people can come and live in these big
-parking lots in their cars so they have a home base from which to look for
-work and get social services
	I'm not sure what the city ordinances are, but I'm sure they've
probably outlawed sleeping in the cars, there. I've pulled over for naps in
other areas, and it's not so bad, but I think the "official" ruling is that
you aren't supposed to do it, and stories of cops pulling up to cars by the
roadside and using flashlights to wake up people are fairly common, so I
doubt everyone's making it up. (There is a large hippie/Grateful Dead
contingent, here, so there's a history as to why they wouldn't want to
encourage it, I guess.) 

-I guess what I am trying to say is, this idea sounds pretty dumb to me,
-waste of government money to study it. Seems that the ORIGINAL idea was to
-let homeless people set up tents and live, but they thought it would be MUCH
-less trashy to have people in old smelly cars instead.  Hey, If they would
-splurge and buy the homeless nice tents (or better, Pat's domes) that all
-looked the same, it wouldnt look so bad!  Much better than rusted old car
-hulks with 20 people snoring in them!
-What a bunch of assholes
	I've considered approaching the City Government and the Homeless
coalitions to see if they'd be interested in working on some sort of
solution like that. Perhaps allocate or purchase some land out in the
country, where there's clean air and less crowds, where we could build some
sort of dome city for the homeless to go to while they got themselves
together, retrained for marketable skills, etc. 
	This would have a two-pronged effect. It would create for the
Homeless a place to go, and it would allow the City to remove what they
consider to be an "unsightly" group of people from their midst. It would
also be much more economical for them than the constant cost of sending
police out to shuffle them from one area to another, but never really
solving the problem.

	I've discussed this with a friend here in the Bay Area, who has
been active with the Homeless and various civil rights concerns over the
past 30 years, and they actually DID something like this at one point, many
years ago. One of his associates had a bunch of land out by the ocean, and
had them use it as a retreat/recovery area, for many of the people who fell
through the cracks after the 60's. People rehabilitating from drug abuse,
people trying to get their lives back together, etc. 
	Apparently it worked with some success, for some folks, but not
everyone. First off, not everyone WANTS to get out of the City. Many want
to sit on "their" street corner and panhandle. And if they don't have the
desire to change, there's really nothing we can do to MAKE them change. 
	Also, old habits die hard. Taking a junkie off the street is one
way to break the association of the area with the junk. But even after
they've cleaned up their act, if they end up moving back to the same
neighborhood, or a similar type of place, they can very easily fall back
into their old habits, and slide right back down. 

	It's a really complex problem. I actually think that convincing the
City to donate some land or help fund a project like this would be one of
the EASIER aspects of the whole thing. :-)

	   ___________________Think For Yourself____________________
		 Patrick G. Salsbury <salsbury at sculptors dot com>
		The only smart thing to do is to get smarter.
				-- Timothy Leary, The Intelligence Agents

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