Controversy Over Helping The City's H...

Controversy Over Helping The City's Homeless

There are 45 comments on the WREG story from Dec 4, 2009, titled Controversy Over Helping The City's Homeless. In it, WREG reports that:

"I'm not trying to put people in jail just because they're homeless, I hope the public will understand that," said Col.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WREG.

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United States

#1 Dec 4, 2009
The only good I can see in putting them in jail is at least they will have a warm bed and a meal. They can't stay in jail forever. What is the plan once they are released?

In cases like Mr. Anderson, if he had a home to go to I'm sure he'd be there. I find it hard to believe that most people "choose" to be homeless.

Paris, TN

#2 Dec 4, 2009
I do not feel like many of the homeless have chosen this life. It would be unfair to put them in jail with the crimals just for them to get hurt. Instead why not open up some of the empty buildings and give them a place to stay.They cannot even get help from the government cause they do not have a address. It is a shame that the city would rather lock them up instead of trying to help them

Memphis, TN

#3 Dec 4, 2009
If you do like how the process works, then I suggest you come with a better plan instead of handing business cards!

Memphis, TN

#4 Dec 4, 2009
There are many reasons peple are homeless, their mannerism or old clohes get them rejected from fixed Places of help; more positing of information would hlep, larger lettering in most commonly used camps and areas by the homeless; provide task with minniual skills required and pay in compounds onlly redenable for certain items and at certain stores. lists of free mental, physical check ups, and more places of actual free medical care of all times. Obtain a person who will know and ahave all forms and litterature abd naosm etc, abd work night and day providing cooordination for all these matters. Ed

“Anyone seen my brain?”

Since: Dec 09


#5 Dec 5, 2009
How about simply taking them to the shelter instead of arresting them? We have homeless around here (South Memphis) but I am not out to hound them. I help them when I can but putting them in jail will help nobody. What if it was you out there on the streets instead of reading this?

Downtown Memphis is a very long way from many parts of Shelby County, take them to there if you really have concern for them. Stop playing this stupid game and really help those less fortunate than those of us actually able to access this forum. Many people (I mean like you and me) end up there becuase of the current economy, not because they are deadbeats, watch out, you may be next.

Consider thy neighbor, they may be gone sooner than you think and you may be next....

Bill Lewis

Ripley, TN

#6 Dec 5, 2009
It is an injustice to see the homeless as a blight on the city when in fact they are a blight on our over-comsumming, materialistic society that disdanes those who cannot keep up. There is already a revolving door at 201 Popular that defines the city's relationship with the homeless. Symbolic acts of helping - handing out a card printed with services available - is only a smoke screen to allow the police to harrass and arrest those already down and out under the pretense of a warning.
not far from homeless

Collierville, TN

#7 Dec 5, 2009
I bet there is alot of people out there that thought they might be homeless. The economy hopefuly reminded everyone that "it" could happen to you, too. And if you were homeless, the only thing that would help you cope would be beer or wine. Tis the season people, help out who you can with what you can.

Milan, TN

#8 Dec 5, 2009
The real reason for the arrest is, the city get a lot of visitors this time of year, and city officials do not want the city to look like this to visitors... that's the truth. I heard that from a police officers mouth...what a shame put your foot on the neck of a homeless person, not only are they homeless, but they are cold,hungry, and everything else in between, people are mean to the homeless, God will bless

Albuquerque, NM

#9 Dec 5, 2009
This action is WRONG, did the cops not know that at this time of year many of the shelters are packed with homeless. There have been rumors in the past that when its this cold every bed at the Union Mission was filled and they had resorted to putting up cots and pallets to try and get as many people out of the cold as possible. Handing out the cards for the Hub is great, but is it enough? Did you know that the Salvation Army area shelters are also at capacity. What would throwing them into jail do for them? A night or 2 in a bed with a meal, that in the end they still are responsible for.

I am disappointed that this "sweep" was approved by our new mayor. I had high hopes that he would start making efforts about the many problems that the City of Memphis faces. Being homeless is not a crime, doing nothing to help should be. By arresting those in camps should be criminal. It is also discrimination against people who are less fortunate. What does GMICH have to say in all this, they work very hard to do as much as possible.

The Pyramid, Coliseum, and a host of other city owned or managed building sit empty. Why can't those be opened up on a temporary basis especially during the cold winter months. Its easier to help people when you are sitting down with them than just throwing them in jail.

Memphis, TN

#10 Dec 5, 2009
After reading the comments so far I see that poeple don't understand homelessness.
The fact is people are homeless for a reason.Having been homeless for several years of my life I have firsthand knowledge of the reason.And that is that the overwhelming majority of the homeless are that way because of either drug addiction or alcoholism.It's a crying shame but is as simple as that.
Thelma Brim

United States

#11 Dec 5, 2009
I trully understand some of these people are not homeless by choice because Iam standing almost in their shoes about to loose the home my mother died and left me we have been here 46plus years "BUT" where do we go except to the streets when things like this happen.They have built all these new places here but how do you get in them and who has 700 to pay in rent we need something that is income based.Where do we go who do we turn too.

United States

#12 Dec 5, 2009
I cook for the homeless, hungry and needy at a Midtown church every week and have for years. This is not a new situation, its always been there. I am grateful that the citizens of the city are beginning to wake up to this situation. Some of these people are mentally ill and victims of some people that didn't truly understand their situation and took them out of the hospitals and basically put them on the street. Many of these people can neither read or write and have no comprehension of the services that are available for them. It will take leading them by the hand to address this issue. Then there are those that are victims of situations beyond their control and just find themselves in these situations until they can get it back together and find their way out. Some are addicts true enough, be it drugs or alchohol or both. However that does not make them helpless either. Everyone deserves to be treated in a decient respectful manner you never know why they wound up in that situation either. We need to find a way on a person by person basis to eliminate the cause of this problem not just throw them in jail because it doesn't solve the problem it only enables the situation to continue. We are all people and everyone deserves the right to live in decent housing and have food to eat. Many of these people have no marketable skills so job training and educational opportunities might also prove helpful in some instances. There are many empty properties where these people could be taught construction skills thus improving their skill level and doing work to benefit the whole community. We need to address this issue from a positive angle not a negative one. We are all God's children and most of us could find ourselves in a similar situation if we lost our sources of income.

Memphis, TN

#13 Dec 5, 2009
what about bringing all the various service providers and their services to one centralized location large enough to accommodate the homeless population and provide food to draw that population there? Then, instead of sending the homeless around to various agencies and organizations for assistance, which results in most of them giving up or not following through, the assistance would be brought to them.

There could be food, shelter, shower facilities, hygiene items, clothes, washing machines, psychiatric, medical and dental care, counseling, job counseling, etc. in one location. Then appropriate referrals could be made for long term care, counseling and assistance as appropriate.

This is not convenient or pleasant for the service providers, but the current system does not work.

The homeless need food and shelter particularly at this time of year, but jail is not the answer. Their homeless status should not be criminalized. Furthermore, this City and County have enough challenges with regard to the jail population.

Its wonderful that the comments reflect compassion and a community interest in actually assisting the homeless rather than hauling them off so they are invisible.

New Orleans, LA

#14 Dec 5, 2009
How about setting up an adoption agency for homeless people?

People that want to, and can afford it can have these people live in their homes, feed and clothe them, and help them find a job.

They could earn their keep by cutting the yard, or raking leaves, and doing house work.

The federal, state, and local governments could give a huge tax break to these people.
Butter Bean

Olive Branch, MS

#15 Dec 5, 2009
The police need to start using those Billy-clubs & start knocking some heads. Tell them once to "move on", and if they don't, bust 'em up side the head...
Ms T

Arlington, TN

#16 Dec 5, 2009
ruth wrote:
I do not feel like many of the homeless have chosen this life. It would be unfair to put them in jail with the crimals just for them to get hurt. Instead why not open up some of the empty buildings and give them a place to stay.They cannot even get help from the government cause they do not have a address. It is a shame that the city would rather lock them up instead of trying to help them
I totally agree with you.
In the neighborhood

United States

#17 Dec 5, 2009
Why not find a place like a closed hotel, make it available to the homeless, help them clean up, mental help if needed, do drug tests because if they are addicted to drugs or alcohol then they would need to go to a rehab facility. Instead of people giving to them on the street they could donate, but the people that are staying there would have to be accountable, find a job, maybe flipping burgers or something, if they are mentally capable. Maybe the shelter could start there own business like homeless for hire, window washing, yard work, painting, etc. Kind of like a Temp service where not only the shelter would earn money but the homeless would also.

Memphis, TN

#18 Dec 5, 2009
Butter Bean wrote:
The police need to start using those Billy-clubs & start knocking some heads. Tell them once to "move on", and if they don't, bust 'em up side the head...
Butter Bean, it seems that either you can't speak English or you have an inappropriate sense of humor. Hopefully, it is the sense of humor.
Sam Gould

Olive Branch, MS

#19 Dec 6, 2009
Butter Bean wrote:
The police need to start using those Billy-clubs & start knocking some heads. Tell them once to "move on", and if they don't, bust 'em up side the head...
I dare say Bloody Good suggestion, my good man! Three Cheers from a good fellow...
Sam Gould

Olive Branch, MS

#20 Dec 6, 2009
One or two good sized "Goose Eggs" on a few of those winos' heads would not be a bad thing...maybe even knock some sense into some of those noggins!

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