Tag Archives: Homelessness

San Francisco Church Dumps Water on Homeless

San Fran Church Water Homeless

Water is scarce in California, but not scarce enough to stop Saint Mary’s Cathedral from dumping water on the homeless in order to keep them from sleeping on its property.

The increasingly urgent drought situation in California has resulted in new restrictions on sprinklers, outdoor water use, and even serving water in restaurants and bars. But the principle church of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, the Saint Mary’s Cathedral, didn’t get the water scarcity memo.

Instead, the church installed a system that dumps water onto the ground near its sheltered doorways, where homeless people tend to rest at night. The water pours out for about 75 seconds, every 30 to 60 minutes throughout the night. But the water dumping system is not an automated baptism device, instead it’s used to discourage homeless people from hanging out buy the church by drenching them as they sleep. Jesus would totally approve.

“They actually have signs in there that say, ‘No Trespassing,’” said a homeless man named Robert.

But there are no signs warning the homeless about the random water dumpings that occur all through the night.

“We’re going to be wet there all night, so hypothermia, cold, all that other stuff could set in. Keeping the church clean, but it could make people sick,” Robert explained.

Cathedral staff confirmed that the system had been in place for about a year, “after learning from city resources” that similar deterrents were “commonly used in the Financial District” in San Francisco.

“We do the best we can, and supporting the dignity of each person,” Archdiocese spokesperson Chris Lyford said. “But there is only so much you can do.”

Aside from opening the doors and letting them inside the church…

Given the recent backlash (and the fact that it was pointed out that they’re in violation of the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection) the cathedral has already started to remove the system.

And Jesus said, “Love thy neighbor. Unless they are homeless and have no where else to go, then periodically drench them with water until they get lost.”

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South Carolina City Makes Being Homeless Illegal… Then Reverses Decision

South Carolina Homeless

Back in August, South Carolina’s capital city made the controversial decision to make homelessness illegal, because why not? It worked so well for drugs and prostitution…

Concerned that Columbia has become a “magnet for homeless people,” city council members in Columbia, South Carolina, voted unanimously to criminalize homelessness. The proposal effectively made homelessness illegal in parts of the city by forcing those who sleep outdoors to be sent to a shelter on the outskirts of the city. If the homeless refused to go to the remote emergency shelter, they would be forcibly put there or sent to jail. And much like prison, once you got to the shelter, you couldn’t just get up and leave. Shelter inhabitants would need to get permission to leave and police officers would be standing on guard.

The anti-homeless plan received lots of support from Columbia’s local business leaders who say the city’s homeless problem has been affecting their businesses for decades. Many of them believe shipping the homeless to the outskirts of town and keeping them there is crazy enough to work… unlike the homeless people in question.

But council members acknowledged that this was only a temporary solution to a long-term problem.

“This is stopgap,” Councilman Cameron Runyan said in defense of the plan. “This is going to open up a window of opportunity for us to come together as a community to develop a long-term response to this problem. This problem has plagued us for a generation and a half at least.”

Still, homeless advocates were less than impressed with the plan – which did nothing to tackle the root causes of homelessness.

“[This is the] most comprehensive anti-homeless measure that [I have] ever seen proposed in any city in the last 30 years,” Michael Stoops, Director of Community Organizing at the National Coalition for the Homeless, said. “Using one massive shelter on the outskirts to house all a city’s homeless is something that has never worked anywhere in the country.”

In the end, the homeless won out. After receiving considerable backlash from police, city workers and advocates, the city council apologized and decided to reverse its unanimous vote to make homeless people go to a 240-person bed shelter or go to prison. Now South Carolina’s homeless people are given the option if they want to stay put or be driven to the shelter.

Homelessness is not a crime,” Interim Police Chief Ruben Santiago said. “We can’t just take people to somewhere they don’t want to go. I can’t do that. I won’t do that.”

Tell that to former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Via: Fox News & The Huffington Post

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Live Life As A Homeless Person – For Only $2,000!

Homeless in Seattle

A Seattle man is offering “The sub-URBAN Experience,” in which you can pay $2,000 to live undercover as a homeless person in Seattle with a tour guide for three days. So I can’t even afford to be homeless?

Tour guide Mike Momany, 62, writes “in three days I will give you a crash experience of the homeless lifestyle. You will gain a new respect for the folks that find themselves in this predicament.”

“You will see the seedier side of Seattle in a new light and have an experience that you will never forget!”

As for the education needed to become a homeless tour guide, you don’t need a fancy degree – just some good old fashioned homeless experience. Mike Momany has been homeless for the last for two months so he knows all about it! He has been staying in a cheap International District hostel at night, using the Central Library as his “office” by day, and spending the rest of his time learning about popular homeless hangouts.

“Your Course in Applied Homelessness begins by transforming your look and persona into that of an anonymous homeless person,” he writes. “You will get a nickname and a simple life script. You will be completely anonymous.”

Momany’s homeless tour has attracted a fair amount of media attention – mainly negative. Ok, all negative. Seattle residents are describing the experience as “poverty tourism,” “exploitative,” and “tacky as hell.” But Momany says it’s not about the money. Well, it’s partially about the money – but also about the education!

“It’s really not to make money,” he said. He considers his tour “educational.”

So, has he made any money yet? No. So far, no one has taken him up on his offer. Maybe try Vancouver and throw in a bit of a crack adventure?

Via: Seattle Post Intelligencer  

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