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GRDadof3

Heartside Park

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Last weekend I noticed a large group of young people hanging out at Heartside Park, just a few feet from the "campers", if you know what I mean (it was not during the Heartside Park Artists Fair) And then the other day, I noticed a couple of young people studying at the picnic tables next to a bunch of homeless people. Are there efforts being taken by residents of The Globe and others in the area to get the homeless to go somewhere else? That would be great if they did.

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Personally, I think that these people are just going to have to deal with the homeless. The homeless were probably there for a long time before these new residents were (I don't know the area personnaly), and will probably be there after they leave. I'm sick of hearing about how whenever one of these new projects comes along, often in a low-income area, the longtime residents are just supposed to deal with it, sometimes even being forced out of their homes. Did you forget that many of the same people that aided in the destruction of our urban cores are the same ones now moving back and are expected to be greeted with open arms? They wanted nothing to do with these areas until they knew their investment would be completely secure, and now they just come in and treat everyone else as second class. And I do support new development, I just don't expect people to come into that development expecting everyone to bow down too them.

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Well.. that was heartfelt. Personally, can they really be considered long-time 'residents' of a public park? It's a park, not an apartment or hotel.

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Well.. that was heartfelt.  Personally, can they really be considered long-time 'residents' of a public park?  It's a park, not an apartment or hotel.

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I agree. With all due respect, hood, homeless people in a park are not "long-time residents." And you make the Globe sound like some fancy-pants condo building, when, if I am not mistaken, it is really a mixed-income apartment building that may currently be housing some folks who were once sleeping parks, too.

Those people in the park could simply have been students studying something for a summer class too, not necessarily residents looking to drive the homeless out of the area.

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When I said "residents" I meant actual residents in the surrounding area. I didn't neccessarily mean this project in specific, but just urban development in general, this project just being an example. But I am also against pushing the homeless around just because they are homeless, if it is a major problem give them another place to go for the day, since most homeless shelters don't allow them to stay during the day.

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When I said "residents" I meant actual residents in the surrounding area. I didn't neccessarily mean this project in specific, but just urban development in general, this project just being an example. But I am also against pushing the homeless around just because they are homeless, if it is a major problem give them another place to go for the day, since most homeless shelters don't allow them to stay during the day.

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Oh ok. Well I agree wholeheartedly with that last part. Since many homeless people are not all there mentally, I don't like the fact that the shelters just cut-em loose all day. They should have a place to stay during the day too. But I would argue that having homeless people sitting around everywhere is bad for any city, even if they aren't causing problems.

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Personally, I think that these people are just going to have to deal with the homeless. The homeless were probably there for a long time before these new residents were (I don't know the area personnaly), and will probably be there after they leave. I'm sick of hearing about how whenever one of these new projects comes along, often in a low-income area, the longtime residents are just supposed to deal with it, sometimes even being forced out of their homes. Did you forget that many of the same people that aided in the destruction of our urban cores are the same ones now moving back and are expected to be greeted with open arms? They wanted nothing to do with these areas until they knew their investment would be completely secure, and now they just come in and treat everyone else as second class. And I do support new development, I just don't expect people to come into that development expecting everyone to bow down too them.

Hood, do you support the idea behind the projects? Why dont we put all kinds of people with personal problems together and see what happens.

Well...... we already know what happens, drugs and violence.

There is a cluster of missions/food kitchens in the area that attracts a great deal of homeless people.

It hasnt been suggested that we go Guilani (sp) on them and just start buying bus tickets to california; we're just talking about spreading these (homeless) people around a bit to make the area hospitable to people who have the choice of whether or not to live near the drugs and violence.

I think its a much better idea than doing nothing because these homeless people were there first.

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I agree.  With all due respect, hood, homeless people in a park are not "long-time residents."  And you make the Globe sound like some fancy-pants condo building, when, if I am not mistaken, it is really a mixed-income apartment building  that may currently be housing some folks who were once sleeping parks, too.

Those people in the park could simply have been students studying something for a summer class too, not necessarily residents looking to drive the homeless out of the area.

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Where are they supposed to go? Homeless, by its very definition, means they have no home. It is a sad state of affairs, indeed.

A couple of weeks ago, a homeless gentleman on crutches (drunk at 8:00 a.m.), pulled down his pants to urinate into a waste receptacle right outside Cityview. The poor guy then fell backward while trying to get his pants back up (a difficult procedure because of the crutches and the inebriation). Not a pleasant thing to witness, but where are they supposed to go (literally)? At least he wasn't using a doorway.

I remember last fall a gentleman sat down next to me on the bench outside Cityview and told me that he was so depressed because he couldn't find a job and he'd been trying so hard. I honestly didn't know what to say to him. I asked him if he'd been to one of the missions, and he said he tried everything. He did not ask me for a dime.

I shared my experience with some co-workers and asked what I could have done. One woman came up with an excellent idea: "I will pray for you." Or, if one doesn't pray, "I will keep you in my thoughts."

Doesn't help the situation in the long run, I know. But at least it's a heartfelt response that indicates that one acknowledges the person's dilemma. And that, alas, is all that it does.

B.

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My whole point of this was that it was interesting to see groups of people not being afraid to use the park while it is overrun (and I mean OVERRUN) with homeless people. And frankly, the park is not that old, and I believe was finished about the same time as The Globe, so the homeless cannot claim squatters rights on that land. Sorry. Even the most progressive cities, like Minneapolis, Portland, San Francisico, etc. are now having problems with homeless people and are trying to figure out what to do, because it is hurting them economically. I think they need to spread these missions out.

Good for you, people in that area, for trying to keep a nice park from becoming a giant toilet.

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My whole point of this was that it was interesting to see groups of people not being afraid to use the park while it is overrun (and I mean OVERRUN) with homeless people.  And frankly, the park is not that old, and I believe was finished about the same time as The Globe, so the homeless cannot claim squatters rights on that land.  Sorry.  Even the most progressive cities, like Minneapolis, Portland, San Francisico, etc. are now having problems with homeless people and are trying to figure out what to do, because it is hurting them economically.  I think they need to spread these missions out.

Good for you, people in that area, for trying to keep a nice park from becoming a giant toilet.

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Yes, I gathered that was your point... just wanted to share another related experience.

B.

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First, of course having homeless people setting around is bad, but I am sick of hearing so many simply say "they can get a job if they want" and other stuff like that. The homeless problem just another example of NIMBY (Not In MY BackYard), everybody wants a place top put the homeless, as long as it's nowhere near them, and they don't have to pay for it. Another one of my points is that the people moving into these developments want everything to change for them, not because they care about the area or other people, just themselves.

Check out this story from a Lansing newspaper, it's sort of an investigative story on the homeless, it's kinda long, but definately a worthwhile read: Lansing Rescue Mission Story, if you read it let me know what you think.

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"Are there efforts being taken by residents of The Globe and others in the area to get the homeless to go somewhere else? That would be great if they did."

if the presence of homeless people bothers you so much, how about you roll up your sleeves and try to be part of the solution.

what a snobbish thread to come home to. for shame.

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Yes, I gathered that was your point... just wanted to share another related experience.

B.

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And I appreciate your story. I can't even imagine being so unemployed/down on my luck/addicted or intoxicated that I would take down my pants on a public sidewalk in the middle of the day and urinate on myself (although there was that one Spring Break). There is a reason I don't belong in social services ;)

And hood, I don't think it is cold-hearted to expect people who don't live in a neighborhood to pack up and move if someone who has the money to own and take care of the property wish to do so. One could argue that crack dealers who have taken over an abandoned house shouldn't be forced out either, because they are just victims of their circumstances. Or that I should be able to take over half of my neighbors yard and put in a pool because mine isn't big enough (that's essentially what homeless supporters would like us to allow).

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"Are there efforts being taken by residents of The Globe and others in the area to get the homeless to go somewhere else? That would be great if they did."

if the presence of homeless people bothers you so much, how about you roll up your sleeves and try to be part of the solution.

what a snobbish thread to come home to. for shame.

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I think you sum up what set me off about this post. It's arrogant tone, whether or not it was intended I don't know, but it could be taken as being quite offensive.

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I think you sum up what set me off about this post. It's arrogant tone, whether or not it was intended I don't know, but it could be taken as being quite offensive.

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Sorry, but I don't think many people would find it offensive. When a group of people take over a neighborhood illegally and begin to terrorize that neighborhood, that should offend everyone.

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"Are there efforts being taken by residents of The Globe and others in the area to get the homeless to go somewhere else? That would be great if they did."

if the presence of homeless people bothers you so much, how about you roll up your sleeves and try to be part of the solution.

what a snobbish thread to come home to. for shame.

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I think one of the questions with which we are grappling here is "What is the solution?" And without sounding like an a-hole, Daniel, it seems a little hypocritical to accuse those of us thinking about and discussing this issue as being "snobbish", when, least in this thread, I don't think we have heard from you in any intellectual capacity. If you think we are wrong or being "snobbish", that's fine, but you should put forth an idea or two if you are going to chastise us for what we say.

Furthermore, we are not NIMBYs. If there is a homeless shelter around the block from my house, that would be fine. What I think causes the problem with lots of bums in that park, though, is that practically ALL of the homeless are in that area, which is bad IMO. They (shelters) need to be distriuted a little bit so they are in a more constructive environemt and not continuously surrounded by squalor.

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if the presence of homeless people bothers you so much, how about you roll up your sleeves and try to be part of the solution.

Sorry, most homeless people are there by choice, there really is not a good solution. If you think of one, bring it up...

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I'm glad the rest of the board frowns upon this talk too.

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I didn't know this topic was taboo. I'll go back to posting photos then ;)

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On a different note, I took the kids down to Heartside Park today to play at the awesome (and underutilized) new sprinkler park. There were a few homeless people in the area, but they weren't bothering us. Some said 'hi' and went on their way. Others hung out. There was a family picnic going on in the nearby shelter. I think it was a pretty atmosphere.

The biggest problem with Heartside Park is the toll the sun and a lack of lawn maintenance has taken. The park, only open for a year, is overrun with weeds. It's a shame the city has let it go so quickly after it opened.

I understand the last day for the sprinkler park may be Aug. 7 because of the budget cuts. Again, a shame to let a major feature of a brand-new park go unutilized for more than 10 months of the year.

If anything will impact outsiders' image of Grand Rapids, it is weedy, untended, poorly maintained parks. To me, it has nothing to do with homeless people using them just as anyone else is entitled to do.

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I didn't know this topic was taboo.  I'll go back to posting photos then ;)

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Sorry for being so harsh, this seems to be a pretty sensitve subject for many, on both sides of the issue. I think I will just leave it alone now.

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I think its important to have the conversation though. There's nothing wrong with a little heated debate.

On the other subject, it is a shame that the park is full of weeds already, but I would be willing to best that its a direct result of the budget problems. Hopefully the city can get back on its feet financially quickly so it doesn't stay that way.

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