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jpl02

The Homeless Problem in Tallahassee

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This problem has probably been mentioned before, but lately it just has gotten out of hand.

The past couple of weeks, I have been approached by 4 bums, all asking for money. It's almost gotten to the point where everytime I step out of my house, I'm sure to get accosted before I return home.

The Saturday before last, I was dining at Moe's with two lady friends of mine. We sat outside to enjoy the nice weather. All of a sudden, some drunk guy comes up to our table and starts talking all kinds of nonsense, about how he was in prison, was in a coma, yadda yadda yah. Not to mention he was blowing smoke in our faces. It was also apparent that he was sexually aroused. We told the manager who kicked the guy out. :blink:

The next day, while walking home from CVS, I see the guy again! It gets even more fun. While taking a shortcut through the Catholic church on Woodward, a bum asks me for money, giving me a tired, lame excuse. I don't even stop walking and don't make eye contact when he asks me, then starts getting angry, shouting at me all kinds of stuff, accusing me of being racist, etc. I finally gave him a dollar to shut him up out of fear for my safety. :angry:

On Thursday, I was at the office (on campus) throwing some stuff to the loading dock. Yet ANOTHER bum asks me for money! He kept talking and talking, but I didn't give him any (I never).

Last night, on campus, another bum tried to get my attention, but I ignored him.

Then there is this guy who rides his bike around the Tennessee Strip asking for money. He's asked me several times, and I always say no. I'm tired of the jerk, and he always backtalks me. If he had any sense, he'd recognize my face by now and know not to ask me for money, retard!

This problem is getting utterly ridiculous! The bums have gotten more bolder, coming onto campus to harrass people. Something needs to be done. We need more stringent penalties for this, and TPD needs to be more aggresive in enforcing it. We'll never make intown Tallahassee a desirable place if people are going to get harrased.

Quite frankly, I'm tired of these people, to the point where if they pick a fight with me, I'll fight back. Now, let's get one thing straight here........I'm NOT hateful against homeless people! We need to distinguish the truly homeless and needy from these idiotic vagrants and bums, who don't want help, only booze and whatever their addiction is. The truly homeless - people honestly trying to get by through tough times - you'll NEVER see them on the street! They're actually in shelters trying to get their lives together. The only ones who beg for money are the lowlives who are addicted and doing god-knows what. And those are the people I'm AGAINST!

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This problem has probably been mentioned before, but lately it just has gotten out of hand.

The past couple of weeks, I have been approached by 4 bums, all asking for money. It's almost gotten to the point where everytime I step out of my house, I'm sure to get accosted before I return home.

The Saturday before last, I was dining at Moe's with two lady friends of mine. We sat outside to enjoy the nice weather. All of a sudden, some drunk guy comes up to our table and starts talking all kinds of nonsense, about how he was in prison, was in a coma, yadda yadda yah. Not to mention he was blowing smoke in our faces. It was also apparent that he was sexually aroused. We told the manager who kicked the guy out. :blink:

The next day, while walking home from CVS, I see the guy again! It gets even more fun. While taking a shortcut through the Catholic church on Woodward, a bum asks me for money, giving me a tired, lame excuse. I don't even stop walking and don't make eye contact when he asks me, then starts getting angry, shouting at me all kinds of stuff, accusing me of being racist, etc. I finally gave him a dollar to shut him up out of fear for my safety. :angry:

On Thursday, I was at the office (on campus) throwing some stuff to the loading dock. Yet ANOTHER bum asks me for money! He kept talking and talking, but I didn't give him any (I never).

Last night, on campus, another bum tried to get my attention, but I ignored him.

Then there is this guy who rides his bike around the Tennessee Strip asking for money. He's asked me several times, and I always say no. I'm tired of the jerk, and he always backtalks me. If he had any sense, he'd recognize my face by now and know not to ask me for money, retard!

This problem is getting utterly ridiculous! The bums have gotten more bolder, coming onto campus to harrass people. Something needs to be done. We need more stringent penalties for this, and TPD needs to be more aggresive in enforcing it. We'll never make intown Tallahassee a desirable place if people are going to get harrased.

Quite frankly, I'm tired of these people, to the point where if they pick a fight with me, I'll fight back. Now, let's get one thing straight here........I'm NOT hateful against homeless people! We need to distinguish the truly homeless and needy from these idiotic vagrants and bums, who don't want help, only booze and whatever their addiction is. The truly homeless - people honestly trying to get by through tough times - you'll NEVER see them on the street! They're actually in shelters trying to get their lives together. The only ones who beg for money are the lowlives who are addicted and doing god-knows what. And those are the people I'm AGAINST!

yep. Tell FSU PD so they can go looking for the bums.

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Hey jpl02 it must be all that "bling-bling" that you are wearing that attracts all the people askin' you for money. Just kidding!

I understand your grief. I usually prescribe to your "ignore them and they'll leave you alone" policy." However it sounds like it isn't working very well for you. In my experiences I've not run into the back talk stuff you have. Sorry to hear that. I think the Tennessee Street area around campus is the worst area for the "vagrant problem" here in Tally. I don't usually walk in that area but I do walk downtown and find some of these same people in the park downtown near the main library. In my backpack/messenger bag I seem to always carry a pack of peanut butter crackers...you know the neon orange kind made by Lance. Anyway, if I get asked for money, I say I don't have any to spare, but I do have a pack of sealed crackers to give them. This way if they are truly hungry, they'll take them. I've probably made that offer ten times and only once have I given out the crackers.

If I remember correctly, the catholic church has a soup kitchen and that is probably why you ran into the man there. I am very surprised that FSU lets this happen on campus. Next time it happens to you, I'd take my cell out (if you have one) get a safe distance away from the person and then call the appropriate police. I'd describe the person in detail and then tell them they are aggressively badgering people and they need to send someone out to correct the problem. For your safety, I sure wouldn't fight them. You never know what weapons they might be carrying and a homeless person on drugs/alcohol is a loose cannon with nothing to lose.

Keep safe and be careful.

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Hey jpl02 it must be all that "bling-bling" that you are wearing that attracts all the people askin' you for money. Just kidding!

LOL! I don't wear bling-bling.......I'm poor! I don't even own a car. That's part of the problem. I walk everywhere, so I'm more prone to run into bums.

Part of the problem is the mentality of those people. Sure, you can call the cops and they may get arrested, but in 24 hours, they'll be back on the street. And no matter how many times they may get arrested, they don't care, they'll still do it. People like that need to be forcibly sent to rehab centers where they can't leave and where they can attempted to be helped.

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I see through reading this that there is truly a serious problem along Tennessee Street and near our Campuses. "They" (the "bad"-homeless) prey on college students because most of us are soft hearted, or afraid to say no in fear of the consequences. Absolutely something should be done here on FSU campus as well as at FAMU to combat this problem. Instead of handing out so many darn parking tickets, maybe they can pay someone to protect the students. This is a serious security concern.

I've had the problems downtown near the Public library gazeebo (Lower Chain of Parks). I've even had someone jump out at me one night, I was about to turn Walker Texas Ranger on hm. He backed off.

At the corner of Orange and Adams near the main library there was a Bum out at the road asking for money for food... I'd just gone to KFC, hadn't even touched my food, and I gave it to him, in a neatly folded brown bag complete with spood... what did I see him do with it?? Tossed it into the street... Food I'd just spent my $5 hard earned dollars on... I wanted to turn my mazda around and run his butt over. You don't do that right there.

I think this is someting that our community is now ignoring, and it will probably take a high profile person being hurt, robbed, injured, or killed by a homesless before someone to take notice. I hate that this is the sad reality.

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Total joke people blaming this on FSU and/or FAMU.

It is the city that put a homeless shelter right next to FSU and a major road in Tallahassee (which is dangerous for all parties).

This is a city problem...not an FSU and/or FAMU problem. Nice try though.

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I don't think anyone is blaming FSU or FAMU for the homeless persons being on local campuses. No one is to blame but the homeless themselves. And the city did not build the shelter, and therefore did not put it on any major road. The shelter is privately owned. Additionally the city has offered to relocate the shelter to another location and the operator of the shelter refuses to go. So we're in a situation where our hands are tied.

Each campus has a police department in charge of protecting and serving the students. Just as the city's PD is to serve the rest of the community.

City problem yes! Campus problem... you bet!

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HUH? Who blamed it on FSU or FAMU? That is just where some of the incidents occurred.

TJ your discussion about The Shelter is exactly how I understand it to be also.

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Where should we house our remainder? I think we should move the shelter to Macomb Street into a very nice facility that allows the homeless some rehabilitation, job training, and temporary housing until they "get back on their feet".

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capitalism is designed to have a "remainder"... Communism cures homlessness. But itll cost the rich, thats not fair.

Now you've punched my button. Taking care of the crazy people is not communism; it's just being compassionate. Back under the Regan administration, we closed the governmlent mental hospitals without fuding any alternative. All those crazy folks took to the streets as have those who came after. I'm not saying that we shouuld lock those people up. We're spending way too much locking people up.

When I meet a homeless person, and I have the time to listen, I ask them for their story. Even assuming that 90% of the stories I've heard are fabrications, there are some people on the street for no fault of their own. An indicator of a truly great society is the lack of an underclass. If we don't fund the elimination of homelessness, we're going to pay for the same problems with our much more expensive law enforcement and corrections empires. For you it may be communisim but for me it's good fiscal and moral policy.

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I absolutely refuse to believe any person on the street had no say in what their life turned out to be. If you are willing to work hard, there is a job out there for you. Some definately have it easier, but if there's a will there's a way. In fact, the only argument to make that homeless people are helpless is that if you believe them to have psychological problems. In this case, they should be in mental hospitals.

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Where should we house our remainder? I think we should move the shelter to Macomb Street into a very nice facility that allows the homeless some rehabilitation, job training, and temporary housing until they "get back on their feet".

Or maybe the mostly vacant shopping center at the corner of Tharpe and Old Bainbridge can be renovated to serve this role.

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I agree something needs to be done about this issue. Take Lake Ella for example. I can't even have a nice lunch in the pavillions there because thats where alot of bums go to hang out. I don't mind them so much but one time a bum sat down at my table and just started talking all this loud nonsense, it was real inconvenient and made me pretty uncomfortable. Pet peeve...DON'T BOTHER ME WHEN I'M TRYING TO EAT! I let him have some chips and excused myself and ended up leaving the park. I can't even go for my walks around there anymore without having some crazy guy approach me and ask for money. I'm a poor college student, I need money myself!

I've also been approached at gas stations (many many times), the intersection of Apalachee and Sutor (Wal-Mart exit), leaving work at night, walking to class in the morning...you name it. I'd like to see either more enforcement or more shelters.

Orlando had a concept downtown where bums could only ask for money in designated "begging zones". If they were caught begging outside of these boundaries then they could get into trouble. Maybe we could play around with an idea like that?

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Begging zones sounds fairly ridiculous to me. Wouldn't it just create pockets of undesirable areas that nobody would want to venture near for fear of being panhandled?

This discussion reminds me of a Simpson's episode where Homer gets a new high paying job and is relocated to a planned city. He receives an orientation video and it shows how what were once slums are now coffee houses and book stores. Homeless people magically transform into mailboxes.

The homeless "problem" is two-fold. In all honesty, we don't want to see them. It makes the city appear unattractive, ruins our day, makes us feel uncomfortable, etc... But in some ways I think we need to feel a little uncomfortable every once in a while because it reminds us how easily our fortunate situations could crumble. These beggars remind us that the system does not work for everyone.

On the other hand, these people need help. They need facilities and a helping hand. They need to be off the streets creating more trouble for themselves and in places that can help them start a better life. This is all easier to say than to actually accomplish.

I think realistically we are going to have to SEE homeless people but we should also worry less about the fact that they are bothering our cushy worlds and focus on getting them in a better situation.

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I agree something needs to be done about this issue. Take Lake Ella for example. I can't even have a nice lunch in the pavillions there because thats where alot of bums go to hang out. I don't mind them so much but one time a bum sat down at my table and just started talking all this loud nonsense, it was real inconvenient and made me pretty uncomfortable. Pet peeve...DON'T BOTHER ME WHEN I'M TRYING TO EAT! I let him have some chips and excused myself and ended up leaving the park. I can't even go for my walks around there anymore without having some crazy guy approach me and ask for money. I'm a poor college student, I need money myself!

I've also been approached at gas stations (many many times), the intersection of Apalachee and Sutor (Wal-Mart exit), leaving work at night, walking to class in the morning...you name it. I'd like to see either more enforcement or more shelters.

Orlando had a concept downtown where bums could only ask for money in designated "begging zones". If they were caught begging outside of these boundaries then they could get into trouble. Maybe we could play around with an idea like that?

Would it matter if it were a clean shaved, non-homeless person bothering you while you were eating? Just curious.

I tend to dislike people who stand on the side of the road and beg for money. To me, these people seem to be frauds. I once offered some fast food to a man on the side of the road asking for money to buy food and he threw the bag at my car after I gave it to him. (beotch). Those types make me shy away from offering donations to someone on the side of the road asking for money.

I'm not so sure I like the idea of begging zones as someone has stated above. It would do nothing but create an undeserable area wether it be commercial or residential, motorist and pedestrians would shy away from going in that direction. I think what we need are centers where these people can go to for temporary assistance. A place where they can make phone calls, take baths, and get a fair meal until their blessing comes.

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When COT decided to cut funding for the homeless shelter, they made a stupid, stupid choice. That shelter helped many homeless get back on their feet. On another note, if you don't even look in the direction of a homeless person, they won't bother you. I'll usually give them $2 but lately I've stopped helping them altogether because most of the time when you buy them something to eat or give them money, it becomes a habit.

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I absolutely refuse to believe any person on the street had no say in what their life turned out to be. If you are willing to work hard, there is a job out there for you. Some definately have it easier, but if there's a will there's a way. In fact, the only argument to make that homeless people are helpless is that if you believe them to have psychological problems. In this case, they should be in mental hospitals.

Exactly. God forbid anyone being accountable for their actions. They should've made better decisions in life.

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I agree. And Im actually a proponent of the begging zones, such as in downtown Orlando. I would rather have one sidewalk of one block be a "bad section" than the whole downtown area. It makes things a little nicer not having to worry about it everytime you walk down the sidewalk.

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A few statistics on the homless:

According to HUD statistics (http://www.huduser.org), 33% of homeless men are veterans. 83% of those received honorable discharges.

According to the US Conference of Mayors (old data from 1996), 18% of the homless held full time jobs.

According to a Ford Foundation study (also old - from 1990) 50% of homeless women and children were fleeing physical abuse.

According to the Federal Center for Mental Health Services (http://www.nrchmi.samhsa.gov), 80% of the homeless, at any given time, are short-term homless, on the street because of a unforseen circumstances (fires, earthquakes, storms).

People who are disabled have a very difficult time finding work. SSI provides $545 a month (2002 statistics from SSI). Could you live on this amount?

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I agree. And Im actually a proponent of the begging zones, such as in downtown Orlando. I would rather have one sidewalk of one block be a "bad section" than the whole downtown area. It makes things a little nicer not having to worry about it everytime you walk down the sidewalk.

I like the idea of creating "zones" for certain classes of people Here are a couple of ideas that work for me:

I'm a proponent of "people wearing suits in the summertime" zones. Such individuals have obviously made poor life choices. Let's require people wearing suits in the summer to only be on Adams street between Park and Gaines.

I'm also in favor of having "SUV" zones. Anyone can tell that they are way too big for some of our more narrow streets. Let's limit SUV's to roads having 4 our more lanes.

Good ideas but probably don't have a ghost of a chance.

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I like the idea of creating "zones" for certain classes of people Here are a couple of ideas that work for me:

I'm a proponent of "people wearing suits in the summertime" zones. Such individuals have obviously made poor life choices. Let's require people wearing suits in the summer to only be on Adams street between Park and Gaines.

I'm also in favor of having "SUV" zones. Anyone can tell that they are way too big for some of our more narrow streets. Let's limit SUV's to roads having 4 our more lanes.

Good ideas but probably don't have a ghost of a chance.

I guess that was a shot. If not I apologize in advance. I wear a suit in the summertime, but dont hassle people on the sidewalk walking to wherever it is they are going. If I, in my summertime suit, were to ask anyone for money, and didnt receive it, I then most certainly wouldnt start yelling and cussing at them to the point where they would feel threatened.

And for the SUV thing, correct me if Im wrong, but Im quite certain that all vehicles made have to be able to fit within standard lane sizes, therefore being allowed in any street funded by the government.

I understand your point, but just as much as they have the right to be out and beg, I have the right to be able to walk around safely.

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I guess that was a shot. If not I apologize in advance. I wear a suit in the summertime, but dont hassle people on the sidewalk walking to wherever it is they are going. If I, in my summertime suit, were to ask anyone for money, and didnt receive it, I then most certainly wouldnt start yelling and cussing at them to the point where they would feel threatened.

And for the SUV thing, correct me if Im wrong, but Im quite certain that all vehicles made have to be able to fit within standard lane sizes, therefore being allowed in any street funded by the government.

I understand your point, but just as much as they have the right to be out and beg, I have the right to be able to walk around safely.

Sorry GG, it wasn't a shot or personal. I wear a suit from time to time myself if required. I look at it as blending in. I was being sarcastic but didn't do too good a job of it. Most of the homeless folks don't scare me. I just say, sorry, no but sometimes I talk with them. I remember one guy in (I think) Miami who was obviously drunk. I said that if I gave him money, he's just go out and spend it on MD20 or Old English. He agreed and said that if I were in his shoes, I'd want to be drunk too. He was right and I gave him a couple of bucks.

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