Homeless is not, nor has it ever been cool. But, the way some of these people act you would think that it not only an acceptable lifestyle but a preferred way of life. Benefits of homelessness include:
- Sleeping under the stars while you wonder who is going to do what to you while you are not awake.
- Camping out with a bunch of folks that would just as soon cut your throat as do anything nice to anyone.
- No fear of rape, robbery, assault, or victim of any crime . . . Once you get used to it, you don’t fear it very much.
- You don’t have to protect your valuables. Somebody else will have them as soon as they find you on the street.
- Being filthy, dirty body, dirty clothes, serious hygiene concerns are no longer a concern, as long as you can stand your own stench.
- You get lots of attention from local government and police.
- Local business are happy to see you in their establishment. It’s okay to steal from them, ya’ all come back anytime . . .
- Don’t worry about being unemployed, the people you are camping with will find a job for you. What do you mean you won’t do that . . . Yes you will, repeatedly.
- You get used to being so hungry that your belly button touches your backbone.
- On the rare occasion that someone not homeless tries to help you, it’s acceptable to take advantage of them.
- Most camps are run by your local Park Ranger or the person most aggressive that decides he is in charge, whether you like it or not.
- That rustling in the bushes at night is probably nothing to fear until you feel it against your leg in the dark.
- You don’t have to worry about keeping the neighborhood clean, herds of mice and rats will follow behind you to maintain the neighborhood. What do you mean, that hill moved?
- You get lots of loving, by those that can hold you down . . . sometimes in groups. No worry of STD’s, you got them.
- Rummaging through trash cans and dumpsters for your meals provides a wide variety of healthy foods. Remember penicillin comes from mold. Cheese matures by molding. What are you talking about, it’s not alive, of course it is alive, can’t grow unless it is alive . . . Mmmm tasty!
- You don’t do dope! You mean you didn’t used to do dope. Now you do it, sell it, and have it stolen from you . . . Daily!
- And never forget . . . There is always a nice clean bathroom available if you need one.
- “High Street Oakland is the place to be, Homeless livin is the life for me” Sung with the music from “Green Acres” theme song . . .
I have no idea if the homeless encampment at High Street is still rooted to the area but between rioters following the death of George Floyd and the ongoing theft to retailers at one point they were talking shutting down Home Depot there. Now, almost daily there is another retailer closing their doors due to theft losses being so high. And there is no longer a safe place to shop anymore. Not all of this is due to homelessness, but a significant portion is and sooner or later it is going to effect our communities and the value of the State. California used to be prime real estate. It is losing its appeal quickly. Major retailers that have been part of the San Francisco market for many years are closing their doors. High end retailers and jewelry stores, even in populated shopping malls are brazenly attacked in broad daylight losing millions of dollars to theft and driving consumers from the area. You have to ask yourself, who will they attack when the retailers are gone.
Which brings us to the rise in Home Invasion robberies. Again not directly attributed to homelessness but you need understand that these people are hungry and when one food source leaves, another will have to provide for their needs. There is no need for homelessness in the United States and no need for support of the homeless community, not when we have government agencies that can absorb a significant portion of those living homeless.
How many of our homeless could be enlisted in our military? How many of our homeless could be utilized supporting the military. Could the homeless be better helped by being used this way, given a job, given an income, and subsequently benefit from training that can provide them careers, as well as a roof over their heads. I’m not saying this is the perfect solution. Being homeless provides those of criminal nature excellent recruiting resource for crime. We need to stop this. We are doing nothing to redirect our homeless to a better place. I don’t believe all these people really want to be homeless, but there has to be a place for them to go that can provide for them and their families. Re-open a couple military bases. Those that cannot be absorbed by the military might find the expansion of civilian support retail in the area a viable place to get a job.
Again, I may not have an ideal solution. What we are doing presently is not working. If this idea only took 25 percent of the homeless of the street, even if only on a temporary basis, it would serve a more positive result than all the present efforts combined. Just my opinion. If you have a better opinion please tell us about it