Get rid of…er..Help the Homeless

Today I read in the Metro that the city of Philadelphia has pledged more money to help the homeless. They announced a “$10 Million, 10 year plan that calls for 600 new housing units and 100 new beds in homeless shelters, the majority to come in the next 2 years” I walk past the Free library on the Parkway before and after work and usually see probably about 50 homeless gathered outside and in the area, asleep on the benches, and before the construction at Logan square I would see homeless taking up 50% of the benches in the morning and the evening. The area is usually littered with garbage. For a city that is trying to increase it’s appeal, it’s about time that they are going to do something about this problem.

I try to imagine what it must be like for a tourist, taking a picture of Swann Fountain, to have 10 or so homeless in your picture. Or to be riding one of those double decker buses, driving to the Art museum, and seeing hundreds of homeless gathered for the free food provided on Fridays outside of the Library, or on 18th street ouside Subway. You can see them asleep on the benches, sitting in the grass, and making this city appear much worse than it is. I read somewhere the increase we’ve seen this summer was possibly due to having Live 8 this summer. I hope the Mayors plan will improve the look of this town by giving these people a place to go, outside of the eyes of the city. I know that may sound harsh, but other city’s, like NY and Chicago, don’t allow these types of situations.

Seeing how many homeless there are, I wonder if this plan will work. I also think they need more than housing, a lot of these people are mentally ill. I have seen quite a few talking to the statues on my walk home, and usually I don’t feel so comfortable walking by, afraid that I might be their next target as I have been yelled at a few times. So good for the Mayor, lets get these people off our street.

5 Comments so far

  1. darpino (unregistered) on October 14th, 2005 @ 3:06 am

    What an overwhelmingly humaniatrian post.

    Yeah, those poor tourists.

  2. darpino (unregistered) on October 14th, 2005 @ 3:07 am

    *humanitarian* – damn typos!

  3. Ian (unregistered) on October 14th, 2005 @ 7:41 am

    Lol, yeah maybe it’s not so obvious, but putting the homeless into a home and helping them out, rather than just allowing them to gather and litter and yell at the passerbys, is probably a better solution. As for the poor tourists, the cleaner the city, the more friendly the city, should equal more tourists, and following that, more money. More money can translate into more money to help and medicate these homeless folks. Aside from the humanitarian issue, just try walking by on a Friday afternoon, or walk through in the morning. It is not like any other city’s downtown. Every single bench taken by a person under 15 blankets with their shoes off. Something different needs to happen, as this isn’t working. What is your solution?

  4. darpino (unregistered) on October 14th, 2005 @ 11:48 am

    I am all for helping the homeless. The tone you take in discussing the issue is what struck me as umm…less than sympathetic to their plight and more worried about tourists’ discomfort and your difficulty in finding a bench.

  5. Ian (unregistered) on October 14th, 2005 @ 12:53 pm

    You are correct, this post was not about helping the homeless, I can do another post about that one, but I really don’t have an answer as to how to help them, except provide housing and medication for those in need. This post was more about helping the city. There are laws that do not allow them to sleep on the benches and unfortunatly they are not being enforced. They have become a nuisance to the area, and the city needs to do something about it. Our current plan of ignoring that this is a problem is not working, and I am in favor of the city’s plan to get them out of these public areas…though I am not so sure the plan with help them, but it should help the city. Oh and I am not the one looking for a bench…I wouldn’t sit out there with all the garbage and the homeless ;) And a city without tourists, is well, not much of a city.

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