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Old August 26th, 2010, 05:31 AM   #2821
benjaminooo
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What's with homeless / panhandler hate going on? You can't just round them up and put them in jail or force them to go somewhere else.. What's next, a comeback rally for Eugenics?
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Old August 26th, 2010, 12:43 PM   #2822
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benjaminooo View Post
What's with homeless / panhandler hate going on? You can't just round them up and put them in jail or force them to go somewhere else.. What's next, a comeback rally for Eugenics?
I don't think its hate, but there are enough stories about fake homeless that view it as their job to beg for money and make a pretty good living. Add that to a lot of the downtown homeless that, although options are available, would rather remain homeless than work to get help out of the situation. Either way, from the interaction I've had and stories from co-workers, its hard to feel too bad for them if they are willingly keeping themselves in their situation - coming from someone who regularly supports Wheeler.
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Old August 26th, 2010, 02:34 PM   #2823
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benjaminooo View Post
What's with homeless / panhandler hate going on? You can't just round them up and put them in jail or force them to go somewhere else.. What's next, a comeback rally for Eugenics?
Riiiight. Use ridiculously extreme analogies much? Because that's one ridiculously extreme one right there. Maybe upon reflection, you might see that -?

For other, less histrionic types, I wanted to share something, however anecdotal. I was working near the Circle Centre Mall a couple of years ago and was parked in a truck on Illinois St. just south of the Artsgarden. Don't know if he's still a regular downtown, but all the years I worked as a window cleaner I would see one particular gentleman who was constantly panhandling all over the downtown area. An indication he might have mental problems was that regardless how warm the weather, he would always have on a toboggan cap.

Again, realizing this is anecdotal and that I can't speak for any of the other people one might see downtown, I had the opportunity on that day to observe this fellow in action as he worked the southeast corner of Illinois and Washington right by one of the main entrances to the mall. He would rest on a bench there by a row of newspaper boxes with two other men. Evey time the light would change and a new group of pedestrians make its way over from the north side of Washington St. this fellow was there to meet them. He's a very big individual, and would pretty much just step into the path of those he decided to ply for donations.

His favorite target seemed to be young couples. I was parked there waiting on a piece of equipment to be delivered and so I probably watched this for an hour or more. Here's the amazing (to me anyway) part. Virtually with every change of the light this guy was collecting folding money; not just pocket change. In fact, he had no cup, only an upturned palm and some kind of story he'd impart to each new mark. The first time I saw him receive paper money from some young couple, he returned to the bench to wait for the light to change again. Plopping down there, he reached into his pants pocket and pulled out a folded stack of bills that must have been two inches thick when unfolded. He added his latest cash to the wad, put it back in his pocket and got off the bench just in time to confront the next group of people approaching the mall.

I don't work downtown anymore, so I don't know if this particular fellow still works the streets there, but as I said, myself and those I worked with had seen this man on the streets pretty much every day for years. Before they closed the downtown Hardee's on Pennsylvania, he was a regular there, constantly harassing and really intimidating (due to his physical size and how he close he would come to those he was asking for money) the customers.

On the local news earlier this week, I saw IMPD arresting a panhandler. Among the possessions taken from his pockets and displayed to the camera was one wicked looking lock blade knife. But going back to the guy cleaning up by the mall that day, therein lies the problem about which most don't know. That is, that if one knows how to work it, just like the Interstate ramp "homeless," panhandling downtown can actually be lucrative. Yep, I said lucrative. I'll wager the guy by the mall that day had two or three hundred dollars easily. Many of the regular fixtures we'd see working the streets like a full time job day after day were regular visitors to John's Fine Wine and Spirits on Pennsylvania and the alley north of that business is a favorite spot for them to congregate and slam down their latest bottle of T-Bird or what have you.

Probably the biggest problem in trying to help these people get help is the attitude displayed by benjaminoo above. While ultimately it doesn't matter, there's no way to tell if such over the top condemnation of any who "dare" complain about the problem of being confronted by creepy looking individuals trying to take one's money is actual concern for these people or just playing to the crowd in some attempt to appear compassionate. Doesn't really matter, because the result is the same - to exacerbate the problem and make solving it all the more difficult. Of course a tangible solution would be for each of us to "adopt" one of these perennial panhandlers and take them into our homes. I can't wait to hear from benjaminoo about how this works out for him. Could even result in some wacky, comical situations, knowing how "eccentric" some of these gadabouts are.

That is, unless benjaminoo is already full up on homeless house guests. Otherwise, he'd risk being one of them there hypocrites by just overtly implying people are nazis because they don't fancy the notion of maybe their young daughter being accosted by a knife wielding individual high on fortified wine in a downtown alley. Go figure. Must be Republicans if they don't like the idea of such a thing. That must be it.


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Last edited by Indyfatigable; August 26th, 2010 at 02:46 PM. Reason: Had ended a sentence with a preposition
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Old August 26th, 2010, 03:31 PM   #2824
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indyfatigable View Post

Riiiight. Use ridiculously extreme analogies much? Because that's one ridiculously extreme one right there. Maybe upon reflection, you might see that -?

For other, less histrionic types
It was a joke.

Now for other, less literal types... ;-)
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Old August 26th, 2010, 03:54 PM   #2825
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I'm not going to stoke the fire on this one, but wow.. great response!
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Old August 26th, 2010, 04:07 PM   #2826
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ablerock View Post
It was a joke.

Now for other, less literal types... ;-)
Then hope he doesn't quit his day job, if that's what passes for "humor" in his eyes. I perused his posts and among other things, see him casually and really unnecessarily using the f bomb (sorry kids, just lost our PG-13 rating) in one, and as such care little about the true intent of such a scurrilous "joke" as you deem it. After all, someone once penned, "Many a true word is spoken in jest." Bill something or other, think his name was.

But hey, let's not get bogged down in politics. People who use foul language and mostly produce curt posts on the net aren't the type generally who cede points or even state things like, "I suppose I can see your point to a degree." No, they typically only fire back with rancorous indignation at anyone daring to criticize their bellicosity. But then, he could prove me wrong and instead compose an insightful post brimming with pragmatic, workable solutions totally devoid of insults and rhetoric. We shall see.


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Old August 26th, 2010, 04:40 PM   #2827
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indyfatigable View Post
Then hope he doesn't quit his day job, if that's what passes for "humor" in his eyes. I perused his posts and among other things, see him casually and really unnecessarily using the f bomb (sorry kids, just lost our PG-13 rating) in one, and as such care little about the true intent of such a scurrilous "joke" as you deem it. After all, someone once penned, "Many a true word is spoken in jest." Bill something or other, think his name was.

But hey, let's not get bogged down in politics. People who use foul language and mostly produce curt posts on the net aren't the type generally who cede points or even state things like, "I suppose I can see your point to a degree." No, they typically only fire back with rancorous indignation at anyone daring to criticize their bellicosity. But then, he could prove me wrong and instead compose an insightful post brimming with pragmatic, workable solutions totally devoid of insults and rhetoric. We shall see.


.
You're going to be a real valuable addition to SSC! Welcome aboard!
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Old August 26th, 2010, 05:39 PM   #2828
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You're going to be a real valuable addition to SSC! Welcome aboard!
Thanks, and well, knock me down with a feather I suppose. But in this case, I welcome it. Is this that "killing with kindness" thing I've heard about? I admit I'm easily disarmed by a peace offering. And seeing you're a cycling advocate like myself makes me feel we have that in common and should probably accentuate that positive common denominator at least, fellow Indianapolitan.

The homeless/panhandler issue is but one of many problems that are hard if not ultimately impossible to resolve to the best interests of all impacted. Damned if you harangue about it, damned if don't so to speak. A funny thing I once heard someone say about the "homeless" is that it's hard to imagine being in a situation where one doesn't even have one family member or friend that might even let you crash on their couch until you can get yourself back on your feet. That is, other than the isolated examples of those with absolutely no local friends or relatives on whom to rely in times of the most dire straits, it's hard to avoid extrapolating that either the homeless individual prefers to be on the streets, living the epitome of a bohemian lifestyle (this is actually a common refrain of many of the perennially homeless), or they're maybe perhaps possibly a person who's alienated everyone in his life to such an extent by means of his actions that he has no one left to turn to. Trying my best to be fair and objective, I should mention also the stigma and resulting difficulties of those who have felony convictions, which greatly hinder even the most reformed and looking to improve themselves people. That has to have attributed to many genuinely homeless people being in that situation.

Of course we don't want to do an end run on a person's civil rights to be anywhere in public they choose. However, the way many of the panhandlers approach people comes very close to strong armed robbery or at least a form of extortion. That is, if one finds themselves suddenly alone in an alley or elsewhere and is confronted by someone claiming to be desperate, it is at times a fear inducing thing. Even if you genuinely want to help, you can be afraid to produce a wallet or even only peel off a buck while holding on to the rest of your cash for fear of possibly enticing that person into attempting to take it all. There's the uncomfortable notion as well that if they are truly down on their luck, they might resent you for being "well off," at least in their eyes, and use that to justify robbing you or worse. So, in light of the understandable anxiety that such encounters often engender, I'd be for making panhandling - passive and aggressive alike, illegal in all forms everywhere in the city.

Me, I'm a big, strapping lad, but my mother recently related to me about two seedy looking people, a man and a woman, approaching her downtown with a trite and tired, almost classic if you will, panhandler story of trying to assemble the balance of two IndyGo tickets with which to return home to their awaiting children. Now that makes me livid - picturing my nearly 80-year-old mother being preyed upon by anyone in such a way while trying to get into her parked car. How easy would it be just to knock her down and take her purse given the opportunity? Such things can't be completely eradicated by the passing of laws, but if it were illegal to approach people in such a way, it'd be a start and maybe keep people like my mother from becoming the victim of some opportunistic thief.

In a more optimistic vein, is there either here or elsewhere on the net, a place where a visionary artist like myself ;-) might share some ideas, replete with illustrations, for improving the quality of life in the Circle City and even other cities and towns? I'm not even looking to profit from the ideas, but wouldn't mind getting credit for any of them that may prove worthwhile. Especially regarding bicycling here, I have something I've been wanting to proffer to the proper entity in our city in hopes of it at least being considered, and hopefully even implemented.


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Old August 26th, 2010, 10:07 PM   #2829
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Thanks for the comments Indyfatigable ---- I started typing up a few different attempts to explain why I would like to see something done to stop or somehow limit so much of the "pan handling" downtown - but it does get difficult to talk about "moving people out" without infringing on rights, coming across as being indifferent to people with real problems, etc. so I kept deleting my thoughts before posting them.

If the issue isn't discussed though - it most likely won't be too easy to improve the situation. I guess first of all there needs to be some type of consensus that there is a "problem". Maybe some people don't think so -- but I do. If there is a problem -- ideas should be discussed as to how best to improve the situation. A few top-of-the-head thoughts to suggest include --- Maybe people should need to go through a rigorous process to get a "pan-handling" license -- and - though I was kind of joking when I first mentioned the requirement to have a 15% or below body fat percentage in an earlier post above - perhaps there should be something along those lines. Perhaps there should be time limits on how long the license is good for. You could have a limit on how long you can pan-handle. If after three months you still don't have a job - sorry - you need to get off the street corner and work on making your money in another way. You can't pan--handle after your license expires. And you can only get one per year. The requirement to have a "license" with you at all times - and having to deal with continuously being asked by security officials if you've got your license with you might just become too much of a hassle after a while and perhaps there would be fewer of the people lining the streets with their hands and cups out. Sorry if it seems heartless --- but I don't think the 40 - 50 diehard cup shakers in town should be able to just continue to hang out and lower the attractiveness and livability of our downtown that the city leaders and business leaders have spent decades and billions and billions of dollars making nice. Its not like there aren't places where people can go to get free food, drinks (non-alcoholic though - which is likely part of the problem) and other necessities.

I know its not an easy issue to deal with - and there have been local efforts underway for a long time to try to limit the amount of pan-handling going on. If it was an easy issue to deal with - I'm sure Indy and most other cities wouldn't have the problem. anymore. I know I probably sound like Nancy Reagan -- "just say No" and all -- and I know it isn't that easy of an issue to deal with. But until convinced there are other better ways to handle the situation - or that this really isn't a problem -- I'll stand behind my thoughts on this issue.

Once again --I just about deleted all of this instead of posting it --- because sometimes I feel like a jerk for saying some of it --- or perhaps its because I don't know if I've really got enough conviction behind the statements I am making. Sometimes I have difficulty not giving money to the people who have the most convincing sob stories - or sometimes just to the people who really seem to need some help the most --- so I probably am part of the "problem" - if there is one. Is there anything that can be done? Or that should be done? I guess I'm not sure. Its frustrating - and I could go on ---- but I'll stop here.

Last edited by GarfieldPark; August 26th, 2010 at 10:20 PM.
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Old August 26th, 2010, 10:14 PM   #2830
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Oh yeah --- to IndyFatigable: I'd love to see your ideas for improving the city on this thread. And good bicycle ideas would be appreciated here too. You could post them here -- or maybe on the Cultural Trail thread under Midwest / Development News. The IndyCog website would also probably be very interested in your good bicycling ideas. There are definitely people on this website who have decent connections with some of the right people at the City or other agencies (ie DMD; Planning; DPW; MPO, IndyGo, etc.) if you want to get your thoughts through to some of those people also. Just my thoughts.
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Old August 26th, 2010, 10:58 PM   #2831
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I feel the Cultural Trail is a great investment. It certainly looks a great deal better than before. True, it may not be the best bike trail, however, the option is there for those who wish to bike to work or for shopping.

My feeling is that the Cultural Trail has the potential to spur more quality development to the area, the trail could serve as a catalyst for that to occur. Another way it could serve as a catalyst is spur more such projects in the downtown area. Lastly, it just looks so much better and I can think of nothing wrong with that. Actually, it could be in the long run one of the most cost effective projects in the city and it has the potential to spur developments several times it's cost.

As for the Clarian development announced today, all I can say is keep 'em coming. I saw no mention in the article of the bed tower they had announced a few months back, but that wasn't supposed to start until after 2011. If Clarian continues southward I wonder if it would prompt Mr. Stutz to build his tower?
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Old August 27th, 2010, 12:05 AM   #2832
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If Clarian continues southward I wonder if it would prompt Mr. Stutz to build his tower?
Clarian already has significant operations south of I-65: the lab and Fairbanks Hall at the head of the canal.

Turner Woodard (Stutz owner) has purchased the Canterbury Hotel. I think that will keep him occupied.
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Old August 27th, 2010, 12:15 AM   #2833
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Anyone else remember hearing about church groups in Carmel rounding up homeless people in Hamilton County and bringing them downtown to "get help" (more like get out) from Wheeler? I don't know where I heard that, and I didn't really believe it... but I also wouldn't be surprised. HAHA
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Old August 27th, 2010, 01:41 PM   #2834
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I dont give money to pan handlers. Ill be honest about it 100%.

Half the time I feel like its a scam. I live in a neighborhood where my door gets knocked on often. Ive given a few bucks for supposed "save the kids" programs that were pretty convincing presentations only to never see anything.

The way I see it, if they are working that hard to make a buck on someone's sympathy, go get a sales job. They will do just as well. And if they don't need the money in the first place, then shame on them for the dishonesty.

There are people with real problems in this world. I get it. But we live in the US, land of the eternal social program. If you really want help, there are places to get it besides sitting on a sidewalk shaking a cup
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Old August 27th, 2010, 05:04 PM   #2835
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I don't think it has been mentioned here yet, thought it is probably well known... a big reason that the homeless do not help themselves is mental illness. People who are not mentally ill, for the most part, do not find it acceptable to be homeless. There are definite exceptions, but the bulk of the long-term homeless are not just lazy, they are ill.

I think that the very best way to end the cup shaking is to put nothing in the cups. We, as a society, are rewarding the behavior that we want to eradicate. Pavlov's Dog. Moochie has it right. There are lots of resources for the homeless that they can easily access in the downtown area. If you cant control the impulse to take money out of your wallet and donate it to a homeless person, find one of the 5 cash donation boxes that were installed on the corners around the city. Thats what they are there for. Then your charity goes toward real resources not smokes, booze, or drugs.

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Old August 27th, 2010, 05:35 PM   #2836
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There are more panhandlers in Chicago than there are in Indy, but you don't notice them as much, nor do they seem as threatening. Why? The sidewalks of the Loop are full of people. That's the crux of the issue. If Indy's sidewalks were busy, panhandlers wouldn't seem as big a deal.
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Old August 27th, 2010, 06:51 PM   #2837
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The panhandling issue is really getting out of control. Not once have I been downtown in the past few months without being harassed for money. Is this more of a seasonal thing due to the good weather or are they out scamming people all year round? I really don't remember it being so bad in the past. I wish the city would do something about this, it sure doesn't help the city's aura, esp. in the eyes of those who are already loathe to come downtown.
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Old August 27th, 2010, 07:54 PM   #2838
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Community Design Center Survey

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http://by152w.bay152.mail.live.com/d...?wa=wsignin1.0


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This group includes some of the following entities: the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF), the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Ball State CAP: Indianapolis Center and several other design and community organizations. A team is conducting a feasibility study and as part of that study we would like your feedback.

Community Design Centers are non-profit organizations that organize their communities to stimulate better quality design. These design centers undertake a wide range of programs that impact green development and retrofits, public space improvement, housing development, historic preservation, neighborhood planning, commercial district revitalization, school improvements, public transit, greenways, walkability, and accessibility for various populations.

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Old August 28th, 2010, 05:45 PM   #2839
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Quote:
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There are more panhandlers in Chicago than there are in Indy, but you don't notice them as much, nor do they seem as threatening. Why? The sidewalks of the Loop are full of people. That's the crux of the issue. If Indy's sidewalks were busy, panhandlers wouldn't seem as big a deal.
I find it really easy to ignore and just say no.. I don't have a problem with the homeless and panhandlers downtown.. This issue is never going away, it's really pointless to complain about... You can't just ban a certain type of person from an area of the city, you can create laws that will detract from certain activities, but it's not going make the problem go away.
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Old August 28th, 2010, 06:23 PM   #2840
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The mayor needs to step in and keep stepping in about the homeless situation and panhandling.
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