Dufty fights Mayor Lee's dehumanization of homeless people

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Hang in there, Bevan -- your boss has a terrible idea

I've had some pretty sharp disagreements with Bevan Dufty, but in this case, he's on the right track: Mayor Lee's idea of launching an ad campaign to discourage contributions to panhandlanders is ugly, dehumanizing, and a civic disgrace.

Homeless people are people. They're not animals at Yosemite ("please don't feed the bears.") They're not some sort of public-relations problem for downtown hotels. They're San Franciscans who for one reason or another have lost the ability to pay rent. That's not a crime and it shouldn't be the end of their humanity.

You want to stop agressive panhandling? It's relatively easy. Increase general assistance grants and make sure that everyone in the city has enough money to eat and get a place to sleep. Oh, but that involves raising taxes -- and it also requires a dramatic change in attitude at City Hall. A guaranteed minimum income wasn't always considered a crazy radical idea; 40 years ago, it was part of the mainstream of American political thought. Now, anybody who isn't working -- for whatever reason -- is considered drunk, lazy, a freeloader, a drag on all of the rest of us. Except that a lot of the rest of us are one paycheck away from the same fate.

I always give to panhandlers. I know some of them take the money and buy booze or drugs; I spend part of my money on such things, too, and I don't even live on the street. If I did, I suspect the beer-and-bourbon portion of my net spending would increase significantly. I know some have substance-abuse problems; I suspect that the buck or two I hand over isn't going to make that any better or worse, but it might very well keep someone in need of a drink or a fix decide it's not necessary to rob a passer-by or break a car window to get the money.

Even the "agressive" panhandlers I encounter tend to calm down if you treat them politely. If I have no cash, I look them in the eye, say I'm sorry and would love to help but I can't do it right now. In more than 30 years walking the streets of San Francisco, treating panhandlers like the human beings they are, I've never once had a problem. And I don't expect to.

Let's do an ad campaign to discouarge residents and tourists from continuing to allow their tax money to go for loopholes and benefits for large corporations. Don't feed the rich; they're already too fat. How about it, Ed?

 

Comments

aggressive and intimidating panhandling and turn it into an appeal for, guess what, higher taxes.

If Godwin's Law asserts that all debates eventually end up invoking Hitler or the Nazi's, the Redmond's Law states that all debates end up invoking higher taxes to subsidize some pet left-wing indulgence.

Oh, and there is a guaranteed minimum income. it's called a job that comes with a guaranteed minimum wage which, at least in SF, is a remarkably generous $10 an hour. Not bad for flipping burgers or cleaning toilets.

Lee is right. We need a "broken window" policy whereby even minor infractions are purged, to ensure a higher quality of life for the vast majority of us who actually work hard and want to be able to walk down Market Street without being harassed.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 12:06 pm

But I have invoked Richard Nixon and Pat Moynihan, commie radicals both, who thought the guaranteed minimum income was at least worth discussing.

What would you do -- lock all the homeless people in jail? That costs far more than a guaranteed minimum income.

 

Posted by tim on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

them in prison?

How about neither? We don't put them in prison (if they commit no crime) but we also don't encourage them?

The problem is that giving them handouts simply encourages more of the same behaviour. Reward panhandling and it will grow. starve it, and it will recede.

Oh, and the Godwin's Law reference was simply a way of saying that you appear to regard higher taxes as the solution to almost every problem regardless.

A guaranteed minimum income is analogous to the welfare system they have in places like Scandinavia. Which works great if you're willing to have 60% tax rates on income.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

"Reward panhandling and it will grow. starve it, and it will recede."

Right, because panhandlers are regular welfare queens, living in the highest of styles packing in those social rewards!

Posted by guest on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

whether being more aggressive about intimidating people is an effective method of extortion.

Posted by Anonymous on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 1:33 pm

Studies by many 'reputable' organisations, including the WHO, consistently rate the Scandanavian 'socialist' countries, Sweden, Denmark, Norway etc, at the top in most categories. eg; Quality of Life; Health Care; Highest Level of Democracy; Highest Human Development Index; Most Equal Income Distribution; Highest Satisfaction With Life; etc.
I'll save you the trouble. No, I'm not gonna move there.

Posted by Patrick Monk RN on Apr. 24, 2012 @ 8:41 am

The US already has a functional 50% tax in place, with state, local and federal taxes taken into consideration.

We'd have a Scandanavian standard of living if the banksters and warmongers had not staked claims on fiscal resources.

Posted by guest on Apr. 24, 2012 @ 9:33 am

Everyone should listen to people like you and starve people to death by discouraging panhandling. It will just go away because they will starve to death. Interesting philosophy to say the least. Perhaps you would also like to leagalize prostitution so that the predatory law enforcement strategem might also include starving the girls into prostitution which is one thing that your advocacy is improving through starvation, which is sex trafficking. Perhaps if we all concentrated on improving the quality of our citizens rights, and deported the illegals who take up so much housing whilst driving up housing costs throug higher demand for said housing, none of us would have to pay higher taxes at all. Ideological subversion may work on the mainstream american idiocy, though in the long term you will see a reversal effect, and that is being done through the federal courts as we speak. Can anyone tell me why the housing crisis in Britain is merely a case of moving individuals from house to house rather than the homeless situaton we have here in America? Prrhaps because canada and mexico are not political nieghbors to Britain? Hmmm.

Posted by Frederick1337 on May. 07, 2012 @ 10:21 am

I am so sick of hate and this idea from Mayor Pak-Brown-Lee is adding more hate to the pile. That "Guest" up above, as usual, is part of it too. That "hobo" troll just comes on here to disagree with anything the BG writes and begs for people's attention. I heard street people sitting on the sidewalk called "bums" in the "tolerant" (as some people erroneously like to call it) Castro by someone who was trying to agitate them over the weekend, and about 2 weeks ago I saw a swastika handwritten on the face of the person featured on one of the bar's ads on the street pole outside of the muni metro (also in the "tolerant" Castro.) It's not the first time I've seen a swastika in the Castro. Hate encourages hate and especially in these times.

If people want to give money to street and homeless people, it's their business, not Mayor Pak-Brown-Lee's business (who works for the 1%).

This is just a continuation of the hate of sit-lie (which is only selectively enforced, fortunately).

I think there needs to be a campaign launched to stop giving campaign contributions to these corporate bum politicians who come up with these hateful ideas, one can start by not contributing to Pak-Brown-Lee and other right-wing, hateful corporate bum candidates. I know they hide behind the word "moderate" but that's bull shit (especially in San Francisco), just like some of these "moderates" once hid behind the word "liberal." They just flow with the money and the hate of the times and these words don't mean anything any longer in many cases.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 2:07 pm

Oh wait, I guess you're wrong.

This law would not make it illegal for you to help poor people. You will still be able to give to whomever you want. It merely prevents the poor from hassling and harassing people who, for their own reasons, choose not to give to them

Nice of you to provide further proof of Godwin's Law though, with your purely gratuitous off-topic remark about swastika's.

Posted by Anonymous on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 2:27 pm

You deliberately use deceptive language to promote your right-wing agenda. Over 60% did not vote for Mayor Pak-Brown-Lee and you and that other troll should stop spamming this site with that lie at every opportunity. Do you enjoy being ignorant about something as basic as election results? Do you not have access to the Department of Elections' website? You can "google it," you know.

60% of the *registered* voters did not vote for Pak-Brown-Lee or for any candidate because the voter turnout for that election was only 42.47% per the Department of Elections. That means that 57.53% (well over the majority) did *not* vote at all. But you and that other troll continually do your best to put out this lie that Pak-Brown-Lee has some mandate because according to you and that other troll, "he won by over 60% of the vote." Wrong. More right-wing lies and distortions. The majority of *registered* voters did not vote for your 1% candidate. Do you grasp that or is it that you don't want to grasp that? The lie is simpler for you.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 2:55 pm

You can quibble over low turnover but the turnover was normal for SF.

And if Avalos had won, you wouldn't be whining about a lack of mandate.

Anyway, the idea that Lee represents only 1% of city residents is clearly nonsense. He was clearly far more popular and supported than any other candidiate.

Posted by Anonymous on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 3:16 pm

"Lee got over 60% of the final "runoff" vote."

But that's not what you've been spamming this site with and you know that.

I did not vote for Avalos. Why would you assume I did? (Rhetorical question). No candidate--even one I might support---has a "mandate" when the majority of *registered* voters did not vote, no matter how you try to spin it, troll. And tomorrow, you'll once again be spamming this site with "60% of the voters voted for Lee."

Mayor Pak-Brown-Lee was supported by the 1% (who want to turn this city into a city only for the wealthy) and that's who he works for.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

That's great but meanwhile we have a city to run. And far more voters wanted Lee than anyone else, so let's start from there.

The idea that only the mythical one percent support Lee is clearly ridiculous, and a mere cliche designed to undermine our duly and legally elected Mayor.

Try again.

Posted by Anonymous on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 3:45 pm

"And far more voters wanted Lee than anyone else"

Well again, we don't know that because again, the majority of *registered* voters did not vote. If they had wanted him, they would have voted for him. But they did not want him strongly enough to either vote by absentee or go to a polling place.

Does anyone else get the strong impression that this troll works for Mayor Pak-Brown-Lee in some (PR?) capacity? This troll behaves just like a "true believer," or disciple of Mayor Pak-Brown-Lee. I don't feel that strongly about any politician, no matter who they are, to behave as this troll behaves for his/her Mayor Pak-Brown-Lee.

Finally, perhaps why nearly 60% of the *registered* voters did not vote for Mayor Pak-Brown-Lee was because of his extreme dishonesty. He made a promise ("I will not run for mayor") and then broke that promise. His disciples rush to say, "he changed his mind like anyone else does. Don't you change your mind?" A promise is supposed to mean something (that's why it's called a PROMISE) and a promise does mean something to people of fine character. For others, a promise is merely nothing more than empty words in a campaign and "changing your mind," even if you're in public office where the truth and a promise are supposed to mean something. But this troll I'm responding to does not like to let facts get in his/her way, and reveals the type of person he/she is by rushing to support such dismal candidates these days.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

You lose an election and thus go looking for reasons to complain.

The other side outspent, the majority of voters didn't vote, the voters were duped, the voters wee fooled, the vote was based on hate, my candidate wasn't allowed to get his message out... etc... an endless list of reasons why your side lost.

If your side wins it is because the voters were smart, the voters saw through the bullshit, the voters blah blah blah endlessly.

Lee won, all you whining, bellyaching and make believe will not change that. Take it like an adult.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

What would you know about being an adult when you have not matured to that level yet? I've talked with no adults on here yet. Just two trolls of and for Mayor Pak-Brown-Lee. Your rant sounds more like that of a child, especially the childish, "blah, blah, blah" part. That is just so adult. Ugh.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 4:45 pm

And so resort to sophomoric insults?

Got it.

Posted by Anonymous on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 4:52 pm

Lee broke no promise - he changed his mind because he was overwhelmed with the support, trust and encouragement to run that the people of this city gave him.

And you could not come up with a candidiate with close to the same, broad appeal.

Any more excuses for losing? There might be a couple you haven't used up yet.

Posted by Anonymous on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 4:51 pm

He did break his promise. Do you know what the word "overwhelmed" means in reality? When most of the *registered* voters do not vote for someone that is NOT called "being overwhelmed by support, trust and encouragement to run...." You're using meaningless newspeak. And "The People" of the city did not give him Pak-Brown-Lee overwhelming "support, trust and encouragement to run" because, again, nearly 60% of the *registered* voters did not vote for him or for anyone. I take it math was not a subject for you.

One can always detect the right-wing as they always make excuses as to why it is okay for them or their candidates to lie and break promises.

A person of character who had made a promise not to run for mayor would have said this:

I have made a promise to this city that I will not run for mayor if I take the interim mayor's position. Therefore, I will not run for mayor honoring my promise.

That's what a person of character and who keeps promises would have done.
A person on the right however says: I will run regardless of previous promises and I will make any excuses and stories to support my breaking my promise, and my devout supporters will do the same with lots of newspeak.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 5:47 pm

Big fat hairy deal. The voters of sf had a chance to tell him that they didn't appreciate that and guess what, the majority of people who voted decided it really didn't matter. Time to move on.

Posted by D. native on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 6:29 pm

You'd think that with all the practice he's had of losing, that he'd be able to come up with something more credible . . .

Posted by Anonymous on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 7:01 pm

And I actually don't know anyone who is. Pretty much everyone I know voted for Ed and loves him.

Posted by D. native on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 6:25 pm

With all this BS about the turn out and how the majority of voters didn't choose him etc. get real. If they didn't vote, then they aren't really voters.

Posted by D. native on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 6:27 pm

Thank you!
That was an infuriating string of comments.

Posted by howardtaft on Apr. 24, 2012 @ 9:36 am

It sure sounds like you are full of hate.

Posted by D. native on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 8:22 pm

I'm glad to see that some ppl are paying attention. "60% of the *registered* voters DID NOT vote for Pak-Brown-Lee" and that is the truth. Less than 50% of Registered Voters even turned out for the last SF Mayorial election; and a lot of us that did vote for someone other than Ed Lee knew it was futile because the Pak-Brow-Lee machine and "incumbent" status weighs heavily; the field of candidates was whimsical and confusing, just like a real political circus which is popular these days ... and then there's Voting Statistics 101.

I love that the SFBG is hosting these forums for REPLY to the journalism and editorials we all so diligently watch.

This forum is a valuable gateway for exposure to varying opinions and discussion of issues, raised by the many. Hopefully, it is also educational as many ppl respond with different POVs backed by references.

It's unfortunate that every time I visit the Response Forum to articles I've I've read I see it's being overrun with "Guests" who spew vile and smelly stuff ... that is sometimes completely unfounded (think FOX News). Why are these ppl here, unless they're being paid to rag on the SFBG by some big, super-secret vile and smelly RIGHT WING media mafia group.

DISINFORMATION was the key defense position taken by many governments in the 1950s in response to "Top Secret" stuff being leaked. If the TRUTH was exposed, the best way to discredit it was to put "many other versions of the TRUTH" right next the TRUTH, to confuse the public. When faced with a confusing number of choices, most people just turn off and you've effectively buried the issue.

I hope this trend is apprehended. It's up to the "community" to speak up about it.

Respectfully,
V

Posted by Vicki Olds on Apr. 25, 2012 @ 2:02 pm

besides being taken and used by nazis for their evil purposes swastika is an ancient Eastern civilizations symbol forfune and prosperity. I see people walking around wearing swastika claiming the real and peaceful meaning of it. so, swastika is not an indicator to blame the neighborhood in fascistic attitudes.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 27, 2012 @ 11:39 am

buy bus tickets for aggressive panhandlers and send them to red counties

Posted by Guest on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 5:26 pm

"They're San Franciscans who for one reason or another have lost the ability to pay rent." - That's a crock. Anybody who has lived for at least a few decades knows that San Francisco has and continues to be a magnet for people from out of state and other parts of California. They're drawn to what has no doubt been passed down thru word-of-mouth for quite some time of the reknown ease of getting the cornucopia of freebies that this city generously offers.
There are a legion of people, Dufty included, who have made careers for themselves as homeless advocates, but otherwise doing little to ameliorate the ever-growing problem.
You have to be naïve, blind or both to not be able to distinguish the truly needy from the gamers, and the past two decades has seen an immense growth in the numbers of grifters and hustlers.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 5:28 pm

right and honorable thing, and accept that they can no longer afford to live here, and move away to somewhere more affordable.

It's those who arrive here with no skills, qualifications and fiscal power that are the drain on our society. Apparently, lots of people feel they have the "right" to live here even though they are clueless about how they can ever create the income to sustain that.

They want to live somwhere nice but cannot afford it. And unlike other pricey places like Manhattan, La Jolla, Beverly Hills. Aruba. Monaco and central London, SF actually rolls out the welcome mat and says "hey, relocate here and we'll throw money at you".

Posted by Anonymous on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 5:46 pm

I'm glad the BG covered this story, but I should have not read the comments (as I don't do usually on other websites as well these days...don't read the comments, you'll regret it). The comments are predictably hate with 1-2-3 trolls leading the hate-fest as per usual, and they always write the same thing they have in the past almost in copy/paste, as in this comment: Apr. 23, 2012 @ 5:46 pm.

On another website, they have installed the Disqus system and they said they had done so because of anonymous comments and hate/stinky comments, and they said that their comments had really dropped because of the stinky comments. I had noticed that too. The comments were way down in number. That website used to have lots of comments and now quite the opposite usually.

This thread is no different than the threads in the past on sit-lie and other topics having to do with the homeless, street people, or undocumented immigrants/migrant workers or cyclists to name a few topics. The haters dominate the place with hate about homeless and street people and 1 or maybe 2 people support the homeless and street people. I suspect that anyone else visiting the site just clicks off after reading the hate-fest and thinks "why bother? Just leave." I can understand that because no one's mind is going to be changed, especially people who may be paid to troll on here and other sites.

Thanks for the article.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 6:14 pm

And not hear anyone that actually disagrees with you? Is your ideal a bunch of comments that all agree with you? How boring.

Posted by D. native on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 8:34 pm

You deliberately missed the point, as usual. You're just trolling, as usual. It's not at all about disagreement. It's about hate. And if you don't see the hate, look inward because Hate is a major part of trolling.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 9:09 pm

Wow.
Among the hilarious comments on this article, yours takes the cake.
I especially love the "stinky comments" part.
I also love the complaining about anonymity yet you posted anonymously.

The comment you complained about as being trolling was one of the few reasonable comments made.

What is this obsession with the concept of trolling? By this logic we really are all trolling, right? We are trolling for a response... that is why we are posting a comment in a public forum; because we want a response.

Telling every reasonable poster that they are filled with hate seems like a good example of "trolling".

Posted by howardtaft on Apr. 24, 2012 @ 9:47 am

"I especially love the "stinky comments" part."

That was *their* description used by the website I referred to.

"I also love the complaining about anonymity yet you posted anonymously."

Again, that was one of the reasons the other website gave for installing the Disqus system.

You don't read carefully, do you? Or are you deliberately not understanding? I suppose I could have drawn you a picture to make it clearer for you.

I post as "Guest" since that's the BG's default name & I didn't change that.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 24, 2012 @ 1:48 pm

You make it sound so easy. Just give the homeless more money. Increase our GA supplements so that everyone can eat and have a roof. Did you ever think that if we did just what you say, we might just attract even more homeless people- if such a thing is possible. Yes, just give away more money for no labor and watch SF become the primo destination for everyone in the nation down on their luck. Idiocy.

Then of course to pay for it, Tim proposes that those of us that actually work for a living, pay even more. Don't worry about how California already has a crazy high state tax rate or how our sales tax is one of the highest in the state, or the fact that housing is already really high. I mean if you actually own a home, and someone needs to in order to pay all these taxes, you are probably paying about $500 a month just in property taxes. Why not pay more?

And of course if you raise corporate taxes, no business will want to leave town and take the jobs with them.

Posted by D. native on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 8:32 pm

The majority of the voting population in the most liberal city in the known universe voted in favor of a law that prohibited sitting or lying on the sidewalk. This article is an attack on prevailing attitude in this city, not Ed Lee. The mayor has a obligation to represent and act on behalf of those citizens that elected him.

A guaranteed minimum income isn't a crazy radical idea, it's just plain stupid. Do you think a bankrupt city could afford spending $200 million a year trying to get homeless people off the streets?

I don't know where you live but it must be nice to not have any expectation of having a problem with a homeless person. I have been attacked multiple times for trying to wake up someone sleeping in front of my garage so I could drive to work. Don't tell me that your handing over a buck or two isn't going to make that any better or worse. I am human too. I have rights.

Posted by scott on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

Why are you driving to work? You should be bicycling, walking or taking muni metro and/or BART. There are already enough vehicles on the streets often with one person in the vehicle. Intelligent people live close(r) to where they work so they don't have to drive to work. It's part of being "green."

Posted by Guest on Apr. 24, 2012 @ 2:56 am

Lots of reasons people drive to work. I actually live close enough to work where I could take public transit, but I choose to drive as at the end of the day, I need to pick up the kid across town and then it is off to activities etc.

Posted by Dnative on Apr. 24, 2012 @ 6:42 am

Or had that not occured to you?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 24, 2012 @ 6:46 am

I absolutely love the irony. Don't build housing because it attracts insatiable demand.
Give away money to homeless so they can have a decent life - but this wouldn't attract more homeless apparently.....

Posted by Greg on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 9:40 pm

at this point.

I realize your paper is selling itself off to a corporate publisher and you fired like half your staff and you're about as politically relevant as the City College Young Socialists... but you can still put at least a little effort into it, Tim.

"It's relatively easy. Increase general assistance grants and make sure that everyone in the city has enough money to eat and get a place to sleep."

This is just all kinds of stupid, lol. Like, try thinking beyond your initial thought. So you think when "EVERYONE" in SF is simply is guaranteed money for just being here then that's it? Did you even consider that maybe that would lead to more unproductive people coming here? Like, A WHOLE LOT MORE? To the point that you couldn't even tax enough to support this doubling of SF. Are you really this fucking stupid?? lol...

See, I don't think you are. I just don't think you care anymore. Because that column was absolute hot garbage. Terrible. Jesus man, lol.

Posted by Sambo on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 9:57 pm

"and you're about as politically relevant as the City College Young Socialists."

If you really believed that, you wouldn't continue to come here and snark troll. You would go elsewhere and stay there.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 23, 2012 @ 11:55 pm

We set the homeless on fire and incinerate them where they sit. Thanks, everyone, for your input.

Posted by Chromefields on Apr. 24, 2012 @ 9:28 am

I read through these comments hoping to find some alternative ideas, and was instead simultaneously depressed and amused by what I found. Is this a playground or an adult discussion?

C'mon, People - tell me what you think we should do with all these homeless people. Aside from Chromefields' suggestion we light them on fire.

It seems to me there are two different types panhandling on the streets: people with legitimate substance abuse / mental disorders which prevent them from working, and young people who choose not to work. In my experience, the young people are much more aggressive.

Since these groups have different needs, how do you suggest we balance political approaches?

Posted by Alison K. on Apr. 24, 2012 @ 11:00 am

Homeless Fight Club. In a nod to Tim, all wagers on individual matches will be collected by the city, and all winning wagers will be immediately taxed at 35%, with half the tax collection going to the homeless victor for the purchase of drugs and alcohol (provided by the city at a reasonable markup and taxed). Losers of individual matches will be given the choice of immediate incineration or a comfortable night's rest in Tim's basement, with Tim paying the hotel tax for lodging them. Everybody wins!

Posted by Chromefields on Apr. 24, 2012 @ 11:25 am

Ideas:

- Minimum age of 50 for GA benefits for able-bodied single people. If you're under 50 and have no kids and are not disabled, you work. Period.

- Establish a "sofa bank" so that those who are so inclined -- especially including, but not limited to, the Progressive Politburo -- can welcome homeless people into their homes. Think couchsurfing, but with more substance abuse.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 24, 2012 @ 1:20 pm

To raise monies the city can get businesses pay to have out local derelicts wear shirts with various small business on them.

There could be a central laundry where hobo's could exchange their shirts for new clean ones.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 24, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

How about we actually help the homeless by creating more shelters and agencies with substance abuse treatment, vocational education, mental health treatment, and job coaching? It seems pretty likely that not one of you has actually worked with this population before, so as one of the hard working social workers in this city that works directly with homeless families, I'd like to represent respect, compassion, and empathy for our fellow human beings faced with multiple barriers that many people have never experienced.

Obviously there are many problems in this city and in this world related to the ever-increasing poverty and many of them are not immediately solvable. I'd recommend instead of pointing fingers at 'trolls and haters' on comment sections, that we lobby for small change and advocate at the legislative level for those who are unable to voice their needs for themselves.

In my opinion, SF is one of the greatest places to live in the world because it tends to be filled with people who are friendly, respectful, progressive, and we fight for what we believe in. I probably won't change your mind completely about the folks that live on the streets of our city, but I ask that you remember that many of them didn't start out life in the same way you did, and may not be equipped with the same skills, love, and support system you might have. Giving out your dollars might also not be the answer, but I think respect might be the first step to change.

Posted by Social worker on Apr. 25, 2012 @ 7:21 am