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As Homelessness Surges in California, So Does a Backlash

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As Homelessness Surges in California, So Does a Backlash

OAKLAND, Calif. — Insults like “financial parasites” and “bums” have been directed at them, not to mention rocks and pepper spray. Fences, potted plants and other barriers have been erected to keep them off sidewalks. Citizen patrols have been organized, vigilante style, to walk the streets and push them out.

California may pride itself on its commitment to tolerance and liberal values, but across the state, record levels of homelessness have spurred a backlash against those who live on the streets.

Gene Gorelik, a property developer in Oakland and an aggressive critic of the homeless, recently suggested luring the thousands of homeless people in the San Francisco Bay Area onto party buses stocked with alcohol and sending them on a one-way trip to Mexico. “Refugee camps in Syria are cleaner than this,” he said in an interview at a fast-food restaurant in Oakland that overlooks a homeless encampment.

Homelessness is an expanding crisis that comes amid skyrocketing housing prices, a widening gap between the rich and poor and the persistent presence on city streets of the mentally ill and drug-dependent despite billions of dollars spent to help them.

Although rarely as coarsely as Gorelik — who made headlines recently when he tried to shower a homeless encampment in Oakland with dollar bills to persuade those living in tents to move elsewhere — residents say they have found themselves weighing concerns for the less fortunate against disruptions to their own quality of life.

“I do think this is, in a lot of ways, a test of who are we as a community,” said John Maceri, chief executive of the People Concern, a social services agency in Los Angeles, who has noticed a stark uptick in hostility toward the homeless in recent months.

“Some people who I’d put in the fed-up category, they’re not bad people,” he continued. “They would describe themselves as left of center, and sometimes very left of center, but at some point they reach the breaking point.”

For many, that breaking point was the worsening squalor in the streets of cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, where open-air drug dealing is rampant in some spots and where human **** and scattered needles and syringes have been found lying about.

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I can't believe California is treating the homeless this way, they must give them full benefits and a living wage, just like in the debates.

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10 hours ago, MovieMadness said:

As Homelessness Surges in California, So Does a Backlash

OAKLAND, Calif. — Insults like “financial parasites” and “bums” have been directed at them, not to mention rocks and pepper spray. Fences, potted plants and other barriers have been erected to keep them off sidewalks. Citizen patrols have been organized, vigilante style, to walk the streets and push them out.

California may pride itself on its commitment to tolerance and liberal values, but across the state, record levels of homelessness have spurred a backlash against those who live on the streets.

Gene Gorelik, a property developer in Oakland and an aggressive critic of the homeless, recently suggested luring the thousands of homeless people in the San Francisco Bay Area onto party buses stocked with alcohol and sending them on a one-way trip to Mexico. “Refugee camps in Syria are cleaner than this,” he said in an interview at a fast-food restaurant in Oakland that overlooks a homeless encampment.

Homelessness is an expanding crisis that comes amid skyrocketing housing prices, a widening gap between the rich and poor and the persistent presence on city streets of the mentally ill and drug-dependent despite billions of dollars spent to help them.

Although rarely as coarsely as Gorelik — who made headlines recently when he tried to shower a homeless encampment in Oakland with dollar bills to persuade those living in tents to move elsewhere — residents say they have found themselves weighing concerns for the less fortunate against disruptions to their own quality of life.

“I do think this is, in a lot of ways, a test of who are we as a community,” said John Maceri, chief executive of the People Concern, a social services agency in Los Angeles, who has noticed a stark uptick in hostility toward the homeless in recent months.

“Some people who I’d put in the fed-up category, they’re not bad people,” he continued. “They would describe themselves as left of center, and sometimes very left of center, but at some point they reach the breaking point.”

For many, that breaking point was the worsening squalor in the streets of cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, where open-air drug dealing is rampant in some spots and where human **** and scattered needles and syringes have been found lying about.

*****************************************

I can't believe California is treating the homeless this way, they must give them full benefits and a living wage, just like in the debates.

"bugs get on um sometimes and cause trouble." --jim

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12 hours ago, MovieMadness said:

I can't believe California is treating the homeless this way, they must give them full benefits and a living wage, just like in the debates.

You can't believe it because you can't believe that California (read: Liberals) can take a second look and change course. Yes, they are kinder to the homeless than the other side but they can take a hard line when it is necessary.  Conservatives can't do that. If contrary evidence threatens a valued held position, they admit nothing because they have no guts. No wonder you're surprised.

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