Letter writer: Actionable outrage needed to tackle homelessness crisis

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Did you know we have designated a day to memorialize homeless deaths? Can you imagine? In the wealthiest country in the world. This day of memoriam is also called the Solstice, Dec. 21, the longest night of the year.

Did you know that each year there is a memorial service in our city to commemorate all who died because they did not have housing? This year at the Homeless Person’s Memorial Service, as the names of the deceased were read off and tears were falling, all who have worked so hard to end homelessness were yet again faced with the same reality.

There is no room at the inn.

We have room for hotels and tourist needs, but we allow our homeless to die!

The National Coalition for the Homeless states [that] it’s time we employ actionable outrage. Exactly!

Have you ever been so cold you could not wait to get into your home or car? What if you were Rachel, who doesn’t have an option on the longest night of the year to even think about not being cold?

We so need actionable outrage. That means we no longer tolerate that homelessness even exists. That means that we are in a state of action that propels the lives of those living on the fringes to have options. That means that those of us who are warm need to remember how blessed we are. That means that we stand in the street or write our City Council or speak to our faith groups, and we say, “Help us to no longer keep this shame going.”

We need [a] mandatory housing inclusion act in each building that is permitted to build in Asheville. We need the hotel occupancy tax to take one penny and put it in the coffers of the affordable Housing Trust [Fund] so we can raise millions from just one penny from every tourist! We need our land trusts to open up their spaces to build multipurpose living spaces so that everyone is warm tonight!

This is solvable, but only if we no longer turn our eyes and hearts away. Actionable outrage.

Can you imagine a sign that says: You are always welcomed at this inn, and it truly means everyone?

All the hotels that have empty spaces could designate several rooms to house those who are not warm tonight. They could, they should. But will they?

Actionable outrage. It is for the good of all.

A line from a song that was sung at the memorial service poignantly states the obvious. “Let us hope by some good pleasure to safely arrive at home” is a song that no longer needs to be sung. For we all have the right to live in warmth and safety.

Housing is a human right.

Actionable outrage. Join the Beloved House Community Housing Campaign on Facebook and walk with us as we find the key to the inn.

— Ariel Harris


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72 thoughts on “Letter writer: Actionable outrage needed to tackle homelessness crisis

  1. The Real World

    I read this letter in the print issue and, sorry but, I started to laugh mid-way at the lecturing intensity. Her service and compassion for others is totally commendable but her ideals seem pie-in-sky to me. Here’s why:
    “This is solvable, but only if we no longer turn our eyes and hearts away. Actionable outrage.”

    1 – Plenty of people choose it so how are you going to ‘make them stop’ being homeless, if that’s what they want to be?
    2 – It is always important to consider the Laws of Unintended Consequences. From commenter Max Hunt: “In fact, I’ve heard (anecdotally) from several folks living on the street that in the past, other cities in the region have issued homeless people with one-way bus tickets to Asheville in order to pass the buck, essentially. However, I can’t substantiate such claims, so I don’t know how common that practice was or is.” If this is true, they will just keep coming and it will be endless. See his full comment and related article: http://mountainx.com/news/gimme-shelter-in-wake-of-10-year-plan-to-end-homelessness-local-agencies-regroup/#comments

    “Housing is a human right.” I may decide to become a broken record in 2016 every time I see this statement made without a corresponding acknowledgement of what responsibility also exists. This declaration is always made to infer that you owe, you have a debt – but the speaker/writer seems to refuse to assign any responsibility on the part of the recipient. Why?

    • Max Hunt

      You raise a very interesting point, Real World. There are definitely some folks (albeit maybe a very small contingent) of the homeless population that don’t feel comfortable or ready to enter permanent housing. NPR ran an great story on homelessness a few weeks ago, in which one of the men interviewed spoke exactly to that sentiment. He expressed a certain freedom in being out of the mainstream in society. There’s a lot of young folks who choose to live the hobo lifestyle as well.

      I think the key word in “housing is a human right” is the word “right.” I agree with the letter writer that we should be able to figure out a way to provide shelter for those in need and seeking it. But as with all rights, there will always be some people who willfully choose not to exercise that right. I’m not sure how to reconcile that situation, honestly, but it’s something that definitely needs to be mentioned.

      • “there will always be some people who willfully choose not to exercise that right. ”

        A person cannot exercise a right that does not exist. And this one does not. A person may want housing. A person may need housing. And we should be free to help deserving people who want to get housing. But it is not a right. A “right” is a right to action, such as the right to life, the right of speech, the right to trade—there is no right TO goods or services based on needs or wants. Proper rights must be protected in a way that is enforceable in a free, rights-respecting society. For housing to be a right, it would required that someone else be forced to build or supply housing to ensure that a person’s so-called right to it is legally protected. Forcing one person to labor for the enjoyment of another is involuntary servitude. You do not have the right to violate rights.

        • mynameis

          _Of course_ your definition of rights would exclude things like a roof over ones head (whether it’s their property or someone else’s is inconsequent).

          To you, a home is nothing but a business transaction. That kind of cold, immutable calculating has defined your side of the argument for generations.

          • Peter Robbins

            Weaklings like you probably think there should be a “right” to police protection and public education, too. Oh really? Why can’t people hire their own bodyguards and tutors the way our parents did? Huh? Answer me that. If their gated estate needs a higher wall or more gun turrets, why don’t they just build that themselves? Can’t afford prep school? Oh, heaven forbid they should touch any of the money in their trust fund.

            I’m sick of all this coddling of the “poor” from makeshift cradle to early grave. Force them to take responsibility for their own lives. Sure, public housing may keep them from freezing to death on a winter night. But they’ll never know the warmth that only smug self-satisfaction can bring. If some homeless veteran on a park bench needs another blanket, let him ring for the servants like everyone else. What did he ever do for us?

          • “Weaklings like you probably think there should be a “right” to police protection and public education, too. ”

            This argument is a classic ‘strawman’ fallacy (introduced with a dash ‘ad hominem’): Invent another person’s position and then attack the argument of your own making. Does this work where you come from?

            The need for protections afforded by law enforcement, the courts and the military are some of the few legitimate rights a person can claim. They all protect the right to life. They all ensure that a person can exercise the rights of action I touched on earlier. Actually, you have proven my point, for those with the acuity to perceive it.

            And, no, there is no right to education or healthcare. If there were, it would require forcing someone else to provide it. That would be a violation of individual rights. Something I also alluded to earlier.

          • mynameis

            So, to boil down “The Real World” and Tim’s argument:

            “Our homeless are better off than those in third world countries, so they should stop ‘wanting’ things like a roof over their head. And if individual citizens want to help, its entirely up to them, because government is in no way an expression of the will of the people, so it shouldn’t even play a role in trying to mitigate problems. Supplying homes to the homeless in any systemic fashion is depriving others (in this case, builders) of their right to be devoid of obligation to others (because of course they would be “forced” to do so without recompense! Or that recompense would in turn be depriving others of money which they earned solely by their own hands with no government interventions like roads, police, water, sewer, etc. and no help from “customers” , “employees”, “business associates”, i.e. “other people”.) And charity should never be considered “debt” or “obligation” because to do so would mean that we actually have some obligation to our fellow man. Which we don’t. Because Ayn Rand.

            When Tim says “there is no right to healthcare or education”, he seems to want to think this is a universal idea that everyone just buys into.


          • Peter Robbins

            Actually, not because Ayn Rand. According to Wikipedia, that weak sister went on Social Security and Medicare. Because of financial need. Caused by lung cancer. Which she got by not having the personal fortitude to quit smoking. Another example of the undeserving poor gaming the system of statutory entitlements. That aren’t really “rights.”

          • The Real World

            @mynameis – after the first 3 sentences I stopped reading your post. It’s irrational and very arrogant. You have no real interest in understanding what someone else is putting forth. If you did, you’d pose clarifying questions but instead you declare what another person viewpoint is. Like I said, arrogant…and very immature.

            @Peter – expected more from you. This time you devolved to the same approach as above.

          • Peter Robbins

            You’re saying you had a right to expect better?

          • mynameis

            Sez Real World, the person who started out her first response “I started to laugh mid-way at the lecturing intensity. ” And then you go on to lecture about how the homeless aren’t forced to bear enough of the responsibility for their plight (as if having to live on the street isn’t enough of a consequence for them).

            Sez you, who said, “I agree with Tim. He states what my problem is with all the ranting about, ‘it’s a right, it’s a right!’ Those who declare that are actually demanding that other people have a debt to what someone else wants. Get real. The approach AND expectation is all wrong. Appeal to citizens charitableness and stop with the unreasonable goal of 0% homelessness. Some of them want to be!”

            I think your words make clear what you’re putting forth: miserly libertarian self-righteousness and callous disregard for the plight of your fellow human beings.

          • “When Tim says ‘there is no right to healthcare or education’, he seems to want to think this is a universal idea that everyone just buys into.”

            Bad guess. Irrational thinking can be more accurately described as “universal.” Just look at all the European countries that bet on socialism.

            Rights exist prior to public opinion. Universalism, or even majority opinion, does not determine the existence of individual rights. If it did, gay marriage would still be illegal in California, since it was put on the ballot and the voters there rejected gay marriage. And slavery could be imposed by popular vote. Thankfully, a majority cannot vote to enslave another.

            But that’s precisely you and the letter writer and the European Charter would have us do. To simply declare fallaciously that there is a right to education, or a right to healthcare, means that the state would have to find a teacher or physician and then force them to supply their talents in service of this so-called right. The same is true for the non-existent right to housing. Someone has to be enslaved to satisfy that right.

            None of this, of course, means that people should not have housing, education or healthcare. It just means that others should not be compelled to provide those things. That is the pro-benevolent point of view.

          • mynameis

            “To simply declare fallaciously that there is a right to education, or a right to healthcare, means that the state would have to find a teacher or physician and then force them to supply their talents in service of this so-called right. The same is true for the non-existent right to housing. Someone has to be enslaved to satisfy that right.”

            I’ll repeat that last bit because it’s so outrageously funny: “Someone has to be enslaved to satisfy that right.”

            Awesome! Please, more words, Tim!

          • “I’ll repeat that last bit because it’s so outrageously funny”


            This is yet another fallacy (you progressives seem to rely on them) in which empty ridicule or mockery is substituted for facts, logic or actual evidence in a counter-argument.

          • mynameis

            I’d argue the point, but it’s just so… just so absurd, Tim. Your philosophy is so abhorrent and shared by so few, that it’s not something that needs argued.

            I just like getting you to put it into words so that people can see it, be appalled, and move on.

          • Peter Robbins

            “The people have a right to the privilege of education, and it is the duty of the State to guard and protect that right.” North Carolina Constitution, Art. 1, Sec. 15. “Slavery is forever prohibited.” Art. 1, Section 17. What am I missing?

          • “I’d argue the point, but it’s just so… just so absurd”

            It seems that you exhausted your intellectual capacity long ago. You can stop thinking now.

            Of course. We get it. Making a point is just not necessary, because Progressive.

          • ” What am I missing?”

            While there is certainly not enough ink to answer your question in its entirety, it is valuable, though, to point out that one key thing you are “missing” is the distinction between negative rights and positive rights. This is a finer philosophical point to which you no doubt have had little exposure, which you evince in your present and never-ending comments.

            For the rest, I have neither the time nor the inclination to expand on your heartfelt query. So, we’ll leave your open-ended questions for the ages to educe.

          • mynameis

            “It seems that you exhausted your intellectual capacity long ago.”

            No, I exhausted any desire to actually engage you and your shoddy philosophizing.

      • Peter Robbins

        I believe that state law does impose some positive requirements on the state with respect to the education which students have a constitutional right to receive. But whatever. As you say, this part of the thread has gone on too long.

        • “this part of the thread has gone on too long.”

          Apparently not long enough for you. Yes, the state DOES impose positive rights. That would be a change of subject. But as you feebly point out, the consistency of this thread cannot be sustained.

          • Peter Robbins

            So, there does exist a positive right to public education that does not enslave teachers. Glad we cleared that up.

            But here. I’ll make this easy for you. The published letter does not propose passage of any law declaring housing to be a “right” of any kind, positive or negative. That’s simply a non-issue. So cross out the words “human right” in the single line where that bit of rhetorical flourish appears and substitute the words “important human concern.” There. “Rights” issue gone. You can now go to the bottom of the thread and start discussing ways to reduce homelessness, as I suggested to whomever “Reason” may be. I hope you will have some constructive suggestions, presented from a hard-edged and cost-efficient standpoint. And I won’t have the occasion to make fun of any more eccentric “arguments” put forth solely for the purpose of hijacking a thread. (I probably should have left out the last line, but you know the temptations of internet communication.)

          • “So, there does exist a positive right to public education that does not enslave teachers.”

            No. There can not be a positive right that does not compel someone else to sacrifice their labor or wealth to its service. As Mr. Machan makes clear in the short (but apparently not short enough) essay on Positive Rights that I linked to above and oh so long ago: bit.ly/1nbiwpb

            “So cross out the words ‘human right’ in the single line where that bit of rhetorical flourish appears and substitute the words ‘important human concern.’ There. ‘Rights’ issue gone.”

            Gone? Gone?! How is it gone? It is not gone. It’s right there in the letter. You even recited it: “Housing is a…right.” (The term “human right” is redundant.) You may wish it away but that does not change reality. As a matter of fact, it is the very essence of this thread to which you have devoted so much of your life and energy, only to end up here, defeated and embarrassed once again.

            So. If you have a question, ask. I have yet to discern one in any of your terrible rantings. But that shouldn’t keep you from expanding endlessly on any topic of your choosing well into an indefinite future.

          • mynameis

            “As a matter of fact, it is the very essence of this thread to which you have devoted so much of your life and energy, only to end up here, defeated and embarrassed once again. ”

            Defeated? Embarrassed? By YOU, Tim? Dear God, I think you’re serious.

          • “Dear God, I think you’re serious.”

            You seem to be coming late to the realization that serious issues are being discussed here. Days late, by my calculation. I am only saddened that you are functionally unable to contribute to them in any meaningful way. I await you next ‘ad hominen’ argument with great eagerness. You delight regardless of your ability to engage the intellect.

          • mynameis

            “You seem to be coming late to the realization that serious issues are being discussed here. ”

            They are, just not by you, in any serious way. All you have to say is “HOUSING IS NOT A RIGHT! EDUCATION IS NOT A RIGHT!”

            You have nothing of substance to add about the matter at hand, reducing homelessness, except for one to infer your more fundamental point: “screw ’em, not my problem” and “any effort to do so is the enslavement of others” as if that makes any sense except to you and your cohort of lunatics.

            So yes, ad-hominem. Ad-hominem all the way home.

            I hold nothing but contempt for your callous high-mindedness when faced with the suffering of others.

          • mynameis

            Oh, isn’t it obvious, Tim? I’m here only to get you and your cohort of libertarian lunatics to say more, so that people can get a real sense of how insidious and contemptible are your politics.

            Please, continue to lecture us on how housing isn’t a right and how to make it a right is to enslave others. Please continue to tell us how you’re WINNING!

          • So much for your libertarian highmindedness. Perhaps you can go back to slapping the homeless now, Tim.

            Or is that too much effort for you?

          • Peter Robbins

            No, Mr. Peck. You can save your slaps for me. But do me this one last favor: Don’t tell anyone of those schoolkids that a right to public education enslaves their teacher. Bad for moral. And besides, the teachers already know that when they look at their paychecks.

          • Peter Robbins

            Oh, dear. I said “moral” when I meant “morale.” Egg on my face again. But maybe I should say “human morale,” as I now understand that adjective has no meaning.

          • “teachers already know that when they look at their paychecks”

            I wonder how these phantom rights to education, housing and healthcare would be secured without “looking at paychecks.” What then?

            Should we institute labor camps for teachers, carpenters and doctors? Or, would those so-called rights simply vanish into air along with the weightless arguments supporting them?

            I wonder.

          • Do keep in mind, dear boy, that those paychecks that teachers spend so much time gazing upon are provided to them through involuntary taxation, i.e. force. That means that the money earned by a citizen is not, in fact, their own, but, in part, someone else’s.

            What do you call it when someone else profits from the fruits of your labor?

          • Peter Robbins

            I’m afraid, old friend, I must take my leave. But do go on talking to yourself.

          • “I’m afraid, old friend, I must take my leave.”

            By all means, old boy, take it. Take it. We shall henceforth suffer your ruin, however much anticipated.

    • Bus tickets can be win win, especially when they go south in winter and north in summer, that would put snowbirding homeless in Asheville only briefly in the spring and fall, which is not a disproportionate burden at all for this city, which is taking far less than it’s share of the eastern regional homelessness problem due to it’s extraordinary UDO causing far more homelessness than most towns.

  2. The Real World

    I agree with Tim. He states what my problem is with all the ranting about, “it’s a right, it’s a right!” Those who declare that are actually demanding that other people have a debt to what someone else wants. Get real. The approach AND expectation is all wrong. Appeal to citizens charitableness and stop with the unreasonable goal of 0% homelessness. Some of them want to be!

    I swear, Americans need to travel more. Swing by any Third World countries (take your pick as they make up most of the world) and you’ll see that our homeless have it better than much of the developing world population. NOT an exaggeration. Go see.

    • Hauntedheadnc

      I have visited the third world and I have seen the way their poor and homeless live. Specifically, I saw it on Roatan Island, Honduras where except for a tiny village of rich expatriats, pretty much everyone lives in shacks made from scavenged boards and their children splash about in the raw sewage issuing from the pipes that serve the expats village.

      And because I saw it, I started yelling at the expats, asking them what the hell was wrong with them that they would allow that sort of thing in the shadows of their wealth. And because I saw it, I want to know why that sort of abomination is the ultimate wet dream of the average American conservative. The freedom to live in squalor and horror isn’t really freedom.

        • Hauntedheadnc

          Because being able to ignore human suffering is so badass, right? if it makes you feel any better, after my little outburst, I wasn’t allowed to go on my booked excursion and had to spend the rest of the day the ship was in port sitting in a bar.

    • In most of the third world, the poor are allowed to build shanties for themselves and so are no longer homeless. Asheville and Buncombe are far more actively abusive of the homeless than most of the the world. It is not just neglect. It is active abuse by local government of the homeless which includes the massive local police budget. Local government is actively, not just passively violating their housing rights.

      • Hauntedheadnc

        If you think a shack built from pickings from the local dump is anything even approaching adequate shelter, you’re insane. I have seen some of those shacks, the sparking naked wires they use to siphon electricity from the grid, and the raw sewage flowing in the ditches outside their front doors. Have you?

        • Yes, and compared to homelessness they are a dream come true. I live in a ’68 trailer with no heat or running water and am unimaginably better off than the homeless.

          • Of course the ideal place for a shantytown would be Biltmore Forest, but Asheville is getting more like Biltmore Forest every day, except for the hypocritical rhetoric.

  3. Yared Sharot

    You don’t have a right to be housed in Asheville. You can go looking for a place to live in Hendersonville, or even another state. You don’t have to be housed here.

    • boatrocker

      yared, if you are indeed a real Israeli, please start a thread about how your country treats Muslims like Americans treated American Indians.

      Hoka hey.

      • c

        Whoa, boatrocker, so much to sticking on point. Where is the micro-managing moderator? Don’t step into something you can’t get out of. You just outed yourself by not knowing what you are talking about. It happens all the time when the ME is viewed from an American Howard Zinn – like lense. If you knew anything at all you’d at least see the conundrum.

    • Reason

      Exactly. You can choose to move to another, cheaper area. Folks have to make hard choices. I don’t want one of their choices to be how to spend my money. I think short term emergency funds for folks who fall on hard times because of loss of a job or illness is a good thing. Long term housing assistance, or any long term financial assistance that I, and all working people, pay for is not. If you can’t afford it, move. There are many cheaper areas of the state and country.

      • Hauntedheadnc

        And where, exactly, would you like to set up that leper colony for the blind, the disabled, and the mentally ill, since you disapprove of any long term assistance?

    • Those places are full of racists as an israeli should know, and the ones that aren’t use zoning to actively abuse the homeless.

  4. Lulz

    LOL, right to housing lulz. Maybe you all can go barge into the homes of the fools primarily in north Asheville that vote in the loons in council LOL. I’m sure they’ll welcome you with arms wide open LOL. Problem with the loons in this place is that they go along with what feels right until they have to face reality LOL. Better yet when they pass a garbage fee, use their well manicured by immigrant lawns as a dump. They deserve no better because since they can afford more fees for farces, surely they won’t mind paying for others to drop off garbage at their curbs.

    • Peter Robbins

      An interesting thought process — from the homeless to garbage in one seamless stream of consciousness. lol.

      • Lulz

        LOL, the impact of fees and increased taxes to finance things that government has no business paying for is going to make many homeless LOL. By all means, ignore the corporate subsidies because the left is all for paying for them though LOL.

        • Trash fees are decades old. what is new is making them less regressive and more proportional to the amount of trash because the rich make far more trash than the poor, which makes it absurd to blame the poor for trash.

      • The Real World

        I chuckled at that too. And thought that it may qualify as, ‘drunk posting’. It happens!

        • The Real World

          Ok oops, my post came in 1 below where I intended. I was refering to Peter’s comment.

          • Peter Robbins

            I do appreciate your diplomacy. I’ll have to remember the concept of “drunk posting” should temptation to respond uncharitably arise again.

  5. Reason

    Where do the “rights” I have stop in regards to housing? Do I have the “right” to live in Brian Turner’s Biltmore mansion or only the right for Brian Turner and other taxpayers to pay for me to live in Pisgah View apartments? Do my rights end with just a roof over my head, no matter how safe the neighborhood is or how much that roof costs? Why don’t I have the “right” to live in the neighborhood of my choice in the house I choose? If we have the “rights” how do you then limit said “rights”?

    • bsummers

      I’ve seen Brian Turner’s house. It’s a 4-bedroom in an upscale neighborhood, but definitely not a “mansion”.

    • Peter Robbins

      The letter makes several positive suggestions for reducing homelessness and creating a more humane community. I have yet to see any of our conservative friends here address a single one of these concrete ideas. Instead of worrying so much about where the public’s obligation to the homeless – whether characterized as moral, human, legal or otherwise – ends, they might consider whether our social duty starts with something more aggressive than a pep talk on self-reliance, a highway map and a courtesy copy of “Atlas Shrugged”? If they have the time and inclination, that is. In understand if they have weightier philosophic matters to attend to. It’s not like anybody’s going to die prematurely in the meantime.

      • Lulz

        LOL, the public has no obligation to house the homeless lulz. They have an obligation to not become homeless LOL. By all means if you “feel” obligated to house the homeless then open your home to them. But stop with the lunacy and idiocy that others should be forced to pay for the decisions of others. It’s stupid and a huge contributor in the divide of this nation. People like you are part of the problem yet you expect others to pay or lose their homes. Why don’t you criticize council for wasting money and financing the likes of corporate breweries and hotels while raising taxes on everyone else LOL. Why do they have to pay more out of their pocket to finance the lives of people who don’t feel remotely obligated to straighten their acts up? You speak of obligations only of one side yet never ever mention the obligations of those that take. I wonder why LOL.

        You live in lala land where you assume people are homeless because the are forced to be. Not that a lifetime of stupidity and laziness has put them there.

        • Peter Robbins

          I can assure you, my articulate friend, that I do not live in la-la land. (I live in a paradise land called Madison County.) I have spent much of my professional life working for Republicans. I have taken in a homeless drug addict. I have worked with poor families and low-income school children. I can assure you that I have seen first-hand the problems caused by personal shortcomings and understand the need for accountability. I know what cost-benefit analysis is, and I do not think throwing money at social problems without regard to performance is an answer. That’s why I was impressed by this letter. This person has some good ideas. I’ve seen people propose other good ideas, and a conservative perspective on them would be most welcome. It’s just that we never see one that isn’t an excuse for inaction and prejudice. And your “comments” are at the head of line.

          • Lulz

            Good for you. But keep in mind that people are turned away from homeless shelters because they smell of alcohol and/are on drugs. They have issues and there are ways out. I’m not holding anyone’s hand nor do I feel obligated to pay while these losers meander about begging for money to buy a 40. I am in no way obligated to pay for people who refuse to help themselves. Period. You OTOH want to enable it and think it’s an obligation to do so.

            You want to house the homeless, then go throw a concert at the Civic Center ala the Jam. But stop thinking that just because I or others have a home, that we are privileged. No, it’s called sacrificing and work. And for freaking sakes, stop this lunacy of taking more money out of the residence to finance the breweries, hotels, the non-profits, and everything else under the sun while increasing crony fees to make up for it is some sort of solution or obligation. It’s straight up cronyism and thievery. LOL.

        • Hauntedheadnc

          “You live in lala land where you assume people are homeless because the are forced to be. Not that a lifetime of stupidity and laziness has put them there.”



          It must be so nice to live in a world where things really are that black and white, as opposed to the real world where they are not. Tell me, in your world, why are there no homeless veterans, no homeless people who are mentally ill and have nowhere to go ever since the dissolution of the mental healthcare system in America, and why are there no homeless children or young people? What is your world’s secret?

          • The Real World

            @Haunted – thanks for the belly laugh. Someone finally had to exaggerate the silliness of all that LULZing. Kudos!

            Amongst all the hysteria, there actually have been a few worthy points made in this thread. But, I have 2 issues:
            1- why has no one been genuine enough to answer the 2 questions I posed at the very top of this string? (except Max, partially)
            2 – if people care at all about truly discussing and exchanging various points of view — then they will stop telling other people what they think or slapping a label on them (most of you have been incorrect). Not only is it wrong, it’s grade school mentality and produces similar results.

    • Yes you have the right to live and vote in Biltmore Forest, In Brian Turner’s yard if perhaps not his house. Biltmore Forest zoners are actively abusing that right, not just neglecting it. Your right to vote for mayor of Biltmore Forest is a fundamental democratic voting right.

  6. Homeless Guy

    I am a homeless person and I know a lot of homeless people and I do not know anybody nor do I think that housing is a “right.” I and none of my peers feel that the city of Asheville owes us anything. In fact, Asheville (Christians especially) are incredibly generous and provide an insane amount of support. The city and Homeward Bound are helping those who seek housing to find adequate living quarters. Shelters are available as are any amount of camping gear necessary to survive a cold night. Shelters cannot accept intoxicated people because it leads to problems and everybody that I know who sleeps outside (and I know most of them) know that if you want to stay in a shelter then hold off on drinking/drugs etc. and most people will. I think that most of the issues that homeless people face are being adequately dealt with by the churches and organizations that provide services. Homeless people are fine. You all should just be grateful for what you have and if you want to do something to homeless people then stop looking down on us. We are fine. We don’t need people arguing about something that they do not understand.

    • The Real World

      @Hi Homeless Guy – Thanks for writing.
      “We don’t need people arguing about something that they do not understand.” Truly, and if you’d like to describe more about what you mean, please do.

  7. Luxury highrise hotels are already housing many who might otherwise be homeless in the form of Battery Park Tower and Biltmore Tower, so it is the limitation of highrise hotels by local government that is causing homelessness, not the highrise hotels themselves, which need little acreage anyway. Local Government is not just neglecting the homeless, it is actively abusing them and actively causing their homelessness. That is the outrage and it needs to stop.

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