The homeless aren’t the problem, but delinquents are

Being homeless does not make someone bad, but being violent, drunk and hostile does make them a problem. Portraying the delinquents who terrorize the people who live, work and frolic in downtown Asheville as peaceful homeless individuals who have just fallen on hard times and merely want to eat is just plain insulting. It's insulting to the homeless people who genuinely want to be a part of the community but who have become victims due to unfortunate circumstances.

No one is complaining about people who are simply homeless. No one is complaining about veterans. Lumping the derelicts in with the honest, hard-working majority of veterans is an insult. The bums downtown are nasty, offensive and threatening. The thugs who make everyone's lives miserable are the problem. They try to intimidate people into giving them money. They spend the money they get drugs and alcohol, not food and clothing.

These individuals are fully aware of and frequent the many organizations who provide food and clothing for free.

I don't know what I would do if I became homeless. I do know what I wouldn't do: I wouldn't spend day after day after day toxically drunk trying to pick fights with, and hollering obscenities at, the people who live and work downtown.

How about giving us a break? We just want to feed and support ourselves. We aren't rich. Some of us volunteer at churches, shelters and soup kitchens. We don't mind sticking a dollar in the "spare change for real change" box. We simply want to walk about town without being threatened and yelled at.

— Brandon Oliver
Asheville

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6 thoughts on “The homeless aren’t the problem, but delinquents are

  1. Alan Ditmore

    We should increase the alcohol tax to something like $5 per drink ($10 per fluid ounce of alcohol) and use the money for homeless shelters. It would be almost impossible for anyone but millionaires to abuse alcohol at that price.
    However as for deinquency, the homeless are the primary victims of youth gangs whose initiations seem to involve beating up homeless people.

  2. Alan Ditmore

    In the hundred or so hours I have spent on downtown streets, I have yet to see any unaccptable behavior from any homeless resident. I tend to think the writer is making things up.

  3. Piffy!

    [b]In the hundred or so hours I have spent on downtown streets, I have yet to see any unaccptable behavior from any homeless resident. I tend to think the writer is making things up.[/b]

    I think he may have actually been referring to the crazy guy in the old, white t-shirt that says something about abortion or tourism in hand-written black marker.

  4. Kelly

    I have not been approached by anyone downtown in a long time that was asking for change. I thought it had subsided for the most part. I suppose I would most likely just ignore the approach if it happened. Having lived in bigger cities with a larger population of homeless I think I just accept the fact and move on.

  5. cwaster

    “In the hundred or so hours I have spent on downtown streets, I have yet to see any unacceptable behavior from any homeless resident. I tend to think the writer is making things up. ”

    I have seen it several times. This is not made up. However it does seem to have lessened in the past year somewhat. I also think that the actual homeless population is not the problem, rather street thugs that either are homeless or pretend to be is the problem.

  6. Piffy!

    [b]street thugs that … are homeles[/b]

    thats pretty much it. they are more or less “homeless”, but they are just petty street hustlers. They shouldnt be classified the same as an actual homeless person who is not panhandling in any way.

    winter also sends them down to areas like carborro. they’ll be back in the summer.

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