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