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It's All About The Shizit

Original post made by Chuck Jagoda, Barron Park, on Sep 26, 2012

(An Open Letter to Liz Kniss)

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Posted by Jonathan Brown
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 16, 2012 at 9:27 pm

Jonathan Brown is a registered user.


I want to preface my comment by saying that I am happy to listen to reasoned debate and I welcome all civil discourse. The robust and free exchange of ideas is the foundation of our democracy, so I welcome further input from you or others. I am an open minded person, but I feel pretty strongly about this at the moment and am compelled to comment as follows.

I disagree that this is about only bathroom access (and by the way, most neighborhood parks are closed at night, so bathrooms in parks wouldn't help at night after the parks are closed). Neighbors in single family and multi-family residential neighborhoods don't want de facto zoning changes to allow for more habitation on the street than can fit in the houses on that street. To allow otherwise to allow a small group of people to abuse common areas such that they are diminished for everyone else. To avoid this tragedy of the commons, homeless people have a lot of resources (example: you have access to the Internet to post this message), and your conclusion that the free housing options available to you are to be "heavily resisted and avoided whenever possible" does not give you the right to camp out in someone else's residential neighborhood or in their neighborhood parks (shizit or no shizit). As someone who has been laid off for months now, and someone who spent years feeding the homeless through Stanford's PrOject On Nutrition (SPOON), I understand pieces of your perspective, but whatever societal responsibility the housed owe to you (and pay through taxes, charitable giving and volunteering) should not include having to put up with your trash, your buses, your gerrymandered generators, and your habitation in my neighborhood and its streets and parks. I am all for giving homeless people resources to allow them to live productive lives. You have chosen to reject some of the resources made available to you, but civil society starts to break down when your rejection leads you to unduly impinge on the freedoms and property of others.

Resisting a vehicular habitation ban is overreaching on the part of an overrepresented homeless advocate community, and I will do my best to represent the more silent majority of tax paying homeowners and renters who agree. Why wouldn't at least parking somewhere away from parks and residences be preferable to the current situation? Choosing to park in a neighborhood gives the housed the impression you are intentionally trying to intimidate or anger them. There is no need for this kind of confrontation given the multitude of other options available.

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