Town Square

Post a New Topic

Homeless shelter reaction ...

Original post made by Another mother here, Gunn High School, on Dec 26, 2006

OMG.....I was at the end of a list on a previous site here and after reading all the complaints..more and more complaints.. on the homeless people here in Palo Alto ~who actually need support..( we are talking about the mentally and physically indigent) it sturred my emotional breaking point.........period.

The shelter next to the PAMF is meant to be a safehaven place for people down on their self preservation..a place where they can readjust and get themselves out of their cars (if they even had one) or out of the cold (benches, creekbeds, parks, your storefronts, etc.)...How many of these people are actually from Palo Alto?? Humm, like to know the tally on that one.....but I do know for fact there have been a FEW that grew up here, believe me or not..Ones that have mental problems, drinking problems, or health problems that have usually have lead them into alcohol addiction...drug stress where they finally "snap"....

Very sad situations have come to light and there are not enough places or immediate answers for all of them..I hear there is an endless waiting list for help.........

The people who want and need to clean up their lives and want stability in their lives hang on the thread of hope to move on up to a safe and warm place. (A little bit of heaven to them.)

I have observed many homeless over the years on the streets on downtown Palo Alto..many have moved on, many have passed away.

I have read articles in our local newspapers about our local police confiscating the homeless people's sleeping bags and telling them to "move on" when they were caught trying to sleep in the parking garage across the street from the fancy hotel on Cowper Street.......Another story about the homeless guy who was "sleeping" sitting upright on the bench, under a blanket, and finally someone noticed that he was deceased after two days..........

Too many stories go unprinted..after all, our town does have a reputation to up hold..ha!

Long live Robbie "Steamboat" Fulton.

Comments (9)

Like this comment
Posted by Sean
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 26, 2006 at 4:16 pm


Why don't you provide shelter in your own home for a homeless person?

Until the local, state and federal governments can coerce the homeless into shelters, your bleeding heart will only worsen the problem. In the meantime, downtown businesses will suffer, along with the homeless.

Mother, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Like this comment
Posted by Another mother here
a resident of Gunn High School
on Dec 28, 2006 at 11:48 pm

I suppose you probably were one of those types of persons when you were young who would "accidentally" put your foot out and trip the person who is walking with a cane ~ or large bag of groceries ~just for a joke...

I "am part of the problem" because I have compassion thinking about another human being? Guess you don't. You seem like the type of person who has to lock themselves into their house at night thinking someone may come in an "get" them for the way they may have treated someone in their past....guilty conscious?.... You obviously have no clue as to how to be compassionate on the less fortunates in our community.....

No, taking a drug addict into my home isn't the correct answer...that person obviously needs professional help. As does the alcoholic. As does the metally ill person. They all have help available out there, they need to get in the loop, not get chastised to the breaking point..that is where the real trouble begins...
The 24 million dollar building that just opened up in September here in Palo Alto should be capable of housing and referring the homeless.

Let's be grateful that perhaps this little bit of light on the homeless project will work out...

Oh, yes. AND that the downtown merchants prosper..
Happy New Year....

Like this comment
Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 29, 2006 at 10:52 am

Hi Another Mom (who started this thread),

My ex-girlfriend and I lived in an old Victorian house on Alma Street between Dahl Plumbing and Heating and the Fire station. Norice first worked at the Bagel Works (owned by Lou and Larry from NY) and then while I was on a trip to Peru, she began working at Palo Alto's last whole-in-the-wall bar on Alma, called Jackie's. (1980)

I do remember Robbie "Steamboat" Fulton (was he the short, redheaded man?) along with the rest of the folks back then. There were a couple "Merry Pranksters" in that group, too. (from Tom Wolfe's Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test)

I've chosen to live in the city I grew up in and I'm a renter - Had I not had family help from time to time, I would certainly have ended up in the streets.

I also recall Ben Bailey. He was a friend of Steamboat. Ben chose to be un-housed; he was also a city council and other Commission watchdog, very articulate and well-read. I don't know how, but he died at a fairly young age. I was surprised to read his obit in the P.A. Weekly around 5 years ago

Anyway, thank you for your post.

I wish everyone (the homeless included) a very happy, healthy and financially fantastic New Year!


Like this comment
Posted by Sean
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 2, 2007 at 1:38 pm


Your ARE the problem!. How is it humane to ALLOW a fellow human being to sleep in thier own excrement, in the cold? They should NOT be allowed to make that choice. You seem to celebrate the free choice to be a bum on the street.

Bums should be arrested and put into mandatory rehabilitation - in the several programs that already exist. To allow them to take over our streets is ridculous. They need our help, but a tough approach is required. Enforce the sit-lie ban, as well as the overnight camping ban in PA. Only then will we see a reduction in the number of bums, and only then will they begin to get the help they need.

Mother, it probably makes you feel good to be 'compassionate', but you are really just promoting misery. It is you who is putting out your leg to trip them up. In the current jargon, you are an enabler. Time to grow up, Mother.

We don't need bleeding hearts on this issue. We need a Rudy Giuliani to take control and take the bums off the street.

Like this comment
Posted by Another mother here
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jan 3, 2007 at 1:41 am

(Rudy/Gestapo..This is Palo Alto..) Sean..Yes, at one time I read that the Palo Alto Police and a Social Worker were to go hand and hand around Palo Alto to give services to the people you speak of....don't know what ever happened to THAT program...we should ask the PAPD about that if it is still in effect. I applaude that...

No, of course not, I NEVER let my children sit in a wet diaper, let alone would I like to see a grown man (or woman) rolling around on the cement in urine on University Ave. That is when the police have a duty to call the ambulance and take that person into a hospital. Something OBVIOUSLY wrong there. There is a Health and Safety code which holds people for days for their own safety...are you aware of that?

I laughed when I read your comment about the "no camping" in Palo Alto....My grandparents came to Palo Alto with their six children to camp out in a campground by University and Bayshore near the turn of the Century.....Their home had just burned down to the ground while they were vacationing at the beach near Pescadero...and they then purchased a house here in Palo Alto and lived out their did their children..and so on and so on...........

Yes, I enable my voice/ideas to be heard in the hopes that it can produce positive results in our community. Don't confuse my enabling....thanks. And if I put my leg out (not to trip someone), I would get even better results, but being the lady that I am, I choose not to.
This is for Andy:
Yes, I know the exact house you lived in...not far from the water tower....

I also ate at that Bagel store. There was a Mexican man working there one day when I went in with my son. He was sweeping the floor and then cleaning up. He was content and started son and I couldn't keep a straight face as we recognized the song he was was the "La Cocaracha song" (song of the Cockroaches!)Ah, the Bagels were great there tho!! Guess the entertainment was too, come to think of it...!

Also, was that bar ( Jackie's) located in the old Greyhound Bus Station at Alma and Lytton? I can't remember what year they tore that station down...?

Robbie ( Steamboat) was spotted in Palo Alto a few weeks ago...He grew up here in Palo Alto..a Cubberley High graduate...I would love to have him write a book about Palo Alto, as he sees it...would be interesting and would add a little historical character to our town..ya think?!

Like this comment
Posted by Sean
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 3, 2007 at 12:29 pm

Oh Mother... Rudy G. is MUCH more humane than you are! You seem to have a real problem with authority, but that should not prevent more rational people from understanding that Rudy's approach worked very well in New Your, both for the housed citizens and the unhoused. He swept the bums off the street and put them into housing (against their will in many cases). He understodd the inhumanity of allowing them to make their own free choice. He also cleaned up the streets, and this allowed many neighborhoods to come back economically.

Mother, you are entranced by your own delusions, as are many romantics.

Like this comment
Posted by SP
a resident of Stanford
on Jan 3, 2007 at 2:04 pm

A couple of thoughts...All the 'help' and 'hospital care' will ultimately be footed by we, the taxpayers. And, despite the new building, I have still seen the same homeless on the streets of Palo Alto...

Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 3, 2007 at 8:46 pm

Forget compassion. It is not good public health to have homeless folk living in the streets. We need flop houses big time, some where $5 a night will buy shelter, others where, with charitable backing and non-judgemental acceptance we can shelter everyone, thus allowing us to compel sleeping in a shelter. Pick some crap locations and erect the cheapest cabanas one can design, like in 20x8 shipping containers. Each community could have a golf cart for shopping trips. When the homeless finally collapse, we pay 40 to 60 K to monitor them in a hospital on their way to Potter's Field.
Do I want a flophouse next door? No, but I don't want bums dying in the local parks, either. Corresponding with a Santa Cruz bum, I find out he plays Rag and a host of other instruments. Get his nut low enough so his survival is not at risk and he just might give something back.
Lest anybody get any ideas, I am still an onery SOB, just a practical one.

Like this comment
Posted by Eileen Richardson
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 14, 2007 at 10:53 pm

You all have points. There are some very interesting things happening in our community to solve this issue.

We invite you to attend a breakfast at the Garden Court Hotel at 8AM on 4/10 where you can voice your opinions and learn our community's efforts directly to/from the Mayor and the police department.

Please rsvp if you will attend to

Eileen Richardson, President
Downtown Streets Team

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Burger chain Shake Shack to open in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 11 comments | 3,649 views

Eat, Surf, Love
By Laura Stec | 4 comments | 1,207 views

Couples: So You Married Mom or Dad . . .
By Chandrama Anderson | 2 comments | 1,156 views

The Cost of Service
By Aldis Petriceks | 1 comment | 832 views

One-on-one time
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 245 views