Originally Posted by bluedogok
Some people think seeing any homeless person is a "big problem". I have seen homeless people in every city that I have ever visited and in most cases it is not as big of a public issue as some make it out to be. I haven't noticed it being that big of an issue downtown but since I don't work/live there maybe I haven't been exposed to it as much as some.
In spite of all the efforts to reduce homelessness you will never to able to fully eradicate it because there is a segment of that population that prefers it. All you can do is address those that want help.
I won't debate that some people get squirrelly about seeing ANY homelessness - continued public awareness is the only way to make progress in that way. I also agree that it's impossible to completely eradicate it as there will always be folks who prefer living that way. Of course not all homeless are deviant, lazy bums. Many of them have serious mental and psychological problems and are literally "alone". However, that area of town can be particularly squalid and unseemly. It's almost a "district" similar to the Tenderloin in SF (but on a smaller scale).
I'm generally tolerant of homeless people and occasionally will help someone out if they are respectful, but I really dislike walking around that section of the city as it's nearly impossible not to be approached repeatedly. I've been all over the country and spent time in most major cities, so I'm not new to any of this but I'll admit to feeling a bit uncomfortable (more annoyed, actually) in that area, especially at night. It's a critical mass thing.
Yes, of course there are homeless in every city (and much worse than Austin) but to think that the city of Austin could transform that area into a beautiful, walkable, public space without some careful consideration over the location of the shelter is frankly, naive. Even now, the location of that shelter is dubious: placing a shelter full of folks, many with alcohol and drug addictions DIRECTLY ADJACENT
to the most crowded, popular party strip in the city.
Very stupid indeed.