Nearly forty-percent of the readers that voted in the poll last week wanted to know why the homeless slept on the sidewalk rather than inside Larry Rice’s New Life Evangelistic Center:
Q: Your Thoughts On The City Closing The Sidewalks Around Larry Rice’s Homeless Shelter:
- Why aren’t the homeless sleeping INSIDE the shelter rather than on the sidewalk? 58 [39.46%]
- About time, they need to shut that place down 37 [25.17%]
- Rice is just using the homeless to build his organization 15 [10.2%]
- Larry Rice’s shelter is being unfairly targeted because he serves the homeless 11 [7.48%]
- Other: 10 [6.8%]
- Downtown residents are too intolerant of the homeless 9 [6.12%]
- I just hope the city doesn’t push the homeless to my neighborhood/city 5 [3.4%]
- Unsure/No Opinion 2 [1.36%]
As to be expected the responses to the given answers (above) and other answers (below) ranged from support of, to opposition, of the NLEC model for dealing with the homeless.
- There has to be a better solution but I don’t know what solution would be.
- Sidewalks are public space. Close down the shelter and protect our sidewalks!
- There is definitely something political going on here beneath the surface
- empty school buildings + social worker and police = safe housing for winter?
- Let’s get Larry a one way ticke to Yemen. What a fucking jerk.
- moving the homeless doesn’t change the fact that poverty is a problem
- its bullshit. i needed to walk to 17th from OPOP and had to walk in the street
- No social workers. Dense facility. = bad
- 4: nimby, pawns, inside, intolerant
- Larry Rice is a publicity-seeking clown.
That model is basically require them to pray to Larry Rice’s deity if they want a place to sleep. Through other agencies the homeless can collectively get:
- a hot meal prepared in a health department approved kitchen,
- a mailbox,
- use of computers & phone,
- storage of personal belongings,
- a place to shower,
- use of laundry facilities,
- social workers to help with issues such as drug/alcohol dependancy ,
- occupational therapists to assist with skills needed to function in society,
- and even travel assistance to return home if they’re stuck in St. Louis.
Many individuals without a home don’t want to be on the street but the road to get back to having their own place becomes so overwhelming by the time they find themselves sleeping on a sidewalk or park bench it takes many people to help them get their lives back together.
Imagine trying to get a job when all your clothes are in a plastic garbage bag, when you have limited access to a computer to search, no phone or a limited cell to get call backs, and have to wait in line to shower. Many homeless are employed, receive disability or veterans benefits but they lack accounts for direct deposit and pay huge fees to get checks cashed. Much work needs to be done to get those who don’t want to be homeless into housing and provide for those in the future that find themselves in that situation. I don’t see NLEC being part of the solution.
– Steve Patterson