Toronto The Good, The BAd, & The Ugly

Jun 16th, 2006, 12:35 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,149
I volunteered for 5 years at Out of the Cold and just got tired of their whining and blaming everyone else - and I'm not talking about abused children - we threw out MOUNTAINS of food, too. All of it donated by good-hearted individuals.

Anyway, I'm outta here - have a good weekend everyone.

SallyCanuck is offline  
Jun 16th, 2006, 01:14 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 16,253
Jerry, I have done exactly what you proposed everyone should do. And there are tons of abused kids who don't have it to pull themselves up, I agree,

BUT what Sally says is also extremely accurate. My city is Chicago and the school lunch program alone- the food thrown away is beyond measurement. That is disgusting to watch.

JJ5 is offline  
Jun 20th, 2006, 12:03 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,149
My councillor has answered me re panhandling:

"Thank you for your comments and observations regarding street beggars.

I share your concerns and those of others about the growing presence of street panhandlers in Toronto.

Toronto Council will be debating this matter in the near future in the context of a request initiated by Councillor Pitfield.

I welcome this debate as an opportunity to address this difficult issue with the view to protecting the interests of the general public while ensuring panhandlers are presented with practical alternatives to public begging.

Any suggestions or advice are always welcome."

I'm looking forward to finding out what "the practical alternatives to public begging" are.
SallyCanuck is offline  
Jun 20th, 2006, 01:09 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,942
I think that possibly instead of being upset at the homeless or acting as if they are a blight on society and hurt tourism (as if tourism is more important that?....), why not focus on helping those people? We can assume a lot about people, but if we don't really know their situation, then what?

Personally, i feel a simple "Im sorry, I can't today." or something along those lines is understandable by a lot of panhandlers.

Today, the news reported how a nearby city (Antioch) has started to fine and ticket the homeless for being, well, homeless. One lady responded that she just "wished they would smell better".

ilovetotravel29 is offline  
Jun 20th, 2006, 01:12 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
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gannetmusic---I thank you for your comments. I really feel that too, too, too many people just don't understand, or don't want to and find it very easy to victim blame, ya know?

as far as school lunches being thrown away, have you seen what they are trying to feed kids nowadays?
ilovetotravel29 is offline  
Jun 20th, 2006, 01:34 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 16,253
I've worked in shelters, and in social work re library/shelter for winters etc. And in the women's crisis center near me. Volunteer work and with real victims. Many of these beggars are just not.

And it just isn't that simple. Empathy doesn't do anything to change the situation. Except to make the giver feel better and less "guilty".

And these were delicious fresh roasted turkeys for Thanksgiving, beef roasts on several other Holiday occasions etc. And because of OSHA regulations you couldn't even take the untouched home or give them away/transport from the facility location for anyone else to eat.

You shouldn't have to say "no" 4 times a day when you are only outside for 3 hours of it, nor should a visitor be followed regardless, even once- playing pestering mind games for money.

If you are that smart and angle, there are other ways you can choose to obtain money. But those include structure and regulation, which usually won't or can't be condoned.

I'm waiting for your official's answer as well.
JJ5 is offline  
Jun 20th, 2006, 01:56 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,149
But many of them could work - on a visit to my Dad's grave on the weekend, the cemetery had a sign saying "Labourers needed April to November" - it's June and they're still needing workers. No skilled involved. Hard, dirty, sweaty work and it's going begging.

I was just asked in the concourse for money by a fellow who uses the same line everytime about looking for work and needs bus fare or something but it's the same line every month or so when he forgets who he asked (always women, by the way).

Along with welfare, free meals served by several charities (more from November to April) including trucks that drive around at night and give them meals on the streets, free clothing from the same charities and, if they want, a place to sleep indoors - not a nice place but in the winter it's out of the cold, they're 1000% better off than the poor devils on the news in Darfur and other hell holes who are starving.

Do those living on the streets in your home state get welfare?

SallyCanuck is offline  
Jun 20th, 2006, 02:00 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,942
"..they're 1000% better off than the poor devils on the news in Darfur and other hell holes who are starving..."

I think the above quote is a part of the problem.

A hungry person is a hungry person, no matter where they are. A homeless person is a homeless person no matter what country they live in.

Yes, there are bad apples in every bunch that spoil the whole outlook sometimes, but the true face of homelessness is a lot different than what you may presently be seeing.

the national coalition on homelessness has a lot of good stats.

And a fellow fedorite recently posted a link showing how Canadian women are at an increasing rate in the homelessness population.

ilovetotravel29 is offline  
Jun 20th, 2006, 02:38 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,149
The City of Toronto spends well in excess of $100 million a year on the homeless, too much of it on salaries for people to talk nicely to them and see if they want to change so the problem just grows.

The Mayor of Chicago puts them to work - Toronto prefers that they want to change.

A tent city was taken down a few years back amid loud complaints from the "homeless lobby" about what a wonderful caring place it was (a baby was born to drug addicted parents in that happy neighbourhood) and shortly after an apartment building not far from my home had a lot of new tenants sitting outside sunning themselves, smoking and generally just taking it easy. Coincidence? They're still there - not homeless and certainly not dragging themselves out of bed every morning to go to work.

They're NOT hungry for long - they want drugs, drink, smokes, not food. None of them show signs of malnutrition - the swollen bellies, hollow eyes, etc.

One group sends a medical bus around to care for them/

When I volunteered at out of the cold, one young fellow from Montreal told me that it was impossible to go hungry in Toronto. Some of the "hungry" we fed were students who had spent their food money on beer. As I said before, we threw out enormous amounts of good food. How much would go to waste in Darfur or Haiti?

Twice I've weakened and offered to buy a meal for people who've told me they were hungry - one young girl insisted I give her the cash instead (I didn't) - a fellow turned down the closest fast food restaurant until I started to leave when he decided it was good enough for him.

SallyCanuck is offline  
Jun 20th, 2006, 02:46 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Sally---I am sorry you have had such negative experiences with homeless people.

But I would ask that you keep in mind that any experience or even a group of experiences with any population is not indicative of the entire population.

People in SF will give you a million stories about their negative experiences with homeless people...but again, that is the experiences of one person or a few is not the entire population that these negative experiences represent.
ilovetotravel29 is offline  

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