Feeding The Homeless/Bigotry and Property Values


  I don't see how the right of free association enters into who moves in next door to you, unless they won't leave you alone, which of course would be a separate issue that could come up no matter who your neighbors are.

  My problem with having a motorcycle club next door would be the sound of all the motorcycles, which are easily audible indoors, especially the loud Harley types. That is in no way comparable to someone of different ethnicity, or a massage parlor, moving in. If the motorcycles weren't loud, I wouldn't mind having the Hells Angels next door. I think bikers tend to be a fairly libertarian group.

  Anyway, the point here is that neighbors don't have a "right" to keep certain people or businesses out of their neighborhood just because they lower property values or offend their sensibilities.

  I do think your point about the homeless needing more than just food is entirely valid, and I was never suggesting otherwise.

Yours in liberty,
        <<< Starchild >>>

Dear Starchild;

Clarification I did not mention the massage parlor moving in next door. Marcy used that as an example and as always the right of free association comes into mind. In the same vein as the black family moving in next door would you want a Hells Angel motorcycle club to move in next door to where you live?

On fewer restrictions on feeding the homelss this is not a bad idea but as I mentioned just feeding without the additional services only helps half the problem.

The soup and the prayer program was a saying developed during the Depression when soup kitchens were ubiquitos. People got fed but still the thing missing was jobs and medical and dental care.

Ron Getty
SF Libertarian


I agree that merely providing food to the homeless in and of itself
does not help very much. (Of course I'm not sure having a prayer
program helps much either, other than to draw people into religion at a
time when they are down and out and more vulnerable to such appeals.)
The question here is not what method is effective at getting the
homeless on their feet however, but whether government can control who
gets to help them and how.

If there were fewer restrictions on helping the homeless, it would
tend to encourage more individuals and groups to get involved,
presumably with a variety of different approaches, some of which would
work better than what's being done now. That would be the concrete
policy goal of an initiative on feeding the homeless.

To briefly address another topic you and Marcy touched on below, I'm
not sure what helpful point is made by saying things like, "why would a
homeowner want a massage parlor next door when it would lower their
property value. Property owners fight for their rights!" Replace the
words "massage parlor" with "black family" and I trust you'll be able
to see the problem with framing the issue in such terms.

Yours in liberty,
<<< Starchild >>>

> Dear Marcy and Et Alia;
> On feeding the homeless while worthy I believe this saying should be
> paramount in any feed the homeless initiative:
> “Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish;
> and you have fed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to sell the fish he
> catches and he eats steak.”
> I believe there are various programs already in place to have food
> centers and food kitchens collect surplus prepared food from
> restaurants and grocery stores in SF to hand out as needed. There are
> also local community help programs to provide food to nee dy families.
> Just providing food to a homeless person without the old Salvation
> Army ethos of a soup and a prayer program is self-defeating unless you
> have built in additional social services to help those who want to get
> help back on their feet.
> Private charity programs in the Depression era required people who
> wanted help to be able to work in return for the help. They were very
> adamant about no work no food.
> The homeless problem is like the article in the Bay Guardian this week
> about the person who went to a Newsom Project Homeless shelter and
> asked for some pants to replac e the torn pants he was wearing. All he
> kept getting was how we help you get health treatment sleeping place
> job training etc but they couldn't get his torn pants replaced.
> see the article here:
> http://www.sfbg.com/40/10/news_home.html
> Gavin Newsom's Care not Cash program is built around this concept of a
> multi-help center but doesn't address care areas that are outside the
> box. Then there are the separate problems with the homelss persons who
> are drug addicts, mentally incompetent or alcoholics or all of the
> above.
> An initiative about feeding the homeless or making it easier to do
> so seems to be duplicating what is already being done. Unless there is
> some other angle not previously thought about which would represent
> a reasonably broad issue for a feed the homeless initiative.
> After having thought about it some more I believe giving ownership to
> the people living in housing projects in high crime areas is a good
> area for an initiative.
> They can own the project property and have a sense of controlling what
> happe ns around them is a viable initiative project. Something
> like Carter's Habit for Humanity with sweat equity thrown in for good
> measure.
> I'm certain the current Wash DC powers that be would be delighted to
> dump off the housing projects and be rid of one more headache.
> Then maybe like the stone thrown into a still pond the ripples would
> spread out and help to create a sense of family and community from the
> ownership rights of property.
> With this po ssible employers opening businesses and providing jobs
> and creating a feeling of a community where you have a property stake
> in what happens in your own community because of the ownership rights
> you now have.
> Like Marcy said why would a homeowner want a massage parlor next door
> when it would lower their property value. Property owners fight for
> their rights!!!
> This also could ultimately have an impact on the gang and drug
> problems currently associated with these project areas.
> Then work on developing a private educational program so the local
> parents would have a real direct say so in what happens and how their
> children are taught. Then there wouldn't have to be forced busing and
> so and so on.
> "The Projects Families Property Ownership Act"
> The basis would be an initiative to work with the City - State -
> Federal authorities to help the projects families buy and fix up a nd
> own the properties themselves. Take the projects away from
> government and public ownership supported by taxes and make it
> personal ownership like condominiums or townhouses.
> Ron Getty
> SF Libertarian
> Marcy Berry wrote:
> I would like to add my opinions on the general objectives implicit in
> the pr oposed Civil Liberties Initiative to those already offered by
> Starchild and by Ron, and also vote for one initiative idea:
> 1. I am having trouble defining for myself what "left leaning" really
> means as it applies to our San Francisco voters. In an effort to gain
> some understanding, I have just spent a couple of hours googling the
> following: "San Francisco left"; "Left leaning politics",San
> Francisco; "Left leaning voters",San Francisco; Issues,"left
> leaning",San Francisco. After looking over tons of articles, I came
> away with the following issues (listed in no particular order of
> importance): poverty, low income, homelessness, capital punishment,
> the draft, tenants rights, gay rights, ethnic discrimination, the
> bottom-liners in the dot-com boom, urban flight, voting rights,
> criminalization of AIDS, criminalization of the homeless, Green Party
> issues. My point here is that we need to understand what really
> could appeal to *significant* portions of the left.
> 2. As Ron, I also would prefer an initiative that would have a
> direct impact on a local situation that needs fixing. That would
> preclude resolutions that merely send messages but have no direct
> effect on the status quo. I believe we need to be especially careful
> not to send a mixed message when we decry our political leaders for
> spending taxpayer money on silly stuff while spending a lot a
> resources ourselves on a toothless initiative. For example, I would
> love to see employers freely hire day laborers; however, nothing we
> propose at the local level can change the state and federal laws
> regulating employment.
> 3. When I think of a civil liberty issue, I think of a governmental
> entity preventing me from doing something which I am entitled to do
> under the Constitution or existing laws. I do not think of my fo llow
> citizens protecting themselves from a behavior which might infringe on
> their well being. Does the *significant majority* of my left-leaning
> neighbors (I live next to San Francisco State University, not a
> particularly conservative neighborhood) want so see people sleeping in
> their cars, or using loudspeakers indiscriminately, or driving without
> a license, or walking around nude? As for the homeowners in our
> midst, I would doubt if they would be happy with a massage parlor
> opening next to their home, which I would wager they would perceive as
> depressing the value of their property.
> 4. I would be all for reopening bath houses as a civil liberties
> issue, so long as we repeal tax payer funded health care.
> 5. Finally, if I were to choose from the list Starchild provided, I
> would vote for:
> --Modifying local health code laws if they are prevent ing private
> parties from feeding the homeless. Private parties might include Food
> Not Bombs or restaurants that find themselves with surplus food. I
> would definitely add a responsibility clause to such an initiative;
> since I do not want irresponsible or malicious people poisoning the
> unwary with tainted food.
> Marcy



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