One gets the impression the wise elders of Philly…

see no essential difference between people and pigeons. “Feeding programs”. It’s the sort of language we use for rats and cattle.

I wonder how we’ll feel about this “Vermin should be out of sight and out of mind” thinking if the economy collapses and we become the vermin.

  • http://gloriaromanorum.blogspot.com/ Florentius

    I don’t agree with the Philly city government on much, but I agree with them here. Sounds to me like the terminology “feeding program” is used by the folks giving out the food anyway, not the Philly city council. The homeless they are feeding are not starving. There are numerous shelter facilities throughout Philly where these folks can go. The reason so many gravitate toward the areas where the ban is in effect (the tourist areas) is because the pickings there are fat for pan-handling/petty street crime. I could tell you some of my experiences with the homeless in Philly. Let’s just say that very, very few of them are out there because they have no place else to go. They are out there because they want to be. It’s a drug-addled subculture–and a very dangerous one. Do you live in close proximity to that, Mark? I do. Come for a visit sometime and I’ll take you for a walking tour of Camden. If you survive, you can blog about it.

  • Ted Seeber

    The difference between the drug-addled subculture of homelessness and the drug-addled subculture of suburbia is codependent family members. There but for the grace of God go I.

  • Michelle

    Actually, I doubt that feeding pigeons falls under this ban. If that is the case, the pigeons are being treated better than people in the City of Brotherly Love.

  • Observer

    The question “do they choose to live that way?” isn’t an all-to-accurate inquiry. Rather, a question ought to go further and ask “can they choose not to be in the subculture of drugs and perpetual homelessness? (do they really choose it as a lifestyle? Or, are they really stuck and don’t have any where else to go?”) And thus, so begs the question, when feeding the homeless, are there out-reach services or other programs engaging those who are stuck into a situation where they don’t have sufficient means to get out? Meaning, are homeless people being assisted, engaged, or advised with being leveraged to the best of resources to quit an addiction or other reasons befalling upon them which they cannot do any better? Also, are they perfectly normal people who choose the particular lifestyle of being homeless (which still doesn’t mean you cannot give food to them)?

    No matter what, there’s no right by authority to say people – the general public – (especially if they pay the taxes on property, sales taxes, or as a result giving revenue to the city) are not allowed to feed the homeless out of their own pocket. Though, I’m sure people who have an ounce of common sense can figure it out, you must have regulations, laws, rules, and protocols on respectable use of public property (cleaning and hygene for instance. As well, disruptive or dangerous homeless people ought not be allowed to participate. Though, again, I’m sure people can manage to arrange for unique circumstances to feed the disruptive types as well without endangering anyone – it’s called common sense.)

  • David J. White

    When I lived in Philadelphia from the mid-80s to mid-90s — the time when the homeless population really exploded — on really cold nights the mayor sometimes ordered the police to take homeless people into custody if they wouldn’t go to a shelter willingless, because some of them wanted to stay out on the street even on sub-zero nights, even though they risked freezing to death.

    I remember reading in the Philadelphia Inquirer at the time that the city leaders of Philadelphia were at a loss to explain why the city’s homeless population had risen so dramatically, until they found out that other cities in eastern Pennsylvania were dealing with their own homeless population by giving them all a one-way bus ticket to Philadelphia.

    • http://stevenadunn.wordpress.com Steven Dunn

      Reminds me of friends from the Chicago suburbs who noticed their homeless population rising whenever the President or another international bigwig came to town: the city would bus them out to the ‘burbs with a one way ticket .


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