This post is inspired by the following article that I saw on Fox 4's website.
"Councilwoman Hunt Decries 'Bums' in Downtown Park" link
o_O *confused face*
I'm not linking to the tweets or pics, as they can be easily found.
As a nearby resident, I don't have much of a problem with the homeless people in Main Street Garden. I've never been hit up for money at the park. I'm there every week, and walk by at all times of the day and night. I don't feel threatened, although I can see how the situation can be frustrating to some.
Maybe my heart bleeds for people in dire straits, but anybody that is brave enough to sit in a park when it's 100 degrees outside doesn't bother me one bit. The new panhandling zone is working; I can't remember the last time I was hit up for change.
I made a decision to live downtown. It's not a bleached over Disneyworld. It's not like most neighborhoods. I realize I might be a strange bird, as I sleep better where there's noise (cars, buses, people yelling "Go Mavs") than I would at a countryside B&B. But here's the thing: no matter how many units of PSH (Permanent Supportive Housing) you build, there will be homeless people downtown. They aren't evil. There's one guy that always calls me by some random famous name every time I see him; last time I was Drake (sir, no). He's harmless.
But while we're on the subject of stepping up "enforcement...." A friend of mine said that the "park smells like pee." It's not the people, it's the dogs. How about we address the problem with dog crap everywhere in the park, and people that let their dogs urinate all over the place? Such enforcement would likely be more productive than this. It seems as if many pet owners seem to enjoy letting their dogs use the entire park as a toilet and don't pick up. Main Street Garden has a built-in dog run. There are doggie bag stations, and they often go unused. There are many dog owners in my family, and their dogs are curbed; I suggest downtown residents do the same.
The frustration can get the best of anyone. And be clear, I'm not saying that nothing should be done. I'm all for enforcing what's on the books. There are ordinances against sleeping and drinking in public parks (although the Lily Pad Cafe sells alcohol so I'm not sure how we enforce the latter).
For example: when I go for my 2-3 mile walks, I sometimes carry a bookbag. If I go for a walk or run and then sit down in the park with my bag and sweat it out for a while, am I different than a homeless person doing the same? That's the dilemma. Maybe our courtesy patrol can talk to the people that seem to be camping out and get them help if needed.
It's our park. It's everyone's park.