moving along the homeless

Catalina Rhodes (
Tue, 16 Mar 1999 22:40:19 -0500

Imagine if you could, you are doing street outreach and you are in the
midts of training your new employee.  When out of blue walks up to you a
policemen, "move along now people, either in TA or hang elsewhere". 
Well, I should tell you that TA stands for Traveler's Aid, the homeless
services place in our city. So, not wanting to offend the law, we move
to the corner across from where the shelter bus picks up to bring the
guests to the shelter.  To my dismay, there standing alongside thier
bikes are two policeman. Again, "move along" they told us, "go wait for
the bus across the street". At this point, I am beyond frustration and
my dandruff starts to get up.  I mumbled some incoherent words under my
breath and moved on toward the shelter bus pick up spot.  Well, we
handed out applications for the program to folks waiting for the bus and
gave out some referrals to folks new in town. We proceeded to walk back
toward TA. "Come on you people, I already told you to move along", I
really wanted to just sit there and not move, but I reluctantly moved

So, this was my street outreach last Friday.  I spent more time being
frustrated by the police and having to move on then concentrating on
what I was there for!  Of course it never occured to me that they think
I might be one of them or you people. I am sooooo disgruntled.

Is anyone else experienceing this kind of sweep the homeless away
attitude?  If so what can be done to combat it? Any suggestions that I
can use and forward on to the outreach person?  Should we have to
identify who we are and what we are to the police so they do not think
we are one of those people? (I will never do this eep, why should I?
Maybe I am one of them!!)

Angry as a hornet,