Re: Numbers Dropping?

Graeme Bacque (
Sun, 24 May 1998 16:14:07 -0400

At 03:00 PM 5/24/98 -0500, you wrote:
> Authorities roused 35 people from their beds and cardboard hovels in
> the sandy shadows of the Boardwalk's wooden planks, Police
> Detective Joe Latorre said.
> <<snip>>
> The number of people found living under the 4 1/2 mile-long
> Boardwalk, which runs along the busy beachfront casinos, shops and
> restaurants, was down from 56 a year ago.>>>
>  I live in Colorado Springs and have worked, in a variety of settings, with
>homeless people for over 20 years. I have recently noticed a slight but
>perceptable drop in the numbers of homeless people living on the streets
>numbers asking for food and clothing down at one charity outlet, fewer  folks
>at the soup kitchen and drop-in, and fewer men at our little Rescue Mission. 
>  Our one shelter (run by the American Red Cross) has really tightened up on
>who can stay and for how long; for all residents but especially single males.
>At this time last year, the census was around 200. Now there are about 100
>residents, mostly families. My impression is that our locally hot economy/low
>unemployment figures, plus the more restrictive Shelter policies had led
to my
>perception of this decline in street homeless numbers. Now this from Atlantic
>City...  Can anyone else add to this...?   Thanks,  Matt Parkhouse, RN

Have you considered the possibility that this apparent drop in numbers of
visible homeless persons might be resulting from increasing harrassment and
persecution by officials which is gradually forcing people underground, or
away from their traditional haunts? For example, in New York City homeless
people are being systematically swept from the streets and either forced
out of the state or being warehoused utilizing draconian 'quality of life'
statutes. The remand centre on Riker's Island in NY now has an inmate
population of 17,000 making it the largest penal facility on earth - any
questions as to how this population got so huge? Certainly visible
homelessness has all but vanished from NY - but this doesn't necessarily
indicate a drop in the actual numbers of homeless people.
APA - No Way!! Toronto, June 3, 1998