by Bob Boclear
Hello, everyone. First of all, I would like to say I hope you had a happy holiday season.
Some people say the Homeless Grapevine is too negative, but what they fail to realize is that this paper is reality. We show how bad it is being homeless, how to help, and how good it is to help people out of poverty. For instance, Mayor White and others are fighting so hard to keep the Cleveland Browns in town, what's the problem with them fighting hard like that to help the homeless get back on their feet. I mean, he got the Sin tax extension passed and if they still move, what going to become of that money?
I don't have anything against sports and I am a sports fan, but it just seems that all the effort that they are using to keep this football team, what about this same effort on helping the homeless. We need assistance finding jobs and housing. Mayor White needs to make the homeless a priority. I think that things would change with the mayor's help.
Why not take all the abandon buildings in this city, and put some electricity in them and let the homeless take it from there. I mean, the homeless would have a place to work and also have a place to come to when they get off work instead of having to wander around until it's time to enter a shelter. They could buy food, eat whenever, watch a little TV, and on the weekends, or their days off, they could just stay home or whatever. You know what I mean?
There are so many buildings that are abandoned. People don't realize how important it is to have shelter. The start to setting your life in order is just having a room to relax, and a place to lay your head. All my money is spent walking around trying to survive. Eventually with a room, people can move up to a stable job. A starting point for the city is to open up the abandoned buildings. A lot of the homeless have skills and they could fix them up. They just need the opportunity.
Down the road, the tenants could pay for the occupancy or pay some portion of the electricity, for example electric $50-60 a month. At least this way the building would be used by the people, and people would be getting back into society.
If everyone was working on the homeless situation productivity would increase, and we could make big changes. People lose hope when they have to walk around and it's 5 degrees outside and everyone ignores you. If you are able to find a shelter that is not full, they wake you up at 5 a.m. and kick you out on the street. Where are the homeless suppose to go at 5:30 in the morning? No one should have to sleep outside in 5 degree weather.
If things don't change just to survive more criminal activity is going to happen. Homeless people aren't going to take it anymore. There is a lot of depression and anger out there. I see criminal activity increasing since the welfare [General Assistance] cuts.
The punishment for crimes committed by poor people is also more severe than the upper class white collar criminals. They get a slap on the wrist. The poor get the maximum sentence allowed by law. I call it unfair justice.
There are so many prominent figures that have done wrong and are treated lightly. I say money talks and poor people walk--right into prison.
People ignore crimes committed against the homeless. The homeless panhandler that stabbed someone in the Flats was a big story in the news. Another incident in which a homeless man was killed in the Flats was not ever talked about. There was no big media story and no one cared when a homeless guy was killed.
Well, as always I'm looking for work if you have something you would like done give me a call at 344-1580. Thank you very much and God bless you.
Editor's Note: Boclear's premonition of increased criminal activity to survive seems to be coming true. Over the holiday season, a homeless man was arrested for robbing over 30 houses of food and other necessities. He lived in the woods and would venture into people's houses at night and steal canned food and non-perishables. He was even known to have fixed himself a meal while in the victim's houses. He is being charged with following his natural instinct for survival.
Copyright NEOCH and the Homeless Grapevine published January – February 1996 Issue 13