Friday, July 15, 2016

The Homeless Problem

Chief Livingstone (center) Phillip O'Connell (right)

Last night's Public Forum On Homelessness attracted a standing room only crowd to the Town Room including two Town Managers and an Assistant Town Manager, two Public Safety Chiefs, department heads, Town Meeting members, social service workers, the clergy, and of course some of the homeless who call our streets home.

 Incoming Town Manager Paul Bockelman (blue shirt)

The final speaker -- homeless downtown poster boy Phillip O'Connell -- became borderline disruptive, criticizing the outreach efforts as all show and no substance.  He went so far as to compare the treatment of the homeless as being, "worse than a Jim Crow negro in the Jim Crow south."

Umm, exaggerate much?

But it did cause a stir among the crowd.  And reinforced the image of the homeless in Amherst as being disruptive.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Seems like those that have hpmes spend far more time disrupting other peoples' lives. A family with two kids in school disrupts by demanding over $40,000 annually from their neighbors.....and you call the homeless disruptive? I have never seen a homeless person beg or demand so much and both groups are really one, they are both in the group of people that cannot hack it on their own...the big difference is the homeless ask for, demand and disrupt far less.

Larry Kelley said...

Obviously you don't spend much time in town center (Anons seldom do).

Anonymous said...

What the homeless need is a life. But, they're to lazy to go out and get one.

Anonymous said...

8:17 AM
You're that special kind of stupid aren't you?

Anonymous said...

Was it a DRY or WET meeting?

Anonymous said...

Phillip is the typical progressive liberal asshole that is slowly ruining this country Not ALL liberals mind you, so don't get the underwear in a bunch. Just those who fit this special category. If they don't agree with you or your agenda they interupt, become disruptive and call you a racist/bigot/add your slur here.

Seems like he followed the playbook to a T

Anonymous said...

Why can't Philip live with Mary wentworth?

Anonymous said...

Phil aka "Football Phil" or the confrontational jerk that held up the "Bernie Sanders is a War Criminal" sign feeds on confrontation and attention. He's a perpetual 14 year old boy. He struts through town brandishing footballs or sticks and is a real pain in the ass. Why he was chosen to represent the homeless population begs the question of the planning skills or full situational comprehension of the A team that assembled this travesty of a meeting. Phil is free to roam and disrupt and I doubt housing would keep him down on the farm for long. The bigger question is mental health counseling and treatment. People are in shock and make bad choices and there but for the grace of God go all of us. If you're locked in mortal combat with yourself and are blunting that war with drugs or alcohol or riding out the storm with props, a house won't solve much for long. So, that's the curious case of choosing Phil to speak for all of the homeless. Some are simply looking for that one break and are ready to really try. We need more caseworkers to address the complex problems and personalities.

Anonymous said...

I think the world should abide by the thoughts of the homeless! That will simplify things!

Anonymous said...

It is a sad day when such comments are made abpit those in need. It os obvious at thos point that the feel good libralism pushing policy I see locally is not about compassion, rather it is about getting piblic fumds for special interest groups, specifically middle class families.

Ignoring the homeless, while diverting endless funds to wealthy families and endless overseers is the definition of public works failure.....and folks are just fine with it, shame those that care, just Wow. It takes a community to systematically fleece a community, or at least folks npt paying attention.

But I get it, F the homeless and mentally ill, not our problem. Your lack of funds to raise your kids, everyones problem......and you still go on vaca.

Timothy Atteridge said...

Or, Vince O'Connor, or Mr. & Mrs. Greeney?

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:36 I can't understand what you are saying. You are rambling on but not making a3sense.

Dr. Ed said...

My solution: Amend the noise ordinance to include GIVING money to anyone. Arrest those who do -- let the homeless beg all they want, but arrest anyone who gives them anything. It's no worse than the noise ordinance, and if that's Constitutional, this would be.

Actually, it would be like arresting "Johns" to abate prostitution -- in both cases, if you eliminate the customers, you eliminate the incentive for the problematic people to be there.

Anonymous said...

Ed, as usual your suggestions are nutty. Maybe that's what passes for logic in Maine, where you live, but it's nuts here.

dr. ed said...

Panhandling is a form of prostitution, someone selling his/her/its dignity fr money.