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Ross and Nichol in Hickory

May 1, 2012

From Richard Gould at the Hickory Daily Record:

For many Hickory residents, getting ready for bed includes blowing out a candle and zipping up the tent. There are dozens of homeless camps in the Hickory area, said Roger Cornett of Open Door Baptist Church.

On Tuesday, a Hickory homeless camp was the final stop when the Truth and Hope Tour of Poverty in North Carolina came to town…

“We recognize that charity without social change will not solve poverty,” Barber said. “We cannot ignore the other North Carolina – we cannot ignore the 1.6 million people that live in poverty – the same number as in the 1960s. There’s something deeply wrong with 1.6 million people living in property.”


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21 Comments leave one →
  1. May 1, 2012 10:31 pm

    Someone should be looking at the homeless camps in Miami and Portland for examples of how to get things done. Our local homeless advocates don’t like to admit it but the Federal Courts have already ruled that area homeless have the legal right to inhabit any public property at any time shelters are not available for 100% of the homeless population. This is something local governments prefer the homeless not know.

    Myself and many others made our local homeless agencies aware of this in 2007. Myself, my then employer and others offered to make tools and building materials available. A leader from the Miami homeless population did a presentation at the downtown Greensboro Public Library and the ACLU offered to have lawyers present to prevent wrongful arrests but our local homeless advocates poo-pooed the idea and worked to maintain the status quo.

    Thus, this conversation a few days ago. Five years ago, “Greensboro’s leaders” promised to end homelessness in 10 years– since that time the local homeless population has doubled. And that’s only the ones they know about.

  2. May 2, 2012 2:03 pm

    I am wary and weary of the “justice” folks who use homeless people as political pawns. Anybody can hold a sign or stage a protest or get an article in the paper. But are they helping people, or just helping their own cause?

    Billy, five years ago, Guilford County embarked on a Ten Year Plan to End CHRONIC Homelessness, not all homelessness. Homelessness has not doubled. Chronic homelessness has not doubled. Where are you getting your numbers? They’re wrong. The number of chronically homeless individuals has dropped by about half, and we’re halfway through the ten years, with the economy having fallen apart just as the Plan got underway. Here are the stats:

    The homeless camps in Miami and Portland are NOT examples of how to get things done. You must not have been following along with what’s going on in either place. Misinformation is provocative, but not helpful.

    I absolutely agree with this statement from Barber: “We recognize that charity without social change will not solve poverty.” Unfortunately, social change seems to be tied almost completely to politics on every side. But I never give up hope. Onward and upward!

    • May 2, 2012 3:36 pm

      :”Unfortunately, social change seems to be tied almost completely to politics on every side.”

      It’s reality and it’s always been that way. What you do is good but it will never solve the problem. Christianity has spent the last 2000 years proving me right.

  3. May 2, 2012 8:22 pm

    “What you do is good but it will never solve the problem.” Billy, I’m curious, what is it, exactly, that you think I do? And what are you doing to solve the problem?

    • May 2, 2012 9:28 pm

      I hear crickets.

      • May 2, 2012 10:41 pm

        That’s OK. I don’t like arguing, anyway. And I know better than to poke the stick in his cage in the first place. ;)

    • May 3, 2012 5:42 pm

      CM, You’re a hard working homeless advocate who provides aid to the homeless. That is what I think you do and it is a worthy cause. I do volunteer work with the poor and homeless as well, I’ve done so for several years. I just don’t talk about it nor do I want to be recognized for it. Sadly, what I do, like what you do, is treating the symptoms and not the disease. As for what I’m doing to solve the problem: I offered to help but you and others refused my help.

      Fec, you know where you can put your crickets and it’s not on a fishing hook. Remember: I can always take the mufflers off my motorcycle and blast by your house at 3AM.

  4. May 2, 2012 10:43 pm

    OK, but you missed an excellent opp to mock his motorcycle posts.

  5. May 3, 2012 5:47 pm

    Fec, This is an example of what I tried to get Michelle and others to do. They chose not to go this route.

  6. May 3, 2012 6:17 pm

    And finally, from the National Coalition for the Homeless, proof that my plan can and does work. No need to argue, the facts are there for the reading.

  7. May 3, 2012 7:32 pm

    “Sadly, what I do, like what you do, is treating the symptoms and not the disease.”

    Which means that you don’t know what I do. It’s the root issues that are my primary focus. It may be time for you to buy me a cup of coffee so that you can learn what it is I (and our outreach team) actually do.

    Re: The NCH Tent City info

    We have a working tent city model here in Greensboro. It’s been in existence for many years and our StreetWatch team is very involved with its residents on an almost daily basis. We work with GPD and the City of Greensboro, as well as other outreach teams and organizations in assisting the tent city’s residents.

    “As for what I’m doing to solve the problem: I offered to help but you and others refused my help.”

    Billy, the suggestions I’ve heard from you have tended toward politicizing the homeless and using them as pawns to force political leaders to follow your agenda. That’s not a solution.

    • May 3, 2012 8:19 pm

      But you miss the point. Because Greensboro’s tent cities are mostly hidden from public view the public is more than happy to ignore local homeless issues. That is, except when it comes to downtown benches in which case our leaders wish we would ignore them even more.

      Root causes are great but root causes aren’t roofs. By my very nature I’m a builder so I offered to help build. But if building isn’t what you want then I’ll let you do what you want. All I know is, all of Greensboro’s homeless could have been under roofs if people had let me build. As for how they ended up homeless in the first place– you’re the one with the roots, bury them and see if they grow.

      As far as “politicizing the homeless” goes, it is a political problem and will only be solved by political means. As for my agenda– I offered to help and was refused. If that’s an agenda then have at it.

      And finally, as for having a cup of coffee, you’ve ignored my e-mails for years, get Fec to buy you a cup of coffee.

      • May 3, 2012 10:40 pm

        Billy, this is exactly why your comments are in moderation. Michele has apparently tired of you histrionics as have I.

      • May 3, 2012 10:51 pm

        You appear to be describing yourself.

      • May 3, 2012 10:53 pm

        “But you miss the point. Because Greensboro’s tent cities are mostly hidden from public view…”

        Oh, Billy. Who’s really missing the point? Homeless camps are hidden from public view because homeless people don’t want to live and sleep in public!! Homeless people intentionally look for areas to camp where they’ll have privacy. Would YOU want to live on the lawn at City Hall, as you’ve suggested homeless people should? Only political protesters do that! You strip away the dignity of homeless people by suggesting that they should set up camps in public places and be displayed like animals in a zoo! In my 11 years of doing homeless ministry, I’ve never met anyone who wanted to live on “public view.” Nonsense!

  8. May 3, 2012 10:52 pm

    And with that sir, you are gone.

    • May 3, 2012 11:01 pm

      This will make for an interesting discussion at the tent city tomorrow. ;)

      • May 3, 2012 11:17 pm

        Billy has a single motivator: Billy.

  9. May 4, 2012 1:05 pm

    I think ignoring the rapid growth of people living in poverty and passing budgets that slice into what is left of the safety net at the same time are highly political acts.

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