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More Homeless Hate from Marcos Breton

There was a long spell a handful of years ago when Marcos Breton said something so fully ridiculous in one of his hateful screeds against homeless folk that it appeared to be very apparent he had been taken off the Homeless Beat by his superiors. Unhappily, after a few months, Breton was again writing disparaging columns about homeless folk

In today's Bee [3/5/17], Breton has written one of his longest columns. Online, it is titled "The price downtown Sacramento is paying for Mayor Steinberg’s homeless crusade
Read more here:
It goes on for days. The message, essentially, is this: Homeless people poop; they're getting a great deal of what they want from the overmuch-helpful mayor; and business people proximate to Chavez Park are made miserable by the forever-disgusting homeless that are there in great number.

O.K. Let's get into all this a bit. Except in Breton's mind, homeless people are not an amorphous mob seeking to make other people miserable.

Homeless people go to Chavez Park for the purpose of being somewhere. Many homeless shelters put people out in the middle of the day. And since most homeless people have little in the way of money, spending time on a park bench serves as something to do. Besides, often compassionate people hand out bag lunches to homeless people in Chavez park -- as was the case today (3/5/17).

I would certainly guess that as soon as Mr. Delgado's restaurant nears completion, many moons from now, homeless folk in the park will be tossed out ... to Mr. Breton's considerable glee. The park, currently, is a mess due to slow-going construction of the restaurant. In the daytime, I don't see that homeless people being around should be any bother to anyone at the messed-up park. And if there are people sleeping outside in the park at night, and are tidy enough, I don't see why that is a bother.

Mr. Breton is spectacularly ignorant of the trials and difficulties of being homeless. Yes, things are in a state of change in Homeless World, as contrasted to my homeless period beginning in April, 2008, through ... hmmm ... I'm not exactly sure when. Four years later, I'd guess. Nowadays, there is considerable "movement" to get homeless folk housing such that they can launch a real, honest-to-god life. I have minor complaints about what Mayor Steinberg is doing, but for the most part, I find it is damn nice that guys I know are landing in housing and getting a better existence.

A big complaint Mr. Breton has is feces. His opening paragraph to his Sunday column -- titled in hardcopy "Homeless plan proves painful for businesses" -- is this:
Good intentions can come at a cost, such as having to smell urine or see human feces on a daily basis.
I think, to sooth Marcos's easily jangled feelings, I may send him a copy of Everybody Poops, a book usually read to children in advance of them entering Elementary School.

If homeless people are not in a shelter -- which can occur for many reasons, a primary one being that there is a paucity of beds for everyone who wants one -- then homeless people often have no alternative other than sleeping outside. Other homeless folk, because they smoke or have other habits they cannot partake of inside a shelter, are more comfortable being outdoors at night. THIS IS TO THE GOOD. There is a deficit of space in shelters and some people have a great need to be in one. Many people cannot comfortably sleep outside.

My point is simple. The circumstances of how homeless people deal with their predicament is not a raging hate of business people -- except in the case of a very few, perhaps, and I don't know who they might be.

As for poop. Mr. Breton, I would guess that you DO see poop on a daily basis. You see it after you stand up and look down at the toilet bowl to see what has amassed there. You check to see if there are any irregularities in your feces. Was your bowel movement loose? Is there some red color that might perhaps indicate that there is blood in your stool?

Get a grip, Mr. Breton. Stop being such a child. The homeless folk in Sacramento are not Jews and, despite your effort to make us believe otherwise, you are not a strangely-delicate Nazi concentration-camp director.

Homelessness is not a devious device to make you upset. It is a predicament that people find themselves in; struggle with; and -- for the most part -- do the best they can to get by. People get stuck in Homeless World for years and years and it saps a person of a major part of his or her joy.

I can tell you, Mr. Breton, that I very, very much want business people to not have to deal with the messes that some homeless people make.

In your column, you present some dubious statistics such that you seem to claim that the addition of shelter space just results in homeless people breeding more heavily and ADDING discomfort to business people downtown.

As people with knowledge on the subject of counting homeless people know, counting homeless folk in the county, or in a piece of the county, is difficult. I mean nothing disparaging when I say that "counting homeless people is like trying to count stray cats." Homeless people do a lot of moving around -- generally, they HAVE TO. This means that getting any kind of accurate count is damned impossible. The stats you provide in your column are almost-certainly the result of a poorly conceived effort to do a quick count of homeless folk downtown.  In any case, your contention that the creation of a new shelter INCEASES the number of homeless people on the street is absurd. You and Dion Dwyer are either ridiculous or wholly inept. Neither of you knows squat about statistics.

I think that we can all hope that things will get better, by-and-by, as homeless people get into better situations and no longer need to suffer mightily on cold, rainy nights where they have to make do as best they can. And we can rightly hope that business people will have an easier time in the not-too-distant future doing what they do to provide us all with goods and services.

Homeless people (with a few exceptions, perhaps) have no animus toward business people.  Cool down, everybody; what seems to some like a war taking place, isn't really happening.


Mario Galvan said…
Well said, Tom!
In a society that creates poverty for many, as a byproduct of producing wealth for a few, it is ironic to see those living in comfort being upset by the "byproducts" of those who are themselves the byproducts of our wealth-worshiping capitalist society.
Thanks, Mario. I like your point. We are byproducts; sometimes I pinch myself and don't feel anything.

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