Sharon Boyd, Editor/Publisher

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Bums vs. Taxpayers

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Mary Lou Montes Zijderveld
White Rock Tent City
Rad Field
Jorge Torres, Jr.
Gary Turner
James Waghorne


02/02/04  City Hall Takes from Taxpayers to Give to Street Bums

You can just imagine the state of agitation in Northwest Dallas since last Thursday when we heard the Mayor tell a bunch of street bums that we very well may have a tent city of addicts, criminals and mentals plopped down near Grwyler Park, Bachman Lake Park and our  neighborhoods.     James Northrup:
ood news - City Hall is finally doing something about street people.
   Bad news - the HS building has a higher and better use in a location that could be redeveloped. 
   Street people congregate wherever they are fed.  So, pick an old industrial site away from downtown, parks and neighborhoods, and they will find it.
Boy, with our gang problems, drug dealers, over-crowded apartment houses, etc., this is just what we need -- hundreds of derelicts roaming our streets and harassing our community businesses and residents.

We have numerous crime watch groups, the Bachman/Northwest Highway Community Association and other groups that meet monthly and quarterly -- I mean there are a lot of meetings going on in NW Dallas.  None of our groups were invited to the "community" meeting the Mayor had with a couple of hundred street people.

NW Dallas has problems with too many after-hour drinking joints, tons of non-complying businesses posing as restaurants but selling a lot more booze than food, rundown and over-populated apartment complexes.  Now, City Hall wants us to have 900 street bums for neighbors.

I understand the Harry Hines location (the abandoned Health South Hospital complex) is not where the Mayor wants to put the new Homeless Spa, but it is very likely where the taxpayers will get to accommodate the street bums. 
    Mary Lou Montes Zijderveld:
  Having a homeless shelter in the old Health South building on Harry Hines
affects everyone who lives or owns a business in the NW/Bachman area. 
   By accident, we
learned there will be a meeting at City Hall in the City Council Chambers this Tuesday evening.
   NW/Bachman has over 10,000 apartments.  It also has a large number of public and private schools. 
   What will this do to our children having hundreds of homeless people roaming our streets? 
  NW/Bachman has suffered enough, as our high crime rate shows.
With downtown being revitalized, the Mayor does not want the street people there.  It looks like the shelter is on a FAST track to be placed at the Harry Hines location - near several poor Hispanic neighborhoods. 
   They would be affected the most, because all those people would roam our streets.  That is all they know how to do. 
    It will be voted on 2/25/04 by the City Council.  Each of us needs to get involved because we who live in the affected area are not being told what ambitious politicians at City Hall are trying to do to our neighborhoods. 

You know why?  Because we don't have anyone looking out for our interests at City Hall.  Neither do you!

If we must provide a day spa for vagrants and addicts, the best location would be the Decker Jail.  We will get back to why we shouldn't even do this at all, but let's look at the Harry Hines site.    
Great post!!
Where are the tax-exempt religious organizations whose stated goal is to take care of these street people?
Aside from molesting little boys and protecting the guilty, I don't see the religious folks in the newspaper!  WWJD???

Editor's Comment:  I think Jesus would put the mentals in a safe place where they are cared for and can't hurt themselves or others.


This is a view looking west on to I-35/Stemmons.  The building is just one of several non-attached structures on the site.  Notice the lack of fencing to keep the premises secure.
This building faces toward Harry Hines.
Pretty fancy digs for 900+ people who contribute nothing to our tax revenue or our community. 
Looking Southeast onto DART Maintenance Facility and  Dry Gulch Recycling Center.  Can you imagine the impact of hordes of panhandlers swarming on responsible people just trying to recycle?
Cross Harry Hines on Shorecrest, and a couple of blocks later you are at Bachman Lake, where we just spent a million or so of taxpayer monies dredging the lake.  Guess where the street bums are going to be hanging when they break the rules and get expelled from their Day Spa?

That's the real kicker here.  Why are we doing this at all?  Why are we responsible for building a day spa for street bums?  Who made this a "priority" for Dallas taxpayers?

This is right up there with those stupid string thing bridges.  A bunch of liberal do-gooders have control of our city coffers, and they are not only wasting our money but neglecting our basic necessities.

Here's an exchange I had with a Homeless Advocate after the news broke about the Harry Hines site and the tent city:

Waghorne Hello Ms. Boyd,
   My name is James Waghorne. I am formerly homeless. Currently I serve on the Board of Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance and am President of the Dallas Homeless Neighborhood Association.
   In the past I know we have disagreed on homeless issues, but I think this is one we can agree on. Many council members and downtown business owners (Hershel Weisfield) wish to relocate the homeless population from downtown to NW Dallas.
   The proposed site on Harry Hines will bring 900+ chronic homeless individuals into your area. Along with them, the drug dealers and other non-desirable people.
    The tent city the Mayor speaks of will result in homeless people from NW Hwy to LBJ and Harry Hines east to Central.  I lived with these people and know their habits.
   There is a public meeting at City Hall Tuesday evening from 7pm to 9pm.
James K. Waghorne
Dallas Homeless Neighborhood Association  President
Boyd Thank you for getting in touch.  I will forward your e-mail to several NW Dallas community leaders to see if we can get to that meeting.  None of us were advised about it.
Waghorne Good.  Hope to see you there.
   I am a homeless Advocate, but I am also a community advocate.  This site would do harm to both  homeless and the area.
   The main mode of transportation for the homeless will become Bus Rt 428 in NW Dallas along with 44 and 486 in North Dallas.
Boyd Mr. Waghorne --
   I don't want those horrible people near the neighborhood around Grwyler.  This is near neighborhoods of moderate to low-income Hispanic families -- most of whom own their homes.
   I don't want those horrible people near Downtown either.
   I am all for reopening mental institutions for those who are not equipped to care for themselves.  However, I will never concede that street bums have a claim to any street or public park space or anything else in this city.  They made some really bad life choices, and it is not my responsibility to fix things for them or to accommodate them.
   Society can only exist if people are willing to follow the rules a community sets for itself.  I will never concede that we must accept the anarchy the street bums have inflicted on themselves and Downtown.
   Call me heartless -- but my compassion and concern and energy will always go to law-abiding people who are willing to do the right thing -- even when it's the hard thing.
   The families who live near Grwyler Park struggle every day to keep a roof over their heads and feed their families.  They are where
I want public money to go -- not to the street bums.

I have been informed the city intends to allow a tent city regardless of where the shelter is located "
for people who won't go inside".  I'm sorry?  Who gives these deadbeats a choice? 

Earth to City Hall!  -- These are drug addicts and drunks and thieves and vandals and polluters.  Who gives them the right to even use our streets or parks or public spaces, much less just concede park land to their illegal activities?  The street bums don't contribute a penny toward the care of our city, but they cost us millions in the devastation they have inflicted on Downtown.

We have those do-gooders who pass out food to the street bums Downtown -- treating the street bums like they are human pigeons.  Of course, that might be a step up from what the street bums have done to themselves.  The do-gooders could care less about the harm they do to decent people, so long as they can make themselves feel superior to us and the human pigeons they are feeding.

Dallas urges homeless feeders to focus on one site; Volunteer groups asked to take meals to city facility, not parking lots
08:48 PM CST  Sat, 01/10/04
by KIM HORNER / The Dallas Morning News
    Twice a month, women from The Sisters' Hands cook chicken stew, black-eyed peas and other hearty dishes in their own kitchens and take it to people living on the streets. . . .  police have asked The Sisters' Hands and other volunteers not to offer meals in their usual spots, often downtown parking lots, because property owners have complained about trespassing, litter and other problems.
   Instead, the city has asked the street feeders to bring their meals to the city's Day Resource Center at 901 S. Ervay St., . . .   "We know there are 5,000 homeless people out there, and we know that one place isn't going to cut it," said the Rev. Kevin Olson . . .  True Jesus Church in Richardson to feed the homeless.  . . .  
. . .  The city considered banning street feeding to the homeless more than a decade ago but never adopted a measure, in part because of opposition. In May 2000, a downtown homeless committee began discussing a ban but backed off because it had been strongly opposed by religious groups in other cities.
City officials began enforcing street-feeding regulations in March 2002 that required providers to serve food at certain temperatures and conditions. But the city stopped enforcement after church groups and the homeless criticized the move as an effort to drive the homeless away.
. . . The city is working on an ordinance to address street feeders, but it won't be ready for months.
. . .   the city hopes to open a homeless assistance facility with a large kitchen and dining area where street feeders can serve their food. . . .

Wonder how those suburban do-gooders would like having someone show up on their front lawn - their private property - and pass out food in containers that get left behind by deadbeats someone else invited to the do-gooder's home?  That's what the suburban do-gooders do to Downtown business and property owners.  The suburban do-gooders encourage vagrants and addicts to congregate on someone else's property and leave litter and you can imagine what else -- after the do-gooders go back to their suburban churches and homes.

Who says there are "5,000 homeless people out there"?  There may be 500 to 1000 -- but 5,000? 

Help me here -- Dallas business owners are pleading with City Hall for help to control street bums littering, loitering and vandalizing on Downtown privately owned properties.  City Hall begs companies to relocate to Downtown, but they do little to keep the ones who are already there.  When Downtown property owners begged for help, City Hall looked into "
a ban but backed off because it had been strongly opposed by religious groups in other cities."  Why do religious groups in other cities have more influence at our City Hall than Dallas business owners who help pay the bills?

Then the city puts in place some rules, and then the "
city stopped enforcement after church groups and the homeless criticized the move as an effort to drive the homeless away".  Well, duh?  Driving street bums away sounds like a good idea to me.

I don't want to pay for a day spa for street bums.  We are not talking about providing a shelter for women with children.  There's no way a woman with children could expose them to what they would see a day spa for vagrants.   We do little or nothing for homeless women with children, but we spend millions feeding and tending to street bums and addicts.

If the do-gooders had true concern for the down and out, they would be demanding the state re-open the mental institutions.  We could afford to maintain several institutions outside several large cities around the state much more cheaply and humanely than we can regulate half-way houses.  They would also be fighting for facilities for women with children.  They won't do that. 

The do-gooders would rather handout food to bums lined up like trained pets.

Part of the reason the do-gooders from the suburbs come to Dallas to feed the street bums is to discourage them from looking for handouts in the suburbs.

I don't blame the Downtown guys for wanting the street bums moved out of their area.  I just don't want them moved to my area or your area.  I want the city to make the street bums disburse and follow the rules.

We cannot live in a city where some people have to follow city laws and regulations and others get a pass.  For that matter, why do only taxpayers have to follow the laws? 

If street bums and street feeders get to confiscate other people's property, then I want to stake a claim on some prime properties that don't belong to me.

If street bums and street feeders get to litter and pollute our public spaces and park land, then I want to throw litter out my car and dump bulk trash on streets outside my neighborhood.

Of course, I'm kidding.  We are nothing without property rights and community standards.  I don't want to live in a polluted and littered city, but unfortunately I do.

We cannot keep our medians or our parks green, but we can spend millions on a day spa for street bums who trash our public places and harass.  We can even furnish street bums free transportation from Downtown to wherever we finally put their planned day spa.  Does the city furnish you free transportation to and from your job?

There is a community meeting on this issue Tuesday night at 7 pm in the Council Chambers at City Hall.  We weren't invited to the meeting last week where the street bums had the ear of the Mayor and Councilwoman Finkelman.  Everyone at City Hall knows who we are in Northwest Dallas, and no one thought to include us in the meeting or set up a community meeting with us.

It's time the Mayor start dancing with the "ones who brung her".  Dallas taxpayers should take precedence over street bums. 

If we set up a day spa for vagrants, we are only inviting street bums from all over to head for the good life in Dallas.






  Ward politics is the Devil's key to the soul of the city council.  It is how some council members got themselves in trouble in the past.  It is the bait that will get others in trouble in the future. 4/6/8