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Put Them Away

I hate to be the bad guy, but it’s time start rounding up some of the city’s homeless people and politely, respectfully and humanely put them away into an institution.  Hey, someone’s gotta say it.

And I don’t say this lightly.  I say this because up until this week nearly three dozen people built a District Ninesque town under the Davidson street overpass just south of Washington Street.   It took numerous complaints to finally get them out of there, but the bigger issue though is homelessness.

Let’s be honest, the research has shown that a good chunk of the homeless are individuals with mental or addiction issues.  And while this was before my time, many people tell me the homeless problem got out of control when former Governor Evan Bayh closed Central State Hospital.    Maybe it’s time to recreate Central State.

Before you call me an uncaring, inhumane elitist, think about this.  What’s a more cruel position,  allow someone to live under a bridge where he or she is a danger to themselves and others or put them in a place where they can get the treatment and attention they need?

There is nothing cruel about putting people who can’t take care of themselves in a place where they be looked after.    It’s more cruel to turn them out on the street which is only going to cause grief and problems for them and society as a whole.

And ponder this, a roof over your head, three square meals a day and a straitjacket is better than living on the street in 20 degree weather.

  • varangianguard

    And who is going to pay for this?

  • joneaster

    If the Final Four, Big Ten Tourney, and various other events were not coming into town, would this even be an issue?

  • Indy4U2C

    Abdul is right!

    Leftist Evan Bayh closed a clean, safe home called Central State Hospital for these mentally ill people and tossed them on the street, using a left-wing extremist philosophy that they should be “free.”

    Free, Evan? They cannot function, work, or take care of themselves. Yet Evan Bayh put them on the street like trash! He threw them out of a clean, safe environment, where they could achieve their potential.

    Now, they live in filth, commit crimes against us, spread social disease & virus, use illegal drugs, don't take their medication, and are a threat to humanity!

    This is what happens when you let liberals have power; they abuse it, hoping that these mentally ill will somehow make it to a polling place next election….

  • IndyRacer57

    I once read a story but I do not remember where it was at. They took the homeless, the ones who wanted shelter, and put them into an old apartment building. They did not clean up after them nor did they restrict them from drinking or during drugs. There was a llot of medical runs to these apartment. Many past away from drinking and taking drugs. People today think they can tell these people what to do and where to live, but they can't. If you are addicted to alcohol and drugs until you want the help that is offered it will do no good at all. We have had homeless people for ages and this is not going to change until those people want to change their lives. I have a family member right now that is dying from being addicted to alcohol. He is 47 years old and already looks as if he was seventy.

  • ibviral

    In Seattle the sloved the problem by giving the homeless free bus passes so they would not be on the streets. Now no one will take the bus because the homeless are living on them.

    As much as it pains me to agree with the brain trust of Abdul, I do on this point. But many of these people choose to live this way, are you going to take away their freedom of choice?

    Im sure that our new CCC member will solve the problem. According to Tom John, he has all of the answers.

  • agman

    Watch out Abdul you are having liberal thoughts. The problems is that what you say is true and what the other posters say is also true. From family experience will say that there is no easy answer in that some will chose the “homeless” situation no matter what else is available. Unless we are willing to endorse a policy of “for your own good” we are going to lock you away there is no “solution” to this situation. Again, family situation where person has several addictions and even though the invitation is there to be at home with regular food, clean place to sleep, safe, etc. the choice is to live wondering around –and in fact at this moment do not know where they are while their two small children are being cared for by someone else. If convicted of all the crimes committed that I am aware of could mean over 20 years in prison. Rehab–several times and several thousand dollars spent by public and by parents to absolutely no avail. Whether it starts out as a mental illness situation or due to drugs/alcohol it ends up a mental illness situation. This is a mid thirties female.

  • IndyErnie

    I think we should put them all on a bus and deliver them to Evan Byah's front door.

  • varangianguard

    Wait, I have it. Abdul has been a panhandler, so doesn't that kind of make him “related” to the Davidson Street Bridge community?

    Well then, to make for a real show of solidarity, Adbul can invite his newly-extended family over to his condo for an semi-permanent stay out in the common areas. He can hang out a key for restroom privileges and have a weekly pitch-in dinner for them. And, he can share a few martinis with his new-found family on the veranda almost every evening.

    What say you to that?

  • http://blog.masson.us/ Doug

    <a href=”http://www.sociology.org/content/vol003.004/thomas.html”Here is an interesting paper on Ronald Reagan and the Mentally Ill. I think the deal is that in the 70s, there was more federal funding of mental institutions. And, it was more acceptable to involuntarily commit someone who was mentally ill but who wasn't, strictly speaking, a danger to himself or others. A push to move mental health policy down to the states coincided with an effort to limit involuntary commitments.

    I think there was some notion that people treated at big institutions would receive treatment from more community based organizations. But, funding for community based treatment didn't materialize at the required levels.

    To the extent the feds pushed funding duties down to the state, I'll bet Gov. Bayh wasn't too interested in having Indiana pick up the financial burden. And, if you can't involuntarily commit people who don't want to go anyway, you get crazy people on the streets.

    Just my sense of how things went down. It's not a scholarly opinion by any means.

  • Think Again

    Nobody is madder at Evan for shutting Central State than me. But let's not re-invent history: it was a hell-hole. The fix would not have made it through the legislature, and Evan knew it. The number I recall is north of $50 million for CS alone. Then there was Muscatatuk, which was worse, and even more expensive…and so on, and so on.

    If I had been in charge, I'd have pushed the fix as hard as possible, made the legislature vote on the fix, and laid the blame squarely on the shoulders of Pat Bauer, Bob Garton, and the legislative elite. Because that's where it belonged.

    As it was, Gov. Bayh made the tough call, took all the grief, and worse-yet: had no viable backup plan in place. For that, he should be very, very sorry.

    And Doug hit the ball out of the park. This all began with Ronaldus Maximus. He cut mental health funding in huge swaths…it was GOP-vogue to do so at the time. The crap flowed downhill, and states picked up some fo the spillover for a few years…then it just got overwhelming.

    Good 'ole Reagan. But damn, we had some mighty helpful tax cuts, didn't we?

  • http://twitter.com/IndyStudent Matthew Stone

    I don't even know what a veranda is.

  • Taxpayer 834512

    The same magic bucket of money that allows off-shore tax breaks, chasing bad guys in Afghanistan, illegal immigrant benefits, and expanded health care.

    Haven't you heard? If it's the government doing it, it doesn't cost us anything!

    Qualifier: If this is a net savings versus what we're paying for whatever emergency medical and crime we have from people living under bridges- I'm with you.

  • Rico

    Talk about re-writing history. It is the libs who, for the last fifty years, have torn down the family unit, leading to more poverty, abuse and addiction–the three leading causes of homelessness. How many of those under Davisdon Street bridge came from loving, intact families? I would wager very few.

    I think it was Jack Kemp who said(paraphrased), “Compassion shouldn't be defined by how many among us receive government assistance, but by how few require it.”

  • wilson46201

    One of Ronald Reagans grandsons (the child of the rightwing radio commentator) has been in all sorts of criminal trouble with the law. How about them apples, Rico?

  • Think Again

    Well, to some degree, the great Society may be responsible for the breakdown of the family unit, Rico. So you may be at least partly correct.

    As for re-writing history vis-a-vis the Reagan administration's funding for mental health, I was being kind. The actual history is a lot more cruel. My family had a cousin in a facility at the time, in New York State. It was a very unpleasant time for the entire family. He was secure and safe inside a group facility; then the funding went away, with 30-day notice. He was a Viet Nam vet, alas…the VA's funding was cut under Reagan, too. He died of exposure the next winter in Binghampton, NY. Safe and sound to dead in 11 months.

    I don't know how many of the downtown folks come from loving families. It would be interesting to know. I'd like to know many facts from that group, if someone had the time to ask them, and to decipher the answers, and write them down.

    Whether Jack Kemp said that or not, I know George Wallace did, as well. It is a very pithy quote. I like it a lot.

  • jackthelad

    Matthew Stone,

    A veranda is a patio with fewer than three rusted major appliances and, a view of fewer than thirteen hound dogs.

    Yes, it was started by Reagan, proffered by Bayh and completed by Frank “Floyd the Barber” O’Bannon. But, you have a really nice Urban Warfare Training Facility at Muscatatuck, now.

  • wilson46201

    …and now Muscatatuck is funded with Federal tax dollars. Where are those anguished screams to “cut government spending” now?

  • Think Again

    We never stand so tall as when we stoop to help someone less-fortunate.

    Mental health treatment has gotten short-shrift in this nation for 30 years. Chickens are coming home to roost. I don't know the number of these 'homeless” who are also mentally ill.

    If it's one, it's too many.

  • Rico

    And your heroine Julia Carson's grandson tortures homosexuals? Your point? Is Michael Reagan's son homeless? Wasn't that the point of the argument? Try to keep up!

  • pascal

    As if “government” is the only solution to any problem. Any number of studies have shown that liberals contribute next to nothing to charity (see Obama tax returns, Gore tax returns, any and all studies of the matter). Charities would have a lot more money if “government” wasn't controlled by looters, pick pockets, and robbing hoods.

  • Think Again

    Normally I'd agree with your assertion, Pascal, even though it's full of holes and broad-brushes.

    But think about this: when someone's health is concerned, especially mental health, there must be a safety net for coverage and treatment.

    Your brash approach to solving this problem does not take into account that some of society's problems demand more-immediate solutions. Recent history is awash in examples of those problems ignored.

    Problems ignored, on this level, are usually problems amplified.

    Don't believe me? Try getting a badly-infected foot, on an uninisured Hoosier, treated via your suggested method–charity. Good luck with that. Call me when the gangrene sets in. On the other hand, if I'm uninsured and need an elective procedure, I could wait for a charitable medical organization to see me as soon as they could, whenever that is.

    For some issues, government is the best stop-gap. It is always there. It is dependable. And please don't make broad-brush comments about conservative-vs-liberal ideas regarding government.

  • Mary Ann Williamson

    If the health care plan passes, couldn't we just give these folks a pill? I mean if cost is the issue and ones contribution to the great society has been used up, elimination seems logical.

  • wilson46201

    Only a conservative or libertarian would even conceive such a solution. Disgusting! But Ayn Rand would love it!

  • wilson46201

    It must grieve pascal's tiny hard heart to hear that Catholic Charities receive so much funding from the federal, state and local governments. Center Township Trustee writes regular monthly checks to Catholic homeless shelters…

  • Think Again

    I'm just assuming that's not your real name, Mary Ann. No one would be stupid enough to post such a ridiculous argument and sign their real name to it.

  • Hector

    You are correct. The homeless living on the street are directly linked to Evan Bayh. You know the one who quits when things get tough. Central State should never hqve been closed and the problem grows worse by the day. For this, we can thank Evan Bayh.

    P.S. I don't know she was the first Latino on the city council but Karen Celestino Horseman served previously.

  • pascal

    Pascal has no problem with Center Township doing anything cost effective even though he must notice, that given their lack of talent, one is surprised to discover they hit upon a cost effective solution. IPS should be so smart and sub contract their task to Catholic Schools? As to knee jerks demanding and only considering “duh government” as a solution to anything and everything that is why folks who hold those views are considered jerks.

  • ibviral

    How about we send them all up to Carmel and they can live in David Brooks back yard

  • pascal

    http://insidecatholic.com/Joomla/index.php?opti… Wilson, here is how the Democrat Party snuffs out future problems. While Planned Parenthood seems to be mostly rich Republicans I see where Mike Pence called for ending Title 10 monies for Planned Parenthood-the nation's largest provider of baby killing. Abortion, you may recall Jesse Jackson stating, is just genocide…..but liberal democrats are all about genocide, aren't they? Catholic charities is a safe place for any race.

  • Think Again

    Pascal, PP is also the nations' largest provider of birth control pills, condoms and sex education. Just a thought.

    And abortion is still legal under certain circumstances.

    Viral, I fell off my chair laughing…does Brooks really live in Carmel?

  • Dobie

    This was very interesting to read. Abdul posts something that I feel is rather contraversial. Within 2 hours the posts on who to blame started. Apparently it is far more important to determine if we should blame Republicans (Reagan) or Democrats (Bayh) than to actually discuss an important issue. I read more suggestions on whose backyard or condo the homeless could live in then actual responses to Abdul's post. Don't people ever get tired of playing the blame game? How about realizing that it really doesn't matter if Reagan or Bayh or the Easter Bunny caused the issue – it's here now and it needs to be dealt with.

    Abdul makes a very interesting point – it may be “kinder” to lock someone up than allow them to live on the streets. But we don't have the right to do it. We don't have the right to take the cigarette away from the chronic smoker with lung disease or the jelly donut from the diabetic – even if it would be “for their own good”. As the cliche goes – the path to hell is paved with good intentions. And the path to Big Brother is paved the same way.

    Unfortunately that means that there isn't any easy answer to the issue of the people that are homeless because of their choices. You can only help people that want to be helped. After all, just because I don't think I have the right to lock someone away for living their life in a way that I think is a complete waste of human potential doesn't mean that I believe people have the right to simple decide to live wherever they wish – with no regard to who may actually own the property. My sympathies are with the business owners that lose money because potential customers don't want to walk past a makeshift homeless village on the way to their establishments, or with people that feel threatened by homeless men begging for money. And, though this may sound cold, I don't want to work and pay taxes to support people that want to spend their lives drinking and doing drugs. I don't mind paying taxes to give people a helping hand – but I definitely object to working so that others don't have to.

  • IndyAries

    Jeezzz…folks! The Framers & Ratifiers of the Indiana Constitution were not stupid. The answer is contained within its hallowed pages…

    “The counties may provide farms, as an asylum for those persons who, by reason of age, infirmity, or other misfortune, have claims upon the sympathies and aid of society.” — Article 9 Section 3

    Under this program, the “Overseer of the Poor” (now the Trustee) ensured that people who could work…WORKED. If there was no work on the Country Farm, then their labor was 'farmed out' (sold) for a period of time to offset the cost of their room and board.

    None of this laying around, having more illegitimate kids to get more money, or laying around, filling out false forms for Unemployment Insurance, etc.

    If you could work, you worked. Others were taken care of, and we didn't need the federal government involved in our State's business.

    And for Abdul — who likens Article 9 Section 3 to slavery….the following is from the same 1851 Indiana Constitution:

    “There shall be neither slavery, nor involuntary servitude, within the State, otherwise than for the punishment of crimes, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted. No indenture of any Negro or Mulatto, made and executed out of the bounds of the State, shall be valid within the State.” — Original language, Article 1 Section 37, Indiana Constitution

  • Rico

    Hey, liberals think it's okay to kill the most innocent among us with a pill. Don't they, Wilson? Why is killing those who place an undue burden on society less 'disgusting'?

    Rest assured, costs will be of paramount importance if national healthcare passes. It's not so far-fetched to believe that government officials will seek to cut costs by reducing the number of those requiring care, especially those whose contributions(in their eyes) are minimal, like the elderly and the mentally-ill.

  • wilson46201

    Rico, you certainly are “projecting” your thought processes here about costs and the elderly. Chilling! Conservatives know the price of everything but the value of nothing…

  • KarenK

    With the closing of Central State and other state institutions, the cost of maintaining these folks has been shifted from the state to the counties and cities. They cost the criminal justice system (police, jails and courts), local hospitals and other service agencies as much as they ever cost the state of Indiana. The burden has just been shifted. The thing is, as someone else said, at least when they were institutionalized, they were supervised and in a warm/cool environment, with food in their bellies and a roof over their heads.

    The Star did a story on this very issue a couple of years ago.

  • wilson46201

    The original impetus in the 1800's for state-run mental institutions came from County Sheriffs to get the mentally-disturbed inmates out of “their” county jails.

  • Rico

    We know the value of life, Witless! Since you're asking everyone else to pay for your healthcare, maybe you should listen to Obama and the Dems about the true costs of this massive government overhaul. Oh, I forgot, they don't know. What they do know is who will be the greatest burden, in terms of costs, to the national heathcare system? Answer: the terminally-ill and the elderly.

    When you need government assistance for whatever frightening disease you've contracted from diving in dumpsters, big goverment will look for ways to minimize the costs of keeping you alive. Even Barry stated that perhaps pain medicine would be better in such a situation than costly treatment. The most 'chilling' thing about this whole debate is that so many profoundly-ignorant Americans are willing to give their government the authority to make life and death decisions usually reserved for their families.

    The libs have done a great job of perpetuating a culture of helpless dependence among our citizenry. You should be proud!

  • pascal

    “”The counties may provide farms, as an asylum for those persons who, by reason of age, infirmity, or other misfortune, have claims upon the sympathies and aid of society.” — Article 9 Section 3

    Under this program, the “Overseer of the Poor” (now the Trustee) ensured that people who could work…WORKED. If there was no work on the Country Farm, then their labor was 'farmed out' (sold) for a period of time to offset the cost of their room and board.

    None of this laying around, having more illegitimate kids to get more money, or laying around, filling out false forms for Unemployment Insurance, etc.”
    I'm thinking that was 1851-was that in the 1800's? Not saying wilson's history is bogus but it sure appears to be. In Indiana, back in the day, the Know Nothings were popular, Blaine Amendments were the order of the day, the KKK /Masons did all sorts of weird stuff to damage the American Way. Really ought to erase their monuments.
    Could begin by recognizing that education is but a consumer good-the provision of which is of benefit to the State and to it's citizens. The method of delivery of those goods should be altered from the methods chosen in the past. Private schools really don't have to compete very hard against government schools and the latter are incapable of innovation, reform, or effectiveness. Live life more abundantly…and think of the quality results that would occur by turning education back to innovative and competitive private sector providers. Good by to monopoly tyrants, hello Amazon.com like service and results.

  • pascal

    Massively improve schools? http://theblogprof.blogspot.com/2010/03/detroit… Or, continue with ISTA and terribly expensive failures. Should be an easy choice.

  • IndyAries

    Is it better to pay the mortgage or rent for these “do nothings”, pay their utilities, groceries, etc, when they are perfectly able to work?

    Bring back the County Farms !!!!

    It's the Constitutional thing to do.

  • abdulfan

    Why do you hate single parents so much? Some of us are single, not because we want to be, but because the person we were with, loved and had a child with decided they would rather be with someone else. That's not entirely our fault. However, I put myself through the last two years of college raising a five year old who has been on high honors all through PRIVATE school, while working TWO jobs (that I still have) and I haven't managed to take one single DIME of anyone else's money. I can't find a job now that hours have been cut both places I work and I graduated with a degree from an accredited college with a 3.98 GPA and high honors myself! I do homework with my child, I talk to the teachers, I go to all the games, send her to art class and theatre classes to help her be able to speak publicly and express herself in presentations, we volunteer so she will know that even though we have next to nothing, there are people worse off than we are. I have done everything right. You tell me how that makes me less of a parent than if we had a two parent household where neither of us got along and where at least one of us didn't want to be. Before you shoot off how broken society is because of single mothers, maybe you should stop stereotyping us all in one sweeping generality and blaming us for all of the ills of society. Sure, there are bad apples out there but most of us want to raise our children with dignity, respect for themselves and others and try to do the right things.

  • pascal

    Abdul's solution is pure Darwinism-surprising for one who could have been presumed to have read The Descent of Man critically, as they say. When he repairs this flaw he will have a different opinion and will no longer support Sanger's projects.

  • pascal

    Abdul's solution is pure Darwinism-surprising for one who could have been presumed to have read The Descent of Man critically, as they say. When he repairs this flaw he will have a different opinion and will no longer support Sanger's projects.

  • malercous

    Abdul; if someone is a danger to themself or others they can be institutionized. That is the current law, or are you not up on the law? But it's nice to see a republican who is in favor of a “nanny-state.” Just kidding. You're no more of a republican than I am the second emporer of Scotland.