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Local Vagrant Prefers Being Homeless

City

Dallas vagrant being interviewed about homelessness | Image by Keep Dallas Safe/Facebook

A local vagrant was recently recorded saying that he would rather remain homeless in Dallas than find housing.

The video was captured by Jake Colglazier, executive director of Keep Dallas Safe. Colglazier catalogs and live streams illegal homeless encampments throughout Dallas every week, and this video was taken from one of those live streams.

When exploring a homeless encampment in Deep Ellum underneath I-45 / US-75 on December 28, Colglazier interviewed a local vagrant who said he would rather remain homeless.

“I’ve been homeless here a long time,” he said. Colglazier asked the vagrant if he wanted the City to assist him in finding housing, to which he replied, “No, I’m alright.”

Recapping the encounter, Colglazier emphasized that he had not asked the man if he would rather get a job and pay rent.

“I said, ‘Would you rather live here or would you rather let the government give you somewhere to live?'” Colglazier described. “And he says ‘No, I’m good. I’m okay here.'”

Colglazier told The Dallas Express that he has encountered many vagrants who would seemingly rather stay homeless than accept help from city services and nonprofits, adding that he believes the city government should “make it more difficult for those people to remain on the streets.”

“It sounds a little bit too simple based on what the city council will say … but all you have to do is make it more difficult for those people to stay on the streets, and the city council pretends like that’s very difficult,” he said, explaining that council members will cite a lack of resources and a need to provide stable housing before anything can be done.

“There are already laws on the books that prohibit these things, so it’s a simple matter of enforcing the law,” Colglazier continued. “This guy has set up a permanent camp in a public space in the City of Dallas. This is illegal. The police can be sent to go talk to him.”

“If he doesn’t vacate and start utilizing one of the many programs the City has for him, whether it a work program or a shelter … then [the police] can fine him and come back and arrest him if he doesn’t leave,” he told The Dallas Express.

While some may consider it harsh to arrest homeless people for living on the street, Colglazier explained that “if you put somebody like that in jail, he’s gonna have a chance to sober up, and maybe you can get him to a counselor, and figure out what he needs to do to get back on his feet.”

The City of Dallas similarly discourages residents from giving money directly to panhandlers as it enables them to remain on the streets, and suggests those who want to help direct their support to city services.

Colglazier said that the City’s current approach to homelessness and vagrancy is “not helping anybody.” He explained, from his perspective, the City enables vagrants with drug addictions while taking away resources from “the people who are just having a tough time in life and need a little help.”

“Given the number of vagrants out there who don’t want any of this help, these people are taking resources from people who might actually need it,” he said. “By enabling these people, the City is basically hurting the wilfully homeless vagrants as well as the people who could actually use the resources.”

However, the City’s approach to homelessness may not be so cut-and-dry.

Christine Crossley, director of the City’s Office of Homeless Solutions, shared her office’s approach to combatting homelessness with The Dallas Express, emphasizing her belief in the importance of providing housing to those who are living on the street.

“Housing is health,” Crossley asserted. “I don’t think it’s any secret that you have a drastically shorter lifespan when you are outside, and asking someone to deal with that trauma and try to get on their feet while they are still outside and being re-traumatized every day is a very high bar.”

Data published last year by the Center on Wealth and Poverty at the Discovery Institute indicates that “housing first” solutions are not likely to solve homelessness, however. These approaches ignore untreated mental illnesses and drug abuse and are thus “doomed to failure” because they “begin with an inadequate diagnosis of the causes.”

Crossley noted that housing should not be provided in isolation but should be tied with supportive services.

“If you are someone who needs a lot more support, then we’re talking about permanent supportive housing, and that has various degrees of case management on site,” she said, adding that mental health support is often provided onsite and transportation is guaranteed for those who need offsite services.

Crossley told The Dallas Express there are “absolutely” job training and employment opportunities available as well.

“That is part of the services offered,” she said, “so if you are someone who wants to get on a path to employment, that’s always encouraged.”

We welcome and appreciate comments on The Dallas Express as part of a healthy dialogue. We do ask that you be kind. Kind to each other and to everyone else in your comments. For more information, please refer to our Complete Comment Moderation Policy.

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Jay Cole
Jay Cole
13 days ago

Anyone who thinks “government help” is better than being homeless has never experienced “government help”. Imagine being locked inside a windowless gymnasium with hundreds of unwashed smelly people, many with serious mental illnesses, while a security guard with a billy club tells you when you can go to the bathroom. It’s essentially jail. The only time that’s appealing is when the temperature outside is dangerously cold.

Yo mama
Yo mama
Reply to  Jay Cole
13 days ago

Don’t be homeless then 🤣🤪

John Gault
John Gault
13 days ago

This begs the question of what the Biden administration is doing with the freshly minted homeless population having just arrived from Mexico.
Free room and board forever? And now their complaining about the food they get for free.
Nothing that is ever given away without some sort of responsibility for paying for it is ever fully appreciated. This applies to shelter, food or citizenship.
If Dallas residents aren’t careful they will end up with a giant homeless industrial complex that grows ever larger, demanding more funding that will do less and less to solve the problem.
Enforcing the laws that are already in place is a great first step. If they refuse help then jail should be the place for them. While they are there they can soberly ponder their future and make a rational decision if they are mentally capable to do so. If not then other types of services are needed.
The folks that truly what help will take it. At least this process will filter the situation so that it will have some semblance of progress.

Stephanie
Stephanie
13 days ago

There’s also a level of accountability that people who receive any type of help have to answer to. These people don’t want that. So, they choose to live on the street. And jail is a better option when the weather is poor (rain, cold, etc) but is this really who we want and need to facilitate in our city jails?

Michael
Michael
13 days ago

This guy represents 90% of the homeless people in Dallas, they did this 30yrs ago and got the same answer, leave me alone and homeless,why don’t they take that abandoned military facility and make it a homeless encampment.

Ani
Ani
13 days ago

Should they be placed in a concentration camp? If he were your Father, Son, etc., would you still label him as a vagrant?

Michael P Hammer
Michael P Hammer
Reply to  Ani
13 days ago

He’s homeless and doesn’t want a job or responsibility of taking care of a home. You can give him a room at your place so he can do heroin or meth.

Vagrant: a person without a settled home or regular work who wanders from place to place and lives by begging.

If the shoe fits…

Last edited 13 days ago by Michael P Hammer
Ani
Ani
13 days ago

Due to trauma from abuse, drug use, etc., there are lots of people experiencing life without the normal basics, who would prefer to live that way.

This is nothing new.

Just talk to anyone who works for your local library, and they can educate you about those who want the help, and those who could care less.

The best thing that we can do is to treat everyone with respect and dignity, and help those who want to do better, considering ourselves and those that we love.

V63
V63
13 days ago

Whatever homelessness means, it’s clearly not going away. “Government”, whatever that means or is doesn’t seem to have any viable solution, though. So what do we do about it? We would like to ignore it, but that only seems to worsen a growing problem. How would you address it if you were “in charge”? I’m asking for a friend…

Michael P Hammer
Michael P Hammer
Reply to  V63
13 days ago

What’s the solution for people who don’t want any responsibility and just want to get high?

Ricky Dee
Ricky Dee
13 days ago

There is an illegal Homeless Encampment on my Residential Street that has several kids that live on this block . 4200 Block of Maryland at Ann Arbor St .

T B
T B
Reply to  Ricky Dee
13 days ago

Report it to the City. I’ve had some success when I’ve reported the same or similar that was close to several restuarants.

Joyce Williams
Joyce Williams
13 days ago

Where’s this “government help” you speak.of? I’ve been homeless living on the streets off and on for nearly 6 years now. I’m now a senior, retired with disability benefits, have had bresst cancer twice, already been to the emergency room for pneumonia and they denied my food stamp renewal so I’ve been without since Oct and I feel their dragging their feet on the appeal and still no one has a place for me or is making an effort to help me. . Government help is a myth, all the charities are tapped and unless you came from another country, got 20 kids and your husband beat you forget it. I got a section. 8 voucher once but was denied for a pending aggravated assault case that never came to fruition. Now I’m on a wait list that is 36 plus months for a one bedroom. I’ll be dead by then. You should also be aware that to qualify for an apartment in most cases you need to havec3vtimes the income OK math please? That’s right $2,100 a month at $700 for rent. Who gets a check that big that’s not already on auto.pilot?
Look I worked all my life, paid my share for tollroads, a bus and train system a better Parkland and UT Southwestern and God only knows how else the city screwed me on my tax liability but now i can’t get back! Talk to me for an hour I’ll tell you whole truth and nothing but the truth!

Janet
Janet
Reply to  Joyce Williams
13 days ago

They would rather talk to someone who fits their narrative that every homeless person is like the guy being interviewed. Young, able bodied, capable of helping himself if he chose to. Don’t house them in a room full of smelly people, but put them in a jail full of smelly people, and they all of a sudden will see the error of their ways. If that was true, we wouldn’t have repeat offenders would we? God bless you, and I hope you eventually get the help you need.

Djea3
Djea3
13 days ago

This is all KNOWN fact about most of the homeless. The ones that WANT to be productive in society become so (usually the recently unemployed etc).
I recently met a professional HOBO who has been traveling the USA since he was 16 years old. He actually became a hero by saving some kids in a fire. He tells me his retirement from HOBOing will be writing of his adventures.

The real issue is that the GOVERNMENT is never the right organization to deal with this in any way except enforcement of laws. There is a difference between the government, a nebulous work of idiocy paid for by seizing money from the people for expansion of the government under guise of “helping”, and individuals through non-profits and churches supporting a self driven ideology through its own outreach program.

In the former, any help given is deemed by the recipient a “right” and there is NEVER anything expected or given back by the recipient, NOT EVER. In fact it leads to the expectation of MORE right and MORE money.

In the latter, individuals and Churches give without reserve, but the recipient KNOWS that it is NOT a right, and most of them learn to WANT to give back and become upright. They know that even though there is no direct expectation, they OWE something to those who give, even given without reserve.

The biggest issue is Drugs. In the end, there is no excuse for society to allow drug distributors to EVER be on the street again for any reason. Make Drug dealing a permanent sentence and therefore so expensive to the perpetrators that it is no longer an option. IN countries where it was a certain DEATH PENALTY there is very very little drug use at all.

His name raynard hudson walker
His name raynard hudson walker
13 days ago

Yes my son is homeless and some turn to drugs now he is in jail but my son is a good person he had a good job and this girl said he dit her house on fire but she told me that’s what they wanted her to day but when her house caught fire why did she go live with him started him on drugs till finally he lost his job and he lost all hope and the person he became I did not know him yes he need help not jail but he been in dallas county for 2months now yes they got him on meds now but what’s next someone jump him in jail and fraction his nose please am trying to get help for my son..

Ummm.....yea right!
Ummm.....yea right!
12 days ago

Heard this story too many times. They all say the same thing. I hate hearing the veterans say this, they deserve more help. All homeless people deserve help and it’s shameful many people look down on them.