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Vagrant: Being Homeless is a ‘Piece of Cake’

National

Wendy says it's easy being homeless in Portland. | Image by kevinvdahlgren/Twitter.

A homeless woman in Portland recently claimed being a vagrant is a “piece of cake.”

Kevin Dahlgren, philanthropist and outreach worker, posted a video to Twitter on Saturday in which he interviewed a woman named Wendy, living on the streets of Portland.

Wendy said, “That’s probably why you’ve got so many out here — because they feed you three meals a day.”

“[You] don’t have to do sh*t but stay in your tent or party,” she continued. “If you smoke a lot of dope, you can do that.”

“You wake up, you go eat at Blanchet, you get high. You go eat at Blanchet for lunch, you get high. Go eat dinner, get high,” she continued. “That’s all you do all day long every day. I’m being honest.”

Blanchet House is a nonprofit in Portland that offers “free food and meals for everyone.” Wendy agreed this enablement helps no one.

“That’s why you see all the tents,” she said. “People are up all night, [and] sleep all day.”

In a follow-up tweet, Dahlgren revealed that Wendy is a trained hairdresser who wants to get back to work but recently had her dentures stolen from her tent.

“I went and got my teeth about six months ago, and then someone stole them,” she said. “I was living outside, and somebody took them. They do that here, I don’t know why.”

“I can’t go get new ones because I just got the first ones paid for, so I don’t know what I’m gonna do,” she continued. “I have no teeth. I can’t go to work without teeth.”

Dahlgren said Wendy agreed that “the lawlessness and the enablement is [sic] not working.” He said she “misses the police” because the streets were safer when they enforced the law.

Portland is one of the worst in the nation when it comes to homelessness and vagrancy. As Dallas continues to struggle with the plagues of homelessness and vagrancy, the crisis could escalate to the levels seen by cities like Portland and Los Angeles if not properly addressed.

Michael Hanes, director of meal services at The Stewpot, told The Dallas Express that the organization offers food to the homeless in an effort to supply them with some of what they need to get off the streets and back to a normal life.

“Street feeding — people who feed on the streets — that does keep people homeless,” he said. “So what we do over at the shelter and here at The Stewpot is — we feed three meals a day 365 [days a year]. So, that’s bringing people in to get services, and getting the services will help get them off the street and into housing.”

The Stewpot partners with The Bridge to provide these services to those willing to accept help.

“By coming in [and] getting the services, you can get on the list to get housing,” he continued. “So by feeding people on the street, you’re keeping people from going into the shelters to get those services.”

He told The Dallas Express that those services include not only housing but also ID services and that many organizations in Dallas even offer job training.

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

Giving to people directly on the street — much like pursuing “Housing First” solutions — does not help solve homelessness; rather, these approaches ignore untreated mental illnesses and enable addicts to continue using drugs.

The Dallas Express has previously reported that “Housing First” solutions to homelessness are “doomed to failure” because they “begin with an inadequate diagnosis of the causes,” according to data published last year by the Center on Wealth and Poverty at the Discovery Institute.

Polling shows that Dallas residents are seriously concerned about homelessness and vagrancy, and the need for the City to respond effectively is made more urgent as some businesses in developing areas must use private security to protect themselves from violent vagrants while other businesses have been pushed out of those areas entirely.

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William McBreen
William McBreen
28 days ago

This is what happens when cities go blue. Dallas is on its way down.

J S
J S
28 days ago

This article is just great. This lady just encouraged the public belief that all homeless people are just lazy dope addicts. The sad truth is that’s complete BS. I’m homeless I don’t use drugs. I’d love to get proper help for mental illness get a job and be able.to keep a job again. But I can’t get that especially in DFW. And the city says use our city services. The services are a total joke and don’t do a damned thing. Besides physical.disabilites.Several BTW cause by the carelessness of the drivers in DFW which was a leading factor of me becoming homeless I have a debilitating mental illness I suffer from. TX for those that don’t know and likely don’t care completely fails across the board and nation in mental health care. Yet they’re going to offer me.the help.i need. They haven’t in the last10nyears why would they now?! They denied me so many different services and ways I needed help yet they claim all I need to do is ask. What an effing crock! I might be crazy but I’m not stupid. Yet here the politicians are once again treating me and others as such. And the public eats it up and believes im.part of the problem not themselves or the government that continues to fail.the vast majority and encourages the problems at hand!

Wrath
Wrath
Reply to  J S
28 days ago

And we send billions to the Ukraine, post yellow and blue stickers, “feel good” about it…and abandon our own citizens. Russia and the Ukraine are the nation versions of the Bloods and the Crips. Whoever wins in a turf war is not our problem. Both are corrupt…so are the politicians who support them. Unfortunately, the homeless, the mentality ill, are also pawns that politicians use to manipulate “feelings” of the public whiles naming buildings after themselves and ignoring the real needs of these “inconvenient” outcasts from society

Thomas
Thomas
Reply to  J S
28 days ago

Obviously it’s not “complete” BS, because there’s at least one person who admitted to exactly that. This is my big concern with homelessness – each person, whether homeless themselves or wanting something done about the problem, has their own individual take on the problem, and dismisses any solution that doesn’t meet their assumptions. Despite the number of Help Wanted signs in Dallas, there clearly are people who choose to live in a tent and panhandle.

It’s obvious to me that a one-stop-shop, like what San Antonio has done, is the best way to address homelessness, but as long as politicians can throw money at the problem without solving anything, that will be the default.

I have two homeless people living with me. One has done little to help himself and will shortly be leaving. I have offered help, but I will not enable helplessness. All I have accomplished is giving him a bed, food, and a bathroom. Another had his car totaled by his girlfriend, couldn’t get to work, them lost his job and his apartment. It seems to me that he is too concentrated on having his former job to look for alternative means of earning an income. He too will have to start helping himself more or leave.

I note that while you claim mental illness, you aren’t giving details. I am probably not the only one who believes that some claimed mental illness is self-diagnosed. Maybe your description of “crazy” just means you demand what you want and expect someone else to pay for it. That’s certainly what your claim above that the public and government are the problem, not you. Whatever your situation is, *I* had nothing at all to do with it, and trying to get me to take the blame truly is CRAZY.

Bill
Bill
Reply to  J S
28 days ago

Have you considered moving to Portland or any other place that you believe provides better mental health care? Post your contact information and I’ll buy you a bus ticket out of here.

jeff
jeff
Reply to  J S
28 days ago

If true, you’re the exception not the rule

Why do you believe anyone owes you help or anything for that matter?

I’m all for helping people who are willing to help themselves but this is a luxury, not a right. Resources should be allocated judiciously to those that will work in concert with assistance provided in order to improve their lives.

The end goal should be to become a self sustaining, productive member of society that gives back and no longer takes so resources can be given to those that are truly unable to help themselves

Throwing money at the issue without requiring anything from the recipient is a fools errand imo

RiverKing
RiverKing
Reply to  J S
28 days ago

I’ve gotta ask: If you’re homeless (which I don’t doubt), how are you accessing the dallasexpress.com website?

Kellie Stafford
Kellie Stafford
28 days ago

This it 100% true. My adult children moved to Portland, OR for work. When I visit them I am always astounded at the sheer numbers of people living outside everywhere!! In the parks, along sidewalks, alleys, etc. etc.

Bill
Bill
28 days ago

The late great Sam Kinison made two comments about homeless people that stuck with me. The first is that homeless people just need to F someone that has a house. The second is that it should be legal to shoot the homeless because it might encourage them to make something of themselves.

jeff
jeff
28 days ago

Duh!

sue r.
sue r.
28 days ago

You have mentioned several times in your continuing articles on homelessness that “housing first” approaches don’t seem to work. Can you give us some articles on what approaches DO seem to work, and how we can determine that things work or don’t work? If we can show what works, that gives us ideas to push our council critters to look at and implement. Better than just saying “that don’t work” .

Anna
Anna
28 days ago

I fear that Dallas will become like Portland as it is run by liberals!! Look at every other blue city and you won’t find a thriving city among them!!