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Can someone please explain?

Original post made by new guy on Apr 28, 2007

I have waited long enough, and now I finally want and explanation. Why are certain people allowed to set-up milk crates and sit all day in front of Draegers? Is this not loitering? Thanks in advance for your answers.

Comments (12)

Posted by Respsonsible Resident, a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Apr 29, 2007 at 10:47 am

New guy, you may want to do some homework on your own. A good place to start is Wikipedia. Look under "Homelessness."

Posted by John Nash, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 29, 2007 at 11:09 am

Dear New Guy,

It's nice that Responsible Resident points you to Wikipedia -- indeed you are touching on the topic of homelessness. I'm not certain a lecture (via Wikipedia) on the broad problems associated with the topic helps you understand the local context--so let me try to round out their post with some local sources for you.

I sense from your post that you'd also like to know a bit more about the situation *locally*, and perhaps what the City's stance is on plopping a milk crate down in front of Draeger's (or any other issue, for that matter).

The City of Menlo Park has a service on their website called "Direct Connect." Visit Web Link and you will see the link on the left side of the page under the "Public Involvement" heading. You may post anything related to City issues, be it a comment, question, complaint or praise, and the matter will be directed to the correct person for a a reply.

You may also like to get to know some of the people that have been out in front of Draegers. See this Almanac article for a profile of David Wormley: Web Link


Posted by Mr. Ecko, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 30, 2007 at 10:45 am

It sure is loitering. There's no way around it. It should be stopped.

Posted by new guy, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 30, 2007 at 12:07 pm

Yes, thank you, kind people. I know what homelessness is. I also understand that homelessness is everywhere. What I am asking is why loitering/panhandling is allowed in front of Draegers? (maybe there is some sort of "zone" that loitering/panhandling is allowed in).

While it would be nice to "get to know" more people, I assure you that I have little time for this, nor do I feel the need to start a relationship with someone who is in my knowledge engaging in illegal activity. (it is still illegal even if is is not enforced.)

Like I said, I just really want to understand why the situation exists, and knowing is half the battle.

Posted by John Nash, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 30, 2007 at 1:57 pm

New Guy, I understand--and hope you'll post back here what you learn after posting your question to the City via Direct Connect. Yes, the homelessness issue is tough and complex to unpack--and like you, I've wondered at times what the "rules" are in our town. I hope you'll let us know what you learn.

Posted by Straight Talk, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 1, 2007 at 9:25 am

Homelessness is a euphemism for substance abuse and mental illness in most of the chronic cases that I have seen. In either case treatment or intervention is required. Tacit neglect would appear to be a poor alternative.

Posted by Daniel Powter, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 1, 2007 at 2:49 pm

I have just as much interest in speaking to loiterers as I do balding Porsche owners. (while completely true, I wrote this as a joke to lighten the mood)

The topic at hand is this: Is loitering and/or panhandling illegal? If so, why is it not being enforced?

Let's not get off topic here. Talking to the government directly, as one poster suggested above, is a great idea. I am curious and am eager to find out. Have a great day everyone!

Posted by new guy, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 2, 2007 at 8:45 am

My comment to the city is now logged. I will report what is responded once the city responds.

Posted by new guy, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 9, 2007 at 1:38 pm

Alright, I tried to get a response. Here is all that has occured so far.

Responses from the City of Menlo Park
Date From Text
11:52 Carson, Pat Case reassigned to Police Personnel who have knowledge of the laws in regards to loitering.

So I guess no one knows or wants to do anything about anything.

Posted by new goy, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 12, 2007 at 8:06 pm

Ok, now I understand. The response is posted below. Now, who do I have to talk with to discuss panhandling legislation.

"My name is Sgt. Matthew Ortega with the Menlo Park Police Department. I am writing this e-mail in response to your question regarding loitering and panhandling in front of Draeger's Market. It is not illegal to sit and ask for money on public or private property. If the subject was confrontational, then it is a crime. If the subject is on private property then the owner of the property must ask him to leave before we can intervene. If the subject is on public property (sidewalk), as long as they are not blocking the sidewalk it is not illegal to sit down. The City of Menlo Park does not have a panhandling municipal code making it illegal to panhandle at this time."

Posted by Rancs Culzus, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 14, 2007 at 9:01 am

I cannot stand the homeless.....they have no dignity or pride.

Posted by Good Christian, a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on May 14, 2007 at 10:09 am

...Or homes or money. Of all the nerve! How dare they insult us with their existence?

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