Can someone please explain? Menlo Park, posted by new guy, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2007 at 11:46 am
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.
Posted by John Nash, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, 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 new guy, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, 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 the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, 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 the Menlo Park: Belle Haven neighborhood, 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 new goy, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, 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."