Are Homeless People Human?

by on March 30, 2011 · 51 comments

in Homelessness, Popular

My homeless friend, Larry, was upset as recounted his recent experience: “The other day I went to McDonald’s, bought a coffee and went outside to sit, drink my coffee and have a cigarette. But, they wouldn’t let me. ‘Move-along,’ they said, ‘you can’t stay here.’ All I wanted to do was sit and have my coffee and a cigarette. And I had bought their coffee!”

What could I say to Larry? I have heard this before – presumably housed people treating a homeless person differently than they would a housed person. For example, when we housed people buy items at a fast food restaurant, we expect to be able to sit in the restaurant or on its patio and enjoy our food. It goes without saying. It’s what we expect and it’s what we get.

What are we talking about here? Fears. Fear of people we don’t know. We’ve been taught since childhood not to talk to strangers. But we’re adults now. We can introduce ourselves to anyone and thereby meet a neighbor and potential friend.

Fear of economic loss by having homeless people on the premises is a true concern for any business. Everyone needs a home. But, until everyone has a home, we will have homeless people among us. What is a business to do?

I wonder if when a business accepts the patronage of a homeless person, whether that business has any responsibility to the homeless person. My homeless friend, Jimmy, was involved in a situation lately that gave me pause to think about this.

For over ten years, Jimmy and his wheelchair bound wife, Ellen, were homeless. When Ellen died nearly six years ago, Jimmy could not contain his grief and drank to try to literally drown his sorrows. Every day, Jimmy would visit his local 7-11 convenience store and buy his morning paper and breakfast beer. During the day, as his finances would allow, Jimmy made as many trips to buy beer to the same 7-11. Needless to say, Jimmy has been a consistent customer of his 7-11 for many years.

But his last trip to his 7-11 was different. As Jimmy tells it, when selecting his morning newspaper, he thought he had paid for it and put it in his bag. Jimmy was still in the store when the owner of the 7-11 approached Jimmy and told him that because he had tried to steal the newspaper, Jimmy was henceforth barred from shopping in his 7-11.

The day after this incident, Jimmy told me that he felt terrible about being barred from his 7-11.

Please know that I am not condoning theft by any means by any person, housed or unhoused. However, misunderstandings do arise.

So, I offered to speak to the owner of the 7-11 on Jimmy’s behalf. Jimmy said that he would apologize to the management for the incident.

Unfortunately, the owner of the 7-11 was not present when I went to there, so I left my phone number with the manager and asked that owner call me so we could discuss the incident. [Note: the owner never called me.]

I shared Jimmy’s feelings about the incident with the manager. She was not interested in anything I had to say on Jimmy’s behalf. She did tell me repeatedly and with feeling that “they” are always standing outside the store and that “once ‘they’ steal from us, ‘they’ can never come back.”

I said that there was only one person involved in this incident and it was Jimmy. The manager did not know Jimmy’s name, but said that she did know that he had been coming to the store for years. She said that since he had stolen from the 7-11 he was barred from shopping there in the future.

I said that I understood her position, but that Jimmy felt terrible about the incident and would like to come in and apologize to her. She said that she was not interested in his apology.

“Please,” I entreated, “allow Jimmy to come and apologize to you because it would be good for him to do so.”

“No, I’m just not interested,” she repeated.

This incident is an example of how some businesses regard homeless patrons as different from their housed patrons. I can use myself as an example. Every day for over two years, I have been walking several miles in the morning. On my way home from my exercise route, I always reward myself for my efforts by buying a cup of coffee in my local 7-11.

At my 7-11, the manager often greets me by name when I enter and the sales people are always friendly to me during my stay in their store. I am treated with respect and as an individual. I don’t feel like a “they.”

Could it be that homeless people, as was the case for Jimmy, are not seen as individuals? And if we don’t see homeless people as individuals, I’m left to wonder: Are homeless people human?

I look forward to your comments. Thank you.

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

annagrace March 30, 2011 at 12:41 pm

A quiet compelling observation Christine, that you flawlessly build toward only one possible conclusion- our shared humanity and our responsibility to acknowledge it in all ways, all of the time. Thank you.


Christine Schanes March 30, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Hi, Annagrace,

Thank you for your comment.

I am very touched by your kind words, Annagrace. Thank you.

When I wrote this article, I was concerned about the title, “Are Homeless People Human?” sounding negative. But, I wanted to say the words that I believe some of us housed people may be thinking.

So, I am grateful to you for your careful reading and thoughts.

Please stay in touch,


Dickie March 30, 2011 at 12:42 pm

I almost always give a person asking on the street some change or a dollar . . . very occasionally more. I assume, without knowing, they are homeless. I think of it as a tax I am happy to pay, better than the ones dragged from me by the system which uses it for things, like wars, I can’t support. I like to assume the best of people. Christine, your empathy and compassion are inspiring.


Christine Schanes March 30, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Hi, Dickie,

Thank you for your comment.

I’m smiling about your kindnesses to people in need. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if corporations paid the “tax” that you mention to help homeless people? Thanks for sharing and demonstrating your great concept.

Please stay in touch,


Amy March 30, 2011 at 3:30 pm

I have been homeless. It’s a very different world. There were way too many times I felt less than everyone else because the way I was treated by not only people on the street who had homes and jobs but also by businesses. Not only when I was trying to buy food or other necessities of life with money I had earned by doing an odd job here or there but when trying to get a job to get myself off the homeless roster. It’s very disheartening. Very discouraging and leaves you feeling quite resentful at times.
Only way I was able to get a job was to get into a program that gave me a place to sleep and shower and an address to use.
Thing is, it is so very very easy to become homeless these days. And the GOP is in the process of making it even more frighteningly easier to become homeless.
I understand that people without homes are not less than. They are just like everyone else and deserve the same amount of respect. Rather than being shunned when trying to spend money someplace just trying to live. I do not go to places that treat homeless people without respect and dignity that every human deserves. And I hope I never go to the McDonalds of which you speak of. Or that 7-11.
I used to work for a 7-11 in OB and hope to the heavens that it is not that one.
I like your article very much. And until people understand that homeless people are just that, people, just like you and myself, this horrible stuff will keep going.
Thank you for your article.


Christine Schanes March 30, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Hi, Amy,

Thank you for your comment and kind words.

You very eloquently described the psychological impact that many people feel when they being homeless.

You say that you have been homeless. Would you share more with us? Are you now housed? And if so, how did you become housed?

Thanks, Amy. Please stay in touch,

P.S. The 7-11 involved in this article is NOT in OB.


Amy March 31, 2011 at 5:40 am


Yes, I am now housed.
I will keep the how to myself as it is very personal but, I was homeless from about 1995 to 1998. I stayed off the streets by finding various boats and other people like me who lived on boats to live with/on. These were not your typical boats you rent or buy. They were usually stripped inside and none of us had the money to stay in marinas so we would travel to the different anchorages of both SD Bay and Mission Bay each week. I tried to romanticize it all by calling myself a boat gypsy.

Going to grocery stores and fast food restaurants was a double edge. We needed stuff and had earned money doing odd jobs and people would look at us and treat us as non-class or third class. It was very hard. I wish the Hug Mobile had been around during this time. Even with some people being religious and homeless not all of us want to have to do the whole prayer group thing like we are a mission for them. People who do things like the Hug Mobile’s First Saturdays are so appreciated because the act more like they care about YOU and not just saving your soul. Just my opinion. That’s how I always felt.

I had to go through a special program for addiction and to relearn how to LIVE. I learned a lot of life skills people without addictions or mental health problems take for granted. I did this with the YWCA. It was a wonderful program that helps with getting you into job training and finding a job and a place to live while you stay there. I owe a LOT to them. They really did save my life.

From there I moved into a apartment with a roommate friend. Then eventually better jobs and apartments and met my husband and obviously, got married. I am now living in Georgia. Followed my son out here. And, when SD get more affordable for us, we will be moving back to SD.

There should really be more programs based around the model the YWCA used.

And I’m really glad to hear it wasn’t one of the 7-11’s in OB. That would make me sad. OB has always felt to me to be one of the friendliest communities, even when I didn’t have a home.


Christine Schanes March 31, 2011 at 11:07 am

Hi, Amy,

Thank you for sharing so much about yourself. Congratulations upon all of your successes! You are amazing.

I am unaware of Hugs Mobile’s First Saturdays, but I’ve interested in meeting them. Can you tell me about how to meet them?

Also, the YWCA’s programs sound phenomenal. Can you share a bit more about what programs were so helpful? I’d like to find out more.

Amy, thanks for all you’ve done for yourself and for others. Your story is an inspiration.



Amy March 31, 2011 at 4:32 pm

The Hug Mobile is run by someone I grew up with. His name is John Halcyon Styn. Both the Hug Mobile and John have pages on facebook. He also does a web show called Hug Nation. A man with a big beautiful heart. I am so honored to know him. He also does the First Saturdays out of the Hug Mobile.
Definitely something to look into. I believe there is an article somewhere on this site about John and First Saturdays. May be a video to go with it. I think you can also find John on MySpace(I’m not on that site anymore so I don’t know) I would highly recommend seeking him out on facebook though. Such a loving person with a brilliant soul and giving heart.

The program at the YWCA was called Passages. I don’t know if they still do it or not. It was in Down Town SD over by the Jack in the Box by the trolly station. If they still do run that program, I highly recommend it to all women who were in my position. They also have a wonderful battered women’s program too.


Christine Schanes March 31, 2011 at 7:21 pm


Thank you so much for sharing this information with me and countless others. I will definitely look into both the Hug Mobile and the YWCA Passages. They both sound like great resources.

Please stay in touch,


Shane Finneran April 1, 2011 at 7:37 pm

You can read about First Saturdays right here in the OB Rag – Brenda McFarlane wrote about volunteering with the group:


Christine Schanes April 2, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Hi, Shane,

Thank you for the information. Brenda McFarlane’s article is a great read. And First Saturday is obviously a wonderful experience. Thanks for pointing this out.

Question: is First Saturday the same as the Hug Mobile?



Amy April 2, 2011 at 4:54 pm

John Styn owns and runs the Hug Mobile and is at least part founder of First Saturdays. He is the hug man. lol

I honestly and highly recommend finding him on either MySpace or Facebook to find out more about him. He really is a beautiful person inside and out.


Christine Schanes April 5, 2011 at 10:28 am

Thanks, Amy, will do.

Please stay in touch,

Daniel Kaishian March 30, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Jesus fed the hungry, so they could listen to his life-giving message with a clear head. I see groups out on The Beach doing the same, which is great! They also have packs with toothbrushes, toothpaste, toiletries and such… little clean creature comfort things we take for granted, and intended to quietly dignify. But they need food for the spirit as well, and when Jesus realized that the crowds only wanted more food, he withdrew. The bible says, “If a man does not want to work, neither let him eat…” –sounds harsh, but it’s a truism that carries a lot of weight in our society. Too many people are actually not dignified by our handouts, “rice Christians” might never learn to stand on their two feet. The best gift you can give is opportunities to improve, via work programs or individual opportunities. this is principled love and it’s the equivalent to “teaching a man to fish”, with no one accusing you of being a bleeding heart. My work with addicts confirms all this…
Sadly, some just see them as a nuisance and dignifying them in any way is not a priority. Hopefully, their mistrust is not founded on reality… but such desperation can drive someone to do things they wouldn’t otherwise. we don’t live in an ideal world, to say the least.


Christine Schanes March 30, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Hi, Daniel,

Thanks for your comment.

Can you share something about your work with addicts?

Please stay in touch,


Mike March 30, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Great article.
Once I got to know certain people who were “the homeless” , knowing their names, and their stories, they became real people — personalized, like Jimmy.

I gave up using the term “Homeless” because it just seemed to sort of label bunches of people as part of the same tribe — “the Homeless.” If you don’t have an income of $27,000 in San Diego, you cannot afford subsistence, including housing. It’s not surprising that many people who have low and very low incomes must find creative non-traditional places to lay their heads, including in their cars, garages or basements of friends, inside storage units, and most visibly, on the streets. Many still have a modest income of jobs, recyling, SSDI or VA disability benefits.

The failed economic system has produced 900 kids in SDUSD schools with no permanent home (as of 2009) — which I’m told jumped to 2,300 kids this year, perhaps a sign of lost jobs, lost income. Imagine being a kid with no place to change clothes, get clean, or even do your homework (!) in those brutally cut-throat 12-15 age years.

Not every person down on their luck is easy to talk to, approach, empathize with. But compassion is the first step.
Check out what the Girls Think Tank ( and are doing, in addition to tons of other local public and private entities.
Keep writing more stuff!


Christine Schanes March 30, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Hi, Mike,

Thanks for your comment and your kind encouragement.

You seem to know a lot and have great insights about homelessness. Do you work in the field?

I know of the fine work that Girls Think Tank is doing. But, Amikas. org is new to me. Thanks for their website address which I went to and I’m interested in learning more about them.

Please stay in touch,


tj March 31, 2011 at 5:59 am

Christine – thanks for you’re sharing & getting involved. Our “evolved” society worships winning & winners – regardless of their moral makeup.

A movie that you might enjoy (one of my personal favorites) is “Welcome to Paradise.”

God Bless


Christine Schanes March 31, 2011 at 11:10 am

Hi, TJ,

Thanks for your comment and kind words.

And thanks for the reference to the movie, “Welcome to Paradise.” I have not seen that movie, but I look forward to it. Can you tell me something about it?



Ernie McCray March 31, 2011 at 7:54 am

Great story. I think that people should use opportunities to be human. I understand where the 7-11 people were coming from but at the same time you advocated hard for Jimmy; you gave the store a great chance to give someone a chance and they blew it, plain and simple. But it’s not too late for them.


Christine Schanes March 31, 2011 at 11:18 am

Hi, Ernie,

Thanks for your comment. I appreciate your support – it feels a little lonely out here sometimes.

I agree with you that it’s not too late for the 7-11. As you guessed, I was hoping that by meeting Jimmy that both parties, Jimmy and the 7-11 manager, would benefit, if only by the mutual recognition that we’re all just people.

Just people. A big concept.

After that realization, I think that the next realization could be that we are all connected.

Then maybe, we’re all one.

So much for metaphysics, but I believe it’s true.

What do you think?



Ernie McCray March 31, 2011 at 11:28 pm

We’re connected in more ways than we could ever imagine, I think, if we just paused and learned to trust our instincts – within reason.


Christine Schanes April 1, 2011 at 8:54 am

Absolutely, Ernie!

Have you read the book, “Love is Letting Go of Fear” by Gerald G. Jampolsky, MD?

Its built on the principals of “A Course in Miracles.” I find it very helpful.

Best Wishes,


Allen Lewis March 31, 2011 at 9:49 am

I’m not sure how many old time locals from the 50’s and 60’s are still living in OB, but the one’s that are will remember how we as Hippies and the Beats before us were treated. A lot of us were homeless, and for 50 cents you could stay at a crash pad ( and there were many) so you didn’t have to sleep on the streets, (do you remember the “School House”) a lot of us panhandled to get that 50 cents. Know it’s become a tourist attraction because of those days. This has always been a element of OB. OB has always had it’s conservative side, and I thank under the covers it still has, and they would like OB to be a picture perfict place. Like race and religion it’s about fear.


Christine Schanes March 31, 2011 at 11:27 am

Hi, Allen,

Thanks for your comment.

And thanks for all of the background on OB. Very interesting.

So, I gather that you were homeless in the 50s or 60s. Are you still homeless?

You write that “they would like OB to be a picture perfect place. Like race and religion it’s about fear.”

Can you elaborate on who you’re talking about, what they want and how all of this is related to fear?



Allen Lewis March 31, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Hi Christine, I was homeless in the 60’s by choice and not following the rules of my Mothers house. No I’m not homeless but with the way things are going nobody knows who will be homeless next. From my experience some live on the street because they fell on hard times, and others it’s a choice. OB has always been a very diverse place, and the people who live there don’t always get along. The people of different race, religion, gay and homeless I feel are feared by people who don’t take the time to understand, and I think they fear they may be infected in some way.


Christine Schanes March 31, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Hi, Allen,

Thanks for your comment.

I am happy that you are no longer homeless. That’s wonderful. Congratulations!

You write that you were homeless “by choice and not following the rules” of your mother’s house. For over twenty years, I have been speaking with homeless people about the decision to choose homelessness. Most people say that while they chose homelessness, they did not choose the inclement weather, the lack of sanitary facilities and the bad food.

Q: Do you agree that while you chose homelessness in the 60’s that you did not choose all that came with it – the inclement weather, that lack of sanitary facilities and the bad food? Or was your experience different?



Nancy March 31, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Thanks for your wonderful post and for what you’ve done for your homeless
friend, Christine; we need more people like you.

My comment to people who talk nasty about the homeless is that they have as much right to be walking on the street as the guy in a Brooks Brothers suit (which dates me as maybe most don’t know that BB is very expensive)


Christine Schanes April 1, 2011 at 8:58 am

Hi, Nancy,

Thanks for your comment.

Your point is well-taken. The streets and sidewalks are public thoroughfares. Every person has a right to use them.

Please stay in touch.
P.S. I remember Brooks Brothers suit very well. Great quality and enormous prices.


Allen Lewis March 31, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Being homeless can be a state of mind. For me I lived in crash pads, parked cars and garages that were not locked, I didn’t really think of my self as being homeless, I was a street kid and OB was my home. I was part of a movement that already started before the collage kids came. I’m thinking that you didn’t grow up in OB, if you did and you are close to my age you were part of the class that didn’t except what was going on in the early 60’s, I only say that because of your questions. I lost many school friends because they didn’t get it yet, but by the 70’s they did. The homeless in all of the U.S. today are not what we were in the 60’s in OB. I placed my first comment on your story in support of the people that live on the street. Understanding and compassion is what’s needed, and I’m glad that there are people like you that make people think.


Christine Schanes April 1, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Hi Allen,

Thanks for your comment. I appreciate your kind words of support.

You are very perceptive. I was not born in OB. I was actually born in New Jersey, and transplanted to Pacific Beach/San Diego by my family’s move in 1966. I have always considered San Diego my hometown. [No wisecracks about New Jersey, please. : ) ]

So, I am pleased to learn about the evolution of homelessness, at least among the young people such as yourself.

Can you tell me what you see as the differences and/or similarities between the homeless kids of your youth in OB and the homeless kids today in OB?



Abby April 1, 2011 at 3:14 am

The homeless deserve to be treated with the same respect due to any human being.

But net next human being I catch pissing in my driveway is getting the hose.


Christine Schanes April 1, 2011 at 7:21 pm


Thanks for your comment.

No one should hurt another person’s property.

Have you ever been to Solvang? The Danish Village north of Santa Barbara.

I am always amazed when I go there that there are bathrooms on every street which are open and available to everyone at no charge.

This makes sense to me. What do you think?



Abby April 2, 2011 at 5:49 am

I’d love to see more public bathrooms, I think it would help a lot. As long as idiots don’t trash them.


Christine Schanes April 2, 2011 at 7:29 am

Hi, Abby,

You make an excellent point. Yes, we need public restrooms and we need to protect them against being trashed.

Our nonprofit organization, Nos Amis/Our Friends, Inc., would be happy to organize observers/hosts to protect the public bathrooms.

We’d also love to run public showers (with warm water year round) and public laundry facilities.

This can be done. As long as we have people of goodwill, such as yourself, I believe that all is possible.



Abby April 3, 2011 at 6:30 pm

That would be great! I think volunteer attendants would help a lot. It would be nice to have the bathrooms back, and actual warm showers for everyone who uses the beach.

I don’t think in most cases it’s the homeless trashing public facilities, just average jerks. If they know the town is watching, perhaps they’d think before acting.


Rick Ward aka mr.rick April 1, 2011 at 6:52 am

Get ‘um Abby, I wouldn’t want some jerk peeing in my drive-way either. Homelessnessin O.B. seems to be a pretty touchy subject.It’s pretty hard for someone who hasn’t been there to sympathize. You have to do things a little bit differently than Homies w/ homes.(Does being homeless disqualify your Homeboy status) Like take showers at the life guard tower or the Brighton st. public bathrooms.Oh yea,there are no bathrooms at the foot of Brighton st. You reckon thar’s the reason that we can’t get those bathrooms built? It’s something to consider.


Christine Schanes April 1, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Hi, Rick,

Thanks for your comment. I agree with both you and Abby – no peeing outside of a bathroom.

But as you point out – we have few bathrooms in OB and in other cities, by the way.

It does concern me when we housed people complain about public urination, but don’t provide free public toilets. And how about free showers and laundry facilities? Do you think I’m asking for too much for people in need.

I don’t think I’m asking for too much. It’s what I want for myself, why wouldn’t I want it for my brothers and sisters living outside?

Your thoughts?



Sarah April 2, 2011 at 10:10 am


You’re not asking for too much, but you are asking for more than this community is willing to give.

The attiutude is, “There have always been enough bathrooms here for us”. Yes, I did hear those very words from a local woman at a public meeting concerning homelessness.

Newport Ave is functionally a “mall” and should have to comply with restroom requirements equal to those of a “mall”. Furthermore, we’re a tourist destination and it’s patently ridiculous, bordering on absurd, that we don’t have public facilities scattered along the beach.

Millions of great ideas have been brought to the table by those of us who would like to see a more humane and creative solution to the problem with “the element” here. Personally I really love the idea of an “Urban Campground” in the area. Some ideas are a little bit “pie in the sky”, some are more anchored in reality but none of them are being implemented.

In the meantime, “the element” is still here, still camping in the parking lot by the pier and yes folks, they are still pooping and peeing. Then along comes the rain comes it simply washes all the waste to the beach where all the nice tourists play and the surfers surf.

I love your compassion, Christine and I love the fact that you put so much of your energy into doing what is truly right in all senses of the word. I would love it if the powers that be would listen to your compassionate voice of reason.

In the meantime, it is a public health hazard to have people camping in a place where there are no restroom facilities.

I applaud everything about your mission, Christine and I’m humbled by your service.



Christine Schanes April 2, 2011 at 4:03 pm


Thanks for your comment and your kind words. I truly can assure you that whatever I’ve done for others, I’ve gotten much more back than what I gave.

Your observation that “Newport Ave. is functionally a mall” is right on.

Solvang is a wonderful example of a town which is basically a dedicated tourist destination that has bathrooms (very attractive ones, by the way) on every street. Because Solvang thinks so much about its tourists, it is a very comfortable and lovely town to visit and in which to shop and dine.

I agree that “it is a public health hazard to have people camping in a place where there are no restroom facilities.” Of course. And everyone should have a home so that they are not compelled to live outside.

I’ve written “The Three Steps to Ending Homelessness:” 1. public toilets, showers and laundries, 2. transitional/permanent housing with supportive services and 3. a self-sufficient village located on an abandoned military base where homeless people would be welcome. Buildings would be provided for homeless families and singles, people receiving treatment for dual diagnosis, homeless orphans, etc. It would have organic farming and light industry and be near a school for the children. Initially, this village would be run by the nonprofits (churches and groups) that would come together. These groups would then train the residents to govern themselves through a community council.

The concept of the self-sufficient village is not new to me/our nonprofit, but I really believe it is the ultimate solution to homelessness. And there are abandoned bases and parts of bases which are available right now.

I really believe that we can do this!



Abby April 4, 2011 at 10:06 pm

I thought the taxes I pay were supposed to go in part to building and maintain public facilities.

I’m not going to feel guilty about having a bathroom when I work my ass off to afford living here.

I pay my taxes, and I’m willing to give what I can on top of that if asked, and I’m even willing to give my time. But I’m not going to waste any time feeling bad about having things others don’t when I work very hard for them.


Rick Ward aka mr.rick April 1, 2011 at 7:38 am

40 years ago we had a cooking class at the Inbetween. We would collect a quarter from everyone and go to safeway to buy groceries. At that time, the Inbetween had an apt w/ kitchen above the drop-in center. We would cook burritos or spagetti or mackerel casserole and every present could eat. If you missed that you could get some hot food from Zeke’s hippy window. For those who weren’t here when Zeke’s was open,let me explain.Zeke knocked a hole in the side of his chicken shop so he could sell food to the hippies w/out them having to come into his store. American ingenuity at it’s finest. If you were in P.B. you could get a 25 cent dinner at Maynardsat the P.B. pier.


Christine Schanes April 1, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Hi, Rick,

Thanks for your comment.

Wow! How wonderful for you and others to provide food for people in need 40 years ago. Lovely.

I appreciate learning about traditions of helping people in need.



Allen Lewis April 1, 2011 at 9:32 am

What’s this… no bathrooms at the end of Brightion st.? there was 45 years ago, right on the beach. That where I showered.


dave rice April 1, 2011 at 11:30 am

They tore them down about a year and a half ago – they were supposed to be rebuilt by now, but it looks like it’s going to be another year or so due to city delays…there are a couple articles on the bathroom floating around here on the Rag.


Rick Ward aka mr.rick April 1, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Hold on,now. I’m not against tinkling out side,as a matter of fact, it’s kinda fun to pee off the end of the pier.I wouldn,t recommend the end of the big jetty.You can get pretty wet. But seriously, I was watching the tube a while back and someone on a Runaway show was dropping some sandwich stuff to some kids.But as far as bathrooms and showers is concerned,I would recommend one of the pools at an apartment building.and some laundry mat is good for people access.


Allen Lewis April 1, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Looking over the posts I don’t see the ones the were sent to my email. So my post at this time is a little out of tex, this is for Christine. First no comment about where your from, moving west to worm weather is what people has done for a long time. Un like the homeless of Seattle the street people of OB has a worm place to live. As for the youth that live in the street in OB today I know nothing. I left OB in 1974, and I like many it was a escape that was not easy… it was the OB trap. Thangs had changed, it had become over run with outsiderers that many feel changed OB. OB is my home town, both my Mom and Dad went to School there. The last few posts I have receved on my email has to bo with pissing, WHAT UP WITH THAT!!!!! I very much suport that you care for the street people, but there sure are a lot of weard”O” posting on your very good story. I wish there more people like you that care.


Christine Schanes April 1, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Hi, Allen,

I hope that my comment reaches you OK; I’m following yours just fine.

When you left OB in 1974, you write that “it was an escape that was not easy…it was the OB trap.”

Since I wasn’t in OB in 1974, can you tell me what you mean by this?

Thanks for your kind words. I truly believe that we are all brothers and sisters, regardless of our economic situation.



Allen Lewis April 1, 2011 at 8:57 pm

P.S. I just read more close the posts about pissing… being a street person is one thing, being a BUM idiot is anther. If you can’t respect others and be decent you should be locked up. There you will get a toilet and a shower.


Christine Schanes April 1, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Hi, Allen,

I agree that we shouldn’t hurt one another. And it’s true that people can get a toilet and a shower in jail.

However, it’s expensive for all us to pay for that toilet and shower in jail. It’s far cheaper for us to provide toilets and showers on an ongoing basis.

So, it seems to me that we can save money and help one another by providing public toilets and showers.



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