Up for Debate: Helping homeless, despite codes

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 12:27am

What is your take on the homeless camp at the Green Street Church of Christ? Should the church be granted a variance of some sort to allow homeless persons to camp on its lawn in the mostly industrial neighborhood? Or is it a simple case of "rules are rules" and the camp should be shut down?

Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Up for Debate

118 Comments on this post:

By: Blanketnazi2 on 11/29/12 at 9:27

g, I think that's the root of the problem. "Taking care of our own" is becoming a lost concept. "I've got mine so screw you" seems to be the mantra of the day - and it's those who complain about the "47%" who contribute the least and vilify the poor the most.

By: BenDover on 11/29/12 at 9:27

how does that come out in whole dollars, BN?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 11/29/12 at 9:28

In comes out in percentages, Ben.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 11/29/12 at 9:28

You know, sort of like the parable of the widow who gave her last penny or something like that? You're a good Christian so I figure you must know that parable better than I do.

By: Eye Nose & Now ... on 11/29/12 at 9:34

Folks, calm down! I be sure Obama he send some one to straiten out this
mess with folks disscriminates against homeless people sleep outside church
in Nashville Obama can't be everywheres Hisself but He send some help soon. Just like He solves problmn in NY with Hurrycane Sandy and I watches CNN & I see NO complaints with Obamas Feema in NY like I did with Bush in NewOrleans
with Hurrycane Katreena when Bush just fly over look down then drive on to
Texass for barbecue and fun raising that night for mean spearit republicans
while folks starve and drown in N.O. What you NEEDS worry about is what
happens to this country 4 more yr.s' from now when Obama He must leave
ofice unless we chaanges laws to keeps Him as gratiest Presdent ever!

By: Loner on 11/29/12 at 9:38

Most rich folks who did not inherit their money, did not become rich by being spendthrifts or soft touches; ergo, their natural instincts are to hoard wealth, not give it away.....there are exceptions to that rule, of course....but amassing wealth, for the sake of amassing wealth, is not healthy nor wise.

Seems like philanthropy has gone out of style in the USA.

I would caution those who use the Old or New testaments as their basis for justifying the US government's social welfare programs....their legitimacy is derived from the US Constitution, not from some ancient holy book.....we are a secular, constitutional, democratic republic, not a Judeo-Christian theocracy....let us never forget that fundamental point.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 11/29/12 at 9:41

Good points, Loner.

By: Loner on 11/29/12 at 9:45

Eye Nose & Now ... is pulling our collective leg? Impersonating an under-educated homeless person, for trolling purposes, is neither cool nor funny. The post has a racist tinge about it, doesn't it?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 11/29/12 at 9:46

Yes, it does. I smell a whiff of B.S. coming from that post. Not cool.

By: budlight on 11/29/12 at 9:46

Eyes, you need to read the paper. OBAMA went to NY and then on to campaign. He's played more golf in one year than Bush did in 8 years. Pleeze!

Mike Burch on 11/29/12 at 9:11
Why not have a park for homeless people, where the "rules" of society are relaxed, but there is no fighting allowed? Churches and humanitarian organizations could provide people to keep the peace and mediate disputes. There could be a building with showers and a large room to escape the elements. We create parks to protect wildlife, so why not one for human beings who don't always fit into society? Of course going there would be voluntary, but it would give the homeless another, more attractive, option.

Mike, that sounds good in theory. But who's gonna keep it clean? Who's gonna police it or monitor it? Of course, more tax dollars will be needed.

Hey, how about everyone making over $40,000 annually adopt a homeless person; let them move in; give them free room and board with a clothing allowance and their own tv and computer. Blanket and you Mike, could do the first adoption and let us know how that works.

I had a homeless family at my home in 1990. Helped the man get a job and drove him to work at V'bilt daily. Told them they could stay for a month and get on their feet. The woman decided to try and take over my home. Turns out she was part of the Tony Alamo cult and didn't like Christians. GEE. That hurt. So I rented them a hotel room for a week; had their car towed there (it would not run) and promised my husband NEVER to do that again. Her husband ended up working at a Mexican restaurant which used to be on 2nd across from Howard School bldg. I saw him there and he was such a nice man. Said his wife sort of tried to take over my home because 2 women can't live under "same roof". I said "well, they can if both of them understand and respedt who owns the roof".

She was apparently the reason they were homeless. Unable to follow anybody's rules; unwilling to change or listen. I felt sorry for him and their 5 year old son, but she was a bad trip -- like being on acid or something. And since then, I've still tried to help everyone I can, but not at my house.

By: Loner on 11/29/12 at 9:52

Thanks, again Bn. As a former Boy Scout, I do my best to do my duty....the nuns kind of drove that point home too...I thank them for that, and for their training in the use of the English language...and that's no BS.

By: Loner on 11/29/12 at 9:56

Bud is making sense? Need meds...NEED MEDS!!!

By: gdiafante on 11/29/12 at 10:01

Even a broken clock is right twice a day, loner.

By: BenDover on 11/29/12 at 10:04

I know the parable well, blanket, and it was a measure of the heart of the woman as compared to the other more pious individuals, I believe.

But if I understand what you are saying, if I chose to work 5 hours a week rather than 50... and made proportionally less income such that I earned very little that was 'disposable' over the cost of my necessities; then by me contributing far less to charitable efforts [a fraction of a fraction of what I give away to people now, in fact] that I'd actually be giving more?

If I had not worked the extra hours, finished college in night school, accepted more responsibilities, overcome higher tax burdens... if I had not done all of these things I could now be far more generous by giving much less?

Charity... You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

By: Loner on 11/29/12 at 10:13

The US government is not and should not be in the charity business....if somebody is receiving aid from the US government, they have met criteria set by law and are eligible for what they are legally entitled to.

Nobody is entitled to charity, from any source.....American citizens are legally entitled to certain government-administered, taxpayer-funded benefits. That's a huge difference, my friends, never confuse, combine nor conflate the two.

By: BenDover on 11/29/12 at 10:15

Burch wants no fighting in his homeless park. There goes my reality TV idea for "Bum Wars". I was going to tape a $20 bill to a bottle of Mogen David and troll with it on a string through the middle of New Tent City. With Nashville in the can we could then could sell franchise rights out to San Diego, Orlando and Chicago, etc... Mark Burnett... call your office.

By: BenDover on 11/29/12 at 10:19

I don't think government should be in the business of altruism either loner. Is that what you are saying? That government should not take from a person, depriving that person of his own opportunity of being charitable in the way he sees fit, so that some politically motivated politicians or bureaucrats can spend the other man's earnings in the way they see fit? Is that what I understand you are saying?

By: Loner on 11/29/12 at 10:22

Theocracies view government benefits as "charity"....secular, democratic, pluralistic, constitutional republics view government benefits as their constitutional mandate.....as constituent services...their duty to the citizens, not their ministry to their congregation.

By: BenDover on 11/29/12 at 10:27

Where does that end and charity begin, loner?

By: Loner on 11/29/12 at 10:29

Ben, re: your 10:19...no, that is not what I am saying. My 10:22 sums it up.

By: Loner on 11/29/12 at 10:34

By: BenDover on 11/29/12 at 10:27

Where does that end and charity begin, loner?

Where is the borderline between government-provided entitlements and private sector charity? The line has been blurred, Ben, thanks to your idol, George W.Bush and his Faith Based Initiative....Obama kept the program going and upped its budget....the wall of separation is crumbling down....the holy-men are in the people's house and they are making demands....the Founders would not approve, IMO.

By: Eye Nose & Now ... on 11/29/12 at 10:35

Whey you drag that mogen David thru park?

By: Mike Burch on 11/29/12 at 10:37


I'm glad that you chose to make NCP your cyber-home, and I thank you for your input.

As an editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry, I have published a page called The Holocaust of the Homeless. We should be moved by empathy to employ our powers of reason and energies to help the homeless. One of my main complaints against Bishop Romney and the Religious Right is their profession of belief in Christ without doing what Jesus instructed his disciples to do: help the poor and needy.

I don't think handouts are the best policy, when people are able to work. If they can't find employment elsewhere, they can provide labor to the government. But there are some people who are unable to work or fit into "polite society," and many of them are shell-shocked veterans of wars fought under false premises, such as Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.

So we should do what we can to help them. My idea is to have a park where the rules of society are relaxed and the only enforced rule is no violence. This does not mean that we should get rid of other programs and facilities for the homeless. This would just give them another option ... a more attractive, more natural option.

By: BenDover on 11/29/12 at 10:42

I like you there Eye Nose and & Now... they'll try to shut you down with the racist card but a little Ebonics parody is a welcome addition, if you ask me. If, however, you don't understand what the hell I'm talking about... no offense intended.

The Mad Dog dash will be in the New-Burch Tent City... probably at Centennial Park after HCA packs up their tax incentives and leaves for new digs over on West End.

By: Loner on 11/29/12 at 10:43

"Confiscatory taxation"..."redistribution of wealth"..."punitive taxation"...."the death tax"....these are some of the right-wing buzzwords that have lost a lot of their buzz...they need to hire me - Jingle James - to create some new euphemisms, they are working with stale goods.

Think JAMES:


At your service.....but I don't work cheap....Jingle James.

By: BenDover on 11/29/12 at 10:45

Can we build a big fence around it so it doesn't scare away the tourists, Burch?

By: BenDover on 11/29/12 at 10:47

Speaking of James... I've been wondering for a while... you're not affiliated with the Knight Foundation that funds all those PBS shows are you, loner?

By: gdiafante on 11/29/12 at 10:48

Doesn't this all boil down to health care, once again? Whether it's veterans who are psychologically or physically damaged (I'm a vet and I wouldn't go the VA, there are serious issues going on there) or the homeless, where there is strong evidence that a major cause is mental illness or loss of wealth due to a catastrophic illness, it's clear that even though the private sector is churning out billions and billions of profit, there's a segment of the populace that is being ignored.

It seems to me the limited government advocates always espouse that the government should be limited to doing what the private sector can't, or won't do, which in this case would apply. Now I've argued earlier that the veteran issue isn't really an issue, the government is responsible. Period.

It's interesting that some don't have a problem with their money being spent to damage the veteran, but draw the line at trying to repair them (which may take years).

By: Loner on 11/29/12 at 10:51

Thank you, Mike Burch...as you know, I am one of your fans.

That big excavation ...the one that filled in with ground water....can't recall the location, but wouldn't that make a great place for a tent city for the homeless? We could stock the "pond" with catfish and let the homeless fish for their supper....you know, "teach a man to fish...etc." They could grow hydroponic Cannabis on the pond...as a cash crop for the collective.

Drum circles nightly and campfires too...Kum-bah-yah City...I might come down their and help organize the deal.

By: BenDover on 11/29/12 at 10:56

Up-twinkles, loner. All those Vandy kids in the area can then live next door to their advocacy project rather than car-pooling them out to the suburbs to peddle that collectivist rag.

By: Loner on 11/29/12 at 10:59

Ben, re: your 10:47, don't blow my cover......but seriously, no relation to that James Knight or the British MP with the same moniker....Michael Knight, the owner of that 70's wise-assed thinking car, was no kin either....but folks still ask...sigh.

I did send the Knight Foundation an Email, years ago, telling them about my "pedigree" and wondering if we were distant kin...they never responded...they figured it was a shakedown attempt, I suppose....which, of course, it was.

Hey, I could use a little extra padding in my income....couldn't we all?

By: Loner on 11/29/12 at 11:02

"Up-twinkles"? No capeesh.

By: slacker on 11/29/12 at 11:04

no..no Ben, the tourists will flock to Burch's Bum park. The tourists will drive through the park, and throw change out. Any Bum attacking a tourist, will have to appear before Superintendent Burch, who will have an office in the Parthenon. Burch will recite one of his poems before chow is served. Anyone caught harassing the ducks in Watauga lake, will be sent back downtown.

By: BenDover on 11/29/12 at 11:07

You should move to Germany and play out the Michael Knight deal loner... you could be his long lost father like Sean Connery in the Indiana Jones thing. A demo video of you drunk in your underwear eating a cheeseburger should confirm the pedigree. Germans love David Hasselhoff.

By: BenDover on 11/29/12 at 11:10

We do have the problem about where all the gays will go though, slack.

You know what to do if you drop your wallet in Centennial park now, right?

By: Loner on 11/29/12 at 11:11

Slack attack: @ 11:04. (BAH, DAH, BOOM, Rim-shot & High-hat)

By: budlight on 11/29/12 at 11:16

I've always thought that since there is a church on every corner and in between in Nashville especially, why don't they adopt at least one homeless family and give them one year of free rent, food, etc., and then help get them a job that they can save up their money and become independent in one year.

Well, again, in theory this sounds great. But reality sets in when the family in question again does not want to follow the general rules of society.

I get it that when a Katrina or other disaster hits, there will be homeless for a time. But many of those people have stamina and fortitude and move forward to regain their lives and way of life. They rebuild.

I still say that if we have those homeless people lined up to do some of the jobs like picking up litter and then pay them a subsistance or some type of allowance, then we'd all be happier about all the free stuff being given away.

BUT all in all, people don't want to be told what to do and if one has a job, someone is telling them what to do most of the time. Most people can deal with it and keep on striving to do better. Some can't or won't. Therefore we have homeless and dest itute people.

By: Loner on 11/29/12 at 11:17

Ben, I spent about 18 months in Germany in the late 60's..in the army....they pulled off a Holocaust and the weather sucks there...the women don't shave their legs or armpits, there's no wide open spaces, and their language is tough to grasp...but the beer and wine there is fantastic....great Oom-pa-pa music too.

By: Loner on 11/29/12 at 11:21

Help me...where is that big hole that's now an urban lake...the failed construction project...I want to view it using Google maps...thanks.

By: slacker on 11/29/12 at 11:24

I believe its 1600 West End Ave. Loner.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 11/29/12 at 12:04

By: gdiafante on 11/29/12 at 10:48

Doesn't this all boil down to health care, once again? Whether it's veterans who are psychologically or physically damaged (I'm a vet and I wouldn't go the VA, there are serious issues going on there) or the homeless, where there is strong evidence that a major cause is mental illness or loss of wealth due to a catastrophic illness, it's clear that even though the private sector is churning out billions and billions of profit, there's a segment of the populace that is being ignored.

g, I agree with this. We saw a spike in homeless population after Reagan pushing the mentally ill out into the street. This is an issue that is very much tied to access to healthcare.

By: slacker on 11/29/12 at 12:13

nazi, I believe it was Jimmy Carter who submitted the Mental Health Systems Act.
Jimmy was concerned about the mentally ill being forced to stay in institutions.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 11/29/12 at 12:29

Reagan alone isn't responsible. I do think, though, that he was a symptom of the let-em-eat-cake sentiment that has dictated policies towards the mentally ill for the past couple of decades, resulting in many more homeless people out on the street.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 11/29/12 at 12:33

When Ronald Regan was governor of California, he closed the mental hospitals and threw the patients out on the street. He did it to balance the California budget. In doing so, he caused the California homeless problem. He also didn't budget for outpatient care.

During that time there was a movement in patient's rights for people who were detained in mental health facilities so it was easy to jump on that bandwagon as a way to reduce the budget.

By: gdiafante on 11/29/12 at 12:34

I don't really care who started it, passed it or championed it, it was a bad idea and now we have to deal with it. (Which in government speak means 'kick the can')

By: Blanketnazi2 on 11/29/12 at 1:28

That's true. That's a moot point - we just need to figure out how to fix it.

By: Rasputin72 on 11/29/12 at 2:11

Eye,Ear,Nose and Throat speaks exactly like 63% of the Davidson county public school stidents.

By: brrrrk on 11/29/12 at 2:14

I think I may have found the problem.....


By: Blanketnazi2 on 11/29/12 at 2:38

Ditto that, brrrrk.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 11/29/12 at 2:43

conservatism is for the weak minded