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Friday, January 11, 2008

Drop Inn Center - is it in the right place?

Jane Prendergast has this story today

What do you think?


75 Comments:

at 1:23 PM, January 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Drop Inn Center has been doing the work of a saint for 3 decades. I can't think of any better humanitarian organization in town. Considering the hundreds of homeless people that use that place each week, it is a good neighbor of that part of OTR. OTR can be a place that works well for all people of every economic class.

 
at 1:36 PM, January 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

.

There is never a right place for a drop in center !

Society would prefer to isolate and hide the ills of our community and blame the individuals !

Certainly, there is a small, small percentage of those unwilling to care for themselves and society should accept, just like we accept shop-lifting and pay the price !

Most are unable or victims of the 'culture of corruption', PERIOD !

Most are transitional victims of circumstance, job loss, domestic violence, addictions, abuse, etc. !

Anyone could end up there one day, without really trying, PERIOD !

The story is weak because it does not have the true statistics of the clients.

There is no meat from the center itself, just politicians whom wish to please the corporate community and protect their seat with subsidized tax-dollar paychecks !

If we can pay to put food on the politicians table, then we can pay to help those in need ?

Certainly, there is nothing lower than a politician ?

If we can pay 75 million to train those whom entertain us, then we can spend 75 million on a new facility to lift-up those in need !

Or, does the price of a theater ticket, bought with that man made illutionary value of life, trump the flesh ?

The drop in centers should be right next door to the most luxurious developments in the country.

If they find it an eye sore than maybe they would take the steps to insure they remain: EMPTY !

Believe us when we say, most politicians need to remain out of sight, as well, because they nauseate us !

Did anyone interview the drop in center residents ?

Why not tell us half the story ?

But hey, move it where you want. Put it next to melba toast on the west side. What do we care ? It won't be in our community !

Unless we need it, when our home is forclosed because some bank exploited the interest rate. Then we may have to move to the drop in center !

If you want the solution just ask:

'The True Majority' !

HAD ENOUGH, VOTE DEMOCRAT 2008 !

 
at 1:58 PM, January 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mental illness is a crime !

Homelessness is a crime !

Drug/alcohol addiction is not a medical illness !

Bold Endeavors and Gay Rights Groups do not tolerate laziness!

HELLO !

Gay Rights Groups have to endure the tough life!

PATHETIC !

Vote for Hillary!

 
at 2:00 PM, January 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The foot-tapping Bold Typist can be very cruel at times..

 
at 2:11 PM, January 11, 2008 Anonymous Parcman said...

A shelter that basically subsidizes drugging and drinking in our most beautiful and historic parks is not compatible with the Symphony, Opera etc at Music Hall. Either move Paavo or move the Drop Inn Center.

 
at 2:12 PM, January 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

It absolutely needs to move. The simple fact is that it cannot co-exist with the new vision of Over the Rhine...nor should it. Bringing residents (and money) back into the city is so important to the community that the inevitable displaced person should not cause city council to bat an eye.

Our city is dying and we need to redevelop aggressively. There is no time to worry about hurt feelings.

 
at 2:18 PM, January 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a proud Downtown resident. I work out at the gym right around the corner from this Drop In Center, and its obvious there need to be some improvements. This a beautiful section of our city, but unfortunately is simply unsafe because of the "wandering residents" of the center. If we are truly committed to revitalizing Downtown and Over-the-Rhine, we need to find a way to manage the homeless in a caring but smart way. Right now, Washington Park cannot be enjoyed by anyone other than these 100 or so residents. That is simply unfair.

 
at 2:49 PM, January 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, if you want to move it, where are you going to move it? If you move it out of OTR, it will cause problems wherever it goes. No one will want it in their neighborhood. It's disturbing watching all of the redevelopment corporations and yuppies whining about institutions that have been in OTR for decades trying to help people.

 
at 2:58 PM, January 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Drop is nothing but a flophouse for criminals. Not only do they occupy Washington Park during the day with their habits, they're Downtown & they also manage to find their way into neighborhoods.

All you're going to hear from those who manage the Drop are excuses for their clients' behaviors & that battle cry for money-money-money.

Think Dexter Ford here. He was the studley who raped the student & he's HIV+. Instead of calling the Drop home, it's now the county jail.

And if some of you have bad taste in your mouth when attending events at Music Hall, it will only get worse if the soft-hearts of the so-called Christian coalition get their way to build their colossal homeless supercenter, CityLink.

Unfortunately, we've stopped going to Music Hall for select symphony programs & my beloved Summer Opera. It's become so annoying & dangerous. We're not people with snooty airs. It's simply unsafe for us.

Keep Paavo & shut down the Drop. Paavo brings in money to this City. The Drop sucks up the money & short shrifts the taxpayers on deliverables.

 
at 3:38 PM, January 11, 2008 Anonymous Lifelong Cincinnatian said...

Should the Drop Inn Center move?
The DIC has been a fixture during all of the ups and downs of the Over the Rhine area in the last thirty years. During all of these periods the DIC has continued to service the homeless.

Where is a "more palatable" area for the homeless to spend cold nights and get a hot meal with no questions asked?
Does the Cincinnati City Council know of any area within the city that would not protest having a homeless shelter adjacent to their neighborhood?

Do the current owners/residents in Over the Rhine complain about the Drop Inn Center? If so, is this because of the clients it serves, because the location of the DIC devalues the adjacent real estate in the area or is the DIC putting too much pressure on an already unstable neighborhood?

Councilwoman Qualls asks: How can a homeless shelter be a good neighbor to new condos?
Ms. Qualls the question should be: How can a new condo development be a good neighbor to the established Drop Inn Center as well as the many other proprietors in OTR?

 
at 3:42 PM, January 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

For our friend Mr. Bortz and with apologies to C. Dickens:

"'Are there no prisons?"

'Plenty of prisons,' said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.
'And the Union workhouses.' demanded Scrooge. 'Are they still in operation?'


'Both very busy, sir.'

'Oh. I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course,' said Scrooge. 'I'm very glad to hear it.'

'Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude,' returned the gentleman, 'a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?'

'Nothing!' Scrooge replied.

'You wish to be anonymous?'

'I wish to be left alone,' said Scrooge. 'Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don't make merry myself at Christmas and I can't afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned-they cost enough; and those who are badly off must go there.'

'Many can't go there; and many would rather die.'

'If they would rather die,' said Scrooge, 'they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population."

---from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

 
at 3:43 PM, January 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was the wrong location in 1978, when they illegally occupied the building. At that time the City tried but lacked the political will to stop them. The location between Music Hall and City Hall was specifically chosen to provoke.

This issue will continue to re-appear until they move to Queensgate. Several sites have been made available, but the activists refuse to consider that option, because they would lose their visibility.

 
at 3:47 PM, January 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

All cities must deal with this issue. Homeless shelters are not typically situated next to the opera house. The location is all wrong.

 
at 3:57 PM, January 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that destitute, addicted persons who refuse to address their problems deserve a place to sleep and food to eat.

I also believe that society has as much right to mandate all citizens comply with basic rules of behavior, criminal and social.
Noncompliant citizens do not have the right to invoke their life choices (not to get treatment) on the rest of society.

The Drop Inn Center needs to be moved to the Kahn's area where the jail was planned to be, where these citizens who refuse treatment do not invoke their choices on others - an industrial area, not a residential area.

I believe these citizens should be brought to Probate Court, one by one, and their rights protected and assured: to have treatment and, if necessary, live in an institutional setting until addictions and mental illnesses are addressed enough to provide for themselves.

Kind of mean. But forced treatment IS the answer, isolating them from society is necessary --- we don't turn a blind eye to the drunk who drives (the imposition on other safety, the social costs,etc.) why would we tolerate addicts and mentally ill posing other hazardous conditions on society.

 
at 4:19 PM, January 11, 2008 Anonymous The Realist said...

A: Of course the 'shelter' should be moved! As the last poster said, we're the only city in the country that has a taxpayer-funded bum warehouse next door to an opera house.

It's time that the taxpaying, law-abiding citizens of Cincinnati take back Over-the-Rhine from the homeless addicts, drug dealers, and whores. Keep up the pressure, Chris Bortz, until the 'shelter' is gone for good!

 
at 4:48 PM, January 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

He who has the gold makes the rules. So be it.

 
at 5:55 PM, January 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me guess- they want to move it westward.
Bullsh**.

 
at 6:11 PM, January 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Letting the drop in center remain where it is to effectively give up on downtown.

Sorry, I don't see too many people in Cincinnati willing to shell out the 200-500k for a condo in OTR only to have to live next to the mentally ill and chemically dependent.

WE NEED THE TAX DOLLARS! Brining the money back into the city would be a huge benefit to everyone who calls Cincinnati home. Somebody is going to get the short end of the stick if the DiC relocates but so many more would benefit. It would change the face of Cincinnati--ALL of Cincinnati--for the better.

 
at 6:47 PM, January 11, 2008 Anonymous Lifelong Cincinnatian-Linda Franke-Shelton said...

These homeless people typically don't have a choice, are unable to make a choice or cannot earn the means to survive. The Drop Inn Center has consistently served these homeless people for THIRTY YEARS at its present central location. There are still more homeless people that need than the DIC are able to serve. Perhaps some people have made their way out of the conundrum state of being homeless but Cincinnati will continue to need this kind and selfless service.

Believe it or not, we are in the throes of another economic recession so we will be seeing many more homeless. Be thankful you have a job for now, food, family, and a place to lay your heads. Again, be thankful.

Chris Bortz why not open some of the TP rentals to the homeless, rent free of course? Ask a few of your colleagues with the CBOMA to donate some space to a "new" 501(c)(4) or another appropriate org. status. Uncle Sam will reward you handsomely. There will be plenty of Baby Boomer retirees willing to volunteer their time, for a stipend, to help(this is a growing industry in California). They can use the same donated food items, etc. that the DIC is using now to service your future clients. Then maybe we won't need a drop in center in OTR or Cincinnati.

The beauty of being a citizen of America is the freedom to pursue a modicum of happiness based on means no matter how meager and surprisingly personal standards, remnants of better days.

Whether some of you "anonymous" posters are willing to acknowledge it or not, these are human beings.
Think about it.

Horstsnider, Coldehoff, Shore, Franke and many more families formerly OTR Business Proprietors and Residents.

 
at 7:51 PM, January 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ifit got put in Price Hill, who'd notice?

 
at 9:13 PM, January 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Linda,

Nobody is saying that they want to get rid of the DiC altogether, it is just that its current location is KILLING downtown and the redevelopment efforts.

I understand the need for the service and I appreciate what they are doing but it just shouldn't happen THERE.

 
at 9:49 PM, January 11, 2008 Blogger Quim said...

The DIC has been an establishment for 30 years and for 30 years the area surrounding that establishment has been in steady decline.
the blight upon that area blights the area surrounding that & the area surrounding that.
How is this good for the community at large ?
Sites in Queensgate have frequently been suggested. Has the DIC seriously discussed another location ?

 
at 3:30 AM, January 12, 2008 Anonymous Justin Jeffre said...

So it's been in OTR for 30 years, what good has it done? The Drop has only created more homeless people by catering to their drug addiction, mental illness, etc. It's a self-serving prophecy. It's time to move the Drop-and the bums who frequent it (yes, I called them BUMS, which they are) out of OTR, or else that area will remain a ghetto forever.

 
at 8:39 AM, January 12, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Drop In Center should be called the Alcoholic Enabling Center. Only through the tireless efforts of the Drop In Center and our misguided politicians and generous but clueless residents have hundreds of alcoholic and drug addicted street people avoided recovery, and therefore been condemned to death.

Close it up and half of these street people would sober up.

 
at 9:36 AM, January 12, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:39AM, January 12, 2008 said:

"Close it up and half of these street people would wober up."

Or die.

And let's face it, you don't really care which do you?

So we move it to Queensgate, away from the other services and support systems that these folks will still need. You gonna add a special shuttle bus for them to get back and forth? I guess the regular bus will be okay as far as you're concerned (mainly because you are only concerned about your own selfish needs) because you don't ride the bus anyway.

Oh, and of course someday, some bright-eyed organization with a lot of clout and cash will decide that Queensgate is the new Indian Hill, or something like that, and then you'll boot them outta there.

I don't know for sure what's at the end of this life, but if its anything like the preacher said when I was a kid, some of you have a long eternity ahead.

 
at 10:54 AM, January 12, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's kind of scary and laughable at the same time. Had Hamco been able to raise the sales tax it would be building a big jail which could then be used to house the homeless (oopps I mean the criminals). While I'm just kidding about the homeless being criminals - many people aren't kidding. They would just as soon step on you as help you up. Good luck to all those souls who don't have a home or heat and food. Those of you who are in a possition to help, but choose not to, there's a special place in hell for you.

 
at 4:07 PM, January 12, 2008 Anonymous Lifelong Cincinnatian-Linda Franke-Shelton said...

Anonymous,
Honestly, I don't know of one "gentrification" effort in Cincinnati that has truly been successful in the long haul. There may be a street here a street there and even a thoroughfare similar to Eastern Ave. but really displacing whole cultural communities and those "distasteful but necessary" facilities like the DIC won't happen. There are people that may consider investing, as a life style change for the moment, but they would not change their personal long term plans. They would not consider raising a family there because they typically were not raised in an urban environment. It's human nature to do what we are brought up with. This doesn't mean we can't change but our comfort level is what we know from experience.
OTR has beautiful architecture, history, and accessibility. A good place to learn about the history of Cincinnati. But it also has a lot of negatives that the average educated suburbanite would not tolerate on a daily basis.
Not to create an argument but, how many people raised on the east side of town do you know of that would happily consider moving to a western Cincinnati suburb or vice versa? My guess is not many. Does this mean that one is better than the other? No but we do what we know and that's not going to substantially change.

 
at 4:16 PM, January 12, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the Drop Inn Center closes where will residents go? The park.

Closing the DIC does not make the problems of homelessness go away. It will mean that more homeless will be in the street.

The Drop also has a RECOVERY program for many suffering from alcoholism and addiction. It has been a pivotal place where many have turned their lives around.

But, it's important to remember that the number one reason for homelessness is lack of affordable housing. Folks are working, they just are not getting paid enough. Most of the people at the Drop are not addicts. I encourage all the critics out there to take some time and volunteer. You'll see that some of the people that land on the Drop Inn Center's door step are the most vulnerable citizens who need protection and a meal.

This notion that only the rich deserve to to see the beauty of Music Hall or enjoy the park is really elitist.

Besides, what is art without tension? Sanatizing the area might make others feel more comfortable, but that would not be true progress for our city. We'd just be further margalizing the poor.

Yes, there are issues downtown with crime and drugs. Closing the Drop won't make those issues go away. The City ought to work with the Drop to figure out how to connect Drop Inn residents with more services rather than shut the shelter's doors.

 
at 5:10 PM, January 12, 2008 Anonymous I Am Cincinnati said...

The Drop In Center in OTR has been a fixture of Cincinnati for the poor, homeless, and disadvantaged for over 30 years. Providing services that few offer in the area for persons in need.

This movement of gentrification in the city has allowed for a few to rise to power who are speaking for many who do not have either the means or the knowledge to obtain the so-called American dream. Instead, the few with the power and money are buying up homes and putting renters out on the streets or pushing them out to other neighborhoods and eventually, run down suburbs in Southwest Ohio.Gentrification, although great for businesses and those who are looking to live in the next "up and coming" hip neighborhood, it does not seek to find a grand middle ground where those who lack power and funds are benefited by changes as well.

It does anger me though that people who once occupied OTR (Historically German,White, and Wealthy) and other inner city neighborhoods in Cincinnati for suburban "Greater Cincinnati"(White Fright and Flight) to consider any type of organization an "eyesore" that doesn't fit into your ideal of what it means to live in the city. Don't complain about the city being in shambles when you left it in shambles. Once the upper class decided that living in the city wasn't good for them, they up and left deserting the lower and middle classes. Not only taking their cash, but jobs and businesses as well, sending them outside of the I-275 loop. This has created a wider gap between the poor and rich in Cincinnati, making it almost impossible for the dreams of homeownership and financial security to be obtained. Which is why Cincinnati is the second most impoverished city in the nation right now.

If you plan to "rebuild" then you must rebuild EVERY aspect of not just OTR but all of Cincinnati. That includes it's people and not just the buildings that you plan to make into condos and shopping for the rich. If you find it an embarrassment that when you go to see an opera at Music Hall in fine clothing and at the steps you see a man sleeping in the cold with holes in his shoes and no coat, yet you find no empathy,sympathy, or shame at all! What does that say about the condition of our city? Yet the minds and hearts of our nation?

We are so worried about how things appear to look on the outside, yet the people of this city are deteriorating everyday due to lack. Lack of jobs, lack of health care, lack of homes, lack of safety, and lack of support by the local government and business. It is going to take more than a few yuppies coming into OTR, buying and refurbishing old buildings, inflating prices for housing, and calling it "City Living" to change the atmosphere in Cincinnati.

So before you aim to push out every person who is homeless,poor,old,black,white,or whatever, remember that they are human too and they have a right to coexist. Even if the rags they wear don't fit into the "new" world you are creating in the home they've known for years. Problems need to be SOLVED...not just moved. If you are not able to create solutions then find the people who can, don't just move a problem away and believe that if it is physically gone that the problem does not exist anymore. If you truly believe that moving the drop in center will rid your lives of danger and unsightliness, then you truly live in a rose colored bubble that is soon to be burst.

So does the Drop Inn Center need to be moved? No I don't think it does, but more services, more financial support, and expansion would allow it to serve more people and possibly, if only a hope, help to rid the problems of poverty in Cincinnati.

 
at 7:37 PM, January 12, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you think what Chris Bortz says in public is bad, you don't even know how bad he is behind-close-doors on the taxpayer dime.

 
at 10:48 PM, January 12, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor, alcoholics and drug addicts. They get so cold in the winter and its so much better for these people to be fed and bed at the Droop in Center. I'd give em a bus ticket outta here if it was up to me. Send em to West Palm Beach where they can stay drunk all the time and piss on everything they want.

You saps think you are helping them with this enabling? Shows you don't know the first thing about alcoholism.

 
at 10:54 PM, January 12, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

These homeless pets of the DIC are a bunch of nuts and losers. If they sobered up, they would be able to live in nice subsidized housing, but the zoo keepers like them to stay on the drugs. This gives the heirs of Buddy Gray something to do.

 
at 11:57 PM, January 12, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It is going to take more than a few yuppies coming into OTR, buying and refurbishing old buildings, inflating prices for housing, and calling it "City Living" to change the atmosphere in Cincinnati."

You are right--it is going to take a lot of yuppies.

All kidding aside, restoring the City's marquee neighborhoods is a first step in bringing those residents back into the City. When they come back, they bring their money with them; money that supports local businesses and tax dollars that fund social services.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but the best thing for those people is actually to displace them. As it stands, the City can't really afford to take affirmative steps to address the problem. With increased tax revenue, we have a shot.

It is going to take a significant reshuffling for this latest gentrification (why the scare quotes, btw? I hate it when people use that word pejoratively) effort to stick but it has worked recently in other cities. DC has been absolutely transformed over the last 15 years and there is no reason why Cincinnati can't do the same thing. There are large numbers of young people who want to live in an urban area and want to enjoy the city living. As it stands, Cincinnati doesn't afford them that opportunity.

And never mind the increased funding for the public schools that would come from the property taxes...

 
at 12:05 AM, January 13, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

.
"Close it up and half of these street people would sober up. 8:39 AM, January 12, 2008"


Typical wRong wingnut whacko demonstrating their clue-less isolationism !

The homeless is you !

Why don't you learn the facts before demonstrating your ignorance ?

2,276 number of confirmed homeless are women in Cincinnati

26% of homeless women in Cincinnati are homeless as a result of domestic violence

31% OF THE HOMELESS POPULATION IS CHILDREN.

PATHETIC !

HAD ENOUGH, VOTE DEMOCRAT 2008 !

 
at 12:40 AM, January 13, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

.

Sometimes our, off-the-cuff, remarks reveal our true character !

The local wRong wingnut whacko party misleader did just that when she stated:

"Must be a homeless derelict. I bet he was their valedictorian two years ago,"

PATHETIC 'HypocRitical family values'

HAD ENOUGH, VOTE DEMOCRAT 2008 !

(sorry georgie, we don't find the humor)

.

 
at 10:46 AM, January 13, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Move it--NOW!
Hey, the Freedom Center has lots of empty space!
Put it in there and the warm and fuzzy folks could really serve dual purposes.

 
at 12:28 PM, January 13, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The slave museum is really the best suggestion yet. The same folks who support both places should be happy to consolidate and more efficiently serve (and save) more.

 
at 12:45 PM, January 13, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

.
" Anonymous said...Move it--NOW!
Hey, the Freedom Center has lots of empty space! Put it in there and the warm and fuzzy folks could really serve dual purposes. 10:46 AM, January 13, 2008"

You need to continue reading the racist 'whistle-blower' propaganda !

You are almost a convert !

Soon, the use-less idiot of the NAZI party (tnp) will make you one of their extremist chosen 'blue-eyed", blondie's !

They are referred as "schmidt-heads" !

PATHETIC 'HypocRites' !

HAD ENOUGH, VOTE DEMOCRAT 2008 !

 
at 1:17 PM, January 13, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Freedom Center should be part of an entertainment center, along the river, (gambling) and the slave museum (if we really need one) should be at Union Terminal with the museum.

 
at 1:34 PM, January 13, 2008 Anonymous Lifelong Cincinnatian-Linda Franke-Shelton said...

Cincinnati citizens must be able to see that the Cincinnati City Council Members HOLD THE PURSE STRINGS, through their approval or not of the annual federal grant of $236,000. and the Citys paltry amount of $15,000., as to the very survival of the Drop Inn Center. In this article the City Council attempts to micromanage the DIC by imposing responsibility as to where its' clients go, ie. the "public" Washington Park. Are these homeless, cold, sick, and hungry clients also American Citizens and part of the "public" served by the Cincinnati City Council or NOT? Does the DIC take the same type of license to manage their clients as the City Council does when it comes to financial support for the Drop Inn Center? Well, apparently not enough but IMO good for the Drop Inn Center.

Mr. Leeper,
How is the Drop Inn Center not currently part of a mixed use neighborhood, mixed-income neighborhood, and racially diverse neighborhood?
Go there and ask the current residents if they fit into any or all of your focus groups. Perhaps the results would give you a better idea about their willingness to participate in the Cincinnati Center City Development Corp.(3CDC) gentrification of the area we know as Over the Rhine.

You said with regard to caring for the homeless as: "a dilemma that every city in the country faces". This is true and the stats likely will grow. You go on to say: "At the same time, we need to be cognizant of the impact that large homeless facilities often have on the adjacent neighborhoods. It is incumbent upon us to insure that the provision of homeless services and revitalization efforts within the Over the Rhine remain compatible." I believe the current owners of some of these buildings are very aware of the impact that the "large" homeless facility has had on their property. In reality, these owners probably purchased many of these properties within the last twenty years, some at depressed prices with the knowledge that the "large" homeless facility would be their neighbor. This is the risk any purchaser takes when investing in property.

Anonymous,
We can define, explain, or identify gentrification but the bottom line would be the same. The use of gentrification is not a scare quote, it is accurate.
If the young yuppies as you refer to them desire the city lifestyle, aka closet bohemians, then the current OTR has the right mix all within walking distance to some of the most desirable amenities available.

The current residents regardless of tenancy would be displaced and this is not necessary nor right action.

I'm impressed with so many posters to use "Anonymous" as their identification. It takes courage to speak.

 
at 2:25 PM, January 13, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:05 AM, January 13, 2008 Anonymous said...

.
"Close it up and half of these street people would sober up. 8:39 AM, January 12, 2008"
"Typical wRong wingnut whacko demonstrating their clue-less isolationism !
The homeless is you !
Why don't you learn the facts before demonstrating your ignorance ?
2,276 number of confirmed homeless are women in Cincinnati
26% of homeless women in Cincinnati are homeless as a result of domestic violence
31% OF THE HOMELESS POPULATION IS CHILDREN.
PATHETIC !
HAD ENOUGH, VOTE DEMOCRAT 2008 !"


Obviously this moron has never been in the Droop in Center. Get with it, dude. There's nothing there but drunks and drug addicts and nuts that should be in mental facilities.

There is plenty of residential space for not too drunk women who are domestic violence victims. And, no homeless child has ever been turned away by Children's Services. So save your Demoratic propaganda for the ignorant losers you hang with.

 
at 6:46 PM, January 13, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen on Freedom Center! You can go there to feel bad about what happened four generations ago and while there, hand the new (old DIC) residents 20 bucks to atone for what you did to them.
Also, they'll only have a short walk over the bridge to buy their Old Smuggler in NKY.
Win-win!

 
at 3:24 AM, January 14, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

.
"Anonymous said...Move it--NOW! Hey, the Freedom Center...10:46 AM, January 13, 2008"

"Anonymous said...The slave museum is really the best suggestion yet. 12:28 PM, January 13, 2008"

Charles Foster Kane's aryan nation needs to study some real:

'American History X' !

PATHETIC !

HAD ENOUGH, VOTE DEMOCRAT 2008 !

 
at 7:58 AM, January 14, 2008 Blogger Ric Ricland said...

I lived at 1324 Race straight for four years, and got to know Drop Center clientele very well.

First thing: virtually everyone I saw go in and out of the Drop was a practicing crack head.

There was the little Asian woman who was an authentic homeless person, and a few other people with clearly severe mental problems; everyone else, however, was a crack head or at least appeared so to me.

Worse still, crack is actually smoked inside. The Drop, in fact, is one of the safest places to smoke crack in the area.

The police are called to the Drop at least once a day. Police statistics bear this out. Knifings occur inside regularly. And the place is so violent and desultory even crack heads find it disgusting.

The Drop is not a homeless center; it's the biggest crack house in OTR. It's a testament to how the road to hell is paved with good intentions. It's testimony to how religious fanatics whether they be in the middle-east or right here in the U.S. are a destructive force.

And I can't help wondering whether the people behind the Drop realize once the Drop is moved to a place where crack isn't readily accessible, their clientele will drop at least 90%.

Is that the reason why they don't want it moved?

The Drop needs to be moved because it encourages drug addiction, alcoholism, and crime.

The network of soup kitchens in OTR does this as well. There at least five of them. I've seen gang of crack heads traveling from soup kitchen to soup kitchen with bags of food.

The homeless people who come to the Drop, sign-up for resources and are out within 30 days. The crack heads remain there for years -- and why shouldn't they? With a roof over their head, food and crack at their doorstep, what incentive do they have to leave?

Meanwhile the people behind the Drop are blissfully unaware of how they are making it easy for these people to destroy themselves. They talk about homelessness, compassion, everything but crack cocaine.

Again, the Drop is the biggest crack house in OTR.

Period.

ricland

 
at 10:12 AM, January 14, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am I to understand from this blog that all homeless people are either alcoholics, drug addicts or both. The anonymous comment suggesting that the homeless be given a bus ticket to WPB is truely the lowest form human compassion I've seen in a while. If I have any input in the relocation of souls I'd prefer that we relocate those who can help but choose not to. Take your selfish greedy attitude and your tax dollars and get the heck out of the way.

 
at 11:30 AM, January 14, 2008 Blogger Radarman said...

No self-respecting Cincinnatians want drunks or crack addicts hanging around their homes and families, nor should they be asked to endure such punishment.

If we must have this subsidized flophouse within the city limits (which should not, by the way, be assumed) it must not be in a residential neighborhood.

 
at 12:04 PM, January 14, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Droop is a place for persons who do not want help. They want a place they can go drunk or high and not get arrested. If they were in CMHA or the shelters they'd get kicked out for drug use but not at the Droop.

There are plenty of places for those seeking recovery to stay. But only the Droop lets them stay HIGH!

The memory of Buddy Gray, drug addict and alcoholic enabler lives on.

 
at 1:38 PM, January 14, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most modern urban planning includes a "government sevices" area. Look at Clermont and other counties.

I think the City Links project, the homeless center, Free Store, and maybe even JFS should be moved to a new government complex in the industrial area on Springgrove.

One Stop Services.

 
at 2:43 PM, January 14, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if people realize that if the Drop Inn center is moved, the homeless will have to find somewhere else to be. Maybe their own precious, too-good-to-care about those in need communities. Of course, then, they'll just have the police arrest them so that they can go on pretending problems don't exist.
I also wonder if they realize the homeless are just as much a part of the community as anyone else. Apparently only the landed gentry are to be counted.

 
at 2:55 PM, January 14, 2008 Anonymous Lifelong Cincinnatian-Linda Franke-Shelton said...

Ric Ricland,

What would make you truly believe "The Drop needs to be moved because it encourages drug addiction, alcoholism, and crime?"

What makes you think that moving the Drop Inn Center to another location would create a 90% decrease in clients? Ahhh....it's the clients. That's the objection not the Drop Inn Center. Maybe a wine bar, art gallery, or a dance club would be a better neighbor?
What's next? The Senior Center up the street?

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions" is from the Holy Bible. You need to study it more and hope that you or yours never land in the state of homelessness aka real hell.

 
at 5:20 PM, January 14, 2008 Anonymous regional solution said...

I always read the last comment first- do you?
Oh yea- the stagger in center(sic). Move it. In fact, keep it moving. Pick them up on Sorta buses. (Did you ever wonder why they only have "sorta" buses here?) They need to have "for real" buses. Anyway, every fifth bus could be an unmarked bus that constantly sweeps the "homeless" off the street, and keeps them moving. When the bus is full, buy them all ten dollar tickets on the new bus that goes to other cities. End of problem.

 
at 5:59 PM, January 14, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought about the bus solution for the homeless debris, but the problem is they won't get on the bus because they can't smoke crack or drink on the bus and they don't know where to buy crack when they get there. So, even though it would be a lot safer, and warmer, and more receptive, these drunks and crackheads won't even get on the bus.

I'd buy each one of them a one way ticket if they would get on the bus, but they won't go.

Other choice is to stop coddling them and then some of them would sober up. Instead, Buddy Gray's followers condemn them all to death, slowly, however.

The Drop in Center is the reason we have so many of these people, not the solution. Give to VOA or Goodwill, but not to the Drop in Center.

 
at 6:24 PM, January 14, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

.
"Anonymous said...obviously this moron has never been in the Droop in Center. Get with it, dude. There's nothing there but drunks and drug addicts and nuts that should be in mental facilities. There is plenty of residential space for not too drunk women who are domestic violence victims. And, no homeless child has ever been turned away by Children's Services. So save your Demoratic propaganda for the ignorant losers you hang with. 2:25 PM, January 13, 2008"

Typical wRong wingnut whacko spewing the elephant dung propaganda !

So, all the people at the DIC are losers, but, 'bold endeavors' has never been in the Drop in Center, and yet, Annoy 2:25 PM, January 13, 2008" apparently the expert ?

Hummmmmm ?

The chicken-little, 'culture of corruption', must claim there are WMD housed there, as well !

Nothing like 'foot-tapping', wRong wingnut whacko enlightenment !

Ignore the facts and attack the messenger !

We'll bet a gizzy-lizzy casino that the DIC will remain right where it is, least we forget those federal judicial rulings !

Sacred Ground !

PATHETIC 'HypocRites' !

HAD ENOUGH, VOTE DEMOCRAT 2008 !

 
at 9:11 PM, January 14, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions" is from the Holy Bible. You need to study it more and hope that you or yours never land in the state of homelessness aka real hell.

Well, Linda Franke-Shelton, if you feel that strongly & believe what you've blogged here again & again, why don't you make room in your home for these so-called poor, destitute, wayward individuals?

I'm sick of them making their way to my community for the day, engaging in criminal conduct & making messes on our private properties. And yes, they are stealing to get a couple of bucks for crack & a 40 oz. when they get to the neighborhood.

Any of you believe these homeless criminals should be babied & coddled, go down to the Drop & take a few of them home with you. Feed them. Wash their awful clothes, put them in the shower for a good scrubbing. I'll guarantee you that in the morning your valuables & family momentos will be gone & so will your hobos.

Do these representatives from the Drop show up in Court when one of their "clients" gets busted? Do they tell the Judge what sort of help & programs their "clients" will be in as part of some probation?

AWWWW, H*LL NO! You will never, ever see a Drop rep in Court!

Shut the dump down now!

Jones

 
at 9:45 PM, January 14, 2008 Anonymous stop the madness said...

VOA? VOA?? Slowly I turn- inch by inch, step by step.
VOA has been importing thugs and sex offenders into Cincinnati for decades. VOA is one of the worst offenders in the city. Give your mony to River Downs- you might ge something back.

 
at 5:02 AM, January 15, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

.
The law covers all housing accommodations, residential buildings, vacant lots, or other property used for residential purposes. However, religious, fraternal, or bona fide private organizations that provide housing accommodations may give a preference to their own members.

The Fair Housing Act of 1968, as amended, also prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis or race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, or disability. Familial status means either one or more minors (under the age of 18) who live with a parent or guardian or any person who is pregnant, or in the process of securing legal custody of any minor. The familial status provision, with limited exceptions, prohibits a housing provider from denying housing to families with children; however, protection is not applicable if housing is intended for, and to be occupied only by persons 62 years or older; or at least one person 55 years or older resides in each unit.

The law states that protection is provided for persons who have a disability as defined by the law, or who have a history of a disability, or who are perceived as being disabled. The law also protects those persons who are associated with a disabled person. Reasonable accommodation or a person’s disability, and/or modifications of the housing accommodations that will afford the person with a disability full enjoyment of the premises or services of the housing accommodations, must be provided for all common use areas.

Rumor has it that charges are in the process of being filed against Bortz, council members, and 3CDC for their comments to the 'fishwrap' !

It appears they may constitute housing discrimination and retaliation by withholding funds in an attempt to cleanse the city based on disabled, minority, and familial status individuals !

Especially since the public has perceived it as the moving of the population to the, so called, slave center !

PATHETIC !

HAD ENOUGH, VOTE DEMOCRAT 2008 !

 
at 8:02 AM, January 15, 2008 Anonymous Lifelong Cincinnatian-Linda Franke-Shelton said...

Anonymous said...

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions" is from the Holy Bible. You need to study it more and hope that you or yours never land in the state of homelessness aka real hell.

Well, Linda Franke-Shelton, if you feel that strongly & believe what you've blogged here again & again, why don't you make room in your home for these so-called poor, destitute, wayward individuals?

I'm sick of them making their way to my community for the day, engaging in criminal conduct & making messes on our private properties. And yes, they are stealing to get a couple of bucks for crack & a 40 oz. when they get to the neighborhood.

Any of you believe these homeless criminals should be babied & coddled, go down to the Drop & take a few of them home with you. Feed them. Wash their awful clothes, put them in the shower for a good scrubbing. I'll guarantee you that in the morning your valuables & family momentos will be gone & so will your hobos.

Do these representatives from the Drop show up in Court when one of their "clients" gets busted? Do they tell the Judge what sort of help & programs their "clients" will be in as part of some probation?

AWWWW, H*LL NO! You will never, ever see a Drop rep in Court!

Shut the dump down now!

Jones

9:11 PM, January 14, 2008
==================================

I'm sure you, "Jones", know that there are many more types of criminal other than the homeless drunk drug addicted HUMAN BEING. I would bet if these people had a voice, such as you and I right here, we would learn so much more about them. One advantage I have over you is I do not condemn them because of their circumstances. Should their rights be limited because they don't conform to the "model"?
I am not afraid to identify myself but it is very apparent the posters here don't have much courage or they would stand up along with their anonymously posted messages. Perhaps their messages are founded in guilt? Your message meets that measure. BTW is your first name Cain? Remember "Am I my brothers keeper?".

 
at 10:12 AM, January 15, 2008 Blogger Ric Ricland said...

The basic lie here is that the Drop caters to the "homeless."

Perhaps 30 years ago, but today the Drop caters to crack head criminals.

Therefore, when the supporters of the Drop use the term "homeless" they are lying to us. They are misrepresenting fact.

This means the issue has nothing at all to do with "compassion" for those less fortunate. This is simply another lie.

And make no mistake about this: the decline of the area immediately around the Drop was caused by the Drop. Drop clientele think nothing of urinating and defecating in Washington Park, on the grounds of the music hall, on the children's playground when it was there.

I know. I lived on Race street and would look out my window and see abominations like this and more.

And we should hold the City Council responsible for allowing the Drop supporters to bully and scam them for all these years. Why hasn't the City Council simply man-upped and told them, "Move, or get de-funded"?

Everyone in OTR would have applauded this especially the black poor forced to live in the crack cocaine culture the Drop promotes.

Well, enough is enough. This is the year we evict these drug addicts and their enablers. And "evict" is the correct word. They've been horrible tenants, they've blighted the area and dropped property values to almost zero.

Also, "enablers" is the correct word too.

ricland

 
at 10:24 AM, January 15, 2008 Anonymous Bill Joiner said...

I must say I am appalled at the ignorance and intentional meanness in many of these anonymous comments. For the most part, homelessness is the result of a family crisis combined with the lack of jobs paying a living wage. I cannot imagine any modern employer who could create such jobs wanting to locate in Cincinnati and raise a family in an atmosphere of ignorance and mean-spiritedness as exemplified in many of these comments.

Homeless people generally fall into two categories, those who, for whatever reason, face a sudden crisis resulting in the loss of housing (for example, eviction by a landlord who must evict them as a precondition to selling their property to 3CDC). Generally these people find new permanent housing within 30 days or less. These are the majority of the homeless. The other category consists of those with mental health problems, addiction, or a combination of the two, and these are the long-term homeless.

The medical community recognizes addiction as a medical issue. It is caused by changes in the brain that make it difficult for some, and impossible for others, to overcome. Mental illness is also a malfunctioning of the brain, and is an illness. Neither condition is one which those afflicted would choose, just as no one would choose to have cancer or heart problems. Society used to treat persons with mental illness better, having government-run facilities where they could live and be treated. Now it is satisfied to have them on the streets.

The homeless are not scum, as some of these comments suggest. Those who are homeless because of a temporary crisis are like you and me, and simply need a hand-up. We are headed into a recession with a spreading credit crisis spawning massive mortgage foreclosures. Many more people are likely to join the ranks of the homeless. The chronically homeless, those with mental illness and debilitating addiction, are human beings with medical problems who deserve care and treatment.

Who makes up the homeless population? Women and especially children are the fastest growing segment of the homeless. Are children scum because their family is poor and without housing? If we think that, we are truly a sick society. How many of the anonymous writers with that attitude have opposed family planning clinics, without whose help many more women who don’t want to conceive children who might become homeless would not be able to avoid that fate?

A disproportionate part of the homeless population is made up of military veterans. These are persons who have often made real sacrifices for their country (or who have been misused by their country), and deserve better in return. It would not be a stretch to accuse those who do not want to provide emergency housing for veterans as being unpatriotic, even if they wave flags and display bumper stickers saying “support the troops”.

A great society is one which recognizes its problems and sets about, with intelligence and resolve, to find solutions. It realizes that its strength is undermined by those who are most vulnerable, and it must eliminate, or at least decrease their vulnerability. It does not sweep its problems under the rug. The Drop Inn Center needs to stay in its present location, and increase its visibility so that Cincinnati realizes it has problems it has not adequately addressed.

 
at 11:38 AM, January 15, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill Joiner's comments represent the precise misrepresentation that Ricland was addressing above.

He tells the usual story about the poor homeless children and domestic abuse victims and then tries to pull at our heartstrings to justify Crackhead Central located right in our midst.

For those of you out in the suburbs who don't have any first hand information, come on down to the Droop and sit out front in your car, and if you see anybody go in or out that you personally would let into your house, its the mailman. the rest of these folks are scum.

Our social agencies in Cincinnati take perfectly good care of the people propagandist Joiner would have us care about. No child was ever left homeless by Human Services and the women's shelters for domestic violence have to advertise to get people to come.

When Buddy Gray was killed, he became a saint insted of enjoying the reputation he deserved as a misguided malcontent who harmed the people he pretended to serve.

The Drop must go.

 
at 11:53 AM, January 15, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill Joiner, thanks for standing up for those who don't have a voice- great post
1 in 4 homeless persons is a veteran
city council meets soon to vote on the funding for the DIC- it would be great if you would go to that meeting and repeat what you most eloquently wrote

 
at 12:08 PM, January 15, 2008 Anonymous Lifelong Cincinnatian-Linda Franke-Shelton said...

Ric Ricland,

If you lived on Race St., 1324 Race right, then you must be associated with ReStoc? They have many tenants in the area that perhaps they would not want to become up in arms at this time. Neyer donates a huge amount of money and hours to the Arts Community right? Do they also donate to the non-profit that runs the Drop Inn Center? Just curious.

Eviction? That's not going to happen. You sound like the candidate Obama who is hawking "hope" and the POTUS with his "fear mongering" No substance.

The City has not "man-upped", like you, because they too cannot. That's why they're appealing to the public. If the City Council attempts to "de-fund" the DIC there will be a lot of substantive noise.

The event of the new school being built, 72 Million Dollars, was with full knowledge of the surrounding facilities. Like the purchasers of the adjacent properties to the "blighted" Drop Inn Center. I'm sure many owners have signed options hoping/gambling future execution.

OTR is still the most historic area in Cincinnati, warts and all.

 
at 1:49 PM, January 15, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

.
"Jones - 9:11 PM, January 14, 2008"

You claim to know a lot about the area street folk and the inner workings of the county courthouse !

Are you jones'n because you want all that, protected turf, street action for your 'culture of corruption' ?

PATHETIC 'family values' !

HAD ENOUGH, VOTE DEMOCRAT 2008 !

 
at 5:52 PM, January 15, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

HAD ENOUGH DEMOCRAT, VOTE 2008

 
at 9:50 AM, January 16, 2008 Anonymous Lifelong Cincinnatian-Linda Franke-Shelton said...

More reasons to find your heart and take action America.

In wake of Afghanistan and Iraq, a new generation of homeless veterans emerges


LEEDS, Mass. - Peter Mohan traces the path from the Iraqi battlefield to this lifeless conference room, where he sits in a kilt and a Camp Kill Yourself T-shirt and calmly describes how he became a sad cliche: a homeless veteran.

There was a happy homecoming, but then an accident - car crash, broken collarbone. And then a move east, close to his wife's new job but away from his best friends.

And then self-destruction: He would gun his motorcycle to 100 mph and try to stand on the seat. He would wait for his wife to leave in the morning, draw the blinds and open up whatever bottle of booze was closest.

He would pull out his gun, a .45-caliber, semiautomatic pistol. He would lovingly clean it, or just look at it and put it away. Sometimes place it in his mouth.

"I don't know what to do anymore," his wife, Anna, told him one day. "You can't be here anymore."

Peter Mohan never did find a steady job after he left Iraq. He lost his wife - a judge granted their divorce this fall - and he lost his friends and he lost his home, and now he is here, in a shelter.

He is 28 years old. "People come back from war different," he offers by way of a summary.

This is not a new story in America: A young veteran back from war whose struggle to rejoin society has failed, at least for the moment, fighting demons and left homeless.

But it is happening to a new generation. As the war in Afghanistan plods on in its seventh year, and the war in Iraq in its fifth, a new cadre of homeless veterans is taking shape.

And with it come the questions: How is it that a nation that became so familiar with the archetypal homeless, combat-addled Vietnam veteran is now watching as more homeless veterans turn up from new wars?

What lessons have we not learned? Who is failing these people? Or is homelessness an unavoidable byproduct of war, of young men and women who devote themselves to serving their country and then see things no man or woman should?

The 1,500

For as long as the United States has sent its young men - and later its young women - off to war, it has watched as a segment of them come home and lose the battle with their own memories, their own scars, and wind up without homes.

The Civil War produced thousands of wandering veterans. Frequently addicted to morphine, they were known as "tramps," searching for jobs and, in many cases, literally still tending their wounds.

More than a decade after the end of World War I, the "Bonus Army" descended on Washington - demanding immediate payment on benefits that had been promised to them, but payable years later - and were routed by the U.S. military.

And, most publicly and perhaps most painfully, there was Vietnam: Tens of thousands of war-weary veterans, infamously rejected or forgotten by many of their own fellow citizens.

Now it is happening again, in small but growing numbers.

For now, about 1,500 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan have been identified by the Department of Veterans Affairs. About 400 of them have taken part in VA programs designed to target homelessness.

The 1,500 are a small, young segment of an estimated 336,000 veterans in the United States who were homeless at some point in 2006, the most recent year for which statistics are available, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

Still, advocates for homeless veterans use words like "surge" and "onslaught" and even "tsunami" to describe what could happen in the coming years, as both wars continue and thousands of veterans struggle with post-traumatic stress.

People who have studied postwar trauma say there is always a lengthy gap between coming home - the time of parades and backslaps and "The Boys Are Back in Town" on the local FM station - and the moments of utter darkness that leave some of them homeless.

In that time, usually a period of years, some veterans focus on the horrors they saw on the battlefield, or the friends they lost, or why on earth they themselves deserved to come home at all. They self-medicate, develop addictions, spiral down.

How - or perhaps the better question is why - is this happening again?

"I really wish I could answer that question," says Anthony Belcher, an outreach supervisor at New Directions, which conducts monthly sweeps of Skid Row in Los Angeles, identifying homeless veterans and trying to help them get over addictions.

"It's the same question I've been asking myself and everyone around me. I'm like, wait, wait, hold it, we did this before. I don't know how our society can allow this to happen again."

A history of violence

Mental illness, financial troubles and difficulty in finding affordable housing are generally accepted as the three primary causes of homelessness among veterans, and in the case of Iraq and Afghanistan, the first has raised particular concern.

Iraq veterans are less likely to have substance abuse problems but more likely to suffer mental illness, particularly post-traumatic stress, according to the Veterans Administration. And that stress by itself can trigger substance abuse.

Some advocates say there are also some factors particular to the Iraq war, like multiple deployments and the proliferation of improvised explosive devices, that could be pulling an early trigger on stress disorders that can lead to homelessness.

While many Vietnam veterans began showing manifestations of stress disorders roughly 10 years after returning from the front, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have shown the signs much earlier.

That could also be because stress disorders are much better understood now than they were a generation ago, advocates say.

"There's something about going back, and a third and a fourth time, that really aggravates that level of stress," said Michael Blecker, executive director of Swords to Plowshares," a San Francisco homeless-vet outreach program.

"And being in a situation where you have these IEDs, everywhere's a combat zone. There's no really safe zone there. I think that all is just a stew for post-traumatic stress disorder."

Others point to something more difficult to define, something about American culture that - while celebrating and honoring troops in a very real way upon their homecoming - ultimately forgets them.

This is not necessarily due to deliberate negligence. Perhaps because of the lingering memory of Vietnam, when troops returned from an unpopular war to face open hostility, many Americans have taken care to express support for the troops even as they solidly disapprove of the war in Iraq.

But it remains easy for veterans home from Iraq for several years, and teetering on the edge of losing a job or home, to slip into the shadows. And as their troubles mount, they often feel increasingly alienated from friends and family members.

"War changes people," says John Driscoll, vice president for operations and programs at the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. "Your trust in people is strained. You've been separated from loved ones and friends. The camaraderie between troops is very extreme, and now you feel vulnerable."

The VA spends about $265 million annually on programs targeting homeless veterans. And as Iraq and Afghanistan veterans face problems, the VA will not simply "wait for 10 years until they show up," Pete Dougherty, the VA's director of homeless programs, said when the new figures were released.

"We're out there now trying to get everybody we can to get those kinds of services today, so we avoid this kind of problem in the future," he said.

Unloading the dead

These are all problems defined in broad strokes, but they cascade in very real and acute ways in the lives of individual veterans.

Take Mike Lally. He thinks back now to the long stretches in the stifling Iraq heat, nothing to do but play Spades and count flies, and about the day insurgents killed the friendly shop owner who sold his battalion Pringles and candy bars.

He thinks about crouching in the back of a Humvee watching bullets crash into fuel tanks during his first firefight, and about waiting back at base for the vodka his mother sent him, dyed blue and concealed in bottles of Scope mouthwash.

It was a little maddening, he supposes, every piece of it, but Lally is fairly sure that what finally cracked him was the bodies. Unloading the dead from ambulances and loading them onto helicopters. That was his job.

"I guess I loaded at least 20," he says. "Always a couple at a time. And you knew who it was. You always knew who it was."

It was in 2004, when he came back from his second tour in Iraq with the Marine Corps, that his own bumpy ride down began.

He would wake up at night, sweating and screaming, and during the days he imagined people in the shadows - a state the professionals call hypervigilence and Mike Lally calls "being on high alert, all the time."

His father-in-law tossed him a job installing vinyl siding, but the stress overcame him, and Lally began to drink. A little rum in his morning coffee at first, and before he knew it he was drunk on the job, and then had no job at all.

And now Mike Lally, still only 26 years old, is here, booted out of his house by his wife, padding around in an old T-shirt and sweats at a Leeds shelter called Soldier On, trying to get sober and perhaps, on a day he can envision but not yet grasp, get his home and family and life back.

"I was trying to live every day in a fog," he says, reflecting between spits of tobacco juice. "I'd think I was back in there, see people popping out of windows. Any loud noise would set me off. It still does."

Soldier on

Soldier On is staffed entirely by homeless veterans. A handful who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan, usually six or seven at a time, mix with dozens from Vietnam. Its president, Jack Downing, has spent nearly four decades working with addicts, the homeless and the mentally ill.

Next spring, he plans to open a limited-equity cooperative in the western Massachusetts city of Pittsfield. Formerly homeless veterans will live there, with half their rents going into individual deposit accounts.

Downing is convinced that ushering homeless veterans back into homeownership is the best way out of the pattern of homelessness that has repeated itself in an endless loop, war after war.

"It's a disgrace," Downing says. "You have served your country, you get damaged, and you come back and we don't take care of you. And we make you prove that you need our services."

"And how do you prove it?" he continues, voice rising in anger. "You prove it by regularly failing until you end up in a system where you're identified as a person in crisis. That has shocked me."

Even as the nation gains a much better understanding of the types of post-traumatic stress disorders suffered by so many thousands of veterans - even as it learns the lessons of Vietnam and tries to learn the lessons of Iraq - it is probably impossible to foretell a day when young American men and women come home from wars unscarred.

At least as long as there are wars.

But Driscoll, at least, sees an opportunity to do much better.

He notes that the VA now has more than 200 veteran adjustment centers to help ease the transition back into society, and the existence of more than 900 VA-connected community clinics nationwide.

"We're hopeful that five years down the road, you're not going to see the same problems you saw after the Vietnam War," he says. "If we as a nation do the right thing by these guys."

 
at 12:33 PM, January 16, 2008 Blogger Ric Ricland said...

I'm trying to figure why the City Council is so terrorized by these Drop heads.

There is no one -- no one! -- in OTR who wants the Drop to stay put. Even the crackheads who live there don't want it to stay because it makes avoiding crack irresistible.

That's right! The Drop would actually help its addicts if it relocated.

Point being, no one on the Council would lose a single vote by voting to de-fund the drop. Not a single vote... ok, maybe Nate's vote, or Rev. D's, or Gen. Nikki, but, how many is that... three?

And once again, the irony is this: If you want to help the Drop's crackhead clientele, force the Drop to relocate. Make it hard for these folks to get their crack, not easy.

Relocate it to a place where crack is not readily available.

The other rhetoric about long-suffering vets, homeless children, the milk of human kindness, should be an insult to any adult's intelligence.

The Drop Center is a floating crack house. It is a magnet for crackheads and petty criminals throughout the County and it's time the people we put in office to protect us, remove this cancer from its host.

ricland

 
at 8:39 PM, January 16, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, these post is getting pretty silly. This whole "they are people!" vs. "they are crackheads!" nonsense isn't addressing any of the problems and isn't producing any resolution.

Here is the last pitch.

1) The City needs money. It needs money for social services, it needs money for schools.

2) In order for the city to raise money by bringing people back into the city to live and to spend money.

3) The best way to bring people back into the city (and to do so with little financial cost to the current residents of the community) is to make the marquee neighborhoods attractive for redevelopers. That way the private community absorbs the cost of the redevelopment and the City benefits greatly in the form of increased revenue raised through property and sales taxes.

4) Though maybe running second to Mount Adams, Over the Rhine is perhaps (or could perhaps be) the marquee neighborhood of Cincinnati. It certainly is the marquee neighborhood for redevelopment due to the historic nature of the community, the proximity to Cincinnati landmarks such as Music Hall and Findlay Market, the proximity to the central business district, and it presents a fantastic opportunity for a vibrant urban community.

5) To make the neighborhood attractive to redevelopers you need to take strong and definite steps to make the neighborhood clean and safe. The ways that the city can do this is to reduce/remove blighted property and, to the best of the City's ability, relocate those elements and/or institutions that are doomed to maintain the the status quo in the neighborhood. This means the DiC, the Freestore, and others. No matter how you feel about those institutions and the services that they provide, those people who can bring the money back into the city--rightly or wrongly-- don't want to live by them.

To address other points more specifically, there is a large segment of the community who yearns for "city living." The redevelopment of the residential areas of NKY indicate that. As of right now, the City does not provide those residents that opportunity (outside of the small neighborhood of Mt. Adams). To argue this point suggests that a person has either never been to another city or is simply blinded by hometown pride (see Cincinnati being named 29th of 30 for walkability).

The community would benefit immeasurably from a demographic shift in the population. The environment would improve, our schools and social services would be better funded, and (using other cities as evidence) our crime rate would plummet.

We cannot accept the status quo. It is incredibly ironic that those who probably fancy themselves as progressives (note the root PROGRESS) are supporting a position that would do nothing to advance the city and would doom it to economic, social, and environmental ruin.

It IS time for a change and we all need to speak honestly and look pragmatically at what we need to do to bring about that change.

 
at 9:42 PM, January 16, 2008 Anonymous Lifelong Cincinnatian-Linda Franke-Shelton said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
at 2:51 AM, January 17, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

.
"Ric Ricland said...I'm trying to figure why the City Council is...crackheads who...want...to...actually...de-fund...the...Drop's...clientele, force the...folks to...Relocate...to a place...long-suffering vets, homeless children...to any...magnet for...petty criminals throughout the County...people we put in office...to protect us...from...ricland...12:33 PM, January 16, 2008"

Wow, what a wRong wingnut whacko filled with foot-tapping, man, boy hate !

We suggest ricland take a look at those cameras in OTR and then compare that freedom stripping lifestyle with other countries whom are willing to control for that man made illusion of value !

We all need to answer just 10 questions ?

PATHETIC 'family values' !

HAD ENOUGH, VOTE DEMOCRATIC 2008 !

 
at 12:30 PM, January 17, 2008 Anonymous Lifelong Cincinnatian-Linda Franke-Shelton said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
at 1:26 PM, January 17, 2008 Blogger Ric Ricland said...

On Vine Street Young people have moved in and opened wonderful, soul-inspiring shops. Were the Drop Center to relocate the same flowering of hope and progress would happen there.

Don't we owe this kind of positive environment to the young people who'll soon be attending the new school?

The strangle-hold the Drop Center, Free Store, network of soup kitchens, have had on OTR must end.

At least one generation of poor have come of age and joined the ranks of the crackheads these places cater to because crackheads are everywhere to be seen in OTR.

Some will argue the debate is about economic development but it's much more than that.

The debate is about ridding OTR of the crack cocaine culture that has destoyed one generation of poor and making inroads into another.

Even if the Drop Center's clientele were mainly "homeless" -- which it most assuredly is not --this does not give cause to allow or ignore the havoc our "compassion" is causing.

Bill Cosby talks about "Tough Love." By this he means love should never be unconditional.

Real, self-respecting homeless would never spend a night in the Drop, that's how degenerate the place is.

Real, self-respecting homeless don't mind walking a mile to get a warm meal and safe bunk.

Let's start helping real, self-respecting homeless, not the crack heads who've run them off.

ricland

 
at 1:28 PM, January 17, 2008 Anonymous Lifelong Cincinnatian-Linda Franke-Shelton said...

This is a serious issue facing Cincinnati. A human societal issue that deserves kind, civil, and honest address. Too many here are resorting to viciousness, name calling, and denigrating postings. Not constructive. It's no surprise to me that this is why it takes so long to reach some measure of resolve concerning many important issues. Hardly a civil society, the wide road is more accommodating to the masses.

 
at 3:44 PM, January 17, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, so the taxpayers agree we need to move the bum warehouse err...Drop Out Center...away from Music Hall. [We don't care what non-taxpaying bleeding heart liberals and other assorted derelicts think.]

Now what do we do with all the bums? Why not round 'em up and put 'em in the slave pen at the White Guilt Museum err...Freedom Center. Charge $10 a head to watch the ensuing bum fights. The Freedom Center is desperate for cash, since no one actually pays to get into the place. It's a win/win for taxpayers, Music Hall, and the city of Cincinnati!

 
at 4:26 PM, January 17, 2008 Anonymous Lifelong Cincinnatian-Linda Franke-Shelton said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
at 4:00 AM, January 18, 2008 Blogger Ric Ricland said...

People are resorting to name-calling because they're angered by the dishonest rhetoric Drop Center supporters have been giving us for the past 30 years.

The Drop Center has nothing to do with the "homeless" and that's because the Drop Center is not an effectively run operation.

If the Drop Center were an effectively run operation its clientele would not be mostly petty criminals and substance abusers, the CPD would not be called there every day, the immediate area and Washington Park would not be blighted.

The Drop Center has failed in its mission but refuses to admit this. This failure has caused the decline of the entire neighborhood but instead of admitting this, Drop Center supporters are in denial. They throw-up straw men like "homeless vets," "compassion," etc.

If substance abusers and petty criminals have replaced genuine homeless, than the Drop Center has failed in its mission and needs to be relocated.

Therefore the job of the City Council is not to keep funding the urban blight the Drop causes, but to take the money and give it to a homeless organization that hasn't failed its mission.

It's as simple as that.

ricland

 
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