What other city can say that they have a park devoted solely to the lodging, recreation and other … questionable activities of their homeless population? What other city can say they have a newspaper dedicated to “empowering poor and homeless people and giving a voice to the voiceless?”
Ah, Berkeley. There’s a lot of competition for our spare change, yet there always seems to be an interminable number of cups vying to collect it. But despite the fact that those without a home seem to find this a nice place to lay their sleeping bag, Berkeley residents are apparently not so nice to them.
According to a recent report entitled “Homes Not Handcuffs,” by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty and the National Coalition for the Homeless, Berkeley ranks number ten on their list of meanest cities in the nation. Ironically, all the cities making the top ten are known for their large homeless population.
So maybe “meanest” was the wrong word, more like “lowest tolerance for.” It’s hard to be “nice” to every homeless person we encounter when we pass just under a dozen of them every day on our way to class. Maybe being mean is just a defense mechanism to keep a firm grip on our wallets. I mean, we do have to pay for college after all.
But for all you potential homeless looking to call Berkeley your home: you’ve been warned. We’re mean. So maybe you should, uh, choose another city.
Tags:homeless, mean cities, National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, People's Park
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