homeless berkWhat 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.

Image Source: Jeremy Brooks under Creative Commons
San Francisco Mean, But Not as Mean as LA, to the Homeless [SFist]

scooter libby said:
Jul 16, 2009 at 9:40 pm

Love the homeless guys who yell at you if you give them “only” a dollar, or the ones who curse at you after you turn them down.

Uggy said:
Jul 18, 2009 at 2:01 pm

You have a University claiming social justice and human rights and it hates homeless that have no future, education or opportunities for money. Then you have rich elitists who call themselves democrats. They are actually frauds.

Ricardo Gomez said:
Jul 19, 2009 at 3:46 pm

I wonder what it is about Berkeley that attracts the homeless? They have to be here for some reason. Also I think honest homeless people around here (the ones who are legitimately homeless, old and what not) have it bad around here because you have all these douchey street punk kids who are homeless because they think it’s cool.

Jay said:
Aug 4, 2009 at 5:08 pm

My family is going to be homeless in about 3 weeks. We’re terrified.

Nice blog post though…

Elizabeth said:
Apr 15, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Can’t wait to see you homeless.

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Nov 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm

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Berkeley, CA–People’s Park | homeless encampment data project said:
Mar 5, 2013 at 11:34 pm

[...] Daily Clog: Homeless Love Berkeley, We Don’t Love Them (July 16, 2009), by Ruby Elizabeth [...]