Berkeley, ranked the third most liberal city in the U.S. by Wikipedia, ironically also ranks number 14 on a list of the “Top 20 Meanest U.S. Cities.” And if that’s not shocking enough, wait ’till you hear their criteria for calling us mean: the study was apparently based on “how they treat the homeless who live within their city limits, as well as purported civil rights violations.” So basically they’re saying we’re not just mean, but mean to our homeless.

Maybe they didn’t realize that Berkeley has a park and basically all of Shattuck and Telegraph avenues devoted to our undocumented residents. According to the “Homeless Survival Guide,” (yeah we did some research) we also have over 13 churches and Food Banks giving away free grub, nine shelters and numerous free health clinics in our city. Food Not Bombs also serves a meal everyday at 2:30 p.m. in People’s Park and we’re pretty sure we’ve seen some “bums” with better laptops than ours. Our own mayor was even homeless for a day.

Being solicited by literally over a dozen homeless on the way home every day and seeing “street folk” using computers in Doe library, it’s hard not to believe that the city’s policy on the derelict is pretty lax. But if Berkeley is one of the meanest cities in the U.S., we figure bums must be sleeping on silk blankets and eating organic salads in other cities. And hey, that’s more than we can say. The same site also listed California as the meanest state in the U.S. above Florida, Hawaii and Texas. How rude!

Image Source: .craig under Creative Commons
The Top 20 Meanest U.S. Cities [Netscape]
Berkeley Free Clinic Homeless Survival Guide [Site]
Homeless for a Night: Berkeley Mayor Keeps Promise, Sleeps with City’s Down-and-Out [SFGate]

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Berkeley, CA–People’s Park | homeless encampment data project said:
Mar 5, 2013 at 10:37 pm

[...] Daily Clog: Berkeley Ranked One of Top 20 Meanest U.S. Cities (October 30, 2008), by Ruby Elizabeth [...]