Who are the vehicle dwellers? | August 5, 2011 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Cover Story - August 5, 2011

Who are the vehicle dwellers?

Vickie Boone

Age: 53

Education: Palo Alto schools, including Terman Middle School and Gunn High School. She was working on bachelor's degree in business and was three classes short when she ran out of money.

Career: Worked as a security guard. Currently works as a "mystery shopper" evaluating retail-business performance and in a focus group. Does not receive public assistance.

Reasons for being on the street: Victim of domestic violence

Where she sleeps: The front seat of her Geo Metro in an area she prefers not be made public

Years living in her vehicle: 2

What she wants people to know: "I really want a job. I have never broken the law, and I don't want to become a criminal. I took care of my dad for six years when he had cancer, so there's a gap in my resume, so people say I'm not hirable. My biggest problem is I don't fit into any categories (for assistance): veteran, have children, criminal, mental illness. I'm not old, sick or pregnant. What's gotten me through is my faith. I go to San Francisco once a month to feed the homeless. You've got to give back. If I make this all about me, then I'm going to be depressed."

Solutions to the issue: "More shelters. We already have laws for dumping garbage or urinating in public. If you don't break the law you shouldn't be treated as a criminal."

Chuck Jagoda

Age: 68

Education: Graduate degrees from New York Institute of Technology

Career: Taught Latin and special education, psychology and anthropology. Former faculty member at the New York Institute of Technology and teacher in New York City public schools, missionary in Jamaica with the Peace Corps, garbage man, landscape laborer, carpenter, caretaker for his mother, who had Alzheimer's disease. He's a father and grandfather. He currently gets Social Security and a small pension, tutors and does some writing and editing contract work. He's working with a Stanford student on "Homeless, the Musical."

Reasons for being on the street: Not getting along with his children.

Where he sleeps: The front seat of his 1988 Dodge Spirit. Sometimes on a bench at the Caltrain station because he is developing circulatory problems from not sleeping on a flat surface. Various places in commercial areas near El Camino Real.

Years living in his vehicle: 2

What he wants people to know: "A woman mentioned at the City Council meeting how she lives in her car. She's afraid of shelters. When she can get in her car and lock those four doors, she feels secure. How can you think about taking that away from her? You're going to throw her into a more terrifying existence? Do you really want to take that away from her? What are you thinking? Shelter is the biggest expense if you are money-challenged. I would like to have my own home."

Solutions to the issue: "There should be another circuit like Hotel de Zink. Currently there are only 15 beds and homeless people can stay for only three months in a year."

Fred Smith

Age: 67 1/2

Education: Bachelor's degree in physics with enough hours for minors in mathematics, chemistry, engineering and psychology. Started a doctorate degree in physics but dropped out after almost two years. Reads a lot and is the best-read person he knows.

Career: Was a software engineer for nearly 30 years from the late 1970s to 2006; currently lives on Social Security and Medicare. Still looking for work and as a Plan B is working on a software program that hopefully will generate $1,000 or so per month to supplement income.

Reasons for being on the street: A few years ago he lost his six-figure job, and his wife of 22 years died after a four-year illness. Devastated, he ran out of money last July. He's one of the "99ers" — his unemployment benefits ran out, and he lost his apartment.

Where he sleeps: In his motor home on El Camino Real and near Boulware Park and in commercial areas.

Years living in his vehicle: 1

What he wants people to know: "I've been a resident of Palo Alto for over 35 years, and I've paid my taxes. My wife and I spent something like $750,000 in Palo Alto over the years. I resent the attitude of some that now that I am out of work, living in my vehicle, that I now have less rights than them. Most of us keep a very low profile, do not throw garbage out, do not defecate or urinate in anyone's yards. I and most vehicle dwellers stay at least 100 yards away from any residential housing. I can just get by, but I cannot afford rents around here — not even the cost of moving my RV into an RV park. I have no criminal record (did a rolling stop through a stop sign once). A criminal record (if the ordinance passes) will make it even harder to find work."

Solutions to the issue: "I do not like living in an RV but ... living in a vehicle, especially one that is large like a van or RV, is a much better solution than any offered or proposed. The proposed ban seems draconian. I believe the ban is not needed, and they already have laws about vehicles staying in residential areas more than three days. I harm no one and would like to just be left alone to solve my living problems."

— Sue Dremann


Posted by Phil, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 7, 2011 at 9:24 am

You have provided your readers with three examples of homeless people living amongst us. All heart wrenching, sad stories despite successful backgrounds. Now, for the sake of balanced reporting, how about some bios on the majority of homeless who happen to have either criminal records, are on probation or parole, drug and alcohol dependent, or suffer from significant mental disorders. For you to hand pick these three profiles suggests that most homeless people were living a positive, productive existence, who are now just simply down on their luck. Just a bit irresponsible I'd say.

I know, not every person living on the street is a criminal. We all get that. But don't think that we're so naive to believe that you have portrayed the typical homeless person. The fact is that a vast majority of the homeless population are in that condition because of criminal backgrounds and substance abuse. These were personal choices they made, which dictate the life they now lead.

Posted by elsewhere?, a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 7, 2011 at 9:52 am

For those who live in cars,why can not they live in a place where home price could be as low as $50,000 now(used to be $300000),such as Merced etc.They can live comfortably by collecting ssc.

Posted by Phil is wrong, a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 7, 2011 at 10:59 am

It is false that the majority of homeless are criminal (unless you count homelessness as a crime in itself).

Posted by Phil, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 7, 2011 at 11:07 am

Reject if you wish Adobe-Meadows, but the fact is that the majority of adults who live on the street in Santa Clara County have arrest records and criminal backgrounds.

Posted by Kim, a resident of Southgate
on Aug 7, 2011 at 11:16 am

This a highly biased story, due to the cherry picking of interviewees. It is a classic case of driving the news, instead of reporting it. Where, for example, is the story of that guy who has many vans parked on Oxford, in College Terrace?

Surely, the Weekly can do a balanced story on this subject, if it willing to try.

Posted by They are LAZY, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 7, 2011 at 12:48 pm

I don't have sympathy for any of these people. If immmigrants who do not even speak English can come to America and find jobs, these Americans can do the same. These homeless are lazy and do not want to work. These people have too much pride to accept blue-collar employment. Responsible citizens don't allow themselves to simply "run out of money". They only have themselves to blame for their situation. If they were shipped off to a Third World country, they would be more grateful for the opportunities in America. This country enables their citizens so much that too many of them have become complacent and lazy.

Ban vehicle dwelling in Palo Alto. We pay high mortgages here and have the right to live in a nice city. If we could not afford to live in Palo Alto, we certainly would move to a less expensive area.

There are less expensive areas with lower motel rates on the East Bay where the homeless can live.

Posted by logic, a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 7, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Too lazy=Forced to move?What is your logic?Where is the law?

Posted by logic, a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 7, 2011 at 1:12 pm

In the second case,in Japan or China if a son/daughter does not take care of their aging parents and let them sleep on the street, then they already broke the law.

Posted by Center of Opportunity, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 7, 2011 at 1:25 pm

If a son/daughter has their aging parents from China immigrate to America to unify the family, then the aging parents can get subsidized housing at Lytton Gardens and free food at the Innvision Food Closet.

If the person who owns the ten vans parked on the street and used for habitation was renting a room at the Opportunity Center, he/she could not park any of those vans at night on Encina Avenue where the Opportunity Center is located, because parking is prohibited at night on Encina Avenue.

Posted by logic, a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 7, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Not everyone wants to live here where there is no delicious foods or good affordable health care and the place is like empty vast outer space.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 7, 2011 at 1:54 pm

The two homeless people I know in PA are addicts. Both are well educated, one of them black, one of them white. Both have loving families who would assist them if they were assistable. One has a sizable criminal record, one of them has a more minor one. One is a Calif native, the other from New York. The one w/the sizable criminal record has gotten into brawls, the other one hasn't. One has an inheritance, the other doesn't. One has a physical disability which occurred before the addiction, one perhaps has a mental disability from being in Vietnam.

Both are lazy; in fact, the vet was lazy even when employed and sober, renting an apartment, having a romantic partner & a pet. Due to his arrogance & laziness, he lost his job, then continued to make arrogant, poor choices & turning down help. Perhaps he's happier now - who knows?

Posted by Outside Observer, a resident of another community
on Aug 7, 2011 at 5:11 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by common sense, a resident of Midtown
on Aug 8, 2011 at 12:57 am

Palo Alto has a rental program for low income people. There are about 760 units between the affordable housing rentals, and BMR rentals.

A list is on the www.paloaltohousingcorp.org

Posted by narnia, a resident of another community
on Aug 8, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Wow, calling a vet lazy. When was the last time YOU went and fight in the horrors of a war with subsequent mental and physical consequences ?

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 8, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Yeah, the vetis lazy. For all I know, he was lazy in the military, too. People have their flaws & flaws often work against us if we don't try to correct them. His being in a war doesn't mean that he's immune from personal flaws. Fighting or not fighting in a war is not the point. He is mentally, physically & emotionally capable of holding down a job; he chooses not to, although he did for a number of years. There are many aspects to people & some of the the less attractive aspects trump others. He's no hero, he's a veteran - this trend to paint all vets with the same heroic brush is revisionist bullpucky that doesn't do much to help. I respect him, but my eyes aren't closed to his flaws. If they were, I would never have been able to adequately help him. I may not have fought in a war, but my taxes sure have supported a number of them, against my will.

Narnia, what are you doing to help the vets in the community?

Posted by Resident, a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 8, 2011 at 11:34 pm

I was shocked to read one suggestion, and that is to have all the vehicle dwellers housed in one place. I read that the Cubberley parking lot was suggested.

This is definitely unfair to the residents of South Palo Alto. I make the counter suggestion that the vehicle dwellers be housed all together in the parking lot at Lucy Stern.

If the suggestion is they can be warehoused in a parking lot in South Palo Alto, they can also be warehoused in a location in North Palo Alto.

Posted by 50 years in midtown, a resident of Midtown
on Aug 9, 2011 at 4:23 am

This is only going to get worse. We are lucky to live where we are in this bubble of silicon valley. I think every community has homeless living there, I went through Modesto and the homeless were at most major intersections. Wherever you look they are around. It must be that since we live here, we see it as a local problem.I give them a bottle of water, never cash. My hope is that we all do well and live comfortably.

Posted by solved, a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 9, 2011 at 10:17 am

Resident, unfortunately the Lucy Stern parking lot isn't big enough; you wouldn't fit the RVs in there and there is no turning room.
Since we're in agreement they should be housed in one place we just need to identify where they can fit. They can't fit in Lucy Stern but can fit in Cubberly. We have a fait accomplli we can both agree upon.
Thank you for your time.

Posted by palo alto mom, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 9, 2011 at 10:31 am

Cubberly was also suggested because it is already being used by vehicle dwellers...

Posted by 25 years in PA and MP, a resident of Menlo Park
on Aug 9, 2011 at 10:53 am

Wow, I am surprised by some of the selfishness and NIMBY response I see here. What ever happened to common decency and community and compassion? I appreciate the human face that the Weekly put on this issue to counterbalance what everyone thinks they know about homelessness (i.e., "they are all criminals and drug addicts.") I challenge any one of us to keep our spirits up and keep trying for months on end if we find ourselves to be out of work, out of savings, minimal or out-of-date training, and shunned by friends and family.

I have a friend who has occasionally been homeless. He is in construction (a tough job in this economy), he is a vet, he has child support to pay, and no savings. He had a drug problem but cleaned himself up. He goes to the union hall every day to see if work is available, has taken advantage of training programs, and helps out at his church. Yet, due to his sporadic employment he occasionally has to sleep in his car. I cannot imagine how he gets up to face another day every day with hope and determination, but he does.

And so the people in this article. So what if you don't like every homeless person or legitimize their reason for being where they are. There are clearly plenty of people that need just a little help - can't we as a community figure out something that can work for them instead of broadly blaming every vehicle dweller for the wrongs of some people?

Posted by Resident, a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 9, 2011 at 11:17 am

Resident, Crescent Park says: "we're in agreement they should be housed in one place. You may wish to all be housed in one place i.e. Cubberley but so far the City Council has not agreed. This will be decided during a Council meeting in September.

Meanwhile, our City Council will treat both north and south Palo Alto equally. Therefore, half the vehicle dweller may be housed in north Palo Alto and half in south Palo Alto. In any event it will be up to the City Council to make the final decisions.

Posted by JasonB, a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 9, 2011 at 11:27 am

I completely agree that this is a biased story and does not get my sympathy. However, I did see a documentary a few years ago on interviews of our downtown homeless and was surprised at how many of the homeless are highly educated. Some of the interviewed homeless had such a chip on their shoulder and thought that the working people owed them support. One even went as far to say the she was so hateful of anyone who walked by her with a pricey Starbucks coffee in their hand and wouldn't drop money in her cup. Knowing this has made me less sympathetic towards the choices these people have made to let the public support them through free hand outs. Even the most uneducated homeless person can find a job at a car wash! Each and everyone of us can make the choice to be productive in society in some way or another!!

Posted by Phil, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 9, 2011 at 11:30 am

To 25 Years, you asked a question; "Can't we as a community figure out something that can work for them? (referring to the homeless). As a community, I think Palo Alto already has. Our city plays host to a wide variety of social services and outreach programs designed to assist the homeless. Examples include the Opportunity Center, the Urban Ministry prior to the Opportunity Center being opened, the downtown food closet, Hotel DeZink shelter program, Another Way project, and the Downtown Streets Team. Fact is, Palo Alto already carries the bulk of the burden for our entire region. No city on the peninsula can match our community tolerance and generosity.

Additionally, we already fund many of these programs through tax payer dollars. According to this article, at the tune of over $100,000 annually. As a Palo Altan, I will not be made to feel guilty or second guess our commitment in assisting those in need. We have gone above and beyond for many years, and there are limits.

Posted by solved, a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 9, 2011 at 12:03 pm

"Meanwhile, our City Council will treat both north and south Palo Alto equally. "

Excellent idea, Resident, and I'm glad South Palo Altans are so civic minded to volunteer to have an Opportunity Center built in South Palo Alto to match that in North Palo Alto.

Everything is working out.

Posted by Angela, a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 9, 2011 at 1:21 pm

There is a man that lives in his car in our neighborhood. He's always careful not to disturb anyone and careful that he doesn't hit anyone's car. He leaves during the day and is clean cut. I believe he is working and he is harmless. I can't afford to own my own home in Palo Alto, so I rent. We need to find a fair solution and shouldn't criminalize those down on their luck, but focus on lending a hand. If we can come together and volunteer or put our resources together that would be ideal. Not everyone is good, but not everyone is bad. My heart goes out to those displaced by age and misfortune.

Posted by Citywide solution for a citywide issue, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2011 at 2:01 pm

How about if they use BOTH Cubberley and Rinconada shower facilities as part of the solution? There is other parking near Rinconada besides Lucie Stern. A fair distribution of the services in different parts of town seems like a reasonable and fair request as this is a city-wide problem.

RVs could fit in the Lucie Stern facility--the lot is otherwise unused at night. And, if turning radius for larger vehicles is a problem,that is solvable.

We could also let these folks continue with their current practice. As long as they are not breaking law, why shouldn’t they be allowed to park on public streets? If they break the law, they should be taken off the streets altogether.

As for the negative commments about south Palo not welcoming the Opportunity Center--that is simply uninformed. South Palo Alto has the city's ONLY mobile home park, and presently is building a large apartment project for young adults emerging from foster care (the Treehouse Project). Both ends of town have contributed and helped needy residents in the past, and I think charitable people at both ends of town have an interest in finding creative solutions to help car dwellers.

However, I do think that creating only one program to solve a city-wide problem at Cubberley has the potential to concentrate the problem in one place, creating an unfair burden. This has been going on informally at Cubberley for some time on a smaller scale with some occasional problems. Because it was smaller scale, the problems were limited and so neighbors did not object except when the law was broken. The details of a large-scale effort at any location is something that should be considered VERY carefully before implementation.

Let's try to use the rest of this thread to identify some positive solutions that consider the needs of other people--car dwellers and homeowners and renters.

Less bitching and blaming... More problem solving, please.

Posted by You kidding me !!!!, a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 9, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Q: Who are the vehicle dwellers?

I do not care who these people are.
Palo Alto is an elite city. I do not want to know who these people are.
If Obama wants them in the Whitehouse please send these people there.
I want my city to be neat and clean - I paid for it. PERIOD.


Posted by we have a suggested citywide solution, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 9, 2011 at 2:12 pm

As Phil stated, the City of Palo Alto and their residents already do a great deal for the homeless and those less fortunate including the Opportunity Center, the downtown food closet, Hotel DeZink shelter program, Another Way project, and the Downtown Streets Team, etc. The solution to the problem of car dwelling is to ban it, not to make it easier so we become THE place to "live" in in your vehicle. Considering the needs and wishes of the actual residents should be at least as important as the needs and wishes of the vehicle dwellers.

Posted by Kim, a resident of Southgate
on Aug 9, 2011 at 2:29 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Phil, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 9, 2011 at 3:12 pm

To Citywide Solution: In considering any scenario that involves using publicly owned property as a mobile shelter, we must consider what impact it will have on the surrounding neighborhood as well as the cost and liability. It's more than just a simple matter of motor homes, campers, and vehicles fitting into a parking lot.

First of all, who will be responsible for equipping and maintaining the overnight facility with restrooms and garbage service? What if any existing zoning restrictions apply? Who will be responsible for overseeing the time of operation and where people will park? What if someone decides not to leave at the designated time? It's a public parking lot after all. They would be free to stay put for the day like anyone else visiting the community center.

In one of the related articles, a homeless person commented that they avoid using the current operating shelters in Santa Clara County because they don't feel safe. What problems might arise in this regard if the city sanctioned a shelter of their own. I recall several years ago that a murder took place at one of the Palo Alto churches that participates in the Hotel DeZink shelter program. I believe it was a church located on Middlefield near Lucie Stern Community Center and Addison School. In that case, a homeless man murdered another homeless man during an argument. Finally, can we expect our police department to handle the potential fall-out of this move when they are already operating with less officers and resources.

I also believe that most people realize that not every homeless person is a threat to society, or not worthy of some form of assistance, be it private or publicly funded. As a community, we have to ask ourselves what have we provided and continue to provide in terms of outreach, and what reasonable limitations should be expected by everyone involved.

As I previously stated in an earlier post, Palo Alto has a long history and continues to be a leader in terms of homeless outreach efforts. Palo Alto plays host to numerous assistance programs, far exceeding those of any other community in our region. Additionally, tax payer dollars fund over $100,000 annually to support many of these programs. As Palo Altans, we have nothing to feel guilty about.

Palo Alto is a tolerant, generous community for the most part. As it stands, we are also one of the few communities that do not already have a restriction on public car dwelling. It is also apparent that many of the homeless people served by Palo Alto based outreach programs have little or no community ties to the city. Common sense and logic dictates that Palo Alto has been and will continue to be a social service magnet for the less advantaged. Without prudent, reasonable limits on our generosity, and with surrounding communities being incapable of unwilling to carry their share of this social responsibility, I have serious concerns about being taken advantage of. We do plenty already, and I do want to see our neighborhoods or public places turned into a mobile shelter. The rights of homeowners and business people should be respected, especially when they have been so tolerant and generous.

Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 9, 2011 at 6:36 pm

There's that staggering $100,000 annual taxpayer funding again. Can't feel guilty when giving my 1/2 cent a day. And if you haven't got a ha'penny, then God bless you!

Posted by Phil, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 9, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Musical, the tax payer's contributions is just one issue of many which I raised. It's not even the most compelling reason in my book, but with that said, I challenge you to find any other city in our region that even comes close to that six figure contribution.

Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 9, 2011 at 11:20 pm

Rinconada = bad idea. Walter Hays grammar school. The pool is used year round by the PASA swim team (they pay rent) with tons of young girls and boys at the pool in mornings and evenings.

Lucie Stern = another bad idea. Children's library and Children's theatre.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 10, 2011 at 12:17 am

Cubberley is also an inappropriate location for the vehicle dwellers because it has three pre-schools and young child development centers, plus the young fives program.

However, if south Palo Alto is asked to absorb fifty percent of the car dwellers north Palo Alto should take the other 50 percent. Council needs to find appropriate accommodations throughout the City.

Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 10, 2011 at 6:43 am

Some people have noted that there are campers at Cubberly right now. How is that working right now? Why is it allowed

Posted by Resident, a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 10, 2011 at 7:56 am

Crescent Park Dad says: "There are campers at Cubberley right now." Yes there are because south Palo Alto has taken their share of campers but other Palo Alto neighborhoods must also step up and take their share.

The campers both sleep in and park their surplus vehicles in the nearby
neighborhood across Middlefield, they don't stay at Cubberley.

Posted by Palo Parent, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Aug 10, 2011 at 8:28 am

Resident: "The campers both sleep in and park their surplus vehicles in the nearby neighborhood across Middlefield, they don't stay at Cubberley."

Clearly Resident has not been through the various Cubberley parking lots at night. There are always 6-12+ vehicles with people sleeping in them every night of the week. Don't believe me? Go look for yourself.

Posted by Sad and Naive, a resident of Midtown
on Aug 10, 2011 at 8:29 am

It is sad to see all the naive thoughts about how to accommodate vehicle dwellers. Amazing how difficult it is for people to think it through, to the consequences of legally sanctioned car dwellers, some of which have been mentioned above. Car dwelling should be illegal, period. Then enforcement comes into play, and those who are squeaky clean and perhaps have a reason to be here can find a way to stay - for the rest, we will have given the police what they need to send them on their way.

The idea that our town should differentiate itself by taking on car dwellers is too bizarre and head-shaking to contemplate.

Posted by solved, a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 10, 2011 at 8:46 am

Thanks, Resident, now all we need to do is find a location for South Palo Alto's Opportunity Center.
Mitchell Park is an ideal location and it should be done now to save costs and make it part of the new library complex.

Posted by member, a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 11, 2011 at 11:22 am

Wow, are there enough comments on this one? I'm under the gun as far as paying rent. I don't know how and if I'm going to get it once a month. The homeless, or section 8's, bums or whatever you want to call them GET MORE THAN I EARN and don't have to worry about rent. And they don't have to worry about bathing. There out to bother us.

Posted by Enough, a resident of Meadow Park
on Aug 12, 2011 at 7:35 am

member; yup.. You nailed it. When I see EBT ( formerly "food stamps") icons at ATM machines at liquor stores, where I pull out cash I earned but someone I paid taxes to support can use a card to pull out MY cash for HIS or HER use..well, I get mad. When I see EBT icons at Walgreens or CVS, which can be used for anything in the store from cigarettes to perfume, next to the credit card icon I am using to pay with MY earned money, I get mad. When I see someone pay cash for an eyebrow waxing, then walk next door to pay with her EBT card at the grocery store, then load those groceries into a newer car than mine, I get mad.

Yes, I feel bad for those decent folks who are doing everything, including living in their car, to save enough money to live, if they are working. I don't mind the subsidized housing on my dime for those who work here but can't earn enough to pay fully, or who are old and broke, or truly disabled ( though in my experience the disabled can and DO go out to do something useful and dignified every day, more so than the non-disabled on subsidies).

But, frankly, my sympathy is gone for the able-bodied and minded who take and take and take from everyone else when they COULD work but don't. I used to believe the "poor folks all are disabled" routine..but have now seen FAR too many well-dressed, well-automobiled, well housed, normal people living off of nothing they have earned. Enough. Pare it back to those who truly NEED help, not those who have chosen to live off of everyone else.

Car dwellers? No. Have to car dwell elsewhere. Sorry.

Posted by palo alto mom, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 12, 2011 at 11:57 am

EBT cards - I was not aware that you could get cash from them at an ATM. I thought they could only be used to purchased food. How/why can you use and EBT card for cash?

Posted by Santa Clara Resident, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Aug 19, 2011 at 10:19 pm

I cannot believe how small-hearted some of these comments are. Do I want to live in this community, among such mean spiritedness? I have to rethink my decision of moving here.

Posted by PA Native, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 19, 2011 at 10:32 pm

@Santa Clara Resident: Palo Alto is full of intelligent, productive, ambitious, successful people. People are friendly and helpful and I love living in North Palo Alto. But there is a low tolerance for complacency because those who can afford to move here are anything but complacent. The bleeding-heart liberals are leftover Palo Altans from the 70s. You might want to stay out of the kitchen.

Posted by fire, a resident of Midtown
on Aug 19, 2011 at 10:41 pm

someone would allow himself playing with fire,but would not let others to light a lamp.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields


Registration now open!

Registration is now open for the 33rd annual Palo Alto Weekly Moonlight Run and Walk. This family-friendly event which benefits local nonprofits serving kids and families will take place on Friday, Oct. 6 at the Palo Alto Baylands.

Register Here