Town Square

Post a New Topic

is "Sit-Lie" Law the Answer?

Original post made by Clean and Fair City, Old Palo Alto, on Oct 11, 2007

Web Link

I think this is an interesting approach to a complex problem that plagues almost every city in America.

Homelessness is a very complicated issue, with no perfect solution. That said, we have got to find a way to successfully deal with homeless individuals in respectful ways, and at the same time protect our citizens from the unneccessary and unsavory actions and behaviors caused by *some* (not all) homeless persons.

Citizens, merchant, kids, and visitors shuold not have to endure aggressive panhandling, human waste in parks, fetid smells of the unwashed in public institutinos (like libraries), or vagrants that hog street benches for hours at a time.

Comments (3)

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 15, 2007 at 7:44 am

Don't we already have such an ordinance? It really doesn't work here, since we decided to bring so many additional homeless into the community through the recently opened Opportunity Center (homeless shelter). The police do not enforce the law. We now have "Restorative Policing", code for be nice to the homeless and do not enforce the laws already on the books. It's a disgrace.

Like this comment
Posted by Buster
a resident of Southgate
on Oct 15, 2007 at 10:08 am

I take issue with the contention that "homelessness is a problem that plagues almost every city in America", especially when applied to small towns like Palo Alto.

Homelessness is a product of a city's response to it. Mountain View, Menlo Park, San Mateo, Redwood City and other towns in our area have a few issues with homelessness, but nothing like the pervasive community disruptive wave of mentally-ill and substance abusing people we have here. The main reason for this is probably the Opportunity Center as Resident points out. But the response of the city's enforcement of its feeble laws against unsocial behavior also is implicated.

When our leaders get serious about solving the homeless "Problem", it will fade to the same level of "background noise" that we see in our neighboring towns. But as long as the city allows local homeless advocates to use the existence of the homeless as object lessons in their ongoing complex street theater production, expect to see more of what Clean and Fair complains of in town.

Like this comment
Posted by James
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 15, 2007 at 10:54 am


Yes, the Opportunity Center has exaccerbated the problem (the magnet effect), but it is the churches that originally ramped it up. The homeless advocate gang has the Council by the short hairs.

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

Why contentious local politics? More examples from ADU at Council
By Douglas Moran | 49 comments | 2,115 views

Food Party! 420
By Laura Stec | 5 comments | 1,489 views

What Are Your Gifts that Must Be Shared?
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 589 views


Best Of Palo Alto ballot is here

It's time to decide what local business is worthy of the title "Best Of Palo Alto" — and you get to decide! Cast your ballot online. Voting ends May 29th. Stay tuned for the results in the July 21st issue of the Palo Alto Weekly.