Tourism heavy cities unsure how to handle “homeless travelers” from Occupy movement

posted at 7:01 pm on November 1, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

The LA Times has a feature this weekend on a story which really shouldn’t be shocking enough news to merit a mention, were it not for the media spin angle. They are talking about the problems caused by young, frequently aggressive panhandlers in warm weather cities which rely heavily on tourism for their income. It’s bad for business, but the problem is so widespread that there is no law enforcement budget to keep up with it.

But what’s really interesting is how they choose to describe these unwelcome guests, and even more to the point, where they came from.

[Santa Barbara Councilman Randy] Rowse and others say the nuisance behavior is mostly perpetrated by a small number of people. He said he began noticing the phenomenon a few years ago, after the Occupy movement swept in a wave of young transients who “know their rights” and can “recite the Constitution to you.”

“They aren’t breaking the law; for the most part they’re just hitting up people for money,” Rowse said. “The classic old broken-down homeless guy isn’t intimidating, but the young urban traveler, the free-range citizen, they’re physical, and they can intimidate people.”

Eric Rice, an assistant professor at the USC School of Social Work, said they’re simply homeless youth, who out of shame or fear call themselves “travelers.” The majority are peaceful and often victims of the violence and degradation that comes with living on the streets.

“Unfortunately, a small number of young people are making the rest of them look bad,” Rice said.

Urban traveler?

Free-range citizen?

We’re not talking about the disabled or insane in this article. These are young healthy people with a bad attitude. In the old days, we called them bums.

It’s interesting how they noticed this influx after the Occupy movement fell apart. And the rude, aggressive youths (some of whom mutter a homophobic slur at people who don’t give them money) are clearly able to educate themselves on all the local laws concerning loitering and begging to stay ahead of the cops, but can’t manage to apply that level of intelligence and ability to study in the general direction of getting a job. Does that sound familiar?

The solution, which has already been adopted in some cities, is not to try to build up the police force and jail resources to arrest them all, even if you could legally do so. It’s an impossible task. Much better is to get your limited number of police and any city volunteers you can muster to go post signs asking tourists not to give the “free range citizens” any money and to actively intervene when they see it happening. Tell the visitors that giving to charities, homeless shelters and food pantries is far more effective. It’s much the same theory as cutting down on the illegal immigration problem by eliminating jobs and social safety net benefits for those here in violation of the law. When you remove the incentive to come, the problem decreases.

Urban Travelers… Some days I just regret turning on my computer.


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Comments

I say the governments involved should hire people to follow these BUMS around while carrying a sign that says:

“This person is a bum. He/She has wealthy relatives. They don’t need money so don’t give them any.”

It doesn’t matter if it’s true because this is a political statement protected by the First Amendment. They have no right of privacy because they are acting in public. If there are enough people, hire one to go around and take pictures of these BUMS and post them on the internet on a webpage labeled “Rich Bums Who Panhandle”.

platypus on November 1, 2014 at 7:09 PM

Stronger Marijuana criminalization.

Boom. Problem solved.

swamp_yankee on November 1, 2014 at 7:10 PM

When you remove the incentive to come, the problem decreases.

They should just say they’re ‘Dreamers’ and then the lefties would love them.

Fenris on November 1, 2014 at 7:11 PM

What’s the bag limit on free citizens and do you prepare differently from store citizens.

RickB on November 1, 2014 at 7:12 PM

Lefties already love them.

They just want to keep their tourism money too.

swamp_yankee on November 1, 2014 at 7:12 PM

Eric Rice, an assistant professor at the USC School of Social Work, said they’re simply homeless youth, who out of shame or fear call themselves “travelers.”

Eric rice, please check the back story of these ‘homeless’ yute. I don’t believe most of them would feel “shame” if they were called “homeless”. That’s what they are going for. I think a good portion for the “homeless” youth in the occupy movement have very nice suburban homes to go back to.

the Derelicte look.

They like the word ‘traveller’ because it’s more of a steam punk or cyber punk feel.

And yeah, they’ll bully people if they have the numbers and they will be sure to bring the scatological to any car or side-walk they are near.

BoxHead1 on November 1, 2014 at 7:13 PM

F’ing dirty bums. Period.

Whitey Ford on November 1, 2014 at 7:13 PM

Nothing a nine iron upside the head can’t fix.

BallisticBob on November 1, 2014 at 7:13 PM

How about jail?

Warner Todd Huston on November 1, 2014 at 7:13 PM

Reminds me of “Please Don’t Feed The Animals”

smill1953 on November 1, 2014 at 7:14 PM

If they have the wit, they can form themselves into roving troupes of troubadours, poets, and story-tellers. Singing for their meals, as it were. That would have to be more ennobling and less soul-killing than outright vagrancy and panhandling.

Troupes of this nature have appeared off and on throughout history. Why not today?

ss396 on November 1, 2014 at 7:14 PM

Wait… do you mean the bums?
===========================

Rendition them to Occupy Ebola in Africa!!

They are professionals in Tent management,
and Bio-waste handling!
(sarc)
=========

Disgusting Pig “Occupy Wall Street” Protester Defecates on Police Car:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luq4NTSK50M

canopfor on November 1, 2014 at 7:17 PM

When you remove the incentive to come, the problem decreases

That is also the solution to our immigration problem. Stop paying them to come, and they won’t.

poteen on November 1, 2014 at 7:22 PM

Aaaaaaaaaaaand the thin veneer of civilized society erodes further…

Marcola on November 1, 2014 at 7:27 PM

Disgusting Pig “Occupy Wall Street” Protester Defecates on Police Car:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luq4NTSK50M

canopfor on November 1, 2014 at 7:17 PM

That’s kind of insulting to pigs. Pigs are actually very clean animals and don’t poop where they live. They only reason they have a reputation for being dirty is because they used to be nocturnal, and domestic pigs roll around in muddy water to cool off.

Fenris on November 1, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Had a little run in with these youts that ended pretty quick by a Mossberg 500 racking.

jukin3 on November 1, 2014 at 7:33 PM

I’ve seen photos.
The “homeless Occupy” white travelers are in Ferguson, Mo. And I’d bet Valerie Jarrett has them there.

Marcus on November 1, 2014 at 7:33 PM

If they have the wit, they can form themselves into roving troupes of troubadours, poets, and story-tellers. Singing for their meals, as it were. That would have to be more ennobling and less soul-killing than outright vagrancy and panhandling.

Troupes of this nature have appeared off and on throughout history. Why not today?

ss396 on November 1, 2014 at 7:14 PM

Because being a busker takes skill, talent, practice, in short dedication and effort. They’re not into that.

Critical Dance Theory teaches how to criticize dance, not do it.

Besides, how can they maintain their innate feelings of Special Snowflake Superiority if they’re acting as mere supplicants? They’re the NOBILITY, DAMMIT!

Just ask them, they’ll tell you.

clear ether

eon

eon on November 1, 2014 at 7:35 PM

Special Snowflake Superiority

LoL. I am so stealing that!

platypus on November 1, 2014 at 7:42 PM

Travelers? As in Irish Travelers – gypsies, in other words?

Nah, too romantic for these dirty children. On the bum, they are, so bums is the appropriate term.

Are these tourist areas troubled by Occubums also gun-free zones, one wonders?

Dolce Far Niente on November 1, 2014 at 7:44 PM

Panhandling used to be against the law. Now it’s “free speech”! Bullshit! Throw their asses in jail for 3 days on bread and water. Put them on work details to clean the streets.

They’ll tire of it real fast and MoveOn.

GarandFan on November 1, 2014 at 7:48 PM

Simple solution. Let the panhandlers have the run of the city like Seattle and Portland have done and pretty soon you won’t need to worry about tourism.

Jackson on November 1, 2014 at 7:56 PM

Panhandling used to be against the law. Now it’s “free speech”! Bullshit! Throw their asses in jail for 3 days on bread and water. Put them on work details to clean the streets.

They’ll tire of it real fast and MoveOn.

GarandFan on November 1, 2014 at 7:48 PM

Send them to Phoenix, all the pink underwear and green bologna sandwiches you could want.

RickB on November 1, 2014 at 7:57 PM

Travelers? As in Irish Travelers – gypsies, in other words?

Nah, too romantic for these dirty children. On the bum, they are, so bums is the appropriate term.

Are these tourist areas troubled by Occubums also gun-free zones, one wonders?

Dolce Far Niente on November 1, 2014 at 7:44 PM

The modern-day Irish Travelers give the old Irish and the Rom a bad name, and they generally aren’t even related to same.

They’re crooks, period.

But even running a scam is too much effort for this lot.

And I just about guarantee they’re GFZs. I doubt even the OWSers are dumb enough to try to strongarm somebody who might have a CCW.

I wonder how many of them get stun-gunned or Maced (TM) on any given day?

Long term, I could see them forming an entirely new “family” of itinerant annoyances. Sort of like retread hippies with even less reason for their “counter-culture”.

Who knows, twenty years from now, “owser” may be in the unabridged dictionary as

N. A member of an itinerant group of beggars or petty criminals with leftish political pretensions.

clear ether

eon

eon on November 1, 2014 at 8:04 PM

Punch ’em in the mouth.

rbj on November 1, 2014 at 8:06 PM

“Travelers” is also the PC word for Gypsies in Europe.

Gypsies, Occupiers are just different brands of pestilent criminal bums.

And I do NOT give to panhandlers. And if you DARE stop traffic ahead of me to give to one, you will hear my horn.

Those who perform street art well are a different story. That is earning a living. I have no problem helping them.

WannabeAnglican on November 1, 2014 at 8:16 PM

We’re not talking about the disabled or insane in this article. These are young healthy people with a bad attitude. In the old days, we called them bums.

Nah, bums and hobos would do work for money. These are THUGS.

Fallon on November 1, 2014 at 8:17 PM

Urban traveler?

Free-range citizen?

ROF. You gotta hand it to libs, they could fill a thesaurus with new terms for deadbeats.

antipc on November 1, 2014 at 8:19 PM

the great radio personality Howie Carr on wrko in Boston for years has called them “free range bums”.

deimos on November 1, 2014 at 8:20 PM

This is the same Rom (gypsy) mentality – why work when you can live off of other people’s kindness. They just don’t want to admit that this is not a new idea. hey also think socialism is a new idea.

The challenge is to deal with them when they are hungry and still unwilling to work. They will demand food as a right. Instead of being nice about it they get violent.

drrogera on November 1, 2014 at 8:21 PM

With the occupy movement where I live they actually set them up in a city park. Of course the first frost sort of resolved the issue. They couldn’t even hold out for the first snow. Wimps.

CW20 on November 1, 2014 at 8:23 PM

I pepper-sprayed at least five bums while working in Seattle – right into the ground – each one got the whole can, after they got too aggressive (as in, grabbed my arm and demanded money).

Zero repercussions.

Tard on November 1, 2014 at 8:24 PM

Traveling
Homeless
Urban
Goon
Squad

See, thugs.

Fallon on November 1, 2014 at 8:26 PM

I pepper-sprayed at least five bums while working in Seattle – right into the ground – each one got the whole can, after they got too aggressive (as in, grabbed my arm and demanded money).

Zero repercussions.

Tard on November 1, 2014 at 8:24 PM

Wow, I’ve never had anyone do that to me, at least not since school days. I assume you’re a woman. They probably (rightly) assume doing that to a man would often get a violent response.

Fenris on November 1, 2014 at 8:33 PM

Here in Vegas area, there are signs on the way to Red Rock Canyon warning you that you’re subject to a $500 fine for feeding wild burros.

There’s a lesson to be learned here.

Another idea? Make these urban grifters pay for a permit to be on the streets, begging. Assume they will scoop up $X per year and let the IRS deal with them. Afterall, doesn’t the IRS determine an assumed amount of tips for those in service industry? Any benefits, food stamp card, Obamacare, etc can be reduced appropriately for the assumed amount of income these turds are taking in. Oh, and, of course, full penalties under the law for failure to file income tax returns / declare income.

MistyLane on November 1, 2014 at 8:35 PM

Oh is that who they are? Those young guys I always see on the curved road to our Walmart, standing with their “Broke, traveling, need money” signs right in front of the “Walmart Now Hiring” sign?!
I always enjoy the irony and just drive on by.

Sterling Holobyte on November 1, 2014 at 8:37 PM

If they have the wit, they can form themselves into roving troupes of troubadours, poets, and story-tellers.

ss396 on November 1, 2014 at 7:14 PM

OR, if they have wings they could just fly south for the winter.

What?

Ok, that’s slightly unfair.
They have some “wit” but “wit” doesn’t mean anything without adding to it either talent or skill, AND at least a smidgen of drive (or at least ability for planning ahead).

They’ll work after they fail on the street, starve for a bit, head home, annoy their parents/relatives/friends to the point they’re no longer welcome mooching form them; and then have to face facts that they’ve got to do something to keep eating.

Not a minute before that time will they consider anything of value.

gekkobear on November 1, 2014 at 8:41 PM

No mystery here, the progressive left is addicted to other people’s money. They have no shame in how they get it.

Dan_NV on November 1, 2014 at 8:55 PM

All cities run by Democrats??? Gee who wudda thunk! Chickens coming home to roost – you keep giving away other people’s money, property and stop enforcing applicable laws, open the borders – guess what – they keep coming.

Just a shame so many hard-working Americans have to pay for this.

And, don’t get me started on an education system that has created havoc for two generations to the point where they think they don’t have to earn anything.

MN J on November 1, 2014 at 9:08 PM

I think the preferred term is “Hobo Culture Reenactors.”

DarthBrooks on November 1, 2014 at 9:10 PM

In our liberal city, the young “homeless travelers” bring their service dogs into the new library, and they can’t be stopped because they say the dogs help with their emotional condition, whatever that is, and our city has no guts.

They are so numerous downtown the merchants are begging the city to do something. No one will shop there anymore.

We have surrendered to the mob.

PattyJ on November 1, 2014 at 9:11 PM

“Unfortunately, a small number of young people are making the rest of them look bad,” Rice said.

Right, because being a dirty bum begging in the street doesn’t look bad enough already.

Jesus Christ…..

BigWyo on November 1, 2014 at 9:52 PM

Wow, I’ve never had anyone do that to me, at least not since school days. I assume you’re a woman. They probably (rightly) assume doing that to a man would often get a violent response.

Fenris on November 1, 2014 at 8:33 PM

Nope, I’m a 6’4″ man who tells them to F-off right to their faces.
Back in the day, one out of 20 would grab, spit, scream at you if you got lippy with them, and there were a ton of them right outside my window.
SPD would ignore them!
Literally do nothing while they screamed at people on the street, blocking their paths & demanding money!
They were all super whacked out on drugs or booze.

My favorite brand was OC-17 Police Magnum: good size, spray pattern and trigger.

Tard on November 1, 2014 at 9:57 PM

“Scuse me sir can I ask you for some money for food?”

“They’ve got decent food at the hospital. Shall I give you a reason to visit?”

jangle12 on November 1, 2014 at 10:32 PM

I seem to remember that during the Occupy “movement” a good number of them turned out to have expensive homes..and it has always been my thought that a lot of these “kids” were “Trustafarions” as in..living on Trust Fund monies..

Xango Annie on November 1, 2014 at 10:45 PM

Because being a busker takes skill, talent, practice, in short dedication and effort. They’re not into that.

Critical Dance Theory teaches how to criticize dance, not do it.

Besides, how can they maintain their innate feelings of Special Snowflake Superiority if they’re acting as mere supplicants? They’re the NOBILITY, DAMMIT!

eon on November 1, 2014 at 7:35 PM

I was just trying to come up with a plus side to this. But you’re right – it’s beyond them. I did preface my remark with “if”.

In the future, though, I do believe I will ask the bum to sing or to dance for me if they want my money. Make ’em earn it; my gift based on their performance.

And, as (Tard on November 1, 2014 at 8:24 PM) advocates, keep some pepper spray at the ready in my other hand.

ss396 on November 1, 2014 at 10:49 PM

Throw bars of bath soap at them. They will scatter like pigs from the slaughter.

Appalacher on November 1, 2014 at 11:18 PM

So they are applying “Don’t feed the bears” rules to smelly occupy hippies? I don’t know why but for some reason that makes me giggled uncontrolably. I blame the cold meds.

patches on November 1, 2014 at 11:45 PM

They have some “wit”

With all due respect, that is a half-truth.

FOAF on November 1, 2014 at 11:56 PM

When you remove the incentive to come, the problem decreases.

advocating neutering?

Renee on November 2, 2014 at 12:06 AM

This many commenters and no obligatory John Travolta Pulp Fiction reference?

DonP on November 2, 2014 at 12:07 AM

In the old (less-enlightened) days the cops would incentivize these free-range citizens to relocate somewhere else.

myiq2xu on November 2, 2014 at 12:14 AM

The challenge is to deal with them when they are hungry and still unwilling to work. They will demand food as a right. Instead of being nice about it they get violent.

drrogera on November 1, 2014 at 8:21 PM

I blame it all on the kid’s book that turned the fable of “The Ant and the Grasshopper” into a win for the feckless free-loading fiddle-playing ‘hopper.

I think the preferred term is “Hobo Culture Reenactors.”

DarthBrooks on November 1, 2014 at 9:10 PM

Indeed.

AesopFan on November 2, 2014 at 12:17 AM

Aaaaaaaaaaaand the thin veneer of civilized society erodes further…

Marcola on November 1, 2014 at 7:27 PM

That’s pretty much what it boils down to. It was never a very polite society to begin with. People are just nasty and self-serving for the most part. Even if they’re charitable, it’s usually to make themselves feel better and/or to get in good with the Lord. Sure it’s a thin veneer. Living in a society where it’s dog-eat-dog and keeping up with the Joneses is the top priority does rob the soul and wears away at the original virtues engendered by our Founding Fathers.

People usually kept their mouths shut because they knew they’d get a knuckle sandwich, and in the tight-knit communities of the past they’d be shunned if they were assholes…everyone would know if you were unfair to your customers, beat your wife and so on. Oh, that doesn’t mean you’d do anything about it because folks need to mind their own business, but at least the offenders knew they were the focus of behind the back comments and viciously-worded gossip. Most were kept in line through social pressure. Jail was reserved for real criminals.

Somewhere along the line, even punching someone in the nose who deserved it would buy you a police record, a few hours in jail, and who knows how many months or years of litigation.

Dr. ZhivBlago on November 2, 2014 at 1:25 AM

Leftist cities who welcomed leftist demonstrators upset when they hang around and make a long-term nuisance of themselves?

Not on my list of Top 1000 Concerns.

Adjoran on November 2, 2014 at 1:59 AM

Tourism heavy cities unsure how to handle “homeless travelers” from Occupy movement

Two words, Jazz…

Birdshot.

I’m kidding, of course…

I meant Buckshot.

BlaxPac on November 2, 2014 at 2:15 AM

I have a buddy that has traveled with me to the first 3 New Orleans Comic Cons, but refused to go to the last one. Why? He hates dealing with bums! I’m crazy and the bums can sense that and don’t harass me, but he’s 6’4″, about 300 lbs and owns a Colt Python! STICK IT IN YOUR BELT AND LETS GO!

hurricane567 on November 2, 2014 at 2:25 AM

“The solution” … 1 scalp of a missing “homeless traveler” = $1000.

… worked back in the good old days.

Ruckus_Tom on November 2, 2014 at 5:39 AM

They had me at “Gritty Edge”.

emerson7 on November 2, 2014 at 6:58 AM

And here I thought that these warm-weather, pro-moocher class cities liked the moocher-class.

When they are camping out and trying to extort funds from passers-by, then the moocher-class doesn’t seem so nice.

Perhaps they should try enforcing vagrancy laws and local codes on how many families per dwelling and such… when you start dropping moochers outside the city limits and they get a chilly reception in the ‘burbs, plus no real foot traffic, then they might start to get a clue.

As it is they are the clueless, over-privileged, under-achieving moocher-class who feel free to parasatize anything they want. You gots some old laws to deal with these sorts of people, been on the books for decades. You just might want to enforce them, you know? Before the parasite moochers kill the host.

ajacksonian on November 2, 2014 at 7:16 AM

the free-range citizen

They taste like chicken.

Troupes of this nature have appeared off and on throughout history. Why not today?

ss396 on November 1, 2014 at 7:14 PM

Please, you think you can do that nowadays without a license? And do you know how much licenses cost? Sheesh. On top of which, that all sounds a bit too much like work.

GWB on November 2, 2014 at 7:23 AM

Arrest them for vagrancy, put them on a chain gang picking up trash left behind from events like..oh….OWS meetings.

BobMbx on November 2, 2014 at 8:01 AM

We visited San Fransisco during a west coast road trip. It seemed that the major industry in that town is pan handling. Corners, on Bart, on the trains and busses, people always had their hands out.

Homeless people camped out on the streets and parks, and the lawn of city hall. There are cell phone charging stations in parks for these folks to use. It was awful.

The politicians there condone it, let them live with it.

Docsavage 14 on November 2, 2014 at 8:14 AM

I have an idea.

Akzed on November 2, 2014 at 8:57 AM

In Santa Cruz the city came under fire for allowing the homeless to set up tents in the city parks. So, the city designated an area down by the San Lorenzo river for them. When the rains flooded the area the city put the homeless homeless people up in a local live-in motel. After a time the homeless were complaining that the city was dragging its feet on getting the riverside campground ready again.

claudius on November 2, 2014 at 11:33 AM

My advice for dealing with aggressive panhandlers: carry a big stick at all times.

RebeccaH on November 2, 2014 at 2:34 PM

How to handle free range losers?
Mace in public; .45 automatic at home.

Glad to clear this one up for everyone. You’re welcome.

orangemtl on November 2, 2014 at 2:50 PM

I think the preferred term is “Hobo Culture Reenactors.”

Love this phrase. Thank you.

Now, to transition them into ‘random victim of senseless street brutality’.

orangemtl on November 2, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Hey, as a Re-enactor, I resent being lumped with these losers. We put time, effort, money and research into re-enactments. These failures are just moochers.

Tinker on November 2, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Pepper spray.

Ward Cleaver on November 2, 2014 at 8:21 PM

I love it. These liberal tards thought it was fantastic that all these OWS nutjobs were sticking it to the right and poking the Tea Party in the eye. Turns out that this monster they’ve created has now turned on them. Seattle and Portland are cesspools. I recommend these free rangers start occupying Berkley, Austin, and other similiar lib nervanas. I’m sure these hipsters will welcome them with open arms….at first. Oh a note of caution to these bums if they do decide to come to Austin, be careful while travelling through the rest of Texas. We don’t really like free range bums in the saner parts of Texas and we are a concealed carry state. Just sayin.

neyney on November 2, 2014 at 11:35 PM