Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Ballard Worries About Homeless Blight On Downtown But Not Growing Crime Problem

Here's another example of why public safety is not job one for Mayor Greg Ballard. There have been no words of concern expressed by the mayor and his staff about the fact that exploding crime in Indianapolis is now making our supposed "world class city" look more and more like Detroit. Instead, he is worried that the plague of homeless people wandering the streets of downtown are turning off visitors to the city:
There are new concerns that the city's homeless could be costing Indianapolis big money and business.
On Georgia Street near the Convention Center, Indianapolis Downtown Inc. recently removed the chairs and tables in the area, because it turned into camping grounds for the homeless.
Now, the mayor's office and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department are reacting to an e-mail sent by convention planners, indicating the homeless could be bad for business . . .
Like the woman who came to town last week to consider bringing a 6,000-member convention to Indianapolis in 2015.
“She walked around the streets and saw a lot of positive things,” said Chris Gahl, Visit Indy. “One thing she saw and pointed out was a lot of panhandling and that surprised her.”
It surprised the mayor's office too, which received an e-mail from Visit Indy's senior vice president of sales Michelle Travis who wrote in part, “This is getting hotter and hotter...it seems like everywhere you walk someone is curled up and sleeping or harassing passersby or shaking cups.
“It is truly becoming an unsafe environment with muggings on the canal and shootings downtown.”
Oh really? Yeah, the mayor could care less that city residents are having to hire their own private police forces to protect their neighborhoods. Yet he is really concerned that an out-of-town visitor is offended to see a homeless person panhandling downtown, which might harm the city's convention business? Clearly, promoting the city's convention business ranks above public safety as a priority in the eyes of the mayor.


Had Enough Indy? said...

Hide people. What kind of person hides people instead of helping them?

Are they showing up on street corners in unkempt clothes? Response : ban vocalization of requests for donations on street corners.

Are they asking for money? Put in 'donation boxes' whose funds go to who knows where - 'its better for THEM'. DO encourage less visibility of the 'problem people'.

Thank goodness for the Church on Georgia Street that feeds the homeless.

Shame on IDI for rearranging the furniture to keep the homeless from any comfort.

Shame on Ballard for not giving a real damn about real people in real need in our city. It long past time when he learned that this city is more than a tourist catch for the CIB and the hotel industry.

Tell me again, why any of this needs to be said to supposed human beings who are in a position to help their fellow man.

Heartless bastards.

Michael Kobrowski said...

I was just a couple weeks ago in San Francisco for an IT conference. 20 K people conference. A few weeks after another IT conference with 80 K people was there in the same area of San Fran.

Panhandling in SF is 10 times worse than it has ever been in Indy. So that person worrying about panhandling must have come from a very small town.

Enforce the current rules (no panhandling on the corners, no talking to people to ask for money) and it will be fine.

My wife and I had our anniversary dinner downtown Sunday night and decided to eat outside at a restaurant. There right on the corner was a panhandling person (probably not homeless) talking loudly on her cell phone and saying "hello" to each person walking by.

And also commenting on a lot of peoples clothing, or how cute their kids looked. It was a bit creepy.

She didn't ask for money, but she did have a cup for donations. But problem was she was right on the corner, which I thought was not allowed.

Oh, also had a man walk up to us after we visited a bar after dinner with a story he needed $4 now that he had been diagnosed with cancer...?

Gary R. Welsh said...

I agree, Michael. It's also worse in Miami Beach, which is a much bigger tourist destination.