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schencka
The Bleeding Heart Conundrum
A good Salon article, about the hazards of housing po' folks and offering them aid.

Lots of good reaction letters, too.

How does one deal with people who won't live in any decent way or with any dignity, and who have children? Give them money? Let them languish?

My job at GNC is located in a Section 8-heavy part of Tucson, what I would call the closest thing to a ghetto that Tucson has. It's a bad location for a health store. The intersection of Alvernon and Grant is the most dangerous in all of the city -- while I've worked at GNC (about eight months), there's been one pedestrian fatality and roughly four traffic accidents (all during the three times a week that I work).

The area is populated by haggard-looking chain smokers, white trash panhandlers, homeless and evidently metally ill people. I lack compassion for these unfortunates. Once, as I put away trash behind the store, a homeless man eyed me menacingly, stepped behind a big electrical box, and proceeded to take a piss. Most of these folks lack social grace. It's all irritating, and I'm a bleeding heart liberal.
 
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