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Homeless are people, not pieces of trash

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Posted: Friday, July 13, 2007 10:00 pm

I believe there are more problems with Mr. Heath's column than I can delve into at this time.

I am, however, very disturbed by the casual use of the word "worthless" paired up with the homeless. I understand these people have issues, including addictions and mental health issues; some are lazy and some are down on their luck. But they are, first and foremost, people.

We need solutions and there are those of us trying to help them see a way out; and we're called Homeless Outreach Workers.

Some of those "worthless" people you mention, Mr. Heath, may have their vices, but some are quite industrious, intelligent, friendly and helpful to others. Of course, for every person like this, there are those who are conniving, cheating, lazy and apathetic.

The problem is that some of them have lost hope. Where do they turn to next? We need solutions.

These vindictive and stereotyping columns are not it.

Some people like to point out what they like to think the problem is, but fail to offer a solution. I welcome open and honest discussions of the problems and their possible solutions. The more people who become part of the solution, the better the chance at addressing the issues.

Dennis M. Buettner

PSSWII Behavioral Health Services

San Joaquin County

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • posted at 12:16 pm on Fri, Jul 20, 2007.


    Hey, you are absolutely right. Like most conservatives, I find it best to try as hard as I can to never do any good deeds. A life of pure evil is clearly the key to success. Just look at Dick Cheney. I am behind you 539.8%

  • posted at 3:42 am on Fri, Jul 20, 2007.


    Its always the do gooders and the libs that are the most screwed up and by doing all their "good deeds" they can focus their attention on someone who is in worse shape then the are.I bet you a dollar and a donut if you looked into the homes of the people who sit on this computer all day, their house is a pigsty and their kids are brats. Doing all these "good deeds" allows them to escape their own grim reality.

  • posted at 4:21 am on Wed, Jul 18, 2007.


    You consider yourself a "liberal conservative"? I bet you love Hillary? Or OBama Lama Ding Dong? 95% of the homeless you help wouldn't walk across the street to help you. They only think of "NUMBER ONE". The homeless are just like the Lodi "good ol boyz", but without money. The "good ol boyz" get their power by "taxing" us. In Lodi, you are required to "tithe" to the "church" of the "good ol boyz". 1/2 of Lodi literally owned by "the good ol boyz" - small town developers, builders and contractors who are wannabe bigshots.

  • posted at 4:54 pm on Tue, Jul 17, 2007.


    I love the word "smarmy"

  • posted at 11:13 am on Tue, Jul 17, 2007.


    Hey. don't get me wrong. I love alcoholics. Some of my best friends are big time boozers. I say move 'em out of the park and in with the do-gooders and bleeding hearts.

  • posted at 8:16 am on Tue, Jul 17, 2007.


    DD: Not all that feel the homeless should not reside in the town parks have raised children that follow this life path. There is some real value in some of what is said here.

  • posted at 4:11 am on Tue, Jul 17, 2007.


    And furthermore...to you anti-humanity bloggers...Go ahead, write your trash, it does'nt matter. We will be seeing your kids soon enough joining the ranks of homeless.....yeah, the ones you let drink around the downtown area, and smoke joints and meth in the alley ways and parks around town.Ignorance is bliss.....

  • posted at 4:10 am on Tue, Jul 17, 2007.


    Dennis, dont let these narrow minded, self-serving, ungrateful people get you down. You do God's work and will be rewarded for it in time. I cannot believe that people actually still think along the lines of all the garbage I see written here, Indentured servitude! Please, at least offer an intelligent argument. Slavery was abolished for a reason. Put very simply, you deal in an area of work that deals with a situation noone else wants to. It is very easy to criticize someone when you have no clue about whats going on.

  • posted at 1:27 am on Mon, Jul 16, 2007.


    I encourage people to take the energy that they do have, regarding this situation, which by no means is acceptable, and join in with agencies such as the Salvation Army, Lodi House, Behavioral Health Services, Community Health Centers, and several others and craft a plan and take action to address the problems.

  • posted at 1:24 am on Mon, Jul 16, 2007.


    I am surprised by the response to my letter. I did not expect such nasty reactions. My main point is that these people are not worthless. In case you would like to know, I consider myself a liberal conservative. My personal values are very conservative but I tend to be a social activist, thus many people think I'm a bleeding heart liberal.

  • posted at 1:03 pm on Sun, Jul 15, 2007.


    Well you can write 'Bleeding Heart Liberal' on my headstone for all I care. Dennis, I appreciate your well-written letter, and agree that there were many unsettling comments in Mr. Heath's column. It amazes me that some of the commenters, at times, sound quite condescending and lack compassion. The homeless are "parkroaches"? And is there really any need to belittle Mr. Buettner regarding his job? I think we're getting off track here.

  • posted at 10:28 am on Sun, Jul 15, 2007.


    I think these people should be taken into custody. Then they could be sold to people who would make them work and take care of them in exchange.

  • posted at 9:59 am on Sun, Jul 15, 2007.


    Apparently, the LNS will not post any remarks that question Wade's journalistic ethics. I have to say that I am not entirely surprised by this example of self serving censorship.

  • posted at 5:39 am on Sun, Jul 15, 2007.


    "One flew over the Cuckoos Nest" was on TV. I see Dennnis Buettner as "Nurse Ratched". What would nurse Ratched do without having insane people to control? Dennis, what would YOU do without homeless "victims"? Do you crave to have them "need you"? You remind me of "nurse Ratched. Are you so low on the totem pole of society that you can only control "park people". Sad! Why aren't there homeless people where there are NO social services? Because the losers follow the handouts and will leave until they get it "their way".

  • posted at 2:26 am on Sun, Jul 15, 2007.


    Dennis M. Buettner it seems society always wants to label people with some type of disorder. I was homeless at a point in my life, there was plenty of programs that helped, with food a shelter. These bums dont want a curfew, and dont want to work, they are leaching off the system! Public debate is a waste of time. Give them a chip in their hand that forbids purchasing anything but food, water, milk, juice ect. Take away their freedom because they do not deserve it! Mental disorder or drugs is the only reason people are homesless longterm!

  • posted at 2:20 am on Sun, Jul 15, 2007.


    Mother with kids, widows and seniors or should I say the helpless deserve assistance. We need to find a solution to this problem and you are right. Ban all homeless from buying alcohol. embed a chip in their hand that will not alow them anything but the staples of the food source. Get rid of all money and housing to these people, because it belongs to single mothers with kids and helpless seniors.

  • posted at 2:09 am on Sun, Jul 15, 2007.


    Yes you are right to a point. Mr. Heath by no means deserves your ridicule. Lets step back in time for a moment. Its 1910, there are no social programs so to speak. This means every person for themselves. You either found a way to get food and shelter or suffered and some died. Okay back to 2007 Mr. Buettner: PSSWII Behavioral Health Services. Life is to damn easy with all the social programs that were created for widows and mothers with kids.

  • posted at 1:59 am on Sun, Jul 15, 2007.


    I will take the writings of Wade Heath over those of Dennis M. Buettner any day. These parkroaches are a blight to society. Am I sorry for them ? Yes ! Do I have to tolerate them ? No. I yearn for the days when we had mental health hospitals and lock-up treatment centers so these people had somewhere to go.

  • posted at 4:53 pm on Sat, Jul 14, 2007.


    There is a solution for all, Stop pandering to the problem, regular sweeps to arrest the criminals and "treat" the mentally ill, just get them out of MY parks...

  • posted at 4:42 pm on Sat, Jul 14, 2007.


    Obviously I am not homeless or i wouldnt have a computer unless i lived and slept at the library with my friends. ennis M. Buettner
    PSSWII Behavioral Health Services
    San Joaquin County is a bleeding heart liberal. we laugh at him. we cant go the the salfation army because they wont take us dopies nd druggies. wat is he thinking ? we are useless but love our worthless conditions. he lives great and thinks he is helpingb.

  • posted at 1:30 pm on Sat, Jul 14, 2007.


    Dennis, I think the first solution is to get these folks out of our parks. Don't tell me my children need to determine which one of these people are just misguided, down on there luck, drunks, crack-heads or friendly, industrious people. We shouldn't have to think about these issues when visiting our parks. This bleeding heart junk makes me sick!

  • posted at 8:55 am on Sat, Jul 14, 2007.


    I am blessed to have a home and feel for the people who don't. I have no solution but do realize all homeless are not worthless. It is sad these people get a bad wrap but some who beg are a bother.

  • posted at 5:58 am on Sat, Jul 14, 2007.


    Very well said! A person can be homeless in no time especially with everyone paying for THINGS by using plastic.

  • posted at 4:54 am on Sat, Jul 14, 2007.


    Unbelievable. You people don't get it. San Joaquin county has the highest foreclosure rate in the US. That means we should have an abundance of new "homeless". We don't, so maybe we should have a new job title called "Foreclosure Outreach Person" (FOP). This way we can educate people that you can't afford to pay $600,000 for a house if you only make $10,000 year- no matter what the TV cartoons say.

  • posted at 4:51 am on Sat, Jul 14, 2007.


    Shed some light on the subject for us! How many Mentally ill homeless do you invite to treatment, medication and counseling? More direct and to the point...How many tell you where you can go? Most homeless choose that lifestyle because it is the easiest road to walk. They need just a little to get by to stay high or drunk. You may think you talk the talk but you don't walk the walk. We in Lodi whoo see these lazy people on a daily basis know much better.

  • posted at 4:47 am on Sat, Jul 14, 2007.


    As you intelligently pointed out..."I understand these people have issues, including addictions and mental health issues; some are lazy and some are down on their luck."! A down on their luck person will do something to improve himself! Lazy people always want the easy road! Addicts and alcoholics "owe society nothing". They'll steal from us in a heartbeat to stay high or drunk. Mentally ill need help but RESFUSE treatment therefore they have made their choice as well. Child molesters like to be transients because POLICE do not have a "PHYSICAL" address to check on their status or behavior!

  • posted at 4:41 am on Sat, Jul 14, 2007.


    Perhaps on my next visit to Lawrence park, I could cautiously approach one of these esteemed yet unfortunate park residents and give them your office telephone number for a referral? I could print off a few hundred flyers to hand out the next time I am panhandled for money or if I observe them relieving themselves on park property? Better yet, I could buy them bus tickets to your Stockton office so that you could rescue them from themselves.

  • posted at 4:17 am on Sat, Jul 14, 2007.


    Its illegal to sit around a park and drink and do drugs all day. Maybe these poor souls would be motivated to follow the law if LPD would shove a billy club where the sun doesn't shine.

  • posted at 4:16 am on Sat, Jul 14, 2007.


    Excellent letter, Dennis. Wade always seems smarmy to me & he's annoying. Guess he forgot the "there but for the grace of God, go I" Ronnie Raygun started a lot of the homeless problem with his Greyhound bus "therapy"; so perhaps our governator, Arnie, should help these people rather than push for more prisons to boost prison industries (it trades on the NYSE).

  • posted at 4:02 am on Sat, Jul 14, 2007.


    Wade is just an average, intelligent and very naive young man and wannabe reporter, whose experience as a writer for the Sentinel doesn't say a thing.When he finds a job with a real newspaper his success will be imminent. By the way Wade, I saw JoAnne Mounce at Washington Park the other evening at 10:30PM talking with those same people you interviewed for 15 minutes during the daytime. Go to Hale park after dark Wade, and then give us your "story", if you're still able. You might even find some English speaking parkgoers without colors on.


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