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Street People

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NEWS
October 19, 1999 | ALAN BRIAN NILSEN/ DAILY NEWS
During fund-raiser for candidate John Street at Warwick Hotel, the mayoral hopeful gets laughs out of (from left) radio host Mary Mason, Tipper Gore and DA Lynne Abraham. At right, Street gets pat from U.S. Bob Brady.
NEWS
January 9, 1987 | BY DONALD WELCH
One afternoon while walking home from work, I noticed a woman stretched out on the corner of 18th and Walnut, between a mailbox and traffic light, posing as if she were on the beach in Atlantic City. As passersby approached her, I could see she would mumble something to them. Each person would either shake their heads no, ignore her completely, or drop something shiny in her hand. "Another one!" I thought to myself. "Another beggar!" To avoid becoming her next victim, I attempted to cross on the other side of the street.
NEWS
September 6, 1986 | By Dick Pothier, Inquirer Staff Writer
Back in the 1800s, there were no homeless or street people or bag ladies in Philadelphia. They were called tramps. And they didn't get much sympathy. What they usually got was a month in jail or even more time in an almshouse, which they couldn't leave until they had worked off their debt to society, according to a Pennsylvania State University professor at the school's Media campus who has extensively researched Philadelphia's wandering poor of the 19th century. Women often made up about 50 percent of the tramp population, said Priscilla Clement, an associate professor of history at Penn State's Delaware County campus in Media.
BUSINESS
April 18, 1991 | by Leslie Scism, Daily News Staff Writer
HE IS: Jeremy Alvarez. HE HEADS: Central Philadelphia Development Corp. HE SUCCEEDS: By pushing for goals, respectfully, while giving key decision-makers room to move. For Jeremy J. Alvarez to accept a job, it must meet two criteria: It offers "the opportunity to do the right things pretty consistently," and it won't leave him antsy. "The thing I'm most anxious to avoid is boredom," he says. "I think a high percentage of intelligent people are bored, and I fear being in such a situation.
NEWS
January 24, 1989 | By Blake Fleetwood, From the New York Times
Not so long ago, the man police say is responsible for the gruesomemurder of Kathryn Hinnant, a pregnant 33-year-old doctor at Bellevue Hospitalin New York, would have been described as a drifter, alcoholic, drug addict orwacko. Not any more. Now he is called "homeless. " Today, all street people are lumped under the generic title of "homeless" -an incredible public relations coup by good-government groups that hasparalyzed society's ability to act. As a result, we have adopted a publicpolicy of permissiveness toward drug abuse, petty crimes, loitering andpanhandling that has encouraged suicidal and criminal behavior by thousands ofdesperately sick people.
NEWS
February 26, 1987 | By Linda Loyd, Inquirer Staff Writer
Sandy-haired Matthew Burg, 12, stepped forward on stage at the Albert M. Greenfield Elementary School, begging for a handout. But the passers-by ignored him, prompting a chorus of young "street people" to break into song: Spare a quarter? Spare a dime? What's the matter? Don't you have the time for me? The song swept onward, and two dozen singers posing as bag ladies and bums did their thing. Out front, sixth-grade teacher Barry Hoffman paced nervously, note pad in hand.
NEWS
June 22, 1997
On a typical night this spring, several hundred people were camped on the streets of downtown Philadelphia. Why were they there, when the city is spending millions on social programs targeted to homelessness? Mostly because these are the hardcore homeless - the drug-addled, alcohol-dependent, emotionally disturbed. And no quick fix will get them off the streets and onto a path to recovery. But it's also because, once the winter passes, the city trims back sharply on the number of shelter beds.
NEWS
May 5, 1987 | By Christopher Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
Republican mayoral candidate Frank L. Rizzo said yesterday that he would order police to charge mentally ill, drunk or incapacitated "vent people" with vagrancy so they could be removed from the streets and given medical aid and housing at a city facility. "It breaks my heart to see these people lying on the vents in the rain and in the cold," Rizzo said in an interview. "They have to be brought some place where they can receive medical attention, where they can receive food, where they can clean up. "As a human being, it breaks my heart to see them lying on vents - women, men. If I saw even a dog like that I'd stop and pick it up. " Rizzo's remarks were similar to those he made in a prerecorded interview with radio station KYW broadcast Sunday night, during which he blamed the increase in homeless people in Philadelphia in part on the court-ordered closing of the Pennhurst Center for the mentally retarded.
NEWS
October 18, 1989
At 9:15 a.m. yesterday, well into the start of the working day, there were six street people camping out in JFK Plaza in the heart of downtown Philadelphia, curled up in bedrolls that presumably had been laid down the night before. We don't know how many commuters had already hurried by, drawing the inevitable conclusion that Philadelphia was on a one-way course to oblivion. What we do know is that the Goode administration is not consistently enforcing the laws it has promised enforce.
NEWS
February 5, 1993 | By Ginny Wiegand, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Jeff Phillips lives three blocks from his job - general manager of the Palm restaurant at the Bellevue - but he takes a cab home at night to avoid being harassed by prostitutes. Joe Varalli, who owns Upstares at Varalli at 13th and Locust, sees street people plunk down outside his business. Philadelphia Orchestra patrons run a panhandlers' gantlet on their way to and from the Academy of Music. Prostitutes, street people and panhandlers - the big three in Center City - pose problems that, to some, seem to defy solutions.
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NEWS
May 29, 2012 | Daniel Rubin
ATLANTIC CITY — James Rahn swings the Honda Accord to the side of North Maine Avenue so he can sniff the ocean air. "It's nice, right?" he says, a gravel-voiced question, technically, but not one that awaits an answer. His stories are big on smell. His book Bloodnight, a collection of semifictionalized memories of growing up tough in this forlorn city, begins with a fifth-grade trauma. He gets in a fight with a kid named Ronnie Shepherd, who hurls him off a low roof, and, as the narrator lies on the ground, wrists snapped like twigs, he takes in the clammy funk of the bay at low tide.
NEWS
September 16, 2010 | By Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Columnist
Dino is lanky and redheaded; Alisha's got a great tan. Young, friendly, and articulate, they're junkies from the suburbs, living on the street in Camden. It's their lifestyle and, to some degree, their choice. "I'm trying to survive, and it's hard. Crazy stuff goes on. The other day the cops put guns in my face for trying to cop drugs," says Alisha, who's 22. I encounter the two friends on a sunny afternoon in North Camden, where a successor to downtown's now-leveled Tent City homeless encampment has taken root.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 14, 2010 | By Carrie Rickey, Inquirer Movie Critic
Some filmmakers make movies that hold up a mirror to nature. Nicole Holofcener makes seriocomedies that hold up a magnifying glass to human nature. Her latest is Please Give , a movie as generous, stingy, and biting - and memorable - as its six main characters. Holofcener, writer/director of Friends With Money , sorts her leads into two columns, Givers and Takers, then proceeds to detail their give-and-take with a sharp eye and an even sharper ear. The place is Manhattan, the time is now, and the stakes couldn't be higher for needy New Yorkers who require more emotional and physical space than their cramped apartments allow.
NEWS
April 23, 2008
AS A CENTER City resident for almost 40 years, I have seen waves of beggars and the homeless who populate our downtown streets swell and ebb over time. On the night of April 16, while Philadelphia was enjoying its most spectacular spotlight in recent times, hosting the Democratic debate at the Constitution Center, the number of those unfortunate individuals who beg for money on the streets of downtown was never more apparent. In my walk from 18th Street to Broad down Walnut Street, Philadelphia's Fifth Avenue, I faced the unpleasant and disheartening task of brushing off nine sad human tragedies who either saddled up and walked with me or sat with outstretched hands holding cups from makeshift cardboard homes on corners smack in the middle of pedestrian traffic.
NEWS
February 29, 2008
Philadelphia has gone from being the model of how to handle urban homelessness to an example of what happens when you don't keep up with federal policy. Consequently, the number of street people in the City of Brotherly Love ballooned to more than 600 last summer. Many found shelter for the cold winter, but hundreds remained on the streets, panhandling, sleeping on grates, searching for a meal, or drink, or fix. The city had more than 800 homeless people 10 years ago. But the problem was attacked aggressively with a $6 million plan that cut the population to 200 in three years by putting outreach teams on the street and building 300 units of long-term housing for the mentally ill and addicted.
NEWS
August 3, 2007 | By Jennifer Lin and Joseph A. Slobodzian INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
Three years ago, Philadelphia's approach to the problem of homelessness was so successful that many who worked with the homeless thought there would come a day when no one lived on the streets of Center City. Today, no one is saying that. With the street population of homeless at more than 300 and climbing, business leaders and residents in Center City are wondering whether the city is backsliding in how it deals with the problem and are calling for new approaches. Among them: The Center City District recently trained some of its workers on what can be done to force the mentally ill homeless off the streets.
NEWS
July 22, 2007 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Jennifer Lin and Katie Stuhldreher INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
"Time to get up!" It's 4:55 a.m. on Thursday, and, with a rap against the glass door by the post office in the concourse near Suburban Station, Sgt. Ed Hall delivers his wake-up call. As Hall, a SEPTA transit officer, pauses, eight people asleep on newspapers and makeshift cardboard mattresses begin to stir. Heads pop up. A tall man in heavy work boots methodically folds his newspaper into a tidy pile and leaves. All know the drill. They gather their bags and walk away, heading to LOVE Park or maybe Dilworth Plaza on City Hall's west side.
NEWS
July 22, 2007 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Jennifer Lin and Katie Stuhldreher, Inquirer Staff Writers
"Time to get up!" It's 4:55 a.m. on Thursday, and, with a rap against the glass door by the post office in the concourse near Suburban Station, Sgt. Ed Hall delivers his wake-up call. As Hall, a SEPTA transit officer, pauses, eight people asleep on newspapers and makeshift cardboard mattresses begin to stir. Heads pop up. A tall man in heavy work boots methodically folds his newspaper into a tidy pile and leaves. All know the drill. They gather their bags and walk away, heading to LOVE Park or maybe Dilworth Plaza on City Hall's west side.
NEWS
June 11, 2007
THIS CITY is filthy! I hope Michael Nutter will not only go after the violence, but the filth. Some storeowners and businesses clean up after the litterbugs, and the non-working, non-school-attending litterers. But some ignore the trash, tires, whatever around their buildings. Fine them! And when gun-toting punks are picked up, put them on a cleanup crew like New Jersey, which uses prisoners to clean up highway trash. Go to block captains and tell them to get it together.
NEWS
October 24, 2006
If you are reading this, we hope it is in the relative safety of one of the city's few remaining clapboard shacks, protected from the elements, if not the horde of vagrants pawing at your coat. Um...what are we talking about? An essay in Friday's Wall Street Journal (see following page). A Manhattan Institute "senior fellow" named Julia Vitullo-Martin described downtown Philadelphia as "a bleak post-industrial landscape- the few good buildings still standing routinely visited by street people begging at their entrances.
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