All over the news, we see again and again talk about attitudes toward the homeless. It is interesting to dig deep on the topic of homelessness in the Cole Valley area over the past ten years. In October of 2002, the SF Gate reported on Cole Valley grocer Maurice Kari. Kari was one of many people that helped homeless man, John Milar, regain his place in society.
A former alcoholic, Cole Valley was actively behind Milar’s success story. Today, instead of lending food, shelter, respect, the friendship, and odd jobs to the homeless that live in the Cole Valley neighborhood, residents are urged to vote against their presence.
The Cole Valley Improvement Association recently printed their Fall 2010 newsletter. Their coverage of local homeless resident “Brown Bag Betty” was less than flattering. Perhaps a more neutral article from the “Improvement” association could reflect the pages of the neighborhood’s long history with more accuracy. For example, a non-biased article to “improve” attitudes of local residents about the homeless. An additional improvement that the CVIA could consider is creating online videos for new residents with tips on positive interaction with someone that has a mental illness.
Potential neutral and non-biased styles of journalism from the CVIA could lead the way for the local homeless populations to organize their own videos and counter arguments in local newsletters. Local Cole Valley Homeless could explain topics of their choosing such as helpful donations. Open and active daily communication with residents and resident homeless citizens could help promote safety and offender identification.
The respect of people as individuals is always important. Here is a great link to over 50 blogs written by homeless citizens in SF and the US.