• Ryan Antczak

Homeless in Milwaukee

Updated: Nov 11, 2019

The same rules that are in any other community are here in Milwaukee. If we don't enforce the rules that are written. People will push the rules & interpret which rules they want to follow. If we just enforce all of the rules in the 1st place. We wouldn't have the issues we have with the homeless & panhandling.

There are many that estimate that 75% of those that are homeless, CHOOSE TO BE HOMELESS. The same majority are addicted to drugs, alcohol, &/or have mental problems. The homeless are NOT homeless because of the lack of housing. There are plenty of places to rent or shelters to go to. The majority of the homeless don't want to follow the rules in shelters. Therefore making a decision to live on the streets. Then we as the public facilitate by giving them money which the majority then spend on alcohol, drugs, and/or sex trafficking.

We as the public give as an act of compassion and humanitarianism. I, & many others feel that this line of thought is flawed and/or misdirected. We as the public are doing the homeless no good for we are facilitating a bad lifestyle that will kill them. It's a lifestyle that has no future & that leads to things that are worse. We have the love to help, but it's misguided love. The homeless live in tents because they don't want to live in a shelter. The homeless have money problems that they can't afford rent. Which shelters come in and fill the gaps, there isn't a shelter right now that is near capacity. The homeless don't want to spend money they have on rent, or don't have money due to substance abuse and / or mental health problems which they can't manage their life. The homeless don't want to go into the shelter. They would rather make the choice to live in the tents / streets. Living on the streets or places like "TENT CITY" are a utopia for these people. They can use drugs/alcohol when they want on state land where MPD has no jurisdiction. State Troopers &/or Police have much bigger issues to deal with such as TRAFFIC. So they're not going to help. And they're within walking distance of downtown to walk to various spots to beg for more money & continue the cycle.

I get it, shelters are not the Hilton Hotel. Then again you get what you pay for. Some can be chaotic, maybe not the cleanest of places, some make too much noise, some people feel unsafe in them, etc. I'm understanding to these reasons being a Boy Scout / Eagle Scout, I'd much rather be in a tent. But I &/or the homeless can't go camping on City/ County/ State Property. Fortunately 99% of us are not in this situation in life.

Another reason the homeless don't like shelters, shelters have rules. And the homeless don't want to follow rules. Rules like a curfew. There are rules against drinking, drugs, sex, etc. The homeless want to do what they want, when they want. We as the public, are not serving any positive purpose by facilitating this lifestyle. The homeless only get worse with their addictions & die. This is how the majority end up. There's nothing sustainable about living homeless. If the homeless were in a shelter there is help there for them. There's counseling, there are social workers, there are programs to get them into housing. There is help to break the cycle of addiction & mental health issues. They need treatment, not enabling a habit. It's not 100% effective, but it is way better than having misguided, good-hearted people giving them money that they are begging for. Then, in turn, spend it on their addictions. We as citizens are not helping the cycle, were facilitating the cycle. We as citizens are subsidizing their lifestyle choice that they keep them homeless.

Now, this has snowballed into a big problem. It's a serious problem because the homeless & city government don't follow the rules. This isn't a problem in outlining communities. Why? Because they follow and enforce the rules. Blight always leads to more blight. Find a neighborhood anywhere in Milwaukee that starts going to hell, & it will keep going to hell. Then good people get out, & more blight occurs after that. The same occurs with the explosion of homelessness & drug overdoses. The more that do it, the more it attracts. It feeds on itself & creates all sorts of social problems.

If you have a 15-year-old child who just decided to run away from home, & live on the streets. Are you compassionate in giving him money to live on the streets? Or are you compassionate to do everything in your power to get the kid into an orderly environment? It's the same thing. You're not helping the situation by giving the money. It's not a sustainable long-term solution by giving them money & food. The ones that are truly compassionate, are the people at the Salvation Army, Guest House,& the Rescue Mission. Where they truly try to help them break addiction & with mental health illness.

What I've always taught in Boy Scout Troop 11 is not to give hand outs, but HAND UPS. We have the compassion & resources to take care of the homelessness & poor. Those that live in encampments reject the overtures of treatment. If you think I’m wrong, feel free to adopt some homeless & have them pitch a tent in your backyard & give them money & food to facilitate their lifestyle & let me know in 6 months if there's any progress.

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