Medicine Hat Media

Hatters Hate the Homeless

A bold title, but what other conclusions would someone jump to while reading a news article about a dozen businesses opposing the idea of a homeless shelter on South Railway Street?

Despite the shelter planning to operate between 8PM and 8AM, some parents are concerned for the safety of their children. What is a homeless person going to do? Kidnap your children and sell them back to you for a ham sandwich? If nothing else, these potentially dangerous people would be kept off the street, and away from children. If I was homeless, I would hope I was in a city that cared enough to put up a homeless shelter for the frigid winters. However, it seems most people are so blinded by the belief that homeless people are inherently evil that I would not invest much hope in a shelter.

It seems to me that the band NOFX has written a song about the shameful attitude of many Hatters toward homelessness:

Shelter given green light – Medicine Hat News by Amanda Stephenson

Previous post on Homelessness in The Hat

Medicine Hat Community Housing Society website

User Comments

9 Responses to “Hatters Hate the Homeless”

  1. November 13th, 2009 at 1:11 PM

    Mike says:

    “Hatters hate Homeless”
    Not (some) Hatters. “Hatters hate Homeless”
    Those are some broad brush strokes from a person that remonstrates against people who stereotype the homeless. Just thought I’d shine a light on the irony.

    Anyways, I hate the thought of anyone being homeless. So I guess you’re right, I hate Homeless and homelessness as most Hatters do. But I don’t hate homeless people. So I agree with your title . . . I think?

  2. November 13th, 2009 at 1:16 PM

    Mike says:

    Oh, wait! I misquoted. Well done me!
    “Hatters hate THE Homeless”

    I made very little sense.
    Take back. I don’t agree at all.

  3. November 13th, 2009 at 1:33 PM

    Sean says:

    The title is just to set the hook for the reader, I know not everyone hates homeless people, else there would not be an effort to create a shelter for them. If the media said “H1N1 kills a few people” no one would be morbidly afraid of it or get vaccinated.

    Added to the irony is that after the article was posted, I read that the city granted approval for the shelter.

  4. November 13th, 2009 at 1:52 PM

    Brian says:

    First, I think this shows a general fear that society has of homeless people. I have lived in Calgary and Edmonton and both cities have had neighbourhoods or businesses that have petitioned for proposed homeless shelters to be placed elsewhere. I’m sure most cities that deal with homelessness have this problem. As I’m sure you know, this concern or fear is not exclusive to Medicine Hat and I don’t think that Hatters really hate the homeless. I usually abhor these kind of stories when people petition homeless shelters or low income housing sites but I think there might be a valid point being made here if we knew more of the facts.

    A couple of points from the article in the MH News: First, this shelter is meant to supplement other shelters that do not allow intoxicated people to enter. This shelter is apparently meant to give a warm place to those that other shelters do not want (or do not have the ability or resources) to look after. It is definitely needed but in all fairness we should know that some of these people will likely be intoxicated.

    Second, they want to put it next to a performing arts school for children that is open in the evenings. I have worked at the Mustard Seed and volunteered at Alpha House in Calgary and can say that almost every sketchy or horrible occurrence I had to witness or deal with was done by an individual or group that had unfortunately abused some sort of substance. This might actually be a bad location.

    So perhaps homeless people are not the single issue here. It’s intoxicated people. Intoxicated people do stupid things. I am really impressed (and admittedly surprised) by the last few sentences in the MHNews article. The Police reported no incidents involving their previous shelter but my experience tells me it’s only a matter of time.

    I totally agree with you though Sean that there needs to be something done and that the homeless are not to feared as they are. Thanks for the article as I missed this in the MHNews and have not heard about it. Your article has also challenged me to call Winter’s Inn and see if they need help. So thanks.

  5. November 13th, 2009 at 1:52 PM

    Brian says:

    Holy crap that was long. Sorry

  6. November 13th, 2009 at 1:57 PM

    Brian says:

    Great News! But you can disregard or even delete my ridiculously long entry. I’m glad the school has made concessions as long as the shelter lays done some safety guidelines and has a staff member outside when the school is open. Brilliant.

  7. November 13th, 2009 at 1:59 PM

    Sean says:

    Brian you definitely get the award for longest Medicine Hat Media article to date!

    Bigger cities will no doubt harbour bigger concerns. More people equals more substance. But I don’t know if Medicine Hat really has that many homeless people to “worry” about. I know the stats from last year say some hundreds of people checked into the shelter, but that was probably as a whole, not individual people.

    It would almost be better to allow intoxicated people to enter so they aren’t sitting outside the shelter when younger children are walking around, or to have a police officer at the shelter from when it opens to like midnight or something.

  8. November 13th, 2009 at 2:16 PM

    Vaughn says:

    I think the point of the title was intentionally to be ironic/sarcastic although I think Sean pointed that out with more words.

  9. November 14th, 2009 at 7:49 PM

    Dusty says:

    I see the concern for businesses because having people loitering around is not good for an image. I guess you could say the idea is that they won’t loiter but I don’t think that’s a guarantee.

    When I first read shelter for intoxicated people I had thought that we didn’t want to stereotype anybody?

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