Are the streets becoming meaner?

Discussion relating to current events, politics, religion, etc
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 9609
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:44 pm
Location: Toronto

Are the streets becoming meaner?

#1 Post by Artemis » Sat Jan 16, 2021 3:44 pm

I don't know if it's because of the COVID situation but I'm REALLY aware that my city has really changed. There are so many homeless people, and of those, I would say the majority are drug addicts and mentally ill or both. For the first time in my life in Toronto, I feel unsafe. I'm hyper-aware of my surroundings more than ever. In my mom's area, which is not far from me, like about 3km, crime has increased- mostly car thefts, break and enter, shootings, assault(muggings and sexual). A homeless shelter opened near my mom's place in July(less than a km). It's a former hotel that is slated for demolition to become a condo( :eyes:). In the meantime, there's an LRT that's being built, so the developers can't start the project yet. For now the city is leasing this hotel to house homeless people due to COVID to allow physical distancing. At first, I wasn't really against this but the government wasn't upfront about the fact that crime increases near and around shelters. More dealers have come into the area to supply the drug addicts, syringes and other drug paraphernalia are common sights now. There's a "Community Team" that works 24/7 whose main task is to walk around the area, picking up syringes. My school where I went from grade 1-6 now has pairs of "Community Team" workers posted at every corner of the school property so that the "clients" of the shelter hotel aren't shooting up or smoking meth in the schoolyard. The school is about 150 metres from the shelter. Oh, I forgot to mention, besides this school, there's a high school right across the street from the shelter, so less than 100 metres. I can't believe how quickly the area I grew up in has deteriorated since the shelter opened. A friend of mine lives less than 2 blocks from the shelter and she found a guy openly shooting up on her porch!! He also took a shit on it. The area is considered to be "Midtown" and affluent. Many families, good schools, high walkablility rate, good access to public transit and safe -a very desirable neighbourhood. I realize my post probably sounds NIMBYish, but why should people who have worked hard to buy their homes and achieved success in their careers feel bad or guilty about it? Should people just acquiesce to the criminal element that has infiltrated the area for fear of being labelled "NIMBY"?
Homelessness is a complex problem for sure. The government here is putting together addicts, mentally ill and people down on their luck all together which isn't working, imo. This particular shelter hotel also has a supervised injection site and "harm reduction services" which I don't think I agree with anymore. Now that I see what's going on, I think these services for addicts are more enabling than helpful. I know you can't force people into rehab if they don't want it, but this current system is not working either. The government run rehab spaces are really limited with long waiting lists to get in and the private ones are too expensive. For most addicts, rehab isn't successsful on the first round. It could take many stints in rehab to overcome an addiction, if ever.

So what about where you live? Has crime gone up? Drug use? Homelessness? Encampments?

User avatar
Posts: 8291
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:08 pm
Location: South Bay, SoCal

Re: Are the streets becoming meaner?

#2 Post by kv » Sat Jan 16, 2021 5:12 pm

Yup...I feel now that most people are dealing with this instead of just the big cities....maybe we can find some answers....because nobody was crying too much till this year when it got closer to their own doorsteps....a wake up call to all...not a new problem...just the rug is covering a mountain of dirt...but hey discourse is where it all begins to get better....

User avatar
Posts: 4994
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:23 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Are the streets becoming meaner?

#3 Post by chaos » Sun Jan 17, 2021 10:24 am


There is an area in Boston known as Methadone Mile that has gotten progressively worse, specifically over the last five years when fentanyl became more and more pervasive. One contributing factor for the decline of that particular area is that a bridge connecting to a recovery center/homeless shelter in the middle of Boston harbor was demolished. There is a huge controversy over the possible rebuilding of the bridge since its pathway goes through a neighborhood whose quality of life has actually improved since the bridge has been gone.

Here is a short news video with shots of Methadone Mile and how it has started to impact the South End (the South End is not the same area as the infamous "Southie" area). The woman in the clip echoes much of what you are experiencing Artemis. ... IRBQ4Z46M/

User avatar
Posts: 7305
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:56 pm

Re: Are the streets becoming meaner?

#4 Post by SR » Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:42 pm

Homelessness in LA is at a level I have never seen before. There are camps everywhere with levels of sophistication and community that defy the imagination. Cops leave them completely alone. The LAPD are doing virtually nothing these days. I think their feelings are hurt. I had an x employee jack a few thousand in stolen checks and I went to the Pacific Division and they are closed. Every phone number I called was received by a cop who dexterity at doing absolutely nothing was truly impressive. When I finally got a report in, I have heard nothing and never expect to.

Drove into Santa Monica to hit up Santa Monica Seafood this am and the number of "For Lease" properties on Lincoln and Wilshire was just fucking depressing.

Our park in Westchester has turned into a homeless commune. People are losing their shit over it, but it doesn't bother me in the slightest (except for their plight). My wife is on Nextdoor....I lasted a day listening to the vapid gripes of those with too much time on their hands and extremely elevated impressions of themselves.

Good thread as I'd be curious of communities around the rock

User avatar
Larry B.
Posts: 7304
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:25 am
Location: Santiago

Re: Are the streets becoming meaner?

#5 Post by Larry B. » Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:00 pm

Yeah, interesting topic.

Over here, what has increased to demented levels is the media coverage of crime. If you tune in to see the news, it’s all muggings (mostly by foreigners), shootings (by foreigners) and femicides (did I mention it was those violent foreigners again?).

Around my area, there hasn’t been an apparent increase in crime; however, we have talked about how everyone seems to feel a bit less safe than before. My hypothesis for this local situation is that it’s a mental health consequence of the pandemic + the dreadful handling of it from our so-called government + the extremely tense social situation connected to the protests we’ve had starting in October of 2019 and the current constitutional process.

In short, we regular citizens just feel abandoned and like it’s almost an anarchic state. You just have to look out for yourself, because the government and the parliament aren’t doing much about us.

I’ve personally been struggling a bit lately, and I’m only just now sort of coming up from something that felt almost like depression but not quite. Like... a sense of hopelesness that wasn’t going away. *And* we’re moving houses next Monday, so that’s an extra bit of stress too.

User avatar
Posts: 3398
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:05 am
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Are the streets becoming meaner?

#6 Post by mockbee » Sun Jan 17, 2021 9:09 pm

Human waste littering the street, drugged out people lying against buildings and on sidewalks that people step around/over, elaborate encampents on sidewalks concocted with tents, tarps, plastic crates and woodpallets, syringes on the ground in city parks are pretty regular, everyday things in Portland and San Francisco in "good" neighborhoods and, of course, the "bad" for years now, even the last couple decades.

When I would walk to work twenty years ago in Portland through the Pearl Distict to downtown, past $750K condos, there would be morning sweeps of playgrounds where needles would regularly be picked up. Now, its even worse.... :noclue:

Today on a jog I went down a side street that normally has about 4 or 5 derelict RVs parked with broken windows, tarps over the tops of them, filthy and disheveled blinds covering the windows, along with broken down cars jacked up with wheels missing, tarps covering missing windows, seats in fully reclined position for sleeping, tons of garbage in the back seat. There were easily a dozen RVs and another half dozen cars, where people live/sleep each night that I joggedpast today. People sit outside of them with their dogs and keep busy shuffling their stuff around. This isn't in a shttty part of Portland. This is next to $700K homes...

Down by the river you can see fires burning at dusk along the waterfront in front of industrial properties. People live down by the river as well. Its a lot worse in the poor parts of town.

People are not doing well. And there are A LOT of people not doing well. I've talked to some of them to see how they got to this place in their lives. They are mostly really defeated and dont see anybody who has their best interest in mind, in the slightest.... or they seem really, really angry, I dont talk to them, they obviously have mental issues that are not being addressed. But more and more, people"down on their luck" seem to be populating the streets...


User avatar
Posts: 1481
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:46 pm
Location: PDX/Fukuoka Japan

Re: Are the streets becoming meaner?

#7 Post by guysmiley » Sun Jan 17, 2021 9:58 pm

Coming up on five years since I visited Portland. I was shocked at how bad it was. From the Mission on burnside all the way to the park blocks, you couldn't walk on the sidewalk. Tents and people sleeping on the sidewalks. Shitty place weather-wise to be homeless.

I can't even say where the bad part of Fukuoka is. But some places are going out of business. The government is giving more support here though. Everyone is pretty chill and polite. I'm probably the most agro, and I've even chilled out more. There is a definite sense of shame here. The homeless hide. Never been asked for money or food by any of them. I used to busk in a homeless park even.

Posts: 3391
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:15 am

Re: Are the streets becoming meaner?

#8 Post by clickie » Thu Jan 21, 2021 4:04 pm

Maybe because lately i've noticed a lot more people with a scowl on their face

Post Reply