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Homeless Shelter Coming to Ashburn - Meeting Oct.23

Discussion in 'Broadlands Community Issues' started by CdnJess, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. marielaveau

    marielaveau Voodoo Queen

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    I have been reading this and I have to step in and make a comment.

    I support GSA and have been donating to them for years. There are some people here who are on an old fashioned witch hunt and hiding behind the "what about the children argument". Let me tell you something. There is a registered pedophile RIGHT BEHIND MY HOUSE. AND this is right across the street from Hillside Elementary. Now I have a daughter and I take it upon MYSELF to keep her safe with extra precautions. I do not expect the community to do it. As her mother that is MY JOB. If you think Ashburn is "leave it to beaver land", forget it. It's not, no place is. So if you are so worried about the kids, take the extra precautions and quit trying to villify good people trying to do good things.

    Peace out.
     
  2. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    ? that house backs to common land and no houses back to that area.

    But anyways.. apples and oranges IMO.

    You can't control who moves in - but would you INVITE them?

    Would you like someone to advertise your community as a great place to be at the parole office? Would you like the state police to open a sex offender registration desk at the Saul Center?

    People can call it NIMBY all they want - the point is why put something AWAY from the need and in the mist of a conflicting area. This would be like opening a day laborer pick-up center at the Nature Center.
     
  3. marielaveau

    marielaveau Voodoo Queen

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    the point being, this person is really close and a definite danger. Whatever Steve, keep up the good work.
     
  4. Robert.Hamilton

    Robert.Hamilton New Member

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    I do hope you can do something about your anger, Robert. It is causing you to sound very unreasonable and "spin" a great deal yourself.

    I think it's perfectly reasonable to oppose the GSA location, but the venomous tone toward a non-profit is a bit disconcerting. Wow.

    I’ll assume you are now attacking me in an ad hominem way because you know everything I have posted here is the truth. But for the record I am enjoying this debate although I do wish you would stick to the question at hand.

    Is bussing Loudoun Counties homeless population, with all the risk involved with caring for a homeless population, into space surrounded by homes and schools a good idea? No.


    You said that you support GSA's mission--how exactly have you supported it? Or do you just support moving "those people" away from our town?

    Sigh… again with the ad hominem attacks, I am currently supporting the homeless of Loudoun County by engaging in political debate in effort to find a common sense solution to the current problem of caring for our homeless while simultaneously protecting our children.

    It appears this information was in the local papers back in June--I guess those of us who were so involved with GSA's mission somehow missed the information.

    If by us you are referring to me and my neighbors, yes we missed it. Had GSA done a better job of reaching out to us we could have helped pressure the county board to find an appropriate location that does not place our children in harms way.

    By the way, I am sure GSA softpedaled the information about men being served (um, not sure where your obsession with men comes in, but NO ONE has said that men won't be treated there), but given the venomous response from the local community, I can see why.

    Thank you for agreeing with me. Yes, GSA is soft-pedaling the male aspect because some homeless men are dangerous. In fact they are soft-pedaling all the risk associated with caring for the homeless. Not all, but on average a large percentage of the homeless are mentally unstable and/or chronic drug abusers.

    I’ll make a deal with you; if you stop characterizing me as an evil venomous person I won’t characterize you as an uncompassionate person who recklessly endangers children.

    Let’s try to stick to the important work of finding an appropriate location to shelter the homeless that does not place the children in our community at risk.

    Hoping we can reach a solution that both helps those in need and protects our children.

    Now there is something you and I can agree on. J
     
  5. Robert.Hamilton

    Robert.Hamilton New Member

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    Mr. Hamilton,

    I have absolutely no affiliation with the GSA. In fact, I don't even think I've donated anything to them. I tend to give everything I do to the Loudoun Abused Woman's Shelter.

    In fact, I think the first time I really noticed anything about the GSA was when Mark Gunderman was honored by the Board of Supervisors in January as the LoudounCounty Citizen of the Year. Mr. Gunderman is the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors.

    Again for the record, I don’t think there is anything wrong with GSA adding comment to this debate on this board or in any other forum. If we as a community engage in this type of debate we can find a solution that serves the needs of the homeless without endangering our children.

    What I can tell you is that I think they have a very noble cause. Six months ago when I first heard they were coming into Ashburn, I took it upon myself to find out the truth. I called people, talked to people, did my own web research and then came to my own conclusions.

    Unfortunately I did not understand that GSA intended to bus in homeless people from all over the county to this shelter until last week. Since then I have done a lot of research also and come to the conclusion that a large percentage of the homeless population are mentally ill. Also a large percentage of the homeless population is addicted to drugs and I don’t think it is safe to bus people with these conditions into our community. There is another option, build a shelter away from schools and residential homes.

    Since this last minute explosion of interest, I have taken the time to re-affirm what I found out six months ago. This includes talking to additional people, numerous GSA officials, church members, and neighbors. I have even taken the time to walk through the facility, to include looking around the property. I have no worries about GSA becoming a neighbor within our community.

    The people who run GSA are not the worry; it is the people they will bus to this location I am worried about. I don’t wish to demonize the homeless and I truly believe we need to try to help homeless people. But we also need to be honest about the risk involved with caring for the homeless and take preventative measures to protect our children. We could solve this problem by simply moving the shelter to a non residential area.

    Have you done as much? My impression is that you are reading the press clips of those that quickly jumped to a conclusion that this was not a good location.

    No amount of sugar coating will change the fact that some homeless people are also dangerous. So my irrefutable point is that these services can be provided to the homeless without placing the children in Loudon at unnecessary risk.

    Here is something else I found out yesterday, did you know that the site has been in use since last spring? The thrift store has been operating on the site since then. Signs have been up, people have been shopping and clean up has been occurring. I think it is disingenuous to continue the myth that this was sprung on Ashburn, and was somehow covert in conception. Why didn't anyone with concerns stop by six months ago and make inquiries?

    I believe it is because GSA has sugar coated the issue. Had they been forthright from the start we would have had the debate sooner. As proof of this I point to the out cry today. But there is no sense in crying over the past we can only move forward from here and no matter how long ago these plans were made it is still a bad plan to bus mentally unstable, drug abusers to a location so close to so many children. Let’s work together and find a solution that serves the homeless without endangering our children.
     
  6. LvBlands3

    LvBlands3 New Member

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    I can understand why so many people who are homeless feel ashamed and embarrassed by their situation. Often, they try to hide it as much as possible. No wonder, given the way they are portrayed here.
     
  7. Silence Dogood99

    Silence Dogood99 New Member

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    Um, some are still spinning this and mischaracterizing it as a homeless "shelter" and blaming everything on GSA...when this has been in the works for many months. Just looking for both sides to stop spinning and actually have an honest debate.

    I agree with the comments by Jim made in earlier post. This is an OPPORTUNITY to support a noble cause and teach our kids how to serve those less fortunate in our community.

    Again, I ask: what if we put all that anger, time, emotion and attorney's fees into helping GSA and other charities actually help people? Now that would be cool :)
     
  8. Robert.Hamilton

    Robert.Hamilton New Member

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    Marielaveau,

    I feel I am doing exactly what you suggest, taking it upon myself to protect my 2 children. Whether Ashburn is “Leave it to BeaverLand” or not does not make it a good idea to place homeless people from all over Loudoun on a bus and drop them within walking distance of our schools and homes. In fact it makes my children less safe.

    I’ll make a deal with you, if you support me in helping GSA find a better location for their facility that does not place mine or anyone’s children in unnecessary danger I will support you in an effort to place tighter restrictions on pedophiles to help keep your daughter safe.
     
  9. Robert.Hamilton

    Robert.Hamilton New Member

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    LvBlands3,
    The only mischaracterization of the homeless is that they are all harmless. It is true some homeless people just need a little help to get back on their feet, others are mentally ill, and others are severe drug addicts. There are risks involved in dealing with homeless people and we can mitigate those risks by moving the shelter away from residentially zoned areas. This is simple truth, it maybe ugly but it is still the truth.
     
  10. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    'what' has been in the works for many months is what is conflicting though. What people were told months ago (or read) is contradictory to what is being told to them now by the GSA.

    The GSA also doesn't list other sites as overnight shelters, yet they allow them to be used as such 'when needed'.

    If things were clear and enforceable, this would be a different conversation.
     
  11. marielaveau

    marielaveau Voodoo Queen

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    Mr. Hamilton,
    The pedophile moved there and I am aware of it. That is all the protection my daughter needs. He has a right to live there and I have a right to watch out for her and protect her, so I do. Also for the record, I went to college at VCU, middle of Richmond and all of the dorms face what was then a public park FULL and I mean FULL of HOMELESS MEN (as you like to capitalize). They wandered onto campus freely but were harmless. May of them were probably "mentally unstable" and drug users. They pretty much left us alone. We students even got to know a few of them personally and learned to adapt to their presence. I grew up in a fairly rural setting, so this was a big shock for me. I even lived in an apartment in the city that houses "mentally unstable" wards of the state. I never felt at risk and I have VERY well developed "spidey senses" that have saved me on more than one occasion. Just get the facts about the center from the source before you light these fires and fan the flames.
     
  12. Robert.Hamilton

    Robert.Hamilton New Member

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    Um, some are still spinning this and mischaracterizing it as a homeless "shelter" and blaming everything on GSA...

    Who is spinning here? Let’s look at the definition of a homeless shelter…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeless_shelter
    “There are daytime-only homeless shelters, where the homeless can go when they cannot stay inside at their night-time sleeping shelter during the day. Such an early model of a daytime homeless shelter providing multi-faceted services is Saint Francis House in Boston, Massachusetts.”

    when this has been in the works for many months. Just looking for both sides to stop spinning and actually have an honest debate.

    The fact that this has been in the works does not make it a good idea because it will still put some dangerous people in close proximity to our children. GSA bears most of the blame for this because they failed to take into consideration the safety of our children.

    I agree with the comments by Jim made in earlier post. This is an OPPORTUNITY to support a noble cause and teach our kids how to serve those less fortunate in our community.

    Let’s take this opportunity to move the GSA Homeless Shelter to a location that also keeps our children safe.

    Again, I ask: what if we put all that anger, time, emotion and attorney's fees into helping GSA and other charities actually help people? Now that would be cool

    But let’s do it without endangering our children.
     
  13. Lee

    Lee Permanent Vacation

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    Well this is going to be quite an education for the people that think they are going to waltz in after the fact and change things. No matter how many signatures you get and how many lawyers you waste money on. The law is behind this center and you all are coming into this way too late. Again I don't care about one way or another.

    This is going to be interesting to watch, the education the residents are about to get. My guess too much money has been spent to change things much now!!!!!!
    They also have the law behind this center.

    Lee j
     
  14. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    hrmm... kinda like your flex buildings huh Lee? :)
     
  15. Robert.Hamilton

    Robert.Hamilton New Member

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    marielaveau,

    I am happy you had no problems with past encounters with the homeless but that is not always the case. Here is an article about an incident that occurred at another GSA Shelter in Loudoun. It was a day time Shelter just like the shelter proposed for Ashburn

    “A homeless man has been charged with assaulting a homeless woman one evening inside the Leesburg headquarters of the Good Shepherd Alliance, raising questions about how they got into the facility after working hours.
    Good Shepherd, a Christian organization that operates homeless shelters across the county, uses the building on Sycolin Road for its staff operations and to provide services to homeless people during the day. The building usually closes at 5 p.m., Good Shepherd officials said.”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/02/AR2007030202099.html?nav=rss_metro/va

    I’m not some heartless man who hates homeless people. But we can’t be naïve about the danger some – not all- but some homeless people present.

    We can provide service to the homeless, teach our children about civic duty and not exposes them to unnecessary risk. Let’s work together and find an appropriate location for the shelter.
     
  16. marielaveau

    marielaveau Voodoo Queen

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    Mr. Hamilton,
    I don't see anything in that story about assaulting children. I realize this can be a danger, but that is why God gave us brains. Just take care of your kids and I bet everything will be ok despite your worst fears. :)
     
  17. Lee

    Lee Permanent Vacation

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    You got it good buddy:) ha ha ha ha
    I have been and still am going all the time where these people are trying to go in a different way, very tough to fight city hall as they say.
    A better attempt is some kind of compromise, but moving the shelter in my guess will never never happen unless someone can foot the entire bill.

    Lee j
     
  18. Robert.Hamilton

    Robert.Hamilton New Member

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    I realize this can be a danger, but that is why God gave us brains.


    Let’s use those brains then and move this shelter someplace more suitable.
     
  19. Robert.Hamilton

    Robert.Hamilton New Member

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    I don't see anything in that story about assaulting children.


    So in your opinion it’s OK if a homeless man assaults my wife? The point is obvious, some homeless people are dangerous.
     
  20. Robert.Hamilton

    Robert.Hamilton New Member

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    Just take care of your kids and I bet everything will be ok despite your worst fears.


    If that could be guarantied I would be a happy man. Until then I must continue my fight. J
     

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