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SquirrellyMama

Statistics on childhood dangers

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This is a middle school?

I would find it difficult to be very civil about this fear, kids that age generally are allowed to go to the library alone anyway.  And here they can go off school grounds if they want to and many walk to school.  Our local library is inundated with middle schoolers during the lunch hour and it's across the road from the school.

There is nothing special about school hours that make them more dangerous.

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9 hours ago, SquirrellyMama said:

People who wish to speak at the school board meeting get 4 minutes. I have thought about rattling off  the things that are more dangerous than the library during my 4 minutes 🙂  The above is one of them. 

ETA- people speaking get 1 minute, not 4.

Make a poster sized chart with bar graphs with numbers!!  Talk about the top two and hold/prop up your chart, takes less than a minute, people will stare at your chart....

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1 hour ago, Eliana said:

People without homes are no more of a risk than people with homes.  

I knew I would upset someone by saying this

I don’t know how else to say our library is a place I love during the day but don’t feel overly safe at at night and wouldn’t send my kids there alone.

5 years ago this wouldn’t be a problem.  However I have definitely seen behaviours that have me slightly concerned.

Edited by Ausmumof3
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1 minute ago, Ausmumof3 said:

I knew I would upset someone by saying this

<personal anecdote removed>

Yes, there are cases where a person who lives unsheltered has assaulted someone.  My point was that someone's housing situation tells us nothing about how safe or unsafe they are to be around.  

I do understand that having someone close to us experience something makes those circumstances feel more real and urgent and dangerous, but it doesn't make them factually more dangerous.  

People without homes aren't fundamentally different from anyone else - they are as varied as those of us who are housed, with the same range qualities and challenges.

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7 hours ago, Eliana said:

Yes, there are cases where a person who lives unsheltered has assaulted someone.  My point was that someone's housing situation tells us nothing about how safe or unsafe they are to be around.  

I do understand that having someone close to us experience something makes those circumstances feel more real and urgent and dangerous, but it doesn't make them factually more dangerous.  

People without homes aren't fundamentally different from anyone else - they are as varied as those of us who are housed, with the same range qualities and challenges.

 

I would basically agree with this, but I would also say that this is an overall picture.  There are different types of homelessness, and some are associated with problems that tend to cause the people around them more concern - mainly addiction and some kinds of mental illness. That group has quite different characteristics than a great many homeless people who have different reasons for finding themselves in that situation.  

I used to live in, and still attend church, in an area with a higher than average proportion of those people, because shelters and soup kitchens are clustered there, including one in my church.  You do get more anti-social behaviour than normal because of some of the problems that have contributed to that particular type of homelessness also lead to those behaviours - if not planned carefully for example it's not unusual to have shoving matches in the soup kitchen line.  It's not most of the people there, by any means, but it's also not what most of us would expect to see on a regular basis waiting in line for food - I don't think I've ever seen it in any other setting, but they need to plan for it.  

Even if its not all the time, or most people, that can make a situation seem unreliable, especially in terms of sending your kids there when there would be no one around to help them. It might be what's going on in the post you responded to.

It doesn't sound though like it's remotely what's going on in the OPs situation.

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19 hours ago, Arctic Mama said:

Oh brother, THAT lady.  There are always a few of them.

She'd like to speak to the manager, please. Now.

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In terms of relative safety, you can do anything you want to make a point, including a chart as suggested above for speed.

 Really only other places the kids would be instead of the library make logical sense though.  The school versus the library in particular.  

I don’t know official stats, but I personally am aware of more concussions and broken bones that have happened  irl around me during school play time than injuries or rapes or abductions in libraries.  

But I still think an opt in or opt out list could solve problem for all.  

Accepting the police offer to give more patrol oversight could also help. If offer was to have extra police at library, I don’t know why school had the say in declining that. If that’s what you indicated. 

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Any comparable dangers you bring up, however, may result in the woman who is afraid of library becoming afraid of the other danger. Wanting to have PE and Recess cancelled because her child could get hurt.  For example. 

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11 hours ago, Eliana said:

Yes, there are cases where a person who lives unsheltered has assaulted someone.  My point was that someone's housing situation tells us nothing about how safe or unsafe they are to be around.  

I do understand that having someone close to us experience something makes those circumstances feel more real and urgent and dangerous, but it doesn't make them factually more dangerous.  

People without homes aren't fundamentally different from anyone else - they are as varied as those of us who are housed, with the same range qualities and challenges.

An individual's personal housing situation might not tell us about how safe/unsafe that individual is.  

However, the truth is that when you get groups of homeless people together, the overall situation becomes less safe. Drugs, alcohol and yes, violent crimes all tend to increase.

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1 hour ago, happysmileylady said:

An individual's personal housing situation might not tell us about how safe/unsafe that individual is.  

However, the truth is that when you get groups of homeless people together, the overall situation becomes less safe. Drugs, alcohol and yes, violent crimes all tend to increase.

This is not true.   I work extensively with homeless communities and chair the Community Advisory Committee for a tiny house village, and the correlation you are asserting is not borne out by the data.  (And addiction rates in the homeless population are **the same** as in the housed population.  A collection of people who don't have houses is no more likely to increase risk than a collection of renters or of homeowners.  Risk is increased or decreased by the same factors for each group.). 

I'm emphasizing all of this because the misinformation and prejudice being shared causes enormous harm, both to individuals directly, and indirectly in policy setting.  

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13 minutes ago, Eliana said:

This is not true.   I work extensively with homeless communities and chair the Community Advisory Committee for a tiny house village, and the correlation you are asserting is not borne out by the data.  (And addiction rates in the homeless population are **the same** as in the housed population.  A collection of people who don't have houses is no more likely to increase risk than a collection of renters or of homeowners.  Risk is increased or decreased by the same factors for each group.). 

I'm emphasizing all of this because the misinformation and prejudice being shared causes enormous harm, both to individuals directly, and indirectly in policy setting.  

I wonder if it’s the same in Aus.  Because we have socialised medicine and have had reasonable social security payments homelessness has really only occurred alongside some fairly significant personal problems in the past.  I’m afraid this is becoming less true now than in the past due to less available public housing and possibly social security payment not keeping up with living costs.

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Check out the website LetGrow.org.  It is focused on fighting the trend toward things like what your school is trying to do.  They have various relevant research links etc.

The main thing most people forget is the danger of treating our kids like helpless idiots.  Kids need to be able to go places and do things and even work their way out of "dangers" sometimes.  Otherwise they can't grow up.

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1 hour ago, Eliana said:

This is not true.   I work extensively with homeless communities and chair the Community Advisory Committee for a tiny house village, and the correlation you are asserting is not borne out by the data.  (And addiction rates in the homeless population are **the same** as in the housed population.  A collection of people who don't have houses is no more likely to increase risk than a collection of renters or of homeowners.  Risk is increased or decreased by the same factors for each group.). 

I'm emphasizing all of this because the misinformation and prejudice being shared causes enormous harm, both to individuals directly, and indirectly in policy setting.  

When we lived in LA, I saw statistics from a homeless shelter for moms; they stated that 75% of their women had been raped while homeless, they made this shelter to keep the women and children safe. I taught their kids to read, and also worked with some of the moms.  Some of the formerly homeless moms helped as volunteers in my group reading class. The kids actually learned faster than my inner city and middle class students because they had little to no guessing habits to overcome because they had spent so little time in school. I had originally thought that because of the trauma and little time spent in school that it would take much longer for them to learn to read.

Edited by ElizabethB
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1 hour ago, Ausmumof3 said:

I wonder if it’s the same in Aus.  Because we have socialised medicine and have had reasonable social security payments homelessness has really only occurred alongside some fairly significant personal problems in the past.  I’m afraid this is becoming less true now than in the past due to less available public housing and possibly social security payment not keeping up with living costs.

That's a great question!

And I think you're spot on in your historical comparison.  Homelessness here in the States correlates with increasing income inequality and decreasing safety networks (both personal and public) and a lot of the public perception of homelessness is tied to things that were more true many years ago.  Now, here in Seattle, a large number of the homeless people I know and/or work with are employed, some of them full time.  (and that includes people living in tents in unsanctioned encampments)... and most of them are sober and mentally healthy.

I also know some who struggle with, for example, crippling anxiety, or who are recovering from addiction, or others with intellectual disabilities.  And none of them deserve to be stigmatized either for not having a home.

There's one, amazing, brilliant young man who has read deeply and widely (he has quoted Camus and Tolstoy when giving public testimony to Council), he works part time, can't afford housing here, and has worked so hard to overcome some of his intense anxiety (getting to a place where he could speak in public took such courage and hard work).  I love spending time with him and am humbled by the courage and reflection he's brought to his life and the work he's done being involved in his tiny house village community. 

So many of those who are homeless now are veterans, which is a deep shame on our country that we've abandoned them like this.  Some with disabilities or other serious health issues.  I know one who has been on the waiting list for veterans subsidized housing for an absurd number of years (he qualifies, but the housing isn't available and waiting list is heartbreakingly long).

There's a young family whose baby was born with a hole in his heart and was med-evac-ed down to Seattle from rural Alaska (as I recall).  He has part time work now, they have a Section 8 voucher, but have been trying to find housing with it (while also trying to find more employment).  They might have recently succeeded, but the process is long and things might still fall through.  Their baby is well enough to come home, but because of his medical needs won't be released to them until they have housing. 

Each person has a vivid, individual story, as varied as any of our other neighbors... and with an equal range of qualities.  Their housing status doesn't define them, nor does it indicate how safe a person they are to be around.  (For that matter, having mental health issues or an addiction doesn't, intrinsically, make someone less safe either - we've had the discussion here about how people with mental health challenges are more likely to be the victim of a crime than the perpetrator, and about the complexities of addiction, but, again, that isn't about housing status, it is a separate issue/discussion.)

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22 minutes ago, ElizabethB said:

When we lived in LA, I saw statistics from a homeless shelter for moms; they stated that 75% of their women had been raped while homeless, they made this shelter to keep the women and children safe. I taught their kids to read, and also worked with some of the moms.  Some of the formerly homeless moms helped as volunteers in my group reading class. The kids actually learned faster than my inner city and middle class students because they had little to no guessing habits to overcome because they had spent so little time in school. I had originally thought that because of the trauma and little time spent in school that it would take much longer for them to learn to read.

You do such amazing work, by the way!  It is always inspiring to hear about it! ❤️

 

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1 hour ago, Ausmumof3 said:

I wonder if it’s the same in Aus.  Because we have socialised medicine and have had reasonable social security payments homelessness has really only occurred alongside some fairly significant personal problems in the past.  I’m afraid this is becoming less true now than in the past due to less available public housing and possibly social security payment not keeping up with living costs.

 

That may be true.

It also may differ a lot from place to place (and time to time) in USA.  

The cities in my current state in US are both different than when I lived in some other places by location and have experienced change over time.  

My son did a homeschooling unit related to homeless issues, visited homeless camp and helped build shelters for homeless people, which didn’t concern me at all as to safety.  However, I was alerted that a downtown area my son was needing to be in has young men (and some females, but mostly males) often homeless and often gang members dealing illegal substances and recruiting members and to be careful even with regard to high school age teens.  This area includes a library branch.  So that I felt less concerned about my son there alone at the library when he was 12 and more concerned when he was 15 because the situation had apparently changed in those years particularly with a gang influx. 

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