My Take on Angela Hunt’s “Bums”

As Tim said, Twitter is pretty powerful. Take, for example, Angela Hunt’s weekend tweets about the “bums” in Main Street Garden. Based on what she had to say, it looks like some changes may be coming to Main Street Garden. But I do take issue with some of what’s being said about the homeless in the park.

I use the park every day. It’s where I met most of my friends. It’s where I take the dog for exercise. And, yeah, it’s where I run into some homeless. But I rarely find them aggressive. Most of the time, they’ll make a comment about the dog, and that’s it. Sometimes, I’ll engage them in conversation. (Some of the best conversations I’ve had occurred out there with homeless people.) And sometimes, but rarely, they ask me for money. But if I say I don’t have cash, they leave it at that. The only real problem that comes from them hanging out there is that they’ll leave chicken bones behind, which is really dangerous for the dogs. But I don’t avoid the park because of the homeless population.

I think my bigger complaint about the park is the parents who leave their kids unattended. My dog looks like a giant marshmallow. So I understand kids want to pet him. That’s fine. But when the kid starts pulling his tail and running after him and the other dogs, it’s time for the parents to step in. It’s not my job to discipline someone’s kid, but it is my job to make sure my dog is safe and that, in turn, the kid stays safe. One time, a little girl took my dog’s leash and ran around the park with him (with me in tow). We played for a while, then I asked where her parents were. She wasn’t sure. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve seen unattended children wandering the park at all hours. I’m more concerned about them than the homeless guy who’s getting some shade on a bench.

Main Street Garden is a wonderful place. I love it, and I love using it. Not everything that happens there is ideal. But I think it’ll be very difficult to tell someone he can’t sit on a bench because his clothes look a little dirty.