Occupy Philly outnumbered by homeless?

Occupy Philly member Rob Hunter sits near a station that provides blankets and clothing.

As Occupy Philly’s tent encampment grows, so does the community’s homeless population, which worries some of the group’s leaders. 

“It makes sense. Ninety-five percent of what we do here helps the homeless – meals, housing, shelter,” said Rob Hunter of the comfort committee. “We’re here to stand up for the 99 percent and they’re certainly the most vulnerable.”

The issue has caused tension among Occupiers as some committees are feeling the pressure of resource strain in terms of both supplies and manpower more than others.

“The homeless have outnumbered the Occupiers,” an organizer with the safety committee said. “We are totally overwhelmed. We don’t have the training or social services to meet their needs.”

She said that it has been difficult for her to participate in the political side of the movement because she is constantly dealing with effects of attendant drug and mental health issues that often compound the problem of homelessness.

Still, many other Occupiers welcome the community, and they are becoming better integrated with the movement. “We invite them quite a bit,” said Steve Ross of the media committee. “When I’m walking on the street, I say, ‘Come here, there’s free food,’ and a lot of them do.”

The city’s Office of Supportive Housing said that city shelter numbers, which hover around a 96 percent occupancy rate, have not seen any decrease. But she also noted that Center City has a robust street homeless population.

“It was a little rough in the beginning, but a lot of the homeless volunteer,” Hunter said. “We’re like neighbors, now.”

Don’t compare

Dainette Mintz of the Office of Supportive Housing said that Occupiers are ill-equipped to provide the services the homeless population needs.
   
“It appears that they don’t realize that we, unfortunately, already had a street homeless population before they arrived that occupied the plaza,” she said. The department’s last count estimated 370 street homeless in Center City alone.

“If they are not providing people with a permanent housing plan, then I don’t think they compare to what the city does.”

There are about 810 people out of 977 beds at the city’s single male shelters



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.