Homeless "Camping Out" & Using Starbucks and Panera WiFi

Has anyone noticed this? I don't know if it's just my area and something that's recent...or I'm just reading into things too much, but this seems like a trend for me.

It's not that I have anything against it, but I do have to admit that the smell is just awful and unbearable sometimes (which I why I assume homelessness - in addition to the dirty looking clothing and hygiene of these individuals), while I'm trying to eat and read myself. One time, it seemed the entire Starbucks was empty and everyone who came in immediately left after ordering. I had to leave too, because the man's smell was just so bad. sad smiley

Has anyone else noticed this in their area?

Obviously, having an open door policy (at least, Starbucks does now - where you don't have to order anything to sit and hang out) can be good in some ways. But, at the same time, it can be an invitation for the homeless to "camp out," which was tough for me because of the smells (at Panera and Starbucks).

I didn't have the heart to say anything, nor did anyone else. People sort of just left and the staff didn't do anything either. I'm not saying the homeless shouldn't have been allowed to stay, but it made me wonder:

a.) how common this is
b.) should there ever be a time when the management steps in and does something if customers are leaving or complaining about smells

...just a random question for today...

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I see it. I also notice seemingly homeless people camping out in malls, during the summers....drinking free ice water at the food courts, lounging in the Daddy Pick-Up areas, bathing in the restroom sinks...yep.
Having spent a lot of time volunteering with the local homeless community, I just can't get upset about this. As long as they are minding their own business and not disrupting the store they are visiting, it's not a big deal. Some do smell bad, but I can always move to a different table.

Folks are homeless for a myriad of reasons - some not entirely their fault. Many became homeless due to mistakes they made - but now that they are homeless, have very little ability to get themselves out of it. In many cases, the difference between becoming homeless and not is how much family support a person has when s/he makes a mistake. I have a cousin in Idaho who would be homeless herself had her wealthy parents not propped her up for several years while she "got her s**t together." Ten years later, she still relies on them heavily.

So, as I look at the outside snow and subfreezing temperatures, it just doesn't bother me when a homeless person steps into the coffee shop where I am, purchases the cheapest warm beverage and camps out in the warm for most of the day. I have found there to be "regular" customers that bother me far more than some of the homeless ones.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
For those that can afford it like management little gift bags of dental items, soap, warm socks?
All of my collected hotel toiletries are donated to a wonderful shelter/transitional housing location nearby. Also, warm sox, personal hygiene needs, and clothing that I am "retiring," and some nonperishable foods. My two housemates also contribute as do many local church societies. Every recent IMSC conference has asked participants to bring sock donations for local homeless support groups. As I recall, upwards of 600 pairs was the record.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
We had "a" homeless man living under the cement hanging on the side of our post office......I go there often and would leave a bag of food and "run" back to my car. He/she is no longer there, don't know what happened, hope they took him to a shelter. My town isn't plauged with this problem, but our beautiful town of Santa Monica is, as they have a food bank and meals once a day. They lie in the park across from our beautiful ocean and it is a reminder as to what can happen to us, many have mental problems, some bad luck, but yes they have made it impossible for taxpayers to enjoy the park as some pee everywhere and are dirty and scary...two sides of the coin. Los Angeles has a major problem with the homeless.

Don't cry because it happened, smile because it's over....
When I visit California on business I notice there seems to be a greater population of homeless. I wonder if it is because the weather is better there then most places and they realize the chance of outdoor survival is better? No matter where they are try to help, that is really all I can add.

Orlando - lightly shopping NC


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2019 06:49PM by oteixeira.
The weather is better, however L.A. has many programs for free food, and yes we are the sunshine state....but not now, coldest winter ever. They do need a place to stay, food is not always what they want, I have been turned down and since stopped giving food, they want cigerrettes, booze, etc. I know it makes us feel better to give them our not wanted Jack in the Box's, but that isn't enough, as I said, it makes us feel better. Don't get me wrong, I am very compassinate, also realistic.

Don't cry because it happened, smile because it's over....
@oteixeira wrote:

When I visit California on business I notice there seems to be a greater population of homeless. I wonder if it is because the weather is better there then most places and they realize the chance of outdoor survival is better? No matter where they are try to help, that is really all I can add.

I'd imagine CA would be one of the better places to be homeless in terms of the weather. OMG - I couldn't imagine the humidity of the East Coast or snowy winters up North.
@MFJohnston wrote:

but I can always move to a different table.

I definitely tried, MFJ. But, with the odor beint so strong and Starbucks sort of on the small side, it ultimately didn't help. Thus, I was the one who left, despite wanting to relax and read while sipping tea.

I was thinking even putting aside the homeless factor, what if a person just had an odor that was strong in general in a restaurant (or somewhere people sit and relax)? Is it ever appropriate to ask them to leave?
@Irene_L.A. wrote:

The weather is better, however L.A. has many programs for free food, and yes we are the sunshine state....but not now, coldest winter ever. They do need a place to stay, food is not always what they want, I have been turned down and since stopped giving food, they want cigerrettes, booze, etc. I know it makes us feel better to give them our not wanted Jack in the Box's, but that isn't enough, as I said, it makes us feel better. Don't get me wrong, I am very compassinate, also realistic.

Wow. If I was homeless, I'd not turn down food.

Can definitely see toiletries being the #1 item in want, though (certain types of hygiene products would be essential too in some cases).

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/12/2019 10:09PM by shoptastic.
I was getting gas and there was a homeless drunk woman smoking talking to herself, screaming and threatening.
I paid and told the cashier, she said I don't know what to do , I said call the police, smoking in a gas station, not a good idea. They need help, compassion is nice, but doesn't help. I left and don't know the outcome.

Don't cry because it happened, smile because it's over....
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