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Homeless in Silicon Valley

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MeasurementBlues
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Homeless in SF
MeasurementBlues   9/4/2014 9:04:58 AM
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On my last visit to San Francisco (March 2014), I didn't expect to see so many homeless walking the streets. The numbers were staggering. We don't see that on the east coast so much anymore at least not in Boston and New York.

30 years ago, I would have never walked through Times Square, especially at night. Today, I feel perfectly safe. The same goes for the area of downtown Boston formerly known as The Combat Zone. Today, the old abandoned theaters have been renovated and people go to shows there every day.

rick merritt
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Re: How to help
rick merritt   9/3/2014 9:58:01 AM
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@tmorrow: Thanks for the reference!

tmorrow66
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How to help
tmorrow66   9/2/2014 8:06:22 PM
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One of the most effective and active organizations in Silicon Valley devoted to the poor, elderly and diasadvantged is the Community Services Agency in Menlo Park.  They can be found at csacares dot org.  (The spam blocker prevents me from posting the web address) They have an outstanding staff that works tirelessly of behalf of those most in need.  Thier Exec Director is Tom Myers, son of long time SEMI president Stan Myers. They deserve all your support. 

KurtShuler
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Re: How to help...
KurtShuler   9/2/2014 6:29:35 PM
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Yes. It is very important for all engineers, whether on a visa or US citizens, to do everything possible to keep "sharpening the saw" and adapting their skills to what will be in demand.

I know many folks who became temporarily wealthy slinging Java and C++ code during the dotcom boom, and as a result became devotees of libertarianism and Ayn Rand.

After the crash, the remaining coding jobs went overseas. Those coders who wouldn't or couldn't adapt are now socialists (and baristas).

vlsi_guy
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Are there no workhouses? Are there no prisons?
vlsi_guy   9/2/2014 4:01:11 PM
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Are there no workhouses? Are there no prisons?

That's not how I feel but how I felt when I was homeless as a teenager (long before I put myself through college for my BSEE by working full time). Those who reached out to help me had little more then myself. Unfortunetly, I have a very cynical view of human nature based on my experiances.

Since then, when I stop at a panhandler or homeless person, I look them in the eye and talk to them as if they were my friend, I won't turn away and pretend they weren't there. While many have mental health problems, and some even enjoy the freedom of the lifestyle they live, I'm sure most would rather be given some help to be able to help them selves out of thier situation.

I wish I could do more then my holiday excursions to dontate to food pantries and what not, as someone touched on. There but for the grace of god go I...

 

docdivakar
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Re: How to help...
docdivakar   9/2/2014 2:59:02 PM
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KurtShuler you are so right on this one, it only takes a bad decision or two to end up homeless in Silicon Valley. I do know of one person who is an immigrant going thru this. He recently returned to his native country after several people raised funds for his travel. Not all educated immigrant's story is a sucessful one and we hear almost nothing about those.

MP Divakar

KurtShuler
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Re: How to help...
KurtShuler   9/2/2014 12:47:03 PM
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I just sent you Marie's contact info in an email to your eetimes account.

Here's a short bio on Marie: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/print-edition/2012/04/06/women-of-influence-marie-bernard.html

rick merritt
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Re: How to help...
rick merritt   9/2/2014 12:37:42 PM
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@Kurt: Thx for chiming in and, sure, send the contact along. Not sure what follow ups may come but I am keeping an open mind.

KurtShuler
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How to help...
KurtShuler   9/2/2014 12:19:58 PM
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Rick, this is a big problem in Silicon Valley. What many technies fail to realize is that most of us are one terrible illness or bad decision decision away from living in the Jungle. 

Sunnyvale Community Services and Sunnyvale Rotary have been working to tackle the homelessness issue for years. If you want, I can put you in touch with Marie Bernard, the executive director of Sunnyvale Community Services.

Let me know!

USInnovate
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Homeless in Silicon Valley
USInnovate   9/2/2014 12:14:17 PM
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Rick,

 

Thanks for the article!  I remember seen the homeless under bridges back in the early 1980s when I arrived in Silicon Valley.  It made no sense back then and it makes no sense now. I could not reconcile the image of multi million dollar buildings next to the homeless encampments.  I walk the trails around downtown San Jose and into Los Gatos and it is clear that the number of homeless has increased during this long economic unrecovery.

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