So, I was walking down 5th ave towards Panera Bread, where I am now using the wifi, and I passed a group of cops and a homeless man. Some of the cop cars lights were still flashing. The homeless guy sat upon a short wall. I had no idea why they stopped the guy, might have been for panhandling, might have been for something else. Also, to look at the homeless guy, you wouldn't know him to be homeless. I only know him as homeless cause I've seen him around the haunts.
Anyway, all seemed rather calm and casual about the pull over, as I walked passed. Then a half a block later, a group of three people pass me up going in the opposite direction, towards the cops and the homeless guy. And I overheard one of the three tell the others, "yeah, most of these panhandlers have homes. Panhandling is just what they do for a job." I was tempted to say something to them, but I didn't. I just became a little more discouraged.
There are groups actively going to downtown businesses and residents, posing as experts on homelessness, and telling the most egregious lies about homeless people and the lives they lead. These groups are actually doing the bidding of developers selling downtown property. The developers fear the presence of homeless people scares of potential buyers. Of course that actually isn't a proven fact. And there's plenty of evidence that nobody really cares that there are homeless people in downtown. The rescue mission moved to a new part of downtown back in 2000, and though some complained of the mission being in their back yard, that area of downtown has actually experienced a lot of growth - new businesses are moving near the mission all the time. And no one has had to move away.
Still, the spread of ignorance continues, and the homeless suffer the consequences.