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Response#4_LSJ_375 - community is laughable Although I...

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Response: The Magazine Vendors Homeless street vendors within New York City are often times categorized as unsafe and non-vital to the common citizen walking the street. But, Duneier argues that these individuals are in fact innovators, trying to earn a living, “striving for self-respect” and maintaining relations with fellow citizens. Every day they fight battles with alcohol and drug abuse, socio-economic disparity and homelessness; all the while maintaining small, street level businesses. On and off for over a year, Duneier worked and studied the daily activities of these homeless individuals. Specifically, he spent the majority of his time with a seven-year sober VA named Marvin and his business partner Ron. Duneier describes in an almost romantic fashion how they struggle to maintain dignity while selling items that “have been retrieved from the trash”. Dunieir’s argument that these homeless men provide an essential function to the local
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Unformatted text preview: community is laughable. Although I agree with the concept of street based employment opportunities (i.e. Real Change), I find it hard to swallow that property owners within that community consider them a valuable asset. The high visibility of homeless people within urban neighborhoods has been directly correlated to plummeting property values and empty store fronts. Early on, Duneier describes the long sober Marvin as an exception to the rule. The harsh reality is that these types of businesses are a means for homeless, drug addicted individuals to obtain quick cash (as evidenced when Ron left with the thirtyish black woman on a bicycle for a crack fix). Although the mentorship Marvin provides is admirable, true rehabilitative processes are only effective when they are supported by local government and provide appropriate outreach services....
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