Monday, November 13, 2017

Homeless? You Need a Smart Phone!

Richie, good citizen that he is, hied himself over to the 9 a.m. Saturday meeting with our District Councilman.  He again presented The Useless Fire Hydrant and again received the usual assurances.
That's his project, not mine. 

But I was interested (however briefly) in the hand-outs he brought back.  An RBPD off-duty (one hopes) cop gave a lecture on  home security systems and touted as particularly effective, a firm called Ring which offers a selection of video cameras and floodlights.  (Redondo residents get $25 off the ticket price. Contact Ben at 310-601-8469 Ext. 42)  

You will probably not be surprised to learn that you can check who is at the front door by using an app on your smart phone!  Wow, huh?  The officer told the group of seeing the tape from an attempted break-in and the burglars were waving at the camera!  Such audacity! 

I saw several situations where I think a steel security door is a better bet - the Ring devices are either battery or hard-wired.  Earthquake and you can't charge the battery and you don't have electricity to power it.  And looting is widespread due to the earthquake. 

I can't see too much point in have two-way talk ability - you only need the microphone inside the house and, frankly, yelling "F--k off!" out of a window to a wanna-be intruder would be just as effective as far as having any positive reaction - like the burglar apologetically slinking off of your property.  

But one of the best reasons is to have a steel security door is that during the summer, lock it, leave the wood door wide open and enjoy the nighttime breezes.  Try that with a security camera, eh?

Another piece of literature (using the word loosely) was a shiny bigger than life postcard directing the homeless to call the PATH hotline or e-mail them at  PATH cheerily asks "Living on the street?  Our Outreach team is here to help connect you with services." 

The few local homeless I've seen needed a roll of toilet paper and a bar of soap a lot more. 

Why, of course, homeless people who have been absent minded with their meds; they ALL carry smart phones!  They can just tap out an e-mail quick as a wink!  However these PATH peoples' hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Weekends you're on your own. 

Additionally, he was given a list of various help agencies available to us all, not just the address- challenged.  This struck me though as a little ... sinister.  After the phone numbers for substance and alcohol abuse, local hospitals, etc. down toward the bottom of a rather extensive list are the numbers for Greyhound Bus and  Union Station.  Talk about a hint about as subtle as a sledge hammer ... maybe PATH could give you a couple of sandwiches and a bottle of water and directions to either?

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