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    Default Homeless man living in shelters

    Just a "heads up" about a homeless man living on the AT. The local emergency crews are aware of a homeless man living in shelters, bouncing back and forth between Fullhardt Knob Shelter and Wilson Creek Shelter. These shelters are located in Central VA.... just past Daleville VA. I don't have any other details.

  2. #2
    Registered User Papa D's Avatar
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    I would guess that at any given time, there is about 1 homeless person per state "living" in trail shelters. I just ran into a guy at Velvet Rocks Shelter (near Hanover) about 3 weeks ago who fit the bill.

    My thoughts are as follows:
    There is a fine line between 3 types of people
    1)homeless person (homeless due to circumstance)
    2) a long-distance hiker (often temporarily homeless by choice)
    3) A HOBO (who unlike a bum is someone who travels, will work for a while, and travel some more). The word origin is "HOmewardBOound -
    We have NOBOS, SOBOS, HOBOS, and Section Hikers - - I'm not really sure that it is fair to judge someone's shelter use by what category they fit in.

    If the shelter is being used as a place to sleep and "seek shelter" for a night or two and then that user moves on to another shelter and that person is respectful of other shelter users, then he / she really shouldn't be objectionable in my book unless they are violating acceptable use and respect standards that the backpacking community has established by practice (i.e. - no fire building in shelters, no pitching tents and tarps in shelters, no smoking in shelters, etc.). I think sometimes we are quick use people's social statusas a way to discriminate against them when what they are doing really isn't much different than what we are doing.

    Just because someone smells, is drinking liquor, has worn out gear, or might be yellow blazing up and down the trail isn't a reason to call "emergency crews." This behavior could easily be applied to a bunch of thru-hikers.
    If that person is harassing others, living in the shelter for more than a week at a time, keeping others out, or engaging in some criminal activity, then it's a different story and at THAT point, you have a PROBLEM PERSON who is not playing by the rules.


    The trick (the fine line) is determining the difference without being discriminatory and I agree that it is hard but giving someone the initial benefit of the doubt is also the fair thing to do even if he / she doesn't look like YOU think a backpacker should.


    Last edited by Papa D; 08-04-2012 at 10:32.

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    Registered User SawnieRobertson's Avatar
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    How would they know? Did this male/female exhibit anti-social behaviors? Is there a vagrancy rule that has been broken? Where is the line that determines whether a person on the trail is an undesirable or desirable? I would have a different reaction if scary behaviors were reported. And, yeah, it is anxiety producing to come across someone who doesn't look like he/she should be there legitimately. I might add especially in that region. "Homeless" must mean something more than without a verifiable address (in case the local authorities do a check).
    You never know just what you can do until you realize you absolutely have to do it.
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    Registered User nitegaunt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa D View Post
    I would guess that at any given time, there is about 1 homeless person per state "living" in trail shelters. I just ran into a guy at Velvet Rocks Shelter (near Hanover) about 3 weeks ago who fit the bill.

    My thoughts are as follows:
    There is a fine line between 3 types of people
    1)homeless person (homeless due to circumstance)
    2) a long-distance hiker (often temporarily homeless by choice)
    3) A HOBO (who unlike a bum is someone who travels, will work for a while, and travel some more). The word origin is "HOmewardBOound -
    We have NOBOS, SOBOS, HOBOS, and Section Hikers - - I'm not really sure that it is fair to judge someone's shelter use by what category they fit in.

    If the shelter is being used as a place to sleep and "seek shelter" for a night or two and then that user moves on to another shelter and that person is respectful of other shelter users, then he / she really shouldn't be objectionable in my book unless they are violating acceptable use and respect standards that the backpacking community has established by practice (i.e. - no fire building in shelters, no pitching tents and tarps in shelters, no smoking in shelters, etc.). I think sometimes we are quick use people's social statusas a way to discriminate against them when what they are doing really isn't much different than what we are doing.

    Just because someone smells, is drinking liquor, has worn out gear, or might be yellow blazing up and down the trail isn't a reason to call "emergency crews." This behavior could easily be applied to a bunch of thru-hikers.
    If that person is harassing others, living in the shelter for more than a week at a time, keeping others out, or engaging in some criminal activity, then it's a different story and at THAT point, you have a PROBLEM PERSON who is not playing by the rules.


    The trick (the fine line) is determining the difference without being discriminatory and I agree that it is hard but giving someone the initial benefit of the doubt is also the fair thing to do even if he / she doesn't look like YOU think a backpacker should.


    Very well put, Papa D.

  5. #5

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    This is nothing new; Homeless people have been living in AT shelters for years, I run in to Homeless people every single time i go out their, i even gave a couple of people food one in VA and another in NY. They don't cause any problems their just trying to survive. RED-DOG

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    Trail maintenance crew should put a shovel in his hand and let him earn some points.......

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    Registered User Papa D's Avatar
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    Truthfully, If I suddenly became homeless, that is exactly where I would be. I would try to get a temporary construction, guiding, or hostel job to get enough cash to stay on the trail for a month or so. Moving back and forth in the same hundred mile section might keep me close to work. I'd much rather camp in the woods than in a cardboard box on a city street. I can't think of a thing in the world wrong with this. Now, once again, if I am violating trail respect and shelter use practices only then should I be called out for it.

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    Registered User Papa D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spokes View Post
    Trail maintenance crew should put a shovel in his hand and let him earn some points.......
    nothing wrong with this for any hiker

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    I like what I'm hearing. I certainly plan on being homeless for my 2013 hike. I am thankful that I can stop being homeless If I choose. We are not all so lucky.

  10. #10

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    No heads-up needed, they're always out there.




    Quote Originally Posted by Spokes View Post
    Trail maintenance crew should put a shovel in his hand and let him earn some points.......
    I would also ask that the trail maintenance crews have him remove all the rocks from the trail.

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    Welcome to the AT.
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    I am with Papa D on this one....I have seen tent cites in the woods all over New Jersey and Pennsylvania. folks that lost homes and cars to for-closure. The press will not show it and the mayor of Philadelphia has moved the bread and food lines away from the tourists areas like the convention center so people don't thing the economy is as bad as it is. People are sleeping in their cars, if they have them. The men's shelter had a major makeover in 2010 to accommodate more men - and gets repeatedly infested with bed bugs. My job takes me to these places, its sad really. If you are aware - you will see it - some have rose colored glasses. I am just thankful for having a job that really is recession/depression proof.
    Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.

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  13. #13

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    I hear ya ... I agree with you all and the points you are making. All I know is this... we have a good friend that works for local emergency services, here, in the Roanoke VA area. He told us that there is a homeless man living in the shelters, of which I just named above. They KNOW he's there and they KNOW the shelters he is staying in.... he goes back and forth between the 2 shelters. He didn't give us any more information about why they are calling him homeless. I also know that there was another woman living in the Fullhardt Knob Shelter going by the name "Queen Mary". Her conversations seemed odd, like she was stuck in another world, but other than that she seem harmless. Again, everyone that talked with her and interacted with her was VERY SURE that she had taken up residence in the shelter, itself. I don't think she is still living there at this time.

    It is what it is.....if I get more information about the situation, I will pass this information on ..... I would be grateful, if I were hiking through this area, for this information, so I wouldn't be surprised by something that appears to be "out of the norm". It's what I do... I'm also grateful for ALL the collective knowledge that is shared on this site.. love me some WB

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    Quote Originally Posted by HikerMomKD View Post
    Just a "heads up" about a homeless man living on the AT. The local emergency crews are aware of a homeless man living in shelters, bouncing back and forth between Fullhardt Knob Shelter and Wilson Creek Shelter. These shelters are located in Central VA.... just past Daleville VA. I don't have any other details.
    Yeah....there but for the grace of God, and maybe some good luck, go a whole bunch of us! In these times, I wouldn't want to try to judge someone else for their position in life.
    GA - NJ 2001; GA - ME 2003; GA - ME 2005; GA - ME 2007; PCT 2006

    A wise man changes his mind, a fool never will.
    —SPANISH PROVERB

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose2001:1319970
    Quote Originally Posted by HikerMomKD View Post
    Just a "heads up" about a homeless man living on the AT. The local emergency crews are aware of a homeless man living in shelters, bouncing back and forth between Fullhardt Knob Shelter and Wilson Creek Shelter. These shelters are located in Central VA.... just past Daleville VA. I don't have any other details.
    Yeah....there but for the grace of God, and maybe some good luck, go a whole bunch of us! In these times, I wouldn't want to try to judge someone else for their position in life.
    Most of the world is one or two pay checks from the same position. Small tent cities all around the country just out of sight from the roads. If I had to choose between living in a tent or a homeless shelter I would go camping.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HikerMomKD View Post
    Just a "heads up" about a homeless man living on the AT. The local emergency crews are aware of a homeless man living in shelters, bouncing back and forth between Fullhardt Knob Shelter and Wilson Creek Shelter. These shelters are located in Central VA.... just past Daleville VA. I don't have any other details.
    6', redish hair, slim build.......'K'taadn or bust' sign...around his neck?

  17. #17

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    I think we should all be FB friends as well. ... WOOT!! Then, we could make comments easier and "like" comments etc... if I started a FB page for "hikers" would you all join it? But, you can only "join" the page, if you are a REAL hiker! <3

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    This same subject was beat to death by some of the same scared people two years ago:

    http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/show...s-on-the-trail
    The trouble I have with campfires are the folks that carry a bottle in one hand and a Bible in the other.
    You never know which one is talking.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by HikerMomKD View Post
    I think we should all be FB friends as well. ... WOOT!! Then, we could make comments easier and "like" comments etc... if I started a FB page for "hikers" would you all join it? But, you can only "join" the page, if you are a REAL hiker! <3
    I haven't determined if I'm a "Real Hiker" yet. By the way what's this Facebook thing?

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    Registered User scree's Avatar
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    This is why my pack weighs so much sometimes - extra food for the people I meet who need it.

    Oooh scary... a homeless person living on the trail. Jesus H. Christ...

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