ACLU Says Md. Mall Ban On Homeless Pair Illegal

COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ)—Kicked out for breaking the rules or for just being homeless? Stuck in the middle of that question are two homeless people and the Mall in Columbia.

Alex DeMetrick reports the mall has banned the pair, and now that banishment is being challenged.

When it’s cold, staying warm on the street isn’t easy. For two homeless people, the Mall in Columbia offered a place to get warm, buy food and even make some purchases.

“I would buy clothes at Penney’s.  Their sale prices permit me to maximize my wardrobe when you’re homeless,” said Patricia Francis. “I bought books at Borders.”

“Since I’ve been homeless, the mall’s become a point of refuge when the library is closed,” said Stephan Rabai.

But not anymore. They have been banned, and the penalty for returning:

“They will be arrested by the Howard County Police Department for trespassing on mall property,”  said Deborah Jeon, Maryland American Civil Liberties Union.

Maryland’s ACLU chapter calls that unfair.

“There haven’t been complaints against them causing any kind of disruption. So we’re not completely clear about what the wrongdoing is that they have engaged in,” Jeon said.

In printed reports, a mall spokesperson says the two people were banned because they had broken mall rules, such as leaving personal items unattended or being in non-public areas—not for being homeless.

“He said that he was ordered by his boss to ban me,” Rabai said. “He proceeded to fill out the banning notice.”

“He was unsure what to check, so he selected disturbing the peace,” Francis said.

According to the ACLU, neither of those banned carried multiple bags and bundles or asked customers for handouts.

“Now I’m banned from the mall and have no place to go,” Rabai said.

“I have been outside every since,” Francis added.

Mall management said in a prepared statement that it is offering to meet the pair to discuss the banning.

More from Alex DeMetrick
Comments

One Comment

  1. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

    There’s always two sides to a story. True, these homeless are entitled to come & go freely in a public place but consider this. Were they unkempt, smelly? Did they make a scene as often homeless do that are mentally ill? Being homeless one would think they would have no money to spend or very little & were just using the mall to game the system. The ACLU is know for taking & running with cases much for the effect & publicity.

    1. R. M. Johnson says:

      They are not unkempt or smelly. They are groomed and polite people.
      Being homeless is not the same as having no money, so they have some money for food in cash from social security, as well as gift cards given to them.

      ACLU seems to be showing the Mall leadership that they are breaking a law. The Mall is not a public place. It is privately owned.

      1. JKale says:

        There is such a thing called a privately owned public space in legal literature, which is the pretense under which a business can’t discriminate against you because of your race, gender, creed, etc. Malls fall under this category.

        If these people were relatively clean and not bothering anything, or monopolizing certain facilities, then I don’t have a problem with them being there.

      2. turbo says:

        “They are not unkempt or smelly”. In the picture this is certainly true but it’s more than likely a staged photo.

      3. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

        It is not a private place when funded by taxpayer monies. Too many of these businesses get state tax breaks to locate & operate in the state, county or cities.

      4. Carmen says:

        Actually, it’s not a staged photo. I work in this mall and have seen this couple, even waited on them before. They are clean and well-groomed, not to mention polite. Nobody is allowed in the mall after closing hours except for employees. The law being broken is trespassing, however, I think until Columbia has a sleepover homeless shelter, the mall should make an exception (since they have been for months in the case of this couple).

      5. Leave Texas Out of THIS says:

        Carmen:

        Interesting point of view. I don’t believe they even mentioned trespassing, which would explain the need to take action. Poor reporting? (I’ll go review the article one more time-make sure I didn’t miss that detail)

        However, I think the ACLU would not have interceded had they properly filed a complaint against this couple.

    2. pigeon says:

      I hate to admit this, especially to you, but I do agree with you about the ACLU. God does work in mysterious ways, does he not?!

    3. Courtney Paige says:

      That may have been very true in the past but we are now in a recession…..many people that have NEVER been homeless or even that poor are now. They also do not look unkempt or smelly to me. They look like nice, old people who have either fallen on some bad luck in this down economy or perhaps did not plan well enough for retirement. Either way, this sounds RIDICULOUS and if I lived near this mall I would most certainly stage a boycott!!!

    4. Punky Bruster says:

      I would suggest the ACLU take them and let them live in the offices. They are probably well versed in the sink bath protocol so this should work out quite well.
      The ACLU staff can alternate as to who brings the day’s food in.
      Problem solved. I am soooo smart.

    5. Dave says:

      A mall is not a public place a mall is a privately owed business. If you are breaking the rules of the establishment you are subject to their penalties.

      Homeless or not if they stunk or not, I know many people with jobs some I work with that have very poor hygene. If they were breaking a rule of the mall then they are subject to the punishment.

      Leaving bags around is a safety issue, in this day of bomb scares etc. and if they were indeed in the restricted areas of the mall then they deserve to be banned, I am sure this isn’t the only mall in the area, learn from your mistake move on.

    6. Baldev says:

      Of course Bernarnd you would know wouldnt you. I am just thinking are you stable Bernard or just a member of the public who is ignorant and self centered, as people of your leaning usually are. Do you take a shower everytime you go out of your home or do you smell like a rotten egg everytime you live your home, because Bernard sometimes people like you do not like washing themselves because they cannot smell their own stink.
      The ACLU for your information Bernard would defend someone as ignorant as you even at the expense of bad publicity, just as you describe.

      1. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

        Excuse me but what was your point?……Empty drums make the most noise but rarely contribute something of substance.

    7. Steve says:

      …how does this effect u? How does effect the mall? The article states that they spend money, no disruption…. Why do you ASSUME that they smell or are mentally ill?
      I have u been homeless. I have. I’ve lived on the streets and have fed out of dumpsters. I now EARN a six figure income…
      Perspective…

  2. Megan says:

    I don’t even go to the Mall in Columbia much anymore. I do most of my shopping online. I find it very uncomfortable to walk through the mall on the weekend and see the Howard County Police. Don’t get me wrong. I support the police but I don’t want to go to a mall where they HAVE to be because of the teenagers using it as their hangout spot. Even during the weekday hours it is getting scary. I was getting my sons stroller out of the car in Jan ’10 in the upstairs, just outside of Macy’s in Columba, when I saw 6 young black men (stating a fact, not being racist) running out of the mall. They had just robbed the Apple Store. If it wasn’t for me pointing out their mini van with D.C. tags, mall security and police would have had a much harder time finding them (having to look at security cameras takes time). I didn’t even get a verbal thank you from mall security for my assistance. They were obviously aware that mall security is not willing to do anything and there are no real police at the mall at that time of day. I called the Security Office a few days after this incident to express my displeasure and of course, my message was never returned. After the professor was killed at the Towson Town Ctr, just doing some Christmas shopping, I stay away from there as well. They are both very nice, clean malls with upscale stores. They need to keep the trash OUT!!!!!!!!

    1. Oh You Poor Little Racists says:

      Wah wah wah, me me me. What does your whining have to do with this story? How are the people in this story “trash”? Dehumanizing others is just a way to hate without having to have any conscience about it.

      I hope the economy teaches you a badly needed lesson in compassion very soon. In the meantime, keep doing your shopping online. The malls are much nicer places without prissy, self-centered, racist whiners clogging them up.

    2. blanche says:

      nothing like a finger pointer and come on was it really 6 young black men? why would 6 young men of any color rob a store wouldnt it be easier to work alone or in a pair also megan you better hope nobody reconizes your post you may be in for an ass whipping for running your mouth

      1. Scott's County says:

        Blanche, you are the typical kind of violent trash that makes the point of view of people on here legitimate. No one but you has threatened violence. Your resorting to violent threats only supports my view on violent ghetto trash like you. Solve all your problems by being violent.

      2. JQP says:

        Right, and people like ANN are angels. OH, and you’re one to talk SCOTT’S COUNTY. Holy moly! “violent ghetto trash”? my god! what kind of civilized person uses phrases like that… what else can I find… hmm….”you damn communist”, “if this were Texas, get the f-ck out!”, “low class loud ignorant black gang trash”, my oh my! What a fine example of human compassion, you are! OH RIGHT, this isn’t Disney Land where liberal democrat nig’r loving communists rule and everyone treats each other with kindness and good will .. sorry, I was sure that’s where I was…. grow up.

    3. lavender jones says:

      if you’re not being racist, then why did it matter that they were “black” men? Isnt the fact that they are young men descriptive enough?

    4. How is this relevant says:

      So how does this relate to the story above? You’re uncomfortable with increasing levels of violence at the locals malls… sooo… ummm… HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO THE HOMELESS COUPLE? Silly old lady.

  3. Bernie says:

    Megan, Thank you for providing that service, you are a brave & strong woman. I share your feelings of frustration & I once a mall rat rarely venture into a mall. Towsontowne with the exception of the horrendous parking is pretty secure most of the time but I would still never go there after dark. Because you will meet Dark people!

    1. baldev says:

      Bernie, I love dark people but stay away from trailer trash. like Megan like you.

  4. Scott's County says:

    All agreed upon, Megan. You hit the point exactly. Because of the politically correct tyranny of Ultra-Liberal, America–we’re not supposed to speak our minds with logic openly. But, I will! Unfortunately, most violent armed robberies in our region are carried out by black males between age 16 and 30. Therefore, it is logical and reasonable to have fear of and suspicion of them. Of, course most white women who are violently attacked are mostly likely to have had a white male as their offender, but in your case you were right on. Again, as for these homeless people, they have no right to squat on private property. If the ACLU gets it’s way, persons who have committed violence inside a mall like a shooting, would have right to come back also. In addition, taking away the mall’s private property owners rights rights could lead to the danger of someone coming into your house or apartment and just move on in. Remember, we are talking about private property here–not public! The Mall in Columbia has a right to keep itself in business because once undesirables like homeless squatters move in–customers will start staying away and the mall and its stores will loose business and money. This is what destroyed and is now closing Owings Mills Mall. Low class loud ignorant black gang trash from the city just started coming up there and loitered all day being obnoxious and criminal. Business was hurt badly by the wealthy high class people staying away and now Owings Mills Mall is a dead mall.

    1. Oh You Poor Little Racists says:

      “If the ACLU gets it’s way, persons who have committed violence inside a mall like a shooting, would have right to come back also.”

      Your stupidity is a marvel to behold.

      May your obnoxious elitism and blatant racism bring you much poetic justice.

      1. cc says:

        you seriously need to go away and i could say more , but people like you are just so horrid and vulgar…you are an obnoxious little twit….you come on these posts and stir up hate , havent you got a life..no..i suppose you are one of those bacl thugs that are ruining this country….shame on you decrepid little creature….

      2. cc says:

        and yes i mean one of those BLACK thugs…i dont see many white ones around ….gang bangers that is…..and yes i am talki g directly to the one who thinks everyone on the planet is a racist….were not we just dont like YOU

      3. Oh You Poor Little Racists says:

        I’m white and female, you whiny little racist. I’m not sure what other points you’re trying to make since you can barely spell or string together a coherent sentence. If that’s not a product of your innate stupidity, then come back when you’re no longer under the influence and can do more than impotently splutter.

      4. LadyA says:

        cc, the reason you don’t see any white thugs around is because they dress like business people, and steal your money! Bernie Madoff is just a drop in the bucket. If you want to REALLY blame people for ruining this country, look to the CEO’s on Wall Street and the heads of the oil companies and banks! They are the reason so many of us are having trouble making ends meet. Prices go up and so do their paychecks!

  5. Sheila says:

    Well said Scott…..Golden Ring Mall closed because people stopped going there because of loud, obscene, obnoxious teens (black and white). Eastpoint Mall has the same problem. My family does not go there after dark…………

  6. Tyrone says:

    Well said Scott?????????. As always blame it on the poor disadvantaged blacks.

    1. dani mallon says:

      Tyrone
      actually we don’t have to blame anything on any one if you would simply be responsible and pay for what you want instead of stealing it and i am not talking about you personally here but any person out in the world who thinks it is ok to steal swindle and be malicious to another person or property then it would be a lot better place in the world and b4 you make a comment i live in an area where you need to check the scanner to make sure it is safe not because of the police but because of the criminal element outside my front door

  7. A Columbia Mom says:

    I can’t believe the comments, why are most supposed to be educated people so ignorant. Yes, I say this because you are. People assume that they can pick out someone who is homelss just by looking at them. Hello world do you realized that the average homeless person looks just like you and I. You co worker could be homelss. Look at our economy people are loosiing their jobs, homes everthing and all you can do I judge. Columbia has a big homelss problem yeah you would never know. I think is is discriminotory for someone to try to exclude someone becuase of the fack that they are homeless. I have worked in a few homeless shelters, and the people that come in are mostly women with children and families. Yes some have mental health issures but that isn’t the majority. Instead of criticizing the homelss why don’t you call a homeless shelter up see if they need volunteers or if their are some supplies that are needed, Trust me you will feel better about yourself, and lets just hope and pray you never end up in that situations.

    1. whatnow says:

      Come sit on the light rail with these “homeless” people. They laugh about how they get over on do-gooders like you. Come work downtown and try to sit outside on a nice day on a bench. The stench of the “homeless” and their urine everywhere is disgusting. When need to go back to the pre-1960’s when families could have the mentally ill and drug addicted involuntarily committed for their safety and for ours.

    2. Rita says:

      I agree with you, I grew up in a small town in WV. WV is known for coal miners and coal truck drivers. They Dept store that I worked in all my fellow employees would run the other way if they say one of them come in the store in dirty clothes, but these guys were just getting off work. Since we worked on commission my colleges assumed these people were homeless and would not wait on them. But in fact 90% were not homeless or smelly they just had their work clothes on and they would spend a lot of money making purchases. So I agree there are 2 sides to every story and I hate shopping at the columbia mall it is always packed with kids and teenagers and skate boarders outside. I would rather shop on line then go to the columbia mall.

      1. charleton says:

        Rita, Columbia is not W. Va. ok. No coal mine here, Just plenty of Blacks on welfare.

    3. Stand for what's right! says:

      I stand in agreement with this comment. Whatever happened to Love thy neighbor? even if thy neighbor is homeless.

      Volunteering to help out someone else is an excellent idea!. Takes the focus of self and onto others.

      What these people fail to see is that what goes around comes around. How you treat others just may come back on you. Good or Bad.

      None of us are ammune from having the same plight fall on us. So, count our blessings and don’t look down on someones misfortune that may become your future.

    4. Thank You says:

      Well said. There but for the grace of God goes these heartless snobs. You’d think people would understand, seeing what has happened with this economy, that no one is safe from losing their home. And these are human beings we are talking about. People need to stop snivelling over someone who is different to or less fortunate than them.A little compassion from these smug ivory tower denizens would go a long way.

    5. H says:

      I support the homeless in their stuggle, and I hope that I never have that problem. That being said, the mall is PRIVATE PROPERTY has the right to remove ANYONE.

  8. Scott's County says:

    This is not an argument about homeless people, but them not having a right to squat all day in a privately owned shopping mall! I have feelings of concern for them, but I’m not such an ultra-liberal Democrat to think that they can just squat anywhere! What are you implying? That the homeless have rights above others to protect their own property? You actually saying that if homeless persons decides to set up a squatter cardboard box camp on my front lawn that I must let them stay? Your ultra-liberal Walt Disney fantasy to everything is really disturbing! You damn Communist!

    1. Corrin says:

      You made it about blacks! When the story is about 2 WHITE homless, older people. If you want the banning rights to stay with the malls (which I am fine with) then you should be advocating that they step-up and play fair in ejecting people, and maybe try prioritizing who they ban in relation to who ACTUALLY causes a loss in business. In your 2 hour trip to the mall, who would you notice/stay away from more? 2 older people or the loud, obxnoxious group of kids screaming and cat-calling? I am just as Republican as the next person. You talk about a slippery slope in letting them stay there? How about the slippery slopes you’re treading down? Your right-wing extremist opinions are a disgrace to the rest of us reasonable Republicans who can draw a line and stick to it.

  9. KottaMan says:

    To a Columbia Mom: You stated, “People assume that they can pick out someone who is homeless just by looking at them. Hello world do you realized that the average homeless person looks just like you and I.” While you may dream that this is the case, it is most of the time simply not true. Having policed for years, I can tell you without hesitation that the chronically homeless DO look different and DO act differently. I reference the ‘chronically’ homeless as these are the exact people who use malls to spend their day especially in bad weather, etc. It is NOT the mall’s responsibility to house these folks who could be either working or spending their time in a homeless shelter.

    While a mall may be “open to the public” they are still PRIVATE property and if I were a tenant seeing a decrease to my business because of rowdies, roughhousing teenagers, homeless folks or whatever, I would look to the mall management to fix it. It is a proven fact that people shop where they feel safe and reasonably comfortable. To deny this is against all polls ever taken on the subject. As you live in VERY liberal Columbia with its exceedingly high income level, I suggest that YOU give or volunteer to help YOUR own homeless.

    1. MaryM says:

      These people were not doing anything offensive. Do you also resent the retirees who go to the mall strictly to walk for exercise? Should we have to show a credit card and receipts to prove intent to shop and completion of shopping? Yes there are dirty, drugged, bi-polar homeless people sitting alone talking to themselves downtown and about who may or may not be dangerous. These people are not that sort. Maybe you would prefer a world that only served white bread and always had blue skies where you would never have to be faced with the awful facts of awful things happening to nice people. It isn’t going to happen here in this economy. Have a heart.

      1. withavengeance says:

        @ MaryM: I resent your use of the term bipolar in that way. You only help perpetuate the stigma that people with bipolar ILLNESS are dangerous and homeless and worse.

      2. petfriend says:

        The charges stated that they had left packages unattended…now days that could cause an evacuation, police and fire and bomb squad deployment and a huge cost and inconvenience and interuption to the businesses in the mall. It also states they were in non public access areas. If in fact those things are true, and this is a matter for the courts to decide I guess, than the mall is well within their rights to ban them for creating a public nusance by those actions. If they appeared as they do here and were simply eating, shopping and hanging around when in the mall as they have stated, I would doubt they were singled out and just being harrassed. It seems more likely that some actions occurred on their part to have caused the mall to act.

    2. PDQ says:

      …and if the mall said they had to leave because they were Jewish, that would be ok, too?

  10. A Columbia Mon says:

    To Kotto Man:
    Thanks you just proved my point, there are too many so called educated but ignorant people in this world. I assume you can read because if you did I said that I have worked in several homelss shelters in the past. And also to point out I am not sure where you get you facts, but the average homeless person does looke like you and I, america just doen’t want to believe it. You know your right on one thing there are a lot of chronically homeless people out there also, most have mental and or drug issues and by reading the article it doesn’t mention this, but if I am sure if you properly read the article it also stated that they shoped and ate at the mall. It doesn’t sound like chronically homless people it sounds like the average homeless person who is just down on their luck.

    Also to the nuckle head, where does it said that they were squating, OMG some people go to the extreme just to proved how ignorant they are. A mall and your home are too diffrent places.

  11. Scott's County says:

    Let’s all take Columbia Mom back to Disney World everyone. Apparently, she found life there happy and fair unlike the real world in we all must live.

    1. ha ha says:

      in case you hadn’t noticed, not “everyone” agrees with you. it must have been nice for you to think that you were special for just one shining moment.

  12. Cathy says:

    Obviously these people are not straight from the hood. They should have help right away. Ho.Co. is rough on everyone that is out of place.To the point of crule

  13. j says:

    all these people with these insensitive remarks-hope you are never in such a position. The economy has left a lot of people homeless who never thought they would be. I don’t see anything wrong as long as they were not bothering anyone. Anyone causing disturbances should be banned-homeless or not

  14. George Mouring says:

    I find most of the peoples comments here, repulsive and snobbish. You show absolutely no compassion for your fellow man, none! It’s says in the bible, judge not, lest ye be judged. You don’t know why those folks are homeless, there may be good reason for it. MOre than likely because of republican snobs like you. What’s wrong folks, looking at them force you to have a conscience, to feel, ? It’s a damn shame, I remind you, it was republican greed and policies that put us where we are today. You snobby SOB’s should be drawn and quartered for what you’ve done to this country, not racisist, my butt!

    1. No Worries says:

      Their time is coming. Anyone with an ear to the ground can hear the shake-up that’s coming, and these selfish, oblivious pigs will be the first to suffer when it happens.

    2. Some One says:

      I Truely agree with you George nobody knows what some elses situation and they forget it can happen to them. Yet they do not choose to believe that it can people are selfish these days and has no morals its already depressing for them not to have a home for what ever reason it may be it dont mean they are any less of a person than you and I grow up you morons.

  15. Cathy says:

    Ho.Co needs to be rough for the most part. There are some that take things too far.Ya just can’t pick and choice.Did these people take things to far?

  16. Cathy says:

    Let me explain a little more

    Mall management has a right to ban people that become nussence. I know this first hand. All it takes is not to be a bother. And when the time of ban is up you need to write a letter in order not to have security called on you.

    No pan handling-No walking in the back halls of the mall no drinking in public…

    There are some that I know that have basicilly been banned for life.The second some of these people turn up on a property owned by(iI don’t know anymore)the security is around to call the P.D.

    It is crule. But some people keep turning up DRUNK and others do things their not suppose to.It’s really hard to get by when band from a shopping center where one needs to BY food.And you don’t have a car. I always thought the rule(NOT LAW) harsh. Far to Harsh for some that really don’t deserve it. But SOME PEOPLE DO DESERVE NOT TO BE ABLE TO be on theses proprties. If this couple is who I think they are. I hope they are alright their friend is okay

    1. ha ha says:

      doesn’t anyone know how to spell the word “cruel”?

  17. Ozzy says:

    I just wish Columbia Mom could spell. Then maybe I could take her seriously.

  18. MaryM says:

    I don’t understand what they did. It seems to be okay with the mall to have retirees going there just to walk around for exercise…NOT purchasing. These are not the typical homeless people, they are clean and decently dressed simply looking for a place to be warm. Hasn’t life kicked them about enough? It reminds me of a PETA fanatic who complained bitterly about homeless people sleeping on the park benches. What is wrong with this society. It is awful to kick a dog but a human is fair game?????

    1. Me says:

      Thank God for decent, intelligent people like you.

    2. petfriend says:

      well as I commented above it does say they were leaving packages unattended, which could create quite an evacuation and police/fire involvement etc due to thoughts of bombs etc these days., It also said they were entering private areas. Those things could interfere with the shops ability to do business and would therefore rightly result in a ban. If they were just haninging out it is unlikely anything would have occurred.

  19. Orie says:

    Seriously, start checking your articles for errors

    “He was unsure what to check, so he selected disturbing the piece,” Francis said.

  20. KottaMan says:

    All the ‘real’ facts of the banning are not in this article and you can rest assured that the ACLU will paint this couple as the “poster children” for the homeless. Also, what better way to get free press than to have a WHITE couple who are victims. It stretches credibility to have the Mall just be mindreaders to “know” that this couple, older, VERY CLEAN in the video, and soft-spoken, were ‘homeless’ and banned them for it. There MUST be more to this banning than the ACLU is admitting. Some on here say it is rough being homeless in Howard County. I agree but remind everyone that HoCo is one of the MOST affluent counties in the U.S. AND has always bent over backwards for the underdog as it is very very liberal. At least the Columbia area is. That is why there has always been friction between it and the rest of the county especially the western end.

  21. Cathy says:

    What may b the problem is these people may need help but not from the ACLU. A plan lawyer will do. All colors are band. White Black it doesn’t matter. The ACLU is trying to make up lost ground in my view. Their already here because of the black white thing.Can anyone remember when the ACLU stuck up publicly for white people. Brownie points.I don’t even thing these people need legal aid at all. There is a miss understanding that has been missed.And security being bullies.Nothing like a rent a cop with power.

  22. Doug says:

    The scary thing here,
    this WILL be a few of us,
    one day.
    LOOK at them and wonder what went wrong in America,
    for it to come to this

  23. Doug says:

    If you’re going to waste tax dollars to arrest them,
    why not help them instead.
    Do unto others……….

  24. whatnow says:

    The mall said they kept roaming around in back areas that is only for employees. They said on TV that occasionally they would buy something at Penny’s. If you are really homeless, why are you shopping at Penny’s. Go to WalMart. They sure cleaned up nice. There is something fishy here.

  25. Ann says:

    I have seen these two at Columbia Mall for years. The woman looks quite sedate in this picture but most of the time looks like a circus clown ,heavy make up carrying brand name shopping bags stuffed full. She gives a penetating stare and smirk if you stare at her strange outfits. I suspect that these people need to be treated for mental illness. It is not the malls problem. The mall is private property and the homeless and mentally ill should not be allowed to lloiter.Normal people also have righs or do the liberal forget that Fact .

    1. You Are A Moron says:

      “The woman looks quite sedate in this picture but most of the time looks like a circus clown ,heavy make up carrying brand name shopping bags stuffed full. ”

      Yes, let’s kick them out for not looking the way you like people to look. And if you were shooting me judgmental looks, I’d smirk back at you too. What do you look like? Cellulite-riddled white cow with a pretzel stuffed in your face as you wander around looking to sate the endless black hole of your brainless materialism? Get over yourself, idiot.

      “Normal people also have righs or do the liberal forget that Fact .” — Go back to school and learn to write like “normal people”.

      1. whatnow says:

        My word. You are so nasty and racist. Get some help!

      2. patriot 23 says:

        there was a time when people wouldn’t leave the house without dressing up. today your lucky if they get out of their pajamas. How about that hot number getting her nicotine fix at 5 am in the convinence store.

      3. ha ha says:

        you are awesome… cheers, friend.

    2. ann says:

      So sorry to offend you. As I am old and do not see well sometimes I leave letters out inadverently. You should get your anger under control and possibly up your medicatio.

      1. You Are A Moron says:

        You should get your snobbery under control. And you can see well enough to judge what someone else is wearing – as if that’s ANY of your concern in the first place. Why are you staring at her outfits? Are you the mall fashion police? You’re allowed to stare at her, but she isn’t allowed to stare back? You’re a nasty, snobby old bat.

    3. JQP says:

      Awww, you poor thing! It must be so trying for you to have to see people that make you uncomfortable while you’re trying to enjoy all your money. I can’t even tell you how I feel for you… sad.. so sad that these relatively clean, and otherwise harmless people who are trying to maintain some sense of dignity by wearing clean clothes would have the audacity to mar your shopping experience. They are terrible people that must be stopped…. is that too “liberal” for ya, there, Ann?

      p.s. my teen aged niece can buy a new pair of jeans ever month, that doesn’t mean she makes enough money to rent an apartment. what do you want from them? you want them dirty and smelly wearing rags or clean, maintained and tying to keep it together…. what do you want?

  26. Sea Dog3 says:

    One thing about the internet is that it never fails. The stories are getting more stupid and the comments are worse than the articles…. Why is that??? This couple needs to get the heII on and stop being a spectacle that their race is!!!! If it’s not animals it’s something else stupid.. Americans are losing the reason for their being all together!!! Black and White

  27. lwurster says:

    Although I found this story interesting, I am amazed that it is full of misprints. Such as “disturbing the piece” (peace). And “I have been outside every since” (ever).
    lloiter (loiter), and this is not just the paper, but also the comments. It really makes the article hard to read. Just saying….

  28. Scott's County says:

    Yeah, help them! But they can’t loiter in the Columbia Mall all day. I’m sorry, I’m just not that liberal. Societies and civilizations function by rules, regulations, laws and social customs. I’m tired of people laying this guilt trip stuff on me when I just stand for a society that needs to be regulated. I’m tired of anarchy. Unruly teenagers make older people afraid to go to shopping malls and many malls in the country have strarted banning teens in their malls at certain times without their parents. Should the ACLU take up the cause of defending mall rats too? Where does this Democratic Ultra-Liberal coddling of uncivilized people end?

    1. Oh You Poor Little Racists says:

      “I’m tired of anarchy. ”

      Really? You haven’t even begun to see anarchy. Do you even know what the word means? You might want to educate yourself, because you’ll be getting quite a hefty dose of it when the pressure cooker blows. Democrat, liberal, blah blah blah. Your lame partisan political crutch won’t help you. There are far bigger things to worry about than being elitist and racist over who wanders a mall.

      1. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

        STFU You dimb ass.

      2. ha ha says:

        yeah, ya dimb ass… LOL… Bernard is so smart.. who’s a smart boy? you are… oh yes you are…

    2. Leave Texas Out of THIS says:

      I don’t think the ACLU would’ve spent time on this if there wasn’t just cause!

      As for the snide remarks, they’re unproductive and inconsequential to the point. I think this story illustrates how this society feels the right to persecute and cast judgment on its fellow man. Gee, I wasn’t alive back then, but my history books once taught me that very behavior is what caused us to cecede and started a revolution that created the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. I guess I was reading lies. As Mr. Jefferson said: It’s our republic for as long as we can keep it. Treating each other as Columbia Mall has treated these people, “because the can”, only proves our republic is dead. 😦

      Scott: I support the viewpoint that people need to help themselves and not everyone seeks the opportunity to do so. However, I do not support the way you choose to deliver the message. I don’t have a liberal attitude that they should be rescued-but the Mall is giving a very elitist perception and they are way out of their league. That mall is not someplace I would, personally, seek refuge!

      I’d like to know why you’re so hot-mouthed about this whole thing? You’re vehemently judgmental. Are you personally invested in this property?

      “Unruly teenagers make older people afraid to go to shopping malls …”
      THAT, my friend, is a parental issue. The mall can USE REGULATIONS AND LAWS to protect their property and remove such behavior from the environment. Why are these kids allowed to be in those situations? If the kids are on the premises without a parent’s permission, the parent has their own legal right to report the child!

      Get off your soap box for a second and realize how badly you’re making your argument! You almost made a decent one, until your argument was invested insulting others.

      You’re not defending the Mall’s right to protect its property, you’re too busy mouthing off and not listening to yourself. “The mall has a right to ban anyone who causes a disturbance, steals, is blatantly unhygienic, or just loiters all day long without actually shopping.” Those are YOUR words and could be a rational standpoint. There were NO complaints made against these people. That’s the point. They were within the guidelines of YOUR requirements/definition! We’re not talking about some deranged and unhygienic people disturbing the peace! Now you’re going as far as comparing this couple’s situation to UNRULY teenagers? How stupid! Stop taking pot-shots at Columbia Mom and give a valid debate for goodness sake!

      Wildchild: I think you adequately promoted that Texas is not a tolerant state for deviant and criminal behaviors. Texas has programs that expect people to do for themselves and not rely on public assistance. This state has so much more work to do, such as improving its education, but I won’t fault this state for not wanting to pump money into a welfare program. They DO have medical and dental that is available to the children who are underprivileged.

      Mary M: GOOD FOR YOU! That was my point! They don’t look any different than the people that come to a very POSH and elite mall here in Dallas! I loved your PETA retort too. However, be a little more care in the future how you classify a bipolar individual. Living with that is no different than learning to function without a limb. You have no idea what is missing, until you attempt to use it and its gone.

      Ann: They’re not acting mentally ill in this video. I’ve seen the mentally ill here in Dallas that are homeless. I haven’t seen them conduct themselves that well.

      Kotto Man: You’ve done well defending your point. Others on here can benefit from your example.

      Mr. Clancey: Well posed question! (The reporter failed to investigate that angle- I would have asked the same thing!) However, I’ve shopped at Goodwill and at Penny’s. For most items, you’re better off spending the money on the better quality. It lasts 3 times longer than what you find at discount stores and it stretches your buck. example: I bought black work pants at Ross and a Consignment shop. They’re both trashed within 6 months. It’s three years later and the St.John’s Bay pants are STILL in good shape. Just saying…..if I stayed with the “cheaper” brand, I would have spent 38.00 more in the long run. 🙂 Thought I’d share that with you.

      George Mouring: I thank you from the bottom of my heart. My sentiments exactly and much more eloquently expressed!!!!

      Orie: she was illustrating there WAS no reason for the ban and he just selected any old thing. Perhaps, the least worst of the reasons on the form?

      JQP: Is that for JANE Q PUBLIC? It’s brilliant if it is and even more so if those are your real initals. May God bless you and keep you. I remember a much more beautiful Columbia than the one that greeted me the past few years. I could say the same about my beloved Charm City. It doesn’t feel like Charm City anymore. :*(

      We all should be grateful for the very freedom that is ALLOWING (read that word carefully: A.L.L.O.W.I.N.G) us to exercise the right to express our opinion!

  29. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

    This is a set up by the ACLU to gain publicity & put a few shekels in these wankers pockets. Don’t be fooled, be cool people.

    1. ha ha says:

      ok, Bernie, you used to be funny,but now you just sound kinda nuts.

  30. Al says:

    Well they let Teens have their run the mall, without banning the teens. It is not like Family’s can enjoy the malls – so why not let anyone wonder them. Besides, these people look more decent then the Teens

  31. Lady Shirley says:

    Suppose someone has a health problem whereby they emit a smell & they are a bit on the “smelly” side. Does that mean they should be banned? No, and to do so would be illegal. If these people in the story, or anyone, had money or a gift card or are just browsing for something, they have every LEGAL right to be in the mall. As for SeaDog3, who said this couple is trying to be a “spectacle” as you put it? And where did you hear or read in the story that they were thrown out because they are white? You didn’t so stop trying to place the race card. Would you think it stupid if it happened to you? They just want to be treated like anyone else, and they deserve that right. And as for “You Are A Moron”, you need to stop judging people by their looks & get some good manners. “Sheila” is right about Golden Ring Mall & it’s a shame Eastpoint Mall is in the same shape. People under 18 should be required to have a parent with them in order to enter any mall; that’s what it’s come down to, but it seems reasonable. The point is, we ALL need to stop judging others! Best of luck to the couple in the story.

    1. YOU Are A Moron says:

      “And as for “You Are A Moron”, you need to stop judging people by their looks & get some good manners.”

      I guess you missed the QUOTE MARKS around the first sentence of the post you’re talking about. I was quoting someone else to reply to them. I didn’t judge anyone on looks; I was taking her to task for doing so.

      “The point is, we ALL need to stop judging others! ”

      Yeah – take your own advice.

  32. JQP says:

    Dear Patty & Steve,
    I am so sorry that you have fallen on such hard times. Choosing a place like Columbia Mall tells me that you would rather be somewhere safe and clean than a filthy shelter. Maybe you knew the Columbia in which I grew up. It was a beautiful place populated by the most compassionate, beautifully integrated, genuinely decent people. The community did everything it could to make sure that it’s members, even it’s poorer members, had a safe, clean place to live. I know because my mother found herself abandoned at 20 with an infant and no income. She worked at the Hecht Co. in the Mall, and we lived in interfaith housing. Eventually, she got on her feet, got a great job and managed to crawl out of the rut she was in. The community that once was Columbia was such great place. Now, it is full of people with too much money, and clearly, too much time on their hands. I would have expected them to rally for you. I would have expected them to try and help you to find a way to maintain your lives, if not in absolute comfort, then at least with a roof over your heads. No. The comments above are what humanity has come to. Sad and pitiful and useless wastes of skin, they are. I hope that the two of you can find peace and safety.

    With love,
    Jane

    p.s. to all of the “human beings” who plan to rib me for being a bleeding heart liberal, or a socialist radical… you could’t be further off. I just have compassion. That’s all. I’m not even a Christian, but I would say, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” … go YOU… seriously, just be grateful for the easy life you clearly have.

    1. Thank You says:

      You’re a good person. Blessings to you and your mother.

    2. Stef Fletcher says:

      Thank you Jane. It would be such a better world if we all remembered that above anything else, we should be human and compassionate.
      Stef

  33. JQP says:

    Scott’s County… this is for you specifically: I have read your comments on other articles and I think you are hilarious! The absolutely inane babble you spew is just too obtuse to even be considered! Gosh, you’re funny. Thanks for adding a little humor to my day. Funny, stuff, honestly. Whew! Man… I’m hungry, who wants pizza?

  34. sobo native says:

    To all yall who are bashing them, what would you do if you were homeless? Wouldn’t you try and find an place you could to be warm? So what, they are sitting inside on a bench. Just remember while we are all inside in a bed, they are outside sleeping in the cold. Yall need to be grateful for what yall got. Leave the homeless alone.

  35. Amber says:

    This story is so sad. They dont even look homeless! I could see if they were stealing but for goodness sakes!

  36. patriot 23 says:

    why don’t these people go live with some of the ACLU lawyers? If they are truly about what’s best instead of removing any semblance of common sense from our society.

    1. ha ha says:

      you are so patriotic. hypocrite.

      1. patriot 23 says:

        find out the facts about the ACLU before you condemn me brother. they are really nobodys’ freind , except the special interests that have undermined the system that was based on common sense and common courtesy for the betterment of all of the people. not just the ones who can afford it ,but here is the catch, you have got to get off your ass and be part of it. Not just some abiguos prankster basking in the glow of his monitor, doling out criticism.

      2. ha ha says:

        first off, patriot, I’m a woman, 2nd, I volunteer at a shelter for the homeless every Friday night, serving out food. … by the way, I see the glare from your computer screen in your eyes, too, silly pants. HA! HA!

  37. Annette Hewins says:

    Ok, so what about the older wealthy women who walk the mall before stores are even open for exercise? Are they loitering?

    It is understood that having homeless hanging around on the benches in the mall may make the customers feel uncomfortable. BUT, the way that people feel shouldn’t be all that is considered. I think that everyone should be treated equally.

  38. Ann says:

    How about the teenagers that “get dropped off” there every Friday night so the MALL can babysit them? They aren’t homeless but they sure cause more problems! They make shoppers like myself stay away. They’re loud, rude and disruptive to a nice high class environment.

    1. You Are A Moron says:

      I’d hardly call a place packed with judgmental old witches like yourself “high class”. I hope the teens make you stay home forever, so the rest of us don’t have to endure the reek of your intolerance.

  39. Thomas Clancey says:

    The homeless couple purchase clothes and food at the mall. Seems to me if they shopped at a lower end grocery store and Goodwill to get their clothes maybe, just maybe they could afford rent.

    Oh by the way, where do they get money for food and clothes?

    1. ha ha says:

      don’t yo people read? read the whole article… not just the parts that make your argument valid. they do receive social security, and before you go making ASSumptions about where they receive these benefits, consider all of the possibilities, like the VA, etc. I’m sorry but it’s like some of you don’t think things through or consider all of the possibilities… no no, just don’t make my shopping experience uncomfortable… selfish small little people

      1. ha ha says:

        clearly I have a faster finger than my key pad… sorry for any typos…I just don’t like getting bashed for typos instead of for my arguments.

      2. TC Is A Moron says:

        You pegged it, ha ha. People only see what they want to see, and it’s easy for them to look down on those less fortunate.

        And Thomas, if you think the price difference between a couple of items at the mall and grocery/thrift stores would ever pay the rent, you should try coming down from Cloud Cuckoo Land some time. For your own sake, I hope the continued erosion of the economy knocks your ivory tower down. The lesson in compassion and humility would be good for your shriveled black soul.

      3. Monkey trainer says:

        Ha Ha I have something I ‘d like to put in your moms black hole. Homeless be damned.

      4. ha ha says:

        OOOOOH SNAP! That was a good one, monkey trainer! I’m overcome with sadness at your brilliant smack down! boo-hoo-hoo! dork, I’m white. HA HA

      5. Monkey Trainer says:

        ha ha – you may be white. The comment was addressed to the black hole of your mother. Was not intended to be a racial comment, more of a sleazy sexual reference,

        peace – have your mom call. 410-867-5309.

      6. ha ha says:

        eh, thanks for the clarification… psycho.

  40. JimC says:

    Where do they shower and brush their teeth?. Where do they sleep? If every homeless person comes to the mall and loiters, will they be clean and not smell? Who will pick and choose which homeless person shall stay and who must leave? Will the ACLU reimburse the mall when the customers stop coming due to the overwhelming amount of homeless people there?

    1. ha ha says:

      yes, there is clearly great danger in the Mall in Columbia becoming overwhelmed by homeless people. If you want to know if they are stinky, why don’t you go find out. I mean… what is it with you folks and whether or not they are smelly? really? this is your big concern? WOW…

    2. TO JIMC says:

      Area churches and organizations provide food and shelter for the homeless. Perhaps the couple has resources there, as do many other people down on their luck.

      It would be interesting to see if the ACLU is interested in truly helping these people by providing food, shelter, etc.

      1. ha ha says:

        What do you want from the ACLU? They already provide a much needed service to those who need it… what, you want them to feed, clothe and house them, too? Why don’t they just set up a few communes around the country and take care of everything for everyone who can’t manage it. Here’s an idea, why don’t they start by setting one up in your front yard… but they can’t set up any houses of worship…we all know how that would go down. Really. How dare the ACLU try to do anything positive for those who are discriminated against! They are horrible people and we should stop them from offering their services! good lord some of you are seriously bent. …

        p.s. apologizing for any typos or grammatical errors in advance, just incase you can’t pick up the argument and have to resort to that kind of nitpicking.

  41. Richard Varney says:

    My wife & I would drive to this mall from PA, and thought it was a fine place to walk & shop, but now I see how they treat a couplke hard on their luck, causing no problems at all, just trying to keep warm. We will no longer favor this mall due to the way they treat people down on their luck. My word, they were shopping there, spending what little money they had, and to be treated like this. I will get the word out on this treatment so this mall will lose other customers. Not fair at all!

    1. Richard Varney says:

      I must add, this couple was not liuke most homeless, so I really don’t understand the issue! They just wished to use the mall to walk & sit, and YES, shop!

    2. Thank You says:

      You have a good heart.

    3. Daisy says:

      Boycotting the mall would only serve to hurt the merchants trying to make a living there. It would not hurt the mall. Keep in mine “The Mall” is part of General Growth Properties, a huge national corporation who could weather a boycott. The students who work weekends to pay for their textbooks, would not fair as well if they were laid-off due to a boycott of the mall. Write to GGP or the Mall management to express your displeasure. As a matter of fact, let’s all get off this website NOW and go to GGP’s to tell them how we feel. This arguing amongst ourselves is solving nothing.

  42. ann says:

    Get out that little violin and stay in PA.

    1. ha ha says:

      ann is a selfish little mean hearted you know what… ME. VARNEY, you rock.

      1. Ann Is A Moron says:

        She’s a hypocritical, busybody old bat who thinks the world should cater to her personal tastes.

  43. Leave Texas Out of THIS says:

    “I’m tired of anarchy. ”

    Really? REALLY?!?!?! You seriously think we’re living in Anarchy? Go google the term and do some research. We are FAAAAAAAAAR from Anarchy! As an American public, we’re gladly surrendering our individual rights — mainly because no one understands personal accountability or responsibility!

    I’m so disgusted right now I could puke!

  44. Leave Texas Out of THIS says:

    ha ha: thanks for illustrating where our Social Security benefits are taking us……..

    1. ha ha says:

      …and worse for those of us who are aged at about the same that would be their children… you remember us, generation x? yeah, we’re going down.

  45. Stef Fletcher says:

    Sadly, it is a crime to be homeless in America and hopefully there can be some resolution. We wage wars to “free” other countries, we send millions of tons of food, supplies, medication, etc. to countries suffering from natural disasters and yet, we find that the answer to homelessness is to make it a crime. It would be something if we would wake up as a society and realize why, in our own country, we accept such treatment of our citizens. And for everyone who thinks it is a choice to be unemployed, a choice to be starving or a choice to be homeless…. it isn’t.

    1. Homelessness not a crime says:

      No, it is not a crime to be homeless in America. I don’t recall reading that anyone said that it is. There are organizations that help the homeless by providing temporary shelter, food, job training, etc. The word needs to get out about how to best assist the homeless.

      I agree that our country spends too much money assisting others rather than take care of its own citizens first. However, we live in a global society.

  46. Yaelle Glenn says:

    Oh dear God I have seen more spelling errors on this page than I’ve seen in all the past MONTH combined!!! Not too helpful considering most of these comments are designed to sway opinion.

  47. Yaelle Glenn says:

    I think the real issue here is what Roger Ebert is doing in the above picture.

  48. emma says:

    what the heck is wrong with the mall. They said they bought clothes . They didnt rob stores or something so why the ban. what is a public for, the public.

  49. Lena Walker says:

    why wont the mall just give them jobs? then they will have more money to get a place to live.

  50. Teri says:

    Wait a minute. They are homeless yet she’s buying clothes at Penney’s and books at Borders? And, they are buying food at the mall? AT THE MALL? Ever heard of Goodwill and thrift shops and libraries and grocery stores? I’m not homeless, but we are on a VERY tight budget due to the fact that I’m paying tuition/daycare. I’m not afraid or embarrassed to admit we shop at Goodwill and “movie night” is when they show movies at the library (free popcorn and hotdogs, too, but you have to pay $1 for your soft drink). I bet for what they are spending each month at the mall, they could have a small apartment. Priorities, I guess.

    1. ha ha says:

      Exactly, Teri, why on earth would they want to feel like normal people, like they used to feel when they could maintain their lives on their income? WHat is wrong with them??? I mean, I want to shop at those stores and I think that lower income, or homeless people should shop where it makes you feel like less of a person… because they aren’t really human, are they.

      1. Leave Texas Out of This says:

        Bingo. Also, these discount stores aren’t always in areas where needs are consolidated. However, I don’t think Teri is implying they are undeserving of basic human needs. She does make a good point that the money they are spending on eating at the mall could be better invested.

        Teri, something you need to consider, when we shop at discount stores, we may have the ability to wash our clothes more regularly. Laundromats are NOT cheap. I mentioned in another comment, I have found whenever I need something to last, I found it at Penney’s or, even Sears. You see, both stores carry clothing lines that really stand the test of time. So, it’s money better spent, especially when you WEAR those clothes harder than when you are protected from the elements.

  51. Andy J in the UK says:

    I’m reading this while on my lunch break at work in England. I quite often browse CNN to see what is going on in the ‘land of the free’ and love to read the comments posted on thse sites.
    What a bunch of small minded racist idiots a lot of you are! I thought that kind of red neck racists were film & TV caricatures but no, a lot of you really ARE like that!
    Well done America. No wonder most of the world hates you.

    1. Saddened Across The Pond says:

      Andy- I wish there were a way to directly contact folks when they post on here. Though your words hurt, they are truth. I always say “It’s not mean if it’s the truth”.

      It’s a shame that the reasonable and rational voices get drowned out by all this bickering. I assure you, not all of America is so short sighted and full of bigots. :*(

      I wish most of America would get their head out of their @$$ and recognize what is taken for granted and how utterly ridiculous they appear to the rest of the world.

    2. JQP says:

      Andy J: the problem is that it’s hard to look in the mirror. like it or not, the US is a snapshot of the world as a whole, with all it’s beauty and ugliness, decadence and decay, cultural diversity and blind racism. We are a picture of that which is ignorant in the world, and that which is brilliant. Your folks across the pond have their own issues and you’re the one who chose to read the comment board of a local news forum. It is impolite to inject yourself into a conversation and then criticize those involved. Kind of ironic, isn’t it.

      1. hvillage says:

        What did you call us? “a bunch of small minded racist idiots?”… that’s not very nice.. and also kind of like calling someone a name, like a “name-calling name-caller”. You’re so much better than us. Even if we’re on the same side of the argument, clearly, we’re on different sides of good taste and good manners.

    3. tonto says:

      Then stay on your side of the pond!

  52. sue says:

    I wouldn’t want something dirty & smelly sitting next to me in the mall either, but are the two pictured above the couple in question? They look clean, dressed as normal, like regular people. If they didn’t break any law, beg or annoy people I don’t know why it would matter.

    1. Andy J in the UK says:

      SomeTHING? Or do you mean someONE?

  53. RG says:

    Ahh yes, the WJZ.com comment section, where Baltimore’s best and brightest gather together to call each other “racicst” “Teabagger” and everything else in between.

  54. JC says:

    There is more to this story than is being reported here. A Mall would not seek to ban a couple who visits regularly, spends money, and bothers no one. How would Mall management even know they were homeless?!

  55. Robin Lane says:

    This incident was staged. The white homeless lady is a former advocate for the homeless.

    1. ha ha says:

      staged? for several years? that seems a little… well… ridiculous. and by the way, often the people who have the most interest in helping the homeless are… or were, in fact, homeless. see… “staged”.. where did you get that little factoid? absurd.

      1. Ha Ha Ha says:

        HaHa…

        And where did you get the little factoid that this couple has been homeless and doing this for several years?

        And how do you know that the lady is not a former advocate for the homeless?

        You have stated on this blog several times that people should allow the homeless on their lawns. I wonder if you have done this yourself. I see that you mentioned that you have volunteered in homeless shelters. That is not the same as taking in these people. You apparently think the ACLU is providing these homeless people with great service…I disagree.

        You have a lot of animosity towards others in many of your posts.

  56. pat says:

    If these two are the ones that are supposed to be homeless & using the mall only to get out of the weather, I would like to know
    #1 They look clean, so where are they bathing or washing up.?
    #2.Their clothes look clean. Where do they wash them ?
    #3 His hair & beard & her hair looks clean. Where are they washing their hair?
    #4 Where do they change their clothes or have bathroom facilities.?
    They are homeless & have no where else to go, so I guess they use the malls facilities to do most of the above. I really feel for these people, it must be terrible to be it their situation. I still don’t feel its the malls responsibility to shelter these people. Howard Co. should take on the job of caring for its people not a mall.

  57. charles3252 says:

    No one should be homeless in the first place!

  58. Tare says:

    Common sense proves that the mall is lying when they accuse this couple of leaving personal property around. When all you have in the world is on your back or in a bag, you watch it carefully. The issue here is obviously that they are homeless – end of story and the ACLU is correct in this case, (although they often defend illegal immigrants who haven’t earned the right for defense in or by Americans).

  59. Anyone looking to buy says:

    The comments I’ve read today have left me so disheartened with Columbia that I’m actually considering selling my house. I’ve lived in Columbia off and on for the last decade. Everytime I’ve PCSd or deployed, I’ve always thought about returning to Columbia. Which I considered one of the best places to live in the US. Not only well planned and designed, but the reason for the establishment of Columbia really resonated with me. A place that wasn’t all about corportate interests. I believed that Columbia was supposed to be a place that respected all of its denizens. It was a naive ideology that I was subscribing too. These comments have opened my eyes and made me realize that it’s just another place in the US. A place with just as many mean spirited individuals as anywhere else. Wow…just shameful and dissapointing. I’m so glad that I risked my life repeatedly so that people can spend their days typing vitriolic bile. Shameful.

  60. J.c. Edmond says:

    Well they won’t be homeless for long after they get paid from the lawsuit.

    1. ha ha says:

      Then the mall should have just let the clean, harmless homeless alone. The story is very clear. They we’re not loud, dirty, obnoxious or disturbing. Their only major complaint was that this couple (who has been spending cold days inside the mall for years) left some bags unattended. And before you jump all over them for that, read the above comments that already mentioned the hoardes of teenagers that overrun the malls and the sweet little old rich folks who own that place in the mornings for their walks… not shopping.

  61. Pat says:

    If you have a job or social security that pays $500/month, and appartment rents in an area start at $400 plus utilities so you can’t afford a place to live, then you are HOMELESS even with money to spend. Often The problem is lack of affordable housing.

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    Hi there, I found your web site via Google even as looking for a comparable subject, your web site got here up, it appears to be like good. I’ve added to favourites|added to my bookmarks.

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