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threwthelookinggrass OP t1_jebbkzn wrote

> Dominic Reale has seen firsthand the decline and deterioration of Smithfield Street. From the window of Villa Reale, his Downtown pizzeria, he has witnessed the street being overrun by homeless people.

> Reale, 51, of Green Tree, said he has preliminary discussions with Allegheny County redevelopment officials about converting the pizzeria into a shelter and resource center for the homeless. He said conversations with those officials, who could not immediately be reached for comment by Patch, have been positive. > Reale said he believes his building would have the capacity for about 100 beds on the second and third floors. He envisions the first floor, which currently houses the pizzeria, would be an intake facility.

> Homeless people "could come in and register, get a physical and medical evaluation. There would be job training and wellness programs offered. We'd have a clothing department so they don’t walk around with urine and feces all over themselves."

> Reale envisions that he and the county could partner on the project and perhaps get funding to convert the building to the shelter from health care operators such as UPMC, corporations such as PNC that are known for their charitable giving and local foundations.

> "I'd like to volunteer there as much as my time would permit," he said. "But this isn't about me at all.

> "I don't want to see Downtown die. I want to see it thrive."


toxicshock999 t1_jebhh9p wrote

Very cool. But was anyone else hoping that they "could come in and register and get a free slice"?


PublicCommenter t1_jebkr1m wrote

I was thinking something similar... The pizza place stays, they work for minimum wage, get some free pizza, and it remains open to the public... Workforce development and a shelter in one.


NandoDeColonoscopy t1_jeeyqcw wrote

Yeah man, minimum wage and unhealthy food will really help the destitute 🙄


Vegetable-Swimming73 t1_jecb8r8 wrote

Homeless people need something different than a minimum wage job and free pizza . A lot of folks are homeless because they cannot work, and programs that require you to work before getting you situated back into society are rough even for folks who can work but have pressing NEEDS.

I cannot stress enough how harmful it is for housed and able bodied people to make assumptions on what is needed by vulnerable populations.

Just because you like pizza doesn't mean it would solve the problems this excellent person is seeking to solve.


PublicCommenter t1_jecg4bb wrote

You're right. I do like pizza. But also, not all shelters also need wraparound services. If there's a great need for an all-inclusive solution, there's little need for it to be located downtown, which increases costs and places a greater burden on the broader neighborhood.


Winter-Relief4661 t1_jeckdvt wrote

“Homeless people need something different than a minimum wage job and free pizza“

“I cannot stress enough how harmful it is for housed and able bodied people to make assumptions on what is needed.”

Another banger from the enlightened social justice crowd


Vegetable-Swimming73 t1_jecz32h wrote

Was it too many big words for you?


username-1787 t1_jeeicc5 wrote

Not the big words, more the fact that you claimed it is harmful for people to assume what they need, while simultaneously assuming what they need.


[deleted] t1_jeeybi5 wrote



NandoDeColonoscopy t1_jeez2ic wrote

We know what works: a no-strings-attached housing-first policy. This isn't a mystery, it's just politically unpopular. But every city that has implemented this has seen great results.


[deleted] t1_jef0i9m wrote



NandoDeColonoscopy t1_jef7s5h wrote

>what would you do with the few that abuse the no-strings attached policy?

Who gives a shit?

And honestly, if you were sincere in your concern, im not sure why you'd be asking me, rather than looking into how these edge cases were handled in the places that already implemented these policies.


[deleted] t1_jef89ti wrote



NandoDeColonoscopy t1_jef8vis wrote

You asked "hypothetically what would work". There is no need for hypotheticals, since we already know what works. That debate ended years ago, and you seemed unaware of this fact, so I was letting you know.

If you have questions on how specific situations are handled, you now know that other cities are doing this already and can go learn about how they did it. If you're still asking random ppl on reddit, I'm going to assume you aren't really that interested and are just killing time at work or something.


KentuckYSnow t1_jecy0du wrote

Their business is shit because of COVID and the building was falling in on itself before the pandemic. Hea hoping to get more money out of it than he otherwise would get and get the buyer to pay for all the repairs. If a homeless shelter goes in there that block is permanently fucked forever. There's a reason that other shelter got built at the margin.


threwthelookinggrass OP t1_jeddiyj wrote


No one is forcing the city/county whoever to buy it. If a deal is brokered for them to buy it though, it’d serve the community better as a homeless shelter than as you suggest, a failing pizza place.

If a low barrier homeless shelter is not built wouldn’t there still be homeless people on smithfield street? It’s not like not building it will make them go away.


69FunnyNumberGuy420 t1_jeeq7gk wrote

The people posting in these non-stop threads about the homeless "threat" don't want the homeless to be helped, they just want them gone by any means necessary.


Zenith2017 t1_jeer4wu wrote

Making them go away without any inconvenience to himself is exactly what Kentucky here wants. He doesn't want to deal with them.


69FunnyNumberGuy420 t1_jeeq964 wrote

> If a homeless shelter goes in there that block is permanently fucked forever.

So what's your solution to the homeless question? Bus tickets to California?


kieraey t1_jecsgfj wrote

I’m glad someone looked around our city and said “How can I help?” instead of “how do I get out of here?” which seems to be the dominant attitude lately :/


KentuckYSnow t1_jecy5gg wrote

"how can I can the most cash out of my shit hole building now that COVID has decimated my business"


kieraey t1_jee4v5q wrote

how do you possibly think he’s going to make more $$ running a shelter than a for-profit business?


TheFoolsDayShow t1_jeenol1 wrote

You really think the pizza place owner is going to be running the shelter? He’d be selling his building and peacing


lod254 t1_jec3y95 wrote

Damn, it's not Beto's.


DaRiddler70 t1_jebv8ms wrote

This is a good idea to help out legitimate homeless people....those that are down on their luck and just need some help to get back on their feet and do their part in society.

What he's seeing are drug addicts.

We have the same issue here in Albuquerque, 2 brand new great homeless shelters completed last year...nobody in them. And the streets are still filled with drug addicts. It's getting worse every week.


threwthelookinggrass OP t1_jeby062 wrote

They opened a new homeless shelter with 138 beds and it was filled within the first week. A few doors down from this pizza place is a church which also has 70 beds which I imagine are where these homeless people he's seeing are staying/congregating.

Increasing the supply of housing and services for homeless people is always a good thing.


KentuckYSnow t1_jecy95k wrote

It's a good thing if that housing is about 473,542 miles away.


threwthelookinggrass OP t1_jedcpre wrote

I know that you’re someone who consistently has contrarian views and aren’t arguing in good faith, but access to any sort of stable housing is good. Lack of housing is the root cause of homelessness. Forcibly relocating people as policy is such an affront to personal liberty.


KentuckYSnow t1_jedidol wrote

No it isn't. Mental illness and/or drugs is the root cause of homelessness.

A study authored by a govt agency assigned to the topic doesn't make it an authority, they're just trying to expand their own purview.

People on the street aren't normal people who simply can't afford a home. They have a host of mental deficiencies that put them in that position. Frankly they're incurable. There will always be people like this, it's as unstoppable as time. If they're minding their own business, ok, but generally they're up to something, and therefore, should be shipped off, preferably somewhere that doesn't cost Pennsylvanians any moneym


DaRiddler70 t1_jebyc5c wrote

I think ours were filled when they initially opened, but following the rules was not something anyone wanted to do, so now they're empty.


Legitimate_Plum9 t1_jec8fkj wrote

Why don’t you stick to running your mouth about what’s going on in Albuquerque and leave Pittsburgh out of it, jagoff


Amrun90 t1_jec2oxk wrote

PS, all homeless people, sheltered or unsheltered, living with substance use disorder or not, are “legitimate.” There isn’t a bar they need to pass to be “legitimate,” and judgment from people like you is a major part of the problem. Substance use disorders develop alongside mental health disorders, and people with SUD are no less deserving of our help. Shame on you. Seriously disgusting worldview.

I can’t speak to Albuquerque, but shelters here have huge waiting lists. There are not enough supports for them and I seriously commend this business owner for at least trying.


DaRiddler70 t1_jec48dl wrote

You stated the issue but you're happy about a solution that doesn't fix the problem. It's not a disgusting worldview, it's called reality and your crappy problem solving skills doesn't make me the asshole.

Mental health and drug addiction problems are not solved with homeless shelters. It's like putting on band-aids while you continue to cut yourself and you wonder why the bleeding won't stop.

I have no problem with what this guy is doing and i applaud him....but it won't do shit to stop what he and everyone else can clearly see happening downtown.

Don't be mad at me because you can accept reality. I'd expect you to downvote this....because that's what you guys are good at.


threwthelookinggrass OP t1_jec7ea3 wrote

Housing is the most basic need people need fulfilled. Stable housing increases the effectiveness of mental health and substance abuse treatment.

Homeless housing should not kick people out after a certain time period. It should be a safe, secure place for people to get back on their feet and receive the services they need.

Places like the 2nd ave commons and this proposal are certainly the right direction compared to the classic approaches that absolutely do not work of ignore, arrest, ship to California.


DaRiddler70 t1_jec8ra5 wrote

Yes, but the overwhelming majority of homeless shelters are just that.....shelters. they do nothing else. A comprehensive solution is needed, like you stated, but it isn't happening.


Amrun90 t1_jecat9l wrote

Housing is step 1. It’s not the end of the solution, but it is the necessary beginning.

There are lots of initiatives in Pittsburgh that work to combat this problem, more than most cities. We just began sending out social workers to mental health calls, and we do a lot of innovative things.

Pittsburgh is the first city to create EMS, street medicine, AND trauma-centered neighborhood resilience. We have lots of people doing groundbreaking work that is being replicated all over the country and world. You are pretty clueless about it all, obviously.


DaRiddler70 t1_jeccli9 wrote

Housing in NOT step one. A comprehensive solution is needed, you don't piece this shit together. You're a fucking nurse, you should understand that covering up symptoms does not fix the problem.

Your last paragraph is just a bunch of feel good emotional thinker gibberish. My brother was in the pilot EMS program by the Center for Emergency Medicine and is now an ER nurse, I'll have to ask him if he knows what you're talking about.


Amrun90 t1_jech8ga wrote

I don’t think you understand that EMS was invented here in the Hill district and that is why the center for emergency medicine is in this city at all, not the other way around.

Housing FIRST. Yes, housing is the first step. Until you provide for someone’s basic physiological needs, you cannot hope to move on to the next step. Those are the basics. They are how it works. That’s where all solutions begin, just not where they end.

I will not engage with you any more as you don’t intend to learn anything and think you know it all. ✌🏿


DaRiddler70 t1_jeci6f0 wrote

Yeah, not sure what your history lesson has to do with you not knowing how to solve problems, but you're a nurse....soooooo, I get it.

You can not get a guy to stop smoking meth outside McDonald's by "providing for his basic biological need of housing". You need to fix the drug addiction or mental health problem first. And lucky for you, that shit is indoors.

Do you happen to work for AGH or Forbes maybe?


Amrun90 t1_jecila1 wrote

You cannot fix mental health or drug addictions while a person is in survival mode and fighting to meet their basic physiological needs such as housing and food. It is hard to believe one could say such a thing unironically.

I work with this patient population full time, 365. You have no clue.


DaRiddler70 t1_jeciugp wrote

Damnit....they're in a facility, not a shelter.

What is the matter with you???


Amrun90 t1_jecjuqj wrote

You don’t magically fix any sort of mental health or addiction problem with an inpatient stay. Doesn’t work that way.


DaRiddler70 t1_jecmzxm wrote

You don't get their ass off drugs by's a house. If that was the case, they wouldn't be burning down abandoned houses.

I'm glad you agree that you can't fix the problem with one magic step.


DaRiddler70 t1_jecn19i wrote

You don't get their ass off drugs by's a house. If that was the case, they wouldn't be burning down abandoned houses.

I'm glad you agree that you can't fix the problem with one magic step.


YIMBYYay t1_jebw81g wrote

The new downtown shelter in Pittsburgh was full the first day that it opened. So there is definitely a a need for more homeless services. That said, the corner of Smithfield and 6th in front of Burlington, and Market Square have become brazenly open drug markets.


Vegetable-Swimming73 t1_jecbno5 wrote

Lmfao so which homeless people are "illegitimate"?

If the goal is to improve the community then we have to help people who have more needs than you are comfortable with.

A lot of shelters really don't have a safe or supportive environment so before you slag off on whole populations maybe check whether they are required to leave their dignity at the door. Many shelters don't allow pets, have unreasonable hours and requirements, have abusive staff, the list goes on. Many people are distrustful of shelters because many shelters are worse than sleeping outside.


DaRiddler70 t1_jecduqz wrote

What are you jabbering about? Is critical thinking hard for you?

This is one of the reasons why the problem will never get better. People like you just throw some emotional feel good solutions at things when you have no idea what the problem really is.

Fuck, I'm done with you people.


Vegetable-Swimming73 t1_jececsr wrote

Tell me you're a white man without telling me you're a white man

You were done before we started amigo


DaRiddler70 t1_jeceglb wrote

Maybe just tell me you're a racist....huh?


Vegetable-Swimming73 t1_jecejvi wrote

I just don't like YOU


DaRiddler70 t1_jecezqm wrote

It's ok.....thinking just isn't for you. Maybe you'll see a puppy later and feel better about yourself, and the world will move on without you.


Zenith2017 t1_jees589 wrote

Seems like you're just raging. Maybe you should channel all that frustration into something helpful rather than ranting on the internet about "emotional thinking" and how your brother's cousin's roommate is a nurse and that's why you're an expert on addiction


DaRiddler70 t1_jece1xn wrote

Then, the next thing you'll say to make yourself feel better is:

"Then what is the real problem?"

Because your ass can't be bothered to think about it for 8+ seconds.


Aezon22 t1_jefi3bi wrote

Ah yes, making unfounded guesses on the condition of Pittsburgh while you apparently live in Albuquerque. Just pure words of genius.

Seriously what makes you think anyone wants to hear uneducated crap from you?

EDIT: imagine posting the thing below this and then blocking me lol. Yes I’m sure you’re very well educated sir we are all very impressed. Your contribution to this sub continues to be of the upmost value lmaooooo. Fucking loser.


DaRiddler70 t1_jefzdnk wrote

Because I own property in Pittsburgh, I'm from Pittsburgh, I have my whole family in Pittsburgh and I'm home 4 times a year. I was just there for a week in January, ill be back again next week. I know its hard for you to imagine, but people do travel.

There is also no doubt I am more educated than you.


Zenith2017 t1_jeeraau wrote

Homelessness has a huge comorbidity rate with addiction. Don't deny services based on mental illness


DaRiddler70 t1_jeexnxg wrote

Not denying services, dipshit.

You guys are dumb....this is why I "rage". You can't understand a simple concept, then come back with some off the wall shit.

I'll state my point again, and I'll even type slowly so you understand me: just putting in a homeless shelter won't do shit to stop the problem the pizza shop owner sees outside his door. It's a band-aid for a bullet wound. We need a comprehensive solution that addresses their drug addiction and/or mental health problems with a focus on returning these folks to be a functional part of society.

Nobody is denying anybody anything, but you can't have people going into homeless shelters and doing meth, you can't have them spinning in circles yelling at the ceiling and then assaulting someone.


Zenith2017 t1_jeey9uy wrote

You're not denying services, you're just... Not letting them into the shelter...??? That sounds a lot like denying services to me.

Drug addiction is not going to be solved for someone who is housing and food insecure. You know, hierarchy of needs and all that?


DaRiddler70 t1_jeezflz wrote

No shit idiot. Did you read what I said?

It's no wonder this issue will never get resolved if it's dipshits like you running things. You and that other woman who calls herself a nurse, you some real morons. You quote hierarchy of needs.....hahaha. This is not the stone age bro.


DaRiddler70 t1_jef02lq wrote

You should probably stick to playing RPGs and smoking pot, something you're good at....let the adults handle things.


Zenith2017 t1_jef1mgi wrote

Good conversation mate


DaRiddler70 t1_jef1xe3 wrote

Don't give me that shit, you came out swinging with your incorrect assumptions and then doubled down on it.


Zenith2017 t1_jef2lk3 wrote

You're getting me real confused. Do you want shelters to accept addicts, or not? Because so far it seems like you do not want shelters to accept addicts, but then you keep saying I'm making incorrect assumptions or that I didn't read what you said. So what is your stance?


DaRiddler70 t1_jef4ex8 wrote

Well, where did I say don't accept addicts? You'd agree you can't have addicts actively doing drugs in the shelters....right?


Zenith2017 t1_jef5xb0 wrote

Well, I tend to follow the Housing First model, which is not an abstinence-only program. Both that and the linear model have real flaws - for example, someone who wants to move to abstinence only doesn't have the social support in a HF program to do so compared to a linear program.

I took your meaning from your previous statements like "you can't have someone in a shelter doing meth", "you don't get someone off drugs by handing them a house", "you can't [stop drug use with housing], you need to solve the mental health or addiction problem first". All of these would collide with the Housing First model, and so I came to believe that you did not want shelters services to be available to individuals who weren't drug-free. Is that accurate?


DaRiddler70 t1_jef99nr wrote

So, you can't have some IN the shelter doing meth. They can go OUTSIDE and do the drugs....but this doesn't solve anything.

The Housing First doesn't work. People seem to think that if you can somehow connect with people on a primal food/shelter basic needs level you'll somehow set them on a path to get off drugs and/or treat their mental health. But it's really just a politician's wet dream type idea. As long as they can let the public think they are trying to do something, people will like them (ie get elected).

This isn't the stone age. You need to fix the issue first, then housing is a step after that to help keep them stay clean or mentally fit to be a functional member of society.

Do you know what the real hurdle is to solving this?


Zenith2017 t1_jefa8cq wrote

I mean, Housing First isn't based on hearsay, it's based on evidence. The Linear model is also evidence based and both have drawbacks. I don't think one can accurately state that housing first flat out doesn't work. (INB4 Cicero house study, so poorly conducted I can't handle it)

I reckon the greatest hurdle is funding. These programs cost a shit load of money, and our leaders choose to spend it on other things, same as any funding issue. But I'll hear you out on the greatest hurdle you see in the process