In a remarkable story out of Beverly Hills, celebrities are defending the right of a homeless man, George Saville, to live on the street. They like his patter. He’s amusing.
Sports stars Lamar Odom and Jason Kidd get a kick out him. Larry King declares him “harmless,” and Arab royalty from the Beverly Wilshire Hotel have him pose in their selfies.
That Saville is troubled, filthy and currently being hospitalized for a head injury from a fall is apparently not hint enough that he needs social services and a roof over his head, whether he wants them or not.
City officials see Saville as an “aggressive panhandler.” The city funds an “ambassadors” program — people in green shirts who, in addition to guiding tourists, find shelter for the homeless. Some of the locals don’t like that the ambassadors have been trying to force Saville off the street.
David Lyle, president of a television and digital content producers association, complains to the LA Times:
What you’ve mounted is an extrajudicial squad of greenshirts [who] are there to clear the streets of undesirables.”
In a fraction of the time Lyle, King and other Beverly Hills gentry stand around talking up Saville’s right to live in his filth, they could have stroked checks adequate to placing him in a secure home with the appropriate services.
Actually, they could have funded permanent housing for a hundred homeless.
But then they wouldn’t have Saville to entertain them, would they?
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