This week I want to share with you two reasons why street people tend to drink on the main streets that run through a neighborhood rather than in the back alleys and, more importantly, I want to explain the reason why this is important to you.
Depending on where you work or do surveillance, serve process, maybe even live – there are neighborhoods that have a fairly high number of street people – and you’ll see them tending to sit on stoops and drink more out on the main drags rather than back in the alleys.
Of course, you may be able to think of exceptions when you’re walking down the street and you look down a side street or an alley and you see a group of people sitting back there drinking. In most of those cases, that’s probably more of a regular drinking spot and there’s a certain “safety in numbers”, but that brings me to why you tend to see street people drink on those main drags.
The First Reason
The first reason is that it’s just safer for them to drink along the main streets that go though neighborhoods. While you may look at these people and think of them as perpetrators, they are much more likely to be victims.
They stay out on those main drags because it’s safer for them if they drink and pass out rather than becoming stupefied in a back alley. In an alley they’ll wake up (or come to) without their shoes and without what little possessions they have. They simply will be robbed back there.
Sometimes you hear about a person being killed over a beer. For street people this is one of those times. A guy can come out of a Qwickie Mart with a beer and a pack of cigarettes and other street people see this. If they feel they can take it from him (or maybe that he “owes” them from a previous time), they’ll follow the guy back into a back alley, beat him and take his beer and cigarettes.
On the other hand, if he stays on the main drag, there’s a much better chance he’s going to remain safe. Safety is the first reason street people tend to drink on the main streets in a neighborhood.