On a bright and sunny day, I decided to walk the two kilometres to a meeting rather than take the car and battle parking.
At an intersection, a homeless man stood on the other side of the street yelling abuse at me. It had something to do with wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase.
Do I walk the other way, ignore him and walk past, or engage with the man?
When the lights changed he walked into a park, continuing the verbal spray.
So instead of cutting through the beautiful park, which was a highlight of the walk, I skirted around it apprehensively, looking back over my shoulder.
Perhaps it was an attempt from him to engage and if I'd spoken to him and treated him like any other person it could have been a positive interaction for both of us.
But it didn't feel like that was where it was heading - and despite having won every fight I've ever had by at least 100 metres, it was quite intimidating.
It left me really quite sad; both for the man and for my home town.
What if instead of a 39-year-old man, his target was a young person, or an elderly person, or a family with children.
He should have some type of help but citizens should be free to walk in whatever public place they choose without being subject to abuse and harassment.
We live 400 metres from Launceston's Cataract Gorge - one the jewels in Tasmania's tourism crowns.
The walking tracks are perfect for an early morning run but a rough sleeper who has hit someone over the head with a rock concerns me when my wife goes running alone.
Again, it shouldn't be that way: he should have shelter and support and people should be free from having to think about those safety concerns.
Homelessness is a complicated issue. It is hard - if not impossible - to solve.
Based on Census data, Shelter Tasmania says there are 1622 homeless in the state - an increase from 1145 in 2006.
Homelessness is categorised in three ways: primary - people sleeping rough or in improvised dwellings, including tents; secondary - people who move from one temporary shelter to another such as crisis accommodation or youth shelters; and tertiary - where the accommodation falls below minimum standards.
Hobart has the highest proportion of homeless at 57 per cent while Launceston and the North-East had 23 per cent and the West and North-West Coast 20 per cent.
Most people experiencing homelessness were under 44 years of age with people aged 12-24 making up 25 per cent of the state's homeless.
Arresting our way out of homelessness is not a solution but it is clear the recent deterioration in Launceston needed to be addressed.
A group of homeless men had been sleeping rough in an alcove of a vacant building for about six months.
There has been regular complaints about faeces, syringes and anti-social behaviour and the situation came to a head this week with the trio arrested.
Police were called on Thursday morning after reports of men being verbally abusive and threatening.
The group was told to leave the area but failed to do so and were charged with failing to comply with a police direction.
Business owner Robin Smith summed up the sentiment well: "There's no one who doesn't have sympathy for them but it couldn't continue."
He praised police and council for how they went about dealing with the issue and noted that he had seen some sickening attacks on the city's vulnerable.
"I think the police officers went over and above their duty to be sympathetic," he said.
The owner of the vacant building has boarded up the alcoves and the problem will shift elsewhere.
So what do we do? Are our services adequate? How do we help people who refuse help?
There are so many wonderful groups, often volunteers, doing so much terrific work helping those in need.
This conversation must continue.
If you require emergency accommodation, please contact Housing Connect on 1800 800 588.
- Mark Baker is Australian Community Media - Tasmania managing editor