Increasingly Vicious Laws Push Out Homeless
— reported by The New Standard
In the face of rising homelessness, cities across the country are increasingly trying to push desperate people out of sight and out of mind. In addition to anti-panhandling, anti-camping and anti-loitering ordinances, some are targeting the few remaining public spaces where homeless people can go during the day – including parks and libraries.
A lot of us are a couple of paychecks away from being homeless. When I think of what will happen if a hurricane hits Houston, of the amount of people who will end up homeless, I worry.
On the other hand, no matter how much I sympathize, I also acknowledge the need for rules protecting the public at large. I don’t want to be accosted on the 15 feet from my front door to my car, as has happened frequently to a friend of mine who lives in Montrose. I don’t want to worry about 20 or 30 men loitering near where my niece is playing in the park (men who have no permanent address and very few links to the community). And I don’t want to have the person next to me in a library stink so bad that I start to have a physical reaction.
Is there a need for cities to provide adequate services for the homeless? Yes. But those services should not be provided through facilities that have been created with other goals in mind — education, recreation, etc.
It may not be PC, but that’s how I feel.