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It is getting harder to be homeless

It is getting harder to be homeless

Yamiche Alcindor of USA Today writes:

Philadelphia recently banned outdoor feeding of people in city parks. Denver has begun enforcing a ban on eating and sleeping on property without permission. And this month, lawmakers in Ashland, Ore., will consider strengthening the town’s ban on camping and making noise in public.

And the list goes on: Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, San Diego and more than 50 other cities have previously adopted some kind of anti-camping or anti-food-sharing laws, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty.

The ordinances are pitting city officials against advocates for the homeless. City leaders such as Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter say they want to improve the lives of homeless people and ensure public safety, while opponents of such laws argue that such regulations criminalize homelessness and make it harder to live on the streets.

It is difficult to have a conversation about homelessness without having a conversation about a number of others issues, some of which are economic, but some of which are even more politically charged, such as the rights of those who suffer from profound mental illness. Are these conversations happening?

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David O'Rourke

I was wondering that myself C Wingate.

C. Wingate

Given the timing I have to suspect that this is actually directed at suppressing “Occupy” protests.

Theresa Johnson

I’m confounded and deeply challenged by what it means to offer Christian love and real help to some of the street people who trash our church yard, hide in shrubbery and window wells of our cathedral to do drugs and engage in prostitution, vandalize our property and then beg us and our parishioners for money after any church function. We help feed them, we clothe them, we let them use our office phones and drink coffee in our lobby any day of the week. We welcome them to worship with us. And we pray for them. But what can we do to effectively contribute to solving “the root causes” of homelessness?

Maplewood

If they are happening, they are being held in secret. It is shameless of local govt’s to simply shove the homeless under the bridges with the abandoned tires and derelict washing machines. If they could, they’d send them to landfills where they’d be bulldozed-over. They don’t want them around, and they don’t want to take care of them. It is the inevitable outcome of a market-based mentality, unless Christ’s disciples stand up and be the prophets we need to be. If anyone wants to know what Mark of Mission #3 & 4 opportunity looks like, here it is.

Kevin McGrane

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