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Linda_Owl's avatar

Do you think that cities are trying to actually help the homeless or do you think they are trying to drive the homeless out of the cities?

Asked by Linda_Owl (7722 points ) April 9th, 2012

It seems that the cities are actively engaged in trying to run the homeless out of the cities as this link clearly shows with the laws that have been passed against the homeless.

http://www.alternet.org/story/154830/10_unbelievably_sh**ty_things_america_does_to_homeless_people?page=1

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11 Answers

marinelife's avatar

It is a mixed effort. There are a lot of programs aimed at helping the homeless.

Here is a list of federal programs.

Here are samples of programs at the state level (PA).

And here are examples of city programs in Los Angeles

Aethelflaed's avatar

Usually, the second option. We tend to make it sort of illegal to be homeless, so there should be help, but only if you don’t get arrested first.

john65pennington's avatar

According to several homeless people I have conversed with, Louisville, Kentucky was voted to be the best city and state to accept homeless people. Nashville, Tn. was second on the voted list.

We try to give every effort to homeless people, who deserve it. Especially, families with children come first. By those who deserve it, I mean people that are not trouble makers, within a deserving group.

I believe most cities are attempting to deal with homeless people, but the numbers grow daily and that is a problem with food and shelter.

Linda_Owl's avatar

One thing for sure, you do not want to end up homeless in the Dallas / Fort Worth area of TX. You will, most likely, end up in jail. Both Dallas & Fort Worth have homeless shelters, but not nearly enough for the number of people who are homeless, & they are in isolated locations that are difficult to reach by walking.

trailsillustrated's avatar

The homeless, in general, are entirely marginalized and unwanted members of society. Why? Because, usually the event that led to homelessness was probably not a good one. Drug abuse, mental illness. How do I know? I have been homeless in the not entirely too distant past. I don’t know what the answer is. I think the US is too based on employer given health care for one. Just sayin’.

wundayatta's avatar

It has to do with city budgets and many other factors. It is known that if you spend the money to house the homeless, you save money in the long run. There are fewer health care expenses and less crime and all kinds of other benefits. Unfortunately, when the cities are strapped, to be seen spending money on homeless instead of on education is politically indefensible.

In Philly, the theory is not to help the homeless in the parks, but to get them indoors where not only can you feed them, but you can get them the medical care they need to deal with their mental illnesses and then you can get them into permanent housing and stabilize their lives.

It is seen that feeding in public enables the homeless to stay homeless. Yet, do-gooders think they are doing good—feeding hungry people. Never mind that them feeling good about feeding the homeless is harming the homeless in the long run. No one sees the long run except policy wonks.

I believe that in my city, we really want to help. But the way we do it doesn’t look good. Perhaps there are more creative ways that could help harness the energy of emotional do-gooders with actual good policy that works. But we aren’t there yet.

In other cities, I don’t know. It sure seems like many just want to kick out the homeless if they can, or at least banish them to parts of town where tourists and rich people won’t have to see them. It’s not an unexpected attitude.

likipie's avatar

I think cities are trying to rid of the homeless because people generally look down upon the homeless, thinking of them as dirty, useless people. Honestly, we have no right to “rid” our cities of people who don’t have homes, they’re people too. Even if they are just drunks or drug addicts, there’s still a reason they’re on the streets. And not all homeless people want/need money for less than desirable reasons. So yes, I think cities are trying to get rid of homeless people, but at the same time, catering to their needs.

YARNLADY's avatar

The laws against homeless people are usually designed to protect public and private property from the vandalism and damage they cause. Every law should be backed up by an equal publicly funded service to provide help, but that is harder to justify.

likipie's avatar

@YARNLADY What kind of damage and vandalism do homeless people cause? Teenagers and young adults cause more damage than I’ve ever seen from a homeless person…

YARNLADY's avatar

@likipie I can tell that you have not done any volunteer clean up work around their campgrounds or walked down a street where drunk, homeless people puke and defecate regularly.

Are you saying that since other people also commit these types of crimes, it somehow makes it OK?

likipie's avatar

@YARNLADY I’m not saying that at all, I’m just saying that if we’re going to kick every “type” of person out of our cities who does these things, we might as well get rid of every “group” of people. Homeless people are not the only ones who do these kinds of things, but that doesn’t make it ok for anyone. And yes, actually, I have done a lot of volunteer clean-up work for my city, thank you very much.

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