For me, homelessness equaled to being outright down on your luck. To actually not live inside of a house is nothing short of inhumane. Food, clothing, and shelter are only the basic needs for humans to survive. The homeless, however, mainly have one: clothing. The other two are usually “up for grabs”. Therefore, being homeless is a matter of encompassing struggle.
Yet, how are we to actually alleviate that struggle when there are laws and physical constructs in place to keep homeless people in struggle mode?
Back in April of this year, Pastor Rick Wood was ordered by Birmingham, Ala., police to stop handing out hotdogs and bottled water to the homeless in a city park . This was something that he did on the regularly. However, since he had a “food truck”, he had to buy a $500 permit (or whatever the price may be) to serve food . City officials said these kinds of rules are meant to protect the homeless from tainted or otherwise unsafe food. So, Birmingham actually felt that this rule would help anybody that would be receiving food from a “truck”.
Alas, this type of thing is what people from Gary, Indiana call “a bunch of bitch shit”.
Homeless People Get No Love In The U.S.
From what I understand, Pastor Wood’s situation is not isolated in any respect. More than 50 large U.S. cities have adopted “anti-camping” or “anti-food sharing” laws in recent years . This has become a common practice among big cities. Mayor Bloomberg’s food police outlawed food donations to homeless shelters because the city “can’t assess their salt, fat and fiber content” . Meanwhile, In Orlando FL, a group of activists lost a court battle against the city to overturn its 2006 laws that restrict sharing food with groups of more than 25 people . Thus, this is a nationwide situation.
And that nationwide situation says this: homeless people are one of the scourges and eye sores of our nation.
Hatred for Homeless People Goes International
The saddest part is that “unhelping the homeless” has become global. London has spikes in front of high rise buildings to prevent homeless people from sleeping in front of them . This would come as a surprise to some of us. However, Canada has had the same spikes appear in their country to keep homeless people from sleeping in specified areas . It is sad to see that the disdain for the homeless is an intercontinental eye sore.
Homeless Hatred Is Inhumane
Looking at things from an American perspective, this entire situation is despicable.
The main problem that I have with this is that none of these cities are actually trying to solve this costly issue. If you know that it costs more to keep people homeless than to give them housing ($10,051 to house them as opposed to $36, 065 to leave them on the street in Florida’s terms), then what would be the more sensible solution? If it is not a moral obligation for any of us, then fine. But at least consider the fact that homelessness is a financial one. Solving this problem would actually be financially smarter overall.
Even still, this matter speaks upon the bigger issue in America: classism. When you reduce human beings to the level of vermin, unwanted trash, or a plague that you want to wish away, then what does that say about our society? Poverty should not coincide with “lack of dignity and respect”. Our society has structures that keep people in the poor house. Once they reach rock bottom, we think that we should find it acceptable to “move them along” like unwanted, diseased cattle/chattel?
Ending For Homelessness
There are plenty of organizations out there fighting to end homelessness. Still, plenty of cities would rather take the time to “move the homeless along” and “starve them” than to help them. This, by far, is only exhausting us visually and financially. At some point, we need to make the better decision. We, as a nation/world, need to find people homes and keep them off the streets.
If not for a moral cause, at least for a financial clause.