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   The mayor of the wealthy southern California city of Temecula had this insight into the mind of the homeless person.

 “Homeless people panhandling on the off ramps are homeless by choice,” Edwards recently wrote in a comment on an article about her plan. “They have rejected all forms of help and have chosen instead to play on the sympathy of generous residents.”
   Edwards also singled out charitable individuals for criticism. “People will know that by giving food, money, or temporary shelter to a homeless person, they are actually enabling the homeless person to continue to live in the creek and use heroin,” she wrote.
The real victims of homelessness are the people who have to see homeless people. It all makes perfect sense now.

 One blogger pointed out that giving food and clothing to homeless people "enables" homelessness in the same way that getting medical care from a doctor enables cancer.

  The number of tent cities in America are on the rise despite the so-called economic recovery.
  In 2013 there were 600,000 homeless in America.

 I occasionally ride the Amtrak train between Oakland and Sacramento. On the edges of every city along the way there are small tent communities besides the train tracks, and they are slowly getting bigger. Out of site and out of mind, but there nonetheless.

  This trend has been exacerbated by the foreclosure crisis, now in its 8th year, combined with a rental affordability crisis, now in its 2nd year.
The homelessness problem hits even extremely wealthy cities, and they are the ones with the least compassion.

  In Palo Alto, California, so many people were living in their vehicles that city leaders recently passed a ban—which has a penalty of up to six months in jail.
   At least 70 cities have passed ordinances designed to push homeless people from residing within city limits.
 Around 50,000 vets of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are homeless, or at risk of homeless, on any given night.
   You would think that this might bring out some compassion in people, but you would be wrong.

  One of the fallouts from the rush to crush OWS was a new set of laws.
For instance, Los Angeles passed a law making it a crime to camp in a city park.

 The War on the Homeless has about as much chance of succeeding as the War on Drugs. It will have lots and lots of victims and destroy a lot of innocent people's lives, but we are going to fight it anyway.
  We are even going to use the same failed tactics - going after people associated. In this case, we are going to go after people that give homeless people food.
 a forthcoming National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) report says that 33 U.S. cities now ban or are considering banning the practice of sharing food with homeless people. Four municipalities (Raleigh, N.C.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Daytona Beach, Fla.) have recently gone as far as to fine, remove or threaten to throw in jail private groups that work to serve food to the needy instead of letting government-run services do the job.
In Daytona Beach, six homelessness activists were $373 fines and threatened with being thrown in jail, for the offense of feeding hungry people.
   Camden just recently bulldozed a tent city and destroyed everything.
   San Diego and San Francisco have a policy of giving homeless people a one-way bus ticket out of town.
  More than 50 cities in America have either anti-camping or anti-food sharing laws on the books, including Atlanta, San Diego, Los Angeles, Miami, and Oklahoma City among others.

  Of course there are alternatives. Phoenix and Salt Lake City both enacted sane and compassionate homeless programs that have largely cleaned up the streets.

1:48 PM PT: There are around 1.1 million homeless public school children today, and the number is going up by 10% a year.

Originally posted to gjohnsit on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 01:06 PM PDT.

Also republished by Kossacks for the Homeless Person.

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