2006/10/31

Where Homeless Equals Untouchable

Homeless Man in SF '02Just wanted to call your attention to an article that Tom Harper of Who Hijacked Our Country dug up from MSNBC. Seems that a number of US cities, including Las Vegas, Nevada and Orlando, Florida, have decided to make feeding the indigent illegal. The assumption being that if you stop feeding them, they'll go away. Lee Rowland, a public advocate for the Nevada ACLU remarked -
It's revoltingly immoral. It literally enforces a class regime by defining criminal behavior based on income.
It probably also bears mentioning that legislating socio-economic status is the basis for caste systems, serfdom, and slavery.

23 Comments:

While don't feed the trolls can, at times, be a good policy, don't feed the homeless is definatly not WWJD.
Matthew 25:41-46
41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' 46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."


Matthew 7:21-23
21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
Thanks for the shoutout. It really does boggle the mind, and we all need to be paying attention. -Lee R.
More in the effort to reduce those who are not rich to sub human status. Most of these homeless are veterans.

There we go, supporting our troops again.
Debra is spot on. Homeless advocates estimate our homeless pop. in the Vegas Valley to be upwards of 30% Vetaran, and about 25% youth, many of whom have been abused. How shameless to vilify these people and make criminals out of those who reach out to them. We at the NV ACLU are proudly challenging this and other laws, but the law is a blunt tool. Political will is needed to make a long-term change.
too fucking amazing...what people will not think of to save money..

how about we fire everyone in washington -- then we'll have lots of our money to redirect to homeless programs..and how about giving everyone ~ child, woman and man ~ health insurance...hummmm
Fred...WWJD, indeed! The Sewmouse has got goods in his comment! Damn I love a person who can sling the verses. Thanks Sewmouse!

Flea, this is one of those stories that is probably going to get very little attention but so deserves more attention. Tom Harper deserves the credit for digging it out of the noise. And, before I forget my manners...Welcome to Blognonymous.
Debra, it is sad isn't it. Veterans take it in the shorts in so many ways. More instances of the GOP saying one thing and doing another.

AZG, here in SF we're trying a number of programs to get the homeless off the streets and into permanent housing. On the surface it looks cruel, reducing the payments in order fund housing, but so far despite my skepticism at first, it has been working.
*peeks in*
Sewmouse is a she....
*ducks out again*
As far as the money issues go, there are advocates who have better data than I, BUT it is almost indisputable that Las Vegas ISN'T saving any kind of money. Indeed, they have a long history of criminalizing homelessness (i.e. for trespass, sleeping in parks, aggressive solicitation, and, no I'm not kidding, misuse of a bus bench). We know that keeping people in the City jail (where nonviolent misdemeanors are jailed temporarily) costs over $50 a day, plus court and paperwork costs. And this is not anecdotal - nearly every homeless individual I know spends at least several days in jail each month. Even in Vegas, trust me, we could be solving big pieces of this puzzle for far less than $1000/month/person.


(Thanks for the welcome, Kvatch. I will be checking in.) :)
Ah Sewmouse, apologies...thanks for the correction.

Even in Vegas, trust me, we could be solving big pieces of this puzzle for far less than $1000/month/person.

This is the thinking here in Sodom by the Sea as well---led to the "Care Not Cash" initiative which, oddly enough, is being covered by the SF Chronicle in a series this week. Check it out if you're interested...sfgate.com.
I bet the hypochristians are all about supporting this one. Cause God punishes those that desrve it (by making them homeless, poor, etc.) ya know. So of course he doesn't want us to feed them. *sarcasm*
Remember people... We are a Christian nation! If by Christian you mean cruel to the poor, lying, war mongering on innocent nations, cheat to make a buck, stealing elections... you know, all the stuff the leaders of this Christian nation stand for.
This just pisses me to no end! To think of the hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars that stranglehold neo-cons are spending on country destruction and murder of innocents and the intrusion into the lives of its citizens- spying and police state mentality, not to mention the who knows how many BILLIONS of dollars they're "stuffing in their pockets" sends me into a bad state of mind.

THAT'S ILLEGAL- or should I say it should be?
Pam...so true. God really want's you to have that Cadillac Escalade, and if you don't have one it's obviously because you've been naughty.

BHFRIK, that's a good point. The nation is as it's leaders do.

Chuck, as BHFRIK alludes to, we're judged by how we treat the neediest members of our society, and these initiatives are travesty when cast in that light.
Thanks for the link and for publicizing this. This is just unreal; we're going backwards.
Oh, really Kvatch, there is a point to this: if we don't feed the homeless, they will go away. Really. They'll starve. Now, in some really big cities, the homeless have the good taste to go live in cemetaries, like in Manila or in Cairo. That way, when they die, they're already there and there's no transport issue. I don't believe there are any cemetaries in Santa Monica, are there?
Tom...my pleasure, on both counts.

Lola...I knew that I could count on you to be the voice of reason. Indeed! And cutting down on the transportation is good for the environment as well.
The Band were singing about this in 1970, the song was 'The Shape I'm In.'

I just spent 60 days in the jailhouse
For the crime of having no dough
Now here I am back out on the street
For the crime of having nowhere to go

Save your neck or save your brother
Looks like it's one or the other
Oh, you don't know the shape I'm in

'Save your neck or save your brother' seems to have become the defining question of American politics. BTW, thumbs up to sewmouse for the spot-on scripture reference.
Sadbuttrue...thanks for stopping by. I'm particularly concerned about that fact that this is legislation. It's one thing if we were talking about political rhetoric or curtailing government programs, but instead these communities criminalizing acting as a good samaritan. That's a scary new direction all by itself.
Thanks for posting on this....they are my neighbors- I know more Homeless in my neighborhood than anyone else in the poorest city in the country...the media walks right behind them....rarely covering their lives....( I have a post up about how many are VETS)...keep blogging it...
This is truly disgusting. Even my grandparents feed the homeless and they are staunch Republicans, but they are from the depression era and remember all too well the days they feared homelessness themselves and the men who would knock on the door and ask for a bite to eat. This country needs a damn dust bowl, or depression or something dramatic to get our humanity back.
The homeless system keep the homeless absolutely poor. Real Housing, Real Training, Real Jobs!

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