There has been a growing intolerance of homeless people in the US and Western World, where through laws and local ordinances, the homeless are finding their very existence being criminalized. However, a recent refusal by the Supreme Court to hear a case on homelessness has henceforth permitted the destitute to sleep on sidewalks and in public places.
The Supreme Court refused Monday to hear a major case on homelessness, letting stand a ruling that protects homeless people’s right to sleep on the sidewalk or in public parks if no other shelter is available.
The justices without comment or a dissent said that they would not hear the case from Boise, Idaho, which challenged a ruling by a federal appeals court.
The outcome was a significant victory for homeless activists and a setback for city officials in California and other Western states who argued the ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals undercut their authority to regulate encampments on the sidewalks. The 9th Circuit had agreed with lawyers for the homeless who argued that prosecuting people for sleeping on the sidewalks violated the 8th Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment if a city failed to provide adequate shelter.
A city ordinance “violates the 8th Amendment insofar as it imposes criminal sanctions against homeless individuals for sleeping outdoors on public property, when no alternative shelter is available to them,” said the ruling by the 9th Circuit, which has jurisdiction over California and eight other Western states. (source)
Dealing with homeless people can be difficult. As one who has experience with this, there is never a single cause that brings about homelessness, but it usually a series of causes. For example, a man may lose his job, have a relative die, and then a child get sick or need some sort of medical attention in the course of a year or less. This could result in a man in a relatively stable financial situation losing all that he had. Given how Americans generally live as “nuclear” families and are henceforth isolated from each other, there are few support networks to help people if such happens. As a result, it is rather easy for a man to go from a somebody to a nobody relatively quickly.
It is well-known too that there are many people who are homeless because they are simply suffering from mental illness, spiritual diseases, or are just strange. It is good that in the US, there are available in many places a lot of resources for homeless people to help themselves, although it is not always easy to access them, and the social stigma attached to homelessness from many people makes this worse. I speak of both among the common man as well as among the welfare agencies, especially those tied to the government, for while there are much higher rates of socially deviant behavior among the homeless, there are also a lot of people who see “helping” them as a career and if they do nothing to help them, in some cases they see their “help” as really a power trip by which they abuse and push these people further down into the pit of social isolation.
Two of the biggest problems that exist among homeless people, or those near the edge of homelessness, are drugs and prostitution. However, and certainly not to justify bad behavior, one can see why both flourish. They are easy ways of making money for desperate people, and they are also ways to escape from the utter misery of being cast as a social reject as well as being forced to live in miserable and unstable conditions always being looked down upon. For many people, a hit on the marijuana joint or $1 (yes, the price can go that low) “trick” is a relief from the mess that their lives have become.
Certainly the police need to monitor the areas where homeless people congregate more than those where they do not congregate because of the tendency for violence. However, the problem is not always “the homeless”, but policies in urban areas that facilitate the rise of homelessness. One of these problems and possibly the worst aggravating factor, something that is common to very wealthy persons as well as Jewish communities (especially the “black hat” Hasidic/Chabad Jews) is the inflation of property values and the “overgentrification” of neighborhoods in the attempt to create an urban panacea by which those who “have” do not have to interact at all with those who “have not” or “have less”.
Urban areas naturally have people from all walks of life, and there will be poorer and richer areas. However, in order for a city to function normally, there have to be people who control (the haves) and those who do the work for those who control (the have nots and have lesses). The problem is that those who have want essentially a city to themselves and have other people do their work while not providing the conditions for people to live in who are not at their economic level. The product of this is that those who have less are “legally” stripped of their assets and forced to move away or become homeless in order to survive.
It is not just those who are “drunks” or “drug addicts” that are forced into this. People who earn well over the national averages for income, such as Google employees, are known to live in their cars as “mobile homeless” because they cannot afford rents in the area.
As noted, homelessness is not cause simply because of bad life choices, but because of social as well as personal events, sometimes that a man has no control over.
The push to get people who are homeless out of urban areas and to jail them or abuse them is but another form of eugenics. It shows no compassion to the suffering of those in need, plus also is a way to ignore the policies that were largely established by those who are in control to try and create a “pristine” bubble to live in while ignoring the needs of the majority who make life in such a bubble possible.
As I said before, this is not to justify deviant homeless behavior, such as public defecation, urination, masturbation, intercourse, swearing, fighting, drug shooting, drinking, or just other forms of behavior that is possibly dangerous, dirty, or questionable. Indeed, one does not want one’s city turning into a dangerous area.
But to that, one must be careful about any policy directed at attempting to “clean up” homelessness without addressing economic or social causes outside of just the actions that the homeless themselves do. Given the outsourcing, automation, or restriction (many people refuse to hire those with criminal records or who are homeless, the former of which many homeless have in some way) on getting work that pays enough money to afford rent, the time it takes to get enough subsidy from government to help oneself (most jobs pay well-below living standards, and so without food, rental, and utility assistance it is impossible for a man to get off the streets without the help of family or friends), the personal hurdles that one has to go through (constant exposure to drugs/alcohol/prostitution, homeless people who intentionally attack other homeless people trying to better their lives to send them to jail or otherwise hurt them so they cannot advance, odd work schedules that stress the mind and body, social abuse from people who look with scorn upon the homeless), and all of the other factors and time required, it is extremely hard, tiring, and stressful to even make minor improvements.
Sodomy is a sin that “cries out to Heaven for vengeance”, but so is the “oppression of the poor, widow, and orphan”, and also “the deprivation of the working man of his justly earned wages.”
It only makes sense that California, a state full of people who support “the willful murder of the innocent” and sodom, would also see fit to try to commit the other two sins.
Likewise, credit must go to the Supreme Court for so far, keeping the current status quo, for while there is much that needs to be worked on with regards to the situation of homelessness, one also must be wary of making significant changes, especially at a time when eugenics is returning and the poor, the criminals, and the homeless are historically the first targets always mistreated before such abuse spreads throughout the rest of society.