Another Post About Homelessness
This post is not about the Keystone pipeline, or the vote in the Senate that lost by one vote. If a filibuster-proof majority nearly got it through with the 2014 Senate, I imagine they will have the votes next year.
Instead this post is another reminder that despite all of America’s wealth, a new report shows 1 in every 30 US Children is Homeless:
The number of homeless children in America reached nearly 2.5 million last year, an all-time high, according to a new report released by the National Center on Family Homelessness.
The report, titled “America’s Youngest Outcasts” and published Monday, concluded the current population amounts to 1 child out of every 30 experiencing homelessness. From 2012 to 2013, the number of homeless children jumped by 8 percent nationally, with 13 states and the District of Columbia seeing a spike of 10 percent or more.
Faced with ever-increasing numbers in need, how do American cities respond? In Missoula we tried banning sitting on sidewalks. That effort was reconsidered under threat of litigation by the ACLU, so now it’s only illegal to lay down and sleep on sidewalks.
Well, Honolulu has taken a page from Missoula’s playbook and tried their own ban on that pernicious sidewalk sitting:
The Honolulu, Hawaii city council has approved a measure aimed at the local homeless population banning sitting and lying down on sidewalks. The 4,700 homeless people on the island of Oahu are already regularly ticketed for camping, and the city plans to move some of them to a city-owned camp at the nearby Sand Island, which was used as an internment camp for Japanese-Americans in World War II.
Honolulu is far from the only city to enact similar anti-homeless laws. Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and other cities have made it illegal to feed the homeless outside in public spaces, and places like Houston and Orlando have effectively nixed the practice as well. One Florida county spent more than $5 million to repeatedly jail just 37 homeless people for supposed crimes like sleeping in public.
Nice to see there’s still a use for WWII internment camps. Fort Missoula anyone? And spending 5 million on jailing 37 people? What a smart use of resources.