– In 33 U.S. Cities, Feeding The Homeless Has Been Criminalized (Liberty Blitzkrieg, June 12, 2014):
The “war on compassion” when it comes to the homeless in America has been one of Liberty Blitzkrieg’s key themes this year. There are many reasons why I find this topic to be of such tremendous importance. First and foremost, I think that if we want to see how the state and crony corporate status quo will treat everyone in the future, all you have to do is look at how the homeless are being “dealt with.” Secondly, random groups feeding the homeless in various venues is a great example of decentralized compassion. Political power hates decentralization and is quite intentionally trying to corral the homeless into the centralized bureaucratic channels over which it has total control. So this isn’t merely a humanitarian issue, it is also a front line battle in the key war of our time: Decentralization vs. Centralization.
As I mentioned, this has been a key topic on this site in 2014. Before reading on, I suggest checking out some of my recent posts on it:
Moving along to the meat of this post, the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) is about to release a report that details how 33 cities in America have either banned or are considering banning feeding homeless people. It’s so bad, that the UN singled out the U.S. in a report on human rights for our nation’s criminalization of the homeless. Where’s George Clooney and the rest of the Hollywood faux human rights celebrities on this issue? Crickets.
PolicyMic reports that:
The news: In case the United States’ problem with homelessness wasn’t bad enough, 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.
Why it’s happening: The bans are officially instituted to prevent government-run anti-homelessness programs from being diluted. But in practice, many of the same places that are banning food-sharing are the same ones that have criminalized homelessness with harsh and punitive measures. Essentially, they’re designed to make being homeless within city limits so unpleasant that the downtrodden have no choice but to leave. Tampa, for example, criminalizes sleeping or storing property in public. Columbia, South Carolina, passed a measure that essentially would have empowered police to ship all homeless people out of town. Detroit PD officers have been accused of illegally taking the homeless and driving them out of the city.
The UN even went so far as to single the U.S. out in a report on human rights, saying criminalization of homelessness in the U.S. “raises concerns of discrimination and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”
According to the NCH, one survey of homelessness found 62,619 veterans were homeless in January 2012. Other at-risk groups for homelessness include the seriously ill, battered women and people suffering from drug addictions or mental illness. The economy isn’t helping. More Americans live in poverty than before the recession began in 2008 and the number of households living under the poverty line has reached levels unseen since the 1960s.
So we send young kids off to die in pointless wars and if they actually come back and before homeless we aren’t allowed to feed them. Stay classy America.
Full article here.