Category Archives: Homelessness

Feed homeless go to jail?

Wow… I’m speechless honestly.  I feel a bit of anger over this as well.  Phoenix is one of 33 or 50 cities depending on news source that has enacted ordinances against helping those in need.

The premise is that if people stop feeding the homeless they won’t be homeless.  I guess starving to death counts as solving the homeless problem.  (sarcasm I can’t stop it)  The “consultants” they use to justify these ordinances basically say that if the homeless need to find resources to eat inside they will start developing a relationship that can help move them from homeless to productive.

I’m not going to belie the fact that homelessness is a complicated issue.  A homeless person is a break in the social fabric.  Most have chosen that path by their actions.  Some more overtly others passively.  Many have mental illness to some degree.  Some are simply fed up with the whole system and made a conscious decision to be homeless and not take part in the system.

Regardless on how they became homeless once there they still have basic needs.  Many know of the programs available and choose not to avail themselves.  I have personally talked with homeless people and offered to take them to any of the programs.  I was told to piss off by some and others simply declined but none wanted the assistance.  Several made it clear they wanted to be homeless.

They are happy to take a sandwich or left over food.  A few coins or bucks.  When a city puts ordinances in place to prevent people being able to help others it takes a bad situation and makes it worse.  Those people don’t all want social programs, many in my experience don’t.  If social workers can’t develop a relationship with them they have no chance of finding hope and getting better.  One of the few ways to develop that relationship is by feeding them on the street.

The more likely outcome of barring social workers is the homeless become more violent and uninhibited leading to harder crime in order to eat or feed their addictions.

Guess speechless didn’t last long 😉  If you are in one of the cities or hear that your town might take action to change / prevent these kinds of ordinances.  Even if they are well intentioned which is highly questionable they are still wrong.  Please reshare and bring positive awareness to this issue.

Image of USA Today story
USA Today and a number of other sites report of city ordinances that criminalize helping others.

PS Obviously the timing of these news stories is dubious. Right as fall starts and many are starting to look to warmer places. Coincidence I think not!