Seizing Gear from the Homeless

It seems counter intuitive that police officers would take from those that have the least. Denver’s mayor announced that the police will no longer confiscate the camping supplies that the homeless use to stay warm. The camping gear is taking due to laws that prohibit camping  and sleeping in public. These laws turn the homeless into criminals. More cities are doing this despite some courts ruling that the laws are unconstitutional. In LA, lawyers sued the city for the destruction of the property of 4 homeless people. The judge forced the city to stop seizing the property of homeless people. LA passed a law forcing the homeless to take down their tents during 6am to 9pm. In April, police can continue taking the camping supplies of the homeless. Groups in Denver and San Francisco have filed a lawsuit saying that sweeping the city for homeless people is unconstitutional. There has been ongoing debate about the sweeps in Seattle also. Some sweeps have been stopped by civil rights monitors. In Honolulu, 60 percent of the homeless have lost IDs, 40 percent have lost tents, and 21 percent have lost medicine in sweeps. Honolulu wants to move the homeless out of public view to an island that was formerly a garbage dump and a WWII internment camp.

The Street Level Solution

It seems counter intuitive that head injuries are a major cause of homelessness. It has been found that many of the homeless have had a head injury that has made it difficult to work a steady job. Groups like Common Ground have been solving homelessness on the ground level. The group put homeless people in housing. The homeless also need help for mental health, addictions, and socializing. Once they have a house, the homeless are in a better position to become a productive member of society.

Trump Hasn’t Said Much About Homelessness

It seems counter intuitive that Trump focuses on the poor but ignores the homeless. Homelessness has been decreases thanks to support from the government but that may change due to tax cuts. It’s unclear how much money will be cut but programs for the homeless are at risk of losing funding. Funding cuts means there will be less affordable housing and more homeless people on the streets. Trump also promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act that has been used to give the homeless health care. If the ACA is repealed, it won’t go into effect for another year or two. Without it, the homeless won’t even get the most basic health care. When the government cuts support to these programs, the homeless problem grows much worse.

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