Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Homelessness should be illegal

You read me correctly. 

We should pass laws that make being homeless a crime in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. 

The idea is not a new one.  More and more people talk like it's exactly what ought to be done. 

I agree. 

Of course, there is a slight "catch" in the plan I envision.  Follow with me.

If we determined homelessness to be against the law in our community and we found that a group of our neighbors possessed absolutely no capacity to obey such an ordinance due to the fact that they had no home and no capacity to secure one, then it would be absolutely incumbent on us to provide accessible housing for those who had no options regarding housing and the law we want to enforce. 

To impose legal categories and requirements on people possessing no chance of being compliant would be unjust, don't you think?

By the way, emergency night shelters don't count as homes.  Everyone who uses a shelter at night is still categorized as homeless by everyone from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to those who manage local night shelters.  As a matter of fact, certification from a shelter is one of the main ways a person can establish or prove that they are in fact homeless. 

Any law passed to make a behavior illegal should also include a provision that offers some reasonable pathway for a person to obey its requirements.

So, outlaw homelessness and at the same time you pass that ordinance open up permanent housing for everyone who needs it. 

Everyone would win! 

The public would save tax dollars because keeping people on the street or allowing them to stay there costs much more than providing permanent housing. 

Can't you see it working out? 

"Homelessness is now illegal.   Get off the street!"

"Here are keys to your home"--be it house, apartment or group home. 

That's a statute to outlaw homelessness that I could get behind!

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