Wednesday, January 16, 2013

criminalizing homelessness

jobs are no longer plentiful and homes are no longer affordable.  sad.

criminalizing poverty:  "Twenty years ago, a federal court in Miami ruled that the city could not arrest homeless individuals for engaging in life sustaining activities in public, when they had no other place to do these things.

The court's decision led the community to build a homeless shelter, but the recent economic downturn and foreclosure crisis have resulted in so many people losing their income and housing, that there is now no room at any established homeless shelters in Miami. So once again, both in Miami and throughout the country, there are efforts to pass local ordinances that would make the innocent everyday actions of individuals experiencing homelessness criminal. These proposals sound awfully similar to considering people criminals because they are too poor to afford a home.  ....

The face of homelessness has changed dramatically over the past few years. Many today become homeless when they suddenly fall behind in their rent or mortgage payments due to a medical or economic emergency, and find themselves unable to catch up because wages today are often not sufficient to meet basic needs. Government figures show that since the 1950's, residential rents have more than doubled even after taking inflation into account. During the same time period, minimum wage has actually decreased after adjusting for inflation!"

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