Properly sheltering the homeless presents a mix of logistical and political challenges. In many cities, NIMBY residents block efforts to build supportive services nearby, concentrating those living in homelessness in dangerous and squalid conditions under highways and in under-populated areas. When shelters are built, they can be far from where people need them and are often plagued by crime, to the point that many people regularly voluntarily forfeit the opportunity to spend the night there.
One possible way around those barriers––design that utilizes cheap, easily-duplicated, pod-based living.
Today on the Young Voices podcast, managing editor Liz Wolfe joins Stephen Kent to discuss ordinances criminalizing the homeless – what it means for the city of Houston and why it doesn’t actually solve the root problems. Liz also sounds off on AHCA hysteria, where the media let slide critics claims that the bill would allow for rape to be a pre-existing condition despite fact checkers debunking the line. Lastly Liz and Stephen share their admiration for Arthur Brooks of AEI, and talk about their takeaways from his book, The Conservative Heart.
There’s nothing shocking, really, about Houston’s new law making it easier for homeless people to be arrested simply for being homeless.
Not when over 100 American cities have effectively criminalized everyday life for the homeless, making crimes of things from sleeping outside to brushing teeth in public. Even as cities become more socially conscious about LGBTQ rights and drug policies, they’ve become less tolerant of their neediest inhabitants and more comfortable with cops and the justice system sweeping up the human trash, as it were.
City-wide bans on public camping (PDF) have increased by 69 percent throughout the United States. What used to be seen as an annoyance is now prohibited, forcing fines or jail time on those who certainly can’t afford it. The only nationwide nonprofit devoted to studying this, the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, has been tracking these changes since 2006. Their findings? There are a scary number of laws passed that ironically make it costly to be.