Homeless people should be allowed to camp in public spaces until there is adequate housing for them. People who are living in tents should not be chased from one location to another when there is nowhere for them to legally stay. Their belongings should not be trashed nor their rights infringed simply because they are poor and desperate. [Read more…]
Sharon Lee, Executive Director of the Low Income Housing Institute, rebuts the Mayor’s new plan to address homelessness. LIHI builds and operates “transitional housing,” which would be axed under the new plan, so Lee is pleading her own case, here.
That’s not to say she’s wrong! The Focus Strategies report on which the Mayor relies is a prescription for ruthless triage, focusing scarce resources on a narrow segment of the population: the “literally homeless.” Lee’s clients – people in poverty, people at risk of homelessness, people getting help to solve problems of illness and drug addiction – would fall off the radar.
We’ll have more on this, soon.
[quoted]”The simple act of a majority voting to put it on the legislative schedule amounted to a rebuke of Mayor Ed Murray’s current policy of evicting homeless encampments from public property. ‘It’s clear that the city’s protocols…have come up short,’ said councilmember M. Lorena Gonzalez, who cast the deciding vote. ‘Status quo is not acceptable.'”[/quoted]
The Council rejected Murray’s two-faced policy on homelessness: On the one hand, declare a “state of emergency” and spend extra money on 100 shelter beds. On the other hand conduct ruthless, incompetent sweeps. The bill, written by the ACLU and Columbia Legal Services, forces the Mayor to face the consequences of his failure to provide housing for the poorest and sickest among us. Mayor Murray can no longer put the problem off with yet another task force, while the victims of his failed policies bear the cost.