SCOTUS rules that homeless people can have stuff
I am apparently far more sheltered than I had previously imagined. It would not have ever occurred to me that some people– namely city officials in LA– would actually believe that it was totally cool to just throw out things that belong to homeless people when they weren’t looking. Specifically, things in shopping carriages and makeshift cardboard homes. I have just lived my whole dreamy life assuming that other people would also be brokenhearted to see that this was all someone had in the world. But what do I know? I also think it’s straight up creepy to want to cut off funding for Head Start and Meals on Wheels, like a total commie.
As per usual, I was wrong. It seems that certain city officials in LA were attempting to “clean up the city” by clearing it of the meager possessions of homeless people. Like stealing their shopping carriages when they’d go in some place to try to use a bathroom or some such. To me, this seems like a horrid prank. As a result of this, 8 of LA’s homeless Skid Row denizens went to court to put and end to these shenanigans. And they won.
Of course they won. Homeless or not, people can’t just take your stuff. But the city was not deterred. It sent the ruling through the 9th District Court of Appeals, where they also lost, right up to the good ol’ US Supreme Court, where they lost again this week.
According to Attorney Carol Sobel, who represented the residents, in an attempt to make the situation look worse than it was, the City ceased all cleaning efforts in the area, including the ones that had nothing to do with robbing the homeless. She also state’s that the area is now being cleaned up regularly, “with no problem.”
Via LA Times:
“The city could find no evidence of a public health crisis,” she said. “The thing they should do is provide housing for the people.”
That would be nice, wouldn’t it? It would also probably be nice if Ronald Reagan hadn’t purged the states mental institutions back in the day, or if other states weren’t randomly shipping their homeless populations off to California without any kind of support, but what can you do?
This ruling gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Imagine if all you had in the world were the things you could fit into a shopping carriage? Imagine how you would value those things. Imagine if your home was a cardboard box with some blankets.
The sad thing is– no one has to live this way. We have the resources to take care of these people. We have space for them to live. While there are those who may say “UGH, why don’t they just get a job?”– can you even imagine how hard it would be to get a job as a homeless person? It’s hard enough for anyone to get a job right now. Many homeless are mentally ill, many are veterans with PTSD. We don’t take care of our poorest citizens, we don’t take care of our mentally ill, and we expect far more from them than we expect from ourselves.