What is a person to do when their state of poverty becomes so extreme that it becomes criminal?
That’s exactly what’s happening to homeless people in the United States these days. And it isn’t just the homeless people who are being criminalized – it’s the kind-hearted folks that try to help them out. As I wrote in my article, Regulation Nation:
People all over the nation have proven that ordinary citizens can make a change in the plight of homeless people. On their own dimes, good people have fed those less fortunate, given them a safe place to camp, and most of all treated them with the dignity that all human beings deserve.
Again, we’ve shown that people want to help people and that we don’t require Papa Government to come in and look after everyone.
Then, as often happens, along came the government, who said, “How dare you provide for the needs of others without our help, regulations, and permission?”
The government is making it illegal to be homeless and illegal to help those who are homeless.
Instead of helping those who have fallen on hard times, 71 cities (click here to see which ones) have actually made it illegal to help those who have fallen on hard times by “cracking down” on those who feed the homeless.
The situation is dire in America, and those who were already out of options now have to deal with law enforcement officials who do terrible things, like destroying or seizing the few remaining possessions of homeless people who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It certainly takes a “special” kind of mentality to kick someone when they are this far down, but it appears our country is full of people willing to enforce these unconscionable laws.
If you are in a desperate situation, this article has some tips on surviving when you can’t afford to pay your bills.
In the article below, Michael Snyder shares some appalling stories from the front line in the war against homeless people.
War On The Homeless: Cities All Over America Are Passing Laws Making It Illegal To Feed And Shelter Those In Need
by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse
If you want to be a “Good Samaritan” to the homeless in your community, you might want to check and see if it is legal first. All over the country, cities are passing laws that make it illegal to feed and shelter the homeless. For example, in this article you will read about a church in Maryland that was just fined $12,000 for simply allowing homeless people to sleep outside the church at night. This backlash against homeless people comes at a time when homelessness in America is absolutely exploding. In a previous article, I shared with my readers the fact that the number of homeless people in New York City has just set a brand new all-time high, and the homelessness crisis in California has become so severe that the L.A. City Council has formally asked Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency. Sadly, instead of opening up our hearts to the rapidly growing number of Americans without a home, way too many communities are trying to use the law to force them to go somewhere else.
For nearly two thousand years, churches have been at the forefront of helping the poor and disadvantaged, but now many communities are trying to stop this from happening. Earlier today, I was absolutely stunned when I came across an article that talked about how a church in Dundalk, Maryland has been fined $12,000 for allowing the homeless to sleep outside the church at night…
“I showed up Wednesday morning to find a citation on the door that said we’re going to be fined $12,000 and have a court date because we have unhoused homeless people sleeping outside the church at night,” said Reverend Katie Grover with the Patapsco United Methodist Church.
Grover added that the men and women who sleep outside their doors do so because they have nowhere else to go and because they feel safe there.
“We feel we here as a church that it’s scriptural mandate that’s it an imperative to care for the least, the last, the lost, the poor, the hungry,” she said.
The authorities in Dundalk say that the church is running a “non-permitted rooming and boarding house”, and the severity of this fine is likely to put the church in significant financial difficulty if it is forced to pay it. You can watch a local news report discussing this story on YouTube right here…
Of course Dundalk is far from alone. All across the U.S. laws have been passed that specifically target the homeless. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, the following are some of the most typical ways that the homeless are targeted…
- Carrying out sweeps (confiscating personal property including tents, bedding, papers, clothing, medications, etc.) in city areas where homeless people live.
- Making panhandling illegal.
- Making it illegal for groups to share food with homeless persons in public spaces.
- Enforcing a “quality of life” ordinance relating to public activity and hygiene.
There are some people that have been feeding the hungry for decades that now find that their work has been suddenly made illegal. For instance, down in Houston a Good Samaritan named Jay Hamberger is outraged that the help that he has been providing to the homeless for 27 years has now made him an outlaw…
Jay Hamberger has been bringing food to Houston’s homeless for 27 years. He feels the city is infringing on his right to help others by requiring him to have prior permission to distribute food on public and private property.
“I’ve done it with impunity for 27 years now, and I’m the most law-abiding outlaw, because what I’m doing is illegal,” Hamberger said. “My understanding is that there’s no legal way to make this right with the city.”