Homelessness; importance of community

Good article in yesterday’s New York Times online. (Including the comments section — very much worth a read.)

Homeless Camps Are Being Cleared in California. What Happens Next? (Livia Albeck-Ripka; nytimes.com)

We need to really focus on people-care as top priority, rather than “law and order” as top priority. And I agree with the commenter whose comment I quoted below; I have always felt this way.

BTW here in my part of Florida, a very intricate camp on an island (which had some pretty fancy structures including four-story tree house), where a number of people lived and to some extent self-governed, was recently dismantled and demolished.

I would’ve preferred a solution like what the commenter quoted below described. It was a community, and honestly when I hear peoples outrage over how horrible and “lawless” homeless people’s communities are … all I can think of is that in the fancy HOAs, etc, all of that ugly stuff goes on behind closed doors and/or is insulated by money & privilege.

And also, how starved most of us are for a real community. Some of us are so starved, from inexperience, that we can’t understand why some people would be so adamant about putting community first even if it means turning down an offer of shelter.

“After reading many articles over the years about homeless shelters vs encampments, it appears that homeless people prefer the encampments for the sense of community and having their own home and possessions. Why not improve the infrastructure of the encampments? Make them like a national park campground with camp sites, complete with tents. There could be bathrooms with showers set up just like in a campground.
Have dumpsters for garbage like they have in apartment complexes, and have regular garbage pickups once a week.

“Also, the police should not ‘leave the residents alone’. They should be able to police like any other area of a town.
We have seen that moving people around over and over does not work. Make their encampments better and the homeless can continue to have their communities.”