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Homeless People Do Not Have a ‘Right’ to Camp in Squalor and Invade Our Neighborhoods

Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2024
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by Outside Contributor
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48 Comments
Possessions of a homeless person in NYC

Tired of stepping over needles and human waste, and navigating around half-conscious addicts and homeless encampments? You’re not alone. Most decent, hardworking people want clean sidewalks for getting to work and walking their kids to school.

But cities are legally barred from cleaning up homeless encampments. Advocates went to court and won rulings, guaranteeing homeless people almost unfettered freedom to set up tents and live in the rough, your health and safety be damned.

Here’s the good news. On Jan. 12, the United States Supreme Court announced that it will rule on a case challenging this new normal of squalor, disease, and shouting schizophrenics invading our neighborhoods.

The town of Grants Pass, Oregon, about 250 miles south of Portland, Oregon, is challenging a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that goes back to 2018, shielding homeless people from any punishment for camping on public property. The 9th Circuit, known for its left-wing jurisprudence, says penalties for sleeping on public property amount to “cruel and unusual punishment.”

That ruling has directly tied the hands of city politicians in Phoenix, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, and other Western cities. It has also been cited by courts in the rest of the U.S. as a reason to tolerate homeless encampments. What the justices decide this spring will impact the entire U.S.

Advocates for homeless people say cities are unwilling to spend the money to take care of the indigent. Don’t fall for that. Across the nation, municipalities have been increasing shelter accommodations, but many homeless people flatly refuse to get off the streets.

They choose to sleep in the “rough” rather than put up with the rules and conditions in public shelters. A Portland survey showed that between May 2022 and July 2023, 75% turned down offers for shelter accommodations. In 2023 in San Francisco, 54% turned down offers, according to city data.

Homeless people deserve compassion, but allowing them to stay on the street, where they freeze to death on a sidewalk or succumb to disease, is not compassionate. They are, on average, reducing their own lifespan by three decades or more.

Nationwide, the proportion of homeless people choosing the streets over public shelters is steadily increasing. The Grants Pass litigants tell the Court that “time is of the essence.”

“The consequences of inaction are dire… crime, fires, the re-emergence of medieval diseases, environmental harm, and record levels of drug overdoses and deaths on public streets.”

Even California Gov. Gavin Newsom is warning the justices that homeless encampments “are dangerous” and pose “immediate threats to health and safety.” Newsom may have political reasons for changing his tune, but his brief to the Court talks of “significant risks for disease transmission” and “property damage, theft, and break-ins” near the encampments.

SCOTUS will rule no later than June. Expect the justices to overturn the 9th Circuit’s loony decision and free municipalities to restore order and safety to their streets. But the court can’t command them to do it. Ultimately, it will depend on local officials to act on behalf of the quiet, law-abiding majority.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams recently boasted that he’s not allowing New York to descend to the likes of Skid Row in Los Angeles. Holding up a photo of L.A. and pointing to the filth, he exclaimed, “There are no toilets!” and asked, “Is this what you want your children to see?”

Adams, to his credit, has acted aggressively to involuntarily commit the mentally ill and get them off the streets. But don’t count on other NYC officials to act so sanely.

In June, a Homeless Bill of Rights, written by the far-left New York City Council, became law. It explicitly acknowledges a right to sleep outdoors. It pits Adams against the bill’s sponsor, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who has an eye on Adams’ job and would temporarily succeed to it if Adams steps down for any reason.

Williams says that calling for shutting down encampments is “stoking fear.” Voters take note.

New Yorkers and voters everywhere need to elect leaders who will end the squalor.

Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York and chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths. Follow her on Twitter @Betsy_McCaughey. To find out more about Betsy McCaughey and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website.

COPYRIGHT 2024 CREATORS.COM

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PaulE
PaulE
1 month ago

Essentially, this is a companion piece to the one written below by Walter Samuel. At least this author lays out part of the objective the far left has of replacing Adams with a more pliable and openly Marxist Mayor in the mold of former Mayor Bill de Blasio. Aside from that, it is simply restating the same thing over and over again. The voters of NYC are overwhelmingly registered Democrats, who no matter what, will simply vote for whichever Democrat the MSM tells them to. As such, that means conditions in NYC have to deteriorate much, much more, to the degree of near total collapse, for even a small percentage of NYC Democrat voters to even remotely consider a hard-nosed, law-and-order type Republican candidate for Mayor again.

By the way, looking at who the Republican Party in NY State have offered up in the last few elections for NYC Mayor, what is on the table is what could charitably be described as “moderate” Republican choices. Someone like that might be able to make some minor changes around the edges but would be wholly inadequate to really correct the many problems existing in NYC.

Gloria
Gloria
1 month ago

If they are illegal aliens, no, they don’t. If they are displaced veterans or unemployed citizens, then they need assistance that the government took from them.

anna hubert
anna hubert
1 month ago

This problem is a product of ignorant irresponsible bleeding hearts who knew nothing of mental illness yet declared it inhumane to keep those unable to take care of themselves in the safe supervised environment On the street they ended and lived for decades Add to it a drug addicts supported in their addiction by welfare system and there you have it Distributors are flourishing law and order is invisible Those who created this mess live in their nice gated communities and now that septic tank is over flowing there is a problem? This is only a drop in the bucket What will happen with all those “refugees” They are a totally different kettle of fish

JPop
JPop
1 month ago

Nothing is gonna get done about this situation ; with the current administration. They are proceeding with their OPERATION:SH*THOLE agenda at all cost. Please everyone get out and VOTE….”hey..hey ..ho..ho….the Biden Administration has to go!!!”

LMB
LMB
1 month ago

So tell me! What happened to the definition of “TRESPASSING”?!?! If you want to fix the problem, quit voting for Dem-o-rats!!!

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
1 month ago

How about it AMAC ! ! How about a article on how they get by with no money. Dont they draw disbility ??? Or some kind of welfair ??? @ hundred a week ,no wonder they live on the streets. No work, just lay around in tent city all day. Kyle L.

G Morgan
G Morgan
1 month ago

Rights! What about the Right to be able to walk down a public sidewalk in America not occupied by a crack head, drunk, or mentally I’ll person ! If any of those knuckleheads try to camp out in front of my house I’d spread Skunk smell all over the place and spill syrup to attract all kinds of creepy crawlers. I bet they would move very quickly!

Morbious
Morbious
1 month ago

In my most recent interaction with a vagrant i offered food and was turned down…twice. They want money. Those who aren’t psychotic can do quite well financially.

Melinda
Melinda
1 month ago

We cannot save people from themselves and their poor decisions. For every person who is homeless due to circumstances they can’t control, there are 2 or 3 more who choose to be homeless. I don’t know the solution to this, but surely there are smarter people than I.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
1 month ago

“The needs of the few is always greater than the needs of the many”-says Mr. Spock if he were a Democrat. But then that would not be “logical”…

Gabe Hanzeli kent wa
Gabe Hanzeli kent wa
1 month ago

any city or state the says homeless people have the right to camp in parks and on the streets has nullified their right to charge fees for any park or campground in their city or state. You say the state park camp ground is all full and reservations were fill months ago? no I will be therein two hours and camp where ever i wish including in front the rangers front door.

Randall L. Beatty
Randall L. Beatty
1 month ago

What is happening in the different cities are the fault of the governor and other officials in that state they need to stop talking about it and do something about it but all they do is talk about it people must like what is happening in there cities they never try to replace these officials that do nothing, same as the talk about the border. We need to replace these people then maybe something will get done. Dem leaders need to be replaced since most of this is happening in Dem run states shows they do not mind drugs and homeless people living in the street what has happened to this country very sad.

Q. Wayle
Q. Wayle
1 month ago

Cities shuld pass NO CAMPING WITHIN CITY LIMITS ordinances and provide campgrounds outside of the city. Or, provide mental hospitals in which to hold the insane. But, I agree– this ruination of our cities is absolutely ridiculous!

Coach Terry
Coach Terry
1 month ago

Cowardice at the top from supposed leaders has shirked RESPONSIBILITY for Votes under the guise of Rights tho Illegal egregious and ignorant to ANYONE w Hodly wisdom. Typical democratic outcome when no Outcome Questions are both asked and thought thru… ????

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 month ago

Send them to those states who WANT them
NY CT DE ME MA MD VT

Joe B
Joe B
1 month ago

Maybe they do not have a right to live in squalid conditions but are forced to by politicians who would rather pander to the illegal immigrants they prefer. There should not be a single legal resident in any city, county, or state that should be forced out of their home to make room for illegal immigrants. When there is no where else for legal residents to go what can you expect. Try living homeless for a while. Find out how difficult it is to even get basic needs when homeless. I know because I have been there. It is difficult to even find a job, a place to stay, clothing, food, health care. Even finding a place to take care of personal hygiene or laundry can be burdensome. Perhaps politicians at all levels of government should live as a homeless person without outside help from family or friends for a while. I am certain their attitudes would change and we would see more housing made available to those who can’t afford it because of being forced out of the meager housing they had in order to house illegals. There should not be a single homeless American Veteran for the service they performed for their country. There should not be a single homeless family split up and living in separate facilities because there is no room for them to stay together as a family due to inadequate facilities that cannot handle family groups.

VikkiC
VikkiC
1 month ago

There are a lot of so-called homeless living in our state park campgrounds. Don’t tell me they can’t afford an apartment…they pay the going rate of $24/night for a camping site. They can only stay for 14 days at a time, and they have to then move to a different state park, which is what they do. So they are paying almost $700/month for a campsite. And some of them have campers and the rest are tent campers. I don’t know how they survive in a tent in the winter, but they do.

Granny26
Granny26
1 month ago

A good start would be to close the dang border. I am tired of paying for medical, etc for illegals and other lazy asses that don’t want to work and/or live like human beings.

Ed Ross
Ed Ross
1 month ago

What about the people being forced out of their nursing homes and such so the illegals can be housed there? WWJD? I am tired of insensitive people with no compassion. Of course some homeless don’t want off the street. They are tired of abuse, and they are scared. They have mental health issues and PTSD. They need treatment and compassion. They are mothers and children. There isn’t enough housing in most states. People are losing their homes with no where to go. Not everyone has a car to live in on the side of the road. Most affordable housing takes 1-3 years to get, the waiting lists are massive.

Harry
Harry
1 month ago

When Government who supports homelesness make all of us homeless, then we can move into their neighborhood and set up our tents and light fires, crap on their lawns and streets. , buy our drugs from them break into their homes !! Maybe get a little cash from the money they made ftom the cartels?

Donna
Donna
1 month ago

There are 2 main groups of homeless people. First, there are those who become homeless through unfortunate circumstances, and I have personally met a “ few” of those. If offered the right kind of help, they can eventually lead a normal productive life. For example, I met a young teenage boy in Austin who told me that his dad had left the family, and his mom said he had to leave and support himself because she could not afford to feed and provide for him him any longer. A businessman gave him a free room in a large closet in return for cleaning the office at night and providing that he kept up with his studies and finished school- which he is doing. But I have also met a larger number who want to stay on the streets because they can’t pass a drug test to get a job or because they want their “ fun” but don’t want to pay child support. I know this to be true because I go and talk to these people to see who really wants help. I asked one attractive lady in her 20s why she was on the streets and she told me that 90% of those in the “ homeless camps” , herself included, were drug addicts. I invited her to church and offered to give her a ride and even take her to Walmart’s to buy some clothes. Her answer, “ You see this electric scooter? I just walked out of Walmart’s with it without paying for it. I can’t go back there.” And she got on the Austin bus with her scooter and went back to the filthy camp. Once on Christmas Day several of my family members took coats, blankets , socks, food and drinks, etc. and set up a table at a homeless camp. But it is true that most prefer to live that way- with needles and feces everywhere. Even though the city gives them free tents and provides portable bathrooms and trash cans (and , yes, many get government checks every month ) they still throw their trash on the ground and then later move to another place leaving everything behind. What can be done? Visit the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago. It is a giant building that houses hundreds of homeless people. People that go there get a clean bed and 3 meals a day. But they also provide classes and daycare so people can finish their education , and they have a small health clinic. People who stay there cannot have drugs or alcohol, have a job to do ( serving tables, washing bedding, etc.) and must attend services. Many leave there drug free and with good jobs. Of course, it is not government run, but is supported by donations of concerned citizens. I have toured the facility and contribute every Thanksgiving and/ or Christmas because I have seen the difference in people’s lives. But our government’s way of “ helping” the homeless is to provide them with more needles! And, yes, we also need to solve the problem of “ illegal” immigrants, which increases homelessness. I lived in Thailand in the early 1970s and was told that if I was one day late in going to Bangkok to get my passport and visa stamps, I would be in a Thai jail- and, not only that, they wouldn’t feed me . Someone I knew would have to bring food. Of course, I followed the laws. But in America, a citizen has to follow the laws, but someone coming illegally gets a list of free things for breaking our laws. I am for showing compassion towards the homeless and immigrants- but we all need to do things the right way. Plead your case legally if you want to come here, and if you are homeless try Jesus rather than drugs.

Why though?
Why though?
1 month ago

Why do you people hate the homeless so much? Most of you look homeless anyway lol

John Beach
John Beach
1 month ago

Democrats have lost a sense of constitutional, representative government which fulfills the purposes given in the Preamble to the Constitution, specifically, “to provide for the common defense, to promote the general welfare, to ensure domestic tranquility and to secure the blessings of life (and liberty) for ourselves and our posterity.” This, for the CITIZENS of the United States, FIRST! Their, utterly, stupid, myopic, border policies have exacerbated the inability of governments to deal with the problems of inner-city conditions. The notion of garnering votes for the Democrat Pary, from prospective, would-be citizens, in however many years they become that, is a tactic that should be disdained by legal citizens of the United States. Democrats are doing a lousy job of dealing with the long-term problems of the country. Vote them out in honest elections!

Casey C Matt
Casey C Matt
1 month ago

What to do? How about using some of the hundreds of billions of dollars America wastes losing self serving conflicts across the globe? Think of how all the money spent in the conflict that America started in Ukraine could have better been spent. Instead of allowing for the slaughter of a HUGE portion of the Ukrainian male population, we could have used all that money here at home perhaps building conditional shelter for the homeless. Conditional on their undertaking and completing therapies to help fix whatever might be wrong. Of course there are some, perhaps many that will either refuse treatment or are unable to gain from such but better in some purpose built shelter than in front of “normal” citizens homes.
It really isnt that hard. All we have to do is to force our politicians to ignore the lobbyists and do something right for a change. There is a first for everything…….hopefully

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