Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Home Sweet Homeless

Yesterday, Houston police participated in a downtown sweep aimed at removing the homeless in the area. The sweep was the result of many complaints from businesses and residents of the ten homeless encampments about the homeless in the area.

Some people (mostly homeless) complained that they had nowhere else to go and were getting the shaft - essentially being punished for being homeless.

Accompanying the police were representatives of homeless rights groups and shelters, who could help these homeless people get some help, if they desired. No homeless people were arrested, and some 10 of those dislocated elected to seek refuge in the shelters. Ten. Out of the scores that were displaced. The purpose of this sweep was to help these homeless people get the aid and support they need, and yet only ten chose to accept the help. The rest complained about being displaced and moved on to another location to be homeless.

The homeless problem, often, is one of election by the individual. A person chooses to become homeless, either consciously or unconsciously. From what I understand, in the majority of cases, the homeless are people who should be on medication, but stopped taking their medication and now are suffering from dementia or other such problems. But, usually, the overarching truth of the matter is that many homeless are homeless by choice. They don't want to be helped. They want to be anonymous, some face that you pass by. Someone who has no responsibilities, no obligations, nothing. These people live for handouts, free lunches, or whatever. I think that the police sweep was one of the most humane attempts to help these people that could have come.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Makes you wonder.