The City Council in Monterey recently banned people from sitting or lying down in public (“Monterey City Council approves sit/lie ordinance 4-1; Haffa dissents,” posted July 2). Criminalizing homeless people is a twofer: provides the private prison system with new inmates and it’s profitable. So, it costs taxpayers more money, you wreck what’s left of people’s lives, and are profiting off the misery of people who have lost everything. Homeless people are citizens, someone’s uncle, cousin or wife, and their rights are being trampled upon, but greed is good, right?
It’s hard enough being homeless, but adding an arrest record makes it worse. Meanwhile, Utah has reduced homelessness by 74 percent by giving people homes. Austin, Texas and other cities have built tiny home villages for homeless people, saving taxpayers millions of dollars. One church in North Dakota is building apartments for homeless people to live in, with or without the city’s approval.
And a recent editorial in The New York Times on shunting the homeless from sight reads, “They [local governments] have an interest in not having poor people be very visible… for all the tough new laws, the homeless are still present. Local governments must face this fact with something better than punitive denial.”
Walk a mile in their shoes, Monterey City Council. Celia Sue Hecht | Seaside