Honolulu Mayor wasted nearly $2 Million dollars making it illegal to be homeless. This just goes to show the lengths cities will go to to make being homeless illegal. Here’s the story.
“Less than a year after deciding to handle his city’s homeless people like criminals and call it “compassion,” Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell (D) is acknowledging the policy has failed and pausing the official sweeps that have pushed the destitute out of his downtown since last summer. The key item in Caldwell’s package of “compassionate disruption” laws was a ban on sitting or lying down on city sidewalks. The mayor cobbled together a crew from the city parks department to enforce that “sit-lie” law and bolstered existing police efforts to sweep homeless people out of parks, arrest them on misdemeanor charges, and confiscate their belongings. The city has spent $1,875,000 on Caldwell’s homelessness laws since last summer but hasn’t managed to either meaningfully reduce the number of people living on the street or disappear the homeless from Honolulu’s public spaces as Caldwell intended. Instead, the city’s homeless population has become concentrated in a neighborhood called Kaka’ako, where roughly 500 people without homes now live in makeshift tents.” ~ThinkProgress.org
So basically, instead of spending taxpayers money on helping people and contributing to the city’s prosperity, nearly $2 Million dollars was wasted making it illegal to be homeless, and trying to force homeless people to leave.
The saddest part is that that money could have provided housing, food, and simple healthcare for all 500 or so homeless folks living in the tent city.
Most insulting is that they called it “compassion”. They never gave them a place to go. Now they’re asking for another $600k to provide some housing or hire staff to manage it. The ridiculousness of this is beyond comprehension.
To run a homeless shelter and provide inexpensive housing costs less than making it illegal because it require fewer resources. The resource management of the city is obviously drastically inefficient and borderline negligent.
Don’t make it illegal to need help. That’s just insane.
House and feed the homeless. They are people just like you and I.
Help those in need. It’s really that simple.