A Lengthy Arrest Record Leads to Instant Wealth and Security

So let’s criminalize homelessness, guys!

City council members in Columbia, S.C., recently voted unanimously to criminalize homelessness.

Concerned that Columbia has become a “magnet for homeless people,” and that businesses and the area’s safety are suffering as a result, council members agreed on Aug. 14 to give people on the streets the option to either relocate, or get arrested, according to the city’s “Emergency Homeless Response” report.

Cooperative homeless people will be given the option to go to a remote 240-person bed emergency shelter, which will be open from September to March. The shelter will also be used as a drop-off for people recently released from prison and jail, too.

What businesses probably want here is freedom from disruptive people who make their guests’ lives difficult. To that, I’m sympathetic, having had to amscray my share of yelly drunks from various lobbies and stoops throughout my storied career. However, there are laws about those folks already, and they involve public drunkenness, disorderly conduct, harrassment, restraining orders and the like. The problem with yelly drunks isn’t that they don’t have a permanent address, it’s that they’re at mine puking in the potted plants.

Yelly drunks do not equal all homeless people, however, and arresting a mom with two kids who’s living in her car because she got sick and lost her job is not going to make her more likely to get another job or feel better. I’m also not crazy about generally law-abiding people who’ve gotten the fuzzy end of life’s lollipop being forcibly housed next to recently released prison inmates in one big barn of “people we think don’t matter.”

This helps people get on their feet and no longer be homeless how, exactly?


6 thoughts on “A Lengthy Arrest Record Leads to Instant Wealth and Security

  1. Yeah, I’m sure any and all homeless people think…Columbia, South Carolina. Yeah, that’s the place to be.
    God forbid I’m ever stuck in that situation, but I think I’d look almost anywhere BUT Columbia — or the Deep South generally — if it came to that. Hell, at this point, Russia might be a more humane option. Which is saying something.

  2. A., I read the article. To respond to your closing question: NOTHING. SAFSQ. This “stopgap”, “temporary” policy of extrajudiciary jailing will become permanent until different, sane people are elected to the Columbia City Council, or until the courts shut this horseshit down.
    But, THESE PEOPLE: “Jessica and Joe Kastner, owners of Paradise Ice, said…”Unfortunately it seems the people who make their living off of caring for the homeless are the ones making all the noise at these meetings. They’ve had 20 years to fix the problem and it has only gotten worse thus ensuring their paychecks stay safe. Please think about the everyday citizens, the revitalization of Columbia and the safety of everyone.”
    – So, the Kastners make their livings off of not caring for the homeless, then. Good to know. They also see churches and other advocates as in it for the money. Yes, homeless advocacy is well-known to be a slush-fund-filled racket. Look as all the millionaires running those organizations!
    – Homeless advocates need PARTNERS in government to “fix the problem”. Advocates I know of have made stacks of policy proposals, which are almost always ignored.
    So, FUCK YOU, Jessica and Joe Kastner, owners of Paradise Ice, Columbia, South Carolina.

  3. Throughout our history the abuses of the vagrancy laws have been widespread and horrific. And yet here we are again criminalizing poverty. We are a very stupid people.

  4. In the 1930s, Florida had a system for dealing with the homeless.
    “Dull mornings last winter the sheriff of Miami, Florida used to fill a truck with homeless men and run them up to the county line. Where the sheriff of Fort Lauderdale used to meet them and load them into a second truck and run them up to his county line. Where the sheriff of Saint Lucie’s would meet them and load them into a third truck and run them up to his county line. Where the sheriff of Brevard County would not meet them. And whence they would trickle back down the roads to Miami. To repeat.”
    from Fortune 8/32 “No One Has Starved”
    In other words, this is not an original or particularly effective approach.

  5. That’s okay, they won’t be dropped off in he white part of town. /snark.
    Man I don’t miss SC. It’s the one place I’ve lived that made me despise republicans. They don’t even try to hide their racism.

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