Homeless holdouts

 

In the current discussion between the Miami city commissioners and Homeless Trust, the estimated 350 chronic homeless are under attack again ( City to add 15 beds at shelters , June 14). The Pottinger consent decree says that beds in shelters need to be available in order to arrest the homeless.

Now city commissioners want the Homeless Trust to up the available-beds option in order to criminalize homelessness.

The city offers to add 15 of the needed 100 beds. Certainly the Homeless Trust, with its $52 million budget, can handle the 350 cases.

A bed in a safer place? Some outhouses? A job to clean up downtown sleeping spots? A public free locker to store goods? A venue to openly speak about issues? A bag of food when needed? Free appointments with a neutral social worker? Jobs?

Is there any serious journalism being done to find out about why the chronics are so resistant to well-intentioned and reoccurring efforts to eliminate them?

Cornelius Hegeman, volunteer, Old Cutler Presbyterian Church Homeless Ministry, Miami

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