The homeless in America are not just old winos perched on the same corner day after day. There are also the young homeless, who ride the rails and sleep on the beach and live equally awful but more mobile lives. Some towns would like to make their lives harder.
There can be no doubt that young panhandlers can sometimes be aggressive, annoying, dirty, and drunk. This makes them no different from their non-panhandling 15-25-year old peers. This illuminating LA Times story on the young homeless "travelers" who drift through West Coast cities panhandling for a living notes that one researchers who surveyed them found that fully half report being kicked out of their homes. They are not just a bunch of lazy kids. (The laziest kids can be found in fraternities, in college.) They are kids who—although they are certainly enraging at times, and make bad decisions often, like most kids—need some kind of help.
Rowse and others say the nuisance behavior is mostly perpetrated by a small number of people. He said he began noticing the phenomenon a few years ago, after the Occupy movement swept in a wave of young transients who "know their rights" and can "recite the Constitution to you."
"They aren't breaking the law; for the most part they're just hitting up people for money," Rowse said. "The classic old broken-down homeless guy isn't intimidating, but the young urban traveler, the free-range citizen, they're physical, and they can intimidate people."
The problem with kids these days: they're not broken-down enough, and they know their rights. What the hell is wrong with them? And what can be done, Councilman Ed Harris?
"We don't want it to be a crime to be homeless, but we should not be as tolerant in the beach communities as we have been," said Councilman Harris, a professional lifeguard. "We're making it too easy to be a homeless traveling person."
"We're making it too easy to be a homeless traveling person," says a man empowered to help the homeless, if he so chose.
All that stuff Jesus said.