The New York Post must be feeling awfully proud of itself today. After devoting yesterday’s front cover to publicly shaming a homeless woman for keeping a fleet of shopping carts to hold her things, the paper has succeeded in getting the police to come and throw those things in the garbage. Great job, everyone.
On Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced “the most comprehensive street homeless outreach effort ever deployed in an American city.” The city estimates there are between three and four thousand people living on the street. The program will be called “HOME-STAT,” a reference to the NYPD’s COMPSTAT program.
Los Angeles is set to declare a “state of emergency” and commit $100 million to help end its homelessness crisis, which has ballooned out of control. It is not exactly clear, however, where the money will come from. According to the LA Times, the budget “only recently began to recover from revenue shortfalls.”
Human beings need sleep. Homeless people are human beings. Therefore, homeless people need sleep and shouldn’t be banned from getting it in what is often the only place they can: outdoors. That’s the simple argument the Justice Department is making in a case out of Boise, Idaho, one of the many U.S. cities with inadequate shelter space that have nonetheless attempted to bar unhoused people from sleeping outside.