An article from City Journal titled “The Truth About Policing and Skid Row” uses the story of a double-murder to illustrate the ultimate failure that arises from allowing ad-hoc homeless communities to persist:
For 25 years, Skid Row constituted a real-world experiment in the application of homeless-advocate ideology. The squalor that engulfed the 50-block district just east of downtown Los Angeles was the direct outgrowth of advocates’ claims that the homeless should be exempt from the rules of ordinary society. The result was not a reign of peace and love among society’s underdogs, but rather brutal predation and depravity. Occupants of the filthy tents and lean-tos that covered every inch of sidewalk in the area pimped each other out and stole from, stabbed, and occasionally killed one another. Gangs and pushers from South Central and East Los Angeles operated with impunity under cover of the chaos that reigned on the streets.
Just another example of why homelessness is such a tough issue to solve. People have nowhere to go, so they congregate–with or without permission–into loose communities on their own where basic codes are being broken. If police and officials try to do something about it, homeless advocates call “unfair!” If they don’t do something about it, crime can fester, and when we have non-victimless crime on our hands, people yell that something should be done about it.
How do we as a society break the loop?
Original City Journal article is here: The Truth About Policing and Skid Row
and I found out about it from here: Policing The Homeless
Tags: ad-hoc communities