On Sep. 17th, 2013 (Constitution Day by the way),
The City of Boise, Idaho, by a significant majority ( 4-to-2 vote ) passed City Ordinance 34-13, an ordinance to deal with “aggressive panhandling” in the downtown, industrial/commercial zone. The ordinance was supposedly to address the increasing problem of “aggressive panhandling” by the city’s homeless population (even though, the homeless were not all of the problem in the first place). Tuesday, Sep. 17th, 2013 was the very day that the ordinance went through its third reading and was passed by majority vote of the city council.
What failed to be addressed, however, is HOW this ordinance, in its very generic application of the term “aggressive panhandling”, can and will adversely-affect the lives and day-to-day goings-on of the homeless population, while not effectively addressing the real problem: “What is it that is causing the problem of homelessness to get worse, in this city and in this country.” Too many times, legislation and regulation is used as the answer to combating homelessness issues by focusing the blame on the homeless citizens themselves, rather than the core problem – that which is responsible for making it too easy to become homeless, and too difficult for many to escape homelessness when it happens to them.
There are many different reasons as to why so many end up “on the streets”. There are just as many reasons (or bureaucratic excuses) as to why many of the homeless remain in their predicament, often for years at a time. Any such legislation that fails to address the main problems that are often the direct causes, if not indirect causes, of the phenomenon of homelessness, and its spiraling increase in our society – are ABJECT FAILURES of society, and aggravate the problems of homelessness even more so.
Most of the complaints on the “unsightliness of homeless” in the streets, near businesses, bus terminals, etc. come from the very businesses themselves AND the Downtown Boise Association ( or DBA ). At the same time, most of these member businesses and their political allies who make such voluminous complaints, are also the ones who often reject applications for employment and/or resumes from those who are making a bonafide effort to improve their lot, all simply because their contact address and phone number(s) are known to be those of a local homeless shelter. One such instance was when the new “Cheezecake Factory” restaurant was near completion and was looking for new hires for their grand opening. In this situation, several representatives of the company went to several of the local homeless shelters and provided job applications, by the stack. Thirty-eight such individuals had their completed applications in hand, dressed, clean, and ready-to-work as they showed up at the specific location to be interviewed. The mass-interview was being conducted in a “seminar-like” fashion where multiple applicants would sit through a briefing and introductory about the company, and then wait for their turn to be interviewed by one of the hiring agents for the company. The thirty-eight applicants who filled out their applications that were dropped off at a shelter were unceremoniously turned away at the FRONT DOOR, all on account that they were from a homeless shelter address! – Classic, textbook example of a willingness to discriminate against those who may already be homeless!
This is a very common occurrence with many of the businesses in the City of Boise. Boise’s homeless citizens are routinely denied equal opportunity and equal latitude in competing for the scarce jobs and opportunities in the Boise area. Yet, the answer to the “homeless problem” is MORE REGULATION!
That’s right! Rather than address the REAL problems causing the heartaches of homelessness, in these UNITED STATES, our bureaucrats would rather legislate the homeless right out of sight and out of mind of the general public. What a beautiful country we live in, isn’t it???
So, here is another beat on that: http://acousticfreeze.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/demonstrators-protest-against-boise-city-aggressive-solicitation-ordinance-on-9-17-13/
So, I guess that if you are “homeless” in any way, shape, or form, You have NO rights to Be, let alone be around the public! THIS is what is happening across these UNITED STATES, right under our very noses. Just think, a few “tweaks” in the legal interpretation of “aggressive panhandling” is all it takes. This is how the State of California and even the federal government of the UNITED STATES manages to include more so-called “guns” under the aegis of “assault weapons” by merely slightly altering the how and what can be classified under the “legal definitions” used in the various legal clauses. The very same thing can happen here with respect to the legally-defined term of “aggressive panhandling”, aggressive solicitation(s), etc.
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Just a few of the sobering facts about our country, and its true state of the economy. Homelessness is increasing ever faster in our “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave”, and the “government”, through its penchant of regulations and ordinances, has just the plan: Criminalize being homeless and/or indigent! The old joke and expression, “It’s the economy, stupid!” says a lot.
My question to all of the “civil-rights leaders”, the various church clergy and pastors in the local area: ” WHERE were all of you, when it is your Brothers and Sisters who are being stepped on through the onerous passage of various laws which, in effect, criminalize them for being poor? ” – WHY was I the only man, who took up the calling out of a sense of duty and love for his Brothers and Sisters, who had the nerve and the righteous indignation to spell it out to the public that this is all wrong on all levels? WHY did no other “man of the cloth” ever come to speak the truth, that hangs on God’s lips, that when a society disgraces the “least of us”, it effectively disgraces God?
There again, I am not the one trying to keep alive any preferred tax advantage ( 501 c(3) – organization ) that comes with the price of fealty to Caesar.
” Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, Render unto God what is God’s. ”
We belong to God, NOT to Caesar. But, I guess, some have given themselves over to Caesar, for a few shekels of Silver.
As Paul Harvey used to quip: ” . . . Now you know, the rest of the story! ”
– Rev. Jim “Dragon’s Eye” Smith