Should homeless people be allowed to camp in public? | The Tylt

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Should homeless people be allowed to camp in public?
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Seattle recently had a proposition that would have allowed homeless people to camp in parks. The opposition to the proposal highlights the issues that communities face throughout the United States. 

But Seattle doesn’t need more unsanctioned homeless camping. On one recent weekend, city crews found 45 hypodermic needles in Licton Springs Park. Youth sports games at Woodland Park’s baseball field have been delayed because campers refuse to leave the dugouts. At Roxhill Park, residents found a bathroom blocked by two women with shopping carts inside. Staff members at a school in Meridian Park must clean up bottles and debris before school starts and report campers between their front door and the picnic shelter in the park.
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"The city's proposal to convert city sidewalks, parks and children's play areas into tented camps does nothing to address the underlying causes of homelessness," said Bryant, "but instead encourages it, while putting the rest of our community at greater risk.
#LetHomelessCamp

Not all cities are reacting in the same way. Instead of clearing camps, Oakland has taken a counterintuitive approach. The basic idea is that people who have nowhere to go will still try to find shelter. Instead of taking it away from them, Oakland is helping homeless people with temporary accommodations like trashcans and toilets. This method gives the city more time to plan for longer-term solutions.

The idea is to provide basics such as trash cans, portable toilets and regular cleanup services while the city tries to devise a long-term shelter program before shutting down the camps for good.
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“We’re working on a theory of change, and we don’t know if it’s going to work,” said City Council President Lynette Gibson McElhaney, who devised the new “Compassionate Communities” program with Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson. “But the fact is, these folks are human beings, and this is about human dignity.” 
#LetHomelessCamp
"Regular citizens don't really want the homeless people around them; well, most of us don't want to be around regular citizens," he says. "So we can have our own little city or neighborhood, and they can have their own neighborhood, and we can meet up at the grocery store or something."
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People think homeless camps are unsanitary and should not be allowed. They can be a major health hazard. 

#LetHomelessCamp

A lot of people disagree. There's no easy and comfortable solution, but homeless people are people. We should be compassionate when we run into less fortunate people. 

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Should homeless people be allowed to camp in public?
#LetHomelessCamp
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