- Part 1: War On The Homeless
- Cities All Over America Are Passing Laws Making It Illegal To Feed And Shelter Those In Need
- Part 2: Albuquerque Gives Panhandlers Day Jobs, Not Tickets
- While other cities try to regulate or ban panhandlers, Albuquerque, N.M., offers them an income and social services for the day.
Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest
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Part 1: War On The Homeless
Cities All Over America Are Passing Laws Making It Illegal To Feed And Shelter Those In Need
December 07, 2016 | If you want to be a “Good Samaritan” to the homeless in your community, you might want to check and see if it is legal first. All over the country, cities are passing laws that make it illegal to feed and shelter the homeless. For example, in this article you will read about a church in Maryland that was just fined $12,000 for simply allowing homeless people to sleep outside the church at night. This backlash against homeless people comes at a time when homelessness in America is absolutely exploding. In a previous article, I shared with my readers the fact that the number of homeless people in New York City has just set a brand new all-time high, and the homelessness crisis in California has become so severe that the L.A. City Council has formally asked Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency. Sadly, instead of opening up our hearts to the rapidly growing number of Americans without a home, way too many communities are trying to use the law to force them to go somewhere else.
For nearly two thousand years, churches have been at the forefront of helping the poor and disadvantaged, but now many communities are trying to stop this from happening. Earlier today, I was absolutely stunned when I came across an article that talked about how a church in Dundalk, Maryland has been fined $12,000 for allowing the homeless to sleep outside the church at night.
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Part 2: Albuquerque Gives Panhandlers Day Jobs, Not Tickets
While other cities try to regulate or ban panhandlers, Albuquerque, N.M., offers them an income and social services for the day.
J.B. Wogan, Governing
Participants in Albuquerque's "There's a Better Way" initiative working on a city beautification project. All photos provided by the city of Albuquerque, used with permission.
October 13, 2015 | Twice a week, a city van rolls through downtown Albuquerque, N.M., stopping at popular panhandling locations. The driver, Will Cole, asks panhandlers if they want a day job. Work pays $9 an hour, higher than the state's $7.50 minimum wage. The city's public works department can employ up to 10 people a day for beautification projects, such as pulling weeds and picking up litter. The van has been in circulation since September, and while "we get a couple no's here and there," said Cole, he's usually finds 10 people willing to trade panhandling for a day job.
The van initiative is part of a larger effort in Albuquerque to reduce homelessness and panhandling. In May, the city started posting blue and white signs at intersections that list a 311 phone number and a website. Panhandlers can call the number to connect with services. At the same time, motorists can visit the website, managed by the United Way of Central New Mexico, to donate to a local shelter, food bank or an employment fund to pay panhandlers' wages.
J.B. Wogan, Staff Writer, Governing
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