Alternative Solutions to Homelessness
Given the precarious position homeless people hold in society, I don’t think much can be done to elevate their status through government services. The stigma attached to this “lifestyle” is perhaps the greatest obstacle to digging themselves out and receiving free services only tends to raise people's’ ire against them. Add to this the fact that their dependence on government services can only ever be tenuous because it’s always susceptible to budget shortfalls and you have a recipe for social immobility. However, there is one government service that I’m in favor of, but one which remains unexamined due to current statutes against vagrancy and loitering. Repeal laws against vagrancy and loitering and allow the homeless to homestead on public land. There are numerous recent examples of the homeless, with the aid of private charity, coming together to build communities of small houses, but because of state laws that criminalize homelessness and force them into government dependence they were destroyed.
Oakland Dismantles Tiny Houses at Homeless Village
Los Angeles is Seizing Tiny Homes from the Homeless
Tiny Houses Project At Sustainability Park raided by Cops
However, despite government imposed setbacks there have been some success stories in this regard.
Tiny Home Village for Homeless People to be 100% Solar Powered
Denver tore down their tiny-home village. They built it again, this time with permission
Fighting Homelessness in Austin, One Tiny House at a Time
The lack of affordable housing in big cities like Seattle is a major contributing factor to homelessness. Developing communities of tiny homes provides the homeless with, independence, a sense of dignity and personal space, things they can’t obtain by being herded into publicly funded shelters and treated like children. In addition to allowing them to live on public land, perhaps cities could also provide them with water and garbage collection. This would in effect make them like any other community, and go a long way in eliminating the stigma associated with their circumstances.