Commentary: I Question Why We Let Homeless People Sleep Outside

Commentary by Bobbette Robinson                            

Should there be a law against homeless people sleeping outside?  

I really wonder why we let homeless people sleeping outside? Why do they have to sleep in doorways Downtown? Should they be able to sleep in empty buildings and empty houses? It’s not safe for people traveling to and from the bus. Is it safe homeless to live outside?

Should some homeless people rape and rob other homeless people in order to get their next fix? One homeless man raped a woman and got four years in prison. How does his felony affect his ability to get housing in the future?  How many years will he be homeless after he gets out because of his prison background and the fact that he is a sexually based offender?  How many years will he be unsupervised living outside because he will not be able to rent an apartment or get a job?

Should members of the homeless population harass people by panhandling? I’ve been a vendor of the Street Chronicle for about five years. If homeless people want money, should they consider training to be a vendor, and making honest money by selling the Street Chronicle?

Should empty buildings be turned into, and used as shelters? If they aren’t used as shelters, should they be torn down for the safety and protection not only of the average person, but for the homeless as well?

Should we round up those sleeping outside, in doorways and empty buildings, and take them to shelters? If they don’t want to go to a shelter, should we ticket them? If they don’t have an income, should they be made to do community service in order to pay off the ticket? And again, how will this affect their ability to gain housing in the future?

Some things to think about.

Copyright Cleveland Street Chronical and NEOCH June 2015