I suppose it’s not illegal yet but it should be:
The purposeful construction by various cities to deter homeless individuals from sleeping within or beneath its streets.
This is the first photograph that caught my attention, it’s a bridge underpass:
Although some might say that this is China, a country known for its less than stellar human rights track record. That being said, these concrete spikes under a bridge were created to prevent homeless individuals from sleeping there. To some it might seem okay today, but others simply find this intentional prevention to be appalling.
But China isn’t alone.
Other countries have begun similar anti-homeless campaigns:
This is London – this location created metal spikes that jut up from the concrete in order to stop homeless individuals from sleeping in this nook in the wall. It’s a “posh” neighborhood, in other words not a neighborhood that wants to see any homeless individuals on its immaculate prim and proper streets.
One wonders if this is the right way to go about the problem of homelessness.
Individuals who are homeless should not be devalued or treated less than human. Some of these concoctions seem to resemble primitive medieval torture devices. Is this really the way we should fight homelessness?
One might argue on the otherside of this conversation that creating less areas for homeless individuals to sleep will drive them to safety in the form of Organizations like The Salvation Army, Christian Missions and other such relief groups. But still the question remains, is this right?
It is one thing to deter homelessness for their safety and security on frigid streets in the winter, it is another thing to pour concrete in the shape of spikes or embed metal where the homeless are known to sleep. Some might say the motives of many are financially driven and the “riff-raff” of homelessness will only bring down their property values…but where will these homeless souls go then? What is being done to actually address personal issues which lead some to sleep on the streets? Mental illness is one of these components. Many who are homeless are struggling with various mental disabilities, and addictions. Not all, but many. The real issues beneath homelessness are the real catalyst problems. Getting to these troubling struggles and attempting to address them could help save lives certainly if cities around the world are beginning to fight homelessness in this way.
No one should have to sleep on the streets. No one should have to fight mental illness alone. Homelessness is an ongoing battle, with many different sides and opposing views. For the Christian living within this world as Christ’s ambassadors we are called to help, we are called to lend aid, and provide love to all which includes the homeless in our streets. What are we doing to fight for those without a voice? How can we improve these conditions? Are we really willing to get out of the pews and the comforts of the church in order to fight for the least of these in our communities?
-Just something to ponder today.