I was talking with my friend, Dee, today about homelessness — I asked her for coats for our mobile soup kitchen’s coat drive. She has several well-heeled friends, who are also friends of our current mayor (2003), and they told her recently that the homeless problem in Dallas had been solved! “How,” I asked, “by ignoring it?”
I mentioned a news report I’d heard which said the city was clamping down on crime by toughening the enforcement of the no-panhandling ordinance. With no small bit of sarcasm, I told my friend, “This sort of crackdown is very important to prevent the starving from crawling into our cars at red lights on chilly evenings. Also urgent is the innovative plan to make it a criminal offense to remove shopping carts from grocery store parking lots, as, once out on the street, the damn runaway trollies have been attacking people and stealing their diamond bracelets, Prada handbags and Rolex watches. Really, they must be stopped.” She laughed.
Joking aside, it seems the city wants to sweep the homeless problem under the rug with their no-tents-allowed rule, their no-panhandling ordinance and their intention to further regulate those who feed the homeless. What is the solution to the problem of homelessness? In a word, HOUSING.