Friday, January 13, 2006

Dallas number 6 in Top 20 "Meanest Cities Towards the Homeless" in the US

In a new report compiled by the National Coalition for the Homeless, Dallas ranked number 6 in the "meanest" cities towards homeless people.

When I first read the headline for the story, I expected to see Dallas within the top 10. Dallas has a long history of employing restrictive measures aimed at trying to drive the homeless population of Dallas away. In the past, the Dallas city council has enacted legislation to criminalize the use of removing shopping carts from store parking lots. They have also had local law enforcement bulldoze makeshift homeless shanty downs located below bridges and other areas.

Most recently, Dallas has banned independent groups from feeding the homeless without a permit, which the city claims is an effort to attempt to force the homeless to go and seek out the cities shelters. However, local charitable organizations spoke out against the ban because it puts restrictions on where and how they can deliver free food and care to the homeless.

Although I personally am in agreement with disallowing panhandling, all these other restrictions seem to be an attempt for the city of Dallas to send a message that they hope the homeless problem will just "go away" - at least out of the Dallas city limits.

Illegal to be Homeless - The National Coalition for the Homeless

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