St. Louis is Now Waging War Against the Homeless

In another chapter of the state’s war against the homeless we have officials working for the city of St. Louis shutting down a church event that provided meals to the homeless:

ST. LOUIS • Churches on the Streets may have served its last hot supper. At least for now.

The city Health Department on Monday told organizers of the group that serves food to the homeless Monday nights at a vacant train depot near the St. Louis riverfront that they must stop serving hot food because they don’t have a permit.

The city’s edict came a day after the group was featured on the front page of the Post-Dispatch. The group has been providing home-cooked meals, clothing and supplies to the homeless for more than a year. Before each meal, Edward “Pastor Paul” Gonnella, a recovered crack addict and ex-convict, delivers short sermons to the homeless in hopes getting them off the streets.

Organizers thought they didn’t need a permit to serve food because they have been meeting at the old Cotton Belt Rail Depot, which is private property.

Not so, says Pat Mahoney, an environmental health supervisor with the city Health Department. She said the group must have a permit to serve hot food to the public even though its volunteers are doing it on private property. She said the group is allowed to distribute pre-packaged meals.

But the real icing on the cake is this paragraph:

Mahoney said the city considers the group’s activities different from other outdoor gatherings, such as a tailgate party before Rams football games, because those are more private in nature and aren’t inviting the public. Churches that host fish frys also must have permits.

You can server hot meals if it relates to a football game without city permission but you can’t server hot meals to people who have nothing unless you get permission from the city. Once again we see the American attitude that the oligarchs, in this case the owners and operators of football stadiums, received special treatment while those with nothing get shafted precisely because they have nothing.

If the organizers apply for a permit I’m sure the city will either deny it or charge enough that the churches can’t reasonably afford it. This isn’t just about paying to play, it’s about the way cities deal with the homeless. City governments about interested in providing assistence to the homeless, they’re only interested in making the lives of the homeless so miserable that they move somewhere else and become somebody else’s problem.

Los Angeles Considering a Prohibition Against Feeding the Homeless

The state’s war against the homeless wages on. Last month a Hawaiian politician decided to step up the war by walking around town and smashing shopping carts being used by homeless individuals. Lost Agneles, not wanting to be outdone, is now considering a complete prohibition against feeding the homeless:

Two members of the Los Angeles City Council recently proposed an ordinance that would ban private charities and individuals from feeding homeless people in public. The politicians behind the legislation, Tom LaBonge and Mitch O’Farrell (both Democrats), have said they are responding to concerns from residents who are uncomfortable with the homeless spending lots of time around their homes.

Again my theory that the state will never be useful for helping the homeless is proven true. The state’s idea of helping the homeless is to make their lives so miserable that they flee to another city.

One Hawaiian Politician is Taking the State’s War Against the Homeless to a New Level

The state has been waging war against the homeless for some time now. But one Hawaiian politician is taking matters into his own hands to make the lives of those with nothing even more miserable:

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) – State Rep. Tom Brower has taken a sledgehammer and a novel approach to Hawaii’s homeless problem.

“I got tired of telling people I’m trying to pass laws. I want to do something practical that will really clean up the streets,” he said.

In his spare time he scours streets and parks in his district, looking for shopping carts homeless use to store and move their belongings. He returns good ones to stores and destroys others with his sledgehammer.

“I find abandoned junk, specifically shopping carts, and I remove them. I also create a situation where those carts can’t be pushed around the city. I think it’s a good thing,” he said.

Once again I feel the need to stress the fact that the state isn’t going to solve the problem of homelessness. Politicians don’t see the homeless as individuals in need of help; they see the homeless as vermin whose lives must be made miserable so they move on to a different city, county, state, or country. If we want to help the homeless we will need to roll up our sleeves and do it ourselves. In fact we’ll have to fight the state in order to help the homeless as it is determined to make helping the homeless illegal.

The Next Chapter in the State’s War Against the Homeless

The next chapter in the state’s continuing war against people who have nothing to steal began in Redbridge, London:

Adam Jaskowiak was one of the men targeted and said he pleaded with police to be able to keep his things but was ignored.

He was sleeping with eight other people finding shelter for the night in the former Ilford Baths in High Road, Ilford.

All of their belongings were bundled into a police car leaving the men, one in his 60s, stunned.

A police chief told the Recorder the operation was carried out to “reduce the negative impact of rough sleepers”.

But Mr Jaskowiak, 34, said: “They were just taking the sleeping bags and chucking out everything. I asked to keep it and the food, but they said ‘no’.

Let it be known that the state will not tolerate anybody who provides food to those that are hungry or seeks warmth in a sleeping bag when the have no shelter. One thing is for certain, the state will take whatever you have even if you have nothing more than a little food and a sleeping bag.

Another Battle in the State’s War Against the Homeless

While the hearts of many self-proclaimed progressives are in the right place they tend to go about their stated goal of helping those in need in the wrong way. Asking the state to help those without resources is an exercise in futility because the state is an agent of expropriation and is only interested in providing assistance to individuals who actually have something to steal.

The state’s war against the homeless is pretty overt at this point. It seems that any organization that attempts to provide food, clothing, or shelter to those without means are shutdown by whatever municipality they are operating in. Manchester, New Hampshire is the latest battlefield in this twisted war:

MANCHESTER — City officials have told a church group that it will no longer be allowed use Veterans Park to serve a free hot breakfast to the homeless.

The decision has left Do you know Him? Ministries without an outdoor location in the downtown area to serve the breakfast.

The group had been using Veterans Park each weekend since January 2012 until December when, due to the cold, it took the operation indoors at the Salvation Army.

When it sought to again serve the breakfast at the park, the group was told by the Parks Department that its permit would not be renewed.

Why wasn’t their permit renewed? In most of these cases the state claims health and safety reasons to block organizations from helping those in need but this time the justification was a bit more honest:

“There was some concern from area businesses who didn’t feel like it was the best fit, using park space to feed people,” Chief of Parks Peter Capano said. “We sat down to try and find another location to do the ministry and had a rough time of it.”

Obviously we can’t have a bunch of homeless people reminding patrons that some people have it better than others. If we allowed that some of those people may decide to help and that would mean resources would be going to those without means instead of the state and its cronies. Instead the problem must be swept under the rug.

In the end the lesson is the same: the state cannot be used to help those in need. If you really want to help people who have little or nothing then you’ll have to develop voluntary methods of doing so.

Kansas City Police Kick Homeless Individuals Out of Unused Tunnels

While I agree with the expressed idea of self-proclaimed progressives that society should better care for the homeless I disagree with their tactics. Self-proclaimed progressives always want the state to get involved and, as I’ve explained, the state would rather see homeless people die off because they have on wealth to expropriate. Demonstrating the conflict of interest I talked about Kansas City police found a community of homeless people living in unused tunnels. What did the police do? Kicked the homeless out of the tunnels that they then filled in to ensure nobody could return:

Police and volunteers from Hope Faith Ministries first visited the camps on Tuesday to advise the residents they had to clear out by Friday. After repeated visits, they encountered only four people, but it was obvious that many others lived there. Cooley said three of the four either accepted services offered or said they would.

On Friday, city public works crews used a Bobcat to close up the tunnels and holes after they were searched by a police robot with a camera. Representatives from the Department of Veterans Affairs also were on hand to offer services. Animal Control came because police had reason to think there might be a dangerous pit bull on site, but they did not encounter one.

Whenever the police strike out against the homeless they always concoct some excuse. Usually they claim to be enforcing health or safety regulations but this time around the police merely used the excuse that cooper had been stolen in the area:

It was found while police were investigating copper thefts in the industrial area of the East Bottoms, some of which are very costly. Police have previously encountered evidence of copper thefts at other camps and think some homeless people are responsible for some thefts and may serve as lookouts for larger theft operatives.

Even though the police had no evidence (at least no evidence has been put forward that I can find) that the homeless individuals in the tunnels were the thieves they rousted them anyways. In all likelihood the accusations copper thefts was merely a convenient excuse to kick the homeless out of the area so they could become some other city’s problem. Most large municipalities seem to believe that the best way to deal with the homeless is to make their lives so miserable that they flee to somewhere else. That’s the kind of “charity” you get from the state. If a person isn’t a revenue source they are roughed up and told to go elsewhere, locked into a cage, or outright murdered. Using the state to help those in need will never succeed because the state has no use for those who truly have nothing to expropriate.

Progressives Will Never Accomplish Their Expressed Goals Through Statism

Today’s political climate is so muddled with doublespeak and doublethink that it’s difficult to have any meaningful conversation. Consider the term progressive. The term indicates a forward movement for society that will hopefully mean a better future for everybody. People who identify themselves as progressives generally claim a desire to support the poor through government programs. They tend to advocate universal healthcare, a guaranteed living wage, welfare, and other programs supposedly aimed at ensuring everybody has the bare necessities of survival. In practice their goals tend to oppose one another.

One of the demographics often exploited by modern progressives is the homeless population. Progressives often claim that they want more government programs to help the homeless. Helping the homeless is a noble cause that I want to see society embrace. However, unlike progressives, I want to see voluntary methods used. Voluntary methods tend to avoid the hypocrisy that runs rampant in statist solutions. On the one hand progressives claim to want to support the homeless, on the other hand they support programs that make it difficult or impossible to help the homeless. There have been numerous instances where state officials used force to stop individuals from providing food to the homeless. Most of these instances were done under the guises of health safety. State officials claimed that there was no way to ensure the donated food met nutritional or safety standards. Instead of being allowed to partake in the generosity of giving individuals the homeless were forced to go hungry because some government thug in a city health department didn’t issue a stamp of approval.

Such an outcome in inevitable when medical costs are paid by the state. As I explained in my post about the state and its love of surveillance, the state has a vested interest in keeping its costs down. Programs that return little, no, or, worst of all, negative profit are either axed or retools to be more profitable. Military might, by allowing the state to expropriate from other states, and police, by allowing the state to expropriate locally, will always receive priority for funding. Healthcare, on the other hand, would normally cost the state money. In order to get around this issue states have done several things. First, most states that claim to offer universal healthcare also maintain an ever diminishing list of covered operations. Second, those states generally maintain a skeleton crew in the healthcare sector meaning the wait time for operations becomes great (and if you die the state doesn’t have to foot the bill for your operation). Third, and for this post most importantly, these states implement regulations aimed at reducing their healthcare costs. Any behavior that may incur healthcare costs by the state are made illegal. New York, being one of the most progressive cities in the United States, has continuously implemented prohibitions aimed at reducing the state’s healthcare costs. The most famous prohibition was the one placed on the sale of sugary drinks exceeding 16 ounces.

In addition to axing or retooling unprofitable programs the state also tries to shed itself of unprofitable population. A homeless individual, being without income and able to buy very little, is unprofitable for the state. They generally pay no income tax and very little, if any, sales or use taxes. Compounding the issue is their general lack of possessions. If you have a home, a bank account, or any other property you have value that the state can seize from you. Therefore you, in the eyes of the state, are profitable population. Just as a dairy farmer has an interest in maintaining the health of his dairy cattle the state has an interest in maintaining your health, so long as you’re not consuming so many of its available resources that you become unprofitable (in other words if you actually need a major medical operation the state would rather see you dead).

Here is where things come full circle. In the hopes of reducing healthcare costs the state ends up waging war against the homeless. In the state’s eyes donated food is a potential healthcare cost because it has set itself up to cover the healthcare costs of those who don’t have insurance or possession to seize. Homeless individuals don’t have insurance or possessions so the state is literally better off if the homeless are dead. Preventing the homeless of eating donated food reduces the state’s infinitesimal risk of caring for uninsured individuals who have nothing to steal. If homeless individuals end up starving to death the state has shed unprofitable population. In other words shutting down programs aimed at providing food for the homeless is a win-win for the state.

Herein lies the problem with progressives: their goals are mutually exclusive. By involving the state in healthcare progressives ensure that the state wages a war against the homeless. Voluntary methods of providing healthcare and helping the poor don’t suffer from such conflict of interests because the interests of the people involve is to help those in need. In other words those donating food to feed the homeless are doing so because they want to help feed the homeless. Since they’re not expropriating wealth they don’t suffer from helping those without wealth. I believe that most self-declared progressives mean well but their strategy ensures that their expressed goals will never be accomplished. Only through voluntary cooperation can people help one another. Once the voluntary component is removed costs will inevitably be faced by those who don’t want to face them. At that point the primary focus moves away from helping those in need to reducing costs.

The State’s War Against the Homeless Continues

When the state’s not busy creating new homeless individuals it’s waging war against them. Continuing in this fine tradition Nevada City now requires individuals to obtain a permit before becoming homeless:

A police chief says he’s found a one-of-a-kind way to manage a growing problem in his city, and it’s putting the homeless on the hot seat.

A new law would give Nevada City the power to hand out permits to a small group of homeless, which would give them permission to sleep in public. While the new ordinance would give some homeless a place to stay, it would tell others, mostly the troublemakers and the criminals, to stay away.

I’m not sure what message the police chief is trying to send. Homeless people, by definition, are relegated to sleeping in public places. They don’t have homes and generally can’t afford to pay rent on even a modest apartment. What is a homeless person without a permit supposed to do?

It’s ideas like this that make me rage whenever somebody claims that the state helps the poor. How is forcing homeless individuals out of major metropolitan areas helping them? At most it makes those individuals somebody else’s problem. Lawmakers and law enforcement agents don’t even stop and think long enough to determine if the rules they’re making and enforcing are logical. Telling a homeless person they can’t sleep in public is like telling paraplegic to get up and walk around.