Orange County, CA -- The war on homelessness has reached unprecedented heights this week as officials in California announced that they will begin arresting people in certain ares for the sole factor of being homeless. The announcement comes after a series of lawsuits were settled to get a handle on Orange County's homeless problem.
For the mere act of being homeless in the wrong part of town, cops can now arrest people. Exactly how they will know a person is homeless, remains unclear.
According to a report from Fox 11:
Orange County, Calif., reached a settlement Tuesday that will allow law enforcement to immediately arrest homeless people in certain locations, including the John Wayne Airport, flood control channels and high-risk wilderness areas.
The Orange County Board of Supervisors settled two federal lawsuits filed last year aimed at efforts to clear out hundreds of homeless people who were camped out along the Santa Ana riverbed near Angel Stadium, Los Angeles’s Fox 11 reported.
According to the settlement, two provisions have been established to remove homeless people from the streets. In some areas, cops will immediately arrest people for being homeless. In other areas, however, police will have to first tell the homeless person that they have the option of being forced to go to a shelter. If the person refuses the shelter, then police will arrest them.
As Fox 11 reports:
Homeless individuals will be arrested immediately in areas that include John Wayne Airport, flood control channels and high-risk wilderness areas. Police in other designated areas will have to first reach out to social workers to place homeless people in shelters. If transients refuse services, police are allowed to put them in jail.
Officials assured the public that if the homeless person is sick, however, they will first be taken to a medical clinic before being jailed or forced into a shelter.
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"If it seems obvious that a patient has a medical condition then they will be transported to a county clinic for assessment" before being placed in a shelter, Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do said.
There is no doubt that California is experiencing a homeless crisis. In certain parts of the state, the homeless problem has turned into a public health issue as well, as many homeless people struggling with addiction have resorted to using public sidewalks as personal toilets.
However, it appears that instead of addressing it with actual solutions like the construction of tiny homes or rehabilitation centers, authorities have turned to the police state. What's more, the state not only goes after the homeless, but they go after those who try to help them as well.
In the land of the free, government and law enforcement not only wage war on the poor and homeless through various unscrupulous means designed to extract revenue and attack the right to exist, like this ordinance does, but those who try to help the homeless—by feeding, clothing, or sheltering them—also face the wrath of the state. As TFTP has reported, even those who've laid down their lives for the state—veterans—and the ones who help them are now being targeted.
Judy Wu, a landlord in San Francisco converted 12 properties she owns into 49 housing units over the last decade which she and her husband, Trent Zhu, rented to homeless, low-income and disabled veterans.
Because they've split the units into much smaller ones, the couple is able to provide these veterans with very cheap housing. However, city officials claimed the property was not zoned for this many homes, so they shut down the operation.
One of the most oft repeated phrases by those who advocate for the arrest and mistreatment of homeless people is, "why don't you let them live in your house?" But many folks actually do try to take in homeless people to help them get back on their feet -- an act many governments consider unlawful.
TFTP has reported on countless instances in which good Samaritans have been fined or threatened with arrest for taking in those in need. In some cases, churches who let homeless families live on their property, have been shut down and the pastors threatened with jail.
As stateless solutions rise up to fix the problem of homelessness -- without costing the taxpayer a dime -- the state comes in to thwart them. And, as this ordinance enforcement illustrates, the only solution that state proposes to replace it is force. If police violence against the homeless -- without this law -- is any indicator, the enforcement of this ordinance will not end well.