Urban Americans are taking back their streets.
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Or they’re trying, anyway.
But there are so now many homeless… and city officials are so lax… that it’s an uphill battle with no end in sight.
In cities where the weather is good and “progressive” politicians rule, the homeless population is spiking, out of control. They say they’re shocked by the growth. They blame housing costs.
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But the real blame is permissiveness.
The proof is on the sidewalks. In Austin, Texas, municipal regulations now permit homeless to camp and sleep… in whatever state of intoxication… on neighborhood walkways and thoroughfares, so long as they don’t create an undue disturbance.
But when residents call in to complain of encampments in front of their homes, they’re told they can lodge a complaint.
In Los Angeles, California, where homelessness is up more than 15 percent in a single year, business owners are restoring to desperate measures—investing in huge planters, mesh fencing, and other obstructions they deploy around their establishments to keep some semblance of cleanliness and order.
Complaints to the city’s non-emergency hotline are constant—open-air human waste, drug use and drug litter, trash heaps, fights, even prostitution. Mental illness and disease are rampant.
Obstacles deployed by businesses are often technically illegal. But they push the vagrants a block or two away, making all the difference in the world… a difference officials and law enforcement won’t or don’t make themselves.
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At least cops aren’t punishing the otherwise law abiding citizens reduced to violating their own municipal codes.
City and state governments are dumping ever more money into the problem… or allocating it, anyway. But it takes forever for the tax or bond cash to move through the system, and when it does, it results in a relative handful of cheap housing units.
Meanwhile there’s no effective anti-drug policy. No attempt to close down the tent cities for good, instead of moving them around at best. The massive trash problem receives belated attention only after media outlets discover and report on dumps that shock the conscience.
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Nor is there a working mental asylum program, to at least start with the people in the most pain and at the most risk of violence and harm.
Something worse than the third world is unfolding on the streets of America’s supposedly most desirable cities to live in. A surrender to despair… despair out in the open, accepted as normal, as a fact of life.
Big city progressives can complain all they want about housing problems. But they created the monster, and they have no working solutions. All they have is money.
But money doesn’t heal the soul.
And the depth of the soul sickness on our streets is only just beginning.