Anti-Camping Ordinance Is Pro-Public, Not “Criminalizing Homelessness”

Some thoughts on the ongoing debate over Anaheim’s recently adopted anti-camping ordinance.

For starters, it was good to see the City Council unanimity on the matter. This really isn’t a complicated issue: there is a homeless encampment in La Palma Park which has a deleterious effect on the life of neighboring residents and is effectively denying the use of a public park to the public.

Opponents of the ordinance criticize it by asking where the city proposes that the homeless campers go? The underlying assumption is that by squatting in a city park, homeless individuals thereby obligate the city to provide them with someplace else to live. That is a poor precedent to set.

First things first. The City of Anaheim’s primary obligation is to those residents who live near La Palma Park, and to members of the public who use it for its intended purposes.  They work, pay their mortgages and rent, pay their taxes and obey the law. They have raised or are raising their children by the park. They shouldn’t have to take their children to their neighborhood park and worry about hypodermic needles on the playground, illicit activities in public restrooms, and other dangers. A day in the park is supposed to be relaxing and enjoyable, not fretful and anxious.

The city’s first duty is to them. Restoring a city park shouldn’t have to wait until the problem of homelessness is “solved.”

The “Criminalizing Homlessness” Canard
The ACLU claims ordinances like the one adopted by Anaheim amount to “criminalizing homelessness.”

“Criminalizing homelessness” is a classic example of  left-wing language manipulation. The ACLU uses it to put opponents of its agenda on the defensive, to make them feel as if they are hard-hearted and lacking in compassion because they don’t want to live next to an illegal homeless camp.

This is a tried-and-true tactic of the Left, akin to how left-wingers tendency to package their policy demand du jour as a “civil right,” enabling them to depict anyone who opposes their demand as being “against civil rights.”

It’s hogwash, but it’s effective hogwash because most elected officials are too timid to call them out on it – and it doesn’;t help when the so-called responsible is abetting this language manipulation. Last week, PBS SoCal’s David Nazar straight-out adopts this loaded term in this Voice of OC article on the ACLU’s agitation on the homelessness issue:

While the typical solution has been to criminalize homelessness with strict enforcement of trespass and loitering laws, the ACLU says the real crime is not providing a way off the streets. [emphasis added]

That’s like saying parking regulations “criminalize” parking. Last time I checked, homeless people aren’t the only ones obligated to obey laws against trespassing and loitering.

The Road to Utopiaheim
Government cannot solve the human condition. The belief that it can is the well-spring of the government gigantism that we confront today. Natural, compassionate impulses have led to decades of destructive public policy when married to an unlimited vision of what government is responsible for and capable of. Government can make a positive contribution as long as it acts within its limited sphere of competence. However, when dealing issues such as homelessness, we need to get away from the mindset that first asks, “What is the government going to do about it?”

Speaking at Tuesday’s council meeting, one opponent of the anti-camping ordinance employed the shopworn trope “If we can send a man to the Moon, we can end (fill in the social ill).” Sending three astronauts to the Moon and bringing them safely back was essentially an engineering problem. An expensive and dangerous one, but an engineering problem the federal government could solve. And in an real sense, one can say its easier to send a man to the moon than to get a homeless alcoholic or drug addict to become and stay sober; or convince someone who prefers to be homeless to become a productive member of society.

My point is it is important to recognize the very limited ability of government at any level “solve” homelessness. Government has probably spent more than trillion dollars since the 1960s trying to solve poverty, and to little effect. Does anyone really think government can solve homelessness?

24 comments

  1. Right on target!

  2. Very well said and sadly, very true. Government cannot dictate human behavior or solve it. Kindness is a frame of mind that needs to be voluntary to really count, not something to be legislated.

  3. There are plenty of resources available for people with temporary housing issues. Some need help and we should help them. I have payed forward to many people through the years. However, many are drug addicts and alcoholics and they should be removed immediately. Children and elderly should be helped first.

  4. I believe we need to be involved in confronting oppression and unjust laws from government. If we do not get involved in this, then we fail to obey Jeremiah 22:16 and other verses such as Proverbs 31:9 that tell us to defend the cause of the poor and needy. As James chapter 2 tells us, it is the rich that oppress us, and drag us before the judgement seats, and blaspheme that worthy name by which we are called. (James 2:6-7) Also in Psalms 2:10-11 GOD commands that all Kings and judges should serve the LORD with fear – if that be the case, then that would of course include Mayors, city councils, and all rulers. If they are to serve the LORD, then that would mean they are to help those in need, since this is a big part of what it means to serve the LORD. I believe scripturally that governments should not be oppressive, but should serve the LORD with fear and help those in need, and from what I have read we are to encourage them to do so. Also the 25th article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights written by the U.N. states housing is a right, not a privelage, and the U.S. signed this as did other nations. Additionally, In Luke 16 the rich man went to Hell for all eternity because he ignored poor Lazarus layed at his gate. Those who have much are to share and not be greedy according to GOD, and who could possibly be a better judge then HIM! If people are guilty of crime then ofcourse they should be dealt with, but poverty is no crime, and JESUS said blessed are you poor, and Woe to you rich! I was a Math instructor called to sell all by GOD to live among the poor, and I have seen first hand the hypocrisy in courts by Judges and police who love money, not GOD, and as most everyone knows, JESUS said you can’t serve both GOD and money. My question is, who do you serve? Satan or GOD?

  5. JESUS said you can’t serve GOD and money, and the rich man of Luke 16 went to Hell for not taking care of poor Lazarus layed at his gate. Proverbs 31:9 says to defend the cause of the poor and needy. Ofcourse we should not allow crime, but poverty is no crime, and JESUS said blessed are you poor, and Woe to you rich! Also the 25th Article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights created by the U.N. and signed by the U.S. states housing is a right, not a privelage. Why does Anaheim ignore this human right? The Rich have a responsibility to the poor according to GOD, and if they reject this truth they will pay a high price according to the Bible. Hell fire and brimstone!! Be humble, show mercy, and walk humbly before CHRIST JESUS the LORD!!

  6. Many who are not homeless go to parks to sin in various ways, and it seems everyone (typically the rich) wants to blame the homeless for every sin committed in the parks. I know many non-homeless high-school kids and adults have premarital sex in parks and certainly do drugs at times, and continually use all kinds of foul language. This town needs a serious spiritual awakening, and we must be careful not to judge every homeless person the same. I am homeless due to my calling to follow CHRIST JESUS, and there are no needle tracks in my arms.

  7. whats more important for a city to provide, more parks and recreation for the rich Americans who have houses and cars, or basic shelter and housing for those Americans (including vets) who are homeless and in need? Is recreation for the rich now more important than survival for the poor?

    • The problem with your fanatical sermon is that It’s not the wealthy you should direct your religious beliefs to, it’s middle and lower income persons who are complaining about the drug addicts in the park who have no respect for the rights of children and parents to enjoy the park.

      • The Bible tells us to command the rich to be rich in giving, and to be willing to share. If they did their part we would have no problems. Greed from the rich and powerful is a major reason why there are homeless people all over this country and the world. I also don’t recall any homeless people in there complaining, do you? It is quite obvious that those who were complaining had more than the homeless (and probably spend very little time with the homeless), and typically had homes. I am not saying we should defend drug use and sin in parks, but not everyone who is homeless is using drugs or a danger to children. Many pedophiles have had homes and cars! Those with homes that are against the homeless typically try and cast all the homeless as the same (drug users, etc.) I am homeless for the sake of CHRIST, and see the bigotry every day. To much is given, much is required, and the rich forever will have a responsibility to help those in need according to GOD’s Word. This will never change (See Luke 16 – The rich man and Lazarus)

        • Joshua, your complaints about “the rich” or wealthy persons who earned money or own or rent a home is misguided because everyone in the United States has an equal opportunity to be gainfully employed either as an employee or an employer. People with temporary housing issues or temporary financial woes have numerous resources available to rebound.

          • then why are 3.5 billion people living in poverty James? Do you really think the “free Market” is a good thing, and that everyone in the world is getting a fair shake? Do you really believe there is no oppression in USA? Many are rich because of sweat shops and cheap labor, and many jobs are lost in USA due to outsourcing. Can you see this?

            • There are NOT 3.5 Billion living in poverty in the United States! I personally know an Hispanic man who started out working as a janitor for a manufacturer in Los Angeles and now owns the company. Resourceful Vietnamese people came here with nothing and started an economy in Westminster/Garden Grove. One of my many Mexican friends walked through the desert in extremely hot and difficult conditions for 6 days to get to the United States and earns a very healthy living. So yes everyone gets a fair shake. Now get busy and do some work!

              • 3.5 billion are in poverty world wide James, not in the U.S. – you need to look past your front door and see what is going on in the world. do your research and figure out the truth. It sounds like you want to remain in the dark James, but I will continue to share the light, and expose the oppression I see. This is the work I have been called to do, and remember – you can’t serve GOD and money.

  8. There is a lot said here but casting hardworking homeowners and a council that wants to help protect their health, safety and welfare as sinners is wrong. That’s all there is to say about that.

    • how is giving a homeless person a ticket and taking their belongings protecting them? This just happened at Maxwell Park the other night. Anaheim Jack, you really don’t know what is going on. Go live on the streets for a while and then maybe you will understand and see what is really happening out here. The homeless I know just have one more ticket and less of what little they had.

    • Criminalization Measures Violate Constitutional Rights
      The National Coalition for the Homeless writes:

      Measures that criminalize homelessness are legally problematic and do not make sense from a policy standpoint. Laws that make it difficult for homeless persons to stay in downtown areas of cities force homeless persons away from crperson is arrested under one of these laws, he or she develops a criminal record, making it more difficult to obtain employment or housing. Further, criminalizing homelessness is an inefficient allocation of resources. It costs more to incarcerate someone than it does to provide supportive housing.

      Homeless persons and advocates throughout the country have worked to prevent the passage of laws and to halt policies and practices that criminalize homelessness. Unfortunately, cities and police departments sometimes do not respond to such advocacy in any productive way. When local governments fail to respond to policy advocacy, homeless persons and their advocates have turned to litigation to end these laws and practices.

      As successful litigation has shown, many of the practices and policies that punish the public performance of life-sustaining activities by homeless persons violate the constitutional rights of homeless persons.

      I. Anti-Panhandling Ordinances

      One way that cities have targeted poor and homeless individuals is by passing laws that prohibit panhandling, solicitation, or begging. Depending on the scope of the ordinance, these types of laws can infringe on the right to free speech under the First Amendment. Courts have found begging to be protected speech. Laws that restrict speech too much, target speech based on its content, and do not allow for alternative channels of communication can violate the First Amendment.

      Some courts have found laws that prohibit begging or panhandling unconstitutionally vague. A law is unconstitutionally vague if its language is not definite enough to give people notice of what is prohibited or if police could enforce the law in an arbitrary manner.

      II. Anti-Camping or Anti-Sleeping Measures

      As many cities do not have adequate shelter space, homeless persons are often left with no alternative but to sleep and live in public spaces, such as sidewalks and parks. Even while cities are not dedicating enough resources to give homeless persons access to housing or shelters, some cities have enacted laws that impose criminal penalties upon people for sleeping outside. For example, in Atlanta, the law prohibits what is called “Urban Camping.”

      These punishments for sleeping outside have been challenged in courts for violating homeless persons’ civil rights. Some courts have found that arresting homeless people for sleeping outside when no shelter space exists violates their Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment.

      Advocates also have contended that arresting people for sleeping outside violates the fundamental right to travel. If people are arrested for sleeping in public in a city or certain areas of a city, those arrests have the effect of preventing homeless people from moving within a city or coming to a city, thereby interfering with their right to travel.

      III. Loitering Measures

      Another tool that cities have used to target people who live outside and on the streets are laws that prohibit loitering. Due to the broad scope of prohibited behavior under loitering laws, cities have used these to target homeless people in public spaces. Fortunately, cities have found these laws less useful, as the Supreme Court has overturned several loitering laws for being unconstitutionally vague.

      In several cases, the Supreme Court has found vagrancy and loitering ordinances unconstitutional due to vagueness, in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution. A statute is unconstitutionally vague if it does not give a person notice of prohibited conduct and encourages arbitrary police enforcement. Since many loitering laws have similarly broad and vague language, homeless persons and advocates have a strong argument that such laws violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

      IV. Sweeps

      Cities also target people experiencing homelessness by conducting sweeps of areas where a person or several persons are living outside. Sometimes, police or local government employees will go through an area where people are living and confiscate and destroy people’s belongings in an attempt to “clean up” an area. While city workers may have the right to clean public areas, they must take certain measures to avoid violating people’s right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.

      A seizure of property violates the Fourth Amendment when a governmental action unreasonably interferes with a person or his/her property. Courts have found that police practices of seizing and destroying personal property of homeless people violate these constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment. In addition, some courts have also affirmed homeless persons’ right to be free from unreasonable searches even if their belongings are stored in public spaces.

      V. Curfew Laws

      Some cities have passed laws that impose curfews on minors. These laws can pose problems for unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness. Courts have overturned some of these laws for violating minors’ right to free expression, right to freely move, and equal protection rights. In still other cities, many parks impose curfews.

      VI. Restrictions on Feedings

      Cities also have indirectly targeted homeless people by restricting service providers’ feeding programs. Historically, cities have attempted to restrict feedings on providers’ property through zoning laws. More recently, some cities have passed laws to restrict feedings in public spaces, such as parks. For faith-based or religious groups conducting feedings as an expression of their religious beliefs, courts have found city restrictions on feedings an unconstitutional burden on religious expression.

      Litigation can protect the rights of homeless persons and pave the way for better city approaches to homelessness. Homeless persons bringing a civil action can receive damages or obtain injunctive or declaratory relief. In addition, many cases settle and result in policies or protocols that ensure homeless persons’ rights will be protected.

      In a nine-city survey of supportive housing and jail costs, jail costs were on average two to three times the cost of supportive housing.

  9. I find it a rather microscopic view when people only mention the homeless of La Palma Park and neglect to mention the adjacent neighborhood. I have lived in the area my entire life, we are by no means a rich neighborhood worshipping the golden god of greed, we are just poor people trying to live our lives. Are you are aware that hundreds children live in the area Mr. Collins? We have an elementary school across the corner from the park and everyday I see them walking home in droves, some of them through the park.

    A couple weeks ago, my elderly, crippled vet of a father was picking my nephew from school when a strungout homeless man decided to start following them back to the house. My 4yo nephew noticed him and my father shielded him from the man as they continued to walk home. As they were crossing the street, the homeless threw a metal plate at my nephew, narrowingly missing by two inches.

    One day my wife and I decided to take our son and nephew to La Palma Park to play, just like my cousins and I used to do when we were kids. When we got there, there were tents near the playground, a couple, drunk men, people sleeping on the playground equipment, empty forties strewn about, baggies, rubbers, trash, feces and napkins against the wall, people urinating where everyone could see them. The people on the equipment woke up and moved, but there was still trash on and around the slide. Being the love your neighbor type of people we are, we let the children try to play on the equipment so that they don’t grow up thinking it’s okay to look down on people. We watched them play for about fifteen minutes when a dog ran out of a tent and start barking at the kids. They started crying and a man ran out the tent and grabbed the dog. My son told me he had to go potty so I tried to take him to the men’s room but there were people selling drugs in there so we all went home.

    There are businesses around there ran by friendly people, but we hardly patron them much these days. There were always homeless people hanging around spanging, I never minded that–i’d always give them a couple bucks to buy a forty or something when I could because who couldn’t use a drink in their situation? When the homeless population grew, a lot of junkies showed up with them. One day I went to the 711 to pick up a candy bar for my diabetic, crippled vet father because he was having an insulin spike and a sugar crash. He gave me some money to pick it up for him while he sat down, trying not to pass out. I went to the liquor store and got him a snickers and a pepsi and walked out. As I walked out, a homeless man asked for some money and I told him that I didn’t have any. He started to hassle me and told me that he was gonna slit my throat, I told him that I’m sorry I don’t have any money but chill the f*ck out before we both get hurt. Do I sound like someone who doesn’t care about people?

    Other people in the neighborhood have been nice enough to open their homes to the homeless in addition to the church across the street offering meals, tents, sleeping bags, money and other supplies. We open ourselves to these people and yet they trash our neighborhoods, threaten to kill us, harass and menace the young and old and yet you have the nerve to say that we are denying them their humanity? As I have said before, Mr. Collins, you do not know what you’re talking about. Do you think it’s wrong to pass laws, laws that are sparsely enforced at best, that protect children and the elderly? In effect, that is what it’s doing, and you can attach whatever political agenda you want, but the fact of the matter is that you don’t live around here and you can’t see beyond your own microscopic, black and white point of view. We have rights as well, but it’s not cool to have empathy for both sides. People of my neighborhood are just heartless billionaires that drive solid gold hummers and live in mansions, right?

    Let talk about trash for a moment. The alleys are littered with trash that the homeless people dig out of our trash cans. I don’t chase people away from my cans, there’s nothing useful in them. Is it so much to ask for the homeless to put the trash back in the trash cans once they’re done invading my right to privacy? A couple of cheeseburger wrappers and fast food bags never hurt anyone, but these guys break glass and leave drugs and pointy things all over the place. I have a hard enough time making rent and putting food on the table without having to worry about going to the clinic for a tetanus shot or buying tire goo for my crappy car. Are you going to pay for that? It’s easy to have pie in sky dreams when you don’t keep yourself grounded in reality.

    Oh, and drugs. The homeless buy their drugs from gangs, which allows gangs increase their sphere of influence. I don’t use drugs, don’t look down on anyone who does, but when they start screwing with your head to the point you can’t act or function like a human being, what’s the point? I feel sorry for the homeless with drug problems. They get pushed around, bullied, intimidated and exploited by gangs. They keep on getting strung out on meth and heroine and they bring that stuff around children, is it truly a wonder why some folks don’t want them around?

    You need to stop romanticizing and victimizing the homeless, because they are not as blameless as I would personally love to believe. I am aware that this does not fit the profile of all or even most homeless people and that these are hard times brought upon us by some other persons’ greed, but the homeless could stop trashing and harassing the neighborhood because that’s truly the issue people have with this. Remember the golden rule.

    • Robert you seem to be attacking people you don’t even know. When you say “the homeless” do this or that you are basically calling them all the same, and they are not all the same. We are not all criminals trashing neighborhoods as you have so characterized us. I am an ex-Mathematics instructor, and I preach the Word of GOD and live for JESUS and am a music minister as well. I am homeless for the sake of the kingdom of GOD – in order to be closer to CHRIST who was homeless HIMSELF, and I don’t do drugs or get drunk, and I have no problem with police removing such people from parks. Since you brought up the issue of protecting children, be sure to work hard to protect children all over the world from child slave labor. Be sure to tell everyone to boycott Disney, Nestle, Chinese made products, and basically anything that is made outside of the U.S., Japan, or Europe since child slave labor is rampant outside of these three countries. I do hope you are not the type of person that will buy something that is cheap just because it is cheap. Be sure to find out where it was made, and who may be suffering because of the creation of the product you purchase. If you care so much about children, also be sure to tell them to turn from sin and follow JESUS. Hopefully you are doing that already. Have a good day.

  10. You, Mr. Collins are making the mistake of generalizing and grouping that you just accused Robert of doing!!!. Give me a break!!! Property owners who EARNED their place to create a home, you consider blind to the problem. Homeless/ transient folks are ALL just oppressed. You generalize in simplistic and narrow terms.

    Robert, has eloquently just explained to you what the big issue is. So, homeowners should be restrained and kind and open blah blah but, If you read the above post, the residents of these communities do NOT get it in return from MANY of the junkies within the homeless population! Where are the homeowners rights to a free, clean and SAFE environment??! When does the law, in your world, begin to protect me and my family??? That; why some of these ordinances are in place, to protect the citizens from an unclean, and I mean spiritually, lifestyle. It is Not my responsibility to give support a drug addict or an alcoholic that thinks it no problem to piss and defecate on the sidewalk across from my home? How is it that such have no call to consequences for their dirty and may I say, unGODly actions of body (drug and alcohol) abuse. What is your solution to this? In fact, there are many christian folks who own property who also have a right to safe and sec surroundings. Nowhere in the bible does God demand you give up your home. Do it if you are inclined, but it doesn’t bring you closer to him over others. And by the way, Christ was not homeless, he had shelter offered to him by his diciples in all the cities.

    • Jesus was homeless – see Luke 9:58, as I am for the sake of God’s kingdom, and how you treat the least of God’s people is how you treat him(see Mathew 25). I am not saying we should support drug and alcohol abusers in their habit, but you should be willing to sacrifice as others and I have for God’s people in need. There are many mentally disabled who are both male and female in need of shelter, and if I had to give up what I earned to help others as a Christian, what makes you think you never should have to? Are you a Christian? I have sacrificed not only material things but my freedom fighting for the poor, and it sounds like you really are not about that. What would Jesus do? I am not saying people should not be safe, I am saying people should be safe who are homeless also. We should defend their right to shelter as described in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Have you read this? Do you care about the homeless and poor, or just about your own comfort? My guess is that you most likely buy things made with child slave labor from China and elsewhere also, but this self-centered capitalistic thinking is not of God. You can’t serve God and money Ezzz. I can’t stand being around arrogant foul mouthed homeless drunks and druggies but self-centered arrogant capitalists can be just as bad. Read Proverbs 31:9 and remember, I gave up many material things and even my freedom for the sake of God’s kingdom, and as James 2:6 tells us, ” is it not the rich who oppress you, and drag you into court?” Since the Bible says the rich oppress, it must be true, and as Jesus said, “woe to you Rich-Luke 6:24” and “…Blessed are you who are poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. Luke 6:20.

      • Also so you know Ezzz many disciples were commanded to give up everything to follow Jesus( see Luke 10:1-16) and the rich young ruler was commanded to do the same. To say this never happened in the Bible is a lie. We are not all called to the same calling, but many have had to forsake all for God’s kingdom, including Apostle Paul. Do you know about him?

        • The greed of a few often ruins the lives of many. The Earth is the Lord’s and all we have is HIS. The things of this world should be shared, not hoarded(including land and homes) and as Jesus says , ” store your treasure in heaven, not on earth.” Remember Lazarus and the Rich man – Luke 16:19-31?

    • I can see both sides to this huge problem. I use to have a great job and worked there for over 10 years and lived pay check to pay check. I owned my own home and thought life was good. Then one day the economy dropped, I lost my home because there was no help in the early time of the state of the economy, my partner was in construction ouch another big issue, now we have only one income. We split up and had to find an apartment. Can you believe that the requirements to get an apartment is that you have to have three times the income for rent to even be considered. I got sick and could no longer work. I lost my apartment and am now homeless and sleep in my car. I had it all and now I have nothing. Bad things happen to good people. There is no help or programs for someone like me. I think everyone should open their eyes. I am not a junkie or alcoholic and it kills me inside to think that this is how people see me now. Just think this could be you some day. We need to find solutions not point fingers. Let’s start with rent control how about that?

  11. My wife and I are both on SSDI (the kind of disability that you earn for having worked for many years before becoming too ill to work).
    Neither of us is yet 40.
    I started working at 14, and have a small pension in addition to my disability.

    We make enough that we can ordinarily afford a decent rent and our expenses, with enough left over to save a bit each month, though not enough to cover the contingencies or exigencies of our medical conditions (paraplegic, epileptic, and intractable primary progressive MS).

    However, during the process of going out on disability (and therefore having to make COBRA payments, which were more than half of my take home, and after six months of almost NO income as SSDI has a waiting period after you are approved, and state disability only pays 55% of your pre-disability income, and only for one year), while still incurring serious medical bills in the interim, we experienced some financial challenges and ended up filing Ch. 7.

    Thanks to that, our credit is currently lousy (but slowly and steadily improving).
    Our apartment is raising our rent by more than $200 in a couple months.
    If we incur even one more large medical bill (like the ambulance plus MRI costs I had last month), we won’t be able to afford that increase.
    And even though we have never been late with our rent, our FICO means that we would not be able to be approved for a different apartment in a less expensive city, especially without three months rent in advance (first/last/security).

    We have no children and are not underage, nor are we seniors; neither of us is a vet.
    We officially make something like nine dollars a month too much to be eligible for food assistance.
    We technically are eligible for some rental assistance — except that the waiting list is several years long, and therefore even the waiting list is currently closed to additional applicants.
    All of this to say — if we are unable to afford the upcoming increase in our rent, we might very well end up living in our (twelve-year-old, paid off, accessible-to-my-powerchair, Kelly-Blue-Book $985) minivan.

    We aren’t eligible for a shelter, even if there were available capacity at any nearby, because we have no children and are a couple, and do have income.
    Doesn’t mean that there are housing opportunities available to us. And we are both college-educated; I “retired” as the manager of a mid-sized tech-support call center.

    (And not that it should matter, but we are both of the generally-considered-to-have-privilege race, here in the States, and in a liberal-leaning Blue Western state, at least in the major coastal cities.)

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