There appears to be a war on the homeless and needy in certain states and not just the red ones:
To Clear Waikiki For Tourists, Hawaii Gives 120 Homeless People A One-Way Ticket Out Of State
by Bryce Covert, November 10, 2014
Hawaii’s Institute for Human Services (IHS) is beginning a $1.3 million campaign to clear the homeless out of Waikiki, a big spot for tourists, after businesses have complained that the homeless are hurting tourism.
The majority of the money will be used for intensive outreach services to connect the homeless with shelter, employment, and medical services. IHS’s goal is to move 140 people into shelters or housing in the first year.
But it also plans to fly back to the mainland United States another 120 people, who will be identified through a vetting process it says is aimed at making sure they have a plan in place when they get there. “We found out that many [Waikiki homeless] are transient who made a choice to become homeless, as well as people who became homeless shortly after arriving in Hawaii,” said Kimo Carvalho, development and community relations manager for IHS.
Last year, state lawmakers $100,000 in funding to give Hawaii’s homeless population one-way flights out of the state back to the mainland. But Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) refused to release the funding amid concerns that people would fly to the state and expect a free ticket home.
Fort Lauderdale Votes To Make It Harder To Feed The Homeless, Joining Two Dozen Other Cities
by Alan Pyke, October 22, 2014
A few hours before dawn on Wednesday morning, city counselors in Fort Lauderdale, FL passed a bill to make it harder to feed the homeless. Amid raucous protests from activists, the council voted 4-1 in favor of a long-pending slate of new regulations on where and how groups can provide food to homeless people.
The vote makes the south Florida city the 13th in the country to pass restrictions on where people can feed the homeless in the past two years, and the 22nd town to make it harder to feed homeless people through either legislation or community pressure since the beginning of 2013, according to a report released Monday by the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH).
Counting towns that are still in the process of advancing some sort of crackdown, NCH says, 31 American cities “have attempted to pass new laws that restrict organizations and individuals from sharing food with people experiencing homelessness” in 2013 and 2014.
Florida City Will Throw Homeless People In Jail For Asking For Money
by Scott Keyes, November 10, 2014
Lake Worth, FL, a city of approximately 35,000 people just south of West Palm Beach, voted last week to impose a crackdown on homeless people who ask passersby for spare change.
Ordinance No. 2014-34 was approved by a unanimous vote on November 4th. The new law bans panhandling on city-owned property, such as near bus stops, ATMs, and other downtown areas, as well as on private property without express permission. According to the Palm Beach Post, “That covers most of downtown,” effectively banning all panhandling in the area where homeless people would be able to raise the most money.
The measure also bans “aggressive panhandling,” a nebulous term that theoretically prohibits panhandling in a threatening manner, though in reality is so subjective it gives authorities free rein to crack down on any homeless person asking for money.
If a homeless person is convicted under the new law, he or she could face as much as 60 days in jail or a $500 fine.
California City Bans Homeless From Sleeping Outside: If They Leave, ‘Then That’s Their Choice’
by Bryce Covert, November 10, 2014
Last week, the city council of Manteca, CA unanimously passed two ordinances aimed at clearing out the homeless population.
One will ban people from sleeping or setting up encampments on any public or private property as of December 4, although the homeless won’t be jailed or fined. It will, however, allow the police to tear down any homeless sleeping areas as soon as they appear without having to be invited by the property owner, as was the case previously.
Explaining why the ordinance is necessary, Police Chief Nick Obligacion said, “The goal is actually to correct the wrong. So, if the correction is them leaving Manteca, then that’s their choice.” He also opposes any sort of shelter for the homeless.
The other ordinance bans public urination and defecation, but also comes after the city temporarily closed public restrooms in a park, a location often used by the homeless to relieve themselves in private.
90-Year-Old Man Arrested In Florida For Feeding The Homeless
by Scott Keyes, November 6, 2014
There are a lot of strange local ordinances in this country. But perhaps none are stranger than the one that resulted in the arrest of a nonagenarian for giving food to hungry people.
Last month, Ft. Lauderdale city officials passed a new measure to crack down on people feeding the homeless. On Sunday, two days after the new law went into effect, Arnold Abbott, 90, a longtime advocate for the homeless and regular volunteer at a local soup kitchen, was arrested for the crime of giving food to the needy. He now faces up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. Two local pastors were also arrested and face the same potential sentences.